SAVING MR. BANKS
In the picture, you can see Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) showing Disneyland to “Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) in Disney’s upcoming film "Saving Mr. Banks".
Emma Thompson, who has played her share of complex roles in her career (one of the last being Queen Elinor from Pixar’s Brave) admits -“She’s the most difficult person I’ve ever played”.
This film shows the struggle it was to make the now, award winning, classic Mary Poppins. This films tells that story; even though Walt had a personal interest in Travers’ tale of a magical nanny, it being one of his daughters’ favorites, the author was not interested in her work being changed by a movie studio.
Source: TIME Entertainment
MY MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
Of course I had to hit the movie theatre this week-end to see this film and I will like to share my (I will try brief) thoughts on this pixar film.
It’s been 12 years. I remember I was “too old” to see this film even back then, I was in 7th grade. So going yesterday, as a 24 year-old girl with my 28 year-old boyfriend, surrounded by only parents and little children, I dare say, a lot of people must have thought I was too old for this film. But I’m not. People can never be too old to watch a Disney or Pixar film. Even when I’m 80, I will still have an inner child that loves these films, just like Walt did.
Now, about the movie. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. As Ive said before, even though sequels are never good, pixar sequels (or prequels in this case) are the exception. The graphics were obviously a thousand times more real. When the children in the summer camp came out and you saw actual people, that’s when you could really see the improvement, just like it did with Toy Story 3. The backgrounds and design of the campus transported me completely, I felt like I was in the university. All the characters’ stereotypes on campus, and I’m not talking about the jocks, the sororities, fraternities and the outcasts, but the individuals. The details to make sure you could identify with at least one monster; how their personalities shone and who they were was so clear, even if they were on screen for a few moments. Pixar has that talent, to tell a lot with not much. That’s what’s so exciting about Pixar. The level of dedication and thinking of every little detail. It simply blows my mind.
The supporting characters? Loved the PNK sorority, how they could be all friendly and perky, but really scary (plus pink never hurts). Loved the OK characters, and the fact that they romantically paired Don Carlton and Squishy’s mom, PERFECT. Art reminded me of the hippy Volkswagen van from Cars, but much more developed. Finally, Randy Boggs? Seriously? I didn’t know which one was the cutest, if geeky Randy or little Mike Wasowski. I think little Mike takes the prize.
As for the emotional part. The juxtaposition of Sully (who I never guessed could have been such a jerk at one time given he was so sweet in the first film) being the one who had the “last name” and everything just lands in his lap and Mike who tries so hard and just can’t. They being so different and lacking in what the other one has, you would think that’s what tears them apart and makes them enemies, but in the end it was what brought them closer and made them who they are. They complement each other; they belong together (now you get the Randy Newman song?).
The development of their friendship is the most engaging thing in this film for me. When they were expelled, anyone would give up at that point, but they still made the best of it, and ended up exactly were they wanted to be. It’s funny when life can take you on different paths, but as long as you work hard for something, you will get there, and I loved that they left you with that message at the end of the film. No need to rush or pressure yourself thinking your parents will be disappointed or if you don’t do this, you won’t make it. Whatever path you choose, as long as you are true to yourself, work hard and do right by others, you will get there, and it will be as or more rewarding. Just be happy and enjoy life (responsibly of course). Life is about balance, not burying your noses on books 24/7, or partying and not doing anything 24/7.
Sorry, guess it wasn’t that brief after all, but I could go on ;)
In order to aid animators to fully visualize their characters, model sheets weren’t enough; they also had three dimensional sculptures. As you can see the poses for these figurines always showed great detail, movement and expression. These maquettes, done for Disney’s Fantasia (1940), almost look alive, as if these pictures weren’t of still figures, but little mini characters moving captured while interacting.
Andreas Deja emphasizes ”Every one of these little sculpts is a masterpiece, representing not only the personality of a character, but the essence of Disney, period!”
Source: Deja View
HELENA BONHAM-CARTER AS CINDERELLA’S FAIRY GODMOTHER
Disney had announced a A-Star cast for their upcoming live-action version of Cinderella, with Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, Lily James in the title role and Richard Madden as Prince Charming. They have now officially added the multi-facetic and amazing actress Helena Bonham Carter to the mix. If you don’t know who she is, then you simply are not from this planet, just check out the Harry Potter movies (3rd and up) or ANY Tim Burton’s (her husband) film.
