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maestrowork
12-04-2010, 11:40 PM
Disney's heyday ended in the mid-60s. It went through a very long dark age until its revival with features such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, etc. And then it died again after Jeff Katzenberg left for Dreamworks. Pretty much everything after Tarzan was crap.

When John Lasseter went to head Disney animation after a successful run with PIXAR, there was a great hope that Disney will enjoy a new revival. All eyes were on Princess and the Frog, which turned out to be a big disappointment. There's a reason why everyone was skeptical about Tangled. The trailers even looked like a Shrek ripoff.

I was pleasantly surprised. Very much so. Tangled is great. The animation is gorgeous, rivaling anything PIXAR has done, and the story -- while fairytale-like cliched -- is funny and well done, with real emotions. The songs by Alan Menken may not be his best (his peak was during the Beauty and the Beast/Aladdin days), but they're still very good. As an avid animation fan, I was really impressed. Apart from Toy Story 3, it's the best animation feature this year (and I actually liked How to Train Your Dragon and Shrek 4). While Disney missed the mark with Princess and the Frog, they did almost everything right with Tangled.

There were rumors that Lasseter is stopping production on their future fairytales. If that's true, it would be a mistake. Disney must realize story and characters trump everything. The trick though, is whether they're going to be able to reinvent themselves, or if they're going to churn out the same formula. Sure, the boy-meets-girl/adventure story arc may be cliched, but it works for Tangled but not Princess and the Frog. Why? I think if Disney can figure this out, we may be in for another few years of the latest Disney revival.

Kaiser-Kun
12-05-2010, 12:03 AM
I think The Princess and the Frog, while flawed, was a step in the right direction. It helped that it's message (Work is the way to success, but it's no good if you don't enjoy it) is very important and necessary these days. Way more than "go to sleep and wait until someone kisses you to wake up" or "go have a magically-induced taste of dreams and wait until someone returns your shoe."

jkababy
12-05-2010, 12:09 AM
Just want to say I thought Tangled was FAB. And I totally agree Maestro, they were at the top of their game in the mid 60s, largely (I would argue) because of the riDICulously talented Sherman brothers. Get that caliber of music back along with today's animation technology, they'll rediscover their own magic.

Toothpaste
12-05-2010, 08:26 AM
I enjoyed TANGLED a lot, but found the songs really really weak and that distracted me from the rest of the film. I also didn't find the story epic enough or timeless enough to be a true classic. It was, to my mind, a delight. But not a masterpiece. My full review is here if people are curious: http://www.facebook.com/notes/hardcore-nerdity/hcn-review-tangled/177983798880510

Also here's another post I wrote on What Disney Is Doing So Completely Wrong With Its Songs Today: http://www.facebook.com/notes/hardcore-nerdity/what-disney-is-doing-so-completely-wrong-with-its-songs-today/177985125547044

And yeah, Maestro, I heard that too. That the plan is to focus on, surprise, boy centred plots and main characters to get guys interested in their animated features again. Why does everything these days have to be for boys, and why does it mean that girls have to miss out? Sigh.

maestrowork
12-05-2010, 09:31 AM
But PIXAR is already doing that boy-centric stuff: Cars, the Incredibles, UP (where there are hardly any female characters!), Toy Story, etc. Maybe PIXAR Should stay boy-focused and Disney go wild with the Princess movies? That would be my strategy -- divide and concur.

Storyteller5
12-05-2010, 09:55 AM
OF course, the one thing Disney has done that I think was a HUGE step in the right direction was to promise no more sequels to the classics. They shouldn't have done Cinderella 2 and 3, but they won't do Sleeping Beauty 2 or Snow White 2 which is good.

maestrowork
12-05-2010, 10:34 AM
I'm kind of disappointed that PIXAR is doing Cars 2. I wasn't too impressed with the first one... and C2's trailers look really dumb. What is it, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Anime?

