14 items from 2014
Hard to imagine, but there was a time, before the release of "The Little Mermaid," when even Disney's own studio chief didn't expect much from the movie because it was a "girl's film." But Jeffrey Katzenberg was happy to be proved wrong when the film was released 25 years ago this week (on November 17, 1989).
"The Little Mermaid" was not only an enormous critical and commercial success, but it also launched a creative renaissance in Disney's animated features (including such modern classics as "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King") and a wave of princess-mania that continues to this day.
Still, as many times as you or your kids have watched "Little Mermaid" (probably many, many, many times), there's a lot you may not know about it, including who almost starred in it, who the characters were drawn to look like, and what was really up with that scene of the bishop with the bulging pants. »
- Gary Susman
Some call it the most important dress rehearsal of awards season. Saturday night's annual Governors Awards, held just a few floors above the distinguished Dolby Theatre where the Oscars take place, was initially created as a way to speed up the prime-time telecast by siphoning off the honorary awards to an event of their own. But now, in its sixth year, in addition to honoring some very distinguished guests, including Harry Belafonte for his decades of humanitarian work and legendary red-headed screen siren Maureen O'Hara, the night has transformed into a coming out party for the year's crop of Oscar »
- Nicole Sperling
Hollywood — At the 6th annual Governors Awards Saturday night, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Harry Belafonte brought things to a sober, classy close with a lengthy speech detailing some of Hollywood's history with social rights issues. It was a pretty powerful send-off (Michael Keaton seemed particularly knocked out from my vantage point). I've included the full text of the speech (the bulk of his remarks, that is) below, as it seemed like something worth sharing. For more on the evening, be sure to read our coverage from the event. *** America has come a long way since Hollywood in 1915 gave the world the film "Birth of a Nation." By all measure, this cinematic work was considered the greatest film ever made. The power of moving pictures to impact on human behavior was never more powerfully evidenced than when after the release of this film, American citizens went on a murderous rampage. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Harry Belafonte gave one of the all-time great acceptance speeches at Saturday night’s Governors Awards, citing Hollywood’s often-shameful power to influence attitudes, and challenging the heavy-hitters in the room to instead create works that allow global audiences “to see the better side of who we are as a species.”
The performer, receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, pulled no punches, and his words were all the more effective because of the soft, even tone in his voice and the cautious optimism that concluded his speech.
The occasion was the sixth annual Governors Awards, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland, an annual gathering that always mixes a celebration of Hollywood’s past, some words of encouragement to the room’s artists, and a heavy dose of awards-schmoozing.
- Tim Gray
After first pointing to a number of films — from The Birth of a Nation to Tarzan of the Apes to Disney's Song of the South — that inflamed racial tensions in America, Harry Belafonte called upon Hollywood to use its powers "to see a better side of what we are as a species," as he accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' sixth annual Governors' Awards on Saturday night. See more Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films The singer, actor and producer, who marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the '60s, was honored
- Gregg Kilday
The sixth issue of desistfilm, the bilingual journal from Peru, features a dossier on the diary film and articles on Hirokazu Kore-eda, Jean-Marie Straub, James Gray and more. Also in today's roundup of news and views, Jason Sperb explains why Disney should never re-release Song of the South, Christopher Nolan argues the case for watching movies in theaters and Steve Johnson explains why "There are two John Landises." » - David Hudson »
From 1914 to Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes in the present, Ryan charts the evolution of animated characters in live-action film...
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this year's Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes chart the ascendance of a new, genetically-modified species of intelligent ape. Yet behind the scenes, these films also show us the technical evolution of digital effects, and how seamlessly live-action and computer-generated characters can be blended.
Where 20th Century Fox's earlier Planet Of The Apes films, beginning in 1968, used actors and prosthetic effects to bring their talking simians to life, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes used the latest developments in performance capture to create some extraordinarily realistic characters. With its story told largely from the perspective of a genetically-modified chimpanzee named Caesar, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' success hinged on the quality of its effects »
We like to celebrate great actors at Super-8 Movie Madness at The Way Out Club. We’ve had past shows highlighting the careers of Charles Bronson, Boris Karloff, Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, and Burt Reynolds. On Tuesday, June 3rd, we’re offering a double dose of Actor Madness with Super-8 Robert Redford/Paul Newman Movie Madness!
That’s right, these two Oscar-winners paired up famously in two films: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and The Sting and we’ll be showing both of those. To highlight Mr. Redford’s solo career we’ll be showing Jeremiah Johnson and The Great Waldo Pepper. And Mr. Newman’s solo career will be represented with The Towering Inferno and Slap Shot.
