8 items from 2014
Feature Mark Harrison 5 Mar 2014 - 06:39
For every animated movie that gets made, there are dozens more that never make it. Mark looks at some failed Disney projects...
In the age of the internet, Hollywood studios are much quicker to announce the projects they have in development than they used to be. Now that the demand is there, there's a huge turnover of movie-related news every day, and if you follow it in any significant way, there are probably a whole bunch of projects that you've heard about, maybe even gotten excited about, that never came to fruition.
Still, it's not only via the easier availability of such information that we know about projects that never came to be. At a studio like Disney, projects will get as far as being fully developed in animatic form before falling apart, and the artefacts left behind from such abridged projects have made for some fascinating reading. »
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and Ryan Sweeting just might be the happiest people at the Happiest Place on Earth. The adorable lovebirds enjoyed a fun-filled "mini honeymoon" getaway to Disneyland on Saturday. As usual, the Big Bang Theory star documented the magical experience at the amusement park on her Instagram account. "Mini honeymoon at the happiest place on earth! @ryansweething #myhusbandisadisneyvirgin!," the actress captioned one snapshot. The Sweetings are appropriately clad in Disney gear as they pose in front of the well-known Mickey Mouse grass design. Kaley is sporting a cute pair of bright pink polka dot Minnie Mouse ears, while Ryan opted for the blue Fantasia Mickey tall cap. The »
“I think we’re all glad that they changed the name to Fantasia,” states Steve Martin dryly during his introduction of Fantasia 2000 regarding the film’s predecessor, which was originally called The Concert Feature. (Fantasia may be a slightly cooler-sounding title, but it’s not much more inviting to the average audience member than The Concert Feature.) That single line of dialogue represents the key to the creative struggle at the heart of Fantasia 2000, a perfectly entertaining film with no identity of its own. Though Martin is funny in his few moments on screen (all of the celebrity introductions in this new film are mildly charming in their own way, though they vary in tone from Martin’s wacky fourth-wall-breaking humor to regal sincerity, as with Angela Lansbury’s climactic appearance), the fact that a recognizable comedian needs to be one of our ushers into a world of »
- Josh Spiegel
Directed by Ben Sharpsteen
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ catalogue began with an artistic bang when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio were released to audiences. While not the commercial successes the studio fantasized about, both demonstrated the sharp if simple storytelling and, arguably more impressive, a quality of animation that seemed unparalleled at the time. The issue, alas, was the lack of monetary success (especially with the company’s other 1940 release, Fantasia), a result that discouraged Walt Disney from swinging for the fences with his next outing, Dumbo. As far as the script is concerned, Dumbo performs some extraordinarily unorthodox circus acts to tell what is an extremely simple story, which compensates for the lower quality of the visuals, even though the latter is not quite as bad as it seems upon first glance.
The story begins in Florida, »
- Edgar Chaput
The concept of the work of art that is unappreciated by the masses immediately, but gains a passionate and overwhelming following decades later is almost as old as time itself. A book, or piece of music, or painting, or sculpture, or film is unveiled to an indifferent public, save a few devout fans, and is only revived once newer generations approach it with fresh eyes. So many films we now consider to be the greatest of all time were not as warmly received (if they were received warmly at all) upon their initial release. Some classics, such as Citizen Kane and Vertigo, benefit now primarily from home media releases, repeated airings on Turner Classic Movies, and the impassioned voices of critics and historians to emphasize to general audiences how important and daring and dramatically satisfying these films truly are. Then there are the films that received a second wind of »
- Josh Spiegel
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
The 1970s and early 1980s represent a curious episode in the history of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ features. The famous studio rarely produces outright poor movies, yet this period is just as rarely mentioned in the same breath as its first decade or so, when classics like Pinocchio, Bambi, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came to be, or the baptized renaissance that began with The Little Mermaid and lasted until Tarzan. It feels as though the aforementioned decade and a half feature a steady stream of decent, generally appreciated outings but nothing most people cite as being their favourite efforts. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, Robin Hood; few if any of these make anyone’s top 5 lists. Neither does the film that opened the 1970s, »
- Edgar Chaput
Which music stars went home with awards at the 2014 Grammy Awards? Find out with this full winners list.
Winners in each category are bolded.
Record of the Year
"Radioactive" -- Imagine Dragons
"Royals" -- Lorde
"Blurred Lines" -- Robin Thick feat. T.I. and Pharrell
Album of the year
"The Blessed Unrest" -- Sara Bareilles
"Random Access Memories" -- Daft Punk
"Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" -- Kendrick Lamar
"Red" -- Taylor Swift
Song of the year
"Big Bad Wolves" is a dark, unsettling film about revenge, centering on a group of men seeking retribution against a man they believe kidnapped and murdered a child. It is also broadly a film with metaphorical allusions to the Middle East peace process, while equally showcasing the power of a nagging mother on the phone. In short, it's a wonderful mix of the macabre and the darkly comedic, showcasing a gallows humour in this tale of vengeance.
Israeli filmmakers Navot Papushado and Ahron Keshales have crafted a taut film that has done well on the festival circuit. Its unique mix of the horrific with the humorous caught the attention of another filmmaker used to dancing between dark and light -- Quentin Tarantino -- who called "Wolves" "the best film of the year" after a screening in Busan. The movie took home five Ophirs (the Israeli equivalent of the Oscars), and »
- Jason Gorber
8 items from 2014
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