BenPanced
12-05-2010, 11:11 AM
I've heard two versions of the rumor: they're either going to stop making the fairy-tale stories, or they're going to stop making princess stories. Either way, I have to agree the songs were rather weak; like I did with Aladdin, I immediately knew which song they're going to have nominated for an Oscar. Otherwise, the animation was terrific and the characters were engaging.

dragonjax
12-05-2010, 04:35 PM
I'm kind of disappointed that PIXAR is doing Cars 2. I wasn't too impressed with the first one... and C2's trailers look really dumb. What is it, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Anime?

What the WHAT? Oh no.

maggi90w1
12-05-2010, 04:46 PM
I don't know... sometimes I think Disney movies are too funny now... yeas, funny is good, but kids need more then slapstick humor.
Pocahontas, the Lion King, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan... they were funny as well, but they had much more serious stories then Wall-E or Cars.

dragonjax
12-05-2010, 06:24 PM
Pocahontas, the Lion King, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan... they were funny as well, but they had much more serious stories then Wall-E or Cars.

More serious than Wall-E? That movie all but hit viewers over the head with How Important It Is That We Are Good To Our Environment Because We Only Have One World.

maestrowork
12-05-2010, 06:53 PM
I don't know... sometimes I think Disney movies are too funny now... yeas, funny is good, but kids need more then slapstick humor.
Pocahontas, the Lion King, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan... they were funny as well, but they had much more serious stories then Wall-E or Cars.

Lion King is great because the funny (mostly with Pumba and Timon) works very well with the serious.

Not so much with Mulan or the Hunchback... the humor (especially the dragon, even though I like Mushu and Eddie Murphy enough) is out of place with the rest of the movie, given how dire and serious it is (after all, it's about war and deaths). Don't even start on the gargoyles - they were atrocious and almost ruined Hunchback for me.

defcon6000
12-06-2010, 01:30 AM
I still love Mulan for the girl power aspect. :D But it never pulled my heart-strings like Lion King did. (now I wanna go watch it!)

As for the rumor, I heard it was princess stories, because like Toothpaste said, they want movies to appeal to both boys and girls.
http://blog.movies.yahoo.com/blog/177-disney-will-stop-making-princess-movies-because-boys-think-theyre-icky

I don't see the issue with princesses, if they made more proactive female heroines and put lots of cool action rather than the girl waiting around for her prince charming, then I think the appeal would be there for boys (and girls who like strong females). They shouldn't just toss it out, they should rework it. That's what evolution is all about.

maestrowork
12-06-2010, 02:51 AM
Princess stories do carry some burdens, as little boys do tend to resist them: "I don't want to see a Princess movie!" They changed "Rapunzel" to "Tangled" and featured Flynn heavily for a reason, and it worked. It got the boys and their parents into the theater and they realized, they could enjoy a Princess movie, too, if there's enough action and hero stuff (and a crazy horse).

Besides having many flaws, Princess and the Frog failed in the sense that it was marketed as a princess movie. Much of the promotion talked about how they had the first African-American princess, etc. etc. Even the title says Princess. While it wasn't a real box office disaster, it wasn't what they expected either. Boys were heard saying "I don't want to see Princess and the Frog!" It's silly but real.

ceenindee
12-06-2010, 06:13 AM
I wish the music in Tangled had been better. That was my only complaint about it, because I loved it, but I feel like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a musical or not.

I'd like to see more movies like this. I don't see why PatF did so poorly, because it felt just like the old-school Disney movies to me. I feel like it's more that the tastes of audiences have moved on, than any fault on the part of the movie.

defcon6000
12-06-2010, 06:16 AM
Well that's why I was saying Disney should change it to make princesses appealing to boys. Kickass female leads are all the rage, so why not make a kickass princess? The stigma that boys have an aversion to is that princess stories tend (Disney being guilty of spouting this) to have the princess sitting around, waiting for her prince charming and singing with the cute little woodland creatures. Hell, even I don't want to see that! But it's not too late to change the princess stigma, make princesses more proactive and interesting. Hayao Miyazaki did it with Princess Mononoke so I know it can be done.

