'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit
appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away
at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette
, from The Smurfs
, or as Ms. Bitters
on Invader ZIM. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 15, 2012 -
- a two minute clip/trailer from Pixar’s Brave. You can also see some lovely production art and sculptures here
posted by Artw
on Feb 23, 2012 -
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!
It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King
is at the top of the box office
. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance
, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg
Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting
tracks alongside the original video
), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action.
In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M
wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary
on scenes like this
; his work was later expanded
into a full album
, the Broadway stage show
, and projects closer to his heart
. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle
), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups.
Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2011 -
To paraphrase a character in the film, The Black Hole walks "a tightrope;" if not between "genius" and "insanity," then certainly between "genius" and "banality". If you're looking at this movie as a Manichean exercise between darkness and light, then you can -- for at least a few hours -- entertain the "genius" part of that equation.
posted by Trurl
on Sep 25, 2011 -
was an arrogant doctor, until a car accident damaged his hands, leading him try every cure possible. Eventually he made his way to the East, where the story progressed, and now he's Doctor Strange
, master of magic! His thrilling tale is set to be the first Marvel superhero movie
since Marvel was purchased by Disney
. But there has been much history behind the latest movie, including a period when Guillermo del Toro was involved and wanted to include Neil Gaiman
, a draft script by Alex Cox
(1990, 5.1 mb PDF; review
), and a draft script by Bob Gale
(January 21, 1986, 3.5 mb PDF; review
). Along with these incomplete attempts, there was the 1978 Dr. Strange TV movie
, which you can watch online (full movie with Portuguese subtitles
, or YT playlist
). If you'd like another take, head to 1992 for the direct-to-video movie Doctor Mordrid
. Depending on who you ask, it's a more
or less entertaining/accurate take
(warning: spoilers) on Dr Strange. Modrid is also online
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 9, 2011 -
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 24, 2011 -
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films
distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing
Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International
, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully
re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree
(while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention
The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic
gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog
, debuted in more than forty tongues
Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes
and one-line comparisons
, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights:
"One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali,"
and "A Whole New World"
) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata,"
(The Lion King
) - "Under the Sea"
and "Poor Unfortunate Souls"
(The Little Mermaid
) - "Belle"
and "Be Our Guest"
(Beauty and the Beast
) - "Just Around the Riverbend"
) - "One Song"
) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo"
) - Medley
) - "When She Loved Me"
(Toy Story 2
) - Intro
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 12, 2010 -
Toy Story 3
hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim
as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D
and a "real-time"
perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst
of a generation that grew up with the series.
It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2
the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story
(itself the first CGI feature in history).
And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes
that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards
(including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation
), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history
But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality
(of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar
), two of their upcoming projects are sequels
, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2
in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2
in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave
, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously]
, fellow newcomer Newt
has been canceled
. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3
guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation
of John Carter of Mars
and with forays into live-action
already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar?
Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 18, 2010 -
In January of 2004, Disney shut down
their Florida animation studio, part of their decision to move away from 2D
, or cell-shaded, animation for good
. Two years later, as part of the new deal with Pixar, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull were brought in as heads of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and promptly declared that 2-D Animation would thrive again on their watch. For their first new project, the team wanted to show support for the still-struggling New Orleans, and simultaneously introduce Disney's first Black Princess
in "The Frog Princess"
(Or The Princess and the Frog
, as it is now known), a fairy tale set in 1920's Jazz-era Louisiana, with Randy Newman providing a period-specific score
. Much response
to the project has been quite positive
, but as with all things, the devil is in the details
posted by Navelgazer
on Jul 22, 2008 -
"This is a war story!" (warning: direct ifilm video link)
Don't play VD roulette! Watch Disney's 1973 educational film "VD Attack Plan"
and fight those damned G & S soldiers! Lady killers? Really can kill ladies!
Features whimsical cartoons and really icky photos.
posted by miss lynnster
on Aug 18, 2005 -
america's heart and soul
- so, they wouldn't release fahrenheit 9/11, but this, this is okay. are they making efforts to distance themselves from any involvement with fh9/11, or do they want to make sure that washington keeps listening
From the chronicle:
Disney officials insist their 88-minute film, "America's Heart and Soul" -- stitching simple, positive vignettes of everyday Americans with sweeping vistas and up-tempo music -- is neither a response to Moore's politically charged hit nor any type of political statement itself.
more coverage here
, and a review
posted by christy
on Jul 1, 2004 -
It's the plot, stupid. USA Today
runs their usual insightful commentary about the upcoming release of Lilo and Stitch. It obsesses over the absence of CGI graphics pointing to Atlantis
as evidence for the failure of traditional animation to draw box office. Funny me, I thought that Atlantis
bombed because of a plot better left in 50s serial format, a cast of sterotypes rather than characters, and no sense of humor beyind dirty French jokes repeated over and over again. And is huge success of Pixar
due to their pioneering animation, or their brilliant comic talent?
What causes FX myopia anyway? Granted I can understand why fanboys obsess over the wrong things in a movie. Do the studios set it up by trying to hype each new summer release as the next big technical development (while the artistic development gets trumped by Waking Life
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Jun 18, 2002 -
Tron returns with a vengeance.
With a theatrical sequel, a 20th anniversary DVD and a first-person PC shooter, you have to wonder why Disney is rollling out the red carpet all of a sudden.
posted by ed
on Jul 27, 2001 -