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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Disney (85)

Monday
Nov242014

Disney Pixar News Roundup

Good morning everyone, Manuel here bringing some news on the animation front.Hot off the heels of the announcement that Disney Animation and Pixar Studios were getting their own presidents (Andrew Millstein and Jim Morris, respectively), it seemed appropriate to check in on both studios:

2014 marked the first year since 2005 when we didn’t get a new Pixar release. And while there’s been talk of the seemingly unstoppable studio faltering (with talks of yet another project changing directorial hands) they’re revving up the marketing push for 2015’s Inside Out, the latest from Up’s Pete Docter. The film, which follows five emotions in the mind of a young girl definitely has a plot description worthy of classic Pixar films. The voice cast alone should get you excited as we'll get Lewis Black as Anger, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, Bill Hader as Fear, Phyllis Smith as Sadness and more importantly: Amy Poehler as Joy! In addition to these character posters, Pixar released five videos introducing us to the emotions at the heart (or mind?) of the film, where you can see these guys in action.

While Pixar’s output has been (arguably) showing diminishing returns, the same cannot be said for Disney Animation studios which is on a roll it hopes will continue for the next few years. They’ve recently released new artwork for their 2016 films: in March we'll get Zootopia from Tangled’s Byron Howard, is a buddy-comedy about a fast-talking fox on the lamb teaming up with a self-righteous rabbit cop while in November we'll get Moana, from Ron Clements and Jon Musker (the folks responsible for The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules) which centers on the eponymous protagonist as she searches for a fabled South-Pacific island.

Are you angry, disgusted, fearful, joyful or saddened by these news? Are you looking forward to getting a new Ron ‘n Jon flick in the near-future, and can we hope it will live up to their legacy?

Monday
Nov172014

The legacy of The Little Mermaid, 25 years later

Tim here, to celebrate the silver anniversary of one of the most important films in the annals of American animation. 25 years ago today – some of you are going to have to brace yourselves, because you’re about to feel very old – Walt Disney Pictures released The Little Mermaid, in one fell swoop rewriting the landscape for family entertainment and animation alike.

As hard as it is to believe now, once upon a time, Disney was an embarrassing underdog, whose theme parks were solely responsible for keeping its saggy movie division propped up. 1989 was only four years removed from the disastrous release of the pricey The Black Cauldron, and the takeover of the company by executives Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, who managed to stabilize the live action filmmaking division, while putting the animation studio under the command of Peter Schneider.

It was Schneider who managed an ambitious and terrifyingly foolhardy plan, concocted by Jeffrey Katzenberg  to restore the luster of Disney animation after a generation or more of mismanagement, by releasing a new animated feature on an annual basis. The first film produced on that model was 1988’s Oliver & Company, a rock-solid hit, but hardly the triumphant return of Disney animation that everyone was hoping for. That came with the second film in Schneider’s plan, The Little Mermaid, and the rest is history.

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Friday
Nov072014

Review: Big Hero 6

Tim here. Something feels unmissably “off” about Big Hero 6, the 54th film in the Walt Disney Animation feature canon. It’s a film that wants to offer a little something for everybody, and succeeds, but this comes at the cost of feeling erratic and imbalanced, and curiously adrift. By now, we’re used to superhero origin stories that use up all the oxygen on setting up the heroes’ powers and briefly sketching in their personalities, but even by that standard, as Big Hero 6 started to move into what was unmistakably its endgame, I found myself sinking into outright dismay that this inconsequential scrap against a nondescript bad guy with wicked plans barely large than a city block was actually where the movie was headed, after its strong opening.

But that’s all part of the scheme: the filmmakers (including directors Don Hall, of the 2011 Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams, of 2008’s Bolt) know that some people want emotional tenderness, and some want big action scenes, and so they deliver both. But not in a way that’s completely satisfying to either group. It’s the same problem of every CGI animated American movie of the last decade and a half writ large and done with shockingly little attempt to disguise the joints between it narrative modules.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov032014

The Honoraries: Maureen O'Hara in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

In "The Honoraries" we're looking at the careers of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients (O'Hara, Miyazaki, Carriere) and the Jean Hersholt winner (Belafonte). Here's Nathaniel...

Sanctuary ! Sanctuary !

You often feel like you've seen the classics, even if you haven't. Victor Hugo published "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 183 years ago and like most enduring classics, including Hugo's other culturally imposing masterwork "Les Miserables,"  it feels familiar even if you have no first-hand experiences with it. Hunchback, like Les Miz, has been adapted several times but has actually been musicalized more often. I regret to inform that I had never seen the 1939 RKO version starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara until now so the Disney version was my only true cinematic reference point, at first forcing comparisons where I didn't want to see anyway.

The easiest comparison to shake off was Esmeralda, since Maureen O'Hara's fresh faced  breakthrough slipping through crowds and dancing in circles with her tambourine, beats Disney's Gypsy princess voiced by Demi Moore instantaneously. [More...]

