Just forget the words and sing along

Friday, August 13, 2004

Well, I'm all set. Today, I popped the lock on the money I had stowed away to cover my tuition. I'm playing hooky from work on Tuesday to run into NAIT and get that all paid off. So, I guess it's official. I'm going back for year 2.

Anyway, I've made good on my threat. This weekend, I'm going to catch up on all my animated films. I'm going to write reviews for all of them, but before that, I'm going to list here my pre-conceptions about each film. First, on the Disney side:

Lilo & Stitch - I read a lot of cautious optimism online about this one. This was Disney's last big hope to break away from "the formula." The second - and last - film made completely in their Florida animation studio. It came out shortly after I left for Japan, so advertising for it was getting pretty heavy before I left. I managed to catch the "making of" special on TV and immidiatly dismissed it as a knock-off of The Iron Giant. Mr. Anderson told me that Neil Gaiman actually thought it was a pretty good movie. (Actually, according to Mr. Anderson, Gaiman's review was along the lines of, "Wow, it didn't suck.") It came to Japan in March of 2003, and I had no desire to pay Japanese movie prices to see it.

Treasure Planet - I find the history of this film fascinating. It's the longtime pet project of Disney animators John Musker and Ron Clemmens, the dynamic duo who made The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Waaay back in 1985, they pitched this idea and The Litte Mermaid to Disney. Disney approved both ideas and wanted Little Mermaid made first. So, Musker and Clemmens made it, then Disney ordered them to do Aladdin next. So, Musker and Clemmens made it, then Disney ordered them to do Hercules next. So, Musker and Clemmens made it, and Disney finally allowed them to make Treasure Planet. So, I'm really interested to see how it came together.

Brother Bear - This one kind of slipped under everyone's radar. I first heard about it online in 2000 or so. Apparently, one day, Michael Eisner called the head of feature animation into his office and said, "I've got a great idea for an animated film. The Lion King with bears instead of lions. Make it happen." Information kind of dribbled out over the years. Joaquim Phoenix was voicing the lead...Phil Collins was doing the songs.... When I read a cast list and saw Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas doing voices, I knew immidiatly what was going on. "What animals have Bob & Doug McKenzie been re-incarnated as to be the comic relief?" Then I saw the trailer, and saw that Bob and Doug were moose. The main reason I want to see this is for new Bob and Doug McKenzie foolishness.

But that's not all! I'm also catching up on DreamWorks' animated films. With former head of Disney animation Jeffery Katzenberg as one of DreamWorks' founding fathers, there was a lot of hope that DreamWorks would have the best shot to take down Disney as the king of animation. But, after only four traditionally animated films, DreamWorks made the decision that traditional animation is dead and started focusing on CGI. So, their last two films were....

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron - When I first saw the trailer on the Shrek DVD, I thought it was the most mindblowing piece of animation I'd ever seen. It hit theatres shortly before I left for Japan, but I had no desire to see it. All the TV ads made it seem so...meh. The reviews called it "a politically correct western." But still, it is very unique in that it's told from the horse's point of view...and the horse never speaks. I sure hope I like Bryan Adams, though, as he did all the songs on the soundtrack.

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas - The last traditional film for DreamWorks. It actually got pretty good reviews. Even Trouble, the great defender of mythology, liked it. Actually, her exact quote was, "Once you get past the fact that they completely fucked with the Sinbad legend, it's not too bad." Yeah, she's like that when it comes to stories based on ancient legends. She still wants to nuke Disneyland because of Disney's "liberal adaptation" of the Hercules legend.

And that's going to be my Saturday.

next Issue...Animation Overload.

No comments: