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Thread: Rank & Reviewing the Disney Animated Classics



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  1. #61
    AddminisGator Gatorgod's Avatar
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    Even Disney sources were quoted as saying they wanted to forget & distance themselves from MTR as fast as possible, almost immediately after its release.. Not much merchandise, no costumed promotional characters parading around Disney World,...

    And the Boy to Villain change was totally unbelievable. Even young kids still bare a slight resemblance to their adult look.. That boy couldnt have changed in looks that radically to form that bad guy.


  2. #62
    vs meninism pax's Avatar
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    chicken little wasn't good but it had its moments. home on the range, however? don't remind me. bleh
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    don't feel threatened by a dude who gargles mayonnaise

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    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Something about the animation from Chicken Little rubs me the wrong way. It feels so mean spirited too

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    Radcliffe is one of the lamest Disney villains ever. His design is too goofy and stupid to ever make you take him seriously, he's basically a big greedy buffoon, his voice actor (while not bad) wasn't as great or intimidating as other villains, and he just lacked the coolness that made so many Disney villains memorable. Radcliffe is just lame. John Smith is also the blandest love interest since Prince Charming. And being voiced by Mel Gibson doesn't do him any favors either.

    I watched Atlantis a lot as a kid, but the only thing that I can really remember now about it was that Vinny was hilarious. There was actually originally a planned tv spin-off of the movie, but the low box office records caused Disney to cancel production of it, the direct-to-video sequel is really just the episodes they had finished making strung together on one tape before the show got cancelled (which, if it hadn't, was going to lead up to a crossover with Gargoyles).

    Meet the Robinsons was a film that I didn't watch until years after it came out. It was a fine movie, and it had a couple of hilarious jokes, but it could have been better. I did like the weirdly dark and depressing alternate future that we briefly say do. Also I remember the scene with the dinosaur going "I have a big head and little arms" was everywhere for a long time.

    Chicken Little was pretty lame, and it felt like Disney was trying to rip-off DreamWorks in a desperate attempt to beat it. The whole is weirdly dark and cynical, the dad is a really crap dad who only supports his son when he makes him look good, and the whole baseball scene was filler. I still can't believe Chicken Little got into Kingdom Hearts II.

  5. #65
    AddminisGator Gatorgod's Avatar
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    I think only Paris Disney cared enough about Atlantis to create costumed characters form the film.


    I clearly rember Disney saying they wanted to put MTRobinsons mess behind them fast.. but I did find one costumed promotional character from the movie.. his stage life must of been brief?

  6. #66
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    I like Atlantis; I rewatched it more or less recently and it's still rather enjoyable. I like how it's different from most of the other WDFA films by being more of an Indiana Jones-type adventure and dares to more adult and serious than most of them (which also helps it stand out more).

    I'll also admit that I never watched Meet The Robinsons; it just looks so unappealing and uninterestingly bland so I passed on it and never thought of seeing it at least once. It seems it really went over a lot of peoples' heads when it came out and is more or less forgotten about.

  7. #67
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    35. Oliver & Company (1988)

    For anyone to really enjoy Oliver & Company, you have to be a fan of the 1980s. Thankfully, I actually rather love the decade of the 80s so naturally, I like this movie. But it's not higher on my list because it has aged the worst out of all the Disney movies in the canon. Right down from the setting of the movie to its soundtrack, Oliver & Company could not be more of a product of its time. And the decision to have Bette Midler and Billy Joel (very popular names during production) seems like a strategic move for more people to watch the movie. I don't blame the directors for doing this, however, as they were still recovering from the disastrous failure of The Black Cauldron. But Oliver & Company turned out to be a surprise hit and even beat The Land Before Time at the box office.

    However, I don't think Oliver & Company is given enough credit for how great it really is. A very familiar story - Oliver Twist - is taken by Disney and re-cast with domestic pets and set in New York. The story itself is rather laid-back and at times, frightfully dark - how many other Disney movies can say that they've killed off a dog with electrocution (a villain dog, granted). But more so, Oliver & Company has a lot of heart to it. I immediately adored Oliver (and his ploy of cuteness) when he was left abandoned in the streets. There's also a very tender relationship between him and Penny as well as the gang of dogs. Yes, the story-telling isn't the strongest and the animation looks very gritty and flat (perhaps apt for the New York setting) but the movie is frequently sweet enough to keep me interested.