Storyteller5
12-06-2010, 07:14 AM
I think Disney has to a large degree also lost the great villians in their animated movies. Of the newer ones (Little Mermaid, Alladin, onward), the only really scary at all villian might be Jafar. They have nothing like Malifacent in Sleeping Beauty or the Old Queen/witch in Snow White. I think boys esp would respond more readily to stronger villians.

maestrowork
12-06-2010, 08:22 PM
I wish the music in Tangled had been better. That was my only complaint about it, because I loved it, but I feel like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a musical or not.

Personally I think the songs are fine. It takes a few hearing to catch on, but some of them are very catchy. I remember watching Beauty and the Beast for the first time and the only song I could remember is the opening song. But after watching it a second time, the other songs grew on me. Same here. Granted, this is not Alan Menken's best work, but he is a good songwriter/composer regardless.

People are already talking about a Tangled stage musical in a couple of years. So obviously some people think the songs are Broadway quality.

maestrowork
12-06-2010, 08:26 PM
Well that's why I was saying Disney should change it to make princesses appealing to boys. Kickass female leads are all the rage, so why not make a kickass princess? The stigma that boys have an aversion to is that princess stories tend (Disney being guilty of spouting this) to have the princess sitting around, waiting for her prince charming and singing with the cute little woodland creatures. Hell, even I don't want to see that! But it's not too late to change the princess stigma, make princesses more proactive and interesting. Hayao Miyazaki did it with Princess Mononoke so I know it can be done.


Disney hasn't done that kind of Princess since Beauty and the Beast, though. Even Ariel and Belle are headstrong heroines; they don't just sit around waiting for their dreams to come true.

Granted, the other princesses are all from "boys-friendly" adventures such as Aladdin, Mulan, and Pocahontas. Rapunzel is no different. She shares the screen with Flynn, and that helps to bring the boys into the theater.

The trick, I think, is to have the right villain and sidekicks to keep the boys happy (they really don't care much about the kissing stuff). Princess and the Frog has a weak villain and sidekicks, IMHO. And the relationship between the hero and heroine is forced. In Tangled we have a really good villain and some crazy sidekicks (Maximus is hilarious).

Stormhawk
12-07-2010, 12:12 AM
I think Disney has to a large degree also lost the great villians in their animated movies. Of the newer ones (Little Mermaid, Alladin, onward), the only really scary at all villian might be Jafar. They have nothing like Malifacent in Sleeping Beauty or the Old Queen/witch in Snow White. I think boys esp would respond more readily to stronger villians.

...what about Frollo? Hellfire is a scary-as-frack villain song.

maestrowork
12-07-2010, 12:38 AM
Frollo is a sick F***.

Day O'
12-07-2010, 01:56 AM
I still love Mulan for the girl power aspect. :D But it never pulled my heart-strings like Lion King did.


Really? I cry every time at the end of Mulan when she comes home and meets her father. But then I cried (hard) at the end of Toy Story Three when he played with the toys the last time.

Tangled was awesome. The animation alone made it a masterpiece. The music was a shift. I think they were going for a more modern sound, and I did think the song during the lanterns was good. The Frog and the Princess was good not great. I think they spent too much time on New Orleans culture stuff, which didn't bother me, but kids aren't going to find that interesting.

And as far as boys and princesses, my son (now sixteen and forever embarrassed) loved the Little Mermaid from about 2-3 years old. We took him to Disney at about two and a half and all he wanted to do was meet Ariel. When he saw the chick dressed up, he wasn’t very impressed:(

WCP
12-08-2010, 04:11 AM
I grew up loving Disney in the 80's...I can't watch cartoons anymore though

Kandybar
12-08-2010, 09:04 PM
Why not?

maestrowork
12-08-2010, 10:19 PM
I grew up loving Disney in the 80's...I can't watch cartoons anymore though

Can't or won't?

