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Old 12-26-2010, 02:20 AM   #1
Mrs. Sawyer
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Default Disney Movie Appreciation Thread

Its about time I opened a thread about this.

Ah, the Disney Renaissance. It was truly one of the best era's of animation to grow up. During the 90s, Disney's animated films finally took full force and became the most popular part of the company since the days of Walt Disney. They were beautiful, sometimes dark and tragic, and boasted some of the most memorables stories and characters not only in animated film history, but in film history.

As a young boy I remember loving these films very much so I watched them all over again on Christmas eve; one after one I watched all 9 Disney Renaissance films and they still fail to disappointed as they stand the test of time (though some elements don't). Eventually I'll give analysis into certain aspects of each films that they had in common. By the way, here are the 9 Disney Renaissance films.


The Little Mermaid
(1989)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Aladdin (1992)
The Lion King (1994)
Pocahontas (1995)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Hercules (1997)
Mulan (1998)
Tarzan (1999)
So which of the others are also fond of the DR?

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Old 12-26-2010, 02:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

Loved that era. As much as I love Sleeping Beauty (it's my favorite Disney Princess film mostly due to the awesomeness of Malfecient VS Prince Phillip), I feel that era was Disney's best. It's hard to pick a favorite from that period, although it might be Aladdin.

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Old 12-27-2010, 06:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

I just realized that I have only seen 3 of the 'Renaissance 9', although I did get my Mom 'Beauty and the Beast' for Christmas so I will add that shortly.

I agree with those that feel 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' is underrated, I thought they did a good job retelling it in animation form that appealed to both kids and adults alike.

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The films after Tarzan didn't have as huge a financial reception so after 90s ended and Fantasia or The Emperor's New Groove were nowhere close to the box office total of Tarzan (despite critical praise on par with the others for both) it was recognized that the Renaissance was over.
Was this some sort of re-release?

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Old 12-27-2010, 06:30 AM   #4
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I'll be honest, I didn't remember much from the Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was younger. I watched it when I was 6 and remembered liking it, but not loving it (I loved the toys more than the movie haha).
Dude, did you ever get the puppets from Burger King? Those are ingrained in my memory as if it were yesterday.

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Was this some sort of re-release?
I think he probably meant Fantasia 2000.

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Old 12-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #5
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Dude, did you ever get the puppets from Burger King? Those are ingrained in my memory as if it were yesterday.
Yes, I got all the toys for Hunchback. I even remember having a near 1 foot Phoebus toy that I used to always play with.

And I did mean Fantasia 2000

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

The Lion King. To this day it is one of my favourite films (third behind Inception and Toy Story 3 - that's right, before this summer, my all time favourite film was still The Lion King).

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

It was a great era indeed, and not just because I was a kid when I first saw those films, but there was definitely a lot of love and craftmanship that went into them. My favourite would be a three-way tie between Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and the Lion King, I can't decide which one is the best, I love them all.

I also think The Hunchback of Notre Dame is criminally underrated, I thought it was superb. It wasn't perfect but it was a damn good story and had one of the more interesting Disney villains in my book.

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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I also think The Hunchback of Notre Dame is criminally underrated, I thought it was superb. It wasn't perfect but it was a damn good story and had one of the more interesting Disney villains in my book.
To be honest, though I may need more time to think, but I think The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the best film of the era. It's been changing a lot in my head between this, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King though.

The 90s was an amazing time for Disney, and even more impressive if you add Pixar's films (Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Toy Story 2) and Disney Toon films (DuckTales the movie, and A Goofy Movie).

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

the 90s was Disney best decade in animated films. my favs at that time was Aladdin, Lion King, Hunchback of ND, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas.

what exactly happened after that era that most of the Disney animated films just went non-existant? or why the hell were most of their animated films direct to dvd?

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:39 PM   #10
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the 90s was Disney best decade in animated films. my favs at that time was Aladdin, Lion King, Hunchback of ND, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas.

what exactly happened after that era that most of the Disney animated films just went non-existant? or why the hell were most of their animated films direct to dvd?
Pixar happened.

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Old 12-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #11
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Pixar happened.
That also did play into it too. Disney did start to rely on Pixar films more as they starting to enjoy similar success that DR films had.

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Old 12-26-2010, 04:35 AM   #12
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I started watching all the Disney animated films recently for the first time in about 15-20 years, and man not only do they hold up extremely well but I appreciate them in a totally new way, in fact I probably appreciate them more now as an adult. Looking at them with adult eyes gives you a completely different perspective and experience, in terms of both story and animation. As an artist now I look at the animation in wonder, the subtleties in body movement the animators gave to the characters still amazes me, one scene that stick out to me is toward the end in Mermaid when Ariel begins to cry, the animators capture her short breaths and spasmodic abdominal movements perfectly. In terms of favourites The Lions King still remains my favrouite animated film ever, but they're all really good in they're own right. And I still maintain Pocahontas is way too hot for a Disney character.

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Old 12-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite. I rewatched it a while back and was surprised how moving it was, even for an adult.

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Old 12-26-2010, 12:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

I'd add "Lilo & Stitch" to that list. It's different than what Disney normally does, but I liked that different. The animation was quite good and I loved the message of "family" integrated into the story. Plus it was a welcome reprieve from the usual "girl and boy fall in love" stories that we've seen so often in Disney films and many many other films.

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:13 PM   #15
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I'd add "Lilo & Stitch" to that list. It's different than what Disney normally does, but I liked that different. The animation was quite good and I loved the message of "family" integrated into the story. Plus it was a welcome reprieve from the usual "girl and boy fall in love" stories that we've seen so often in Disney films and many many other films.
Lilo & Stitch was good (Its my second favorite post-Renaissance film behind The Emperor's New Groove) but it wasn't part of the Disney Renaissance. The Disney Renaissance ended with Tarzan. And despite what people says, Rescuers Down Under doesn't count either.

