The House of Mouse Project / 12.04.2020

The one that headed south of the border. The 1940s were a difficult time for Walt Disney Productions. Despite the financial success of Dumbo in 1941, the box office failures of Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi took a heavy toll on the studio. With America now finally joining the war efforts in Europe and most of the international cinema market non-existent, the financiers at Bank of America refused to loan Walt Disney any further capital unless he agreed to only produce short films. Walt was already in the initial planning stages...

The House of Mouse Project / 11.04.2020

The one that broke hearts around the world. It may not have been known at the time but Walt Disney's fifth animated feature film would stand as the end of an era. With World War II escalating and America joining war efforts after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Bambi would be the final feature-length animated film produced by Disney for almost a decade. Of the five films Walt would oversee in Disney's early days, Bambi is one of his most unique productions. The team at Disney took the lessons...

The House of Mouse Project / 10.04.2020

The one that made hearts soar. By the early 1940s, the situation at Walt Disney Productions was beginning to look somewhat dire. Despite huge critical acclaim and several Academy Awards for their first three animated feature films, the heavy losses occurred from the box office failures of Pinocchio and Fantasia were taking their toll on the company and Walt Disney himself. With World War II continuing to eliminate the possibility of Disney capturing the lucrative European box office dollars, Walt keenly understood the studio's only hope was to produce their...

The House of Mouse Project / 09.04.2020

The one that brought classical music to life. After delivering two acclaimed animated masterpieces, most would assume Walt Disney might merely play it safe with his third animated feature film and simply deliver another family-friendly animation to charm audiences across the globe. But Walt was never one to take the expected path. Just eight months after the release of Pinocchio, he would unveil his most ambitious work thus far that challenged everything Disney had established within the animated film genre. Fantasia was an enormously risky undertaking that completely abandoned the...

The House of Mouse Project / 08.04.2020

The one that taught us to wish upon a star. How do you follow up a game-changing film which genuinely made history in more ways than one? After the unprecedented success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, this was the daunting task now facing Walt Disney. To say there was an enormous weight of expectation on Walt Disney Productions' sophomore animated feature film would be an understatement. Thankfully, it appears this was the very environment Walt thrived within. Walt knew his team had to take the lessons they had...

The House of Mouse Project / 07.04.2020

The one that started it all. For 93 years, that's often been the prefix attached to Walt Disney's perilously ambitious Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Standing as the first full-length animated feature in motion picture history, the film had plenty to prove and even more to lose. The fate of Walt Disney Productions legitimately hung in the balance. Everything was riding on the success of Walt's seemingly insane venture many assumed would fall flat on its face. Walt's brother and business partner Roy desperately attempted to talk him out...

Featured, The House of Mouse Project / 06.04.2020

In the life of a film critic, there will always be one particular question that inevitably comes our way; what was the first film that started it all? For most of us, it was the first film we saw in a cinema that truly sparked our love of movies. Much like generations of children before me, my first trip to the cinema was to see a Walt Disney Animation Studios film. And I've been in love with Disney's special brand of magic ever since. The year was 1990 and...

Reviews / 05.04.2020

With all theatrical releases postponed for the foreseeable future, it's left to the litany of streaming services to carry the torch for original film content until it's safe to return to the cinema. Unfortunately, we're not in awards season mode, meaning a service like Netflix has little to serve up but bottom-of-the-barrel titles like Michael Dowse's Coffee & Kareem; a "comedy" light on laughs and heavy on profanity and violence, echoing everything wrong with his disastrous 2019 flop Stuber. Netflix is a more suitable home for something so decidedly...

Reviews / 21.03.2020

One of the biggest film casualties of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal has been Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's The Current War; a lavish period biopic which was surely due to be Weinstein's great big Oscar hope of the 2017 season. After premiering at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival to a tepid response, Gomez-Rejon was furiously re-editing the film so as to meet its November theatrical release date when the Weinstein story broke. When The Weinstein Company naturally collapsed and the film was pulled from release, Gomez-Rejon raised an additional...

Featured, Reviews / 03.03.2020

By virtue of unfortunate comparison to Pixar's impeccable back catalogue of masterpieces, every new film from the studio faces a dauntingly high bar to clear. Last year, Toy Story 4 somehow managed to defy all expectations and walk off with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in the process. Sadly, Pixar's first of two films this year can't quite meet the dazzling pedigree of many of its contemporaries. While it's naturally wonderful to see Pixar return to fully original storytelling for the first time in three years, the...