    The main reason why Oliver & Company is a good movie is because of its soundtrack. As aforementioned, you really have to like the 80s to enjoy this film and the songs are very much grounded in the pop genre. They are all individually fantastic. I won't mention all of them but stand outs include the very cool Streets of Gold along with the movie's most notable sequence Why Should I Worry? and the excellent musical number Perfect isn't easy which is brilliantly performed by Better Midler. No, it may not be the prettiest movie but thanks to its financial success, Oliver & Company brought it enough cash flow to usher it what would eventually be the Disney renaissance. Because of its achievements, Disney released a new movie every year and was finally lifted out of the so called "dark ages". That in itself is an important reason why this feature deserved praise and assures its place in Disney history.
    Last edited by AngusCastle; 09-20-2016 at 11:15 AM.

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  9. #68
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    During the production of O&C,.. Micheal Eisner said "Being forced to make" an animated movie every 5yrs or so was an unwanted legacy he inherited from Walt that he wished he could get rid of!

    I'm soo glad he's gone!


  10. #69
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    The concept and premise of Oliver & Company (an retelling of Oliver Twist set in 1980's New York and with a cat and dogs as the main characters) is quite good and I like some of the film's aspects but I don't think it's all that good; it's rather disjointed and is pretty rushed, really thin, very underdeveloped and not to mention way too short; also, the unpolished sketchy and sometimes ugly animation isn't the best and feels like something from a non-Disney film, which also goes for much of the film itself (which, overall, is rather mediocre).

    I think that The Great Mouse Detective which preceded it is a much more complete and better film & as for The Land Before Time, which you mentioned (and which beat Oliver at the international box office), is in my opinion definitely the superior western animated film from that year.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 09-11-2016 at 02:15 PM.


  11. #70
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Yes, I know Oliver & Company isn't very popular among Disney fans but I really liked it. DISCLAIMER: I didn't watch O&C as a child so there is no nostalgia attached to its placement

  12. #71
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    It is something of a curiosity that has it's share of fans (and I can see why since it has a lot to like for some folks) but I'm not one of those; I don't think it's a bad movie but it's quite weak and could have been a lot better (I don't have any nostalgia for it either but I recall liking it fine before, however it held up poorly on a rewatch a couple of years back).

  13. #72
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    34. Bolt (2008)

    Bolt has a pretty clever way of opening its movie. We're lead to believe we are about to watch an action-packed sci-fi adventure but we eventually see Bolt and Penny are only products of a TV show with the only thing being carried on away from the cameras is the relationship between Bolt and his owner. He is also led to believe that everything happens on screen is real. I have a tiny problem with the creators of the Bolt TV show never doing any re-shoots and how he has presumably never seen the camera crew on set so everything is real to him - at some point during the show's production, he surely should have noticed something. But in hindsight, this is only a slight flaw - the main focus is more on Bolt experiencing the real world and discovering what his life should truly be like. It's a moving story that goes for the 'simple but sweet' formula.

    Bolt gets companionship with two other domestic pets - Rhino, the hamster and a dog's natural enemy - a cat called Mittens. There's no time for filler - just the journey which entirely focuses on Bolt realizing he has no special powers. Mark Walton brings so much humour to the character of Rhino with his hilarious one liners but personally, Susie Essman steals the show with the excellent character of Mittens who is one of the most interesting leads Disney had created in literally years - she's realistic, has a great attitude, fun and sassy. Bolt does start off a little bit unlikable but that only because he's programmed to act vigilant against anything he encounters. But watching his journey and character development, he learns to relax and embrace his surroundings. One aspect of this movie which is really overlooked is the animation. This is the first Disney animated classic with full CGI that actually matches Pixar at its own game - excellent designs, beautiful textures, wonderful motion in movement and it feels so real.

