Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Disney Magic #24: Just a handful of Winnie the Pooh's Many Adventures

This week is a bit of a jump back in time. Though released in 1977, this whole movie is made up of segments that were made before that. In fact one was made early enough that we get one more chance to see something that Walt himself worked on while he was still alive. And who doesn't love Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the hundred acre woods? The whole gang is here, from Tigger, to Piglet, to Owl and Rabbit. And they do indeed have many adventures, though admittedly most of them start with an empty honey pot and an empty stomach.

Direct Download Link Here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekly Disney Roundup: February 26, 2012

Part of Storybook Circus will be opening in late March as part of New Fantasyland at Disney World! It hasn't been released exactly what will be opening yet, but the area is themed on Dumbo and has attractions that will feature some of the classic characters like Goofy and Mickey, so I'm excited to see what's finished! More info about that here.

This storyboard for the cut out verses of "Reflection" from
Mulan has been circulating around and it's really lovely. I can see how the animation flowed into the next scene a little better with the scene they kept, but it's really a shame the whole song didn't stay in.

There's some awesome new figures coming out soon featuring Disney characters dressed as Star Wars characters. These two are my favorites, Goofy as Cad Bane and Stitch as General Grievous, but they're all really awesome. More over here!

Remember that one time we were super excited for Brave? Well now we're even more excited. A whole two and a half minutes of the movie!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Disney Princesses: From Movie to Line Up

I was originally going to use this for a tumblr post, and I might still, but in the process of making said post I realized I had a lot to say about it so I thought I'd do a more in-depth post here! The princess lineup is an interesting topic for a lot of reasons. It's something Disney pushes a lot, in fact it's pretty much all they market to girls these days other than the occasional Minnie, Tink, or Alice merch. I've also seen a lot of discussion about the effect this sort of merchandising has on little girls. I haven't quite decided how I feel about that whole discussion, so that's a post for another day. There's also a lot of problems with balancing which princesses get the most merchanidse, who is an official princess and why, and some of the crazy outfits they put them in for kicks (I'm looking at you, crazy gold nonsense)

I will say that I'm a fan of the princesses personally, I think all of them have something great to offer, but I will definitely admit that there are some problems with their marketing. I threw together this little graphic to demonstrate a little bit of the discrepancies between film and official Disney Princess-ness. This was pretty much the standard set of girls until The Princess and the Frog and Tangled came out. So we'll start from the left and work through.

First up is Snow. Her's is probably the most significant change, and I can definitely understand why. I had a hell of a time finding a screen cap to represent her with where she's got her eyes open and isn't making a crazy face. She looks lovely when animated, but the style doesn't do well in stills. Her face has slimmed down, and the colors of her dress have become more vibrant. I do like that she's retained her sweet look though. She definitely looks younger than the other girls.

I've heard so many complaints about Aurora, but honestly, looking at a direct comparison she didn't fare too terribly in comparison to some of the others. Her hair is significantly more yellow for reasons I can't quite grasp, perhaps they wanted everything more vibrant? But her facial features have faired pretty well. I can't say the same for the dolls of her, but that's another discussion. The dress is a big bone of contention for some people. For most of her presence in the movie, she's wearing her Briar Rose peasant dress, and for most of the time she's wearing her gown it's blue. Personally I don't mind her in pink. It helps to differentiate her from Cinderella, and it adds another warm color which especially helps when Ariel is a mermaid. Don't ask me what the hell is going on with her left hand though.

I was pretty delightfully surprised with how well Jasmine weathered this process. She is one of the newer princesses, which helps I think, but I was pleased to see how her nose and eyebrows have stayed the same. The screen cap I used had quite a bit of gold/red lighting, which is why the colors look so different from one another. It does suck a lot that she's so often used as a token though, Jasmine's an awesome character and I often think they include her just so it won't be a line of white girls. This has changed somewhat with Tiana joining the lineup (she has an appropriate princess dress and is actual royalty so Disney is cool with having her in things) but it's still not okay. She's also the first indication of what I like to call "Princess Lineup Personality Drain Syndrome" It's totally in Aurora and Snow's characters to stand around looking pretty and smiling, but Jasmine spends most of Aladdin being angry or dismayed. Not to say that's uncalled for, she totally has the appropriate emotional reactions to situations, but it means that she looks really strange just smiling serenely. It looks kind of like those school pictures you had to smile in as a kid but you really just wanted to get to lunch so you could eat your Dunkaroos.

Ariel fared pretty well looks-wise as well. Her hair is still ridiculous and awesome, and that dress still clashes with it terribly. She's pretty often shown as a mermaid, but when she's not it's giant pink dress. I much prefer the seafoam green version she wears at the parks, but I understand the need for less green/blue and more warm colors. She has the worst case of PLPDS I think. In The Little Mermaid Ariel acts like...well she acts like a fangirl. So most of the time she is FEELING ALL OF THE THINGS. Especially when she loses her voice, she has to overact to show her feelings. So when she is happy she is THE HAPPIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD and when she is sad she is SO DAMN SAD. To have her smiling politely feels really disingenuous to her character.

I have no idea what happened to Belle's face. We had a pretty good track record thus far, but Belle definitely looks off. I will say that Belle does not look this different in all of the lineup art, this is an unfortunate circumstance for her. I think it's mostly the way the eyes are angled, something is weird there. Anyway! Her hair and dress fared pretty well, even down to the middle seam on the bodice. While I don't think smiling nicely is uncharacteristic of Belle, I do kind of wish we saw her making snarky faces more often. She makes some awesome snarky faces.

