Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dreamin' of Disney, Part Two

So... ready for round two?!


Ahh what a classic.
"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother died..."
LIES. Everyone cried. Deal with it.
This one is also based on a book, and demonstrates some of Disney's best work, being one of several well received animations released around this time period. It tells the story of a young dear as he grows up in the forest, learns about life, experiences loss, and finds his path. You can see the similarities with The Lion King, although in this one, 'Man' causes all the problems and pain. The emphasis revolves more around the development of Bambi's character rather than an eventful plot, so kids nowadays might not sit still for the whole thing, but I think its a gem, and definitely worth watching.


This is one for slightly younger children, but it has such an amazingly simple concept; Mrs Jumbo wants a baby, makes a wish, and a stork brings her one. And there you have one of Disney's greatest animations. Dumbo's only problem is fitting in, as his ears are abnormally large, and his mother must defend him from all sorts of cruel remarks. Upon taking things a step too far, the circus folk chain her up in a tiny cage, and little Dumbo must fend for himself. He befriends a mouse, who helps him sneak out to meet his mother in what is arguably one of the most heart wrenching scenes and songs Disney have ever created. Again, if you "didn't cry" you are LYING!!!
The only problems Dumbo encounters (nowadays, anyway, not so much back when it was released) are slightly racist stereotypes. When the circus tent is being constructed at the beginning, the workers are all jolly black folk, who sing a rambling song about how their work is hard, but they just love it. Then there's the gang of crows, who's lively jive songs are typical associations with African Americans at that time.
However ... things were different back then. I still regard Dumbo as one of the best Disney has to offer.

Robin Hood

Stealing from the rich to give to the poor ... a bit of a contradiction for kids but a fun one all the same. This was one that I endlessly had on repeat, driving my mother crazy singing all the songs. She tried to show me actual Robin Hood films when I was older - like, with people - but I was having none of it. Robin Hood was a fox, end of. Ahem.. ;-)
This was the first Disney film released that wasn't watched over by Walt himself, as he passed away a few years previously. I think that's possibly why it got such crushing reviews upon it's release; talk of crude animation and lazy editing was bandied about, but feck that shite; its entertaining! Its a nice bit of relief from all the 'discovering oneself' films, and how we can all accept and get along with each other; its just a good old fashioned hero tale, with a fairly easy going plot and plenty of fun.

The Little Mermaid

Oh yeah, my underwater phase.. ;-) unfortunately I never quite learned to open my eyes under the water, and somehow I don't think goggles looked good on mermaids..
A free spirited young mermaid longs for adventure, and gets it into her pretty little head that having legs and being able to walk will provide such fun. I completely disagreed; she was welcome to my legs if I could have her tail. Much of the enjoyment for this one comes from simply sitting back and listening to the songs, and allowing the plot to ramble on with ease. Its not ground breaking stuff, but its entertaining. I was so obsessed with this that I got every single Little Mermaid magazine ever issued, and listened to the stories on tape before bed.
Clearly I was an uber cool child.

Lady and the Tramp

I'll leave it at this little beauty, not given nearly enough recognition or credit. One of few that wasn't based in a book, Lady and the Tramp was actually in the pipeline for a good decade before it was made. One snowy Christmas, Jim gives his wife a puppy; their life is complete. Until the stork visits, and Lady, not content with no longer being the centre of attention, legs it, and befriends a mongrel named, 'the tramp'.

Memorable songs include 'We are Siamese', and who can forget the scene where Lady and Tramp share a bowl of spaghetti... ;-) its easy enough to predict the ending - the Aristocats would later follow a fairly similar structure - but Tramp comes home with Lady and finds a loving home and they all love happily ever after. And really, would you expect anything less from Disney?

1 comment:

  1. someone else who likes Lady and the Tramp! everyone i ask has never even seen it! Great post :-)