- Tom Stockman
Today on Trailers from Hell, Larry Karaszewski tackles Ralph Bakshi's controversial 1975 "Coonskin," an animated satire on race relations. Ralph Bakshi's nervy satire on race relations courted controversy from all sides, beginning with its in-your-face title (which Bakshi himself objected to) and its incendiary use of African-American stereotypes to score its satirical points. The 1975 film, a mix of live action and animation, referenced a wide range of black-cultural hot buttons including "Song of the South" and blaxploitation fare. The production of the movie was fractious enough (Bakshi was locked out of the studio at one point) but the actual release of the film was when the fireworks, including picketing and a few smoke bombs in select theater lobbies, really started. In the decades since, cooler heads have prevailed and Coonskin counts artists as disparate as Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino among its fans. »
- Trailers From Hell
Ralph Bakshi’s nervy satire on race relations courted controversy from all sides, beginning with its in-your-face title (which Bakshi himself objected to) and its incendiary use of African-American stereotypes to score its satirical points. The 1975 film, a mix of live action and animation, referenced a wide range of black-cultural hot buttons including Song of the South and blaxploitation fare. The production of the movie was fractious enough (Bakshi was locked out of the studio at one point) but the actual release of the film was when the fireworks, including picketing and a few smoke bombs in select theater lobbies, really started. In the decades since, cooler heads have prevailed and Coonskin counts artists as disparate as Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino among its fans. Nsfw!
The post Coonskin appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
- TFH Team
It seems fitting that Disney, a studio that has had such a solidly illustrious history with anthropomorphic bears (between Winnie the Pooh, the Country Bears at Disneyland and Br'er Bear from "Song of the South," all the way up to the magical bears that populated Pixar's Oscar-winning "Brave"), would circle back and focus an entire film on the actual animals. This year's Disneynature documentary, "Bears," features honest-to-goodness Alaskan bears, the kind that wake up from a snowy den and spend all year gathering food for the next winter. What's amazing about the documentary, though, is that it's oftentimes just as engaging as the Disney bears that play in jug bands or crave ooey-gooey honey.Every Disneynature movie has a loose kind of narrative, usually about a familial unit and some kind of adverse condition. But "Bears" is better suited to a traditional narrative than most, given that the bears' life »
- Drew Taylor
The release of The Jungle Book on Blu-ray today has become, as when Saving Mr. Banks was unveiled a couple months ago, an unplanned forum on a most thorny issue for the Disney uber-fan: was Walt Disney a racist/sexist/anti-Semite, and if so, was he a super-racist/sexist/anti-Semite, or just your average, garden-variety racist/sexist/anti-Semite? Even though the 1967 animated film based loosely on a collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling opened months after Disney passed away, this was the last film on which he had any serious impact. And, since Meryl Streep chose to make her speech applauding Emma Thompson for her performance as P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks as much about exactly how bad a man Walt Disney was, the issue of his true personal feelings–whatever those may have been–and whether or not they crept into the films he made has become unavoidable as of late. »
- Josh Spiegel
When the work of the Walt Disney Company is referenced in popular culture, it is often generalized and boiled down to princesses, Mickey Mouse, and fireworks over Cinderella’s castle as music swells. (“Get your Disney World vacation planning DVD today!”) Unfortunately, this is an extremely simplified image of the company and its legacy in feature films. In the 77 years since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Walt Disney Company’s feature films have gone through distinctive eras. There was the rise of Disney live-action, the decade following Walt Disney’s death, the era of acquisition (Marvel, LucasFilm), and the first and second animation renaissance periods, to name a few.
To give a broader view of the Walt Disney feature film, it is easiest to look at some of these specific eras and pick out the good, the best, and the worst representations of that era. This is by »
- Rachel Kolb
One of the bright spots this past film year was the success of Disney’s Frozen. On the strength of it’s more modern princesses and an infectious score, the film set box office records and has garnered two Oscar nominations, Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Let It Go”, its infectious hit. In honor of Frozen’s nomination, we figured it was time to take a look at the history of animated movies in Original Song.
The history of animated films picking up nominations and wins in Best Original Song is a tale as old as time (see what I did there?). Since the 1930s, animated films have won this award 13 times and over 50 nominations, which you can see below. This is an even greater feat when you think about the consideration that animated films get when lists of musicals are made (they »
- Terence Johnson
14 items from 2014
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