    An emotional core definitely lies within the movie, not just with the distancing of Penny and her pet. Bolt faces the harsh realities that he has no superpowers but is just a regular dog. Barking at the Moon is a wonderful road-trip song which displays his adventures and growing friendship with Mittens and Rhino. There were also several moments which warranted a feeling of sadness such as Bolt running towards Penny when she reaches for a different dog - a heartbreaking display. And in the end, Bolt proves himself to be the hero for Penny without any heat vision or super bark. It's a happy ending in which Bolt and Penny can live a normal life, as well as Mittens finally getting a home. The problem is this movie was very forgettable. It's enjoyable within viewing but it's not the type to stick with you for more than a day. Like Meet the Robinsons, Bolt wasn't quite at the heights of Disney's best but continued to be a step further to something better than the previous films in the canon.

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  15. #73
    Hole in My Head Telso's Avatar
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    Yeah, Bolt is like the modern Oliver & Compagny, a definite step in the right direction compared to the previous outings serving as an introduction to a great era directly following it.


  16. #74
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Spot on there

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  18. #75
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I've only seen Bolt once and I remember liking it, but as you say it's not very memorable (although I partially remember a few scenes such as the animal shelter rescue and the studio fire climax).


  19. #76
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    As forgettable as Bolt is, I'll always see the Psychotic Gerbil type again & again in other CGI cartoons.. Most recently as the rabbit in Secret Life of Pets

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    33. Dumbo (1941)

    I know I'm about to offend so many people with this review as many consider Dumbo one of Disney's best. It's by far the weakest movie from the early 1940s Golden Age but may possibly be the most important one too. Dumbo is perhaps the first Disney movie to be made for economic reasons after the financial failure of Pinocchio and Fantasia. Walt took a more cartoon-ish approach to the design of the movie which meant we lost those luscious backgrounds that were seen in the previous animated Disney features. Dumbo is still one of the shortest animated features ever, just over an hour, and the budget used was practically non-existent. This was also during the Disney Animators Strike of 1941 so they were desperate. Often referred to as "The Little Engine that could" and rightfully so, Dumbo was successful at the theaters and made enough money to help continue production with Bambi. It is definitely the movie which saved the studios from such a crisis. Considering the time-constraints and low-budget, the final result is actually rather impressive. It's a frequently heart-warming tale which strings together a wonderful relationship between a mother and son whilst showing us that our insecurities and flaws can lead us to sore to great highs (literally in Dumbo's case).

    Realistically though, I don't get how this can be considered some of Disney's best work. The movie about the little elephant is not awful by any stretch of the imagination and yet it's nothing too ground-breaking either. As aforementioned, Dumbo was on a budget which meant there was a significant downgrade in the visuals. Best moment: the Pink Elephants on Parade sequence. It's colourful, zany, a fine combo of music and animation, ahead of its time and showed what the animators do best. Baby Mine also tugs at my heart-strings as it shows the heart-breaking separation between Dumbo and his mother. To the movie's credit, Mrs Jumbo's relationship with Dumbo had such a strong core to it. Dumbo himself is also irresistibly adorable (I am a sucker for cute animals) and the decision for the film's protagonist to not say a word is a clever one. When I See an Elephant Fly, if not exactly PC, is also a load of fun with some surprisingly clever lyrics.

    Other than that, Dumbo's airtime is mostly dedicated to rude elephants gossiping, creepy clowns and Dumbo in peril. It's a fairly weak story in which the plot never really ties together. In retrospect, they were under time constraints but it just doesn't hold up today. I've never really been a fan of Timothy Mouse, mostly because I interpret his character to be so forced and unnecessarily audacious (and an obvious downgrade of the much more superior Jiminy Cricket). And whilst I can usually bypass Disney's casual racism, there's just something so bothersome and misguided about how Dumbo does it. That said, Dumbo never loses its charm and has plenty of dynamic animation sequences to offer as well as a powerfully portrayed relationship between a mother and son. Still, the other four movies from the Golden Age are so iconic because they're artistic, experimental and grand whilst Dumbo feels a little bit safe.

