3 items from 2014
Tim here. It’s Independence Day weekend here in the States, which means that most of you undoubtedly have something better to do than read about old cartoons. But if I promise to keep things short, hopefully you’ll indulge me in chatting up an odd little animated short perfectly timed to the holiday.
I have in mind Ben and Me, one of the oddest one-offs in the history of Walt Disney Productions. Released in November, 1953, it was the studio’s first two-reel animated short, and one of the initial releases under Disney’s own Buena Vista Distribution label, part of a package deal with the nature documentary The Living Desert. But more to the point, for our present purposes, it’s about how a mouse helps Benjamin Franklin write the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. We can wait a minute if you want to process all the ways »
- Tim Brayton
UK and USA, 2013
During its fledgling years as a film studio, the Walt Disney Company helped revolutionize the nature documentary with its True-Life Adventure series. Here, as never before, audiences could thrill to the story of seals, beavers, bears, tigers, and the rest of the creatures sharing space with us on Earth. These days, what is most striking about these early documentaries is less the physical ground they cover, and more that they come from a patient time in filmmaking. Documentaries like The Living Desert and Seal Island featured narration and music, and sometimes attempted to play up the humor of an animalistic situation, but they were still created by people who afforded their presumed audience a base level of intelligence. In some respects, these nature documentaries were born out of the insistence on »
- Josh Spiegel
Olivia Holt, performer of Bears anthem “Carry On” and Star of Disney Channel’s “I Didn’t Do It,” hosted a special showing of Disneynature’s Bears on the Walt Disney Studios lot and yours truly was there this morning for the family screening.
There was a raffle and giveaway for those who brought a new stuffed bear to donate to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and our tickets, which also doubled as bookmarks, were eco-friendly to be planted later. The logo even reminded me of Disney’s animated Brother Bear.
Check out these photos from this morning’s screening.
In an epic story of breathtaking scale set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, Disneynature’s 2014 big-screen adventure Bears follows a bear family as impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.
- Melissa Thompson
3 items from 2014
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