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.