    32. The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    No one really remembers The Princess and the Frog and to be really honest, I can understand why. Out of all the entries in the canon, this movie suffers the worst from "wasted potential" because everything about it should technically work - the colourful hand-drawn animation, the jazzy soundtrack and the lovable Tiana - and yet it doesn't seem to go all the way with what it had. There's so many unnecessary side characters, a lot of plot points which overwhelm the picture and way too much filler material (mostly deriving from Ray's rear end). It's all a very mixed bag. The Princess and the Frog was designed to feel like a throwback to the beloved Disney renaissance. The producers returned to hand-drawn animation after five years to create this feature and its visual style was welcomed with open-arms. The hand-drawn medium is a sadly dying art form and it's unfortunate that we'll probably never see a movie like this again. That is a main reason why I enjoy The Princess and the Frog because it is gorgeous and uses several vibrant colours and textures to bring the city of New Orleans to life.

    The rest of the film, however, is so inconsistent and uneven. Take Tiana for instance - not only is she an important character in Disney history (Disney's first black Princess!) but she's also a strong character in general. It's refreshing to see a Disney heroine who is hard-working, driven and above all not motivated by love (Tiana is an even stronger character when you think about her race and the time that she's living in). Sadly, she spends most of her time in frog form so we see more of her journey back to New Orleans rather than her strife to be successful. As aforementioned, she's wasted on a bad story. The villain - The Shadow Man - is also an amazing character, the best antagonist we've seen since Frollo. But the voodoo side of him really gets in the way of the story. Instead of focusing on the growing relationship between Tiana and Naveen, the narrative halts to see him borrowing from his "friends on the other side". I also think the movie could have focused less on Tiana falling in love and more on her actually working towards her goal, with perhaps being turned into a frog as a small obstacle within the movie.

    Otherwise, there's still a lot to love about Tiana's journey. The music is a strength because it felt so familiar (in a good way) and yet had a whole new innovative style to it. Almost there shows Tiana's determination whilst being completely upbeat and feeling synonymous with Broadway. I also loved Down in New Orleans as it perfectly establishes the setting as well as Friends on the Other Side which stands as one of the best Disney villain songs of all time. I feel as though the story could have done without Ray, Louis and Naveen as they get in the way but there is a lot of fun to be found with Charlotte who is not only hilarious but a loyal friend to Tiana. And as aforementioned, the visuals of the movie are top-notch. You can either enjoy The Princess and the Frog for its soundtrack, animation and lead character or dismiss it due to its slow plot with filler material.
    Last edited by AngusCastle; 09-27-2016 at 05:29 AM.

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  22. #78
    vs meninism pax's Avatar
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    i like it. i think it is a very charming and well-done film, and you can really see the ton of effort that went into making it. i'd say... an A- would be fair.

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  24. #79
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    I really liked it too. But I just wish there wasn't so much damn filler material

    The deeper I get into this ranking, the more controversial it's all going to get

  25. #80
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    The Princess And The Frog is an top 20, maybe even top 10, WDFA film to me; it's very underrated as a whole. Unlike you, I think it's quite memorable and the story is very good & interesting (I like that it dares to be a more complex princess film) and is far from bad; the "filler" is implemented well and makes it a very rich and diverese tale and I really don't feel that the main plot is interrupted or halted by the voodoo stuff or anything else in the movie since the relationship between the leads is given a lot of time to develop even though other things are shown happening (and I never understood the complaint about the frog transformation aspect from a storytelling view; sure it means less of them as humans but it doesn't change the story negatively for me). I think the film runs at a good pace and manages to fit in a lot of things but at the same time flows well without being a slow slog.

    Anyway, the animation sure is wonderful and remains some of the best 2D work the studio has put out and the songs are some of the best ones from Disney animation (so many solid tunes, not only the ones you mentioned but the likes of When We're Human and Gonna Take You There as well). I agree that the main character is particularily strong and that so is the villain, but the supporting cast is great too (Lottie and Ray, the latter whom you don't care about, are likely my favorites of the bunch); I actually don't think any of the characters get in the way and all managed to add something to the story. I rewatched it a few months ago and I had nearly forgotten how much I liked it; overall, I still find it a really good, fun, colorful and enoyable experience and I consider it the start of the ongoing new Disney renaissance. Not at all a missed opportunity in my book.

    So yeah; TPATF is probably one of those movies in this review series I'll disagree with you about the most. Sorry.

