Tag Archives: Disney

Destino

The Persistence of Memory is one of the most f...

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Directed by Dominique Monféry
Produced by Baker Bloodworth & Roy E. Disney
Written by Salvador Dalí, John Hench & Donald W. Ernst
Music by Armando Dominguez
Music Adaptation: Michael Starobin
Editing by Jessica Ambinder-Rojas
Studio Disney Studios France
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date USA: December 19, 2003
France:  June 1, 2003

Destino was a collaboration between Disney and Salvador Dali that commenced in 1945/46 but was unfinished. They had storyboarded it but due to financial difficulties and the war the project was cancelled. It was resurrected in 2000 by Roy Disney and finally premiered in 2003.

It has not been released onto DVD yet, although it could be an extra release with the forthcoming Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 release next year. It was supposed to have been a part of the Walt Disney Treasures line but that never came to fruition. It is quite interesting and very Dali-esque. Destino was a part of the National Gallery Of Victoria‘s 2009 Dali exhibition; Liquid Desires.


Movies I Plan To Watch

I have a list of movies that I plan to watch before the year is out. If you have been snooping around this blog and checking out some of my updates you may see some of the pictures that I plan to see, as I have started to build up the pages in anticipation of watching the film. Most of these films are either movies that I have watched in the past many years ago and would love to see again, films that I have always wanted to watch but have not had the opportunity to see as of yet, or films that are universally considered to be either so good or so awful that I just have to see them. Here is a brief list of some of the movies I hope to see, as long as I don’t get too lazy.

  • Notorious
  • Under Capricorn – Considered one of Hitchcock’s worst films but the French love it.
  • The Devil At Your Heels – The Ken Carter Story -Have been looking for this for ages, ever since the D-Gen screened it on the ABC in the early 90s.
  • Fantasia
  • Frankenstein
  • Dracula
  • Nosferatu
  • The Wrestler – I’m trying to find the 1973 version of The Wrestler starring Ed Asner, which features a blink and you’ll miss him appearance from a young Ric Flair pre-‘Nature Boy’ .
  • The One And Only – This is a wrestling movie starring Henry ‘Fonz’ Winkler that I saw many years ago. It was very strange.
  • Requim For A Heavyweight
  • The Greatest – Muhammad Ali stars in a film about himself that is pure BS but still entertaining.
  • Beyond The Mat – Haven’t seen this for a decade.
  • Piccadilly – Silent British film from 1929.
  • Stagecoach
  • Shane
  • High Noon
  • The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre – One of my favourite movies.
  • Reefer Madness – Haven’t seen this yet but hear that it is very hilarious.
  • Glen Or Glenda – ‘Bevare puppy dog tails and snails. Bevare.’
  • Plan 9 From Outer Space
  • Superfly
  • Foxy Brown
  • Network
  • The Producers – Not the remake.
  • The Public Enemy – Watched Scorsese rave about this so I really must watch it.
  • Scarface – Both versions.
  • Little Caesar
  • Black Caesar – The blaxploitation remake of the above.
  • Blacula
  • Hoppity Goes To Town – I have to track this down. I have seen it available on a cheap ‘public domainDVD, even though the film is not in the public domain. It ain’t available online as a torrent but I have heard that Disney may be releasing this onto DVD even though it was made by Disney’s main competitor back in the early 1940s.

This is probably enough for now.


Make Mine Music

Directed by Jack Kinney, Clyde Geronimim, Hamilton Luske, Joshua Meador & Robert Cormack
Produced by Walt Disney
Written by James Bordrero
Homer Brightman
Erwin Graham
Eric Gurney
T. Hee
Sylvia Holland

Dick Huemer
Dick Kelsey
Jesse Marsh
Tom Oreb
Cap Palmer
Erdman Penner
Harry Reeves
Dick Shaw
John Walbridge
Roy Williams
Starring Nelson Eddy
Dinah Shore
Benny Goodman
The Andrews Sisters

Jerry Colonna
Sterling Holloway
Andy Russell
David Lichine
Tania Riabouchinskaya
The Pied Pipers
The King’s Men
The Ken Darby Chorus
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Release date April 20, 1946
Running time 67 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Sometimes I can understand why people illegally download movies from the internet, even though I would never condone such a thing. A case in point is Disney’s Make Mine Music which is not available to my knowledge on DVD in Australia but the American version can easily be found on Amazon. But beware, as the American DVD is censored, with one whole section, The Martins and The Coys, taken out because… I’m not sure. Some people say that this section was taken out because it is offensive to Southerners in the USA, while others say that it’s because there is excessive gunplay. Whatever the reason I don’t think that it should be censored. I can understand people wanting to find the uncensored version of this and think that when companies censor in this way they sort of deserve to lose revenue from people making illegal but complete copies.

