The Princess and the Frog

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Post by estefan » December 31st, 2009, 10:03 pm

Keep in mind that for The Princess and the Frog, they had to re-buy drawing desks and other important accesiries needed for hand-drawn animation (I'd like to thank Michael Eisner for selling those off! ). Plus, they're re-hiring the old animators, getting some new ones aboard and training them, the CGI effects department. In addition, there's all the marketing and merchandising that Disney put into it. So, yeah, there's a number of reasons for The Princess and the Frog to have had that budget.

But, if it makes you happier, the new Winnie the Pooh that Walt Disney Feature Animation will be working on for 2011 will have a $35 million budget.

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Post by eddievalient » December 31st, 2009, 10:57 pm

See, now that's more like it. That's how they ought to be operating. They could probably do The Snow Queen for $35-40 million too and make it back easily.
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Post by Bill1978 » January 1st, 2010, 12:24 am

Compare it to Disney shutting down Studio Ghibli in the US after Princess Mononoke, and then suddenly in love with them again after Spirited Away won the Oscar:
Neither one particularly made more money than the other, but one made them look a little better than the other, in their obsessive studio-image quest for our mass love and affection....And P&tF got it.
So what you are saying is that if PatF can pull off an upset at Oscar time, then we'll have a 'hit' on our hands. :wink: LOL I'm just glad 2D is back in town and don't forget that it did open at #1 at the US box office. It just opened in Australia, I hope I get to see it in the theatres but living in a town without a cinema makes it a bit difficult and throw in the fact I'm travelling to the US in a week's time without a major opportunity to see a movie I think this will be seen on DVD first.

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Post by EricJ » January 1st, 2010, 1:11 am

Bill1978 wrote:So what you are saying is that if PatF can pull off an upset at Oscar time, then we'll have a 'hit' on our hands. :wink:
No, we just Won't Have A "Flop" Anymore. Which should stop a lot of the handwringing and strategic panicking for the immediate time being.

(Are we counting on a Best Animated win, before the nominations have even come out? Oddly enough, maybe--
The entire ceremony is being groomed to draft "Up" for a regular Best Picture nomination, and as it's so hard to choose, voters may split the vote and feel it's more "polite" to stick up for the other underdog Animated that only had one category chance...One tends to see these trends ahead of time.
Granted, the year "Spirited Away" won, it was similarly up against "Lilo & Stitch" for only one Oscar--It's no slam against L&S that the votes had to go to only one "deserving" winner that year, but this year may not necessarily be the case.)

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Post by Bill1978 » January 1st, 2010, 2:59 am

I think while Up will get a Best Picture nom (which doesn't sit comfortably with me as I think that movie has been overhyped in its awesomeness) I think it will still stop The Princess And The Frog from winning the little gold man in the Animated category. If tradition follows the path of Foreign Films, where a Foreign Film that manages a Best Picture nom can only manage to win the Foreign Film category because 'why reward it twice', this will happen to Up. The thinking of the academy will be something like It's just an 'honour' to be placed in the Best Picture race but it doesn't deserve to win 2 gongs for the same thing and really how stupid will it be if it wins Best Picture but not Best Animated Feature.

Of course from what I understand there is a big push from Disney/Pixar to get it a Best Picture nom that people may forgot to vote for it to get a Best ANimated Feature nom (doubt it). Which would open up the field for PatF. I personally just feel sad that for all the pioneering that Walt Disney did with feature animation his studio has yet to win a Best Animated Feature statue - but has distributed many winners. I was really hoping PatF could mamange it this yer but this yearis all about Up, maybe Rapunzel will deliver the prize.

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Post by Dacey » January 1st, 2010, 1:12 pm

On the subject of budget, unless I'm severely mistaken, none of Disney's recent animated films from the feature division have been made for the budget discussed here. Even the "cheap" Lilo and Stitch carried a price tag of $80 million.

Basically, these movies take money. Now, granted, maybe Disney doesn't need to let them cost quite as much as they do. I seem to remember hearing stories about the budget of "Home on the Range" getting out of control due to production problems. But, as a whole, the ammount of effort these films require to make is generally going to cost a hefty sum.

Truth be told, I'm surprised that "Winnie the Pooh" is costing that little to make, but that's still double what "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" cost, and they're presumably going for an old-fashioned look on that movie anyway. But $35-$45 million for "Snow Queen"? Highly unlikely, especially with the scope that that movie is probably going to require. But I could be wrong.
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Post by PatrickvD » January 1st, 2010, 1:41 pm

hey need to figure out a way to make these films for $80 million.

The only way I see that happening if Disney goes back to being a 2d only studio. If they can assemble a team and keep them on permanently and have them work on multiple projects simultaneously instead of hiring a large crew for one project, they could save costs. But Disney insists on doing both CG and 2d.

