Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A 100 Days of Disney event!

You can join me, right now, over at twitter doing a live blog of my Beauty and the Beast viewing party! (Woody and Belle are here, so it counts as a party!)

Follow along at twitter @100daysofdisney or by watching the twitter bar to the right of this message!

Monday, November 14, 2011

This n That

My 50 movie deadline is December 21st, and it's coming up fast. At the rate I'm going it is going to be a photo finish but I'm confident that I will get them done in time. Unfortunately, there may be some more posts like today's, where I cram in a group of movies in one post just to get caught up. I'll try not to do it, but it might happen.

I found out today that thrift stores are good places to look for Disney movies. I love Hawaiian shirts, but it's hard to find them in the 3xl required to support my ample frame, so I cruise thrift stores looking for shirts on the cheap with varying amounts of success. I was at the local Goodwill and I found Fun and Fancy Free, Make Mine Music and Melody Time on VHS. I got them all for less than $5.

Lastly, I drove up to Universal Orlando this weekend for the Harry Potter event, which was great, and I was able to listen to a couple of CD's from Gabriel Iglesias that I got from a friend. I already loved his specials and his new show on Comedy Central, but the CD's, We Luv Fluffy, was a riot. The wife and I were nearly wetting ourselves the whole trip because of these CD's. So I was thinking that I would love to see him in person so I sent a tweet (from the official 100daysofdisney twitter account) asking him to do some Florida shows and now he is following me on twitter... My first famous person, now I feel obligated to be funny, or at least coherent in these posts. Anyway check out Gabriels website Fluffyguy.com.

I just checked out Fluffyguy.com and saw that Gabriel will be in Tampa on 4/27/12 and he is doing a Grad Nite show... I would totally look like some sort of stalker if I went, Grad Nites are not the place for 37 year of fat guys! Looks like I'll have to start some sort of letter writing campaign to get him to do a real show in Florida. Maybe we can get him to do a show in Orlando and make this somewhat Disney related.

Day Various - 101 Dalmations, The Aristocats, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood

Movie: Various
Released: Various
Formats Released: Various
Formats Watched: Various
Watched With: Just about the whole family at some point
Snacks: Microwave popcorn, Fanta Zero, Sugar-Free Kool-Aid and left over Halloween candy (So much candy...)

I greatly underanticpated this task. It's not the movie watching that is the problem, it's the writing up of the movies that are getting to me. I'll spend 65-120 minutes watching a movie and then 45-60 minutes writing about it. I was watching movies and trying to get caught up on the writing after the fact. It wasn't working out. So that brings us to this, a catch-up entry.

The strange thing about these movies is that they all kind of go together is one way or another. They share a lot of the same actors and animators, in many cases the animation style is similar (or in the case of the Robin Hood and the Jungle Book, basically the same) and they all came from around the same time period.

Most of these movies were made during a flux period in studios history. It was after the death of Walt and at a time when the studio was again having financial hardship. Many of the decisions that influenced the look and feel of these films was based on money. I'm not saying they were bad decisions but that's where they came from.

My Thoughts on the Films:

I don't think there is an easy way to talk about my thoughts on this assortment of films. They all were a lot of fun, but very similar. The most original one of the group had to be Robin Hood. It stands out from the group just from the material. The Aristocats and Lady and the Tramp are very similar, just different animals, and you could almost lump in 101 Dalmatians to that group. The Jungle Book is one of my favorites in general, I had the soundtrack on tape and I used to listen to it over and over again. I can sing almost every song from that movie by heart at this point. I loved the animation style from 101 Dalmatians, it was very out there.

Things I never noticed before:

Again, to numerous to really mention, but I completely forgot about the ending to The Aristocats with the dogs, "It's over when I say it's over.... It's over"

Final Thoughts:

This is a classic group of films from a whole library of classic films. They are the epitome of Disney films and they have entered the collective pop-culture consciousness of the country for a reason. One of the reasons that a lot of the characters, actors and themes were similar in the films was that they worked. It's probably why I, and so many other people, like them so much.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 42 - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Movie: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Released: October 5, 1949
Formats Released: 1 VHS, 1 Laserdisc, 1 DVD
Format Watched: DVD
Watched Wife: Wife, Woody and Belle
Snacks: Microwave Popcorn & Coke Zero

The problem with this film is that there is not much to the movie, and nit much out there written about the movie. This film was produced in the late 1940's as a package film ( a feature length film made up of smaller, independent segment). World War II took a large toll on Walt Disney Animation (or Walt Disney Productions as it was known back then). At the start of the war the war department basically took over the studio to produce propaganda pieces. They decided the direction the studio would take and they monopolized a lot of the animators. As such, production on features came to a virtual stand still. It wasn't until the end of the war that they could focus on feature films again. The problem was the studio was in financial trouble and couldn't afford to dedicate the time needed to produce a full length film so they produced these package films made up of smaller, easier to produce parts. This film, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, was the last of the package films until Fantasia 2000.

My Thoughts on the Film:

Taken for what it is, the film is very enjoyable. Nigel Rathbone is the narrator for The Wind in the Willows and Bing Crosby was the narrator, and basically the only voice actor in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I personally enjoyed the Wind in the Willows segment, I think it had a better, more exciting story. It's no wonder that Mr. Toads Wild Ride was one of my favorites at Disney World.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was timely for the season, and would have been spookier if I had not watched it in the middle of the afternoon. I did enjoy the gag of skinny Ichabod eating as much as humanly possible. The animation in the scenes with the Headless Horseman was amazing. One thing my wife pointed out, several of the characters from this film, with minor adjustments, were like characters in Beauty and the Beast.

The Wind in the Willows is just a madcap, whirlwind adventure. Mr Toad obviously, much to the dismay of his friends, jumps from one fad to the other, throwing himself into each one, whole hog, Something I can relate to in my younger years. He does have the habit of emerging from each one scot-free, a talent I have yet to master.

Favorite part of the Film:

I'm going to go with Mr Toads escape through the city. The clever gag of hiding the ball in the dress as a hump was great.

Things I never noticed before:
- There are only about 3 voice actors, including the narrator in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Final thoughts on the film:

Like I said before this is a very enjoyable film, with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow being perfect for the fall season. As enjoyable as it was, thought, I'm glad that this was the last of the package films and they moved onto Cinderella.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Randomness - Death of the movie camera

I somehow missed this last week, but feel the need to talk about it now. It's official, the movie camera is dead. I'm talking about the camera that uses actual, honest-to-god film. For some reason this bothers me. I make my living in the digital world, I'm a computer technician, I write a blog, I have a $2000 digital camera, later today I'm going to pick up my new iPhone, but the "death" of the movie camera bothers me.

