Monday, June 1, 2009

Let's Watch the Chronological Animated Disney Canon!

Ah yes. I said I was going to rescue this and a few other features from LaGremlin's website. I originally posted this between 1/12/08 - 3/6/08 at It's been altered just a little.

Ye FAQ List

Q: "Why are you doing this?"

A: Why not?
OK, seriously, I was being treated for gallbladder disease, and I needed to (a) entertain myself during the ordeal and recovery from surgery and (b) cheer up. I hadn't seen every Disney movie and I figured it'd be fun to do.

Q: "I guess you have a good point there. So did you really watch every single animated Disney movie ever?"
A: Well, Netflix did not have every single Disney film available, though surprisingly, they did have most of them. I owned some of the missing movies on video. As the local video store was gradually transforming into a video game store, I had to rely on inter-library loan for the rest. That's not a bad thing at all, it just means that some of the movies won't technically be watched in order.
There are only a few movies I had no luck with. One of them is "The Reluctant Dragon", another is "So Dear to My Heart", and most people don't count either films as part of the Canon anyway. I have no clue what "So Dear to My Heart" is, but I have seen "The Reluctant Dragon" before. Honestly, nothing in the movie, which is meant to be a behind-the-scenes look at the Disney studio, is half as entertaining as knowing what was going on BEHIND behind the scenes. The movie just so happened to be made during a very messy studio strike, so the smiling artists joking in the halls were a bit of a stretch of the truth.
And then there's "The Song of the South" which... on second thought, let's not go there.

Q: "Hey, wait a second. According to Wikipedia, 'So Dear To My Heart' isn't part of the Canon, but neither are movies you did review like 'TRON' and 'Dinosaur'."
A: True, but I wanted to watch every Disney movie that had even a little animation in it, regardless of whether they are officially part of the Canon. Furthermore, throughout it's history, Disney has arbitrarily included and removed films in their Official official list on a whim. When I was little there was no question "Mary Poppins" and TRON" were part of it.
More to the point, I just had too many things to say about "TRON" and it's sequel and "Dinosaur" and others.

Q: "You've got too much time on your hands."
A: Right.
For the life of me, I don't understand this kind of comment. I'm an artist, and I want a career in animation, so for me this kind of thing is research if not outright work.
Also, they aren't very long movies, people.

Q: "Are you, like, nine or something? Cause cartoons are for babies."
A: I really shouldn't dignify this one with a reaction. I'm curious though; does this mean I can sit your two-year-old in front of "Akira"?

Q: "Wait a minute, Trish. You're a vocal Looney Tunes fan girl. Isn't this like fraternizing with the enemy?"
A: I've gotten questions like this involving Don Bluth and Hiyao Miyazaki too. I may do them next if it turns out to be practical.
And it isn't like you can't be a fan of Looney Tunes and Disney. Plenty of those strange creatures we call not-animation-geeks do it.
(That said, Bugs Bunny is my hero and Mickey is a weenie.)

Q: "What kinds of 'research' did you do for this project?"
A: Good old Wikipedia was excellent for "one-stop shopping". Bob Thomas' Disney's Art of Animation was very useful as well. I also read skimmed through Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas' seminal The Illusion of Life. It's a doorstopper (and I take issue with their conviction that only Disney produced believable character animation; if so, why do I cry at the end of "What's Opera Doc"?) But it's a fascinating doorstopper.
As far as other Disney links, Jim Hill Media is usually a fun blog as is The Disney Blog. And then there's Mice Age, which covers every aspect of Disney you can imagine and a few you can't. I also have to give mad old-school Epcot props to Walt Dated World. Expect to spend an afternoon there.

Q: "Hey, wait, what about 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'?"
A: (Long, long, awkward pause…)
Oh! Son of a (censored)!!!


Next post: "Snow White", "Pinocchio", and "Fantasia". To find other posts in this ongoing series (I won't stop until Disney does), go here, or click the Chronological Disney Animated Canon tag below..

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