Disney Movie Marathon Challenge

Discussion in 'Disney Movies, Books, TV and Music' started by RSandRS, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. RSandRS

    RSandRS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    These generally are definitely not up there with the 'Renaissance' films, but Robin Hood is fantastic! :D
     
    Micca likes this.
  2. RSandRS

    RSandRS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    Day 26: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    This was a first for us! I’ve always wondered how Pooh fit into the Disney cannon so this was an interesting watch. Incidentally, the ride at Disney World follows the plot so it turns out we were a bit familiar with the stories. I know I read The House at Pooh Corner as a kid, but I’m not sure any of those stories are included in the film.

    I did like the way the animation followed the book and actually showed Pooh and friends jumping from page to page, in and out of pictures, and sliding up and down text. The text being used to illustrate the action (like flying around on the blustery day etc.) was also a clever idea. And Pooh’s back and forth with the narrator was also very charming: “Pooh, we have to get on to the next chapter!” “Am I in it?” These ideas were all quite novel and not something we have seen before, and they all really worked.

    Of course, the stories are a bit episodic and while I was very into it at the start I did feel my interest waning towards the end. Winnie the Pooh is aimed at slightly younger children I think, so while it’s very sweet it’s a tiny bit boring as an adult.

    I love the voice of Pooh bear. He is such a sweetie! We did notice Christopher Robin’s voice changed quite a bit so I assume they had issues with actors’ voices breaking (like Arthur on The Sword in the Stone).

    I guess maybe watching the new Christopher Robin film might be a good idea, although the reviews for that seem mixed. I also don’t want to encourage all the nostalgia films that Disney keeps making as I want them to make original, creative content and take a few risks.
     
    Micca likes this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2000
    Messages:
    27,109
    I do like one of the Roger Miller songs from the movie, with your enthusiastic review I will check this out.
     
  5. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7,786
    So, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is actually a package picture, like those from the 1940's, but also it is a package picture made up mostly of previously released shorts. They are sewn together with some new material, but the major episodes had been seen before. This is why it feels episodic. Personally, for me, while I like Winnie the Pooh, generally, a little goes a long way, so I preferred them as shorts. I feel like a full feature is a lot with these characters, who are a bit too simple to hold up for too long (not that they aren't delightful). Tigger at least brings some energy, and the music is great, including of course the Winnie the Pooh theme by the Sherman Brothers. This isn't a film I will go-to all that often, but it is definitely an important part of the Disney canon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    RSandRS and Micca like this.
  6. RSandRS

    RSandRS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    I'm glad I've seen it and appreciate how its fits into the canon, but as you said a little goes a long way :D
     
    Micca likes this.
  7. RSandRS

    RSandRS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    Day 27: The Rescuers (1977)


    The Rescuers seems to have been extremely popular when it was first released, but has fallen by the wayside a bit since. You certainly don’t see much mention of The Rescuers or The Rescuers Down Under in the parks, or much merchandise. I think this is a shame, because I really like these two movies. They’re not favourites, and the fact that we watched them a lot as children probably contributes to the warm and fuzzy feelings I have towards them, but I think they are great stories and have some wonderful characters that often get overlooked.


    As a child, of course it was the characters that resonated with me. I adored Miss Bianca and used to tie my blanket round my head and say that I was her. She wears a headscarf - I’m not just insane. As an adult...I just want to be her even more! She’s funny and impulsive, and the perfect match for the level-headed Bernard, who is also very cute. One of the joys of this movie is how well-matched these two characters are, and how equal, and how we get to watch their relationship develop in a way that never seems forced. From the very beginning, you can see they’re perfect for each other and bring out the best in each other.


    As far as the other characters are concerned, they are a fun and colourful bunch. There’s no standouts though apart, of course, from Medusa. Medusa is cruelly overlooked as a Disney villain! She’s delightfully wicked and insane and must be one of the meanest villains there is. The animation of the character is also masterful - all her mannerisms suit her perfectly and little moments like when she pulls of her eyelashes are a joy to watch, and really show the Disney animators’ commitment to quality.


