Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Ben » August 6th, 2020, 5:57 am

I remember that sale. So sad. I recall that some of the newer guys bought some of their heroes' old desks. I hope the Multiplane remains intact...somewhere.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by ShyViolet » August 6th, 2020, 3:01 pm

Farerb wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 11:44 pm
Interesting. I know that Ron Clements is writing a book about his time at WDAS so maybe he'll write about all of this.
Wow, I didn’t even know that he was! That’s very cool. Thanks for the info, Farerb. :).


Maybe we’ll finally learn the real story behind this:

(From Kim Masters’ “He Whom Must Not Be Named” 2018 Hollywood Reporter story)
Sources say among those whom Lasseter eventually pushed aside was legendary Disney animator Glen Keane, who drew Ariel in The Little Mermaid and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Back in 1983, Keane and Lasseter — then both at Disney — had collaborated on a test combining drawn animation and computer-generated images. ("In five years these tests will seem so primitive, they'll look like Steamboat Willie does today," Lasseter said presciently at the time.) When computers came to dominate the field, associates say that Keane, unlike some who made their names in hand-drawn animation, successfully navigated the transition to the new technology. He left Disney in 2012, and this year won an Oscar for his work with Kobe Bryant on the short Dear Basketball. He's now directing an animated feature for Netflix. Another casualty was Don Hahn, whose producing credits include Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. "He was one of the most successful animation producers of all time," says a Disney veteran. "John treated him like ****." (Keane and Hahn both declined to comment.)

When Keane was demoted in 2008 from Tangled’s main director to only animation director, I remember a comment from a poster on Cartoon Brew (have no idea if it’s true or not):

Supposedly shortly before Keane was demoted, Lasetter said to him: “Seven years and this is all you have to show for it?” :shock:
Last edited by ShyViolet on August 8th, 2020, 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by EricJ » August 6th, 2020, 3:20 pm

ShyViolet wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 3:01 pm
When Keane was demoted in 2008 from Tangled’s main director to only animation director, I remember a comment from a poster on Cartoon Brew (have no idea if it’s true or not):
Supposedly shortly before Keane was demoted, Lasetter said to him: “Seven years and this is all you have to show for it?” :shock:
Although fans sympathized at the time--
Keane was trying to rescue "Rapunzel" (not "Tangled", and a very different incarnation) from the lingering Eisner legacy of "Rapunzel Unbraided", and yes, he WAS taking more years than he should have to perfect his new "hybrid" style that he couldn't get quite right.

Lasseter's first job during the '05-'08 changeover was taking all those messy deconstructionist or self-indulgent Eisner/Stainton projects (like, yes, "American Dog") and tinkering them back into respectable workable form that the new studio wouldn't be embarrassed to put into production.
Eventually, he settled for putting Keane off the project, taking the two teens from "Unbraided" and turning them into Flynn and Rapunzel, in a more straightforward version.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Farerb » August 6th, 2020, 3:21 pm

Yes, I'm putting here the source:
Both directors have left Disney Animation and John Musker has been animating his own three-and-a-half minute short film from home, which he hopes to premiere at a future Annecy Festival. Ron Clements is working on a retrospective book about his forty-five years at Disney Animation.
Source: https://www.laughingplace.com/w/article ... -festival/

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by ShyViolet » August 6th, 2020, 3:26 pm

Thanks Farerb! :)
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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Farerb » August 6th, 2020, 3:51 pm

Though I'm not really a fan of Jennifer Lee, I'm glad Lasseter is not there anymore. Seems like he treated people, who made better movies than he did, like crap, maybe it's an ego thing. I'm surprised that Alan Menken is fine working for him.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Farerb » August 6th, 2020, 3:52 pm

ShyViolet wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 3:26 pm
Thanks Farerb! :)
You're welcome.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Farerb » August 14th, 2020, 5:26 pm

I guess this is the best thread to ask this:
Do you feel that the Revival films left any impression or had any impact? Because it seems like they never really reached the same heights as those of the Renaissance. I also feel like, with the exception of the musicals, they were kind of forgettable. I feel the same about Pixar and that it seemed like they lacked the originality they used to have before Toy Story 3.
What is your opinion?

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by EricJ » August 14th, 2020, 5:49 pm

The "Renaissance", as we remember it, only consisted of four films--You probably know which, as they're the ones beaten to death in the same rotation of IMAX, 3-D, stage musical, live-action, etc.
The fifth was Pocahontas, the sixth was Hunchback, and the seventh, Hercules, paid the price. Hercules is considered a good film today, and an "honorary" Renaissance member like Mulan, but make no mistake, Hunchback took all the villain/musical/sidekick/misunderstood-protagonist tropes audiences found mildly wearing thin in Lion King, turned them up to 11, and antagonized the audience for almost a decade.

