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Entries in Pocahontas (10)

Tuesday
Mar212017

Shakespeare in Love > Saving Private Ryan (your periodic reminder)

On this day in movie history...

1617 Though the exact date of her death is unknown, Pocahontas's funeral was held on this day. She died on a ship with husband John Rolfe (played by Christian Bale in The New World but he wasn't a character in Disney's Pocahontas because that woulda been hella depressing). She was only 21 or 22
1880
"Bronco Billy" Anderson, the original movie cowboy star (he made hundreds of silent shorts) is born
1941 The Sea Wolf starring Edward G Robinson and Ida Lupino is released. Director Michael Curtiz is warming up for his rather incredible peak decade (Captain of the Clouds, Yankee Doodle Dandy, CasablancaMildred Pierce and more are next)
1949
Slavoj Zizek of The Perverts Guide to Cinema (2006) is born
1956
The 1955 Oscars. Marty becomes both the shortest film to ever win Best Picture and the first indie to do so.
1958 Gary Oldman is born...

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Thursday
Jul162015

Tim's Toons: 1995, the year that changed animation

Tim here. We're celebrating 1995 this month at the Film Experience, and I'm ecstatic to bring the conversation around to that year's animated films. 1995 was, y'see, the most transformational year the animation industry had experienced in a generation, the dividing line between a 60-year-old tradition on one hand and the entirely different landscape of animated features in the twenty years since.

We have to begin even farther back. You can't tell a story about a revolution without looking at the ancien régime, and in '95, Walt Disney Feature Animation was as ancien as it gets. After having spent almost twenty straight years wandering around in the wilderness following namesake Walt Disney's death, the studio finally began righting itself through a painful learning process that started with the 1986 release of The Great Mouse Detective. Beginning with that movie, almost every subsequent Disney feature would improve upon the box-office take of its immediate predecessor.

This was the Disney Renaissance, when the studio just couldn't stop itself from cranking out one new classic after another. There was Beauty and the Beast, the only animated film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in a field of 5; Aladdin, the first animated film to break $200 million at the U.S. box office; and then, the hit of all hits, 1994's The Lion King, a blockbusting monster that is, for many, the defining film of contemporary American animation. The company was at the all-time height of its influence and prestige. There was nowhere to go but down.

And down things went, with Pocahontas in June, 1995...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug052014

Top Ten: "They Are Groot" - Best Cinematic Trees

"Groot" a walking fighting talking (well, sort of) tree is easily the best character within the #1 movie in the world right now. I didn't like Guardians of the Galaxy but I loved Groot. So here's a top ten devoted to his fellow upright leafy green characters. Trees have often played key roles in dramas, fairytales, and horror alike whether as fantastical homes, formidable characters or mysterious passageways to adventure.

So herewith...

TOP TEN: BEST TREES IN MOVIES 

Honorable Mention: That tree Mowgli was hypnotized in in The Jungle Book, spooky 'Tree of the Dead' in Sleepy Hollow, the Christmas tree Gremlins wield like a weapon, the Swiss Family Robinson's main address, any tree that nimbly supports the weight of Crouching Tigers and Hidden Dragons on its delicate green branches, any tree that gives us opportunities to ogle various Tarzans or George of the Jungles from, uh, below (shush. You're no innocent of ogling!), or virtually any colorful tree in Disney's Alice In Wonderland but particularly the one she reads by and dozes on that dumps her into that trippy world of invisible cats, size-altering portions, and rodents having tea parties.

10  Holiday Trees in Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Located in The Hinterlands these seven trees lead you into your various Holiday towns. We only get to see Halloween Town and "what's this?" Christmas town. If only Jack Skellington could have tried them all out. Imagine him delivering Easter eggs or cupid's arrow. Imagine the production design and merchandising opportunities! For all I know these other worlds have already been exploited in bad straight to DVD follow ups but if so I am blissfully ignorant.

