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speedracer5

Art of Disney Animation

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On 5/1/2018 at 11:15 AM, NipkowDisc said:

I think the purveyors of disney's modern form of frenetic hyperkinetic hyperactive animation style oughta look at the jungle book and feel shame for having brought a great animation factory low with political correctness and feminist driven agenda politics.

I'd like to say to them after them looking at animation cels of the jungle book...

"look at that! and you clowns have the gall to put yourselves in their class?

the hamilton luskes, don bluths, wolfgang reithermans and ward kimballs?

get outta here!

if walt disney were alive he'd choke to death laughing."

Actually, Disney brought themselves low themselves back at the time of The Jungle Book.  Walt was known to be dissatisfied with the animation unit for a long, long time by the time he died.  I'm sure he hated stuff like The Sword in the Stone (quite rightfully - it's awful) and wouldn't have cared for much of anything the studio did in the sixties and seventies (quite rightfully, that stuff was lazy and constricted, both in terms of animation and story, compared to the 30s, 40s, and 50s stuff.)

Don Bluth and Wolfgang Reitherman had great technical skill in their day but they weren't the greatest filmmakers (Bluth was and is lousy.)  The recent Disney films ARE way better than most of what they made (now, the true Disney classics from before the sixties...that's another thing!)

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6 hours ago, JonasEB said:

Actually, Disney brought themselves low themselves back at the time of The Jungle Book.  Walt was known to be dissatisfied with the animation unit for a long, long time by the time he died.  I'm sure he hated stuff like The Sword in the Stone (quite rightfully - it's awful) and wouldn't have cared for much of anything the studio did in the sixties and seventies (quite rightfully, that stuff was lazy and constricted, both in terms of animation and story, compared to the 30s, 40s, and 50s stuff.)

Story has it that Disney was so disenchanted with animation (he'd never gotten his enthusiasm back after the war and the bitterness of the 40's strike), and so caught up with his new real-world Disneyland/Epcot-city ideas, he'd basically turned Sword in the Stone over to one of his reliable story men, Bill Peet, to oversee for him.

Sword's weak-to-nonexistent story was...NOT one of the classics; Walt hated the movie, regretted his decision and fired Peet, and made sure he went back to having personal hands-on overseeing of the company's next big animation project.  And as it turned out, it looked like "Mary Poppins" was finally going ahead after all.   :)

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Don Bluth and Wolfgang Reitherman had great technical skill in their day but they weren't the greatest filmmakers (Bluth was and is lousy.)  

Bluth was reportedly hated by the other animators at the studio, who thought he was narcissistically trying to foster his own mentor "cult" among the newer animators.  Even though his group walkout to go make "Secret of NIMH" crippled the studio right in the middle of "Black Cauldron", there was the general feeling of good-riddance.

And that was BEFORE his movies turned creepy, disturbing, out-of-touch and borderline p-e-d-o.  

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As much as I've always loved & admired *"Uncle Walter (Elias) Disney-(l90l-66) since about age 6 & his wonderful weekend-(sundays)-(NOTE:Much to the legendary rumor of Walt being frozen chriogenically) his ashes, along with several others are located at veeery top of GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA monolithic "FOREST LAWN" (918 mountainous acres) Unfortunatly with my (2) trips up these mountains-(almost steep hills) Eve the cabdriver that took us to very top, so we could hopefully walk down-(SOMETHING I SCREWED-UP ON DEBUT TRIP & AM DISABLED TOO!) I marched all the way up & then fell down another steep hill, landing on the modest grave of *Donald Crisp no less!

 

WSEE THIS PLACE ONLY HAS 2 MAUSOLEUMS The first being very gothic looking & much larger, it's near frt entrance "GREAT MAUS. & "FREEDOMMMAUS. had to be at very top, our ears actually popped due to altitude!

See on other side & created with family, is *DISNEY"s though I went right past it twice? It's covered in a lot of foliage. SAAW TONS OF IMAGES WHEN I GOT BACK FROM THERE & JUST ON OTHER SIDE OF THIS MAUS IS *"THE GREAT: TRACY'S" GARDEN GRAVE-(very fancy) & FLKYNN is only about 35ft away.  GLENEDALE SHOULD INSTALL A LIFESIZE STATUE OF *WALT THOUGH!!!

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I am probably in the minority, but I rather like The Sword In The Stone. It has its flaws, mostly in its attempt to be trendy-contemporary with the Camelot years. (It was previewed in September of 1963, but went into wide release after JFK's assassination, which may have hurt it all the more both critically and commercially.) You had to be around then to get the joke about Bermuda travel commercials.

Then again, I also favor the animated sequences in Bedknobs And Broomsticks over Mary Poppins although I agree with the critics that the earlier film is far better overall.

