Tag Archives: animation

Disney Project 2014: A Look Back

disney retrospective

Well, once again, I have neglected to complete most of my new year’s resolutions for 2014. But that’s okay! Because one of the few we DID accomplish was Disney Project 2014.

A year is a long time. You can see in the pictures how much B has grown. And while I would say that 15-27 months old is maybe a little young to try this project (if you were thinking about tackling it yourself), there were movies he enjoyed. It’s all about familiarity, I think. This weekend, we had no “to-watch” Disney movie, so we watched Monsters University, because he’s semi-familiar with the characters. It was more fun than I remember watching Snow White was (a whole year ago).

My favorites remain (in chronological order):

Sleeping Beauty
Lady and the Tramp
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
Frozen (I would never have said this 6 months ago. But it’s a part of me now.)

Least favorites from this year:

Saludos Amigos/The Three Caballeros
Dinosaur
Chicken Little
Bolt
Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Surprise! I actually like this:

Melody Time
Home on the Range
Meet the Robinsons

I’ve been trying to figure out what I learned from this experience. I could hold up the Disney protagonist values: honesty, loyalty, dedication, goodness. I could also point out that I think there is merit in the early Disney films, even if some of the things in them have since become politically incorrect, and I think we should not always judge things made in the 1940s under 2014 standards. Or maybe I could talk about the state of Disney princesses…from Snow White to Anna, a lot has changed about these women and their behavior and the roles they play in their own stories. (For that matter, a lot has changed about Disney princes, and their behavior, and their roles.)

I am so grateful to have the shared Disney childhood experience with Drew (even if we remember some movies with differing levels of fondness). I am also grateful to be passing on these movies and experiences to B. I can’t wait until he’s a little older and can point out plot holes we’ve missed and make jokes with us.

Thank you, Disney! Cheers, 2014! Now what to watch next?

 

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Disney Project 2014: Frozen!!!

MOVIE: FROZEN

RELEASE YEAR: 2013

I HAVE TO WRITE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I AM SO EXCITED – I CANNOT BELIEVE – WE FINISHED OUR DISNEY PROJECT!

Ok that’s enough.

Although we watched Frozen about 60 times this year, we watched it one more special time on Christmas morning to finish out Disney Project 2014. It was just as good as always! I will always have a special place in my heart for Frozen and Elsa and Anna and Sven and Kristoff and Olaf and the trolls (not really the trolls) and For the First Time in Forever and Let It Go and the ending scene where Elsa says “You sacrificed yourself for me?” and Anna says “I love you” awwwwwww. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Celebrate Frozen and YAY FOR ACCOMPLISHING YEAR-LONG OBJECTIVES!

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Disney Project 2014: Wreck-It Ralph

Movie: Wreck-It Ralph

Release year: 2012

Neither Drew nor I had seen this one yet, but as we find (most) Disney movies delightful, and this one has a charming cast, I was excited to see it finally. And I wasn’t disappointed! It’s a clever story with lots of interesting details, about all the characters in arcade video games, and their lives outside the games. They all flow into and out of the “Game Central Station,” a surge protector that they’re all plugged into. There are some homeless game characters there, like Q*bert. Wreck-It Ralph is a “villain” character (but a totally nice guy), voiced by John C. Reilly, who sets out to become a hero, so that people will like him and want to hang out with him.

It’s full of little twists and turns that we both really enjoyed, and I thought the ending was good without being too cheesy. I’m officially a Wreck-It Ralph fan. =)

Alas, this is the best picture I could get, as B was especially active for this one.

IMG_8530Also, don’t stare too long at that duck, or it’ll freak you out.

 

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Disney Project 2014: Winnie the Pooh

Movie: Winnie the Pooh

Release year: 2011

That’s right. They did another one of these movies, because we need more Winnie the Pooh than just the “Many Adventures of” from 1977.

No we don’t! This one doesn’t have the same voices, and so everyone sounds a little off. The storyline is fine – Eeyore loses his tail, so they have a contest to see who can find a replacement – but then you find out at the end that OWL had the tail the whole time and was using it as a pull for his doorbell! What even is that?? That’s brutal and disgusting! Owl also tried to divert the blame from himself early on, by inventing a terrible monster called the Backson that comes and messes with you. Jeez, Owl. What’s your problem?!

At least it’s only an hour long? Sorry if you like Winnie and the gang – they’ve just never been my favorites. And this Winnie revamp is just unnecessary…

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Tigger here, Tigger there…

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Disney Project 2014: The Princess and the Frog

Movie: The Princess and the Frog

Release year: 2009

Yay, another good old-fashioned traditional-animation princess movie! I really like this one, even if the music isn’t my favorite. This is a great twist on the classic Grimm tale, “The Frog Prince.” The main character, Tiana, is upgraded from a bratty princess to a hardworking young woman in New Orleans. The prince in this case is the spoiled one, and maybe sorta deserves getting turned into a frog. The villain, Dr. Facilier, is super creepy, but even creepier are all the voodoo masks that represent his “friends on the other side” and end up taking revenge on him for a broken promise.

(Side note: Listen, everyone. Don’t mess around with dark magic. Just don’t do it. It never ends well. No voodoo, no ouija boards, no summoning spirits. It MIGHT just be silly, but it also might not be. Why risk it?)

According to the internet, the animators said they modeled the animation for this film along the lines of Lady and the Tramp, which they said is “so classically Disney.” Maybe that’s why I like it so much!

Even B liked it – at least he watched more of it than usual.

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Disney Project 2014: Meet the Robinsons

Movie: Meet the Robinsons

Release year: 2007

This movie is always on the TV at the pediatrician we go to. (At least it used to be until Frozen came out on Blu-Ray and rendered all other movies irrelevant.) I had never seen it before, although I remember, back in 2007, seeing the commercial and thinking that the part with the T-Rex (“I have a big head and little arms”) looked funny. (I was right. It is.)

I was really impressed by this story. Drew called most of the ending, but I think it was still satisfying. There was a lot of heartbreak at the beginning – orphans are always heartbreaking, especially at the tricky age of 12 – and a lot of heart in the ending. I like really liked it. I even tried to pay really close attention so I would actually know if I liked it. I fully recommend it!

We definitely used the long holiday weekend to catch up on Disney movies – we watched three, so there will be a quick succession of posts about them. We’re in the home stretch now: just 4 more to go!

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Disney Project 2014: Brother Bear

Movie: Brother Bear

Release year: 2003

I remember seeing this in the theatre, with a big group of friends. (I was passive-aggressively punishing one of them, and deliberately sat between another friend’s younger sisters, laughing loudly at their jokes and ignoring the transgressor. Ah, teenagehood.)

Watching it this time was obviously different. I feel like our pattern is to try really hard to follow the beginning of the movie, and then at some point in the middle it all breaks down and we miss big swaths of plot, and then we try to watch the end to see what happens. (Spoiler alert: Kenai remains a bear to be with his new brother Koda. More spoiler alert: When Koda’s mom and Kenai’s brother come back from the spirit world and, like, hug them, I was definitely tearing up. Oh Disney.)

Phil Collins came back to do much of this music, but it’s considerably less effective than in Tarzan, in my opinion.

Oh, also, we watched this on Netflix, and the sound is just awful. It’s so quiet. We turn it up so high and still can’t hear anything. What the heck?

And with that, we will now move into a bunch of Disney movies I’ve never seen, so this should be fun. Wilson is excited about all the animal faces on Chicken Little, so maybe he’ll enjoy it!

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