    Watching as an adult I started to appreciate the background animation as well. There is a noticeable improvement in the animation from movies such as Aristocats and Robin Hood. This is really a beautiful movie. Although a lot of the backgrounds seem very static and removed from the foregrounds, they’re so pretty that you don’t really mind. I love the way you can see the brush strokes in some of the background paintings and the sombre colours really reflect the tone of the movie.


    Overall, for a comedy adventure, this movie could be said to be a little bit depressing. It’s nice to see Disney going for the slightly heavier themes, rather than just light-hearted comedies, but is this movie a bit too serious for young kids? I definitely wiped away a tear or two during the ‘Someone’s Waiting for You’ sequence. All of the songs are sort of wistful and weepy, but that one especially - especially for a big soppy girl like me! Overall, I like the sombre tone and the fact that there are real emotional stakes here - after all, the movie revolves around the kidnap of a little girl, it shouldn’t be all alligators playing the organ and people saying ‘Suffering Sassafras!’


    NB - I noted that there was quite a lot of brilliant child-friendly, olde-worlde cussing and expostulating in this movie, which I am all for. We should have more movies where the characters say ‘Landagotion!’ and ‘Suffering Sassafras!’ :p


    I don’t know why The Rescuers has fallen out of fashion over the years, because it really is great. The character of Miss Bianca is one of my absolute faves and in Medusa the movie has a very engaging villain. Perhaps the fact that it’s not really a musical has meant that it was overshadowed by the more flamboyant 90s movies, or maybe the movie’s darker tone puts people off, or maybe it’s just the fact that is comes from the dreaded DISNEY DARK AGES and gets written off. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t deserve it and it’s time to bring it back!
     
  8. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7,786
    I adore the Rescuers! I had a Disney storybook with them in it and I may have even weirdly crushed on Ms. Bianca when I was 4 years old. It's the voice of course! And speaking of voices, Eva Gabor returns from Aristocats, joined by none other than Bob Newhart - how can that be beat! Also, Ms. Bianca is wearing a pill-box hat I believe.

    Yes, this movie is rather dark. Medusa is definitely one of the most evil villains, right up there with Cruella DevVil! I mean, what did she do with those orphans once she was done with them. Nothing good I would imagine! Fortunately, the Rescue Aid Society is there to save the day. Dark themes were big in movies around this time, and I'm not sure Disney ever really excelled at it, but still, the films in which they tried it are very interesting. In the 1970s, Disney was still mostly churning out the live-action family-friendly adventure films that had fallen out of fashion. Animation tried to capture a little of that verve, but possibly too late. The Rescuers is still great and one of the few movies to get a sequel, the first of the canon actually!

    I met Ms. Bianca and Bernard at Tokyo DisneySea! Yes, the Tokyo parks still respect the old-school characters, and they were both out and about. I loved it!
     
    RSandRS likes this.
  9. RSandRS

    RSandRS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    Oh amazing! I'd love to meet Ms. Bianca and Bernard! Maybe one day I'll get over there. I'm reckoning it might end up being Shanghai of the Asia parks first for various reasons though.

    I'm very much looking forward to The Rescuers Down Under, when we get to that. That was a family absolute favourite. My dad is not mad on Disney, but even he quotes Mcleish (Not sure why this particular villain appeals :D) or references the film.

    Again we have a very dark one with The Fox and the Hound next, but the rescuers manages the comedy and dark balance allot better.
     
  10. RSandRS

    RSandRS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    The Fox and the Hound (1981)

    I’ve only watched this once before and it depressed me so much I never watched it again. It actually ended on a slightly lighter note then I remembered with both the fox and the hound protecting each other. Although, I am sorry but there is no way the hound’s owner should be forgiven for his terrible behaviour and get an ending in which he is taken care of by the women whose fox he tried to shoot! Anyway...

