Oscar History

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Entries in Disney (160)


1944: The Three Caballeros

by Tim Brayton

We're celebrating the cinema 1944 right now at the Film Experience, and as the resident animation lover, how could I pass up the chance to take a look at that year's most wonderfully bizarre cartoon? I'm referring to Disney's The Three Caballeros, the studio's second feature-length contribution to the United States government's Good Neighbor policy during World War II. That program involved goodwill tours and films tailor-made for Latin American audiences, and in Disney's case, a combination of both: a research trip to South America with Walt Disney and several of his most important artists result in the creation of 1942's Saludos Amigos, in which international icons Donald Duck and Goofy had fun visiting Brazil and Argentina, respectively, and learning all about the locals.

Saludos Amigos is a charming, slight movie (at 42 minutes, it severely tests the definition of the term "feature film"), and exactly what you'd anticipate from the description "the U.S. government paid Disney to make a film about how great people in South America are, in the fumbling, patronizing manner of 1940s Hollywood".

Its quasi-sequel is not that at all... 

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Happy 50th to The Jungle Book (1967) -- Who is your avatar within?

by Nathaniel R

Rudyard Kipling's collection of stories "The Jungle Book"  was first published in 1894. It's been adapted so many times now, you always have to specify which version you're talking about. The most famous and widely seen is surely Disney's 1967 animated version which opened in movie theaters 50 years ago on this very day. It's been a childhood staple for decades now with Disney only just barely trying to replace it with that inferior but wildly successful live-action CGI hybrid replica. When I was a wee toddler it was my favorite Disney movie (it's long since been replaced but holds a special place in my heart).

Today's crucial reader survey / comment party:
Which character do you most relate to... and which do you wish you were a little more like?

Let's hear from the lot of you for a wide sampling of our particular online jungle here at The Film Experience. Your options, in order of their appearance, are...

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Looking back at 1985: The Black Cauldron

Tim here. This month at the Film Experience, we're celebrating the year 1985 in movies, and in the chronicles of animation history, that can mean only one thing.  I refer to the evergreen tale of how Walt Disney Pictures nearly extinguished itself during the hideously protracted, agonized production of the animated feature The Black Cauldron.

This was near the end of almost two straight decades, following Walt Disney's death in 1966, during which time the company with his name on it couldn't put a single foot right. The days of Marvel, Star Wars, and billion-dollar cartoons weren't so much as a glimmer at this time; Disney barely existed as a film studio at all, but was internationally known almost exclusively for its theme parks. Still, live-action films trickled out every so often, and about once every four years, the animation studio would try its hand at a new cartoon. The most ambitious and expensive of these by far was an attempt at adapting the five books of Lloyd Alexander's 1960s series The Chronicles of Prydain into a high fantasy epic like the world of animation had never seen.

There were two main problems with this scheme...


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So Many Disney Princesses!

Chris here. D23 (basically Disney's own version of Comic Con) is underway and there have been quite a few delightful things to emerge - a gorgeous trailer for A Wrinkle in Time, tidbits on The Last Jedi, and early footage of Coco and the next Avengers gathering...

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"Frozen" Gets a Cast for the Stage

Full casting for Broadway hopeful Frozen has been announced. The names have been trickling out for months but now it's all official. The out of town tryouts begin in August in Denver (so if you live there, do report back!). It's quite a high profile gig for all of the cast members none of whom have been Tony nominated and many of whom are in early stages of their careers.

This image, headshots for the two leads Caissie Levy and Patti Murin, is going around and though accidental I couldn't help but giggle a little. Do they share a hairdresser and colorist? Hopefully the differences in the stage sisters will be easy to read via acting and costuming. It's going to be weird to have it on Broadway where Wicked, which Frozen rips off so liberally from, is a Broadway mainstay. We'll see. One assumes Disney will add songs by already EGOTed team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez to the second half or that's going to be one lopsided stage musical with all the songs sung before intermission! [More on the cast after the jump.]

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Today's 5: Kerry Butler, Isabella Rossellini, Waterloo, and More...

Five mood boosting assignments for you this morning. Celebrate this day (June 18th) in showbiz history with us!

2010 I Am Love and Toy Story 3 both open in US theaters. When it rains it pours sometimes with quality at the movies (sadly we also get droughts). The former, an Italian masterpiece starring Tilda Swinton as a foreign trophy wife caught up in an affair and family drama, was the Best Film of the Year (according to yours truly) and the latter a Best Picture nominee and colossal hit for Pixar. Sadly they're sullying its legacy with a sequel even though it reached such a perfect circle-of-life conclusion. Sometimes you need to let perfect things go.

In their honor today: Reminisce about your favorite scene from each. Such great great pictures, right?

More after the jump including a Broadway great and ABBA's breakout smash...

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Best Shot: The Parent Trap (1961)

The weirdest thing happened to me this week. My life and plans were entirely thrown off when I discovered I had an identical twin in... no, no. That's what's happened to Hayley Mills. I have no such excuse other than that life has proven very complicated lately. I will. will. will. return to former blogging glory soon. Until then... please enjoy these fine articles on my favorite movie when I was a wee thing, Disney's The Parent Trap (1961)

The Entertainment Junkie
Jason Henson writes...

Running parallel to the twins' attempts to mend their broken family is an examination of why it fell apart in the first place. It's here that, for a family film, The Parent Trap entertains some complex ideas about marriage...

Film Actually
Shane Slater chose the same scene and writes...

Maureen O'Hara's Maggie is indeed the most fascinating character in "The Parent Trap"

and how's this for crazy...

Rachel Wagner chose the exact same scene (albeit a different image) to focus on in her write up. That's all three Best Shot partygoers this week

My dvd is faulty so I'm delayed but I will get to it because I've been eager to rewatch.

P.S. Rachel was also the sole person to bravely join me in looking back at the Wonder Woman TV show last week, so you can see her take on that as well as thoughts on the new Wonder Woman movie.



Disney World's Pandora

Nathaniel popping in from a vacation I forgot to tell you about at Disney World to say hello. (Thanks to the team for keeping you occupied!) Disney opened "Pandora – The World of Avatar" just a week back and the lines are loooong. It's two to three hours for the Avatar related rides and pricy gift shop purchases. The most popular of the souvenirs are banshee puppets that sit on your shoulder. All the little kids seem to be wearing them but it seems like adults might like them even more. They're gorgeous and have a ton of realistic movement you control with a small device in one hand. There are also custom made Avatar action figures that are meant to look like you. That's an exceptional audience-friendly concept for a toy but I personally didn't see enough resemblance in the examples to justify the $80ish price tag.

We fast-passed the "Flight of Passage" ride and it is breathtaking. You mount motorcycle like contraptions and wear some form of 3D glasses for the ride. For a hot minute or so in the middle of the 4 minute ride, I literally forgot I was at an amusement park I was so caught up in it as if I actually were flying a banshee in Na'vi form. James Cameron, never one to shy away from hyperbole, has described the ride as "dreaming with your eyes open” and that's not far off. In theory it's not so different from other rides which are more "virtual" than purely physical (like, say, old school rollercoasters) but this one is the most immersive and transporting ride of its kind that I've ever experienced.