Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1953 - Peter Pan

Okay, so Alice didn’t exactly burn up the box office, and I get that Walt was probably feeling a bit blue, but did he have to lash out at us like this? What we have here for our 14th entry is, make no mistake, a bad movie. It’s a well-animated movie and a fondly-remembered movie, but it’s bad. I went in not expecting badness. I even took steps to ensure that I would be viewing it as objectively as possible, by watching with my friend Justin, who is far less judgmental of movies than I am. Didn’t work for either of us. But since I try to avoid being overly negative, I think the best way to balance this is to talk about a good thing for every bad thing I mention, and then pass judgment. Sound fair? Good. So get yourself some invisible food that only turns real when you throw it at Dante Basco (this can be ordered from most gourmet specialty shops in Los Angeles), and let’s talk about Peter Pan.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

1951 - Alice in Wonderland

So after the bonkers success of Cinderella, it was time for Walt to return to his two favorite pastimes: Fulfilling his lifelong goals and making unprofitable movies. See, Walt had always loved the Alice stories of Lewis Carroll. His early work in Hollywood included a series of silent live action-animation hybrids dubbed “The Alice Comedies”, which took inspiration from the books. In the mid-30s, he had intended to produce a full-length Technicolor version of those, going so far as to do screen tests with Mary Pickford as Alice. So why did they settle on Snow White instead? Why did he spend 12 years developing Alice before it finally saw release? Well, the books are essentially unfilmable. They’re meandering, mostly plotless, unashamedly weird works based on logic puzzles and literary wordplay, and the main character has absolutely no arc or dramatic through line. But ol’ Uncle Walter was convinced he could make it work. Wary? So am I. So eat and drink anything that suggests that you do, and let’s talk about Alice in Wonderland.