Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 39: Dinosaur

Series Intro: This is Part 39 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors.

Official Title: Dinosaur
Release: May 19, 2000
Running Time:82 minutes
Estimated Cost: $127.5 million
Estimated Revenue: $349.82million
Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Baby Aladar, the Iguanadon, gets adopted by a family of Lemurs and they live a happy life until a meteor nearly destroys their secluded island. Aladar and his family safely make it to the mainland and find themselves in the middle of a herd of herbivores making way to their nesting ground.

Aladar also finds himself in a power struggle with the herd’s leader, Kron (who is the older brother to Aladar’s love interest – Neera). Kron’s Darwin philosophy is that only the strongest survive, while Aladar makes sure that his new friends (elder dinosaurs) make it to the nesting ground.

Aladar, his family and the old biddy dinos separate from the herd. They find a short cut to the nesting ground, thanks to the attack of the Carnotaurs. Aladar goes back to save the herd and lead them to the short cut. Kron fights off the Carnotaur with the help of Neera and Aladar. Kron dies and Aladar seems to take on the roll of alpha of the herd.

Neera and Aladar mate and have their own baby, who also becomes adopted by Aladar’s Lemur family.


Not a musical.

The score was decent, but I was never moved enough to notice it.

Plot Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The entire plot was that of Land Before Time, I honestly couldn’t believe how similar the two are!

I didn’t have any connection to any of the main characters, however I love the old biddies. This movie also didn’t have a recognizable villain. Yes, the Carnotaurs were bad, but they weren’t motivated by revenge or money like most of the previous Disney villains. Kron wasn’t a villain per se either, he was just doing what the herd had always done.

Animation Rating: 4 out of 5

The CG only stood out once or twice against the live backgrounds. The characters movements were fluid and the design was realistic (as far as the science of the time is concerned). All of the practice CG WDAS has done had really paid off!

The Test of Time:

WDW’s Animal Kingdom has a ride that was retro-fitted to be rethemed to match this movie (though the timeline suggests that the ride was intended to be themed to the movie from the beginning (with the ride opening just over two years before the film was released).

Beyond this attraction, I don’t think many children know about this film and it doesn’t have the following the Fairy Tale movies currently have.

This was the last Disney film I would see in theaters until Princesses and the Frog

Through the Modern Lens
This movie seems pretty flawless. Neera works hard to break traditional roles and even fights the Carnotaur! I guess my only problem was the way Kron treated the biddies, but he was of that type of mindset.

Next Up:
The Emperor’s New Groove (thus beginning the decade of Disney that I’ve never seen).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 38: Fantasia 2000

Series Intro: This is Part 38 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors.

Official Title: Fantasia 2000
Release: December 17, 1999
Running Time:75 minutes
Estimated Cost: $80 million
Estimated Revenue: $90.85million
Overall Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Sigh, I HATE the packaged films… here are the pieces that are presented

* Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor-I. Allegro con brio
* Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome
* George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
* Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major-I. Allegro
* Camille Saint-Saƫns's The Carnival of the Animals, Finale
* Paul Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice
* Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance - Marches 1, 2, 3 and 4
* Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite - 1919 Version

Plot Rating: 1 stars out of 5

What made this movie much better than the original are the celebrity hosts. These were more impressive than the silhouetted conductor. The only segment worth its time was the Firebird sweet.

Animation Rating: 1 out of 5

Poorly CGed flying whales in a mediocre background. I was not impressed with the animation. It just doesn’t hold well with the movies before it.

The Test of Time:

When I watched this with my friend, I announced that this would probably be the last VHS movie I ever watch! That was before it was released on Blu-Ray. With it’s current release, I wonder how well it is doing.

It performed poorly for a movie riding the tales of the Disney renaissance, just barely breaking even.

Through the Modern Lens

Celebrities of the time haven’t really held up. I have difficulty identifying some of them today, and this movie is barely 10 years old.

Next Up: