Another anonymous question, eh?
People always confuse, what is essentially my love for Disney Animation, for a general Disney Love, or simply Princess love. When I say Disney Animation, I mean everything from Ub Iwerks’ Mickey Mouse cartoons to Walt Disney Animation Studios. The people who invented and perfected, and continue to perfect character animation.
This does NOT include all animation with the Disney Name. Walt Disney Animation Studios is not the same studio as Pixar (that’s number 2 for animation, personally).
It does this include Walt Disney Television Animation or MovieToons Studios. Projects to come out of these studios ARE NOT animated in house by Disney. They are conceived and created, and then sent overseas, or to Canada, to inferior cheap animation studios and do not have the same level of craft or elegance (or budgets) as "real" Disney Animation.
I do NOT love all products produced by Disney. Most non-animation projects won’t even register on my radar unless it’s something really special, and it has things like cute teen angst, musicals or Ashley Tisdale…
I really like Animation, ALL ANIMATION, but I specifically love Disney Animation. Animation, specifically Traditional Animation, is a language I understand. It’s a blending of story and art so it appeals to all sides of me. And it’s a collaborative art.
And, to me there’s something incredibly amazing about watching real characters come to life from someone’s drawings. If animation is done correctly, it has a soul to it, you can feel that animator’s heartbeat alongside his characters.
And, the best, most popular, Animated Films to come from Disney, simply happen to be Princess Films. Also, the last two Films to come out from Disney Animation Studios, have been… well, Princess Films. Both of which were fairly entertaining films and both brought specific new things to Animation.
Over the next few months, I’ll be talking lots and lots of Winnie the Pooh. Next year it’ll be Reboot Ralph. King Of The Elves, the year after. None of those are princess films. Brave, from sister studio Pixar, IS a princess film, and I will be talking lots about that when it get’s closer, but no more or less than I would about Monster’s University or whatever film is after.
It just seems that people pay more attention when I talk about the Princess films, because it’s not as acceptable, socially, I suppose. I hardly care what people think is acceptable anymore.
Generally they’re the more graceful animation show pieces, and like I said, the Princess films are generally considered among the best.
And while I generally root for the underrated films, I do NOT think Princess and the Frog or Rapunzel, ushered in the new age of Disney Animation.
No, I think it started with, "Meet The Robinsons." Robinsons was the first Disney Film where you could actually feel something special percolating inside of it. And while I have a love and respect for Home On The Range, or even poor Chicken Little. Something about them just wasn’t quite right yet. What POTF did for animation was make traditional animation viable agin, and to an extent, Rapunzel did the same, by being a CGI film, that had the fluidity and grace of a traditional film, and it didn’t help that Rapunzel managed to FINALLY after years of near hits, finally synched with an audience.
BUT I don’t generally agree with that either, I think ALL Disney Animation is special and it takes time to grow a fanbase. Some of the more underrated films have very dedicated fans. Just recently I befriended someone who is a huge ‘Home On The Range’ fan. Most people don’t even know what Home on the Range is, and can’t even be bothered to see what a misunderstood film it is (it has singing COWS! AND ONE OF THEM IS JUDI DENCH!).
Sleeping Beauty was a theatrical FAILURE and that’s generally considered one of the best. (it’s my personal favorite of Walt’s era.)
Fantasia was a bigger failure, and that’s the PUREST form of the animation art form you can find, and it’s generally considered an artistic masterpiece now. (it is.)
Last year when I met Disney Animation Producer Don Hahn (super nice guy), I went out of my way to tell him how much I loved his more underrated (but artistically and animationwise, superior) films, like Atlantis & Hunchback. But that’s a story for another day.