Curse you, Basil...
Twenty-six years ago today, Walt Disney Feature Animation
what would be the subtle beginning of the Second Golden Age of Disney
"The Great Mouse Detective
", based on Eve
book, "Basil of Baker Street
" was released in America. It was
directed by four great animators, Ron Clements
, Burny Mattinson
and John Musker
. Clements and Musker would go on to define the
films that this animation Renaissance would be recognized as over the
With the release of "Tangled
," the upcoming "Wreck-It Ralph
," and next year's "Frozen
" a Third Golden Age
may have already begun...
I would include The Princess and the Frog in that list since it marked a successful return to familiar source material for Disney and a high level of quality that was absent during the Chicken Little years (since rebuilding confidence in the Disney Feature Animation brand is the primary issue here)
I don't really think you can consider this a "third golden age". I just don't see it. The last golden age, for example, all were movie musicals. They all were of a certain type. And most importantly, they all came out one year apart. I would have considered Pixar to have been that third golden age, and I think the distribution/ownership/pixar-is-disney argument is the only thing getting in the way of saying Pixar's dominance (the years they won the Oscar one after the next) was that third golden age.
If we are talking strictly WDAS, then I would consider this to be a third golden age starting with The Princess and the Frog. I just wish we would see more hand drawn animation from these guys. It's not possible for me to love Tangled more than I do, except if it were hand drawn. Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh were a great return to the traditional format.
I am hopeful, even though Winnie the Pooh didn't exactly bring in the crowds, now did it? Wreck it Ralph may be a hit, even though it still sounds like a cheap pat on the back to game lovers and the geek community ( ie, John Lasseter.)
I've always thought that Bolt was the true soft start to a 3rd Golden Age. Like the Great Mouse Detective, it was a solid mildly financially sucessful movie that marked the transition from some forms of dreck to quality. Princess and the Frog is more like Oliver & Company while Tangled marks a hearalded and financial beginning. Even Winnie the Pooh can be compared to Rescuers Down Under. Here's hoping Wreck-It Ralph continues this trend come November 2nd, 2012
Golden Age? Well I wouldn't call it that. Disney is evolving, and with 3D animation becoming a BIG thing Disney has and is adapting to that. With Pixar and Dreamworks, The demand for 3D animation is at a high.So far they have done a good job at creating 3D films worth watching (thank you Pixar). As for 2D animation I love it. Disney has a reputation of creating beautiful 2D movies and I cant wait see what they bring to the table.
Actually, considering the Great Mouse Detective comparison, maybe the "Third Golden Age" begins with Bolt, since it was the first film made completely under Lasseter's management, was co-directed by Byron Howard who later made Tangled (comparison to Musker and Clements, since their greatest films came after GMD), and was fairly well-received commercially and critically. Collectively Bolt, the Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, and potentially Wreck-it Ralph represent a dramatic step forward in quality than the several films produced before Lasseter
What is Frozen? Sounds intriguing.
"Frozen" is Disney's version of Hans Christian Andesons" fairy tale "The Snow Queen". Unfortunately, most of the Anderson has been left out of that version, the title's been changed in a way that reminds me, most unhappily, of "Tangled", the character names, motivations and purposes have also been changed, and what was going to be 2D is now 3D.
All of which is why I have no further interest in a project I was once excited about.
Dont forget that Snow Queen was going to be another Alan Menkin musical.. Now we get (the still very talented, but come on he's not Alan Menkin) Robert Lopez.. I'm sure the movie will come together well and I really hope it's the next Tangled, but right now I'm still getting over all those changes...
Also still not sure what to think of Big Hero 6, but I am glad to see WDAS trying to reach broader markets (boys) with more than just changing titles of fairytales... I hope it's traditionally animated, and with the comics Japanese setting, an anime style would be very appropriate.
Finally, King of the Elves... What's happening there?
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