Disney’s Silver Age #5: Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty came during a time of tumultuous change for the Walt Disney company. Walt himself was quickly being pulled away in multiple directions by the company's forays into live-action films, documentaries, the TV-division, and a little project called Disneyland. In addition the animation division itself was starting to get serious competition from new upstarts like …

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Disney Silver Age #4: Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp was a first for Disney for several reasons. After a series of fantastical stories it represented Disney's first domestic picture based not on a fairy tale but in a more realistic human setting (with Bambi of course being a realistic movie set in the wilderness). It was also Disney's first feature film not …

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Disney Silver Age #2: Alice in Wonderland

Within five minutes of Alice in Wonderland opening Alice has followed a frantic rabbit down a hole and fallen into a zany portal of sorts with floating household objects only to land in a room reminiscent of a set from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in which she encounters some biscuits that either shrink her to a mere fraction …

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Disney’s Silver Age #1: Cinderella

The fruitful Golden Age of Walt Disney Studios in the 1930s and 40s is a period of critical success unrivalled by most studios. In the space between 1937 and 1942 they released five powerhouses in a row in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Each of those movies are iconic in their own right and instrumental …

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Coco (Big Screen Review)

First things first: One should not take one's daughter to this movie on a daddy-daughter date without mentally preparing oneself for Pixar's penchant to deliver devastating emotional gut punches. Otherwise that same hypothetical person should also be prepared to give an explanation for why her daddy is a blubbering mess. Speaking entirely hypothetically and not …

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Disney’s First Five #4: Dumbo

Dumbo came at an interesting time in the Walt Disney company. It followed two critical successes but commercial flops in Pinocchio and Fantasia. In addition World War II was raging, and with it a huge chunk of foreign box office revenue (about 45% of total box office revenue at the time) was cut off. Desperate to keep the financial …

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Disney’s First Five #3: Fantasia

If Snow White was the coming out party for Walt Disney and for feature animation, then Fantasia is the wild, slightly drunk, and fearless after-party in which all caution is thrown to the wind and the Walt Disney company simply decided to go for broke. It is hard to understate just how bizarre a movie Fantasia is. There was nothing …

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Disney’s First Five #1: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

My love for all things Disney is no big secret. Over this last weekend my wife has indulged me tremendously as I sat on the edge of my seat refreshing Twitter repeatedly so that I could get the latest updates from the D23 Expo (official Disney fan club convention) as Disney announced the newest animated …

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