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Tuesday
Oct282014

The Three Phases of Link

Sight on Earth On Gone Girl's women...  "Psycho Bitch: Qu'est-ce que C'est?"
Awards Circuit Power Hour Actress Oscar categories with Nathaniel R (c'est moi) as guest 
In Contention looks at the Best Original Song race
Vulture Most Valuable Stars List methodology...
Vulture 100 Most Valuable Stars rankings with JLaw up top followed by the usuals RDJ, Leo, Bullock... but what's far far more interesting is the lower tiers like Jake Gyllenhaal at 57 'The Modest Movie Star' and Anna Kendrick at 98 'The Songbird' and some inexplicably high placements like Mila Kunis at 37 'The Ingenue in Intermission'


Yahoo funny piece on Britney Spears terror-laden smiles 
Wired  has a Disney cover and I'm only linking because shouldn't Wired of all places do a little something more creative with an interactive cover than Youtube links? I mean...
BFI is Paris the animation capital of the world for art-driven cartoons?
Esquire "films stupid people think are clever" shameless click bait!
IndieWire does some investigation as to exactly how Poland's Ida became such a big arthouse hit this year. 
Slate on the "Bottom Shaming" of How To Get Away With Murder. I think this piece is really smart. While it's true that depiction is not endorsement (see all the dumb misogyny arguments on every movie ever with a female lead who is mistreated) but I'd argue that depiction is endorsement when multiple characters with presumably varying points of view all sound off on said topic and all agree on said depiction. 

Marvel Made A Teensy Announcement Phase 3 Today
But I'm feeling cranky about superheroes so it doesn't get a whole post. Every godforsaken movie site on the planet will continue to cover it ad nauseum and will probably publish another 5 thinkpieces tomorrow alone on what we "might" see in each of the 8 movies. Repeat for the next five years. Good god film bloggers get a grip and start talking about actual movies that exist for a change! You're turning film culture into a fast food restaurant that only serves air. Zero calories but there's absolutely no nutritional value in publishing your 10,001st post on Dr. Strange's casting.

Anyway...


/Film
 has video of Marvel's annoyingly ubiquitous Phase Three commercial from earlier today in which they announced 8 new movies including The Black Panther with Chadwick Boseman and Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in a very late attempt to stave off those "no diversity!" complaints. Those films arrive in 3 to 4 years respectively because we can't have people of color and women before that, you know? That's RISKY BUSINESS. Never mind that women and people of color have led box office hits since the 1920s and 1960s respectively. That's just too progressive for Marvel right now)
The Stake has a great suggestion for Captain Marvel casting but since we're 4 years away still the actress who will eventually be cast might not even be someone anyone has even heard of yet.  

Finally... a trailer but perhaps not the trailer is here for Suite Française is here. EOneUK, releasing the trailer on YouTube claims this will open in January. It's hitting the American Film Market this month too supposedly but it still isn't scheduled for a US release. The buzz for this one started strong last year and nosedived as less and less news was announced. It was starting to feel like a fictional film until this trailer, actually. My yes no maybe so entirely consists of Yes (production team, crazylust for Matthias, tearful farewell to Kristin Scott Thomas), No (WW II prestige fatigue) and Maybe So (is it any good?)

 

Tuesday
Oct282014

The Honoraries: Maureen O'Hara in "The Parent Trap" (1961)

Welcome to "The Honoraries". From now until November 8th when the Governor's Awards are held, we'll be celebrating the careers of the three Honorary Oscar recipients of 2014 (Maureen O'Hara, Hayao Miyazaki, Claude Carriere) and the Jean Hersholt winner (Harry Belafonte). Here's Abstew...

Maureen O'Hara's impressive body of work includes a Best Picture winner (1941's How Green Was My Valley), a perennial Holiday favorite (1947's Miracle on 34th Street), even an early film with Hitchcock (1939's Jamacia Inn). No offense to those classics but the greatest film the star ever appeared in has to be that Disney masterpiece about a pair of long-lost twins trying to reunite their parents in The Parent Trap.

It was my first encounter with The Queen of Technicolor and although the appeal of twice the juvenile star wattage of teenage Brit Hayley Mills was the main selling point as a child, there was always something special about O'Hara as their mother, Margaret McKendrick. Even before she finally appears a half an hour into the movie, the film has already built her up as a glamorous and intriguing figure. Susan (Hayley Mills as tomboy) talks about how she used to stare at her picture and how fabulous ("Absolutely fabulous") her mother was. And the word Sharon (proper, upper-crust Hayley Mills) uses to describe her is divine, both adjectives usually reserved to describe bedazzled drag queens lip-syncing for their lives. But once Sharon reveals the beauty shot of her mother, there was no doubt in my young mind that that was a movie star. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug192014

Beauty vs Beast: Fish Witch

JA from MNPP here with this week's mite-late edition of this week's "Beauty Vs Beast" - sorry for the unexpected day-long delay, what can we say, a sea-witch stole our voice from us. Coincidentally The Film Experience is celebrating the year 1989 in the lead up to this month's Supporting Actress Showdown and whaddya know 1989 was the year that another gorgeous princess, not myself, had the exact same thing happen to her! I handled it with a much finer degree of decorum, natch, but she got Prince Eric so she wins. (Mmmm Prince Eric.) Yes I speak of Disney's The Little Mermaid, which is bringing us this week's animated face-off.

 

Life's full of tough choices... innit??? I feel like this one could go either way really, so making you cases in the comments could prove important. Sway the little fishies this way or that, people.

PREVIOUSLY If you felt a little falling sensation - kinda simultaneously plummeting forward and back - as you picked between Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak in last week's Vertigo round you ultimately made like Hitch and came out blonde - well blonde eventually (inevitably) anyway - in the end. Judy, poor poor Judy, won your sympathies along with 71% of the vote. Said Leslie19:

"Judy is the perfect Hitchcockian heroine: A blonde puzzle, with a past. A great wardrobe and the perfect palette for techicolor, in this case his use of green. Is there anything more to say?"