Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby Dan » October 10th, 2014, 7:22 pm

From my understanding, part of the reason Pocahontas underwhelmed was more than just it being released after Lion King. It was a combination of internal hype (Pocahontas was pegged as the A-movie because all the top tier animation talent was working on that film while Lion King was the B-movie for having pretty much only Andreas Dejas, Mark Henn, and Ruben Aquino amongst the top tier at the time) and Katzenberg's heavy interference as a result of Beauty and the Beast's success.

I think an area where Big Hero Six has a chance to not end up like Pocahontas is that Ed Catmull and John Lasseter are about to help guide everyone on the right track. How they operate and how Katzenberg operates, to me, has been a big difference in the way they try to manage studios into producing successful animated films.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby LotsoA113 » October 10th, 2014, 7:26 pm

Excellent point there about the Lasseter regime.
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby EricJ » October 11th, 2014, 2:27 pm

Lord Akiyama wrote:From my understanding, part of the reason Pocahontas underwhelmed was more than just it being released after Lion King. It was a combination of internal hype (Pocahontas was pegged as the A-movie because all the top tier animation talent was working on that film while Lion King was the B-movie for having pretty much only Andreas Dejas, Mark Henn, and Ruben Aquino amongst the top tier at the time) and Katzenberg's heavy interference as a result of Beauty and the Beast's success.


Goldberg and the Nine New Men saw Pocahontas as the "art" film whose romance and swirling leaves would justify the new adult audience, but then...Eisner and the board got their fingers into the pie, made it a propaganda film for the Virginia theme park, and the thing ended up almost as corny, manipulative and immaturely black-hat/white-hat agenda'ed as Hunchback.
(In fact, looking at Hercules on disk, it's hard to remember why we had such a kill-frenzy against that one at the time. It may be that Hunchback was the penultimate camel-straw for corny post-Lion King melodramatic Katzenberg plots, and M&C's attempt to put "serious" moments into Hercules just pushed it over the edge with the delayed-reaction audience....It was Pocahontas, however, and more specifically Gov. Ratcliffe, that first started the ball rolling.)

Just how successful Lasseter personally perceives Frozen (sure, it made money, but was it heart?...Or just a lot of fan sing-along karaoke?) will determine whether that movie is the equivalent Lion King whose "wrong" success for non-movie audience zeitgeist-phenomena reasons--on a movie the studio just wanted to finish and get out there, and didn't even want to be a smash hit--screwed up the experiment and sent the studio's evolution on the wrong path.
Lasseter has more of an innate Walt-like instinct for knowing what goes into a story, and that he'd rather see a good movie than a successful one, that could help us avoid repeating the troubles of the late 90's. He's already helped cure the problems of the early 00's.
Last edited by EricJ on October 11th, 2014, 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby Ben » October 11th, 2014, 2:39 pm

1) It's Deja.

2) He wasn't on Pocahontas and didn't think that was an 'art' film.

3) It was Katzenberg who decided Pocahontas was the Oscar hopeful A film and that Lion King was the B picture that wouldn't even break $50m.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby Dan » October 11th, 2014, 5:01 pm

I must've hit the "s" out of habit. :mrgreen:

My understanding is that once Beauty and the Beast got the Best Picture nod, Katzenberg went blitzkrieg on making sure one of the next films would be an Oscar-slam dunk. He picked Pocahontas, believing that, of the two, had the potential and forced a whole lot of reworking from the design and look of the film to the story and tone in attempt for it to be seen as something the Academy could not ignore (I recall Eric Goldberg mentioning Pocahontas was originally going to have more comedic elements ala Aladdin and thus nearly all of his work on the film up to that point was thrown out when they made the switch). Ultimately, I think, the film disappointed due to Lion King's phenomenal, and unexpected, success causing questions of whether Pocahontas could live up to it's heavy internal hype along with Katzenberg's changes and firing months before the film was supposed to come out. Now, would the film have worked if Katzenberg had not gone Oscar nuts and forced the whole film to be redone? I honestly don't know.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby EricJ » October 11th, 2014, 10:59 pm

Ultimately, I think, the film disappointed due to Lion King's phenomenal, and unexpected, success causing questions of whether Pocahontas could live up to it's heavy internal hype along with Katzenberg's changes and firing months before the film was supposed to come out.


