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Snow White was a risk that could have finished Disney. Ryan looks at how the world's first animated feature changed the landscape of cinema
In 2013, Walt Disney Animation Studios released Frozen, its 53rd animated feature. With takings of well over $1bn and counting, it ranks as the most successful animated film of all time, eclipsing the previous title holder - Pixar's Toy Story 3 - by around $200m.
For a generation who've grown up with such films as The Lion King and Tangled, Disney probably seems like an immovable cultural force: as recognisable and unchanging as Mount Rushmore or the American flag. But Disney has survived a series of peaks and troughs since its founding in the 1920s, from its decline in the 1970s and early 80s, its revival in the 90s, and its second burst of creative energy in the 2000s.
From its inception, Disney Animation Studios has moved with the times, »
Just over a week ago, we were all surprised to learn of the existence of a new animated movie from Lucasfilm called Strange Magic that Disney was going to release through their Touchstone Pictures banner in January. Now the first trailer has arrived to show us why this film is getting a hasty, last minute promotional push and release. If "from the mind of George Lucas" isn't enough to turn you off in this day and age, the trailer should do it. This looks like a comedic version of Epic (which already wasn't a good animated movie) chock full of pop song covers. This just looks terrible and devoid of any charm. Watch? Here's the first trailer for Gary Rydstrom's Strange Magic, originally from Yahoo: Strange Magic is directed by Gary Rydstrom (of the Pixar shorts Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation and Lifted) from a screenplay he wrote with »
- Ethan Anderton
How many wonders can one cavern hold?
It's been 25 years since The Little Mermaid has been a part of our world and in honor of the film's silver anniversary we're revealing seven "treasures untold" about the Disney classic.
7. I spy Mickey Mouse and friends!
6."Part of Your World" was almost cut from the movie.
Ariel almost lost her big solo number after the song didn't test well with children in early screenings. Thankfully, another screening was set up and was a greater success with an adult audience. Could you imagine the film without that song?
In the dining room in Prince Eric's castle »
We’ve all felt it — that innate sense of happy that comes from consuming anything Disney. A vanilla ice cream bar with a chocolate coating tastes like vanilla ice cream with a chocolate coating. At least, until you mold it into the shape of Mickey Mouse’s face, then it tastes like a a smiling, satisfied inner child. We may never be able to explain the ice cream part (either it’s because Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cream is only sold in Disney Parks, or because they’re lacing the vanilla with heroin) but we can at least explain how it works with Disney movies. What is it about a Disney film that so consistently gives us the warm and fuzzies? Is it just nostalgia? Well, yes and no. If we look to the Disney films of the late ’80s through the ’90s — commonly referred to as the Disney Renaissance – a pattern emerges. A »
- Adam Bellotto
It was 25 years ago today that Disney’s The Little Mermaid hit theatres, rejuvenating a slumbering animation giant and igniting a new era for the studio that would produce some of its greatest and most beloved hits. The Little Mermaid -- on sale at the Cineplex Store for its anniversary! -- also featured dazzling songs from Alan Menkenand Howard Ashman, helping set a high musical bar for the films that would follow in its wake.
In honour of the film’s anniversary, we are pleased to present a list of the Top 10 Disney songs of all-time.
In the interest of fairness, only one song was chosen per film and the list is restricted to films from Disney Animation Studios.
10. “Heigh-Ho” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Disney’s very first ear-worm, the end-of-the-workday sing-along from the Snow White’s mining companions was one of the earliest examples that Disney »
- Shane McNeil
The Little Mermaid, the movie that launched Disney's animated renaissance, premiered 25 years ago this Nov. 15. That might seem hard to believe for those of us who caught it in theaters, but we've had a quarter-century of snarfblats and dinglehoppers since then. In honor of the film's silver anniversary, we're presenting a list of things that you might not know about The Little Mermaid, even if you were one of those kids who wore out your VHS copy. 1. It wasn't expected to be a hit It's been alleged that Jeffrey Katzenberg, Disney's CEO at the time, thought that The Little Mermaid »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
It's always a good time to revisit our favorite children's movies, whether you're introducing your kids to them for the first time or enjoying a Disney classic yet again. If kids' movies like "Dumbo" and "The Rescuers" aren't already in your library, they're available right now to stream on Netflix, along with a lot of newer movies that will appeal to your kids (and to the kid in you).
