(Revisiting the Renaissance is a bi-weekly series in which Josh Spiegel looks back at the history and making of the 13 films of the Disney Renaissance, released between 1986 and 1999. In today’s column, he discusses the 1997 film Hercules.)
One of the best qualities of Disney feature animation is that it can be timeless. Some of the studio’s most charming masterpieces don’t feel like cinematic time capsules; they can be experienced at any age without the audience feeling lost. But one of the biggest successes of the Disney Renaissance was a film that somehow managed to be both timeless and very much of its time: the 1992 animated comedy Aladdin. For its directors, the two men who had played a major part in ushering in the era of the Renaissance, they could follow up this success with a new film that either tried to once again blend the timeless with a modern sensibility. Or they could avoid modernity all together with their next film.
Hercules, the 1997 film directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, takes little time in emphasizing that it would be following the same route Aladdin did, to slightly diminishing returns.
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Wow. So now that we’re all living in a post-Avengers: Infinity War world, it’s time to deal with the fallout of what was undoubtedly a world shaking entry in the MCU. Beware because from here on out there are going to be a lot of spoilers and some serious speculation about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Half of the universe is dead, let’s start off with that. It’s quite likely that Marvel won’t keep all of their biggest heroes dead, but even if they bring back the core characters and introduce new heroes like Captain Marvel, it’s likely that by the time we hit Phase Five, the MCU will really need some new blood.
So let’s think about who Marvel has left to bring in as the new generation of heroes after the seeming inevitability of a Secret Invasion plot in Phase Four, not to mention the strong possibility of the retirement of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. as Captain America and Iron Man. It might seem silly to think about this when we don’t know what’s coming for sure in Phase 4, but the answers to this advance question hold the possibility of a very fun, fantastical future for the MCU. Read More »
After nearly four decades with Disney, director John Musker is retiring. Musker co-wrote and co-directed seven feature films throughout his 41-year career at the House of Mouse, including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Moana and more.
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(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.
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If you’re a Hulu subscriber, get ready to ring in the new year with a bunch of movies from Walt Disney Studios.
The House of Mouse has just signed a new mutli-year deal with Hulu that gives the streaming service the exclusive subscription streaming rights to a bunch of movies from Disney’s library. This includes animated favorites such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mulan, Tarzan, Pocahontas and Lilo & Stitch, as well as live-action movies from Disney’s Touchstone Pictures banner such as Gone in 60 Seconds, Pearl Harbor, Con-Air and more.
Find out more about the new Hulu Disney movies deal after the jump. Read More »
To celebrate the release of Disney’s next animated feature film Moana, Cyclops Print Works is teaming up with Gallery Nucleus to present “An Art Tribute to the Disney Films of Ron Clements and John Musker” gallery show.
For those of you who don’t know, Moana filmmakers Ron Clements and John Musker are responsible for some of the best Disney animated films of the 1980’s and 1990’s, including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules, in addition to The Great Mouse Detective, Treasure Planet, and Disney’s last hand-drawn animated feature film Princess and the Frog. The limited-time art show will open on November 19th, 2016 at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA, where the artwork will be on display until December 6th, 2016.
The show features some great artists like JC Richard, Tom Whalen, Mark Englert and more! Hit the jump to get a sneak preview of some of the excellent artwork which will be on display and available at the show.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 by Angie Han
Clearly Disney isn’t going to rest until every animated character in its stable has undergone a live-action remake. Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella have already been updated, and re-adaptations of Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Mulan, Winnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio are already in the works.
As if all that weren’t enough, just last week Disney announced a Tinker Bell spinoff movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Which got us thinking — what other Disney supporting characters deserve a chance to step into the spotlight? Below are 10 Disney live-action spinoffs we’d love to see. Read More »
We’ve all chuckled when a terrible movie throws out a line of dialogue that seems to sum up our own dismissal of the film perfectly. That idea is the inspiration for a video that uses dialogue from some of the worst films of 2014 to review the films themselves.
While there’s a movie or two in here that might not quite be among the year’s worst (Monuments Men is too optimistic to really hate, I’d argue, even if it does squander a great cast and premise) there’s nothing quite as apt as seeing dialogue from A Million Ways to Die in the West, Dracula Unbound and, yeah, Winter’s Tale (above) repurposed to talk about the films themselves. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Angie Han
Hercules isn’t just a mighty and powerful warrior, he’s one of the mightiest, most powerful warriors of all time. His legend has endured for centuries. He’s half god, for Pete’s sake. Obviously, a regular old 2D screen was never going to be enough to contain him.
So naturally, he’s getting the IMAX 3D treatment. Paramount and MGM have struck a deal with IMAX to release Brett Ratner‘s Hercules on its jumbo screens. Dwayne Johnson plays the iconic hero. Get additional details and read the full press release after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by Angie Han
January’s The Legend of Hercules failed to impress much of anyone when it opened this January. Fortunately for fans of the Greek hero, he gets a second opportunity to make an impression with this summer’s Hercules, directed by Brett Ratner.
Dwayne Johnson plays the title character, here a damaged soul haunted by an incident in his past. He’s called upon to save the world from mythological creatures, or something. The important thing is that the plot gives Johnson plenty of opportunities to wear next to nothing and flex his fearsome muscles. Watch the new full-length Hercules trailer after the jump.
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