I like to think of myself as an analog guy in a digital world. I love my Polaroids (I have many), I have a ton of vinyl LP's that I still listen to. Other than my digital SLR my newest camera was made in 1968. I still have darkroom equipment to make my own prints from negatives if I wanted to. But I don't, most of what I do is digital because it's easy to use.

I grew up watching films. It wasn't until high school that we started watching videos. I remember the teachers getting the movie projector out and loading up the film. Running it through the machine and hooking it to the other spool. It was always a position of honor to be the one who got to sit at the projector and hit the little lever to stop the film from jumping. My brother used to make and edit Super8 films and we would watch them in the living room as a family. Even as late as the mid 80's Disney was selling 8mm films in the parks for people to take home, rather than VHS tapes.

I had a photography teacher tell me one time that working with film was an art and a craft. There are so many variables that go into working with film. You can repeat the same steps exactly and get different results because of something as minor as the temperature being off by a few degrees. When you work with film you have to have a feel for how the film will react.

We are going to loose those artists that have a feel for film. In my lifetime I know that working with film we become like being a blacksmith or a hat maker. Only a small number of people will fight to keep the tradition alive and people who are just growing up now will not experience the pleasure of seeing a true "Film", they will get just a digital reconstruction of what a film used to look like, and the world will be a sorry place for it.

Man, I sound old! "Back in my day...." Enough of this randomness. Up next is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Random Thoughts on music

I've said it several times. I love film scores. Whenever I see a film I am always making an effort to listen to the music as much as I watch the film. If you were to look at my iTunes you would see that out of 330 albums, a good 80% of them are soundtracks. There are a lot of Disney albums, but a lot of other scores as well.

I keep saying score, when I talk about the soundtrack and it drives my wife nuts. There is at times a difference between the soundtrack and the score of a movie. Take a look at the Transformers (2007) soundtrack. It has 12 tracks which account for less than 5 minutes of music used on the screen. If you look at the album Transformers - The Score you will find the music that makes up the other 95% of the film. This is the music I love.

I have about 230 hours of soundtracks in my iTunes that I listen to on a regular basis so a lot of times I will hear a piece of music somewhere, a commercial, at the mall, or in this case at EPCOT, that I know I have heard but it will take me some time to process it.

At this point I should say that I don't watch all of the Disney movies on the same day that the my blog entry comes out. Right now I just finished the Rescuers Down Under that I watched last week along with two other movies. When I was watching the Rescuers: DU I keep hearing some music and thinking it was really familiar, so I popped in The Rescuers and scanned it listening to the music, but it didn't come from there. It bothered me but I chalked it up to a composer reusing some music (see the Rocketeer and Star Trek - The Wrath of Kahn for an example).

So on Sunday we went up to Universal and EPCOT for my wife's birthday. We had dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh, which was amazing, and stopped to have our pictures taken in front of the fountain on the way out. Right as we were getting up there the fountain show started and I heard that music again. It was the track "Cody's Flight" from The Rescuers:DU. I had heard it two weeks before when we went up for the 40th anniversary celebration and it got lodged in my mind for some reason.

At least now I know I'm not going crazy... er....

Day Thirty Four - The Rescuers Down Under

Movie: The Rescuers Down Under
Released: November 16, 1990
Formats Released: 1 VHS, 1 DVD
Format Watched: VHS
Watched With: Woody & Belle
Snacks: None

I'm actually watching this film out of my very loose plan. This is the second film in the Disney Renaissance of the 1990's. I originally was going to watch all the films of the renaissance in order, but I felt it was better to watch this film right after The Rescuers. This way it is better to see the similarities and differences in the two films.

This film also holds a very special place in my life. This is the film I saw on the very first date I went on with my now wife. I met my wife on my birthday in 1990, and this movie came out the very next weekend. I don't really remember much of the film in the theaters, only bits and pieces but I have seen it a few times since so it's not completely new.

This film made a number of firsts for Disney and for films in general. It was the first Walt Disney Feature Animation sequel, of 1977's The Rescuers, it was the first Disney film to be made completely with the CAPS system (Computer Animation Production System) which also made it the very first film to be assembled and completed in a digital environment (it would be transferred back to analog film stock for use in theaters).

My Thoughts on the Film:

Bob Newhart and Eve Gabor came back to reprise their roles of Bernard and Miss Bianca. Bernard Fox, also from the first film, reprised his role of the RAS Chairmouse as well as the outback Doctor and they were joined by John Candy, playing Wilbur the brother of Orville from the first movie. George C Scott does a great turn as the villain in the film to round out the cast. The cast was perfect for this film. I've said before that I like Bob Newhart's style, I like to think that have the same type of self deprecating humor that he has so his character in the film appeals to me.

The setting of the film, the Australian outback, is really only the location of the film and it doesn't play a "character" in the film. Some of the old reviews that I read seamed to think that this was a problem and that except for the title the film could have been set anywhere. This could be true but it doesn't really matter, it's the characters and the story that matter, the location only really sets the tone, it did it's job and got out of the way.

The use of computer animation continued it's rise in Disney Animation in this film. The sea of flowers at the beginning, McLeach's truck and the New York and Sidney skylines were all done with computer animation. As I think I said in The Great Mouse Detective, I have no problem with the computer animation as long it was not done for the sake of doing it. All of the computer animation in this film was used effectively and transparently and used in a spot where traditional animation would have been a nightmare.

This film also featured an amazing soundtrack by Bruce Broughton. It is amazingly easy to get swept up in the music to this film. From the didgeridoo at the opening, the outstanding "flying" theme, the "Bernard the Hero" theme and even the little call back to the Rescue Aid Society anthem. Unlike the location, the music almost does play a character in the film.

My Favorite part of the film:

It's hard to choose an absolute favorite in this film, but I have a couple. Top of the list is the Indiana Jones-esk map scene showing the RAS SOS traveling from station to station on the map, along with the "native" mice (I love Hawaiian shits, so mice in them rock). The flight sequence at the beginning of the film is great as well. This I remember from the theater, I remember almost getting the feeling of flight looking at the screen and that stuck with me. I love, in general, that Bernard is basically the true hero of this film, and he gets the girl!

