hercules disney

(Welcome to Nostalgia Bomb, a series where we take a look back on beloved childhood favorites and discern whether or not they’re actually any good. In this edition: a look back at Disney’s post-rennaisance animated output, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, and Hercules.)

When people think of Disney, they often jump to the classics – Bambi, Dumbo, Snow White, and so on. But my generation has a different list. We were raised on the studio’s late ’80s and early ’90s “renaissance” titles, including Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King. But after 1995, the seemingly unstoppable Disney animation machine began to slow down. The films of the late ’90s live on as childhood favorites, not undisputed classics.

And that brings me to the question of the moment: some 20 years later, do these later films of the renaissance era hold up? Are their charms enough to cover their bigger flaws? Is it all nostalgia or are some of these true cinematic gems? Please keep your arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle at all times, because we’re about to take a trip to the late-’90s era of the House of Mouse.

Read More »

guardians of the galaxy opening scene

How a film opens says a lot about its style and tone, and can turn people off or make them sit forward in their seats with curiosity. This week’s big new release, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, has a hard act to follow; its 2014 predecessor had a memorable opening in which hero Peter Quill/Star-Lord dances through an alien world, blasting “Come and Get Your Love” on his old Walkman. As we wait to see if Vol. 2 lives up to the original, let’s look at 15 of the best opening scenes in movies.
Read More »

Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney has a long history of bringing their successful film musicals into real life via the theater stage. Movies like Beauty and The Beast, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid have all made it to Broadway. The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin are still (or soon to be) playing. There are rumors Frozen is in the works too, but before that can go into production a brand new project has been announced. It’s based on the 1996 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and will feature the music and lyrics of multiple Oscar, Grammy and Tony winners Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, responsible for work like Newsies, Wicked, and Little Shop of Horrors.

The show will debut at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, CA in October before a potential, but as-yet-unconfirmed, Broadway run. Read More »

Aladdin's Genie and Sebastian

Even casual Disney fans have likely noticed that the studio’s various animated features often contain subtle nods at each other. Rapunzel from Tangled has Disney fairy tale books in her collection, Nani from Lilo & Stitch has a Mulan poster, et cetera. But what if these aren’t mere sight gags from playful animators. What if, instead, they’re hard evidence that all of these movies take place in the same universe?

In an homage of sorts to Jon Negroni’s The Pixar Theory, Josh Butler posits that 30 of Disney’s animated features share a world. His thesis requires some suspension of disbelief — for one thing, it involves a lot of magic and time travel — but it’s fun to think about nonetheless. Hit the jump to see how Butler’s theory shakes out.

Read More »

Sucker Punch hits next week, and I still have no idea what to expect from the film. But despite the fact that I’m not a particularly big fan of Disney’s princess characters, seeing them inserted into the trailer for Sucker Punch somehow makes a certain sense. Watch the edit after the jump. Read More »

VOTD: 50 Disney Spoilers in 3 Minutes


In honor of Walt Disney Animation releasing it’s 50th full length film Tangled, our friends the Fine Brothers have filed the latest episode of their popular “Spoiler” series. You might remember that we’ve featured their videos 100 Movie Spoilers in 4 minutes, Spoiling Every Best Picture Winner in Oscar History, 50 spoilers of 2009 in 4 minutes, and 100 Horror Movie Spoilers in 5 Minutes. Hit the jump to watch their latest. And if it isn’t completely obvious already, please be warned that the following video contains spoilers.
Read More »

hunchback-1

With the recent fixation on making big budget action-oriented versions of classic stories and characters like Sherlock Holmes, the Three Musketeers and Don Quixote, it should come as no surprise that one more classic has fallen into the studio mill.

Paramount has bought a pitch by Willie Block and Jake Emanuel that jumps off from the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. See, the great thing about these adaptations is that nobody reads anymore, but they do recognize classic titles like this one. So it’s an easy goldmine. What will the potential film entail? If you’ve seen one of the Pirates films, or Sherlock Holmes, you should already be able to predict it. Read More »