Thursday, January 5, 2012
My (Somewhat More Than A) Year With Walt Disney Animation Studios
Hi! I’m Brian.
This holiday season, as my work schedule overwhelmed me and I fell far behind on my other writings, a thought stuck me. There are 52 weeks in a year. There will be, at the end of this year, 52 films in the Disney Animated Canon. And what I really need is something that occupies even more of my time, AND has a strict deadline, which I am terrible at keeping. GOOD LIFE CHOICES HERE, FOLKS.
So, yes, I will be watching one Disney movie a week and reviewing it on this blog. Let me clarify which ones I am doing. I will be sticking to the aforementioned Disney Animated Canon, or the movies made by Walt Disney Animation Studios (Formerly Walt Disney Feature Animation, formerly Walt Disney Productions, Ltd, formerly Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio) and released to theaters. This will NOT include straight-to-video or theatrically-released films by DisneyToon Studios, which means all but four of the sequels are right out. (Sigh of relief). This also doesn’t include movies financed or produced by Disney but released under another label, like The Nightmare Before Christmas or A Christmas Carol; movies that are live action with animated bits, like Mary Poppins or Who Framed Roger Rabbit; or live action Disney films like Swiss Family Robinson or The Princess Diaries. Anything by Pixar is, of course, also out.
Here are the movies I’ll be reviewing, arranged roughly into thematic “ages”. I’ll be updating this with links as I go along. Check back on Saturday afternoon for the first official entry.
THE GOLDEN AGE
(Early experimentation, development of the Disney style, and some growing pains)
THE ANTHOLOGY AGE
(A lot of compilation movies of EXTREMELY mixed quality)
(Return to old values, new innovation in animation, firm establishment of the brand)
THE MOURNING PERIOD
(The illness and death of Walt Disney, big financial trouble, and some really weird choices)
THE DARK AGE
(New kinds of storytelling, abandonment of musicals, an overall darker tone)
(Return to musicals, fairy tales, and other Restoration tropes, with a fresh emphasis on story)
THE LATE RENAISSANCE
(As the Renaissance to the Restoration, so this to the Dark Age. More variation in story, no musicals [as such], innovation in writing and art)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Treasure Planet (2002)
THE DORK AGE
(Two lousy 2D movies, misplacement of blame, three lousy CGI movies)
Brother Bear (2003)
Home On The Range (2004; Last 2D film until 2009)
Chicken Little (2005)
Meet The Robinsons (2007)
THE MODERN AGE
(The Pixar guys are in charge now, so… Good movies.)
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Winnie the Pooh (2011)