Thing's I never noticed before:

- Mice in Hawaiian shits!
- Mice tricking Air Force people away from the computer with a random phone call
- Cockroaches as waiters (yuck) in the fancy restaurant
- "Pea Soup"
- The Outback Doctor using a shotgun to administer "shots"

Final Thoughts:

I was actually a little shocked to learn that this movie only made $47 million at the box office, an initial return of only $10 million. I would have thought that this movie would have made a lot more. I think it's a case of timing. This movie came out right after The Little Mermaid, which was a strict musical fantasy. That movie was a smash hit showing that Disney meant business again. The Rescuers Down Under, was grounded in real life. There were talking animals, but only kids could understand them. There was no magic, no fantastic (other than Australia) settings and no singing. When this movie came out people were expecting something like The Little Mermaid, but they got this, and I think it turned some people off. Their loss. I was a 16 year old on a first date and I remember parts of this movie, so I know I'm not alone in thinking that this movie has a little going for it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day Twenty Nine - Peter Pan

Movie: Peter Pan
Released: February 5, 1953
Formats Released: 2 VHS, 1 DVD
Format Watched: DVD
Watched With: I was alone :(
Snacks: Swiss Roll and sugar free cherry kool-aid

Who doesn't love Peter Pan? It's a classic and for good reason. it's a story about growing up but not doing it too soon. It also is a story about the consequences of not growing up. Walt was fond of this story and worked to make it the film released after Snow White but licensing problems forced the production to wait. It wasn't until the mid to late 40's that production really came into full swing. The pressures of WWII slowed down production on just about everything due to the take over of the studio by the US military. Peter Pan also has the distinction of being the last film that the 9 old men worked on together.

My thoughts on the film:

Unlike many of the other films I've watched recently I actually have a pretty good memory of this film. I'm pretty sure I haven't watched the film since we bought it when it came out, but I also have the film on VHS so I'm pretty sure I've watched it a few times.

The film really does look into the idea of growing up and the changes that are made by children. By Wendy being told that she would have to move to her own room and removing her from the antics and imagination of her brothers she is being told that she has to drop her belief in magical things. Oddly, Peter Pan, after he takes her to Neverland, tries to make her the mother figure of the Lost Boys, putting her in the position of the grown up. She experiences some grown up things like jealousy of other girls who are interested in Peter Pan and the life or death (if any one can really die in Neverland) consequences of her decision to come to neverland.

The film is slightly marred by the depiction of Native Americans. I have talked before about the dangers of looking at old films from the lens of today but I think that this is something that should be talked about. The boys decide that rather than hunting bear they will hunt the indians, placing them on the level of animals. This is the area that I have a problem with. Most people cite the song "What made the red man red?" as the area of most concern but I don't really see it that way. It's a funny little song that shouldn't be taken as indians are red because they a blushing, it's just a cute little song in a children's movie that shouldn't be taken so seriously.

My favorite part of the film:

I actually have two favorite parts. First is the little gag of Tinkerbell on the mirror suddenly noticing that she has hips. It's a little throw away gag but the expression on her face is priceless. I'm really fond of the scene where they are flying over London. The background paintings used for that scene are amazing considering the number of buildings that they put into them .

Things I never noticed before:

- Tinkerbell's scene on the mirror
- One of the mermaids looks a lot like Ariel
- In the first scene on the pirate ship there is a seagull flying around in the background setting up the shaving scene to come in a few minutes, it's a nice little detail that could easily been omitted without effecting the story

Final Thoughts:

It's easy to see why this is considered a classic in the Disney playbook. The story is nice and tight, there is some decent character development considering the short run time of the film and the gags used in the film are for the most part pretty funny. I think that anyone who has not watched this film recently should sit down and have another look at it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day Twenty Eight - The Rescuers

Movie: The Rescures
Released: June 22, 1977
Formats Released: 2 VHS, 1 Laserdisc, 1 DVD
Format Watched: Original VHS release
Watched with: Woody
Snacks: Jif creamy peanut butter on saltines, sugar free cherry kool-aid

This film is considered the last film of the Golden Age of Disney animation and the last big success for Disney Animation until The Little Mermaid.

My Thoughts on the Film:

I really enjoyed this film, and I didn't think I would. I totally don't remember watching this film before, although after consulting with my wife I know I have, it just didn't leave an impact with me. This is becoming a reoccurring trend with me. This is strange, I have several hundred movies in my collection, some from the 30's and 40's, some I've only seen 1 -2 times and I still remember them. I remember episodes of the Simpsons or Family Guy that I have only seen once, and some of those suck, but for some reason I can't remember most of the older Disney movies that I have seen. I don't get it.

This was an enjoyable movie. It wasn't a great movie, it didn't suck, but it fit nicely into the middle of good. The casting of Bob Newhart was perfect, but I grew up watching him with my family on the Newhart Show so I get his humor. Eva Gabor (not Zsa Zsa) as Miss Bianca fit nicely, adding a European flair to the part.

I liked that the Rescue Aid Society was at the UN, it gives it strange legitimacy, if you need that for a cartoon, and I think that the UN General Assembly should open with a song, it would do the world some good. It was strange and not entirely clear that only kids could talk to animals but it did add a fun gag at the end.

My Favorite Part of the Film:

The opening credits. The use of static oil paintings to show the journey of the bottle along with the song was very effective and a little moving.

Things I never Noticed Before:

- Pretty much the whole movie
- Bernard's superstitious counting of steps

Final Thoughts:

As I said earlier this is a solid Disney film. It fit's comfortably in the mold of family friendly comedies that Disney was aiming for. This was Don Bluth's first film as lead animator (An American Tale, etc) and his style is evident as Bernard and Miss Bianca show similarities to characters from The Secret of NIMH and An American Tale. This may have been the last film of Disney's Golden Age, but it was only four films removed from the Renaissance of the 90's.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Disney Instant Photos

I may not have had the best time at Disney World over the last weekend, but I did have fun taking some pictures. I took up my Polaroid Land Camera 230 and some Fuji Instant film FP-100c (along with my other digital cameras) and went wild.

You can see a slideshow of the instant photo's here

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary

I spent the past weekend at Walt Disney World, for the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World as a whole. Let me just say that it was an absolute cluster F**K.

