Friday, April 22, 2016

The Huntsman: Winter's War movie review.

When Alice in Wonderland became a worldwide box office success, it set into motion the brief fad where classic fairy tales and literature were given largely revisionist treatments, giving the source material a darker edge. One of the most obvious examples was Universal's Snow White & the Huntsman, the second of the competing Snow White adaptations of 2012 (the other being Mirror Mirror). Though not a runaway success, Snow White was the more generally successful movie.

Much like Alice, it took the originally lighter and whimsical story and gave it a more Gothic edge. Much like Alice, its reception was generally mixed, though it was praised for its impressive technical pedigree. Also like Alice, in 2016, it sees the release of a sequel that absolutely no one was asking for, but we're getting it anyway. In other words, it's no surprise that The Huntsman: Winter's War turns out to be absolutely irrelevant by the end.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Jungle Book movie review.

Another year, another live-action Disney offering remaking one of their classic animated features. Ever since Alice in Wonderland's success (with a sequel releasing in just over a month), the trend of remaking their most famous animated features as live-action reimaginings has quickly become ubiquitous under the house of mouse, and one that shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

One would be justified in growing annoyed by Disney's gung-ho attitude to keep going forward with it, but at least they seem to be learning from their previous mistakes, with 2015's Cinderella actually being a marked improvement over its animated counterpart. It was a start, that's for sure, and did manage to muster up some hope for Jon Favreau's retelling of Disney's retelling of Rudyard Kipling's original Mowgli stories... and if The Jungle Book is anything to go by, if Disney is to continue this trend indefinitely, let it be to this same level of quality, as this is by far their best foray into that realm yet.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"The Magic of Disney Animation" Retrospective - #7-9: 3 Caballeros, Music, Fun/Fancy Free.

With Snow White and Pinocchio making great success critically and commercially, Disney Animation Studios went from carton powerhouse to overall studio powerhouse. However, when World War II began, the studios finances weren't as high, one reason owed to decreasing sales in then Nazi occupied Europe. With animators within the company going on strike at the time, and others being drafted to serve in the war, the government later took hold, and required Walt to focus more on short films for the soldiers to watch, or if not shorts, package films that could be cut down into their individual segments.

Even after the government's hold on the company faded, and the war came to an end, Walt's finances had already been hit so hard that for the next few years, the only thing he had money to produce was more package films, and it wasn't until 1950 when he finally decided to risk it all on one ambitious project returning to the company's fairy tale roots.