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As you know if you watched last year's "Saving Mr. Banks" -- Disney's own Disney-fied version of the creative struggles behind the making of "Mary Poppins" -- the author who created the magical nanny, P.L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson), didn't much care for the glossy, sugary (well, a spoonful, at least) musical comedy that Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) made from her sharp, astringent novels. But she may have been the only one.
The movie enjoyed near-universal acclaim upon its release 50 years ago this week (on August 27, 1964). It went on to be nominated for 13 Oscars, including Best Picture, and it won five of them, including Best Actress for film-newbie Julie Andrews, in the role that has defined her career ever since. Over the past five decades, "Mary Poppins" has become not only a beloved staple that seemingly every kid has watched, but also proof that the Walt Disney studio could »
- Gary Susman
Here are All 19 movies that joined the Billion Dollar Box Office Club.
This weekend, Transformers: Age Of Extinction joined the prestigious club of movies that have earned over $1 billion worldwide. The club is so exclusive that only 19 films out of the hundreds of thousands that have been released have ever made it to this level.
To celebrate the new addition, let's take a look at every film that captured enough imaginations to earn the gross domestic product of some smaller nations.
$2.78 billion (Directed by James Cameron)
$2.18 billion (Also directed by James Cameron)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King
$1.029 billion »
In the 1930s, movies didn’t open on thousands of screens the same day and suck every dollar they could from moviegoers during their opening weekend. They started out in first-run theaters where, if successful, they were held over for one or more weeks. Then they made their way to neighborhood houses, playing at “popular prices.” Here’s an unusual trio of advertisements touting the Los Angeles run of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which enjoyed an extended stay at the Carthay Circle Theatre before moving to two other prestige houses in the city. These customized ads clearly helped extend the movie’s lifespan, week after week after week. No wonder it was a box-office...
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- Leonard Maltin
PBS and American Experience are taking a look at the man behind the mouse and will air “Walt Disney,” a four-hour, two-night film that aims to explore the life and legacy of the iconic film producer and business magnate.
The film is spearheaded by biopic veterans director-producer Sarah Colt (“Rfk,” “Henry Ford”) and writer Mark Zwonitzer (“JFK,” “Triangle Fire”) and promises to showcase archival footage and interviews with artists who worked with him on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and Imagineers who helped design Disneyland.
“For many Americans — and for me — the twinkle and swish of the Sunday night Disney logo was pure magic. It was an invitation to a special event,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming officer and general manager, general audience programming for PBS. “For my kids, introducing them to animated Disney movies from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to ‘The Lion King’ brought us great joy and taught them life lessons. »
- Whitney Friedlander
Cue the most appropriate tagline: You will believe an elephant can fly! Minus a new version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which it forfeited, Disney seems to be planning a live-action remake of all of its animated classics. The good news is that eventually they’ll get to a proper redo of The Black Cauldron. The bad news is that, yes, it’s raping your childhood, your parents’ childhood and in some cases your grandparents’ childhood. I can only imagine what 80 year olds think of the news that now Dumbo is up on the board for another go, according to The Hollywood Reporter (and honoring the wish of Elle Fanning). I also can only imagine what my two-year-old son, who has already seen Dumbo maybe hundreds of times (thanks Netflix iPad app!), will think when he can comprehend what it’s like to hear that your favorite movie of all time is being remade. Because »
- Christopher Campbell
Though your first reaction to this news may be, “Seriously?”, it’s actually fairly shocking to think that the classic animated Disney movie has never been remade since first being released in 1941.
Dumbo is of course a timeless classic, and numerous home video rereleases mean that you would struggle to find a member of any generation who haven’t grown up watching the movie.
Well, a live-action remake is now in the works at Disney, with Transformers: Age of Extinction writer Ehren Kruger set to pen the screenplay for the studio. He also wrote the previous two instalments in the popular franchise from director Michael Bay, but obviously seems like an odd fit for this type of project!
Dumbo was Disney’s fourth animated feature after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio and Fantasia, and is one of their shortest with a running time of only 64 minutes.
This is »
- Josh Wilding
Disney is developing a live action “Dumbo,” based on the animated classic of 1941.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” scribe Ehren Kruger is writing the script that will build a family tale around the circus elephant who is ridiculed for his enormous ears and learns to fly through the help of his only true friend, a mouse.
The toon was Disney’s fourth animated film after “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia.” It’s also one of Disney’s shortest animated film at 64 minutes.
“Dumbo” becomes the latest animated film that Disney is looking to bring to the big screen in live action form, after scoring with “Alice in Wonderland.” “Maleficent” is a spinoff of “Sleeping Beauty.”
Kruger, who co-wrote the previous »
- Marc Graser
Disney was built on their animated cartoons and films. They've entertained audiences for years, and have inspired us and sparked our imaginations. Like many of you, I've enjoyed watching these movies and shows since I was a little kid, but holy crap! There are some extremely dark and terrifying moments that could really screw a kid up! Disney did some jacked up stuff. I've come up with a list of ten scenes from these kids movies that are the things of nightmares. I should let you know that I wanted to keep this list strictly Disney, so I did not include any Pixar films. I also didn't include such traumatic scenes such as Bambi's mom and Simba's dad dying. Look over the list and let us know of any other scenes that Disney screwed you up with.
Dumbo - Drunken Pink Elephants
As a kid I had no idea what was going on here! »
- Joey Paur
Whether you want to admit it or not, Walt Disney Pictures has held a monopoly on children's entertainment for the better part of the last century, molding the childhood memories of millions around the globe. While not all of their movies focus on princesses of the like shown above, they still have managed to create some of the most popular and enduring cinematic icons and franchises of all time. It all began with the revolutionary achievement that was 1937's landmark release, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Being the first feature length animated theatrical film, it helped to define what the Disney brand would be over the following seventy-five years. While the story itself is nothing special anymore, the movie did set in place the tropes that would become part of the Disney style; colourful and vibrant animation, imaginative characters in fantasy worlds, and classic music, all of which would »
It is hardly a novel concept to bring up realism when talking about animated films. From noting the “fingerprints” on the toy-based characters of The Lego Movie (2014) to remarking upon Pixar’s advancements in replicating hair and clothing, popular criticism of computer animated movies are as apt to discuss advancements in realistic CGI as they are plot or character development. Throughout the history of feature animation, be it hand drawn, stop-motion, or computer generated, there has been an ongoing endeavor to capture reality. The first animated feature by Walt Disney Studios is no exception. Released in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a technical marvel as much as it was an artistic and financial success. But aside from merely taking steps to emulate reality, Snow White exhibits traits that mirrored emerging trends in realist live action filmmaking, including deep focus photography and simulated camera movement.
Even the plot structure »
- Mallory Andrews
The Lion King turns 20 this week, and we need to celebrate! Among many other things, Disney is genius when it comes to creating catchy, timeless songs in its family films. The company has proven again and again that it's possible to meld brilliant storytelling with even better tunes. Beginning all the way back with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and continuing up to Frozen, here are the songs that you cannot help but get stuck in your head. Source: Disney »
- Maggie Pehanick
The trailers teased glimpses of Sleeping Beauty's iconic villainess, accompanied by a gothic cover of "Once Upon a Dream." Gone were the 1959 animated film's Technicolor wonders, replaced with shades of blacks and blues, while Lana del Rey's vocals enveloped Mary Costa and Bill Shirley's airy duet with jazz-club smokiness. Even when the sneak peek appeared to throw a bone of sympathy towards the titular evil character, it brooded with the faux-angst of 9th grade poetry. This was what you could expect from Maleficent — Disney's early bid for summer-film dominance, »
Angelina Jolie seems to have been born to play the role of the evil queen Maleficent in Disney’s new retelling of the story. The character is so iconic with children and adults worldwide, so how does one become Maleficent?