The trip started nice enough, we were staying at Pop Century - in the 50's

We spent the first day, Friday, at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which we loved, we went back on Sunday! We had dinner off site at Giodanos which was amazing. The plan was to get an early night so I could get up for the special pin they were selling in the morning. That's where things started to go down hill.

At 5am on the 1st I'm driving to the Contemporary, because that's where the concierge at Pop told me to park so I could get to the Magic Kingdom to get in line for the pins. I was turned away at the Contemporary and sent to the Magic Kingdom parking lot. On the drive back I noticed large groups of people walking on the side of the road. I stopped to talk to one of them, and they were there for the same reason as me. It turns out there was no transportation from the parking lot to the Magic Kingdom.

For people who don't know, the Magic Kingdom is separated from the parking lot by a man made lake that is about 1 mile across. There is a road that runs alongside (and under a portion) of the lake to allow buses to get to the Magic Kingdom. This road has few lights and no sidewalks.

I parked in the parking lot and hoofed it with the others to the Magic Kingdom. In the group I was walking with there was one person in a wheelchair and one person in an electric cart. Since there were no sidewalks these two had to travel in the lanes of traffic. The only real traffic on the road were buses, buses transporting cast members. If you could say a bus is rude these buses were rude, they were honking at the people in the wheelchairs, flying past them with no regard for safety. I was walking in the grass and I felt the wind from these buses.

Fortunatly everyone made it to the Magic Kingdom safely. At this point I only had to wait in line to get a wristband that would allow me to get in line to get the pins and another line to wait to get into the Magic Kingdom so I could go get in line to get the pin. All told I spent 4.5 hours in line to get two pins. It was totally NOT worth it, but I did it because I didn't want to waste the time I had already put into the enterprise. I ended up staying either in or around the park from 5:30am to 11:27pm, when I took the bus back to the resort.

I've been coming to Walt Disney World for a long time, since the late 1970's. I had my honeymoon at Disney World in 1997. When I got my History degree I bought a brick around the world (It's near the automated ticket machines at the Transportation and Ticket Center). I bought an Annual Pass in 2007, I've had a Premium Annual Pass since 2008. I go to Disney on average about once a month. I'm at the World a lot is what I'm trying to say.

Oct 1, 2011 was the only time in my lengthy number of trips to the World that I felt that Disney had no idea what they were doing. It was all very fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pant's like. It's not like your 40th anniversary can sneak up on you but it was like Disney only had half a plan, no a quarter of a plan, to get people in the doors, after that it was up in the air. They did not have enough Cast Members working, they did not have enough food, enough of the 40th anniversary t-shirts and merchandise, enough sense to limit the number of people coming in the gate. I was in Tomorrowland during the fireworks and I thought a riot was going to break out.

I was let down by my experiences on the 1st and it soured the rest of my trip. It will probably sour any trips I take in the near future. Disney should have known better, I've been on the 4th of July and on New Years, but this was something different. Disney World needs to look at what happened on Oct 1, 2011 and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Day Twenty Two - The Black Cauldron

Movie: The Black Cauldron
Released: July 24, 1985
Formats Released: 2 DVD
Format Watched: 2000 DVD Release
Watched with: My cat, Kelsey
Snacks: Jif creamy peanut butter on saltines, sugar free grape kool-aid

I had originally planned to watch The Rescuers today, I even started watching it but it is on VHS and my VCR decided that after all this time it is now going to start acting up. Having no backup plan I picked The Black Cauldron at random and popped it into the PS3.

As I remember, the Black Cauldron has always been one of my top Disney picks, but after watching it today I have no idea why. I don't know if it was the original print, the digital transfer, or even the multiplane camera used in the original filming, but this movie was a hot, steamy mess.

This movie came during a time of transition in Walt Disney Feature Animation. A new studio head, Jeffrey Katzenberg, came on during production, at one point or another all of the nine old men were involved with then left the project, the studio was trying out a new animation system (which the company would win an Academy Award for) and the studio lacked vision. All of this clearly comes out in the final product.

My Thoughts on the Film:

When the movie finished I literally said "Seriously" to the TV, not expecting it to talk back. I just don't know if I can count the ways that this movie is wrong. If people thought that they forest scenes in Snow White were scary, they must have been hiding under the bed after watching this film. The subject matter is dark, a Horned King is trying to raise an army of the undead. The animation of the undead is haunting, and that's after they cut the really scary stuff. There is almost not motivation for any of the characters, the Horned King wants to rule, Taran wants to be a warrior, Eilonwy wants to be out of the dungeon and the bard is just there.

The consistency of the animation was terrible. Tarens hair changes color during shots, getting lighter and darker, like they suddenly ran out of one color and just used the next closest one. It might be an artifact of the digital transfer, or Disney might have just kept this movie in a damp basement, but at times it looks like there are smudges on the screen, like it's dirty. Twice I stopped the movie to check my screen... It's the movie.

At points in the film they made heavy use of live action effects like smoke and fire and at one point a whole background was a live effect. It didn't work. While watching it I was totally aware of the difference between the animation and the live action. In the scene where Taren is getting ready to go to the Horned King's castle there is a live action shot of smoke that has been tinted red behind the characters. For some reason there is a white outline between most of the animation and the background, I'm sure it's not supposed to be like that.

The biggest problem I have with this film is Gurgi. He is a cute, hairy creature. His motivation reminds me of a dog. He wants to eat and he wants to have friends. His entire existence is to please others. Except for one line, it's not clear if Gurgi even understands everything that is happening. This is the character that the writers thought would be ideal to sacrifice for the rest of the characters. This is just lazy storytelling. Gurgi is the only character that most people identify with because he is like a dog or a pet, and to "kill" him off to save the others is a cheap trick to try and get some emotion (other than terror) into the film.

Favorite Part of the Film:

The end credits...

Things I never noticed before:

- The animation in general reminds me of Gummy Bears, and I can't figure out why
- The movie is terrible...
- that's all i've got... sad I know

Final Thoughts:

If I knew nothing about this film and I came across it on TV I would be sure it wasn't a Disney film. It's like they needed to keep the animators busy and came up with this as a joke. It's like they take everything that is good about Disney Animated films and do the opposite. I would like to say that at least the animation is good, but it's not. It's so inconsistent that it's not even funny. I wish I could say that this is a single black mark on Walt Disney Feature Animations record, but I know I still have Treasure Planet and Home on the Range ahead of me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Just to let people know, I'm going on vacation today to Walt Disney World for the 40th Anniversary. I should be back on the 3rd of October when I'll post my review of The Rescuers.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day Thirteen - Cinderella

Movie: Cinderella
Released: March 4, 1950
Formats Released: 2 VHS, 1 Laserdisc, 1 DVD
Format Watched: Platinum Edition DVD
Watched With: Woody, Belle and Mike
Snacks: Microwave Popcorn, Sprite Zero and Diet Barqs

This was an interesting movie for me to watch. I have the movie on VHS and DVD, bought when the movies came out and I had never opened them, so it has been awhile since I have seen it.

This movie came at a time for the studio when they were still recovering from the war effort. Disney Studios had been basically taken over by the War Department to make propaganda for WWII and it nearly bankrupted the studio. After the war Disney was only able to make compilation films, ones that consisted of smaller cartoons merged into a feature length movie. These movies were not exactly cash cows for the studio and Disney was looking to break free from them and they were putting their money on Cinderella. The movie was the first real, big hit since Snow White and it set the stage for the movies to follow for the next 30 years, the period that is commonly called Disney's "Golden Age".

My Thoughts on the Film:

I really enjoyed this film. It was a nice light film that echoed Snow White a little. The story was based on a common fairy tale so most people knew the major plot points of the film but Disney was able to throw a few surprises into the mix. When you look at it, the story line with the mice and cat almost was as prominent as the main story featuring Cinderella. The mice actually are the hero's of the film, since they saved Cinderella from her "prison" so she could be with the Prince.

The crispness of the animation was wonderful along with the colors and backgrounds. Some of that might have to do with the digital restoration, but everything just popped! The colors they used were bright, with each character basically getting their own color. The backgrounds were oil paint on gelce but they still had a watercolor feel to them.

My Favorite Part of the Film:

No one scene really stood out to me as my favorite but I did enjoy the scenes with the king and the baron.

Things I never Noticed Before: (Which was most of the film!)

- Some of the birds were wearing vests, which must have made flying difficult
- Cinderella had to clime a lot of stairs to get to her room
- During the floor cleaning scene some of the bubbles form a Mickey head
- The wheels on her carriage do not turn
- If the clock at the house is to be believed, Cinderella had only 3 hours at the ball

Final Thoughts:

I have to admit I like this version rather than one of the older versions, where the step-sisters cut off their toes to try and get their feet in the slipper. That might have been too dark for a Disney film. The film was a little dark with the way her step family treated her but it worked out ok. This film was one of the first films to include the talents of all nine of the "Nine Old Men", who would go on to shape Disney animation until the 1990's, so it was an important event.

My original feelings on this film might have be effected by my male-ness. It was a princess film and while in my late teens - late 20's I was not interested in girly films so I just ignored it. After Snow White and Sleeping Beauty and now this film I'm getting a new appreciation for princess films and that should help for all the princess films of the 1990's.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day Ten - Sleeping Beauty

Movie: Sleeping Beauty
Released: January 29, 1959
Formats Released: 2 VHS, 1 Betamax, 2 Laserdisc, 2 DVD, 1 Blu-Ray
Formats Watched: 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray
Watched With: Dogs Belle and Woody
Snacks: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts and Fanta Zero

I find that the best part of this movie, to me at least, is the visual style of the film. It is like nothing that has come before it and it is very distinct. This is due to the unsusual role given to Eyvind Earl who was the color stylist and background designer. He was given a significant amount of freedom and allowed to paint the majority of the backgrounds. The rest of the movie had to reflect his modernistic style which resulted in the final overall look of the movie.

Another interesting thing about the movie is that it did not really star Sleeping Beauty, she was featured in less that 18 minutes of the movie. The real stars of the movie are Flora, Fauna and Merryweather and to a lesser degree Prince Philip.

This movie also spent almost the longest amount of time in development for a Disney movie, and definitely the longest amount of time up until that date. Most of the background took 8-10 days to produce rather than the 1-2 days it usually took. The work on the cels took longer than normal as well, at times the animators 1 or 2 cels a day rather than 20 or so.

My Thoughts on the Film:

Other than the art in this film, I find this film a little flat. There was little to no character development like we saw in Pinocchio or Dumbo. The characters just moved along like they were on rails. Maleficent was just evil to be evil. Why was she after Princess Aurora? Was it because she didn't get an invitation to the unveiling of the princess? I'm pretty sure she was evil before that but there must have been some reason she would do this.

The rest of the characters also seem to be doing things just to do them. The kings only motivation seems to by marrying of their children. At least Prince Philips father seemed to be coming around to the fact that he wanted to marry a peasant girl. The three fairy's, who have spent the last 16 years with Aurora, when finding out that she thinks she loves a peasant man force her to run crying to her room then bundle her off to the castle.

My Favorite Part of the Film:

It had to be when the Goons were dancing around the fire after capturing Prince Philip. It was very reminiscent of the "Night on Bald Mountain" scene from Fantasia.

Things I never noticed before:

- One of the Goons was voiced by Candy Candido, who was Fidget in The Great Mouse Detective as well as in Robin Hood and Peter Pan
- Briar Rose is barefoot while walking in the woods
- The cookies that Merryweather creates while drinking her tea are Mickey shaped

Final Thoughts:

Not one of my favorite films, but still a good movie. It says a lot that I have not watched the Blu-ray before and I bought it in 2008. The movie just seems bland to me, but I'm sure little girls love it. It is funny that the castle in Disneyland was named after Sleeping Beauty and Disneyland opened before the movie came out, giving the movie almost a gimmicky feel. It's something I would expect today but seems a little out of place for the 1950's.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 7 - Fantasia/2000

Movie: Fantasia/2000
Formats Release: 1 VHS, 2 DVD, 1 Blu-Ray
Format Watched: Blu-Ray
Watched With: My dogs Belle and Woody, although Belle slept through most of it
Snacks: Wendy's Double with Cheese meal with a Diet Coke

Fantasia/2000 is the long awaited sequel to 1941's Fantasia. Walt Disney always wanted Fantasia to be constantly updated but because of poor box office performance in the U.S. and the war in Europe preventing much of a release there it was just not feasible. Several of the ideas for follow up parts to Fantasia were reworked and included in other movies including "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" which was included in Fantasia/2000.

Roy Disney was the driving force behind Fantasia/2000 having worked on it since at least 1974. Production of the movie really didn't take off until the early 1990's when it was decided to fit production of the individual segments in around the other movies in production at the time rather than dedicate a whole production team to the project. The first segment finished was "The Pines of Rome".

