Author Topic: Favorite Disney Movies  (Read 12274 times)

Avaitor

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Re: Favorite Disney Movies
« Reply #150 on: June 24, 2016, 10:24:32 PM »
I saw this on another board, where you can take an (almost) side-by-side look at the renaissance and revival-era films, draw comparisons, and pick your personal favorites. The general consensus goes with the renaissance, but when I think about these movies together, my answers are a bit more varied.

The Great Mouse Detective vs. Meet the Robinsons

Here, we have a pair of movies that, while not necessarily commercially successful, have their fans, and have received a bit of a cult following in recent years as new people begin to discover them. They represent some of the new talents who were beginning to gain more control in making Disney's animated films, and also signaled the start of a new change in leadership, with Eisner and Katzenberg starting their runs around the start of TGMD's production, and Lasseter coming in near the end of MTR's. To the average fan, these are barely considered footnotes in the process of Disney's movements that they occupy, but observant fans give them credit when it's due.

I think these are both good movies (they're also movies that I still need to add to my collection), but there isn't a doubt in my mind that Great Mouse Detective is the better film. Basil is easily among Disney's most entertaining protagonists, while Ratigan is similarly among their most fun villains. The only weak spot is the club scene, and even that isn't too painful. I do enjoy Meet the Robinsons as well, but the second act is too all over the place for me, but even then, I do believe that the first and last thirds make up for that. It's still the lesser film here, however.

Oliver & Company vs. Bolt

Here are animal movies that did quite well for the studio, even though they've slowly been moved to the backside since, and feel forgotten in comparison to some of Disney's later triumphs. Still, you're more likely to find a plush of Dodger or Bolt than Basil or Lewis.

The truth is... I don't find either of these particularly memorable. :sweat: I've seen Bolt twice, and while it's a nice movie, very little of it actually resonates with me, while even nostalgia doesn't give Oliver & Company much of an incentive for me to keep it around. I don't really feel right voting for one over the other, so I'll skip this one. But I'm sure that one or even both of these will rank much higher for some people, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. I'd take them over Home on the Range or The Aristocats any day.

The Little Mermaid vs. The Princess and the Frog

The big ones. The movies that helped bring music and magic back to the studio, and helped to remind audiences that Disney can still make dreams come true. They have smaller intakes than most of the films to come, but will quickly find plenty of fans the world over. And they're among Musker & Clements' most iconic works from Disney.

I feel like I grow a little more appreciation for Little Mermaid every year, but it's just never truly resonated with me in the way that it does for many. I love the music, Ursula, and the supporting cast, but Arie's far from my favorite princess, and I can't stop finding faults in the animation that knock it down for me. TPATF, however, has it all for me. Tiana became my favorite princess the moment I saw the film, and that hasn't changed since. Naveen's only competition for being my favorite prince is Aladdin, and that's tough competition. Dr. Facilier is also high among my favorite villains, and the supporting cast is tight as hell. I do think that the soundtrack isn't among Disney's strongest (but even then it has some knock-outs), and the plot's a little overdrawn, but the good still outweighs the bad.

Not many would pick it over Mermaid, but each time I watch the film, I'm reminded of why I was blown away when I saw Princess and the Frog in theaters opening weekend.

The Rescuers Down Under vs. Winnie the Pooh

I'm skipping around a little here, but bare with me. These were sequels on a budget with meager intakes, but generally positive receptions from those who did get around to seeing them. They're usually considered write-offs in the canon more than anything, but even that isn't always a bad thing.

I think these are both fun movies, but neither would rank high among my favorite Disney movies. I think that Rescuers Down Under is a stronger picture on the whole, though, since it feels like a story that was meant to be told in feature length. There's a big feeling and a lot of emotions in the film, as opposed to Winnie the Pooh, where the plot felt like an episode of the TV show stretched to too long. I can't even say that it's feature length, since it's still pretty short. There's a lot of nice moments around, with some of the general Pooh Bear charm still present, but I'm sticking to Rescuers Down Under.

Beauty and the Beast vs. Tangled

Proof that Little Mermaid and Princess and the Frog weren't flukes, and that people were hungry for more of Disney's winning fairy tales. These were bigger hits both commercially and critically (although I believe that TPATF and Tangled are closer critically), and cemented the idea that Disney was back on a roll.

Neither of these are among my all-time favorites, but I think that BATB has more to offer than Tangled, which feels compromised. It's such an important movie to Disney's canon, and has more memorable songs and characters. I do really like certain elements of Tangled, though, enough to where I don't regret owning it at all.

Aladdin vs. Wreck-It Ralph

These were even bigger financial successes than their predecessors. They're a little more "boy-friendly", which probably helped with their success, but we know that good movies are gender neutral to begin with. I hear that Aladdin was a popular date night movie, and from what I recall, WIR fit that bill just fine, itself.

