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2 items from 2012

Extended Thoughts on ‘The Aristocats’

8 September 2012 2:00 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Aristocats

Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman

Written by Ken Anderson, Larry Clemmons, Eric Cleworth, Vance Garry, Tom McGowan, Tom Rowe, Julius Svendsen, Frank Thomas, and Ralph Wright

Starring Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Scatman Crothers

Complacency is always a dangerous tone to strike in filmmaking. Combined with cheapness, it can be a killer. Those two concepts are what stand out most of all from the Wolfgang Reitherman era of Walt Disney Pictures. For various reasons, most of which were beyond Reitherman’s control, most of the films from Walt Disney Pictures between 1959’s Sleeping Beauty and 1989’s The Little Mermaid felt cheap and lazy. (Being fair, Reitherman’s time at the company ended, for the most part, with 1977’s The Rescuers, but the four films between that and Mermaid have varying aspects of laziness on display, I think.) And make no mistake: the word “cheap” does not need to be a criticism. »

- Josh Spiegel

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Legendary Animator Glen Keane Leaves Disney

25 March 2012 11:30 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

In what many saw as a shock, veteran Disney animator Glen Keane, one of the so-called celebrity animators from Disney’s “Second Renaissance” in the early 1990s, designing and animating immortal characters like Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” and Aladdin from “Aladdin,” left the studio on Friday. Keane had been with the studio for almost thirty-seven years (he briefly departed from the studio to do freelance work but was still contracted almost exclusively for Disney). In his letter of resignation (posted at Cartoon Brew), Keane said, “I am convinced that animation really is the ultimate art form of our time with endless new territories to explore. I can’t resist its siren call to step out and discover them.”

Keane is the son of Bil Keane, creator of “The Family Circus” cartoon strip. Keane joined Disney in 1974 after leaving Cal Arts, and was mentored by Ollie Johnston, »

- Drew Taylor

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