My Thoughts on the Film:

I liked the movie. I saw it during it's initial IMAX release, driving almost 2 hours each way to get to the closest theater. It was amazing in IMAX and very enjoyable in my 5.1 surround sound. I thought there was the perfect blend of hand-drawn animation and CGI animation. The two styles mixed well and it was hard in scenes to tell where one ended and the other began. As an example, the Stag's antlers during the "Firebird Suite" were hand-drawn overlaid with CGI. I had to go back and re-look at it to tell. The whales in "The Pines of Rome" were CGI except for the eyes which were hand drawn.

My only complaint would be the introductory scenes. The use of stars that were relatively big at the time (although my nephews have no idea who any of them are) probably seemed like a good idea, but 60 years from now if people are still watching this film, like they are Fantasia today, they will have no clue who these people are. I just watched the Wonderful World of Disney Walt Disney World Grand Opening show last night and I could only identify Julie Andrews, very little clue who the other people were.

My Favorite Part of the Film:

I loved the "Pines of Rome". Something about flying whales does it for me. Plus the little whale is cute. The music is amazing, it was the personal choice of Roy Disney, and as I found out last night it was also played during the grand opening of Walt Disney World.

Things I Never Noticed Before:

- In "Rhapsody in Blue" when the little girl dances into the closet, a bowling ball falls out
- Also in "Rhapsody in Blue" when they are showing the packed subway car, a foot it sticking up near the hands
- In the "Carnival of the Animals" all of the artwork and animation was done in watercolors
- In "Pomp and Circumstance" everything is vaguely duck shaped

Final Thoughts:

My earlier thoughts on Fantasia applies to this film as well. Just because it is animated does not mean it is automatically a children's film. Think of what the reaction would have been if they included "Destino" as part of the film. I'm almost 40 and "Destino" makes little sense to me!

I also thought the run time was a little short at 75 minutes. Fantasia had just cleared the intermission mark at 60 minutes. At this watching I was amazed, partially because I was paying great attention to the film, and partially because of the quality of the animation, but I was left with wanting more. I was a little sad when the film ended and I can only wish that there are plans to make a future installment of this film.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day Four - Fantasia

Movie: Fantasia
Formats Released: 1 VHS (plus Deluxe Edition packaging), 1 LaserDisc, 2 DVD, 1 Blu-Ray
Format Watched: Blu-Ray
Watched With: My Dog Belle and my cat Mike Wazowski
Snacks: Taco Flavored Doritos and Diet Barqs Root beer

I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to watch Fantasia last night. It is such a different movie from what came before of what came after that it's hard to compare to other Walt Disney Feature Animation films. It's like when an 1980's sitcom would do a "Very Special Episode" or when an action star does a family film, it's just different.

Walt wanted the film to be different, he wanted it to be an event. He allowed the film to go way over budget, he gave his animators almost free reign in terms of artistic license and color use. He developed a whole new sound system to showcase the films in the theaters. He wanted this film to make a mark and after 70 years I think it has.

My thoughts on the film:

The only thing I can really say about this film is that it's a work of art. All Disney animated films are art, but Fantasia was meant to be art from beginning to end. The film wants to transport the viewer into the concert hall for the performance. There is no opening title for the film, no overture, no credits, the film just opens with an opening curtain and the orchestra stepping out onto the stage. There is an intermission and the film ends with the last segment, there are no end credits.

Each individual segment is unique from the others in tone, animation and orchestration. New types of animation were developed, the use of chalk and pastels in the Nutcracker Suite and the 4 foot glass planes that were painted and used in Ave Maria.

The animators imagination was clearly at work. The idea to take a group of tribal dances that was the Rite of Spring and turn it into evolution of the Earth or to use alligators, hippopotamus, ostrich and elephants as ballet dancers is just amazing.

The soundtrack is just as important as the animation in this film. A fifth of the budget was spent on recording the soundtrack. A new type movie sound, Fantasound, was developed for this film to showcase the soundtrack. Fantasia was the first film to feature stereo sound, it was the first film to record multipart tracks for the soundtrack. To Walt Disney the music was the star of the film.

My Favorite Part of the Film:

It has to be the Pastoral Symphony segment. There is just something about this segment that is fun and carefree. There are technicolor flying horses and centaurs. There are flying babies playing matchmaker. There is a rotund, happy drunk riding a donkey unicorn. Try repeating those sentences without smiling. I love the music, it just very moving to me. I love the greek gods at the end. If one was looking for something that would guarantee that I would "get dust in my eye" every time I watched, one would have found it.

Final Thoughts:

This is not a children's movie and it bothers me that people would think that it is. Just because it is animated it does not automatically get relegated to the kids section. Just look at Heavy Metal to disprove that. This is a pure work of art, it pioneered new forms of animation, from chalk on paper to large glass plates. It was the very first movie to us stereo sound showing that what you heard was at least as important as what you see.

Walt Disney intended that this movie be constantly in production with new segments replacing old segments and that the movie would be continuously evolving. Based on what we have seen in this film, I would have loved to have seen what the animators could have come up with.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Play along at home - Day Four

If you're playing along at home, Day four will feature Walt Disney's Fantasia.

Day Three - The Great Mouse Detective

Movie: The Great Mouse Detective
Released: July 2, 1986
Director: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, Dave Michener and John Musker
Formats Released: 2 VHS Editions, 1 Laserdisc Edition, 2 DVD Editions
Format Watched: Original 1992 VHS Release
Watched With:
Woody, but he slept through most of it
Snacks: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-tart and Diet Sunkist
Personal Fact: When you put in a tape and the preview is for Aladdin "in Theaters this Fall", there might be some issues with the tape

The Great Mouse Detective
is one of those Disney movies that has always stuck with me. I don't remember seeing it in the theater but I know I've watched the VHS tape a number of times. Like Dumbo this film came at a critical time in the studio and helped shape the films to follow.

This is the film that came right after The Black Cauldron which, while it is one of my favorites, was a box office and critical bomb. The Great Mouse Detective made over $25,000,000 at the box office on a budget of around $14,000,000. To prove that nothing creates success like success two of the directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, we given the green light on The Little Mermaid because of there work on this film, and that is the film responsible for the Renaissance of the 1990's.

