(The post I was talking about in “Ridiculous” that I was almost finished with)
Okay, first, I THINK I am almost finished with Spirit Tracks so expect a review on that soon. Of course, we all know Zelda, you always have that “Yay! I beat it!” then the game slaps you in your face and you realize you have another 450 hours of game play left! Joy!
Someone asked in the comments if I had an issue with “Disney” . . . that’s kind of a loaded question for me, it would probably be the same for Brad. If any of you ever sat in on one of mine and Brad’s conversations over a meal or just in general, we’re almost always talking about animation (Brad’s big thing) or music (one of my big things). Unfortunately it always ends up turning to what Disney has become.
I took a trip to Disneyworld maybe two years ago with Brad and his family. I absolutely loved spending time with Brad and walking around the park but NONE of it echoed my childhood. There were Finding Nemo rides and a new Toy Story one, BUT I was excited to see that they had a Muppet show that they did. Otherwise, it was just a bit depressing, it took me the entire week to find Chip and Dale, two of my favorite Disney characters, staples of my childhood. Even Brad was a bit upset to see that some of his favorite parts of Disneyworld had been altered. We would go into toy stores and we’d see CGI Winnie the Pooh or some freaky Mickey Mouse interpretation. CGI Disney characters are weird and scary looking. I don’t think things that were obviously meant to be animated and 2d should be altered in any way, but Disney has to keep up with what’s “hip”
I have many fond memories of Disney movies, I love Snow White, Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite movies, but Disney has come so very very far from where they were animation wise. I absolutely love listening to Aurora in Sleeping Beauty sing, the woman that voiced her ended up being pretty big in the opera genre. You really don’t see that anymore, for a while Disney did a really good job of keeping up the franchise, Ariel the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, etc. Then all of the sudden we started seeing new CGI stuff, first with Toy Story and then they just became heavy handed with it. Relying purely on the CGI and less on what the story contained, none of those stories can even compare to what Brad and I had. When “Enchanted” was released, Brad and I were psyched because it was rumored that the first part was going to go back to the hand drawn animation. We were SO disappointed, the beginning was almost painful to watch and looked like a cheap made for TV animation that is played early on weekdays to kids who are too young to know the difference. I really didn’t like the singing either, it drove me crazy. Then again, considering Disney spends their time making all of their Disney tweens singing sensations, I shouldn’t be surprised.
The sad part is that most children really DON’T know the difference. It’s like no one cares to make the effort anymore to put forth something absolutely flawless, like Walt Disney intended. Every short and full length animated movie that came out while Walt Disney was alive was pure ART. Brad always comments that W. Disney almost bankrupt the company several times because he wanted to push the envelope, the Disney company became one of the pioneers of their era. For a few years the Disney corporation and the Jim Henson company truly worked together and almost fed off each other. Can you imagine being alive when this was so? Imagine what amazing things were probably pumped out because the two companies were determined to keep up with each other. Now I feel Disney is just a monopoly and live off their name, they bought the Jim Henson company, which apparently was what Jim Henson had hoped for. He believed that Disney would be a true home to the muppets. I highly doubt that he realized they were going to make them perform with the likes of Miley Cyrus (I will never forgive them for that.)
On youtube, research Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, that stuff was flawless. Back then there was this effort to keep things classic. Fantasia used classical music, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White used professional singers, I mean PROFESSIONAL. If you look up “Once Upon a Dream” in Snow White, you will see what I mean. The prince sounded like a MAN and you could understand why Aurora’s voice made him turn his horse around to try and find her.
I know the new thing is “The Princess and the Frog”, and it’s supposed to return back to hand drawn animation, but even some people don’t want to go see it because they can see that most of the animation is cheap. There are a few scenes that are apparently done extremely WELL, but most of it is meh, the characters are a bit meh (except for the villain), and the colors are pretty meh too. That just annoys me, because I feel that because no one does this kind of beautiful work anymore that means corporations just look for the cheapest route possible and push the film on “hand animation”, when in reality, it’s just not the same. It’s either that or human art skills are devolving, who knows. Still, I’ve seen Brad sit for hours animating pants over and over again to get them JUST RIGHT and he’s not even a professional animator. Explain to me how he can do that but other people can’t? It just makes no sense.
I had a conversation about this with someone from the older crowd and they were also extremely disappointed with “The Princess and the Frog”. They felt it was just a gimmick, that Disney was just riding on the fact that this new princess was . . . well . . . black. I was absolutely dismayed, but I definitely agreed. Although I was ecstatic that they were adding a new princess to the Disney princesses, and I KNEW how much that would mean to little girls to have a princess that looked like them. Heck, I remember being excited when Belle was introduced because she was a brunette! So I totally understand the excitement a little girl can feel with that kind of thing, but I don’t think it’s an excuse to cut back. Beauty and the Beast had many breathtaking scenes and absolutely amazing songs, The Princess and the Frog falls short on this, apparently. I’m reluctant to see it because I SO want to be amazed and to love it, to be hopeful, but I know I will be disappointed. I think I am more disappointed in knowing that no one will notice, or everyone will rave about it because it’s a Disney princess movie and they are supposed to be raved about . . . is this what we’ve all resorted to? Is this what we’ve become? Just . . . mediocre? I want to be amazed dangit! I want to be awed, I want to be breathless, I want to leave the theatre breathless! This is what USED to happen to me, WHAT happened? We have all this amazing technology and we use it as a crutch?
So . . . at the end of THAT rant, I really don’t agree with the direction Disney has taken, but I’m disappointed with ALL companies that used to put forth amazing things, Nickelodeon is one of them as well. Disney just happens to be the huge massive giant in all of this.
In the end I feel that the Jim Henson Company has stayed truer to Jim Henson’s vision, I attribute this mostly to Brian Henson, and to all of the people in the company. They all loved Jim Henson, and I think they adopted his love of the art and less of the love of money. BTW if y’all want to see some of the new stuff that The Muppets have put through they have a channel on youtube now. It’s really funny stuff! I promise! Check it out =)