Anyway this film is made up of ten segment which we would all be pretty familiar with as they were shown on the Wonderful World of Disney all the time, but now they are rarely seen. I don’t know if I had ever seen the film in it’s entirety before, just the segments individually.

The most well known of the segments are…

The Martins And The Coys

The most infamous of the segments now because it has been banned.

All The Cats Join In

I like this a lot. The music is very catchy and the animation is good.

Casey At The Bat

The most famous of the segments. Pretty funny.

Peter And The Wolf

I liked this segment as a kid but think it’s just OK now. The characters are cute.

Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnett

This has the Andrews Sisters and other than that I didn’t like it very much.

The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At the Met

This is quite funny and the whale is cute, but the ending is sad.

Anyway this is a pretty good piece of forgotten Disney animation. It would be good if Disney could give it a proper (complete) DVD release or even show it on TV so that kids (and adults) can see it.

This reminds me that tomorrow (Friday August 6th 2010) Disney Channel are showing Fantasia at 6.30pm, in between the endless ads for Jonus, Hannah Montana and all th eother stupid tween shows that are currently on Disney.


Toy Story 2

Directed by John Lasseter
Co-Directors:Lee Unkrich & Ash Brannon
Produced by Karen Robert Jackson & Helene Plotkin
Written by Andrew Stanton
Rita Hsiao
Doug Chamberlain
Chris Webb
Story:
John Lasseter
Pete Docter
Ash Brannon
Andrew Stanton
Colin Brady
Jimmy Hayward
Story Supervisors:
Dan Jeup
Joe Ranft
Starring Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Joan Cusack
Kelsey Grammer
Don Rickles
Jim Varney
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Wayne Knight
John Morris
Laurie Metcalf
Estelle Harris
Andrew Stanton
Music by Randy Newman
Cinematography Sharon Calahan
Editing by Lee Unkrich, Edie Bleiman & David Ian Salter
Studio Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date November 24, 1999
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

I enjoyed watching Toy Story 2 even more that the original. Again there is some top notch animation from Pixar and the characters are warm and relatable. A lot of the time you forget that they are not real but are images on a screen.

Woody and Buzz are back and teaching the importance of friendship. I like the inclusion of Jesse the cowgirl, as voiced by Joan Cusack and Stinky Pete the Prospector, voiced by Kelsey Grammar.

Again it is a great film by Pixar with really lovable characters. It is very funny and is suspensful at the same time.


Toy Story

Directed by John Lasseter
Produced by Ralph Guggenheim & Bonnie Arnold
Written by John Lasseter
Pete Docter
Andrew Stanton
Joe Ranft
Joss Whedon
Joel Cohen
Alec Sokolow
Starring
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Don Rickles
Jim Varney
Wallace Shawn
John Ratzenberger
Annie Potts
John Morris
Laurie Metcalf
Erik von Detten
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Robert Gordon & Lee Unkrich
Studio Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date November 22, 1995
Running time 81 minutes
Country United States
Language English
It’s hard to believe that Toy Story is 15 years old. Woody, Buzz and the gang are still fresh after all that time. Now with Toy Story 3 being released today I thought that I would relive the first two adventures.

Toy Story was the first feature-length CGI animated film and unlike Dreamworks’ Shrek, it doesn’t feel dated at all. I think that this is the great thing about Pixar in that they don’t just concentrate on pop culture references or fart jokes (unlike Dreamworks) but actually create characters that an audience can care for and a story that is engaging. It’s a bit hard to review Toy Story as it is a film that almost everyone has seen and I am sure enjoys. There is a lot of great humour and the characters, such as Woody, have real emotions that we can really empathise with.


Song Of The South

Directed by Harve Foster (live action)
Wilfred Jackson (animation)
Produced by Walt Disney
Written by Dalton S. Reymond, Morton Grant, Maurice Rapf, Bill Peet, Ralph Wright & George Stallings
Joel Chandler Harris (original stories)
Starring Ruth Warrick
Bobby Driscoll
James Baskett
Luana Patten
Lucile Watson
Hattie McDaniel
Glenn Leedy
Johnny Lee (voice)
Nick Stewart (voice)
Music by Daniele Amfitheatrof, Paul J. Smith (score), Edward Plumb (orchestration)
Cinematography Gregg Toland
Editing by William M. Morgan
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Release date(s) November 12, 1946 (U.S. release)
Running time 94 minutes
Language English

Usually when you think of movies that have been banned the name Walt Disney doesn’t spring to mind. Most Disney films are sweet as saccharine but there is indeed one Disney classic that has been banned for the last two decades and has caused more controversy and differing opinions than any other film that I know of. There are many theories as to why Disney has imposed a ban on this film being released onto DVD  and I really don’t understand most of the speculation. Then again I am neither an American or an African-American and am not fully aware of the issues involved and so can only judge the film on its entertainment value and not its cultural or racial undertones. I will say that I don’t understand why a film such as Birth Of A Nation can be freely available to buy on DVD and shown (as of last Saturday on ABC2) on television yet Song Of The South is not, other than the fact that some people automatically associate the Disney brand name with entertainment for children. (Won’t we think of the children!)

