Saturday, September 29, 2012

Predicting Future Disney Animation Blu-ray Releases (UPDATE)

In mere months, these predictions will probably be irrelevant, since Disney is announcing things left and right and surprising us with what they are putting on Blu-ray. I figured I'd do this for fun, since only two animated titles are slated for release on the format. I decided to go by their recent release schedule, announcements and release patterns of the past. So, here we go...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Missing In Action

Those who have gotten their hands on the Cinderella Diamond Edition Blu-ray have confirmed that Aladdin is in fact, not being released as a Diamond Edition Blu-ray in the first quarter of next year.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Two Diamonds?

This should be the cover
artwork for the Blu-ray release.

Last month, I discussed the future of Disney's home media output, and how they have dropped two titles (Pinocchio and One Hundred and One Dalmatians) from the Platinum/Diamond line. Not too long ago, and an insert that's probably going to be with the Cinderella Blu-ray confirms that Peter Pan will be the next Diamond Edition. It'll be released on February 5, 2013, just in time for the film's 60th anniversary, which the insert oddly doesn't even mention.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Best To Worst

With The Avengers coming out on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, I thought I’d share my ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Phase One is over, and it was one hell of a ride. Phase Two begins next spring with the release of Iron Man 3 on May 3, and with Joss Whedon shaping this new slate of films and the choice of directors, Phase Two looks like it may just surpass Phase One. Phase One still delivered a very good assortment of films, comic book films that didn’t insult the audience’s intelligence and actually delivered lots of fun while also telling good stories with characters that you want to see more of.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nemo in the Third Dimension

Yes, that's right. Finding Nemo is worth re-experiencing on the big screen in 3D. The wizards at Pixar have delivered a good post-conversion 3D job, proving that animation is born for 3D more so than any CGI-sprinkled live action film. It also continues Disney's plans to re-release their classics and Pixar's films to theaters, just like Walt Disney himself, even though I could do without the 3D conversions.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Disney and Don Bluth: An Alternate History

Don Bluth’s departure from Disney in September of 1979 was certainly a devastating blow to the troubled animation studio. Upon arrival, he was instrumental in shaping The Rescuers, which went from potential disaster to Disney’s biggest hit and the highest grossing animated film on initial release at the time. Don Bluth wanted to bring back the classic storytelling to Disney animation, something that was not on display in The Aristocats and Robin Hood, which were cheap, often lazy films that kept the animation studio alive.

Bluth stormed out of the studio during production of The Fox and the Hound, which wouldn’t garner the praise that The Rescuers got but was a box office success. More animators were brought on board after Bluth left with fourteen other animators, and they were put to work on safer projects such as Mickey's Christmas Carol before moving onto the ambitious debacle that would be The Black Cauldron.

Now what if Don Bluth never left? What if he was able to fight the management and bring Disney animation back to the glory days? Perhaps the Second Golden Age would’ve started with The Rescuers and flourished from there...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"ParaNorman", A New Height for Stop Motion Animation

Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell
Written by Chris Butler
Produced by Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
Distributor: Focus Features
Studio: Laika

Friday, September 14, 2012

Only Human...

With all the reports about a Finding Nemo sequel (from where I currently stand, it's still "half confirmed", I still want to see that "interview" that the LA Times mentioned) swimming around, more and more news outlets and writers are essentially getting more fodder for their "Pixar is dead" arguments, a disgusting trend that picked up steam when Cars 2 premiered last year. Just take a look at a passage from this recent article on Indie Wire:

Let's face it, the lamp was going through some tough times in the last two years. During production of Cars 2, a lot of talented folks have left the studio. That same year, Brave had a director change which garnered a lot of controversy within the animation community and the press. Though Brenda Chapman was fired from the project over creative differences, the press had a field day and soon you had people left and right calling Pixar a "sexist" studio, a boys' club that wasn't going to allow a woman to direct a film. A change of directors on a film isn't uncommon, especially in the animation industry. Still, it was a blemish on their reputation, because supposedly they were gods amongst men.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

DreamWorks' Full Upcoming Slate

Today, The Hollywood Reporter revealed DreamWorks' full upcoming slate from now until the summer of 2016. This answers quite a few questions I've had over the years. Of course we know that The Croods and Turbo already had their release dates set for a good while, while Mr. Peabody & Sherman was moved up to November 1st. This way, it has a little room to breathe before competition.

Back to the Sea

It seems as if the sequel to Andrew Stanton's Pixar classic has been confirmed, just in time for the film's 3D theatrical re-release. Though I'm not really putting much credence in that article (where is that "interview" where Stanton confirmed a Finding Nemo sequel?), I'll still offer my thoughts on the subject.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Original "Black Cauldron": Can It Happen?

This has always been an unfortunate happening in Disney animation history, one that Kevin T. Rodriguez of Examiner brilliantly summed up as a "sore spot" for animation fans in his fantastic article, Top 10 Reasons Criterion Should Get Animated. Animation fans know the story: Jeffrey Katzenberg, new to the Disney company, viewed The Black Cauldron and told the crew to cut ten minutes of the film. He eventually edited out more footage when the crew didn't meet his demands ("I said ten minutes!"), resulting in the removal of 12 minutes in total.