REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [2017]

“Now find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart” This latest Disney epoch consisting of live action remakes/re-imaginings of their classic animated tales has the studio utilizing a few different creative motivations. The best has thus far has been their ability to find ways to create something wholly new and better from the blueprints of those that didn’t age well (The Jungle Book‘s basic sing-along and Pete’s Dragon‘s archaic values). Then there’s the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school with Cinderella wherein the filmmakers…

Read More

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [1991]

“There may be something there that wasn’t there before” The fairy tale Beauty and the Beast is so perfectly suited for the Disney princess treatment that it’s shocking they didn’t do one until 1991. Crafted to provide young girls a metaphor for the arranged marriages many of them would inevitably be a part of in 18th century France (Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve wrote the first version with Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont soon streamlining it into what we know today), its trajectory became one of the idyllic fantasy of raising one’s…

Read More

REVIEW: Frozen [2013]

“Conceal it. Don’t feel it.” Over half a century in the making, Disney’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen has finally made it to the big screen. It was 1943 when Walt Disney and Samuel Goldwyn decided to co-create a live-action/animation hybridized biography of the Danish author—an idea that stalled due to their inability to bring the aforementioned fairy tale and The Little Mermaid to life. While Disney of course figured out the latter in 1989, the former continuously proved troublesome as it failed to come together in…

Read More

Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

Read More

REVIEW: Brave [2012]

“Mend the bond torn by pride” Following two of Pixar Animation Studios’ most successfully original films, WALL-E and Up, came a pair of sequels that honestly left me a bit wanting. While most would agree with me on Cars 2—although I still liked it for what it was—I’m sure many think I’m crazy for being a bit disappointed in Toy Story 3. By far the funniest of the series, you cannot deny that the emotional resonance so intrinsically connected to the studio was lacking until a tacked on finale that…

Read More

REVIEW: Fantasia [1940]

“Now there are three kinds of music on this program” Our screening of the original uncut 1940 Roadshow, 35mm Disney Studio Archive Print, (yes, it came from the “vault”), of Fantasia was introduced by Disney historian and author John Culhane. He relayed a story about when he spoke with Walt in 1951 and mentioned how great he thought this mix of sound and images was. Walt responded by saying, “but it hasn’t made any money yet”. And that was ten years after its release. He did say that Disney still…

Read More

REVIEW: Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit [2005]

Wallace & Gromit has always been the phenomenon that eluded me. Every once in awhile I would be flipping channels and come across a short on BBC, but never took the time to actually watch one completely. When the film came out last year it seemed cute enough, however, the lauded praise and fanfare was surprising to me, as well as the oscar (granted Pixar was MIA in 2005). Finally I was able to catch up with the animated feature and upon completion I must say first impressions were correct.…

Read More