I really do like Wreck-It Ralph. The characters are all fun, and it has a good message to build off of. And there's a few killer ideas for park areas that can be taken from the movie. But I can't think of a better reason to give it my vote against Aladdin. Even besides nostalgia, it still features one of the strongest casts, score, and tension of all of Disney's movies.

The Lion King vs. Frozen

This is when think pieces were being made about Disney's next coming. The big money makers, Disney is clearly very happy about their success. Frozen gave Disney their first Best Animated Feature Oscar, and The Lion King a Diamond record.

With the hype removed and a few viewings of the movie nailed down, I still think that Frozen is good. But it's nothing compared to The Lion King. I don't think anything more needs to be said.

Pocahontas vs. Big Hero 6

Following The Lion King or Frozen is no easy challenge, and these films tried their hardest to, and the end results ended up decently. Both made a lot of money, although not nearly as much as their most recent predecessors. Big Hero 6 did match Frozen's critical acclaim, even winning Best Animated Feature again, while Pocahontas became the first Certified Rotten film of the renaissance.

And for good reason. The errors in animation that the studio were still suffering with The Little Mermaid were entirely streamlined by The Lion King, allowing Pocahontas to be one of their most gorgeous-looking movies, and it's one of the few Disney movies with a bittersweet ending (don't forget The Fox and the Hound), but that's about where my compliments for the film end. There are so many boring spots abound, and the history between the real-life Pocahontas and John Smith makes the movie uncomfortable. It's just not a very good one to me. Big Hero 6, on the other hand, has its own problems, but it's a much stronger movie on multiple levels, and is nearly as visually impressive. It's the best of Disney and Marvel movie magic combined, which sounds like a chore to some, but is a joy to me.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame vs. Zootopia

Two movies with a strong social message, both among the best critically received films of their movements. Hunchback was a commercial disappointment, making less than Pocahontas and only a fraction of The Lion King, and isolated many children due to its heavier subject matter, but would become a fan favorite to those who gave the film another chance later. Zootopia, on the other hand, is nearly at the level of Frozen and Lion King's success, and has been graciously received by all ages.

I really do like Hunchback, but the gargoyles and some of the lamer gags push it back for me. Not too much, but there are moments where I wish the film could have gone all out, and it sounds like the stage show is that version. I could have voted for it in many other instances. But Zootopia is such a marvel. It has a fantastic message that doesn't beat you over the head with it, allows for audiences to interpret as they please, and has so much to offer all around. It's a strong contender for the best of the revival era, and has already cracked my top 10. I can't praise it enough.

So yeah, I think the renaissance does ultimately win out, and nostalgia only plays a bit of a part there. But the revival is nothing to sneeze out.

It'll be interesting to see how things compare from here. Next, we're going to have another Musker & Clements film to compare against. I'm not sure how Gigantic and Mulan will stand to each other, though. And while I'm very sure that we're getting Frozen 2 after that, I'd rather get something else before, since I'd like to see how I can rank that against Fantasia 2000.
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Avaitor

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Re: Favorite Disney Movies
« Reply #151 on: August 19, 2016, 12:11:50 AM »
Have you guys seen Alice in Wonderland recently? It's a weird little film, and almost feels like a return to Silly Symphonies a few years removed from Dumbo and their package features, which hit the same vibe at times. That's not really a bad thing, although some of the non-sequiturs do show its inability to tell a complete, concise story.

It's visually one of their most fun films to watch, and has good pacing when it sticks to the resemblance of a story that it has. It's a film that I'd recommend checking out if you want something light to focus on.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

Sir, do you have any Warrants?
I got their first CD, but you can't have it, motherfucker!

New blog!
http://avaitorsblog.blogspot.com/

Avaitor

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Re: Favorite Disney Movies
« Reply #152 on: November 28, 2016, 11:53:44 AM »
I was watching Roger Rabbit with my girlfriend last night, and one thing I thought about was how good of a job it does with keeping Judge Doom a surprise villain. Granted, it's not too much of a surprise that he's a bad guy- right away, he has an creepy vibe to him, that only grows the further Eddie and Roger get into the mystery- but it's all about build-up, right down to the reveal of everything Doom is behind. And there's some decent foreshadowing of his true character throughout. One bit that I noticed this time is how Doom stepped back when Eddie kicked the dip down in the bar. Because of course he doesn't want that.

The movie's use of a surprise villain works better than Disney's recent efforts at that. Zootopia probably does it best between Frozen and Big Hero 6 (it helps that like Roger Rabbit, it has noir elements), but it felt pretty tired and obvious by that point.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

Sir, do you have any Warrants?
I got their first CD, but you can't have it, motherfucker!

New blog!
http://avaitorsblog.blogspot.com/