The Best and Worst of Disney – Part XII.V: Live Action Remakes/Retellings

 

live-action-remakesWhen people say Hollywood have run out of ideas, this is the kind of thing they’re talking about. It’s hard not to be cynical about all of these live action remakes, especially since Disney has announced so many of them in such a short time. While some of these films have original stories, much of the work of coming up with ideas and characters has already been done. So far, most of the remakes haven’t improved on the original films, though they’ve certainly earned Disney a hell of a lot of easy money.

Jump To:

101 Dalmatians (1996) | 102 Dalmatians | Alice In Wonderland (2010) | The Sorcerer’s Apprentice | Maleficent | Cinderella (2015) | The Jungle Book (2016) | Alice Through The Looking Glass | Pete’s Dragon (2016) | Beauty and the Beast (2017) |

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The Best and Worst of Disney – Part IX.V: The Disney Fairies Series

Disney Fairies SeriesThese films get their own section because there are a whole lot of ‘em. After John Lasseter shut down production on the many direct-to-video sequels, satellite studio DisneyToons was tasked with creating films for the Planes series (a spinoff of Cars) and the Disney Fairies franchise, a spinoff of Peter Pan exploring the fairy world that Tinker Bell originally came from. The franchise was marketed similar to the Disney Princess franchise (with the same target demographic), with dolls, books, a meet-and-greet section in the Disney parks, and a film series released between 2008 and 2014. Future sequels were cancelled because they weren’t making quite enough money on DVD sales – I figure it was a case of market oversaturation. I’m not exactly the target demographic so I’m merely ambivalent about these films, but I can tell you one thing – if I were 20 years younger, I would have LOVED THE SHIT OUT OF THESE MOVIES.

JUMP TO:

Tinker Bell | …and the Lost Treasure | …and the Great Fairy Rescue |

Pixie Hollow Games/Pixie Hollow Bake-Off | Secret of the Wings |

The Pirate Fairy | …and the Legend of the NeverBeast |


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The Animation Art of Sailor Moon: Ikuko Itoh – Episode 166

Episode 166: Dreams Forever! Light Throughout The Sky

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The Animation Art of Sailor Moon – Ikuko Itoh: Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute

Watashi-tachi Ni Naritakute Part 1 Watashi-tachi Ni Naritakute Part 2

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The Best and Worst of Disney – Part VII: The Second Renaissance

The Second Dark RenaissanceAlso referred to as “The Disney Revival,” the Second Renaissance is the era we’re currently in for the next foreseeable future. This era is where Disney would abandon trying to court the teenage male audience (they solved that problem by buying out Marvel Comics and Lucasfilm) with an attempt to win back their bread-and-butter (read: little girls) by merging the traditional, throwback fairy tale musical-style narratives with modern touches. The modern touches ranged from “Oh my god, it took this long to get a black princess?” to “We said we were going to bring back traditional 2D animation but we like money more so have some CGI.” In addition, Disney would alternate their throwback fairy tale features with ultra-modern sci-fi features that were wisely targeted at a younger general audience – basically, they figured out why Lilo & Stitch worked and the other sci-fi movies of the 2nd Dark Age didn’t. On the administration side of things, this is the post-Eisner era. He was ousted in 2006 for arrogantly concluding that Disney didn’t need Pixar, and replaced by Bob Iger (who has unfortunately made some very questionable decisions in Disney’s live action division, so I don’t know how long he’ll last). Most importantly, Pixar superstar John Lasseter was installed as Disney’s Chief Creative Officer, giving him unprecedented creative control over Disney’s future animated features.

Note that these are all very recent movies, and I don’t avoid spoilers when I discuss things. So BEWARE OF SPOILERS!

JUMP TO:

Bolt, The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana

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The Best and Worst of Disney Part XII – The Dreaded Top Ten Lists

PART XII: THE DREADED TOP TEN LISTS

So here’s where I summarize my thoughts on the Disney Official Animated Canon. Originally these lists could include non-Canon, Pixar and sequels, but after some tweaking I’ve reordered these lists to just stick to the Canon. The entries that were not part of the DAC are instead included as Honourable Mentions.

