Go Back   Forums @ The Digital Fix > Entertainment Discussion Forums > Film Discussion

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 21-02-2019, 13:53   #61
eye__writ
Trusted User
 
eye__writ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 6,280
Thanks: 845
Thanked 246 Times in 122 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandedGuitarist View Post
#13: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Throughout all of this is Alice herself. I can't state enough what a wonderful character I think she is. A combination of vivid and memorable design mixed with the astoundingly strong voice performance by then 10-year-old Kathryn Beaumont makes for such a memorable and joyous character. She's curious, without fear and has a delightful imagination. I think she's easily my favourite Disney character so far.
Just catching up with your journey and happened to see this video this week...

__________________
Xbox Live Gamertag: Absinthe Miasma
eye__writ is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked 2 times by:
LeftHandedGuitarist (01-03-2019), mnementh (22-02-2019)
Old 01-03-2019, 21:49   #62
LeftHandedGuitarist
Single and hating it
 
LeftHandedGuitarist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Deep Space Nine
Posts: 8,614
Thanks: 256
Thanked 309 Times in 176 Posts
#19: The Jungle Book (1967)

The Sword in the Stone was just a blip, and we're back on form here.

I watched this film a lot growing up so I expected to be very familiar with it now. Surprisingly, I had forgotten significant portions of it, including all of the stuff involving the elephants and a couple of the songs (although it all gradually came back to me).

The story of Mowgli, raised in the jungle by animals, is a compelling one and the tale is helped no end by the lovely designs used for all of the characters paired with excellent voice work. I particularly loved the different personalities that the animators/artists managed to give everyone just by the way they look. Add very distinctive voices to that and the characters really leap off the screen. I liked Bagheera's constant state of exasperation and disapproval juxtaposed against Baloo's exuberant yet careless lust for life - these two are just such a great pair.

It was probably Shere Khan that stole the show, though, even though he has very little screen time. He's incredibly intimidating, but George Sander's voice almost makes him seem gentlemanly. That only adds to how scary he is and I found it impossible to take my eyes off the screen when he was on. Similarly, I was delighted to hear Sterling Holloway again in the role of Kaa the snake.

Things still look scratchy here, but it's much more subdued. That may be down to how colourful this film is as well as the use of more detailed background plates. It's certainly the best looking film so far from the "xerography" era of Disney. There's still a lot more of them to come, so I hope this trend continues.

If I have any complaints, then I suppose sometimes I was wishing the plot would just get on with things at a few moments. It really is all quite laid back and the sense of danger we're supposed to feel for Mowgli doesn't really kick in for quite some time. I also thought that Shere Khan was given very little motivation to want to kill Mowgli (at least, compared to what I know of the original story), and his situation was resolved in an unsatisfying way - surely he's just going to come back?

I suppose you could also complain about some racist threads - the whole thing being about Mowgli belonging "back with his own kind" - but that feels pretty pedantic to me in this case even though I'll admit it's not completely without merit and I don't know what Rudyard Kipling's own views were. Still, we're dealing with different species here, not races.

The other really notable thing about The Jungle Book is the re-introduction of songs. The past few Disney films have treated them as background pieces or quick little ditties, with only the occasional full song. Here we get several musical set pieces throughout, and each one is absolutely excellent. The Sherman Brothers really stepped up and delivered because the songs have all been stuck in my head since watching. The obvious great ones are 'The Bare Necessities' and 'I Wanna Be Like You', but I was surprised at how much I loved the melody of 'My Own Home' (but the lyrics, not so much).



My current ranking:
  1. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  2. Lady and the Tramp
  3. Pinocchio
  4. The Jungle Book
  5. Alice in Wonderland
  6. Sleeping Beauty
  7. Bambi
  8. Dumbo
  9. Cinderella
  10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  11. Peter Pan
  12. Fun and Fancy Free
  13. The Sword in the Stone
  14. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  15. Saludos Amigos
  16. Melody Time
  17. Fantasia
  18. Make Mine Music
  19. The Three Caballeros
LeftHandedGuitarist is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked 4 times by:
Chris Locke (02-03-2019), driver8 (02-03-2019), Rob (02-03-2019), WeaselFierce (19-03-2019)
Old 17-03-2019, 12:12   #63
LeftHandedGuitarist
Single and hating it
 
LeftHandedGuitarist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Deep Space Nine
Posts: 8,614
Thanks: 256
Thanked 309 Times in 176 Posts
Apologies to all The Aristocats fans who have made their love for this film already known here...

#20: The Aristocats (1970)

This one was totally brand new to me, I'd never seen any part of it before. But something about it had always felt off-putting based on what little I did know. I can't exactly say why. Maybe it's the setting or the fact that I knew there was going to be some jazz vibes in there.

