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The Disney Thread

post #1 of 1283
Thread Starter 
No, not Pixar films. I'm just talking about films that the filmmakers at Disney made themselves.

A few days ago, I watched Meet the Robinsons with my little cousin, and it made me realize that this was the first non-Pixar, animated film I had seen from the Mouse in quite sometime. It made me do some searching, and I realized quickly that there are lots of animated Disney flicks I haven't seen.

I know Disney hit a rough patch in the 80s, but when was the last time someone brought up The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective or Oliver & Company? I've never seen these films, and the fact that Vincent Price has a role in Detective makes me want to seek it out.

Plus, there are the newer films that Disney has been making. I thought Meet the Robinsons was pretty bad. I hear more of the same regarding Brother Bear, Home on the Range and Chicken Little. Are they bad, or is Pixar just making everyone look bad by comparison?

I guess the main focuses of this thread are to discuss favorite and least favorite Disney flicks, ones that have been greatly ignored, where you think Disney went south, when the company came roaring back, etc.

Should be a fun thread.
post #2 of 1283
I actually enjoy the hell out of Great Mouse Detective. It's a lot of fun, and Price hams it up like only he could as the baddie. Oliver & Company is worthless, though, and The Black Cauldron is so bad it almost killed the studio.

Meet the Robinsons had the same crazy-ass vibe that most of the Florida-based animated films managed to hang onto--they were the ones that made Emperor's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch. The LA based ones--the ones made more directly under Eisner--were when you got crap like Brother Bear and Home on the Range. Sadly, when the chips were down, which do you think Eisner shut down?
post #3 of 1283
The Great Mouse Detective was my favorite Disney flick when I was a kid. And I just recently watched Meet the Robinsons and actually dug it. But for the most part, I'm not a huge fan of Disney flicks at this point.
post #4 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

Meet the Robinsons had the same crazy-ass vibe that most of the Florida-based animated films managed to hang onto--they were the ones that made Emperor's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch.
Both of those were pretty great.
post #5 of 1283
Thread Starter 
After thinking about for a bit, I think I'll go with either Snow White or Fantasia as my favorite Disney flick. Snow White should be on everone's list of ten most influential films, and I still think The Queen is one of the all-time great villians. When my cousin was younger, I think I watched this one with her a million times.

Fantasia is just magical. I love the film, and I think it often gets overlooked when people are talking about the all-time great films. Sadly, I just realized that I still never saw Fantasia 2000.
post #6 of 1283
I'm going to defend 'Tarzan' here. This was a fun movie that I thoroughly enjoyed by Disney that never seems to get any love. The feeling of movement that this film has, especially when Tarzan is gliding through the trees, is fantastic. The voice work is spot on; everyone involved seemed to have fun with the process and it shows. The darkness inherent in the story (his parents getting killed, etc) is all kept in there and handled beautifully.

Negatives:
- the Phil Collins songs are terrible.
- the ending is overly 'happy' and not related to the source material.
post #7 of 1283
Not sure how many interns they had to sacrifice, but Bolt was all sorts of cliched fun. The old Disney formula done right in CG (and 3D, for that matter. It was Disney being Disney, and not trying to be Dreamworks.

And the 1989-1995 run of The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King (heck, I even love The Rescuers Down Under) remain one of the strongest 2D runs of films in my generation.

Lilo & Stitch is a great one, too.

It's an old argument, but it definitely began to lose itself when Toy Story came out. It's like they went 'zounds! That's the future!' and stopped caring as much about the story, characters and especially, music, in their traditional movies while trying to work out the kinks in the CGI department (which they still haven't done consistently).

And I'm sure Michael Eisner gets a bunch of the blame, too. But I'll leave that to better, more informed people than myself.
post #8 of 1283
More love for Great Mouse Detective. Maybe it's just nostalgia. That came out at exactly the right time for me to love it. Also, I have a soft spot for Disney films that take place in a European city, like 101 Dalmatians or Aristocats. They've got a very evocative Disney vibe to them that the fantasy kingdoms just don't have.
post #9 of 1283
Thread Starter 
I was just looking at the box office numbers of Home on the Range. Is this the biggest bomb that Disney ever had or did The Black Cauldron do worse?
post #10 of 1283
Fantasia's a hard sell, because people think of it as a compilation rather than a whole movie. You'll find a lot of people who'll tell you their favorite Mickey Mouse short is The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but Fantasia alone doesn't come up much. The lack of a narrative thread can make it kind of tedious to watch real often.