The character is so sweet, bubbly, adorable and old, characteristics that don’t come to mind when I think of Helena. Still, she surprises every time, being as chameleonic as she is and might give the character a new dimension (it not being as developed in the first place).
The film will be directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh and is set to hit the theatres in 2014.
Source: Stitch Kingdom
RICHARD SHERMAN & ALAN MENKEN PERFORMING THE DISNEY SONGBOOK AT THE D23 EXPO
The planets must have aligned and God has heard our prayers, because an amazing event is about to happen. These two men are responsible for transcendental treasures in the Disney songbook. I mean, it’s impossible to walk through the parks and not hear music from one of these two music legends.
Being a one-night event, Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken will take the stage together to play some of their most beloved compositions at the D23 Expo, on August 10, as part of the Ultimate Disney Fan Event at the Anaheim Convention Center.
This is once in a lifetime event; I would give anything to go, Alan Menken is one of my Disney idols! For those not sure who these men are, I will fill you in. Alan Menken is known as the Disney Renaissance musical composer by excellence, having wrote the music for The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notredame, Hercules, Enchanted and Tangled. Richard M. Sherman is one of the Sherman Brothers. The Sherman Brothers composed the music and lyrics for Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and the iconic disney song "It’s a Small World" for the park ride.
Source: Disney Parks Blog
2D MERIDA OFFICIALLY RETIRED
Disney finally pulled the plug with the eleventh Disney Princess’s 2D look after the huge number of complains and criticism (including a 200 000 signatures in change.org) they got.
Brenda Chapman (director and writer for Brave) was one of the people completely against the makeover, saying she Merida was “sexed up”. “…look at the attitude. Look at how she’s posed. Look at how much tinier her waist is and how much bigger her boobs are. Look at the off the shoulder dress." -she said in an interview with A Mighty Girl. Other criticism aims to the fact that her look went from a round-faced child-like one, to an hour-glass womanly look.
Personally, I do think they are glittering and sexing her up a bit which is not a good role-model for kids, but I don’t think their intention is for girls to want to look like her, it’s just about making her more appealing in the merchandise. Also, putting her in 2D makes her not stand out in a weird way with the rest, like they did with Rapunzel; it’s just logical. If they have made such a fuzz with Merida, what’s stopping them going after Punzie next? I think this has been blown way over proportion.
What are your thoughts about this?
RUBBER DUCK RACE AT DISNEYLAND PARK
Hundreds of rubber ducks raced around the world for a cause at the 5th annual “it’s a small world” duck race! Cast members sponsored and decorated the ducks to raise more than $1,800 for Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire before Disneyland park opened for the day on May 2nd.
The cast fundraiser carries forward the attraction’s legacy of supporting children, dating back to the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair when it was created in honor of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Cast members waited anxiously to see which rubber duck would race through “it’s a small world” fastest.
Source: Disney Parks Blog
The live-action reference for 101 Dalmatians character Nanny, was actually not a woman, it was actor Don Barkley. Here is a photography performing for the puppy theft sequence, where the position and props are quite hilarious!
The character was animated by Ollie Johnston, and created her the most charming walk. Nevertheless, Milt Kahl helped with pushing her proportions and definition. Frank Thomas had his hand a little bit there too.
MILT AND MARC
Everybody knows that Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston were the best of friends. But they were not the only BFFs in the Nine Old Men gang. Marc Davis and Milt Kahl were pretty unseparable as well.
They worked in many sequences, their characters alongside each other interactive, like Aurora and Prince Phillip, Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother, Roger and Anita Radcliffe with Cruella DeVil and Peter Pan with Tinkerbell, to name only some. They respected each other’s work, Milt often raved about Marc’s incredible abilities and artistry in general, whereas Marc admitted that his favorite animator was Milt.
It didn’t stop in the workplace, as they used to hang out with their wives, and the four of them would go to ball games and socialize together.
The image is from a card Milt made for Marc Davis around 1975 in honor of their friendship, with a drawing of the both of them.