At any rate, I think I may have sat down in front of this wanting to dislike it, because that's exactly what happened. Honestly, The Artistocats rubbed me the wrong way somehow. I didn't much like the story (which feels like a mix of Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians) and I really didn't like the characters or the music.

Right at the top is O'Malley. He looks really weird. It's like they tried to draw a cat with muscles, or some human proportions. He looks really unsettling. I don't know why they went this way, because all the other cats in the film look great. He's also voiced by Phil Harris who had just done Baloo in The Jungle Book, and he doesn't change his voice or performance at all, so there's this weird disconnect in hearing Baloo's mannerisms come out of a completely mismatched character.

I also wasn't at all convinced by the "bad guy", Edgar. He starts the film out as seemingly a nice person who has no issue with the cats and I even got the sense that he enjoys their company (in the early scenes I was actually feeling a bit sorry for him), but the prospect of money suddenly changes him entirely and he goes evil IMMEDIATELY. What's the rush?

The two ducks were really out of the blue. I'm not sure if I loved them or hated them. I also managed to survive an extended jazz song sequence which was painful, plus much of the kitten's singing isn't all that pleasant to listen to. I'd have say I thought all of the songs here were pretty bad and often overly simplistic.

For the good stuff, I did enjoy the two junkyard dogs who kept attacking Edgar. They made for a good comedy duo. Hearing Sterling Holloway as Roquefort brought a smile to my face. And I really liked that the burgeoning romance between Duchess and O'Malley felt like it had enough depth and time to be believable.

Disappointed that the ugly art style makes a comeback again, and wow, how many times did the film keep reusing the same animations?



My current ranking:
  1. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  2. Lady and the Tramp
  3. Pinocchio
  4. The Jungle Book
  5. Alice in Wonderland
  6. Sleeping Beauty
  7. Bambi
  8. Dumbo
  9. Cinderella
  10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  11. Peter Pan
  12. Fun and Fancy Free
  13. The Sword in the Stone
  14. The Aristocats
  15. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  16. Saludos Amigos
  17. Melody Time
  18. Fantasia
  19. Make Mine Music
  20. The Three Caballeros
LeftHandedGuitarist is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked 2 times by:
bronso (21-03-2019), WeaselFierce (19-03-2019)
Old 19-03-2019, 14:31   #64
cliff homewood
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southend
Posts: 5,149
Thanks: 1
Thanked 64 Times in 48 Posts
Seems not everybody wants to be a cat
cliff homewood is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked once by:
LeftHandedGuitarist (19-03-2019)
Old 19-03-2019, 17:02   #65
allan175
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Warrington
Posts: 3,273
Thanks: 2,104
Thanked 76 Times in 65 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandedGuitarist View Post
#18: The Sword in the Stone (1963)

Oh, dear.

What happened here, Disney? Tackling a story of Arthurian legend should have been easy pickings for you, but instead you chose to deliver this. I was expecting to like this film because I definitely watched it numerous times as a kid and I wouldn't even be surprised if this is one of the films responsible for my fondness for medieval fantasy stories. But honestly, the only thing I really remembered about it before this rewatch was the scene with the squirrel.

The Sword in the Stone tells the story of the wizard Merlin as he meets an orphan boy named Arthur (although everyone calls him Wart). Merlin senses the boy is destined for great things and decides to take him under his wing and help educate him.

That's more or less all the story that Disney decided to go with. The entire film is a strange mishmash of scenes in which Merlin attempts to teach Arthur... things? Usually about THE CIIIIRCLE OF LIIIFE. It mostly just involves turning him into various animals and nearly letting him die each time. There are three sequences which are more or less identical as Arthur is turned into a fish, squirrel and bird. Each one just repeats what came before with a little twist.

The titular "sword in the stone" is mentioned by a narrator at the start and then doesn't get another appearance until the very end of the film when Arthur accidentally stumbles upon it. Stop me if I sound crazy, but I was expecting the story of a film entitled The Sword In The Stone to actually be about that. Instead, this is some strange slapstick comedy in which nothing much really happens (and usually fails to be funny).

Arthur has zero personality, he just does whatever he's told and repeatedly apologises when he does things wrong. He gets upset a few times but nobody seems to really care very much. Merlin's main characteristic is that he's scatty, while his pet owl Archimedes is just a constant grump. This is not a fun bunch to watch. We get a whole hour into the film before the villain makes an appearance (at least, I assume that Madam Mim is the villain?). She finally manages to inject some life into things, and the wizard duel between her and Merlin is the highlight of the whole thing. It's full of creativity and some delightful designs.

I'd say that this may also be the ugliest Disney film so far. The scratchy look due to the xerography animation method continues here but feels heavier, plus the background are really washed out and lacking in detail. I also noticed that animation was recycled a few times throughout the movie which - while I'm sure it saved money - feels lazy.