Having watched Song Of The South I have to say that I really do wonder what all the fuss is about. I don’t think that it is blatantly racist at all. I know that the argument that African-Americans who don’t like the film use it that the film is set just after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery and that the black people seem to be happy to work for the whites and that their characters are mere stereotypes but then again that’s the way Hollywood does things. It could also be argued, I guess, that Disney’s films are set in an alternate reality where live action humans and cartoon characters interact. Everyone is happy in the Disneyverse despite what is happening in the real world. However the whites and blacks in this film are not equals and there is a clear line of power that is implied here. The black people are clearly subservant to the whites, except in the eyes of the children who treat everyone with respect.

One thing that I think is the real shame of this film not being able to be viewed is that now no one gets to see Jame Baskett’s performance as Uncle Remus. His performance exudes a warmth that is contagious. His role is also important in another way in that this would have been one of (if not the) first times that a black man had the main role in a film not targeted specifically to a black audience.

I think that Song Of The South is a typical Disney live action film in much the same vein as they would make a decade later, focussing on the lives of some kids and the trials that they have to face. The three animated scenes featuring Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear are brilliantly done too. I don’t think that it makes any sense Banning Song Of The South, especially if more blatantly racist films are freely available to be released onto DVD or shown on TV. Then again this is my opinion.


Shrek Forever After vs Toy Story 3

This month the two biggest animated feature films of the year are set to be released, with Shrek Forever After and Toy Story 3 coming out.I wonder which of these two films will come out on top in the battle of the animated movies. I personally think that Toy Story will easily be the better film but it will be interesting to see which one wins the battle of the box office.

Shrek Forever After

The last Shrek movie was a major disappointment, it was so boring that I almost fell asleep in the cinema watching it. In fact it became everything that the original Shrek film parodied, it was slow and dull, while the animation in all the Shrek films have been crude to say the least.

The biggest problem with Shrek the Third was the green ogre himself. He was just so moody and no fun at all that the only enjoyable parts of the film were the scenes in which he was not featured, where Puss, Donkey, Ginge and Pinocchio stole the show.

From what I’ve seen of the new trailers it looks as though Shrek has ditched the stupid baby ogres that sucked so much life out of the last film. The film looks to be an improvement but I don’t think it can live up to how good the original movie was.

Toy Story 3

It’s been eleven years since the last Toy Story film. In that time Pixar’s main rival Dreamworks has released four Shrek movies, Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon. Pixar’s parent company Disney has gone back to making traditional 2D animated films after a lot of forgettable CGI films, while Pixar has made several well received films such as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall E and Up!. They also made Cars which while it may have been Pixar’s only critical failure, still has managed to make lots of money through an excess of merchandise. (I suppose Pixar has had to make up for the lack of merchandise that was available to support Up!)

Having seen the trailer it seems that there are more laughs in Toy Story 3 than in Shrek 4. I am really looking forward to this in a couple of weeks time.

My favourite Toy Story 3 trailer is the Groovin’ With Ken featurette.


Pollyanna

Directed by David Swift
Produced by Walt Disney (uncredited)
Associate Producer: George Golitzen
Written by Novel: Eleanor Porter
Screenplay: David Swift
Starring Hayley Mills
Jane Wyman
Karl Malden
Richard Egan
Adolphe Menjou
Agnes Moorehead
Music by Paul Smith
Cinematography Russell Harlan
Editing by Frank Gross
Distributed by Buena Vista
Distribution Release date May 19, 1960
Running time 134 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Pollyanna was released into cinemas 50 years ago last Monday. You would think that Disney would be making a big song and dance about this popular and well remembered film reaching the half century mark but it seems that the Walt Disney Company does not really value its past live action films. Heck, Disney doesn’t really value its animated classics either, and simply views them as a cash cow to be released on video or DVD every seven years. In fact it is pretty obvious that all Disney cares about these days is making horrendous live action teen comedies that can sell heaps of merchandise. I doubt that a film like Pollyanna would be made today as it would be difficult to fit in any fart jokes or sell merchandise with the sweet story.