(Availability subject to change.)
1. "Anastasia" (1997) G
2. "Antz" (1998) PG
3. "Born Free" (1966) PG
A still-moving classic about the couple who raised Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned lion cub, then »
- Sharon Knolle
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
Maleficent Blu-Ray Review
You may think you know the story of Sleeping Beauty, but Maleficent dares to opt for changing your mind about that. The story starts long before you imagined, with a young fairy who meets a young human thief. By way of impressive visuals, and surprisingly “normal” events, young Maleficent and Stefan become the best of friends. When Maleficent comes of age, she becomes the protector of her magical forest, which means when the King comes calling, and doesn’t fare well, she is the target of his rage. A now very ambitious Stefan sees an opportunity.
This naturally leads to a great betrayal, and Stefan becoming King. This gives us the opening to sell us the story that Maleficent isn’t just the evil witch who comes to curse Aurora, but is instead the largely justified, though perhaps overzealous, wronged fairy looking to exact revenge.
Though the »
- Marc Eastman
“There is magic in the human voice,” said James Earl Jones, accepting the first-ever Voice Arts™ Icon Award. Created by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences as part of this year’s That’s Voiceover! conference, the Voice Arts Awards recognized the magic of the voiceover industry’s foremost actors at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, N.Y., on Nov. 9. Rudy Gaskins, Joan Baker, and Steve Ulrich, the ceremony’s creators and presenters, hope to raise the profile of vocal talent worldwide, and promise to make the VAAs the “Oscars for Voice.” Professionals in a wide-ranging cross section of entertainment media were honored at the ceremony in categories spanning film, television, commercials, audio books, and gaming. Jones’ award recognized his lifetime of elevating voiceover performance, including his work as Darth Vader in “Star Wars,” Mufasa in “The Lion King,” and at CNN, where his signature bass »
Viewers will decide which 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' contestants will face the ''celebrity slammer''. A host of famous faces have arrived in Australia for the start of the ITV reality series - including former Playboy model Kendra Wilkinson, TV presenter Melanie Sykes and 'The Only Way Is Essex' star Gemma Collins - and half of them will be put in a jungle style jail as the action kicks off on Sunday (16.11.14). Kian Egan - who was crowned King of the Jungle last year - told Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden on 'This Morning': ''The big surprise »
The animation feature, which the actress developed and produced and which premiered at Tiff, is divided into eight chapters, each directed by a different filmmaker, with "The Lion King" co-director Roger Allers at the overall helm. Allers also penned the adaptation of Gibran's collection of poetic essays. Hayek and Allers, who are still seeking an American distributor for "The Prophet," will be in attendance at Ajyal, which replaced the Doha Tribeca Film Festival after the four-year link with Tribeca came to an end in 2012. Under the aegis of the Doha Film Institute, the new iteration is a family-oriented festival which, says Festival Director Fatma Al Remaihi, "is about opening us up to the world and opening the world's eyes to us. Our audiences only have access to these amazing stories during Ajya." A second Doha-based film festival for first and second-time filmmakers, Qumra, was also announced when the Tribeca partnership was dissolved; that. »
- Matt Mueller
Second edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival in Doha to include 90 films from 43 countries.
A total of 90 films have been selected for the second edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival (Dec 1-6) at the Cultural Village Katara in Doha.
Ten of these features are by first and second-time filmmakers including Macondo by Sudabeh Mortezai, Antboy by Ask Hasselbalch, #chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes On a Dictator by Joe Piscatella and the opening night world premiere of Speed Sisters by Amber Fares.
Other highlights of this year’s feature film line-up include the Mena premiere of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, produced by and starring Salma Hayek-Pinault. The animated feature, which is the Festival’s closing night gala presentation, is an adaptation of Gibran’s book directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), featuring sequences by directors including Gulf animator Mohammed Saeed Harib.
Special guests confirmed to attend the festival include a delegation from Kahlil Gibran »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
The film feature popular songs from the past six decades. This will be the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.
