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 / 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...

Reviews / 18.02.2020

It's been over 115 years since Jack London released his classic wilderness adventure The Call of the Wild; a book most of us were likely forced to read during our early school years. After several big-screen adaptations over the last few decades, it's time to dust off the novel once again with 20th Century Studios (so long, Fox) offering another take on London's work. Given CGI photorealistic animals are all the rage nowadays, director Chris Sanders makes the confounding call to make his canine star Buck a completely computer-generated...

Awards Season, Reviews / 19.12.2019

If the last twenty years and five films have taught us anything about Star Wars fans, it's one blindingly obvious fact; you cannot please them all. Serve up too many elements of the films that came before and you're derided for lazily recycling the past. Stray too far away from the tried and true formula and you're vilified for destroying the franchise. There really is no way to win everyone over, particularly with how sacred many rightly hold the original trilogy. In 2015, co-writer/director J.J Abrams was criticised by...

Awards Season, Reviews / 25.11.2019

Think back to a time before Disney's 2013 box office colossus Frozen became so insanely overexposed and we all started to become entirely sick of it. With a neverending flow of merchandise, "Let It Go" relentlessly playing everywhere you turned, a big-budget Broadway musical adaptation, and that misguided 21-minute-long "short" film that played before Pixar's Coco, it's no wonder Frozen-mania drove everyone a little nuts. With the all-consuming chaos that followed the film, it's easy to forget how sublime Frozen truly was. With a Broadway-style structure which harkened back to the Disney...

Reviews / 18.07.2019

How do you remake a film that's genuinely flawless? More importantly, why should you even bother? This is the inherent problem facing any Disney "live-action" remake seeking to capture the spirit and essence of a golden animated predecessor. We know the why, of course. Nostalgia brings in the box office dollars and Disney is intent on pillaging its vault of classics for huge financial gain. And they're showing no signs of slowing down. Arriving less than two months (!) after another remake of a 90s Disney treasure is edging...