This movie also saw the first large scale use of computer graphics, mostly in the Big Ben scene, but also in other places. Computer graphics had been used before, like in The Black Cauldron but not on the scale of this film. The fun fact about the CG is that they used the computer to create the wire forms of the gears, printed them out, traced them onto cels then painted them. A bit of a round about process, but they would improve on it in films to come.

My thoughts on the film:

The Great Mouse Detective is a fun, light-hearted movie that you can't help but enjoy. It's a simple story that almost everyone can relate to, but it is delivered in style. Since it's based on Sherlock Holmes (well really based on a book that's based on Sherlock Holmes) there are many winks and nods to the source material.

The lead character Basil of Baker Street, is named after Basil Rathbone, the quintessential Sherlock Holmes. The snippet of dialog that you hear from Holmes in the movie is from a recording of Rathbone as Sherlock from the 1960's. The dog Toby comes from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Sign of Four". Even the disguise the Basil wears into the pub is from one of Rathbones Sherlock Holmes movies.

These details, along with nods to other classic Disney movies (Dumbo in the toy shop, the lizard from Alice in Wonderland, The dog catchers' wagon from Lady and the Tramp), add a layer to the movie that makes it fun to watch as an adult.

Favorite Part of the Movie:

While this movie also has a scene with feathers, and they last a lot longer that in Snow White, my favorite scene is undoubtedly the escape scene. If you ignore the fact that there is a record player in 1897, this Rube-Goldberg-esk machine is way over the top. The fact that they were going to get clipped by the mouse trap, shot, chopped with an axe and flattened by an anvil, but only after listening to a song recorded by the villain because he does not have time to do it himself because they were running 15 minutes late just kills me. The fact that he wanted a photo at the end is almost priceless. Basil and crew posing for the photo after escaping is what makes it truly priceless.

Things I never noticed before:

- Mr. Flaversham is Scrooge McDuck! (I LOVE Scrooge)
- "Castle Thunder" (a famous sound effect) is all over in this film
- Basil keeps an oil painting of his arch-nemisis over his fireplace
- You can run a complex machine with two levers
- Super evil Ratigan keeps a prima donna cat as his muscle

Final Thoughts:

I don't remember the first time I saw this film, but I remember the gears in Big Ben. I think I saw this film during the 1992 re-release, and seeing those gears on the screen was like nothing I had seen before. Disney would master this type of animation in Beauty and the Beast during "Be Our Guest", but seeing it for the first time during the climax of this movie blew my socks off.

This movie can be looked at as a placeholder in Disney films. This film has issues (you should see Waking Sleeping Beauty for a full look at the 1990's Renaissance and this films place in that) but it set the stage and the tone for the movies to follow (Oliver and Company does not count, it was in production at the same time). I know I've said this about every film so far, but this film deserves as second look.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Play along at home - Day three

If you're watching along at home, tomorrow I'm going to start watching films from the "Disney Renaissance" of the 1990's, starting strangely enough with 1986's The Great Mouse Detective. This film, arguably, is the film that started the Renaissance. It featured either the directors or the artists who played key roles in the movies of the 1990's.

Day Two - Dumbo

Movie: Dumbo
Released: October 23, 1941
Director: Ben Sharpsteen
Formats Released: 2 Betamax Editions, 6 VHS Editions, 3 LaserDisc Editions, 3 DVD Editions, 1 Blu-Ray
Format Watched: 60th Anniversary DVD
Watched with: My dogs, Belle and Woody
Snacks: Hershey's Nuggets (Milk Chocolate & Milk Chocolate with almonds) Diet Cherry 7-UP

Dumbo was released at an interesting time for the studio. In the 3 years leading up to it, Walt Disney Presents had released 3 films, only one of which was a success - Snow White. The studio needed to make up for the loses of Pinocchio and Fantasia. Their solution was Dumbo. It was the cheapest film made by the studio at the time, it cost about $850,000, and it made over $2,000,000 in its first run. That was more money that Pinocchio and Fantasia combined.

Since the movie was designed to make a much money as possible everything was streamlined. If, like me, you thought that Snow White was a tight film, Dumbo really takes the cake. Everything was designed to save the studio money. It went back to watercolor on white paper backgrounds, all the characters and set pieces were simple with little detail. For most of the background human characters they don't even have faces just the suggestion of a head to cut down on animation time. Even it's running time was compressed, down to 64 minutes. Given all this, Dumbo was still a great film.

My thoughts on the film:

It has been a long time since I've seen Dumbo, the 60th Anniversary Edition came out in 2001 and that was probably the last time I saw it. It's always been one of those movies that just sits in the collection but we never do anything with it. After watching today I can't think of why its been so long since I've watched it.

One of the neat things about Dumbo was that it was the first Walt Disney Pictures film to set in the United States. It starts in Florida, my home state, and then travels to un-named states. The film saw the introduction of two great voice actors to the Disney stable, Sterling Holloway, who would go on to do Winnie the Pooh and many other Disney characters, and Verna Felton, both of whom would be involved with Disney for 35+ years. Dumbo was a cash cow for Disney. It was the first Disney film to be released into the home market and it has been in constant publication since 1981.

All that said the animation is great. Disney had a lot to deal with during the production of this movie, mostly a animators strike (the animators were parodied as the clowns asking for a raise). The backgrounds are simple and unobtrusive, they get the job done in a quick, clean style. The character animation is fantastic, although sometimes the elephants heads seem to come detached from the bodies. Dumbo and Timothy are superb, drawn in a clean style that would be used on many later films.

The soundtrack was good, I didn't really notice the incidental music, but the songs are classics. "Baby Mine" still causes me to tear up.

Favorite Part of the Movie:

It's safe to say that it's the Elephants on Parade scene, which many people will agree with. How can you not like 4 minutes and 30 seconds of psychedelic elephants! I don't know who came up with the scene because it only barely fits into the film, it's how Dumbo gets in the tree, but they must of been out there or on something. The scene is just crazy, elephants turning into snakes, turning strange colors and in about the middle there is just a creepy eye staring out of the screen. It's strange and fantastic at the same time.

Things I never noticed before:
- The female elephants are all wearing eye shadow.
- The stork has Winnie the Pooh's voice
- The name of the circus is WDP Circus (Walt Disney Productions)
- Dumbo has no lines in the movie and his mother only has 1 line
- One of the crows, the one with glasses, has red eyes and another is smoking a cigar on a stick, a joint maybe?