With a story by George Lucas, Strange Magic is directed by Gary Rydstrom (Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation, Lifted), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer Mars Attacks!) and executive produced by Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum (Elf), Irene Mecchi (Brave, The Lion King) and Rydstrom.
Strange Magic will be voiced by Alan Cumming (CBS’ “The Good Wife,” Broadway’s “Cabaret”), Evan Rachel Wood (“The Ides of March”), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s “Wicked”), Maya Rudolph (“Big Hero 6,” “Bridesmaids”), Sam Palladio (ABC »
- Laura Frances
I posted that headline as I did because I have quite honestly never heard of this movie prior to writing this article. Surprising really considering the amount of movies I personally digest news-wise every day. Yes indeed, George Lucas has a movie arriving in (Us) cinemas in January; one which he wrote the story for, and executive produces.
The film is question is an animated fare named Strange Magic, the synopsis for which we’ve posted below.
Strange Magic is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.
- Paul Heath
Strange Magic, an animated film conceived by George Lucas, is set for release in two months' time...
Now here's a surprise. It's been known for a while that Lucasfilm had been working on an animated movie, but little had been heard from it for some time. As it turns out though, said movie is done, and Disney has earmarked it for release - under its Touchstone Pictures banner - on January 23rd 2015.
The film is called Strange Magic, and the story for it has come directly from George Lucas. He also serves as executive producer on the film. It's directed by Gary Rydstrom, who's worked on the sound of several Lucas productions in the past, and more recently has been at Pixar. Whilst at Pixar, Rydstrom directed the short film Lifted, and also Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation. He was set to direct a full length feature, Newt, but Pixar »
Disney and Lucasfilms are teaming up to bring us a new film called Strange Magic. Check out the details.
You heard right, Disney is working with Lucasfilm and George Lucas himself for the animated film Strange Magic.
Set to hit theaters on January 23, 2015 Lucas has writen the film and Gary Rydstrom will direct.
Check out the details from the Press Release:
“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., will be released by Touchstone Pictures on January 23, 2015. “Strange Magic” is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”
Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.
Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Academy Award®-winning film “Rango,” bring to life the fanciful forest »
- email@example.com (Mike Petty)
Well, that was unexpected. Today, Lucasfilm announced that it will be bringing us an animated film titled Strange Magic in just three short months. Touchstone Pictures will be releasing the project, inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” into theaters on January 23rd, 2015.
Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Alfred Molina, Peter Stormare and Elijah Kelley all lend their voices to the film, playing magical creatures such as goblins, elves, fairies and imps who come to blows over a magic potion. Musical interludes help to tell the story, with Strange Magic incorporating “popular songs from the past six decades.”
Gary Rydstrom, a seven-time Oscar winner for his work as a sound designer on films as diverse as Saving Private Ryan, Titanic and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, will direct from an original idea by George Lucas. Rydstrom’s experience isn’t limited to sound work – he also helmed Oscar-nominated, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Strange Magic © & Tm 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Here’s your first look at the new animated film Strange Magic.
Walt Disney Studios announced today that the movie, from Lucasfilm Ltd., will be released by Touchstone Pictures on January 23, 2015.
The film is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Academy Award-winning film Rango, bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.
With a story by George Lucas, Strange Magic is directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”), produced by Mark S . Miller (associate producer “Mars Attacks!”) and executive produced by George Lucas, »
- Michelle McCue
A year after the industry-rattling announcement that Walt Disney Pictures had acquired LucasFilm and planned on moving forward with hew "Star Wars" movies, there were vague reports that George Lucas and prequel trilogy sound mixer Gary Rydstrom were collaborating on an untitled animated film. Further digging revealed that the project may have been in the works since 2010. Without Disney or LucasFilm confirmations, the project was filed under rumors and left alone. Now, the joint companies have unearthed the long-gestating project on their own. "Strange Magic" will suddenly arrive in January 2015. In an official press release, Disney describes the feature cartoon as "a madcap fairy tale musical" inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Pop songs plucked from "the last six decades" will tell the tale of "a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion." Which »
- Matt Patches
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