    We really liked the overall message of this film about prejudice being something which gets learned from society. However, I don’t think the film really hangs together in relaying this theme. There are again these oddly disjoined ‘comedy’ bits, which don’t really fit with the tone of the film (the birds chasing the caterpillar), which is really quite dark.

    The main characters are quite well realised and I like the relationship between Copper and the old dog, who feels he is being usurped. Big Momma the owl is delightful, except when she randomly changes her tune for a minute or two to disabuse Todd of the fact that he and Copper can be friends. This feels like an opportunity for a song but does not match the message she has been conveying in the film. While there are much stronger theme songs for films, I do generally like the score of this movie. I think its because the music reminds me of the music you hear in Frontierland though :D

    It is apparently the last film on which Walt’s original animators worked and the one in which the great animators of the 90s etc all trained. End of an era and the beginning of something new! Except now it is the infamous Black Cauldron, which I have never watched!
     
  11. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7,786
    I feel like you do about The Fox and the Hound. I saw it once long ago and never really wanted to watch it again. I know it turns out okay, but it is like harrowing and sad throughout. I haven't seen it recently enough to comment on it really.

    The 80's were a weird time for Disney. Times were ready to change out of the depressing 70's, but it took Disney a little time to catch up. They lost tons of animators like Don Bluth who would go on to make better and more popular movies. I like the 80's movies because I am an 80's kid, but I know they don't technically hold a candle to the golden era, or the upcomming Renaissance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 5:38 PM
    Micca and RSandRS like this.
  12. RSandRS

    RSandRS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    Day 29: The Black Cauldron (1985)

    So. The Black Cauldron. What to say about The Black Cauldron? What thoughts do I have to share from this, my first viewing of Disney’s the Black Cauldron?

    This movie sucks.

    From the studio that brought you Snow White and Sleeping Beauty comes an incoherent, ugly mess, which will leave you scratching your head and saying “Clement and Musker were involved in this movie? John Hurt is in this movie? What happened? What happened Disney???”

    So, yeah the Black Cauldron is terrible. It’s so terrible that I can’t even be bothered to structure this review into a proper critique or pretend that there are any parts of it that are not terrible. So here’s a list of complaints:

    • The story is woeful - I don’t know if this is down to story elements being really annoying or the characters just being pathetic, though I suspect it is the latter. It’s not the worst idea for a movie, just the worst delivered.

    • The main characters are pathetic. The main guy (can’t be bothered to google his name) is just stupid - were they trying to make him adorkable? It didn’t work. Princess Eilonwy (I got her name memorised because most of her dialogue seemed to be “I’m Princess Eilonwy” said in a squeaky voice) is useless and has zero chemistry with the main guy. Like none. Like I wish they would stop talking to each other. Or stop talking altogether.

    • The Horned King is the WORST villain we’ve had so far. What a waste of John hurt. He looks like skeletor and spends most of his time sitting on his a*se failing to get anything done. I feel like Scar, Ursula and Madame Medusa are all examples of how important the movement of a villain is, and this one is completely static. Or so slow-moving that he fails to be scary. At one point he sort of creeps up behind the main guy (I still haven’t bothered to google this kid’s name, that’s how little I care) and you have time to lazily say “Yo dude, he’s behind you” about three times before anything happens. And even then the kid gets out of the way in time. He also does that annoying thing of announcing his evil plan, saying “My evil plan is evil! My evil plan will...happen! And then! And then! I will...have power?” He has zero motivation is what I’m getting at and his plan sucks.

    • There are too many sidekicks. Waaaay too many. Pig, poor man’s Gollum, harp guy, magic sword, fair folk and specific fair folk character Doli who is grumpy (and essentially Grumpy because why come up with a new character when you can rehash on old trope?). Step one in fixing this movie would be to combine all these into ONE character. And then give that character a personality.