This could have and should have been a really fun, epic film. I wish that Disney had tackled the story of King Arthur properly in some fashion and picked a more interesting tale... hell, I wish that they had actually put any kind of story in here at all. Really disappointing.

I did love Merlin turning up dressed in modern beach wear at the end though, that was actually funny. ALSO: how much does Gollum/Smeagol's "juicy sweet" song in The Two Towers sound like 'That's What Makes The World Go Round'?



My current ranking:
  1. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  2. Lady and the Tramp
  3. Pinocchio
  4. Alice in Wonderland
  5. Sleeping Beauty
  6. Bambi
  7. Dumbo
  8. Cinderella
  9. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  10. Peter Pan
  11. Fun and Fancy Free
  12. The Sword in the Stone
  13. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  14. Saludos Amigos
  15. Melody Time
  16. Fantasia
  17. Make Mine Music
  18. The Three Caballeros
Interesting thread!

As for The Sword in the Stone, it does sort of follow the first book of "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White.

Merlin does turn the young Arthur into different animals to give him experiences to help him become a good king.

I do like the books (published as a single volume in The Once and Future KIng.
__________________
Allan
allan175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2019, 17:03   #66
allan175
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Warrington
Posts: 3,273
Thanks: 2,104
Thanked 76 Times in 65 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandedGuitarist View Post
#18: The Sword in the Stone (1963)

Oh, dear.
Interesting thread!

As for The Sword in the Stone, it does sort of follow the first book of "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White.

Merlin does turn the young Arthur into different animals to give him experiences to help him become a good king.

I do like the books (published as a single volume in The Once and Future King).
__________________
Allan
allan175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2019, 13:42   #67
cliff homewood
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southend
Posts: 5,149
Thanks: 1
Thanked 64 Times in 48 Posts
I personally loved the music in the aristocats, that's a slightly different thread, top disney songs for me it would be: Everybody wants to be a cat, Bare Necessities, I want to be like you top tier, with an elephant can fly next and when you wish apon a star, then prob Elephant's march (probably forgotten a few!)
cliff homewood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2019, 14:27   #68
Ravioli
Member
 
Ravioli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Kent
Posts: 10,505
Thanks: 134
Thanked 211 Times in 157 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff homewood View Post
I personally loved the music in the aristocats, that's a slightly different thread, top disney songs for me it would be: Everybody wants to be a cat, Bare Necessities, I want to be like you top tier, with an elephant can fly next and when you wish apon a star, then prob Elephant's march (probably forgotten a few!)
That's certainly a whole new thread! I'm not sure you can beat the music from The Lion King, although if we're including Mary Poppins it might be a tough call.
Ravioli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2019, 15:17   #69
cliff homewood
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southend
Posts: 5,149
Thanks: 1
Thanked 64 Times in 48 Posts
Whereas I find the circle of life lion king music bland, I agree on Mary Poppins though.
cliff homewood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2019, 11:12   #70
LeftHandedGuitarist
Single and hating it
 
LeftHandedGuitarist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Deep Space Nine
Posts: 8,614
Thanks: 256
Thanked 309 Times in 176 Posts
#21: Robin Hood (1973)

Vague memories of this one from my childhood. I remember it being pretty good fun but somehow not having the magic I would expect from a Disney film. This rewatch pretty much confirmed that; Robin Hood kept me entertained while somehow all feeling a bit unambitious.

One thing I particularly liked was the angle of turning every famous character into a different animal that represented their personalities. What else could Robin Hood himself be but a sly fox? It gave everyone a distinct feel and the animators/performers really played up the different traits. I also noticed that (for me, at least) this is the first Disney movie to have a famous, recognisable actor in one of the voice roles. I know that many of the Disney films from the '40s/'50s used celebrities of the time but they really weren't known to me, so hearing Peter Ustinov here as King John marks a turning point for me. He also is responsible for the best comedy moments.

In terms of storytelling, the film doesn't do anything to mess with the story too much. It's quite repetitive actually: Robin puts on a disguise and attempts to steal from the king, he gets found out and a big fight ensues. The film cycles through this a few times, but fortunately it's done with style each time and it manages to stay fun. There's very little exposition, we are dumped into the middle of the story and its assumed that we're familiar with all the players.

Phil Harris returns again, his third Disney film in a row, this time to voice Little John. Again, he doesn't do anything much to distinguish his performance from either Baloo or O'Malley, so I'm finding it quite distracting to keep recognising him.

I think I was expecting a little bit more. This feels like Disney playing it very safe. There's a ton of recycled animation to save money which is hard to miss once you notice it, and everything feels very small-scale and the story doesn't deviate in any way from what you'd expect. It's also got some very slow pacing at times and I got a little bored. The main enjoyment I took from it was from the wonderful variety of voice actors putting a lot into their roles (although - why such a mix of British and American accents for an English folktale?)