Nine more barking great characters / symbols after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul312014

Tim's Toons: A field guide to animated raccoons

Tim here. Tomorrow, the much-hyped latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Franchise Expansion Plan opens, Guardians of the Galaxy. While reviews have promised a broad, inventive space comedy/adventure, the marketing to date has focused on two specific things:

1) Chris Pratt plays Han Solo.
2) Bradley Cooper voices Han Solo as a raccoon.

And since I take it as axiomatic that two Han Solos is better than no Han Solos (as graphically demonstrated by the Star Wars prequels) I’m actually perfectly okay with that. Anyway, it’s pretty clear at this point that Disney wants the Raccoon – Rocket Raccoon, to give him his proper name – to be the film’s big breakout character, so the time was perfect to launch into a brief history of the talking raccoon throughout animation history.

RJ, Over the Hedge (2006)
To date, the most visible of all anthropomorphic raccoons has been this character in DreamWorks Animation’s noble but somewhat ineffective attempt to break out of their “pop culture jokes ‘n’ celebrity voices” ghetto with a movie looking back to the madcap slapstick of the Looney Tunes shorts...

Disney, Canadian, and Japanese raccoons below the jump!

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May012014

12 Thoughts I Had... While Watching "Pocahontas" Again

In the effort to be more succinct each week in my best shot entry -- it's called 'Best Shot' not "Ginormous Review of Everything I Think About This Movie and My 25 Favorite Images" and I'm so guilty of muddying that water --  I'm going to try and relegate all extraneous feelings into an additional catch-all post. So herewith some more ravings about Pocahontas and its relation to the Disney oeuvre (particularly Frozen). 

They're presented in mostly random chronological order. Thoughts I jotted down while watching or feelings I was feeling. So many felt feelings.

Confession: I almost never like Disney's Opening Songs. From The Little Mermaid's "Fathoms Below" through Frozen's weird chanting that sounds vaguely African though it's meant to be Norwegian, they're always B side filler, meant only to prep you for all the show tunes headed your way. The lone exception is surely The Lion King's "Circle of Life" which is really an A+ opening scene every way you look at it. 

• Thomas is totally gay (and gay for John Smith). [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr222014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Visual Index ~ Pocahontas (1995)

For Earth Day, Hit Me With Your Best Shot returns to Disney's long neglected Pocahontas (1995). Can you sing with all the colors of the wind? The movie uses a lot of them and not shyly: blues, greens, pinks, oranges, yellows, and that glorious raven hair of Disney's most beautiful heroine.

Pocahontas's Best Shot(s)
13 savages chimed in. Click on their best shot selections to read the corresponding article

One of the greatest marriages of image and melody in the entire Disney canon...
- Three Pounds Lost 


She's still dwarfed by the majesty of the earth...
-Film Actually

The best scene in the movie is a silent one... 
-Coco Hits New York 

...not one without its wonders.  The main two of which for me are its use of long lens widescreen framing and the music.
- Best Shot in the Dark 


It’s not that the film isn’t beautiful, it’s just that I remember it more for it’s music.
-Missemmamm


We're no longer looking at moving drawings, but being moved by the drawings...
- The Film's The Thing 

Pocahontas looks really good especially when her hair is wind blown (nature as her personal wind machine for the win)... 
- Sorta That Guy 

 At times it feels as if Pocahontas is a feature-length version of a lost Fantasia sequence... 
-The Entertainment Junkie

One of the least busy and textured images in the film, 
- Lam Chop Chop


Love Story, Flawed History Lesson, and Nature Appreciation Pamphlet all in one go? No easy feat...
-Minnesota Gneiss 

It's dealing with big themes that kids don't think about and visualizing them in a way that kids can understand at every level...
- Dancin' Dan 


For all of Pocahontas failures, I love it and feel deeply protective...
- The Film Experience 

 

Confession: I totally started to tear up here...
- I Am Derreck 

 

NEXT TUESDAY ON 'HIT ME...'