Monday, October 16, 2006


On Friday I asked for your favourite and least favourite Disney movies. It seems that in general people are attracted to the films of the early-mid nineties.

The most popular ones being Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Little Mermaid. The least popular are older films like Bambi, Fantasia and the World War II compilations and newer releases like Brother Bear and Home on the Range.

As I stated in my post about Fox and the Hound the old-time Disney animators had passed the torch to a new, younger generation who understood the modern methods of film making and story telling. These new people struggled to create an identity of their own while the old school employees kept asking "What would Walt do?"

Bambi was a ground breaking movie in 1941 but the similar style of writing didn't work in 1981 when Fox and the Hound was released. Disney needed to do something to make their movies appeal to this new generation of movie goers.

New animation techniques using computers and new bold, dynamic stories ushered in what people are calling the "second golden era" of Disney. Movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.

Similarly, The Lion King was a ground breaking movie in 1994 but the similar style of writing didn't work in 2003 when Brother Bear was released. This could be the reason why people are not finding Disney movies as appealing these days.

But like we saw in the 1980's, we're now seeing Disney undergo another transformation. Perhaps they thought that closing their 2D department would be the change they needed. But now that Lasseter is in charge and bringing back that department maybe we'll see a third "golden era" on the horizon.


coolshades said...

Wait wait wait...they actually *closed* their 2D department?? GAH! Glad they had the sense to re-open it...

Interesting how the four most popular flicks were all released between 1989 and 1994. I think part of the reason they were so great is because of their music. Disney had some great movietunes for awhile, they all suck... :S

Chip Chief said...

While Brother Bear isn't as good as The Lion King, I think it is grossly underrated. It came out during that anti-2D animation era, and never really got promoted like many of the 90s hits. Its quite enjoyable, though the Phil Colins score gets a bit old. I think it is better than Chicken Little, Home on the Range, Atlantis, or Treasure Planet. It just came out at the wrong time. The success of the DTV Brother Bear 2 shows that I may not be the only one with this opinion either.