That's why Disney talks about the 1989-1994 "Renaissance", and the 1995-2005 "Troubles".
The studio was flailing about to find stories, and let animators come up with their own brain-farts like Lilo & Stitch, but the whole fan-love for L&S was mixing with the misplaced Eisner-anger toward traditional "singing princesses", and Katzenberg's Shrek movies cleaned up almost an entire decade's zeitgeist.
Princess & the Frog's early work came out of that decade--hence the "Lazy prince", "Hardworking independent heroine" and "Obnoxiously ditzy prince-digger"--but Tangled was the one that got back to Mermaid's roots of hiring Broadway songwriters to write an actual musical where the songs and story were integrated in a coherent and meaningful way.

That's when Disney movies came back. And then a bunch of Broadway fangrrls took over Frozen, tried to turn it into the Wicked/Book of Mormon Movie, and then were allowed to run the studio. :(

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Ben » August 14th, 2020, 6:18 pm

Well, discounting all that bollocks (honestly, the thought of Disney itself referring to any of its own history as "the troubles"...what planet are you *on*!), the Disney Renaissance is credited as lasting from 1989 to 1999, or Mermaid to Tarzan. And, like any explosion, you get the big bang of the first few films and then a slow levelling off.

But the thing is, in all that time, they didn’t have any competition. Sure, Warners and Fox had a go, and good old Don Bluth kept in there, but Disney essentially had the field to itself, or at least shared it with Pixar, who they were financing anyway, so there was a public perception that Disney was back on track coupled with the fact that the films were all largely tight, well made, mass popular entertainment that made them easy to break through, because there was an acceptance and even a wanting them to succeed feel from the audiences.

When the Revival came along, that whole situation had changed, however. CG had become the new cool kid, and DreamWorks was coolest of the cool. And like anything that gets big, there’s some payback, and Shrek was giving it to the fairytales good and proper. At the time, audiences lapped that up, perhaps self conscious for liking the early 90s films in the first place and, now, having grown up a bit and liking the opportunity to gently pull ‘em apart.

Even though Disney found its way again, and audiences woke up from the ribbing fairytales enough to realise that they *did* love them and there was a reason they loved the, in the first place, they were and still are, now, just one of many producers making top-notch animated product, from DreamWorks, Blue Sky (obviously now hoovered up by Disney), Illumination, Sony, and even Warners.

So there’s a lot less opportunity to break through and dominate as much as they did, while there’s also more chances for others to hit the zeitgeist, like Warners did with the first Lego movie, and Illumination seem to do, as well as Somy, perhaps most notably, with Spider-Verse. Obviously, the law of averages means Disney can still have the big breakout moments — Let It Go being the really big one — and studio loyalty from fans and brand recognition from casual family moviegoers always means a certain seal of quality, so Disney largely remains at the forefront.

I think the days of being the permanent dominant force are probably over for Disney, in animation terms at least, merely because of the sheer amount of competition, and largely quality and more and more unique competition at that, such as Netflix's Klaus and the like.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by EricJ » August 14th, 2020, 8:06 pm

Ben wrote:
August 14th, 2020, 6:18 pm
Well, discounting all that bollocks (honestly, the thought of Disney itself referring to any of its own history as "the troubles"...what planet are you *on*!), the Disney Renaissance is credited as lasting from 1989 to 1999, or Mermaid to Tarzan. And, like any explosion, you get the big bang of the first few films and then a slow levelling off.
Maybe they're not using the term, but they're thinking it--
For years, any movie made during the "SaveDisney.com" era was seen as "troubled" even if it DID become an audience hit, like Lilo, Groove or Mulan, and passed off by their analysts as, "Well, the characters caught on, and it made some minor box office, but didn't really find an audience", since it wouldn't fit the script that the Renaissance Had Ended After Hercules.
But the thing is, in all that time, they didn’t have any competition. Sure, Warners and Fox had a go, and good old Don Bluth kept in there, but Disney essentially had the field to itself, or at least shared it with Pixar, who they were financing anyway, so there was a public perception that Disney was back on track coupled with the fact that the films were all largely tight, well made, mass popular entertainment that made them easy to break through, because there was an acceptance and even a wanting them to succeed feel from the audiences.
Which era was that, the Incredibles-era "Let Pixar make them ALL!" 00's where the audience was shouting for Barabbas, and Eisner was picking fights with Pixar and (allegedly) kneecapping their attempts to go independent after Nemo?
When the Revival came along, that whole situation had changed, however. CG had become the new cool kid, and DreamWorks was coolest of the cool. And like anything that gets big, there’s some payback, and Shrek was giving it to the fairytales good and proper. At the time, audiences lapped that up, perhaps self conscious for liking the early 90s films in the first place and, now, having grown up a bit and liking the opportunity to gently pull ‘em apart.
And, because Katzenberg fed into the public's misdirected anger that A) all the tired post-Lion King tropes were "Eisner's fault", and B )that Disney = "fairytales" and Fairytales = "Disney", and C) both = "Cruel outdated sexist subjugation of the female gender".