I have to say, though, I thought that Sir Hiss was very uninspired, especially from whoever came up with that name. He's also far too similar to Kaa from The Jungle Book, which feels lazy.



My current ranking:
  1. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  2. Lady and the Tramp
  3. Pinocchio
  4. The Jungle Book
  5. Alice in Wonderland
  6. Sleeping Beauty
  7. Bambi
  8. Dumbo
  9. Cinderella
  10. Robin Hood
  11. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  12. Peter Pan
  13. Fun and Fancy Free
  14. The Sword in the Stone
  15. The Aristocats
  16. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  17. Saludos Amigos
  18. Melody Time
  19. Fantasia
  20. Make Mine Music
  21. The Three Caballeros
LeftHandedGuitarist is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked 2 times by:
Rob (25-03-2019), WeaselFierce (11-04-2019)
Old 25-03-2019, 12:04   #71
Rob
Indie Author
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 3,995
Thanks: 30
Thanked 86 Times in 43 Posts
For some reason, my abiding memory of the film was the Robin Hood cardboard cutout figures that came with Weetabix!
__________________
"Well I feel like pickin' a fight with anybody who claims they're right"
Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2019, 14:32   #72
LeftHandedGuitarist
Single and hating it
 
LeftHandedGuitarist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Deep Space Nine
Posts: 8,614
Thanks: 256
Thanked 309 Times in 176 Posts
#22: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

This is a tough one. Winnie the Pooh wasn't really a big part of my childhood. I certainly knew of him and all his friends, but something about him never appealed to me even when I was little. When I was a teenager/20-something working in retail I also had to endure the talking Tigger toys that never stopped singing that damn song.

But I don't really know where that dislike came from, because I really do find A. A. Milne's creation to be really sweet. There's something extremely genuine about it all, with no pretence as to being something it's not. I do take some issues with the characters themselves (Tigger is genuinely annoying and Piglet's constant anxiety becomes tiresome), but I've warmed to it all a lot. The recent Christopher Robin film probably helped too, since I ended up really enjoying that.

But this film is a bit of a let down. It's something of a cheap money-saving exercise in that it just contains three previously released short films stitched together. There's some stuff added to flow between them, but these very much feel like individual stories.

This also really feels like its aimed at a younger audience. I would say that most Disney films tell stories that adults can find just as much to enjoy in as the children, but Winnie the Pooh is really aimed at 5-year-olds and younger. It's overflowing with some lovely themes about friendship, but in this case it struggled to keep my attention. There really is very little to latch on to from the simplistic storytelling.

This 1977 Disney film probably presents definitive versions of all the characters. Sterling Holloway's voice performance as Pooh is just such a perfect fit - and its really to his credit that he makes it feel so separate from all his other Disney voice work. I also particularly liked the storybook feel of the artwork. The film made a great choice in making the film actually be set within a book, and there is a lot of gorgeously creative stuff going on with the characters moving between pages. I also really like the way the text was always incorporated.

I was surprised to find that Pooh himself is a bit of a dick. He invites himself into people's houses, sits down and expects to be served all the food he wants. Tigger is also just as self-centred, and I couldn't help but sympathise with Rabbit. I was also kind of shocked that the animals let Owl take over possession of (a clearly distraught) Piglet's house just because Eeyore said so.

This film is as charming as its possible to be, but I have to admit I got bored quite often. I wish I had liked it more. I can actually imagine myself warming to it more in the future, maybe when I just want to watch something to cheer me up. I do have to give it extra marks for the superb joke double-meaning in Gopher's catchphrase, "I'm not in the book!".



My current ranking:
  1. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  2. Lady and the Tramp
  3. Pinocchio
  4. The Jungle Book
  5. Alice in Wonderland
  6. Sleeping Beauty
  7. Bambi
  8. Dumbo
  9. Cinderella
  10. Robin Hood
  11. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  12. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  13. Peter Pan
  14. Fun and Fancy Free
  15. The Sword in the Stone
  16. The Aristocats
  17. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  18. Saludos Amigos
  19. Melody Time
  20. Fantasia
  21. Make Mine Music
  22. The Three Caballeros
LeftHandedGuitarist is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked 3 times by:
allan175 (11-04-2019), Rob (08-05-2019), WeaselFierce (11-04-2019)
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
Disney

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Partly Animated Disney (and Other) Films Guest 13597 Film Discussion 6 25-09-2003 18:06
Disney classics Guest 21785 Film Discussion 8 04-09-2002 16:46
Fave Animated Disney Flick? Robby Film Discussion 29 30-01-2002 23:37

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:11.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018 Poisonous Monkey Ltd. Part of The Digital Fix Network