One thing that I think needs to be said is that despite Disney’s reputation today as being just kids stuff, he could still get the biggest stars to appear in his films. Fine actors such as Jane Wyman and Karl Malden appear as do Agnes Moorehead and Ed Platt, who went on to play the Chief of Control in Get Smart but played supporting roles in a number of major films (including a brief part as Cary Grant‘s lawyer in Hitchcock’s North By Northwest). However the real star of the film is Hayley Mills, who played the little girl whose positive attitude brought a whole town together. She is really good in this film and went on to become a huge child star in the 1960s, mainly in other Disney films.

This is a very entertaining film, in the Disney tradition, it’s just a shame that Disney today doesn’t really care at all about it.


Greyfriars Bobby

Directed by Don Chaffey
Produced by Hugh Attwooll
Written by Novel: Eleanor Atkinson
Screenplay: Robert Westerby
Starring
Donald Crisp
Laurence Naismith
Music by Francis Chagrin
Cinematography Paul Beeson
Editing by Peter Tanner
Distributed by Walt Disney Company and Buena Vista Distribution Company
Release date(s) July 17, 1961
Running time 87 min.
Country United States

Greyfriars Bobby is the type of movie that doesn’t get made anymore. It is a sweet and sentimental film that never wears out its welcome. The movie is based on a true story from the 1860s, when a little sky terrier kept a vigil over his masters’ grave for 14 years until his own death.

This is one of those  films that used to be shown on The Wonderful World Of Disney but has not be screened on TV for at least a couple of decades. I have watched this movie on DVD a few times since I bought it many years ago and it never fails to tear me up (shhh, don’t tell anyone). It is that kind of movie.

I also love the whole Scottish-ness about the film. It is set in Edinburgh and all the actors are Scots, which means that everyone has that wonderful Scottish brogue. Also, one of the main characters, John Trail has the most brilliant mutton-chops ever seen in motion pictures, which means that I must give the film some bonus points just for them.

As an aside, I wonder why movies about dogs don’t get made by Hollywood anymore. Back when I was growing up we had Benji, while before that there were many other canine heroes in Rin Tin Tin, Lassie and Old Yeller (which I will be watching very soon). It’s really sad as I love these kinds of movies.


The Princess and the Frog

Directed by Ron Clements
John Musker
Produced by Peter Del Vecho
John Lasseter
(Executive producer)
Written by Ron Clements
John Musker
Rob Edwards
(Screenplay)
Ron Clements
John Musker
Greg Erb
Jason Oremland
Don Hall
(Story)
Starring Anika Noni Rose
Bruno Campos
Keith David
Michael-Leon Wooley
Jim Cummings
Jenifer Lewis
John Goodman
Oprah Winfrey
Jennifer Cody
Peter Bartlett
Terrence Howard
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Jeff Draheim
Studio Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) November 25, 2009 (2009-11-25)
(Los Angeles premiere)
December 11, 2009 (2009-12-11)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States

Much has been made of The Princess And The Frog for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Tiana is the first AfricanAmerican to become one of Disney’s famed princesses, which really just means that  now a black face has been added to Disney merchandising.

Secondly, The Princess And The Frog marks a return to Disney doing things the old-fashioned way. Disney decided to once again try to return to hand drawn 2D animation after their recent dismal failures with CGI.

Finally and most importantly, The Princess And The Frog sees Disney once again become ambitious with their movies. No longer are they going to rely on celebrity voices or imitating Pixar and Dreamworks. Instead they have gone back to doing things the traditional Disney way, with a great storyline and music. It may be familiar and old-fashioned, not as hip or trendy as Dreamworks, but it works well and sees Disney return to form impressively. Then again Dreamworks’ films tend to age very quickly as the references contained within them go out of date, however I feel that The Princess And The Frog is a little more timeless.

I was quite impressed with some of the animation, especially in one scene early on where Tiana is dreaming of opening her own restaurant. This scene had a 1920s, art deco feel to it, thanks to some striking backgrounds and character designs, but it also featured some really great animation work that I found to be very impressive.

The music too is very good. The score features lots of Randy Newman penned jazz songs that complements the film’s setting of New Orleans. These are not pop songs by some lame band, ala the Shrek movies, but songs that are reminiscent of the best music from Disney’s second heyday of  the late 1980s and 90s.

All in all I thought that The Princess And The Frog was a great movie and one that is almost as great as past Disney hits like The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin. Hopefully Disney will now leave the CGI stuff to Pixar and continue to make these wonderful hand-drawn movies in their traditional style, as this is the stuff that Disney does best.