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  27. #81
    AddminisGator Gatorgod's Avatar
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    Disney films and most western animated story telling is getting stale in general.. Does every story need a bad guy after good guys heavy plot to work? .. Its so ingrained in our storytelling culture its hard to imagine cartoon movies without it?
    Take nearly all the Studio Ghibli films.. They tell stories that skip the tired old "Villain vs Good guy" pursuit plot. They dont really have any one person or thing that acts like the total story controlling baddie? and their still fine.
    At least Bolt was unique in the way the Hero pursued a villain that didnt actually exist,.. but in his own mind.. a good first step in shedding the burdensome yoke US cartoon movies have had to endure for so long.

  28. #82
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    I made it sound like I didn't like TPATF which is not the case at all. It's a great movie! In fact, apart from the bottom 6 or 7 movies of this ranking, I pretty much enjoy every movie in the canon.

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    31. The Sword in the Stone (1963)

    I don't know about any of you but the Silver Age of Disney is my personal favourite era because it's the most consistently brilliant and has some of the greatest work of Walt Disney himself. The Sword in the Stone is often considered the weakest effort of that era, and whilst I technically agree with this, it is still a hilariously brilliant movie with lots of fun and humour. The worst thing that can be said about it is Wart's voice acting. Done by three different actors (two of which were the director's sons), it's terribly inconsistent and lazy. For Wart to drastically go from sounding like a young 11 year old boy to a teenager is just ridiculous. Each voice sounds nothing alike and it doesn't help that they have American accents in an English country. But mostly, fans criticize this movie for having a lack of narrative and to a small extent, I can understand why. The title of the feature "The Sword in the Stone" almost seems irrelevant to the story - it's only mentioned at the beginning of the feature and literally never referenced again until the last 5 minutes of the film.

    In spite of that, The Sword in the Stone also provides some nicely constructed animated sequences with plenty of humour, catchy songs and fun characters. The xerox animation, often deemed the worst style of animation in Disney history, actually looks aesthetically pleasing with detailed backgrounds and good utilization of different colours. The credit has to go to the ensemble of characters though. Merlin muddling modern references with his contemporaries combined with the uptight character of Archimedes makes for a lot of great humour. Wart may not be the most interesting character but at the very least, he's a friendly boy who means well and just wants to learn. Madam Mim is also very comical and the battle between her and Merlin is still one of my favourite moments in any Disney movie. The one word to sum up this film - FUNNY.Wart gets turned into a fish, a squirrel and a bird. Lessons are learnt, tunes are sung and everyone has a good journey along the way. The Sword in the Stone may not have any real depth to it but if you need some mindless entertainment, it really hits the spot.

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  31. #84
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    It's been a while since i saw it but The Sword In The Stone is a good one; not one of the all-time Disney greats but as you say it's a lot of really good fun throughout. It is rather episodic but I like how diverse and colorful it is and there's some good stuff such as the battle of the magicians which is the highlight in my opinion too (it's interesting to note that Madam Mim got her own Disney comic book series so she seem to be a fairly popular character).

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    30. The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr Toad (1949)

    I never thought a movie from the war-time would make it this far on my list but here you have it. It's the most popular of the six package movies and by far the best. Instead of random compilations of cartoons, the film is divided of two longer features, both of which have been adapted from very well-known novels - The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The decision to have these two films against each other is a little bit odd considering how different the stories are in tone but producers really wanted to see these adaptations set on the big screen so they were put together and became another package film instead of trying to stretch each of them to be an individual feature (a good decision as I doubt they would have retained the same quality if they were packed with filler material).

    The first story is introduced and narrated by Basil Rathbone and his contributions to it just don't meet with the tone of the novel. The opening of Toad's adventures feels very slow starting. But it's a good adaptation. There's a lot of humour found within the adventures of Mr Toad and his horse friend - "What is the honest way?" "Ah, I thought you wouldn't know". It also allowed for some really suspenseful moments such as Toad trying to escape from drowning and when Mole attempts to steal the deed back. And the final chase scene is action-packed and exciting to view. So there is plenty to enjoy.