Many consider the sixties through eighties a lackluster "dark age", but it was really more of a hit and miss situation with most of the hits being in smaller packages. For example, Ludwig Von Drake was a rather enjoyable new character despite so much of his material being used to link recycled footage from earlier films. The Winnie the Pooh featurettes still hold up despite "Americanizing" the material (if also aware of this with the all-American gopher admitting "I'm not in the book, y'know" in The Honey Tree, then being pounded underground by the rest of the gang celebrating at the end of The Blustery Day). I also consider something as obscure as Dad, May I Borrow The Car a fascinating, if not entirely successful, follow-up experiment to It's Tough To Be A Bird.

The Rescuers was definitely the best of the features post-101 Dalmatians and pre-The Great Mouse Detective (another under-rated one). Despite the enduring popularity of The Jungle Book, I still favor Soyuzmultfilm's Maugli series better because Kipling works better as serious story telling than musical comedy.

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2 hours ago, Jlewis said:

I am probably in the minority, but I rather like The Sword In The Stone. It has its flaws, mostly in its attempt to be trendy-contemporary with the Camelot years. (It was previewed in September of 1963, but went into wide release after JFK's assassination, which may have hurt it all the more both critically and commercially.) You had to be around then to get the joke about Bermuda travel commercials.

Then again, I also favor the animated sequences in Bedknobs And Broomsticks over Mary Poppins although I agree with the critics that the earlier film is far better overall.

Many consider the sixties through eighties a lackluster "dark age", but it was really more of a hit and miss situation with most of the hits being in smaller packages. For example, Ludwig Von Drake was a rather enjoyable new character despite so much of his material being used to link recycled footage from earlier films. The Winnie the Pooh featurettes still hold up despite "Americanizing" the material (if also aware of this with the all-American gopher admitting "I'm not in the book, y'know" in The Honey Tree, then being pounded underground by the rest of the gang celebrating at the end of The Blustery Day). I also consider something as obscure as Dad, May I Borrow The Car a fascinating, if not entirely successful, follow-up experiment to It's Tough To Be A Bird.

The Rescuers was definitely the best of the features post-101 Dalmatians and pre-The Great Mouse Detective (another under-rated one). Despite the enduring popularity of The Jungle Book, I still favor Soyuzmultfilm's Maugli series better because Kipling works better as serious story telling than musical comedy.

I also like The Sword in the Stone.  I find the 1960s-1970s Disney films interesting in their own way and I find them superior to much of the animated fare that came out afterward.  

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2 hours ago, Jlewis said:

I am probably in the minority, but I rather like The Sword In The Stone. It has its flaws, mostly in its attempt to be trendy-contemporary with the Camelot years. (It was previewed in September of 1963, but went into wide release after JFK's assassination, which may have hurt it all the more both critically and commercially.) You had to be around then to get the joke about Bermuda travel commercials.

Ohh...I'd heard fellow Disney nuts expound on "The hidden dated-reference commercial joke at the end", and for years thought they were referring to the ill-fitting crown on Wart's head as an Imperial Margarine joke.

Still, even just thinking of that scene emphasizes the major problem:  As a main protagonist, Wart isn't so much a complete cipher, as an absolute spud.  He has no personality, doesn't even appear to learn anything except for one scene, stands by as dim audience while Merlin takes over the entire movie--And when we do see him as the Once and Future King, there's absolutely nothing the movie does to convince us it really wasn't a complete accident after all.

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I also consider something as obscure as Dad, May I Borrow The Car a fascinating, if not entirely successful, follow-up experiment to It's Tough To Be A Bird.

Those were for the TV series, but I got DMIBtC on disk just to fill out one more title on a Disney Movie Club subscription, and it's a good one.  Although you have to be familiar with Ward Kimball as the animator with a nutty, prankish quality to his animation (he animated the cat from Cinderella, as well as directing "Toot, Whistle, Plunk & Boom" and those insane Tomorrowland shorts), to appreciate his style by the time he was directing in the 50's and 60's--About the closest thing Disney had to a Tex Avery.  

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All of the Disney features have characters that may be a trifle wooden. I mean... the princes with Snow White and Cinderella are hardly "wow" although Sleeping Beauty's (Aurora's) at least fights Maleficent. Simply put, I am OK with Wart. He is a nice honest and wholesome boy like Oliver Twist. Even displays tears when he shouts at his peers and even Merlin.

I think both Ward Kimball specials were intended for TV with the car film running a full 50 minutes, but were cut down in running time and released theatrically to fill the bill. That is why we get so much live-action footage in both. Disney had some interesting 16mm educationals in animation at this time too, covering topics like natural family planning and VD.

Regarding the Tomorrowland specials, I can watch Mars And Beyond over and over and over and over again. It is the gift that keeps on giving with each viewing.

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18 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I also like The Sword in the Stone I find the 1960s-1970s Disney films interesting in their own way and I find them superior to much of the animated fare that came out afterward.  