Again, Lion King had nothing to do with it. (If anything, it helped shelter Pocahontas from a lot of the audience's doubt, since, well, it had to be good, if it came after Lion King and Aladdin! Which made the audience's doubt over whether Hunchback was or wasn't a good film that much more troubling to reconcile.)

Let's put it this way: Remember when everyone was calling Avatar "corny" because it "resembled Pocahontas"?
What do you think they were referring to?...

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby LotsoA113 » October 12th, 2014, 2:47 pm

Awww, I'm a huge fan of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (and Avatar for that matter!) Gotta be one of my favorite Disney films of that decade, and certainly has some majestic musical moments that never fail to dazzle me. And Hercules is a pretty fun one. I'd honestly say the only Disney feature I myself find truly flawed from that era is the aforementioned Pocahontas.

I'd also say Wreck-It Ralph hasn't been forgotten in the slightest. It's nowhere near Frozen in terms of profitability, but then, what is? I'd honestly say its the better of the two movies.
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby ShyViolet » May 20th, 2015, 12:49 pm

Very impressed with new slate of Disney/Pixar films. Maybe we're not quite at '89 heights yet, but I think we're closing in, especially with Incredibles 2 on the way! (Even Finding Dory sounds well...kind of cute.) :)

I realize that the "wonder" of the Ren days hasn't quite happened yet, but I do think it's on the way. :)
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby EricJ » May 20th, 2015, 1:33 pm

Prophetic words from earlier in the thread:
Bill1978 wrote:Oct. 10, 2014
Interesting this thread popped up cause the other day I was thinking that if the Disney Renaissance was in Stage 2 then that would mean Big Hero 6 is doomed to get the Pocahontas response. Big opening, but disappointment it's not Frozen resulting in a decent box office but because it didn't much the previous film it kinda gets forgotten and people start speculating it's the end of the Disney Renaissance.


There's a LOT riding on Moana at the moment to try and slap fans back into being Disney fans again and not Broadway fangirls (just like last time...) and, just like last time, there was a long space between the Musker & Clements-directed movies of Aladdin in '93 and Hercules in '97.
We haven't had a "disaster" yet like Hercules that brought the first Renaissance to a halt (although I still say our tarring-and-feathering of Hercules was just subconscious punishing of Hunchback's corny PC Katzenberg-tropes), and with no Eisner to mess things up, it's less likely mistakes are going to be made at the top.
Yes, Bob Iger wants a Frozen 2, a Cars 3 and a Toy Story 4, but that's mild in comparison to the Pixar Wars or Chicken Little.

One other factor that killed off the first Renaissance was the Rugrats Bubble that started plastering us with corporate parent-company cable-TV movies from '98-'02, just as Disney was starting to take its hits--shades of the Care Bears beating Black Cauldron in the 80's--to bring us another Dark Ages, until that came to a halt when everyone wondered why Finding Nemo was suddenly crushing Hey Arnold, Teacher's Pet and the Powerpuff Girls.
With DWA going, there's no "bubble" of corny cheesy-packaged animated movies to become a distracting craze, which means that no matter how bad things get, D/P will still relatively have the playing field all to itself.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby ShyViolet » July 15th, 2015, 2:52 pm

Wow. Although I admire them for redoing things when it's necessary, I think some of what Catmull says is insulting to WDAS: "downhill for 17 years"? :?

I guess he means Pocahontas (1995) to 2014 (Frozen)?? That's 19 years. Although Meet the Robinsons was 2007--Pixar's first "fixer-upper".