    • The voice acting. How am I about to complain about the voice acting in a Disney movie?? Even in movies where we had problems with the animation or the story the characters still felt real and alive thanks to the voice actors, but not in The Black Cauldron! All of the actors sound like they’re just reading from the page, delivering every line in the same way with no consideration of pacing or context. Consequently I hate all the characters. Except Hen Wen the pig. She has no dialogue.

    • It’s inappropriate. Seriously, that witch and her boobs? And at one point she says, “Oh I do love a forceful man!” I suspect it’s probably too frightening for children as well, though I didn’t find it scary due to the villain being the absolute worst.

    • It’s not funny. I’m not even sure if it’s trying to be funny at any point, that’s how not funny it is. This movie sucks.

    • It’s ugly. Don't tell me it’s not because it is. Muddy, sludgy backgrounds that keep hitting you over the head with the fact this is trying to be a ‘darker’ Disney movie. And flat, uninteresting characters who all look like versions of characters we’ve already seen: Whatsisname (definitely not googling at this point) is a sort of slightly older Wart/Mowgli type, Princess Eilonwy is a generic blonde, harp guy Fflewdur is so forgettable that I couldn’t even tell you what sort of age he’s supposed to be etc. etc.

    • WHO WROTE THIS?? They are the worst. It’s all their fault. Seriously, guards, seize him! Off with his head! It is so shockingly written it makes Victory Through Air Power look like Lord of the Rings. Bad, clunky exposition. Bad characters talking to themselves and not in a way that works (like with a song). Bad villain speechifying. Bad boy and girl arguing so you can tell they like each other. Bad Jar Jar/Gollum sidekick who talks in stupid voice. Bad bad bad bad.

    I seem to have taken the dreadfulness of this movie extremely personally, but the fact is I’ve been spoilt. For a couple of months now I’ve been watching some of the best movies that have ever been created, made by creative artists with a total dedication to quality. And then this movie comes round, ruins my night, and makes me wish for the halcyon days of The Three Caballeros.

    This move sucks.

    But on a positive note, it can only get better from here :)
     
    Micca likes this.
  13. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7,786
    WOW! That's a lot of hate for The Black Cauldron. I don't know what to even say. Generally, I like the movie, though it has it's problems. I enjoy the high-fantasy setting and the general darker style. The animation isn't the best because we're still in the do-it-on-the-cheap era (Disney was close to bankruptcy as this was being produced). Still, the cool, dark colors are welcome and give it a little atmosphere. Taran is pretty basic. I always think of him as the same kid from Sword in the Stone. Gurgie though, what a great voice! And how can you not feel for him when he's dead?

    This movie is based on a series of fantasy novels, The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. Something that happened during the making of this movie was that Disney Leadership was changing, and the new boss, Jeffery Katzenberg I believe, felt it was too dark and scary, especially with it's original ending where the undead army ransacks the village. This was cut entirely per Katzenberg, and it definitely weakens the movie. So really, while I think the movie is okay, the weakened ending is almost insurmountable. It really, really hurts the story.

    Disney gets another chance though. Currently they still posses the rights to the Chronicles of Prydain and plan to make a live-action film series based on it. I haven't heard anything about it in a while, but hopefully it's a chance for Disney to redeem the missteps they made regarding the ending. Based on your review, I'm sure you'll be first in line! ;)
     
  14. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2000
    Messages:
    27,109
    @RSandRS Well at least your review is entertaining.:thumbsup2

    @BrianL Love your optimism. I think most of the live-action remakes of animated classics are mis-fires, maybe this is a case where they could actually improve on an original.
     
  15. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7,786
    Well, I don't like the ones where they have tried to basically remake it exactly, but I do like the ones where they try to do a different take on it. In most cases we have ended up with a perfectly fine movie, but there is no reason why I would ever choose to watch the live-action version over the animated original.

    For Black Cauldron, or The Chronicles of Prydain, they were wanting to create a series based more on the books. The animated film wasn't quite on-point in that regard. It's been a while since I've heard any news of it, so it may be stuck in development.
     
    Micca likes this.

Share This Page