We’re going to wrap up Disney Renn Faire with the last Disney film released in 1999. Some may not include it in the Disney Renaissance because of its anthology format, but they’re boring. I firmly believe that Fantasia 2000 is a worthy successor to its 1940 counterpart, and it’s just so gosh darn pretty. And so *orchestra tuning* I present *curtains open*
This week, we’re nearing the end of Disney Renn Faire with Mulan and Tarzan. The first is based on a real historical figure from Chinese history who has become a folk legend. The second is the most frequently portrayed character in Western pop culture, beating out both Sherlock Holmes and Count Dracula for sheer omnipresence. Including television, the original series of 26 novels, and the handful of stage adaptations of the story, Tarzan has appeared in over 200 films, spanning from the early years of the film industry to the present day. But first, we travel to China.
Last week got a bit heavy, so I’ll try to keep things a bit more lighthearted this time…as best I can. We’ll be dealing with French melodrama and Greek mythology, and those genres don’t often lend themselves well to happy stories, but we’ll still have fun. Maybe… Continue reading
We’ll leave aside the fairy tales for this week as we look at The Lion King and Pocahontas. The former isn’t explicitly based on any one story, but it owes a great deal of its general structure to Shakespeare, so we’ll go with that. As for the latter, it takes a very messy and unhappy period of colonial history and turns it into one of the most visually beautiful Disney movies ever made. As a fantasy, it’s spectacularly animated and the music is some of composer Alan Menken’s best work, but as a history it’s…not very accurate… but we’ll get there in a second. First, we’ll look at: Continue reading
Last week’s entry was sort of traumatizing, what with all the mutilation and tragedy inherent in the original “Little Mermaid” fairy tale. This week will be a bit less tragic, but a whole lot weirder. We’ll start off in 18th century France and end up in Ancient China via a 9th century Islamic source. It’ll be fun! Continue reading
The 90’s gave us Bosnian genocide, Columbine, the Oklahoma city bombing, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the tragic death of Princess Diana, and the Gulf War. But to those of us who were kids at the time, all those terrifying world events were hidden behind a sparkly cloud that has since led to an almost fervent religious nostalgia for the 90’s. You’d think it was some sort of utopian paradise based on the way people talk about it, but anyways, one thing that all 90’s kids can agree on is that the animated films of the Walt Disney company hit a high point in the 90’s, creating movies that are now called the Disney Renaissance. Continue reading