Personally, my favorite Disney film is probably either Dumbo or Aladdin. Dumbo's one of those "hardwired to my brain" films, the ones that hook you young and never lets go. Aladdin was probably my most worn out VHS next to Ghostbusters as a kid, and to this day it's still a freaking blast.
post #11 of 1283
I thought that 'Treasure Planet' was their biggest bomb.
post #12 of 1283
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
I thought that 'Treasure Planet' was their biggest bomb.
I forgot about that movie. I actually saw it in theaters too.

Now that I think about it, I remember reading an article years ago that mentioned this film's poor box office numbers would be the final nail in the coffin for Disney, 2D animation.
post #13 of 1283
I never saw The Black Cauldron until recently. For years I harbored the idea that it was this overlooked gem, bashed simply because it was a Disney film that wasn't all sweetness and light. I finally got around to watching it last year.

I couldn't even finish it. Just abysmally bad. It's like they got Bakshi and the Heavy Metal crew together and said "Do whatever you want, but keep it rated G." It's not even worth it as an early Tim Burton film, or as a glimpse at the state of animation at the time. It's just a BAD film.

And I still harbor a soft spot for Treasure Planet. It was nice to see a Disney film that recognized that boys like to go to their movies sometimes too.
post #14 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
More love for Great Mouse Detective. Maybe it's just nostalgia. That came out at exactly the right time for me to love it. Also, I have a soft spot for Disney films that take place in a European city, like 101 Dalmatians or Aristocats. They've got a very evocative Disney vibe to them that the fantasy kingdoms just don't have.
The mid 60s-70s run of Disney films is probably their most distinctive period. While Cinerella, Sleeping Beauty and the like are moving pieces of artwork, I've always dug the bold pen drawing look of 101 Dalmations and Robin Hood (another Disney film I'll watch any day of the week).

I remember not liking Sword and the Stone much as a kid, because my young Arthurian-obsessed bookworm self wanted Arthur fighting Mordred, not a goofy owl and Mad Madam Mim. Watching it with my nephew recently turned its charm onto me, and Merlin is such a hoot. I cracked up at him showing up at the end in sunglasses and beach shorts.

"Where have you been?!"
"Bermuda! And for my money they can keep it!"
post #15 of 1283
It's really too bad that most of the Robin Williams/Genie humor from 'Alladin' is 20 years out of date. What was hilarious back then is merely odd now. What kid today is going to get the Arsenio Hall WHOO WHOO WHOO reference?
post #16 of 1283
I was never into Disney films as a kid, but the wife is a huge fan (she got me to go to Disney World for our honeymoon and I really enjoyed it). Since we plan on being parents again soon, we've been stockpiling the classics. I finally watched Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast in the last 2-3 years.

And Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite films now.
post #17 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
And I still harbor a soft spot for Treasure Planet. It was nice to see a Disney film that recognized that boys like to go to their movies sometimes too.
Eh, my kid brother got a ton more enjoyment out of Lilo & Stitch and Emperor's New Groove than he did out of Treasure Planet. But I got to personally shape his taste in movies, so that might've had something to do with it. It's pretty tragic that Treasure Planet looks so fucking gorgeous, and can only muster up a third-rate rehash of a story to play out on that canvas.

Anyone else feel like The Lion King isn't as popular with the younger generation? None of my nieces or nephews are particularly fond of it, which baffles me, because when I was 10 that movie was the sunrise and the sunset. Maybe seeing it in the theatre impacted people around my age more; seeing it on DVD like any other movie might not make them realize just how goddamn special it is.
post #18 of 1283
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
Fantasia's a hard sell, because people think of it as a compilation rather than a whole movie. You'll find a lot of people who'll tell you their favorite Mickey Mouse short is The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but Fantasia alone doesn't come up much. The lack of a narrative thread can make it kind of tedious to watch real often.

Personally, my favorite Disney film is probably either Dumbo or Aladdin. Dumbo's one of those "hardwired to my brain" films, the ones that hook you young and never lets go. Aladdin was probably my most worn out VHS next to Ghostbusters as a kid, and to this day it's still a freaking blast.
I agree that Fantasia can be a pretty hard sell. I remember when AFI put it in their 1997 list of top 100 films, lots of people were wondering why that was chosen over Bambi, Dumbo, etc. I think it's the experimentation (along with my love of music) that makes me cling to that movie as an all-time favorite.