I’ll do the usual ranking of opinions – favourite films, least favourite films, favourite songs, least favourite songs, favourite characters, least favourite characters, favourite villain songs, etc. My (usually very quiet) audience is welcome to suggest things I can rank numerically, for nothing is so important as numerical ranking.

JUMP TO:

Top 10 Favourite Disney Films | Bottom 10 Least Favourite Disney Films | Top 20 Favourite Disney Songs

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The Best and Worst of Disney – Part X: Pixar

Pixar

As the Renaissance Era slowly dragged to a close, a “new” animation studio arose from the ashes to steal Disney’s thunder and make better movies than they were making. Pixar had been making CG short subject films since the 80s, and had secured a distribution deal with Disney. During the Second Dark Age while Disney was slowly imploding and destroying their own legacy, Pixar’s films were critically acclaimed, earned lotsa awards (I refer to the Best Animated Feature Oscar as the Pixar Achievement In Being The Best At Being Pixar), and made scads and scads of money. Disney eventually recognized just what Pixar was delivering them, so they bought the entire company in 2006, and more-or-less merged. Steve Jobs, who initially invested in Pixar, became Disney’s largest shareholder, and John Lasseter became the Lord of All Disney. Well, no, but he got a hell of a lot more creative control. For one thing, the D2V sequels, excepting spinoffs like the Disney Fairies series, were halted. Dude’s a major animation geek and turns into a total fanboy around Hayao Miyazaki. I think he knows what he’s doing.

Anyway. This…is…PIXAR.

JUMP TO:

 Toy Story | A Bug’s Life | Toy Story 2 | Monsters, Inc. | Finding Nemo | The Incredibles | Cars | Ratatouille | WALL-E | Up | Toy Story 3 | Cars 2 | Brave | Monsters University | Inside Out | The Good Dinosaur | Finding Dory |

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The Best and Worst of Disney Part VIII: Animated Features (But Not Part of the Canon)

 

Animated Features But Not Part of the Canon

For reasons that can only make sense to Disney executives, there are a bunch of movies released under the Disney banner that don’t count as part of the official Canon. Reasons range from “Not animated by Walt Disney Studios” to “Feature length movie based on one of the Disney Channel properties” to “We thought kids would be scared of it” to “Christ, just release this thing so we can go back to pretending it doesn’t exist.” As you can imagine, the quality of these movies kinda varies.


JUMP TO: 

The Brave Little Toaster | DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp | The Nightmare Before Christmas | A Goofy Movie | James and the Giant Peach | Doug’s 1st Movie | Recess: School’s Out | Teacher’s Pet | Valiant | The Wild | A Christmas Carol | Gnomeo & Juliet | Mars Needs Moms | Frankenweenie | Planes | Strange Magic |

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The Best and Worst of Disney – Part IX: Sequelitis & Direct To Video Hell

 

Sequelitis

Starting with The Return of Jafar in 1994 and finishing (for now) with The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning in 2008, Disney released an absolute shitload of direct-to-video sequels to many of the films in its canon. Unlike The Rescuers Down Under and Fantasia 2000, almost all of these sequels were low budget and low effort. It’s sadly notable when one of the D2V sequels was actually good instead of absolute goddamn trash. They were simply meant to make a quick buck off of young children who really didn’t know better. The result was, however, that along with the poor reception of films released during the Second Dark Age, Disney’s reputation as a producer of quality family entertainment was taking a serious hit. When John Lasseter became head of the Disney Animated Studios after a merger with Pixar Animation, he put a halt to any further sequels that were in early production stages. (But not counting the Tinker Bell movies, I guess?)

I will not be listing all of the D2V sequels here chronologically like I do with the canon eras, but simply adding them as I watch them. The exception is if there are multiple sequels to the same movie – I will group those reviews together. And yes, this is gonna suck.

JUMP TO:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame II | Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World | Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch | Stitch! The Movie | Leroy & Stitch | The Return of Jafar | Aladdin and the King of Thieves | The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride | Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure | The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea | The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning | Mulan II | Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas | Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World | Return to Never Land | Cinderella II: Dreams Come True | Cinderella III: A Twist In Time | 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure | Bambi II | The Fox and the Hound 2

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The Animation Art of Sailor Moon – Ikuko Itoh: Tuxedo Mirage

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