Featured, Reviews / 06.09.2020

If you're still recovering from the terrible trio of Disney live-action remakes we were served in 2019, the idea of another cherished animated classic being lazily rehashed in 2020 is likely the last thing you're yearning for in the middle of a global pandemic. After the soulless shot-for-shot remakes The Lion King and Aladdin and the ambitious misfire that was Dumbo, something decently competent like Mulan ultimately looks like a masterpiece by fortunate virtue of comparison to a string of disappointments. After seeing its March big screen debut scuttled...

Reviews / 19.08.2020

With everything that's happened in 2020, you've likely forgotten the year in film started with the colossal $175 million flop that was Dolittle. Much to no one's shock, it continued a string of recent talking CGI animal films (Cats, The Lion King) that focused too heavily on crafting said digital creations and forgot they needed a heart to land any shred of resonance with an audience. Trepidation abounds when approaching another CGI creature feature this week. After the pandemic-induced cinema shutdown forced Disney to pull their adaptation of beloved...

Reviews / 05.08.2020

By the mid-1980s, Walt Disney Feature Animation was on its last legs. After the catastrophic box office failure of 1985's ambitious disaster The Black Cauldron, many within the Disney studio feared the once-illustrious animation department was on the verge of being shut down. It would take the herculean efforts of a dream team of collaborators to resurrect Disney animation and it would be spearheaded by a man whose influence was compared to Walt Disney himself. Arriving almost three decades after songwriter Howard Ashman's tragic premature death, Howard is a...

Awards Season, Reviews / 03.07.2020

The history lesson that made history, there has rarely been a Broadway phenomenon quite like Hamilton. After opening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in July of 2015, the brainchild of the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda soon became the hottest ticket in town, much to the delight of opportunistic scalpers everywhere. After winning 11 Tony Awards from a record-setting 16 nominations, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Hamilton firmly staked its claim as one of the most acclaimed and successful...

Reviews / 13.06.2020

After being stuck in production hell for almost two decades, Disney's big-budget adaptation of Eoin Colfer's acclaimed 2001 children's book Artemis Fowl has finally arrived. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of the film's intended April theatrical release, Artemis Fowl has instead been unceremoniously dumped on the studio's streaming platform, Disney+. Frankly, that's probably for the best. An incoherent and confusing mess that rarely stops to take a breath, Artemis Fowl was clearly planned to be the first instalment of Disney's next great saga to join their ever-expanding...

The House of Mouse Project / 05.06.2020

After 58 days and 58 films, The House of Mouse Project has drawn to a close. A dizzying journey through the soaring highs and crushing lows of Disney animation, the project has been a beautiful distraction from the uncertainties of the world. As initially promised, it's time to rank all 58 films and uncover which Disney animated film is the greatest of all time. Place your bets, it's time to start the countdown. 58. Home on the Range (2004) - full article Well, there has to be a low point,...

The House of Mouse Project / 03.06.2020

The one that strengthened a phenomenon. After 2013's Frozen became the highest-grossing animated film of all time, a genuine cultural phenomenon, the calls for a seemingly inevitable sequel began to grow. Fellow animation studios like Pixar and DreamWorks had been crafting successful follow-ups to their most popular animated films for years, but Disney had long resisted the urge to greenlight theatrical sequels for any of their 21st-century films, namely due to the mistakes of the past. In the 90s and early 00s, Disney had actually been consistently churning out sequels...

The House of Mouse Project / 02.06.2020

The one that proved Disney could do self-deprecation. Sequels are a dime a dozen in the animated genre. From Shrek to Toy Story to The Lego Movie, if an animated feature film performs even remotely well at the box office, a follow-up is all but assured. But in their eight-decade history, Walt Disney Animation Studios had essentially ignored this practice, with 1990's The Rescuers Down Under oddly standing as the only animated sequel in their canon (I don't consider Fantasia 2000 and Winnie the Pooh to technically be sequels...

The House of Mouse Project / 01.06.2020

The one that felt like a breath of fresh air. When Walt Disney premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, he also inadvertently (or possibly entirely intentionally) launched one of Disney's most successful pseudo film franchises and merchandise lines; the Disney Princesses. In more recent decades, the very definition of what constituted a typical Disney princess character had been pushed outside the limited box of Disney's earlier princess films. While the earlier Disney princesses were little more than one-dimensional lovesick damsels in distress like Snow White, Cinderella, and...

The House of Mouse Project / 31.05.2020

The one that dared to tackle bigotry. One of the cornerstones of the decades of Disney animated films has been crafting adorable talking animal characters that not only capture the hearts of audiences but also lend themselves to an endless stream of profitable merchandise. Whether it was a cute baby circus elephant in Dumbo, a family of jazz-loving felines in The Aristocats, or two dogs forming an unlikely romance in Lady and the Tramp, Disney consistently fell back on its tried and true formula of placing animals at the...