Dumbo is up there as a favorite of mine too. I like Aladdin, but I dug The Lion King more as a kid. When I got older, I started to think that Beauty and the Beast was the best of the late 80s/early 90s period.
post #19 of 1283
RE: 'Lilo and Stitch' - The character of Stitch is right up there with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Tinkerbell in popularity. The wife and I went to Disneyworld in 2005 and we were blown away by all of the Stitch-related stuff. Several of the workers down there were telling us that Stitch is the only modern character to reach classic Disney levels of popularity, which was interesting.

That was a fun movie, by the way.
post #20 of 1283
Thread Starter 
I'm still trying to figure out what my least favorite Disney flick is. The most disappointing, though, was definitely Dinosaur. I remember thinking that film was going to be an all-time classic, and it barely registered as mediocre.
post #21 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
It's really too bad that most of the Robin Williams/Genie humor from 'Alladin' is 20 years out of date. What was hilarious back then is merely odd now. What kid today is going to get the Arsenio Hall WHOO WHOO WHOO reference?
I didn't even get it when I saw it as a kid--my bedtime was way before Arsenio was on. In fact, as a kid I didn't get 80% of the references, I just laughed because the Genie was being goofy. I do remember catching the Rodney Dangerfield reference...but only because of Rover Dangerfield (*hangs head*). The songs are still fantastic, it's paced to perfection, and despite the mile-a-minute pop culture references Williams still makes Genie a character, not a mouthpiece. Also, and I know I'm not alone here, but I had a kid crush on Jasmine.
post #22 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
RE: 'Lilo and Stitch' - The character of Stitch is right up there with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Tinkerbell in popularity. The wife and I went to Disneyworld in 2005 and we were blown away by all of the Stitch-related stuff. Several of the workers down there were telling us that Stitch is the only modern character to reach classic Disney levels of popularity, which was interesting.
I have a Stitch plush doll from Disney World on my shelf. Because Stitch is AWESOME. Easily the best Disney-only film this decade.
post #23 of 1283
Thread Starter 
Isn't Disney going to put Fantasia 2000 out on DVD soon? I'm pretty sure I read that awhile ago. I know the film will never match the first one, but I definitely want to see it.
post #24 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
I'm still trying to figure out what my least favorite Disney flick is. The most disappointing, though, was definitely Dinosaur. I remember thinking that film was going to be an all-time classic, and it barely registered as mediocre.
I cannot put into words how much Dinosaur pissed me off. The second the monkeys started talking I braced myself for the next 100 minutes...but little did I know that it would turn out to be Disney wholesale ripping off the original Land Before Time.
post #25 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
I didn't even get it when I saw it as a kid--my bedtime was way before Arsenio was on. In fact, as a kid I didn't get 80% of the references, I just laughed because the Genie was being goofy. I do remember catching the Rodney Dangerfield reference...but only because of Rover Dangerfield (*hangs head*). The songs are still fantastic, it's paced to perfection, and despite the mile-a-minute pop culture references Williams still makes Genie a character, not a mouthpiece. Also, and I know I'm not alone here, but I had a kid crush on Jasmine.
I was in college when I saw it. They did a sneak preview of it 2 weeks before its actual release, and I took my girlfriend to go and see it as a surprise. To this day, that is one of the best theater experiences of my life, and I earned MAJOR points with my girlfriend's sorority sisters.
post #26 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
Anyone else feel like The Lion King isn't as popular with the younger generation? None of my nieces or nephews are particularly fond of it, which baffles me, because when I was 10 that movie was the sunrise and the sunset. Maybe seeing it in the theatre impacted people around my age more; seeing it on DVD like any other movie might not make them realize just how goddamn special it is.
Yes. All of this. I keep wanting to go into how it's Shakespeare by way of Disney and that it has all the elements of classical drama, but given that these are kids, I can only ever get them to understand that: the animals are great and the music > you. Still one of the best Disney soundtracks.

Aaw, memories. I saw that movie 4 times in theaters, shocking because I was 11 at the time. The canyon chase scene remains one of my all time favorite Disney sequences.
post #27 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
Isn't Disney going to put Fantasia 2000 out on DVD soon? I'm pretty sure I read that awhile ago. I know the film will never match the first one, but I definitely want to see it.
It was on DVD for a limited run in 2001 and in 2005. Not sure when they'll put it back out there. I did an eBay search, though--it's easily gotten for around $20 there.
post #28 of 1283
I was never a fan of Tarzan. Hated the Rosie O'Donnell gorilla, hated the songs, HATED the ending. There was some great stuff visually, but the rest of it just drove me nuts.

