REVIEW: The Jungle Book [2016]

“You did not respond to reason so now you will know fear” Looking back at Disney’s 1967 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book objectively may surprise you as it’s little more than a sing-a-long loosely tied into a low-stakes adventure of escape from the big bad jungle that’s ultimately portrayed as sympathetic if still dangerous. Anyone over eight will be bored by its lack of substance and tired of its silly humor—Shere Khan’s menace providing the sole bit of resonant impact beyond its frivolity. So it’s not difficult to…

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REVIEW: The Jungle Book [1967]

“No one explains anything to Shere Khan” It’s without a shred of nostalgia that I declare Disney’s animated The Jungle Book an entertaining romp. Having never seen it due to its absence from my stable of “classics” growing up, my affinity to the characters hailed from “TaleSpin” instead. So it was fun meeting them in their original form—bumbling, kindly creatures looking out for the young man-cub they raised to have empathy for their myriad species while man itself sought to kill similar to villainous tiger Shere Khan (George Sanders). I…

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REVIEW: Tomorrowland [2015]

“Which wolf wins?” The only constant the future holds is how today’s will look nothing like tomorrow’s. It would have been an amazing experience to see the vision Walt Disney had for his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow in Orlando, but he of course sadly passed away in 1966 and that land became the Magic Kingdom in 1971 instead. His ideas were eventually partly utilized in conjunction with a second amusement park (aptly coined EPCOT) to accompany the one capped by Cinderella’s castle, but Walt had hoped to construct a…

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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…

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REVIEW: Get a Horse! [2013]

“Give me back my phone!” I guess it might be time for me to revisit some of the old Mickey Mouse cartoons from yesteryear, but I’m not so sure I want to. Especially if Lauren MacMullan‘s animated homage created in part for the iconic character’s 85th anniversary Get a Horse! is truly on point as far as its subject matter goes. Don’t get me wrong, though, the short does build into a rip-roaring, slapstick escapade that uses its gimmick to full potential without wearing itself out. It’s just the first…

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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…

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