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Old 12-26-2010, 02:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

The Lion King and Aladdin are my favorites out of the bunch. Hercules was a fun flick, too.

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Old 01-06-2011, 06:25 PM   #17
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The Lion King and Aladdin are my favorites out of the bunch. Hercules was a fun flick, too.
Hercules is one of my faves too

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

The films after Tarzan didn't have as huge a financial reception so after 90s ended and Fantasia or The Emperor's New Groove were nowhere close to the box office total of Tarzan (despite critical praise on par with the others for both) it was recognized that the Renaissance was over.

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Old 12-26-2010, 04:35 PM   #19
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Disney just ran out of steam. Fantasia 2000, Atlantis, and Emperor's New Groove did so-so. Then came Treasure Planet and Home on the Range.

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Old 12-27-2010, 01:06 AM   #20
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Disney just ran out of steam. Fantasia 2000, Atlantis, and Emperor's New Groove did so-so. Then came Treasure Planet and Home on the Range.
Oh, Treasure Planet was hardly a bad movie. It's really underrated.

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Old 12-27-2010, 01:42 AM   #21
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here are the 9 Disney Renaissance films.
That's the common perception, but to be fair, the Disney Renaissance is from 1984-94. That's when Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Frank Wells were running the show. Granted, The Little Mermaid is the film that started the "magic" but things didn't happen over night.

The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver & Company aren't "classics" but they paved the way. They served as a learning experience. Then, there's Roger Rabbit. Most people don't realize how important that film is to the Renaissance. On the surface, Don Bluth was Enemy #1 but it was really Steven Spielberg. He produced the Bluth movies and then came to Disney to show-off. That's the straw that broke the camels backs. The Little Mermaid was essentially an F-you to Spielberg.

In `94, when Frank Wells died and Jeffrey Katzenberg left the company, is when everything changed. The Lion King was really the end of the Renaissance. Michael Eisner didn't know how to run the company alone. That's why the quality in Disney Animation declined. The post-Lion King films have their fans but we can all agree that they can't compete with what came before. Those were the true classics.

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Rescuers Down Under doesn't count.
It kinda does. Rescuers Down Under, like Mouse Detective and Oliver, is important to the history. They made a lot of animation break-throughs with that movie and it opened the door to Pixar. Nightmare Before Christmas should also be considered. It was released through Touchstone since it was "too dark" but the film is a classic in its own right and continues to be a money-maker for the studio.

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The DVD special features have the complete footage. Tim Burton was a major weirdo in those days. Now he's just an eccentric artist. LOL.

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:18 AM   #22
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That's the common perception, but to be fair, the Disney Renaissance is from 1984-94. That's when Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Frank Wells were running the show. Granted, The Little Mermaid is the film that started the "magic" but things didn't happen over night.
In `94, when Frank Wells died and Jeffrey Katzenberg left the company, is when everything changed. The Lion King was really the end of the Renaissance.
This is only half true, imo. Yes, that's when things fell apart at the top, but when you consider how long these movies take to make and that they still had movies that were well into production from the old regime at that point, then I think it's fair to include at least the next two that were released after The Lion King (Pocahontas, Hunchback) as part of the Renaissance. Pocahontas especially, as that would have been more than half way done when Wells died, and its story and characters would have been long since locked in place.

I agree though that the "Big 4" of the Renaissance were unquestionably The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. So FOR ME, it ended with The Lion King, but just like you said the ones before The Little Mermaid should be included despite not being quite as seminal, so should the ones immediately after TLK, imo.

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:39 AM   #23
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consider how long these movies take to make and that they still had movies that were well into production from the old regime at that point
The problem is that the trio wasn't there to supervise the entire production. Pocahontas had a year left when the `94 shake-up occurred. Hunchback was only in development. So, they're missing that "magic" touch. Plus, without Katzenberg, the marketing failed. Aladdin and Lion King dominated in `92 and `94. Pocahontas had to settle for #4 and being overshadowed by Toy Story. Hunchback didn't even make the top 10. Neither did Hercules and Mulan. Tarzan sneaked in, but like Pocahontas, it was overshadowed by Toy Story. So, really, public interest ended with Lion King. And that was because Katzenberg wasn't there to pull the marketing strings. The man is a genius in that department. Only he can pull-off four Shrek films, two TV specials, and a ride at Universal Studios. And let's not get started on Madagascar.

So, yeah, we can include `95-99 but the "magic" ended with Lion King. There's no ifs-and-buts about it.

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Old 12-26-2010, 06:35 PM   #24
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To be honest, in a way, the DR led to Disney relying on Pixar. All of the DR movies had CGI usage in it, with each film slowly having more and more in it. In Tarzan, the thing that wasn't CGI in it were the characters.

EDIT: At times Tarzan, not the whole movie. There was a slow, but sure increase in CGI usage. In fact, it was Pixar themselves helping them with the technology. That's what led to Disney relying on the for the full CGI Toy Story.


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Old 12-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #25
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Default Re: Remembering the Disney Renaissance

Oh, there's no doubt that Pixar is ultimately what killed off 2D animation. On my copy of Wall-E there's this mini-doc about Pixar and they covered the end of 2D (might even be the same thing jmc is talking about), even had a cartoon someone drew around that time of Buzz Lightyear throwing 2D animators and artists out of Disney offices. I don't think it was intentional on their part, but it was definitely a blow that would see the end of it, at least in the States.

But, anyway, I like all the DR films. My favorite is Beauty and the Beast. If I were to pick a least favorite, it'd maybe be Tarzon, but I still enjoyed that one a lot. It was a good time, lots of great magic and stuff, going to the theater for one of these films was kind of like an event or something for me back then.

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