And let me throw this out there: from a sheer musical standpoint, Hunchback of Notre Dame is the best thing Disney ever put out.
post #29 of 1283
What are your thoughts on 'The Rescuers' vs 'The Rescuers Down Under'? I was genuinely surprised that the sequel ended up being a good movie that was faithful to the original characters.
post #30 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post
The canyon chase scene remains one of my all time favorite Disney sequences.
The utter silence in the theatre from the moment Mufasa falls to when Simba's trying to wake him up was shocking as a kid. You could've heard a pin drop. I was no stranger to death in movies, or even Disney movies, but something about Simba watching it happen right in front of him shut every kid in the theatre up. And then the sniffles began...before getting promptly stifled when Scar just goes, "Kill'em." Jeremy Irons plays the bad guy in a lot of movies, but none more the bastard than Scar. And on the reverse side of things, I can't think of a better utilized sidekick duo than Timon & Pumba.

Hans Zimmer wrote a motherfucker of a score for it, too. The songs are fantastic, but just the way the music brought it home, especially at the end when Simba reclaims his throne. Gah. Need to watch this again.
post #31 of 1283
I find Down Under suffers from looking too polished. There was a scruffy charm about the original that got a little lost in the sequel.
post #32 of 1283
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
It was on DVD for a limited run in 2001 and in 2005. Not sure when they'll put it back out there. I did an eBay search, though--it's easily gotten for around $20 there.
Thanks. Not sure why, but checking eBay never actually registered with me. I just assumed it was never released at all. Disney has a strange track record with releasing movies. I was just reading that it took eight years for Oliver and Company to reach home video.
post #33 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
Hans Zimmer wrote a motherfucker of a score for it, too. The songs are fantastic, but just the way the music brought it home, especially at the end when Simba reclaims his throne.
Elton John got so much of the credit for this score, but it's Zimmer who really deserves it.
post #34 of 1283
Having read The Chronicles of Prydain as a kid and being a fan I was so excited when I found out there had a been a Black Cauldron movie made all those years ago. I couldn't wait to see it. Then I saw it. It's easily understandable why that piece of crap faded into obscurity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
I do remember catching the Rodney Dangerfield reference...but only because of Rover Dangerfield (*hangs head*).
Thank you for helping me see that I'm not the only person who somehow sat through Rover Dangerfield.

As far as Disney flicks go, I loves me some Beauty and the Beast. Everything about that movie is just gorgeous and to me, it's mostly perfect in every bit. Other than that I'd say the most viewings for me came from 101 Dalmatians, a movie that just has a great sense of style to it, I'd say, and of all things Rescuers Down Under. I just like that movie, don't really know why.
post #35 of 1283
I'll take the songs in 'the Little Mermaid' over any of the ones from 'the Lion King'. 'Kiss the Girl' is pretty much my favorite song in any Disney movie.
post #36 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
Thanks. Not sure why, but checking eBay never actually registered with me. I just assumed it was never released at all. Disney has a strange track record with releasing movies. I was just reading that it took eight years for Oliver and Company to reach home video.
It's their obsession with the whole "Vault Disney" concept. They want their films to be events, not something that sits on the shelf.

Oh, and platinum editions of both Fantasias will will be available next year, on DVD and Blu-Ray.
post #37 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
And let me throw this out there: from a sheer musical standpoint, Hunchback of Notre Dame is the best thing Disney ever put out.
If we could remake Hunchback to not have a lame ass ending (read: Phoebus is a dick, Esmerelda dies) and ditch the gargoyles, but keep the songs, it'd be the best film in their catalogue. I remember that being the first Disney movie that left me disappointed. I was born at just the right time (in 1984) to get spoiled by the Disney Renaissance; I just assumed they had always been that good. Sadly, I had read Hunchback in preparation for the movie coming out, and I know, it's a kids movie, but I was a kid, and *I* wanted Quasimodo to go lay down with Esmerelda's corpse and cry himself to death. I didn't want any of this "he's accepted for who he is" bullcrap at the end, because even at 12, I recognized that it was a fucking tragedy, and tragedies don't have happy endings.
post #38 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
I'll take the songs in 'the Little Mermaid' over any of the ones from 'the Lion King'. 'Kiss the Girl' is pretty much my favorite song in any Disney movie.
I never understood the adulation over Beauty and the Beast when Little Mermaid is the better film in my mind.
post #39 of 1283
I just remember there was a time when the next Disney movie was THE. EVENT. OF. THE. SUMMER. It was a lot like Pixar, actually. They would advertise their next one, which was coming out next year, in front of the current one. I the marketing and hype machine was in full effect and it was guaranteed to get kids and parents in seats regardless of quality. Now, not so much and it's a damn shame because, fuckin a, man, it's Disney.
post #40 of 1283
I'll second that opinion, Richard.
post #41 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
More love for Great Mouse Detective. Maybe it's just nostalgia. That came out at exactly the right time for me to love it. Also, I have a soft spot for Disney films that take place in a European city, like 101 Dalmatians or Aristocats. They've got a very evocative Disney vibe to them that the fantasy kingdoms just don't have.
You literally said everything I came in here to say.