Cindy got a lot of TECHNICOLOR CRAP HAPPENING. For some reason her hair was made yellow-blond instead of strawberry blond and her dress was upped to super blue instead of silver with a tinge of blue. For the dress, I can kind of understand the angle that they would want a big difference between regular dress Cinderella and wedding dress Cinderella, but I have no idea why the big difference in her hair. The weirdest part of these differences is that if they had kept Cindy in her original color scheme then Aurora could have her blue dress and the differences in hair and dress color would probably be strong enough for people to distinguish between the two. At least her face is still pretty similar.

I think a lot of these discrepancies are for a couple of reasons. They want the girls to look like a cohesive whole, so a lot of the facial changes help with that. They also want a nice balance of color, so that it's both visually pleasing to see them all together and also they can kind of assign a color to each of them. The color assignment helps with both children picking their favorite and with all of the merchandise matching so that it looks nice on a shelf. Also instant recognizing of princesses, if you go to the Disney store and see a pink tiara, a yellow tiara, and a blue tiara, you're going to know that's Aurora's, Belle's, and Cinderella's automatically.

Some of the differences seem really arbitrary though, especially in hair color. Vibrancy is a consideration I suppose, but with plenty of the girls having black hair that doesn't seem to work. Honestly the thing that bothers me the most though is the plastic smiles on everyone. I would love to have art where it looks like the princesses are actually interacting with each other as friends! Even something a simple and stereotypically feminine as them sitting around having tea would be a more relaxed-looking and natural atmosphere that would let their personalities show a little bit. Less like they're copy and pasted next to each other and more like they're actually hanging out. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Disney Magic #23: Reasons Why it's ok to Rob the Rich to Feed the Poor

In one of our favorite movies so far, we get the story of Robin Hood but told with animals. Lots of great music is involved, there's a madcap fight scene and a whole load of fun characters including a bear, a badger and a chicken. There's church mice who are actual mice, and Richard the lionhearted is...well a Lion.

Direct Download Link Here

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekly Disney Roundup: February 19, 2012 (AKA THE FIRST ROUNDUP ON OUR NEW DOMAIN YAYAYAY)

We bought a domain name today a;lakjds;flkasdf;kj! So consider this your official welcome to! We'll be doing this the rest of the day:

Tigger is apparently a very impressive dancer.

"My beautiful sister living her dream as Belle in the national traveling tour of Beauty and the Beast." (Source) This is just darling!

Minnie's got a new show at California Adventure called "Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline!" It features songs from the 40s, 50s, and 60s and just look at those adorable outfits! There's more info over here.

Original blueprints from Journey into Imagination back in 1983! This ride was one of my favorites as a kid, it's cool to see it all laid out like it used to be. From reddit.

In honor of our super cute movie this week, here's a darling Aristocats tattoo from Reddit.

Well this will probably be the weirdest thing you've seen all week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Disney Magic #22: A Tale of Two Kitties (And Some Kittens as Well)

This week it's Aristocats and we're off to Paris where we see another Disney story about two animals from different sides of the tracks that fall in love. Only this time, it's cats instead of dogs. We also have a family of animals being kidnapped and having to make their way home, but again, this time it's cats and not dogs.

Direct Download Link Here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Aren't these vintage Disney valentines too cute? I just love Goofy having a mermaid valentine. So random.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekly Disney Roundup: February 12, 2012

Lady and the Tramp came out of the vault last week! Go get your copy while it's still around :D

I've been seeing this image circulate around a lot this week! The is a real tattoo on Annefaye Kao, and you can read more about it here (although the interview is not my favorite, it calls the Queen 'Grimhilde' and the prince 'Prince Charming' and asks her stupid questions about her potential love life. It does have some nice close-up pictures though!) I think it's really beautiful, definitely one of the most impressive tattoos I've ever seen.

Some new concept art was released for Wreck-It Ralph, Disney's next CG film, and it looks pretty neat. The film is basically going to be about a misunderstood villain escaping from a video game. There's some more pictures and info here, and the movie comes out November 2nd.

This is a really cool compilation of live-action reference used for Disney movies! Using actors as models has been a tool Disney used from the beginning, and it's really cool that a lot of the film is still around.

Oh my goodness, you guys. I am SO EXCITED FOR BRAVE. This post features all sorts of new concept art, maquettes, props, renderings and paintings that are in a display at Disney World. So cool.

You might need some tissues for this one.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Disney Magic #21: A Podcast About a Movie, About a Book, About the Jungle

This week we look at the last movie that Walt Disney ever worked on, (an a lot of other "lasts" as well we find out) The Jungle Book. But its a great final movie with some of the best songs in the Disney music library, and some of the best character designs we've seen so far.

Direct Download Link Here

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekly Disney Roundup: February 5,2012

New favorite Nigel Thornberry Disney gif? New favorite Nigel Thornberry Disney gif.

A really cute (and generally very impressive) Alice in Wonderland/My Little Pony Friendship is Magic crossover video!

Previews of Brave merchandise were floating around this week! I have mixed feelings about them choosing the court dress over the more casual one she seems to wear most of the movie, but I guess it's gotta fit in with the other ball gowns. That detailing is really pretty anyway, and I love the colors! Here's a tumblr post with more stuff, including a bow and arrow set! Marketed to girls! Be still my heart!

Miss Piggy will never stop being my hero. She's a fashionable, body positive, feminist who knows karate and apparently hates Fox News. Awesome.

Joel found this awesome concept sketch for Stitch that's apparently from 1985! I'm very surprised by how long this idea was hovering around the studio.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Disney Magic #20: Merlin and Arthur's Wacky Adventures

This week we go back in time to see Disney's take on the Legend of King Arthur, or at least the part of it where he was a kid and got to hang out with the most Awesome Wizard of All Time1 Not only that but he got to be a squire, a whole bunch of talking animals, and got to hang out with a talking owl. How's that for a childhood?

Direct Download Link Here