And I don't call them "cartoons" anymore. There are animated features to me.

WCP
12-09-2010, 12:48 AM
I watched so many cartoons/animated features growing up - now I just cant get into them, So I couldn't really tell whether Tangled is better or worse than other Disney animated features.

Adult cartoons like Adult Swim, and the Simpsons don't do it for me either.

I can't get into them anymore - I dont know why. Help me!

maestrowork
12-09-2010, 12:49 AM
What about Avatar? That's an animated feature. ;)

WCP
12-09-2010, 01:00 AM
Yeah that is animated pretty much - I saw Avatar in 3-D in the front row IMAX - it was pretty cool, especially with the 3-D effect.

maestrowork
12-09-2010, 01:36 AM
I grew up with that stuff, and as an adult I'm an animation nut. Can't get enough of that stuff, if it's good.

WCP
12-09-2010, 02:48 AM
Cool - Yeah, I was really into animation growing up - I've seen almost everything - I love to draw cartoons (majored in art, unfortunately) and used to do computer animation (i dropped out of a grad program in computer animation after a year, thankfully)....I like animation if its dark/surreal/or weird - like Bakshi's Wizards or Superjail on cartoon network.

Rhubix
12-14-2010, 10:58 PM
I'm a little over excited to post in this thread. I will do my best not to ramble on to long!

To begin, it was The Little Mermaid that led to my career as an animator. As a 5 year old living on the shores of Newfoundland, it was too easy to imagine all this stuff happening right outside my door.
The 90's are lovingly referred to as 'the dark time' in animation circles. Disney released a quick succession of formula moves. I would almost tack Beauty and the Beast on them just to punish it for the terrible animation of Bell. That woman's face is like a clock in a Dali painting.
Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan are all essentially the same movie. The Lion King was the only one to stand above the rest, saved on the backs of it's beautiful art direction and the catchy music.
I know some of the crew from the Pocahontas movie, the unfortunate soul to be released immediately after Lion King. They were ashamed to say they'd worked on it. One man told me he spent the release party apologizing to every one, saying "Don't expect the Lion King. He was right.
Lilo and Stitch was the last classical film before they closed the studios. I consider this movie the light at the end of the tunnel, and was devastated when I heard they were shutting the place down.
When I heard they were re-opening it for Enchanted, (essentially a training ground for their next big feature) there was hope again!

I do agree with other posters on the Princess and the Frog. It's only error was marketing. If they had called the movie Frogs it would have done way better. The music was fantastic, and they certainly held their own for animation. It brought a delightfully sinister villain, it doesn't get much worse then sacrificing the souls of others to dark forces for your own gain. Everything a proper Disney move should have. I left the theater (both times) with the songs stuck in my head for weeks.

Tangled was saved by the horse and clever use of her hair. The story book opening was trite, and before each song they practically said - lets sing a song about it! The songs were bad, and I don't remember any of them.
There were too many villains for the short run time. The mother- who really didn't seem that bad. Yes she stole the kid, but she raised her in a warm, clean environment and brought her all the toys, food and paint she could ask for. Then there were the guards, the Horse, the Stabbington brothers, and the brief scare at the tavern.
Even the feel-good ending wasn't very powerful. The girl wasn't chained to a filthy hovel crying over an old painting of her family with a sinister crone cackling she'd never see them again. She lived in a shiny yellow tower in a pretty meadow of flowers and waterfalls and had no reason to believe this woman wasn't her mother. In the end she's hugging two strangers.
Having said that, I did like this movie. You should hear me go on about the bad ones!

Most sequels are for money grabbing purposes only. Cars is the best example. It has a special place for me because I have a love of antique cars, but it's just an okay movie. The toys sell like bottled water before the Apocalypse. Cars 2 should be re-named, lets send the guy to Europe and make some European dinkies; while we're at it, work in a plane and maybe a boat so we can bank on those too. I wont be surprised if they take a brief stop at a construction site to make new friends.