I know Disney likes to put all they can into their DVD releases, but it kills me sometimes that I can't walk over to my shelf and pick out any of their classics in Blu-Ray any time I'd like.
post #42 of 1283
Greg, that's precisely why I always wanted to see Hunchback make it to Broadway. The book's ending would definitely play there, and god knows the songs are strong enough -- between "The Bells of Notre Dame", "Out There", and "Heaven's Light/Hellfire", you've got three showstoppers easily.
post #43 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
I'll take the songs in 'the Little Mermaid' over any of the ones from 'the Lion King'. 'Kiss the Girl' is pretty much my favorite song in any Disney movie.
Little Mermaid has some great songs; sadly, a previous relationship has forever tainted it for me. So it goes for dating a girl who loves Disney movies more than you do.
post #44 of 1283
Putting on kevlar...

I liked 'the Emperor's New Groove'.

Fire away.
post #45 of 1283
I'll put in some love for Hercules. James Woods as Hades. Gorgeous visuals. James Woods as Hades. A Michael Bolton song that even I effing like. And James Wood as Hades. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's a fun movie with that nuveau post-modern, post-Disney Renaissance flavor that actually got it right for the most part.
post #46 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
Greg, that's precisely why I always wanted to see Hunchback make it to Broadway. The book's ending would definitely play there, and god knows the songs are strong enough -- between "The Bells of Notre Dame", "Out There", and "Heaven's Light/Hellfire", you've got three showstoppers easily.
Bells of Notre Dame never fails to put a sense of awe in me when I hear it. It fucking soars. And I'd love to see Hunchback on Broadway...hey, you could even get Tom Hulce to play Quasimodo! It's not like he's doing anything else.
post #47 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
I never understood the adulation over Beauty and the Beast when Little Mermaid is the better film in my mind.
While I enjoyed a lot about the movie (any movie that uses a ship's mast as a makeshift spear to kill a giant sea-witch is A-OK with me) there were always things about it that bothered me. Granted, the music is great and I totally agree with Judas on "Kiss the Girl" being one of the best songs in any Disney movie, but the movie suffers elsewhere.

For one, Prince Eric is just way too bland for my tastes. To be fair, there's not much to the character (aside from some rockin' flute playin' abilities if I remember correctly). But I think I was always just frustrated by how getting the two damn characters to kiss was so hard. It always felt like Ariel wasn't trying hard enough despite the stakes. Small things to complain about I guess, but when I find that characters lack the ambition they need to get shit done, I dont' care for them.
post #48 of 1283
I like Pinocchio so much the I started a thread for it a while back, which can be found here if anyone wants some Chewer thoughts on it. It is easily my favorite Disney film.

I must admit a soft spot for Treasure Planet. As a movie, it's really mediocre, but I can't peel my eyes away from it whenever it comes on. Some wonderful work was done on that one, and it's a real shame the story couldn't match it (as has been said).

Disney really seems to excel at making straight-up comedies and fairy tales (Not sure where to put Lion King...), but they just can't get the adventure stuff right, which is a real shame, because the adventure properties they attempt have their hearts in the right place (Tarzan, Atlantis, and yes, Treasure Planet). I really wish they'd bring some different writers in that were better at that sort of thing to spruce the scripts up a bit or something. I think we'd stand to get something really special out of an arrangement like that.
post #49 of 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
Putting on kevlar...

I liked 'the Emperor's New Groove'.

Fire away.
Take the vest off, because Emperor's New Groove is fantastic. Post-modern without a hint of sappiness that was present in Hercules (which really just has James Woods going for it). It was refreshing to see a Disney movie without a romance shoe-horned into the plot.
post #50 of 1283
Judas, aint' a damn thing wrong with Emperor. It's the best Warner Brothers cartoon in forty years.
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