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... or-issues-
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby EricJ » July 15th, 2015, 3:12 pm

And Tangled, unarguably the Little Mermaid of the Renaissance 2, was '10, which would be 15 years.
Still ignoring Robinsons, but if he's still ignoring Tangled to say that Frozen Started It All, there's some major problems in his thinking.
2012 would be Wreck-It Ralph, and at least he got that partly right, although he's putting credit where credit isn't due.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby ShyViolet » July 15th, 2015, 3:15 pm

Also one of the reasons then-WDFA was "demoralized" and "dispirited" in 2006 was because of so little job security. That really hasn't changed a whole lot since then, has it? :roll:
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby Ben » July 15th, 2015, 5:26 pm

Wow, way to crap on a bunch of talented people's work who were actually doing very well given extreme meddling and circumstances.

And its a pretty good job that Disney had an excellent streak that allowed them to bankroll Toy Story in the first place and in no short order put Pixar where they were in the first place!

Okay, so we can agree that Disney had a pretty poor spell, but that was nowhere near 17 years. Everyone calls out Pocahontas and Hercules, but they were big hits with huge merchandising. Disney may have run out of steam a bit towards the end of the 90s but do t forget the commercial success of Tarzan and artistic triumph of Fantasia/2000, possibly the last time the Studio really went for broke on something worth doing for the artform itself rather than the money.

So...yeah...nowhere near 17 years, and maybe not even 10 at that. It's true that basically the 2000s were a write off, but they also did see Lilo & Stitch in 2002 while the rise of Pixar essentially took over from Disney themselves (and Pixar isn't infallible with Cars).

Enchanted in 2007 was the film that saw the beginnings of a bounce back by looking back at their roots to forge new ground going forward, so that's a five year stretch. You could even say that the first Lasseter and Catmull efforts, the retoolings of Robinsons and Bolt, didn't change things around, though even their much touted Princess And The Frog failed to capture the magic.

It really was Tangled in 2010 that cemented Disney being "back", and it was that film that led to Frozen in the first place. He's being most uncharitable to a bunch of folks whom he owes more than a little to. At best we can say there was a five year period there where Disney did nothing of true note, and at worst we can expand that to the 2000 decade, with only Lilo & Stitch and Enchanted making any kind of dents at either end.

But that' still only five to ten years worth of duds, not 17.

And, for the record, Up was 2009. I know their subsequent films may have their fans, but it's been six years since Pixar really last had a classic film on their hands, but I don't hear Ed calling out his own guys on that drought...

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby Dacey » July 15th, 2015, 5:37 pm

Maybe I'm alone on this, but was Disney ever really "gone"?

I mean I know people like to act like the 2000's were the "dead years," but from them we got not just Stitch, but also Emperor's New Groove (which eventually became one of Disney's most popular films of the era!), and even the so-called "duds" were genuine risk-takers which I very much enjoyed, whether it was Atlantis (which is probably a lot better than you remember if you haven't seen it in a while) or Treasure Planet (which got an Oscar nom). Heck, I even have a soft spot in my heart for the "old school and proud of it" Home on the Range.

Yes, I know others like to look at Chicken Little as a "disaster," but it was actually decently reviewed, and was making good money until Harry Potter came along. Also, the software developed for it (to make everything look more "cartoony") would eventually evolve and be used to make their future releases like Robinsons, Tangled, etc.

Again, I'm aware I may be in a minority. But I just don't think that Disney ever went through this "bleak period" that everyone says they went through. Perhaps they could've stood "improving" in some cases. But they never needed "saving."
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Postby ShyViolet » July 15th, 2015, 5:43 pm

I agree Dacey...those films perhaps don't measure up to earlier efforts (especially the Big Four) but that doesn't make them disasters. Loved Lilo, and very much like Groove. Chicken Little is probably the "worst" out of all the "lesser" films, but that doesn't make it crud. (I actually did enjoy it.)

And Pocahontas, Hercules and Hunchback were all pretty darn good! I don't understand how he can put those in the "downhill" category. :?
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