    But the re-telling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is PERFECT. Every single aspect is improved over The Wind in the Willows. The artistic appearance (greatly influenced by Mary Blair who also animated for The Legend of Johnny Appleseed), the voice narrative of Bing Crosby - his voice has a smooth and haunting resonance and it is fittingly perfect for such a haunting tale. I also found the story to be significantly more engaging than the first. And did I mention the brilliant ending? The setting of the dark and spooky night is established so well, the pacing is excellent which adds to the suspense and subtle haunting as Ichabod travels through the woods. And the headless horseman ranks as one of the most horrifying Disney villains ever. The sight of the flaming pumpkins being thrown towards the camera is enough to make you as white as a sheet. A perfect story which is somewhat brought down by its predecessor. However, both of these segments are of a higher quality than any other vignette to come out of the package movies.

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  34. #86
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    I watched Meet The Robinsons a lot when I was younger, loved it. Today, I really like the song "Little Wonders"

    I also saw Bolt, not sure how I felt about it.

    Keep up the good work.
    You're a dolt with the IQ of a peabrain that probably loves lowbrow sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, Frasier and Seinfeld to not grasp the biting satire and wit of the classic 65 (Rugrats).


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    29. The Rescuers (1977)

    Released during a very bleak time for the studios, The Rescuers was a surprise blockbuster, loved by critics, and would be the last movie made by the animated studios which would have such a high amount of success until The Little Mermaid, over a decade later. The movie is deserving of it for being so focused on a plot without the need of any side filler as well as two mice - Bernard and Bianca - who have distinctive personalities and enhance the story as seen through the chemistry they have between each other. Adapted from Margery Sharp's novels Miss Bianca and The Rescuers, the movie oversees the abduction of brave Orphan Penny who is under the entrapment of the insane Madame Medusa, it is up to the adventurous Miss Bianca who's paired up with the anxious Bernard to save her. The visuals may not be completely up to scratch but it is definitely an improvement over the previous xerox style movies. This is also the last works of one of Disney's nine old men - Milt Kahl - who did practically all the work on Medusa and the detail in her facial expressions and moment are amazing (he apparently based her on his ex-wife - make whatever you want out of that).

    It's a very somber affair with a very dark opening to its story - Penny is seen sending a message in a bottle and we see that long journey of it travelling to New York with the song Who will rescue me? playing to show her desperation. Young Penny is constantly tormented by Medusa, one quote which really sticks out - "Adopted? What makes you think anyone would want to adopt a homely little girl like you?" - a very hard-hitting line which is followed by the Oscar nominated song Someone's waiting for you which boosts Penny to remain hopeful. Plus, Penny is adorable (brilliantly played by Michelle Stacy) which makes it's even more gut-wrenching to see her in peril. The final climax in which Penny gets through the Devil's is a stand out scene - it's well-paced to create suspense and intensity, enough to keep all viewers on the edge of their seat. I believe this is the better adventure story of The Rescuers series as it is appropriately tense and action filled without being overwhelmed by it. In the end, Penny escapes with the Devil's eye and gets herself a mother and father whilst Medusa gets the comeuppance we've all been waiting for. As well as that, we see some excellent relationship between Bernard and Bianca. The movie does an overall good job of accumulating of action, humour and sentiment. Many believe the sequel is an improvement on the original and whilst I do think The Rescuers Down Under is a good movie, it just didn't have the focused plot and heart which the original carried.

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  37. #88
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    You make good points about preferring the first to the second one (and for the 1970's, where I'd say animation was at it's nadir, this was a really ambitious project which clearly shows), but I still like the sequel more.

  38. #89
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Loving the fact that you changed your avatar to Ray from The Princess and the Frog.

  39. #90


    So, are you going to put Fantasia high on the list despite admitting to not really enjoying it? Because if so, that's kinda lame to be honest. It bothers me when people are like "I don't like it, but people say its great, so I guess I have to agree".

    On another note I do enjoy Fantasia, in fact it's always been one of my favorite Disney movies ever since I was little. But one should never have to sing praise to something just because many other people like it. I for one will always consider The Wizard of Oz to be probably the most overrated movie of all time, regrdles of how many "best movies ever"-lists the damn thing is placed on.



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