Final Thoughts:

When you consider it for what it is, a way to recover some of the loses from previous films and later a great source of income for Disney, it is great movie. Dumbo doesn't talk, yet still you know what he is feeling. The juxtaposition of a mouse as an elephants sidekick works to reinforce his outsider status. Just the emotion you get from two trunks touching during "Baby Mine" is fantastic. That this was made as quickly and cheaply as possible just highlights the animators skill.

I did some reading up on the film at Wikipedia and IMDB, which I encourage everyone to do when watching a film at home, and there are some neat facts in there. It is the only Walt Disney Animated theatrical film where the title character does not speak. It won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Score (I might have to go back and re-listen to it). The drunk Timothy uses Mickey's laugh.

It was an idea that Walt took some time to warm up to but it became his favorite film. It's not my favorite film, but I am also warming up to it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Play along at home!

If you want to get updates on the movies I'm watching you can follow my twitter feed @100daysofdisney.

Also if you want to follow along at home, I'll be watching Dumbo tomorrow.

Day One - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Released: February 4, 1938
Director: David Hand (Supervising)
Formats Released: VHS, Two DVD Editions, Blu-Ray
Format Watched: DVD included in Blu-Ray Edition
Watched with: My dog Woody
Snacks: Microwave popcorn and a Cherry Coke Zero

Of course, I had to start with Snow White there just was not other choice. This is the movie that started it all. This would be like talking about Personal Computers without mentioning the first Macintosh, Color movies without Wizard of Oz or sci-fi movies without The Matrix.

I could only imagine what it was like to see this movie in 1938. When you think about the accomplishment that it is, it is now still mind blowing. I read in a book about Snow White that it was the largest collaborative art project ever, but the book was from 1994 and that may have changed. I think that over 700 people were involved in this project and it took like 5 years to make.

My Thoughts on the film:

It's been a while since I've really watched it, I watched the Blu-Ray a month or two ago but I didn't really watch the movie. I sat down today and just watched it, no computer, no chatting with my wife, I just watched the movie. I have to say that as a movie it is pretty amazing. It is compact story telling. With a running time of around 83 minutes they manage to pack a lot of movie in there. There is nothing extra, no throw away scenes, everything there has a purpose and it works.

There are only 11 non animal characters in the movie and three of them don't really have names, the Queen, the Huntsman and the Prince. He is commonly called Prince Charming now, but he is never called that in the movie. At one point Snow White talks about a prince who is charming but that's it.

I love soundtracks to films so I always make a point of really listening and the soundtrack to this movie is really good. The songs are classics and not much needs to be said about them but the incidental score is great as well. If you listen, there is really less than 4 minutes in the movie that does not have music in it. It is constantly there and it really helps get the emotions of the movie across to the audience.

Favorite part of movie:

I don't know if I have a favorite part of the movie but I do have a couple favorite bits of animation. First is when the dwarfs are fighting over the pillow and it pops showering the feathers all over. You can pretty much pick out the details of every feather! Considering that the feathers are on the screen for about 2 seconds, at 24 cels a second that is some serious work. The other scene is the end showing the castle in the clouds. It's just iconic and it sets the stage for pretty much every princess movie since.

Things I never noticed before:

-Snow White is wearing wooden clogs as she cleans the steps in the beginning.
-Snow White runs through the woods in high heels.
-During the dance sequence with the dwarfs, Dopey holds a cymbal that Snow White kicks which he wears like a Chinese hat and squints his eyes as he slides off the screen.
-At the end, Snow White rides side saddle.

Final thoughts:

Over all it's a work of art. Almost all of the backgrounds are watercolor on white paper. There are very few errors in the film. The multi-plane camera is amazing, especially in the forest scene. It's made an impact on my Disney collection without my even knowing it.

Before watching the film I did some reading up on the film and there was a ton of information out there. Both Wikipedia and IMDB are crammed with facts and trivia. I have two books about the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: An Art in its Making from 1994, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs & the Making of the Classic film which is undated but from the 1990's. I don't remember buying these books or how they got in my collection but they are there.

Watching the film I did have some comments like, why is she wearing heels while picking flowers, that she is basically breaking into and trespassing in the dwarfs house, the scene with Dopey and the cymbal is mildly racist, and stuff like that, but that doesn't really matter. I firmly believe that you cannot use the filter of the 2000's when looking at a movie from the 1930's, you just have to accept it for what it is and either enjoy it or not. I chose to enjoy it and I am glad it is in my collection.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Count up to the 50th Animated Feature Film


100 Days of Disney Animation

As of Tangled there are 50 Walt Disney Animation Feature Films (not counting the new Winnie the Pooh movie in theaters). In the next 100 days, I’m going to watch all 50 films and write about my fresh observations of these films. I will not stick to any particular media, DVD, Blu-Ray, LaserDisc (I still have Alaiddin on LaserDisc), VHS, whatever I’ll watch what I can get. There will be some saying you should do it in 50 days, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, plus a trip to WDW in Oct, I’ll need a little extra time, and 50 films in 100 days sounds better that 50 films in 67 days. Now why would I want to do this?

I love Disney Animation! Well I love almost everything Disney, but animation is at the top of the list. Movies have always been a big part of my life. Some of my earliest happy memories with my family circulate around movies. I was a child of the 80’s and 90’s. I remember my family getting a VCR, it was a betamax (kids, look it up). It was a big deal on our block to have one. Ever since them my family has always gathered around the TV to watch movies, and we always stayed on the cutting edge of technology, VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, Blu-Ray, we’ve had it all.

The first movie I ever remember watching in a theater was in Rochester, New York, and it was Fantasia, probably during its 1985 re-release. I’m sure there were movies before that, but Fantasia just stood out in my mind. It was the standard that all animated movies had to follow and my love of Disney was born. After that almost every major life event rotated around Disney. One of the first dates I went on with my wife was a Disney Movie. We had a Beauty and the Beast Wedding invitation and our Honeymoon was at Walt Disney World.

Through it all, if a Disney movie came out, I saw it, and most likely had the soundtrack. In June of 1996 I bought a The Hunchback of Notre Dame preview pass, the one that came with the free lithograph. I was working 3rd shift but I went to the movie after work in the morning and I loved it. Recently though I’ve been slacking off. There are actually a couple of Disney films from the early 2000’s that I have not seen. After watching Lilo and Stitch over the weekend I was amazed at how good the movie was. I always liked it, but I kind of forgot about it. I decided to look at all of the films again to see what I was missing.