Welcome to Our World

Welcome to Our World: Introduction

Posted by on Dec 29, 2011 in Welcome to Our World | 0 comments

Welcome to Our World: Introduction

“I met a wonderful man. He’s imaginary, but who cares? You can’t have everything you want.” – Mia Farrow in The Purple Rose of Cairo Walt Disney’s Alice in Cartoonland, one of the first mixtures of animation and live action, proved such a financial success that it helped Walt secure funding for the early projects that led to the so-called “Golden Era of Animation” (from 1928’s Steamboat Willie to 1942’s Bambi). Decades later, The Incredible Mr. Limpet and Mary Poppins ushered in a new era of...

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Posted by on Dec 29, 2011 in Welcome to Our World | 0 comments

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Disclaimer: Some excessive drinking and racy double entendres involving animated buxom babes. When it was made in 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the most expensive film ever produced, had the longest on-screen credits, and marked the first time cartoon icons from Disney and Warner Brothers appeared together on screen. None of these aspects alone make the film worth seeing; at best, they may make it memorable. No, the magic that makes this film incredible stems from an impeccable blend of...

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Mary Poppins (1964)

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Mary Poppins (1964)

Disclaimer: Scary business moguls and obligatory references to the evils of capitalism. P.L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins book series, despised many aspects of Walt Disney’s feature-length film. Despite the clamor by critics and viewers, she asked Disney to remove a fantastic sequence where the main characters jump into a sidewalk drawing for a brief holiday with animated companions. Never before had Disney fused live action and animation together so well as in this Oscar-winning...

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The Lego Movie (2014)

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The Lego Movie (2014)

Disclaimer: Some small parts hurt like hell when you step on them, otherwise everything herein is awesome. They took a Danish toy from the 40s and turned it into a movie. Strike that. They took a Danish toy from the 40s and turned it into a GOOD movie. Regardless of how you may feel about the validity of the idea, you gotta take your hats off to the makers of The Lego Movie – they pulled off the impossible. They were given a product and told to make it entertaining on a screen. How do you...

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Disclaimer: Explicit use of witchcraft, cockney, and obligatory celebrations of Britishness. Disney couldn’t possibly try to cram more novelty into one film than it did in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Viewers will no doubt compare this movie musical featuring a mix of live action and animation to Mary Poppins, but in all reality it’s unparalleled in its combination of witchcraft, Nazis, animals playing soccer, underwater ballroom dancing, flying beds, chases, and kidnapping – all in England. If...

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Allegro Non Troppo (1977)

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Allegro Non Troppo (1977)

Disclaimer: Images depicting eroticism, evolution, and socio-political satire. Like many of us, Bruno Bozzetto grew up with images concocted by Disney. He learned ecology from Bambi, which fueled a lifelong fascination with nature, and he learned about classical music from Fantasia, which fueled this fascinating feature-length homage and parody that fuses music, animation, claymation, and live action. While Fantasia used Stowkowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, director and co-writer...

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Enchanted (2007)

Posted by on Dec 29, 2011 in Welcome to Our World | 0 comments

Enchanted (2007)

Disclaimer: May entice children to manholes, rats, and cockroaches. When I first saw the preview for Enchanted, which likely unfolded with a deep-voiced narrator spouting off cliché after cliché (“in a world where dreams come true” … you know the kind), I scoffed and shook my head, certain it would be another failed Disney creation. I’m happy to admit I was wrong. The romantic comedy is a combination of the plot twists and conventions in Disney’s animated “princess” films (most...

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James and the Giant Peach (1996)

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James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Disclaimer: Enormous insects and child slave labor. Brought to us from the same director and stop-motion animators as The Nightmare Before Christmas, this Disney-released children’s flick is a fuzzy, tasty treat. This mixed action film begins in live action, which is actually more cartoonish and campy than the animated portion, but is fortunately only 20 minutes long. As it unfolds, we are introduced to James Henry Trotter (Paul Terry), a happy child with a dreamy imagination nurtured by his...

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The Phantom Tollbooth (1970)

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The Phantom Tollbooth (1970)

Disclaimer: May convince children that they can drive a car or orchestrate a sunrise. Norton Juster’s 1961 novel, The Phantom Tollbooth, has long been revered as a classic of children’s literature. This being the case, filmmakers quickly jumped at the opportunity of making a feature-length film based on it. But many were skeptical of the idea (including Juster, added to which is the fact that MGM’s animation studio folded after this film’s release), because the book is a strange sort of...

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Casper (1995)

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Casper (1995)

Disclaimer: Some deceased drinkers (spirits for spirits, if you will), bits of ripe language, and a little murder. Though you may think they pale in comparison to today’s standards, when Casper came out in the mid-90s it boasted cutting edge special effects from the likes of Steven Spielberg (Amblin Entertainment) and George Lucas (Industrial Light & Magic). Coupled with sharp animation and humorous writing, the friendly ghost made a successful and entertaining run as the first...

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The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Welcome to Our World | 0 comments

The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)

Disclaimer: Gratuitous propaganda for the U.S. Navy. Though not a particularly “great” film, this fan favorite captured imaginations and votes of confidence for the U.S. military, while simultaneously notching two cinematic firsts. The Incredible Mr. Limpet is the first mixture of live action and animation – just beating out Mary Poppins, which came out later that year – and it is the first film ever to premiere under water. (OK, so it’s not exactly pioneering a new movement, but it’s a first...

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Space Jam (1996)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Welcome to Our World | 0 comments

Space Jam (1996)

Disclaimer: Some violence and destruction often involving ACME products. It seems like a crime that the most beloved and prized of Warner Brothers’ creations, the Looney Tunes, never managed to land a feature film until 1996. While Disney’s characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, etc.) spent eons appealing to the younger, adolescent crowd, the Looney Tunes celebrated similar success, though through different means and to a broader audience. That broad appeal was the result of their riffs on...

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Welcome to Our World: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Welcome to Our World | 0 comments

Welcome to Our World: Other Recommended Titles

MirrorMask (2005): This allegorical tale of a young girl transformed into a world of her own artwork is highly inventive and visionary – like an even more nightmarish Alice in Wonderland – but its lacking story never matches its visual charm. Pete’s Dragon (1977): This $11 million Disney flop stars Mickey Rooney, some cheesy songs, more cheesy songs, and a cartoon dragon. Tom Thumb (1958): This goofy little fantasy is one of George Pal’s Puppetoon features, with Peter Sellers in a supporting...

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