6 items from 2014
Beware the unloved.
If there is a lesson to be learned about the cruelest among us, it might be that one. Most villains, when you find them in real life, are born from pain, and pour it back on the world to keep from drowning in it. A few are heartless sociopaths who derive their power from persecution, and care about nothing else in the world but their own force of will.
And some are just mad they didn’t get a party invitation.
Consider Disney’s Maleficent in this latter category. Unhinged, and irrational. Or at least, she was. »
- Anthony Breznican
“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
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
Disney has become the world's most pervasive propagandist for oppressive myths of gender – so fair play to web artists for challenging the norm
Artists on the web are reimagining Disney princesses – those surreal creatures of so-called human perfection – from casting them as porn stars to portraying them with disabilities.
As satires on the global power of Disney go, these efforts are some way behind South Park's characterisation of Mickey Mouse as a violent corporate crime lord. However, the compulsion some people feel to alter Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the rest is only natural. Disney has become the world's most pervasive propagandist for oppressive myths of gender. Its "princesses" are brainless slender-waisted mannequins that little girls all over the world are being offered as an ideal. Disney's promotion of cliched femininity is one of the most regressive aspects of today's popular culture.
How did this happen? The first Disney "princess" was Snow White, »
- Jonathan Jones
With anticipation building for Angelina Jolie's "Maleficent," due May 30, it's worth noting that the source of her live-action remake, Disney's animated "Sleeping Beauty," marks its 55th anniversary this week. Released on January 29, 1959, the movie was only a modest hit at the time, but over the years, it earned acclaim for its gorgeous wide-screen visuals, its memorable music, and its unforgettable villainess.
It's a movie you probably watched many times as a child, and yet there are still some things you probably don't know about "Sleeping Beauty," including its connections to Bugs Bunny, "The Andy Griffith Show," and the British royal family.
Here's a list of 25 such items you can stack on your spindle -- but be careful to shield your fingertip.
- Gary Susman
6 items from 2014
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