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Entries in Disney (121)

Sunday
Mar272016

Tim's Toons: Easter animation

Tim here. Easter is upon us, and with it comes the realization that, for a holiday with such prominent iconography and a pre-made adorable talking animal, the movies haven't been able to do much with it. The go-to classic Easter film for generations of TV audiences has been The Ten Commandments, a religious epic that isn't even about the life of Jesus; meanwhile, the secular side of the date has been horribly mangled. Recent attempts at minting new holiday classics include Rise of the Guardians, which devoted all of its energy to pretending to be a Christmas movie instead, and the deeply execrable Hop, a live-action/animation hybrid with James Marsden as the perpetually horrified human companion to an abominable CGI rabbit voiced by Russell Brand.

Dig a little, however, and you can still find some reasonably charming Easter Bunny pictures out in the world. As a public service, may I offer these three Easter-themed shorts, all of them available on the internet.

Funny Little Bunnies (1934)
One of Disney's Silly Symphonies from the middle of that series' life, this is a look at the factory-like process by which a community of rabbits ready the various candies distributed to the Christian American children of the world. Primitive already by the standards of 1934, with its metronome-like repetitions of action and complete lack of a plot, the film nonetheless thrives on account of its gorgeous color palette, blending dreamy springtime pastels with the rich saturation of early Technicolor. Not one of the all-time great Disney cartoons, but at just seven minutes, it goes down nicely. Right up until the split-second blackface gag, anyway, startlingly unnecessary even by the standards of Disney's 1930s infatuation with minstrelsy. (On YouTube)

Two more Easter shorts after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar072016

Bewitched, Bothered, and Be Link-ed

Thrillist Best Movies of 2016. haha. I don't know exactly how this column is going to work but I'm curious to find out
THR an interview with producer Irwin Winkler on Martin Scorsese's Silence and the Creed sequel
Frontier an oral history of "The Golden Girls"
Twitter Why Leo waited until just now to win an Oscar 

Nick Flicks Picks are you following his supporting actress project? The gold numbers reflect full performance reviews
Guardian Fans keep trying to restore Star Wars (1977) because George Lucas doesn't want
Film Mix Tape praises Michelle Visage as RuPaul's Drag Race returns (TONITE. WHEEEE)
Comics Alliance if you want to have yet another superhero's cameo in Batman v Superman spoiled for you, here is the info
Deadline How Mark Rylance won the Oscar without any campaigning
AV Club Disney's next animated feature will be an adaptation of The Nutcracker 
i09 a fan film about Darth Maul, the only good thing to emerge from that second Star Wars trilogy 
Variety an interview with Julian Fellowes on the series finale of Downton Abbey. Good stuff. Between the exits of Mad Men and now Downton, I have so few shows that feel like they're a part of my life (from staying power) left.

Read Only if You've Seen The Witch
If you've already seen The Witch I'd recommend reading these two takes on its most riveting scenes and primarily its divisive ending and the subversive extent of the femininism within the film. Salon's look at Thomasin as a "Final Girl laced into a puritan bodice" is great and a piece at Vague Visages takes a more mixed tack. Angelica Jade Bastién grapples with what she feels is unearned about the film's jawdropping finale:

I love the film, but how feminist can The Witch be if Thomasin remains primarily a cipher? 

Saturday
Feb272016

Avu DuVernay to direct A Wrinkle in Time

Lynn here, chewing on another bit of non-Oscar related movie news.

Ever since it was announced earlier this week that Ava DuVernay had signed on to direct the upcoming film version of Madeleine L’Engle’s much-beloved A Wrinkle in Time, I’ve been trying to imagine just how the director of Selma is going to approach a sci-fi fantasy that features benevolent shape-shifting inter-dimensional beings, entire planets controlled by a single giant brain, and children who literally cross the universe by bending the laws of both space and time.  She won’t be starting from scratch, at least; the project’s apparently been in the works for some time, with a script by Frozen’s Jennifer Lee.  But this will be the first time the book’s ever been brought to the big screen.  It’s frequently, and unsurprisingly, been called unfilmable, and the only previous adaptation – a 2003 TV movie on ABC – was such a failure that it’s best known for the quip it inspired from L’Engle:

I expected it to be bad, and it is.”

In other words, there’s every reason for apprehension.  Is there also reason for hope?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb112016

Coming Soon: "Frozen" vs "Wicked" On Broadway

As you may have heard Frozen will be coming to Broadway in the Spring of 2018. The original composers will write additional new songs which is smart since the second half of Frozen the movie is weirdly not a musical at all. The songs abruptly end after "Let It Go"  

It will be curious to have two versions of Wicked on stage simultaneously, though.