 
Robin Hood and Little John walkin' through the forest
Laughin' back and forth at what the other'ne has to say
Reminiscin', This-'n'-thattin' havin' such a good time
Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly, what a day.

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Enjoyed your sharing of knowledge, Speedracer. My favorite Disney animation is in the film "Sleeping Beauty" because as an artist I totally admire the hard edged line taken to depict the characters, which is so beautifully done. Most animated films would use cutesy rounded detail for female subjects but not this film. I am going to assume that this is due to the unique style of drawing of  Eyvind Earle and the possible interplay of making things appear a bit to look like works from the time of medieval tapestries. The amazing detail and pastel color work on the backgrounds is gorgeous too, and I think McLaren Stewart had a hand in that. The people in the film look incredibly sophisticated in detail, that is usually lacking in a typical animated feature. Great topic choice!

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On 5/15/2018 at 7:20 PM, speedracer5 said:

I also like The Sword in the Stone.  I find the 1960s-1970s Disney films interesting in their own way and I find them superior to much of the animated fare that came out afterward.  

Yes, I like THE SWORD IN THE STONE too.

I think my favorite 1970s Disney animated feature is THE RESCUERS, which features the voices of Eva Gabor, Bob Newhart, Bernard Fox (Dr. Bombay from BEWITCHED) and, of course, Geraldine Page as Madame Medusa. The RESCUERS DOWN UNDER (from 1990) is also good.

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23 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:
Robin Hood and Little John walkin' through the forest
Laughin' back and forth at what the other'ne has to say
Reminiscin', This-'n'-thattin' havin' such a good time
Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly, what a day.

Although, the reason we had Roger Miller singing that, was the original studio idea was to do a backwoods "Robin Hood in the South" (which is why Pat Buttram voices the Sherriff).  But that didn't work out, and doing a straight version with Tommy Steele as Robin just didn't quite work out to their satisfaction either before they recast the character at the last minute.

By the time they rushed the movie through in its final form, most of the animation infamously had to be recycled from "Jungle Book", "Snow White" and "The Aristocats":

 

33 minutes ago, HoldenIsHere said:

I think my favorite 1970s Disney animated feature is THE RESCUERS, which features the voices of Eva Gabor, Bob Newhart, Bernard Fox (Dr. Bombay from BEWITCHED) and, of course, Geraldine Page as Madame Medusa. The RESCUERS DOWN UNDER (from 1990) is also good.

And even then, Mme. Medusa was originally imagined as Cruella DeVille returning, but they forgot she was someone else's copyrighted book character, and had to make one from scratch.  Still, at least now we know what happened to all those Southern bayou villagers that weren't used in the original Robin Hood.

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Someone earlier mentioned the Disney "educational" films. These were made for WW2 soldiers, when all production at Disney Studios was (forcibly) taken over by the government. Walt Disney was very angry about this and personally felt singled out by the government, commenting something to the effect, "the gov't came after me but left the Jews studios alone"

That single comment has given rise to the popularly held belief Walt was racist. I think Walt was just angry and could not understand why his studio was chosen for war related production. Current Disney production was halted and all efforts were temporarily focused on making animated educational & propaganda films.

These films are as beautifully animated as you'd expect and all sexual references are pretty "gentle" (not gentile) although they do highlight the possibility of "man and man" sexual activity. Shocking!

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4 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Someone earlier mentioned the Disney "educational" films. These were made for WW2 soldiers, when all production at Disney Studios was (forcibly) taken over by the government. Walt Disney was very angry about this and personally felt singled out by the government, commenting something to the effect, "the gov't came after me but left the Jews studios alone"

That single comment has given rise to the popularly held belief Walt was racist. I think Walt was just angry and could not understand why his studio was chosen for war related production. Current Disney production was halted and all efforts were temporarily focused on making animated educational & propaganda films.

The horror stories of "Anti-Semitic Walt" may have been very strategically blown up as industry-effective smear tactics during the bitter 40's strike--Organized elements were beginning to seep into the push for unionization after the Depression, and the move was on to unionize Hollywood as virgin territory...And Walt was simply a baffled holdout who had been sheltered from the Depression in the 30's, and cluelessly but insensitively tried to persuade his animation employees that the push for union was only that they were being "fooled" by Communists.  (Which had also pretty much faded after the New Deal.)

When you're polo friends with Louis B. Mayer, it wasn't "anti-Semitism" to joke about Hollywood studio moguls being a nearly all-Jewish industry, and yes, the Army did seem to single Disney out for the most technical animation (eg. demonstrations of proper airplane riveting), and the widest mainstream avenue for public morale propaganda like Donald Duck in "Der Fuhrer's Face".  If it makes Walt feel any better, Warner was hired for the Army "Private Snafu" shorts, but Warner's studio wasn't on-site occupied by Army officials, and didn't have a feature division to be shut down because of it.

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