greatest disney talking animals

This weekend sees the release of Zootopia, which takes place in a fanatical metropolis where animals of all kind live side-by-side. And talk. And wear clothes. And go to jobs. Yes, this is Walt Disney Animation really doubling down on their legacy as purveyors of anthropomorphized animal entertainment – they’ve been ruling this particular corner of entertainment for eighty-something years now.

And that’s why we’re ranking the top 10 greatest talking animals in all of Disney Animation. Maybe a few characters from Zootopia will be eligible for a revised list in a few years – we have to see how well time treats them.

A few notes before we begin. First: this list focuses on characters who appeared predominately in theatrical releases, meaning that some old stalwarts were deliberately left out. Otherwise, Mickey Mouse would have to be number one based on his prominence alone. Second: in order to be eligible for the list, an animal has to speak in a way that is intelligible to the audience, even if it’s not intelligible to the humans onscreen. Finally: this list is entirely accurate in every way and your arguments about who got left off are completely incorrect. Sorry.

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Robin Hood: Origins Director

Robin Hood may be the biggest star in Hollywood right now. The classic folk hero has no fewer than four movies in active development at different studios, and now the producers behind 300 are firing up one more. What sets this one apart from all the others is that it’ll be a “futuristic reimagining” of the character, set in a dystopian London.  Read More »

Russell Crowe in Robin Hood

Pretty soon there will be more Robin Hood movies in development than there are Merry Men. Warner Bros. is following Sony, Disney, and Lionsgate into Sherwood Forest with its own take on the outlaw hero, scripted by Aquaman and Gangster Squad writer Will Beall. Get all the details on the Warner Bros Robin Hood movie after the jump.  Read More »

Robin Hood (Disney)

It’s been five whole years since we had a big feature film about Robin Hood, so at present there are multiple parties trying to bring us the next one. The latest to join the fray is Joby Harold, the guy behind Guy Ritchie’s upcoming King Arthur franchise.

Titled Robin Hood: Origins, Harold’s script will be (say it with me now) a gritty reinvention of the classic character. Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way is producing.  Read More »

new disney Robin Hood

The public domain strikes again! Mere weeks after Sony spent seven figures on a shared universe reimagining of the Robin Hood story, Disney has just purchased their own new version on the classic character. It’s called Nottingham & Hood and was written on spec by first time writer Brandon Barker. Little is know about the take but it’s called “revisionist,” is said to be thematically close to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films and is hoped to “launch a new adventure franchise.” Read more about the new Disney Robin Hood film below. Read More »

Sony Spends Big on New ‘Robin Hood’ Pitch

new Robin Hood movie

Robin Hood will never die, at least not at movie studios where a recognizable royalty-free character concept is a big deal. (Above you see Russell Crowe as the character in Ridley Scott’s 2010 film.) A new pitch has been making the rounds and Sony is now putting up some big bucks for the story. Just how much the character will be seen is open to question, as the pitch is described as being set “in the world of Robin Hood.” Get the available details on the potential new Robin Hood movie below. Read More »

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Just when you thought you’d seen every single angle someone could take on the Robin Hood story, Hollywood has come up with another. The latest is a revenge thriller centered on Robin’s friends, a la Ocean’s Eleven or The Dirty Dozen. It’s called Merry Men, and DreamWorks just spent seven figures to acquire it. Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace) will write, Neal Moritz (Fast Five) will produce and Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) will direct.  Read More »

Briefly: One of the bigger laughs we had last year came via the announcement that the Wachowskis were attached to write and direct Hood, an urban retelling of the Robin Hood story. (With Will Smith attached to star.) The project didn’t exactly make waves, and rather fell off the radar as the Wachowskis moved into developing Cloud Atlas with Tom Tykwer; they’ll shoot that film later this year. Hood became something like a 2010 footnote: “remember this awful-sounding thing they flirted with before taking home the arty prom queen?”

On a parallel track, Warner Bros. has been slowly developing another Robin Hood film, this one a futuristic take set in “a dystopian London and center on a band of thieves whose activities restore hope to the city’s embattled population.” Jason Dean Hall was hired to write in 2009, and commercial director Nicolai Fuglsig attached to direct.

Now Deadline says that Michael Ross is rewriting the film. So WB is moving forward with this one, quite possibly because the Wachowskis are busy with Cloud Atlas. The question then becomes: is Hood effectively buried with this film taking priority at the studio?

Watch A Brief History of Movie Title Designs

As part of the screening put together in relation to the SXSW Title Design Competition, Ian Albinson from the website The Art of the Title Sequence put together a nice two and a half minute compendium of excellent film titles. (That features an occasional piece of television, too.) For any long-time film lover, this little video will probably elicit quite a few responses simply on the strength of the title cards on display. I queued several films to re-watch after exposure to just a few seconds of their titles.

Check out the collection after the jump. Read More »