/end Disney rant.

quick note on Avatar (I assume you mean James Cameron's one) It is the prettiest CG ever. I sat through the whole movie transfixed, and spent the weeks obsession over all the movies they could potentially make with the advances in the field. It's a shame the movie itself was a dancing with wolves / Pocahontas re-hash. If the story was better it could have changed lives. Nobody would know who Bella and Edward were.

adarkfox
12-19-2010, 09:51 PM
Oooo I found the hidden animation thread! Just going to add my 2cents...

I have been a die-hard 2D fan for a looooong time. I grew up with the Disney formulas (Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Lion King, Aladdin)... Disney lost me with Hercules and Tarzan... but Disney has won me back with Tangled. It is the first 3D film I can actually say I loved (and I spent a year and a half as a 3D animation major. durrrr).

But who am I to talk? Some of my favorite animated movies of all time include Balto, Anastasia and Titan A.E. (After the last two Fox Animation went ka-put).

Unfortunately, good storytelling doesn't necessarily mean a profit (Fox Animation), but making a sell-as-much-merchandise-as-possible movie (Dizzzzzzney!) doesn't make a great movie.

Somewhere is the animated film G-spot. (For G movies, get it? Ahahahahaha)

Rhubix
12-24-2010, 09:36 PM
My favorite thing to come out of Disney as an adult are the Ghibli releases... so not their movies at all.
Spirited Away is my favorite move of all time.

childeroland
12-25-2010, 06:53 AM
Did The Princess and the Frog's box office kill Lasseter's 2D initiative?

Rhubix
12-26-2010, 10:47 PM
That would make me a sad panda.

KiraOnWhite
12-27-2010, 06:05 PM
I maybe overthinking it, but I had lots of problems with this movie despite also being a fan of Disney animations. Just a little side-note, but I didn't mind the lack of strong heroines in the early films since after all, they are based on fairy tales and as studies of that field shown, reactions to it are mainly on the moral attitudes behind their origins rather than a reading of it as narratives with psychologically realistic characters. At least for me, my focus as a viewer is on the presentation of the fantastical elements instead of the possible moral agenda behind it.

In this light, what I found disatisfying about Tangled are:

-The ambiguous motivation of the villain. The obvious answer is eternal youth, but what in hell for? Throughout the film she never uses magic at all aside from preserving her looks, so it's not very plausible that she needs to extend her life to continue her practice. She doesn't explicitly use it to seduce others either, or for anything where being youthful looking is a crucial factor. If she is supposed to be simply extremely vain, that angle is never directly weaved into the plot. Yes, what she does to Rapunzel is cruel but ultimately I have no idea why is it so urgent for her to look young.

-The romantic angle is a bit underdeveloped, especially since the fact that Flynn is a Wanted criminal is handwaved after the happy reunion. Unlike in Aladdin, where this disparity in status features more prominently as a obstacle (as it is) and eventually resolved.

-The happy ending was a bit mind-boggling for my older mind to take. Criminal arriving with long-lost princess...has not anyone make the link to Anastasia?

-As mentioned by others, the songs were sub-standard and I left the cinema not rushing to upload any into my Ipod. My personal gripe is how 'poppy' and not really uplifting the centerpiece song is (the one playing where Flynn and Rapunzel were surrounded with lanterns).

-Having recently read anedoctes about feral and isolated children, I had to really suspend my disbelief of Rapunzel's presentation resembling that relatable to the female target audience.

Animation-wise, the oil painting-influences are evident and a great example of how 3D animation can be as beautiful as 2D. Otherwise, considering my gripes about this movie from the perspective of an older viewer, I highly doubt this is a film would stand the test of age and time in the running for the 'Disney Animated Canon'.