Of course it’s not just about donning a pair of horns and having green skin. Jolie had to undergo a full prosthetic transformation to become the evil queen from Sleeping Beauty. And who best for the job but seven time Academy Award winner Rick Baker and his team. If you are unaware of Baker, there is no doubt you would’ve seen his fantastic work over the years, most notably in An American Werewolf In London, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and his specialty “ape” work in Gorillas In The Mist and Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes. Baker discusses some of the work that went into transforming Jolie into the evil queen:
- Lucinda Holt
Walt Disney Animation Studios is the king of the animated film world, and has been for quite a while. From the classic era of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi, to the modern renaissance of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and more recently, Tangled, they have been the leaders in animated entertainment for the better part of the last century. The biggest kid on the block also tends to have the most detractors though, and in the case of Steve Hulett . the business representative of the Local 839 Animation Guild . that detraction is a claim of "morally bankrupt" behavior involving the distribution of monetary bonuses. The behavior in question, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, is that of a bonus amounting to ten week's salary given to the entire the animation division this past week. This was unfortunate for those who were laid off from Disney Animation »
In the 1950s, when Senator Joseph McCarthy was nodding his head in demagogic agreement with himself, animation pioneer and Hollywood blacklist member John Hubley was tapping his toes to the rhythm of jazz. His experimental animation seemed uncontainable— wildly singular visions that owed more to Hans Hoffman than Max Fleischer. Hubley (whose films are currently touring the country to celebrate his 100th birthday) gave audiences intimate glimpses into the lives of those who were often ignored by major animation studios, and tackled topics such as nuclear war, agnosticism, and social justice. While children hunkered down in front of big, boxy televisions to watch Silly Symphonies, John Hubley was recording his children's voices and using them to create socially-conscious animated films. Hubley started his career painting backgrounds and layouts for Walt Disney Studios in 1935, when he was 22-years-old. He worked on the first classic Disney film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, »
- Greg Cwik
Let it go, Toy Story 3. You may have grossed $1.063 billion over the course of your box office run, but you have been beaten - and by a musical, too. After opening in its final market, Japan, Frozen has earned $398.4 million domestically and $674 million internationally to become the tenth biggest movie of all time with $1.072 billion in the kitty and counting.The new number one animated film of all time still has rivals when inflation is taken into account - Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs' had $910m in the Us alone if you adjust for inflation - but according to industry arbiters BoxOfficeMojo, Frozen is now the 'toon to beat.Of course, this means that Frozen is Disney Animation Studios' first film to join the billion dollar club. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee must be very happy people indeed, as this comes a month after their Best »
Frozen is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, raking in over $1 billion worldwide in barely 4 months. If you ignore inflation or re-releases, it is the highest-grossing film from Walt Disney Animation Studios ever. A few weeks ago, it became the first of Disney’s (not Pixar’s) animated features to win the Best Animated Feature Oscar since that category’s inception in 2001. And you can’t go far online without finding a video of someone singing its Oscar-winning anthem “Let It Go.” Hell, you can watch a video of people singing it in multiple languages, one which has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube and the like. Thus, it’s not wrong to say that Frozen has become a sensation the likes of which we haven’t seen from Disney’s animation arm since the heyday of their Renaissance period in the early 1990s. »
- Josh Spiegel
Tim here, contributing to our ongoing celebration of Women’s History Month with a look at one of the truly pioneering artists in the history of animation. And Lotte Reiniger isn’t important simply because she was a woman in a medium that has done such a good job over the years at remaining a boys club. The work she did, silhouette animation based on the shadow puppet theater of East Asia, remains as unique in the 2010s as when she created it over 40-year career beginning in Germany in the 20s, and she created, largely by herself, the first entirely animated feature that still exists (at least two Argentinean films from the 1910s are now lost), eleven years before Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Puts a little bit of added context to that company’s half-proud attempt to declare themselves progressive because, in 2013, they finally hired »
- Tim Brayton
There’s nary a person alive in the Western world that isn’t utterly infatuated with at least one of Disney’s animated classics, from 1937′s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, all the way up to the recently released Frozen. But in many cases, what lies closer to the heart is not the events of the movies themselves, but their characters.
The hero, the heroine, the love interest, the helper, the villain, the talking wardrobe; yes, Disney has had them all, and all numerous times over (well, except for the talking wardrobe; thankfully, that was a one-off). But what most of us will probably disregard is that these dynamic, entertaining, life-rendering characters are not fully conceived overnight. Rather, they are meticulously developed over a course of many months, maybe even years, and as changes are made in the narrative or tone of the overall movie, these characters must also be altered accordingly. »
- Gary Hughes
With more than 80 years of history under its belt, it's becoming much easier to pinpoint exactly the type of movies that'll win favour at the Oscars. Big-scale period epics, war films and musicals always tend to find favour with Academy voters, while on the acting front playing a President or a known historical figure is a sure-fire way to get attention.
But what about the movies that never get a look in? There are certain types of films - no matter how successful or how beloved by audiences - that simply never win big at the Oscars. Perhaps it's down to a lack of campaign push from the studio, the perception that they're not "Oscar movies", or Academy snobbery? Digital Spy takes a look at the films that are perennially ignored in the Best Picture race below...
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