Which we all got out of our system once Eisner actually WAS kicked out, and then we all woke up and thought, "Wait...(shakes head "aggada-aggada")...What just happened? Anyone remember why we liked that 'Princess-fu' scene from Shrek 2 so much??"
The version of "Enchanted" that we got during the Lasseter changeover was NOT the version concocted during the last days of the Eisner era, and, in the final irony, the fans gushed over the wonderful "spoofing tribute" to Princess musicals we eventually got in rewrites. Someone just became history.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Farerb » August 15th, 2020, 2:56 am

I honestly don't know how to respond to it since non of it was about the Revival and everything was about the Renaissance. Anyway I don't think any of the 95-02 films are viewed as troubled by either the studio or the audience. I have no idea who considers Hercules to be good nowadays unlike the others like Hunchback, Mulan or Lilo & Stitch. I can't speak for others but I will for myself - Hercules is fine even though it's riddled with plot holes and a not really interesting Hero-Villain Dynamic and I don't really find Hercules (the character) to be that compelling. I personally think that Hunchback is the misunderstood film out of the bunch and that it was actually ahead of its times (but ironically wouldn't have been made today).
Anyway, here are good video essays by Lindsay on both films:



Anyway, when I said the Renaissance's heights I meant the 89-94 films, but more so even the weakest of the Renaissance (Pocahontas or Hercules) are still more remembered today than films like Wreck-it Ralph, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. And that's what my initial post was about, why these films are not that remembered? Zootopia especially is an interesting case cause I remember people really liked that one since its release to its win at the Oscars, and then after Moana was released on home video, it somehow took over.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Ben » August 15th, 2020, 4:02 am

Well, don’t read Eric's misguided how-he-thinks-things-work rant, and just read mine again. All you wanted answered is in there. Out of six paragraphs, four were about the revival!

You can’t talk about a "revival" without their being something to revive. Speaking about the "renaissance" sets the context for why the later films are not as well remembered.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by Farerb » August 15th, 2020, 4:30 am

I agree with you, Ben, probably the fact that every major studio has one or two animation divisions eventually led to an overflooded market. It probably doesn't help that CGI films tend to have a similar style and design - what used to be revolutionary with Toy Story has now became the norm (which is probably what eventually happened with the Renaissance). I guess nowadays musicals are more rare than they used to be (one musical every three years) which might explain why the musicals are more memorable than the others.

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Re: Disney Renaissance 2/Disney Revival

Post by EricJ » August 15th, 2020, 5:39 am

Farerb wrote:
August 15th, 2020, 2:56 am
I honestly don't know how to respond to it since non of it was about the Revival and everything was about the Renaissance. Anyway I don't think any of the 95-02 films are viewed as troubled by either the studio or the audience. I have no idea who considers Hercules to be good nowadays unlike the others like Hunchback, Mulan or Lilo & Stitch.
Hoo-boy...Never been in the Parks on Halloween villain-characters' night when Hades & Meg show up, huh? :lol:
I had a violent dislike for Hercules when it opened, and now I'm in the camp that praises it as one of the good Musker & Clements.
(One of the good ones, mind you, by which I don't mean Moana.)

I thought Lilo was frankly a steaming first-draft mess compared to the Series, but the crazed cult the movie developed when it opened became one of the major factors that sank Treasure Planet...Another of the good M&C's, in my opinion.
Anyway, when I said the Renaissance's heights I meant the 89-94 films, but more so even the weakest of the Renaissance (Pocahontas or Hercules) are still more remembered today than films like Wreck-it Ralph, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.
Big Hero 6, maybe, but I call for a challenge on how many fans remember Wreck-It Ralph vs. how many fans remember Hunchback.

Even the Herc fans who try to give the later-90's films another break generally give up halfway through Pocahontas, and find Hunchback's ham-handed good-Esmeralda-vs.-bad-Frollo social deck-stacking near insufferable nowadays, even before the Gargoyles show up.
I repeat my theory that Hunchback was the movie that finally pushed corny 90's Disney tropes the wrong way with audiences, but it was too late, as we had to pay to find that out, and poor Herc ended up the wrong innocent bystander in the wrong place.

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