Shade. (I couldn't resist.)

No matter how much one loves Frozen, it's hard to deny that it shamelessly rips off of Wicked. When Wicked's producers rather dimly dragged their feet on a film version of their 3 billion dollar smash (they should have started immediately since it takes years to get a picture made properly and now a picture will feel "old" when it arrives) Disney swooped in with their own version of Wicked called Frozen -- even using the same leading lady with the huge pipes (Idina Menzel) and had their own billion-dollar smash (with endless revenue yet to come in merchandising).

Consider: 

  • Sisters / Besties. One is good and likeable. The other is secretive and perceived as "Wicked"
  • The "Wicked" girl is strong with magic and this scares people and she hides herself away from the fearful citizens of Arendel/Oz
  • During her escape/rise into her power she sings an athem of self-actualization "Let It Go"/"Defying Gravity" 
  • And then the villagers come after her and the good girl has to intervene. (From their the stories diverge... as they do with the supporting cast, too) 

Wicked will obviously still be selling out in 2018 when Frozen arrives. 12 years and a few months into its run it's still always near the top of the box office charts. It will be so strange to see them side by side. Do you have a preference? 

 

Thursday
Jan282016

Tim's Toons: A preview of 2016 in animated features

Tim here. Kung Fu Panda 3 opens this weekend, and thus begins one of the most crowded years for animated features in living memory (technically, Norm of the North already kicked things off two weeks ago, but we're all better off consigning that one to the memory hole).

As a public service, I'd like to offer this highly abbreviated guide to some of the animation that will be coming out in the U.S. over the next 11 months. As with every year, there will of course be a healthy number of foreign imports that we can't predict, and hopefully a little indie or two that nobody has heard about yet; best to think of this, maybe, as a handy field guide to clearing your way through the glut of big-ticket studio films about to reign down upon us all.

Lots more Toons after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan232016

Links: Dolls, Dancers, Disney, and Agent Scully

Some links as we hole watching movies and writing future articles during the blizzard...

John August on torrenting the Oscars
MNPP remembers 5 great experiences at New York City's historic Ziegfeld Theater (about to close). Oh the memories
Boy Culture a documentary about the dancers from Madonna's classic Truth or Dare film / Blonde Ambition tour to premiere at Berlinale
Deadline new projects for JC Chandor (A Most Violent Year) including a remake of that extremely tense Austrian film The Robber - good luck topping the adrenaline of the original

Awards Daily Lady Gaga will perform "Til It Happens to You" at the Producers Guild gala
Pajiba Charlie Cox has not yet been invited to Marvel's Infinity Wars. He is waiting impatiently
Fandor breaks down the Best Actor race
Salon talks up Tori Amos's "Boys for Pele" (my favorite of her records) on its 20th anniversary
Interview Magazine talks to the "unusually busy" Gillian Anderson about her recent roles
Vanity Fair on Gillian Anderson fighting for wage equality on X-Files reunion
• Deadline a list of hot actors everyone wants for pilot season. Whenever I read about pilot season I realize how little I understand about the strange flickering alien world of television. Where people can even have whole careers without anyone seeing their work (with the amount of pilots that don't make it to series) How can the same actors be wanted for every drama? No actor is right for every role.

Disney & Girls
• Bloomberg Business how Hasbro snatched Disney's all powerful Princess line of dolls away from Mattel. They also got facial adjustments. Terrifyingly Hasbro promises to make the Disney Princesses even more ubiquitous than they already are. This article even has the story reenacted by dolls (with Avengers cameos naturally) in a video
• Sweatpants and Coffee Ooh i knew Disney was throwing up smokescreensto distract us. Turns out toymakers were 'specifically directed' to exclude Rey from toylines due to her gender! It wasn't from "secrecy" as they tried to peddle earlier. #WheresRey
Comics Alliance ...but Black Widow will be part of the toyline from Captain America: Civil War (with a new costume)
i09 has an interesting piece on the story work behind Zootopia and how the secondary female character, a bunny named Judy Hopps, took over the leading role from the male fox who was originally its protagonist.

Wednesday
Nov042015

11 Tweets: Kate Fandom, Bradley Trash, Princess Fatigue

You guys! I leave for Los Angeles in the morning and am feeling so overwhelmed. In a good way of course. Oscar season has basically gone from 0 to 60 while I puttered around my apartment not working fast enough.

In this week's tweet roundup Andie MacDowell sort of announces a very exciting new project (sex, lies and videotape is still her best work), Xavier Dolan announces his love for Kate Winslet, Adele questions DiCaprio, and Guillermo del Toro geeks out about 70s movies  after the jump...

 

Click to read more ...