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Post by Locall » January 1st, 2010, 2:36 pm

I agree with Dacey, 35-40 million for Snow Queen is nothing, don't forget that the project has been in production before, so many costs have been made before it got shelved.

I'm not so surprised at the costs of Winnie the Pooh, they got their characters, they know specificly what they want and have done it before.

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Post by Ben » January 1st, 2010, 5:16 pm

Pooh was always going to cost less. The infrastructure is there to make those films, on a TV, DTV or theatrical level. Most of those costs will go into the production development rather than the animation itself, and they look to be keeping the flat, Xerox style, so it's not like there will be any massive groundbreaking moments here, just a nice, sweet, throwback to Walt's era (and producing a cheaper movie that will look as accomplished as the others but generate more returns).

The reason it's costing more than Heffalump is that the animation will be more accomplished, they're paying the artists more, and the general production will be of better quality. The DTVs routinely came in between $11m and $25m, much lower than theatricals since the DTVs always had their characters in place and had such fast turnarounds (and were animated on twos). The theatricals are mostly animated on ones and just generally have more care, attention and development time given to them.

I am surprised at $35-40m for Snow Queen though. Perhaps this is a first-phase development that doesn't account for the animation phase yet. Maybe they're determining the process and will add to this? Unless there's a very slimmed down crew working for longer on it, which could creep around a big production cost. But anything under $60-80m for a typical studio-funded animated picture, especially one from a company like Disney who will want to keep their standards up, seems short to me (and I can't see previous production elements not being attributed to the budget in any way, even if this new take incorporates some of the previous attempts).

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Post by EricJ » January 1st, 2010, 9:33 pm

Bill1978 wrote:I think while Up will get a Best Picture nom (which doesn't sit comfortably with me as I think that movie has been overhyped in its awesomeness) I think it will still stop The Princess And The Frog from winning the little gold man in the Animated category. If tradition follows the path of Foreign Films, where a Foreign Film that manages a Best Picture nom can only manage to win the Foreign Film category because 'why reward it twice', this will happen to Up. The thinking of the academy will be something like It's just an 'honour' to be placed in the Best Picture race but it doesn't deserve to win 2 gongs for the same thing and really how stupid will it be if it wins Best Picture but not Best Animated Feature.
Although the Foreign Film is a different comparison:
The Foreigns that have shown up for Picture were never the front runners (oh yeah, like it was going to be "Il Postino" or "Cinema Paradiso")--Even "Life is Beautiful" was passed over in third place, and just pawned off with the Best Actor that was responsible for it.

It's different this year: They want Up to win. De gustibus, I liked TS2 better, m'self, and, well...so did they. That's one of the reasons. (Hey, last time, they were asking whether they could give a Best Actor to "Ratatouille", how desperate ARE they, every year??)
You can throw a hundred wishfully-spun articles claiming "Avatar is the front-runner!" in our face, but fact is, only drooling geeks and LA voters who get starstruck when you mention "Titanic" want it to get anything more than its place-nom and a Special Achievement award, and anything else is Wishful Geeking. And we know it's not going to be "Up in the Air" or "Hurt Locker" because...it never is. (They're the critically good-intention Arthouse Patsies that always come in second.)

For comparison, can you imagine what it would've been like if real Committee had actually wanted Beauty&Beast to win in '92?...No, neither can I. That's why that year isn't this year.
There's the mentality that they've had enough and just don't want to "insult" Pixar with "only" one more pre-destined Best Animated this year, but somebody has to get it. So, it goes to the OTHER sympathy vote. And lucky for them as well as us. :D

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Post by Bill1978 » January 2nd, 2010, 2:04 am

Up is the frontrunner for Best Picture at this year's Oscars? Really? Then 2009 really was a poor year for film. Apart from the opening montage, the rest is nothing special or memorable.

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Post by ELIOLI » January 2nd, 2010, 9:16 am

I know. A little off topic, but truthfully, was UP really that good and all the hype? I agree with Bill here. I mean it was a nice little wacth,something I wouldn't watch over and over again, but nothing like the other Pixar films, memorable wise.I know a good number of films who could actually take that spot for the nom. But that's another story.
Anyway, I just hope TPATF made a good enough impression on people for them to want to see traditional animation again.
And this has something that's been on my mind, hopfully not offensive in any way, but what happens if the princess wasn't (respectfully) black? And in my theater, but the vast majority were black. Maybe since the town the theater is in was populated as that, but, just being observent is all.

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Post by Ben » January 2nd, 2010, 5:02 pm

Have to say I'm with the minority here. I enjoyed Up immensely, but there's no way an animated film will win Best Picture. I'd love to eat my hat, but Up isn't the film to do it.

As I've said ad infinitum before... ;)

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Post by eddievalient » January 2nd, 2010, 10:57 pm

Ben wrote:Up isn't the film to do it.
I think it is. I would argue very strongly that it's the finest work Pixar has ever produced. If they can't get a Best Picture nomination with Up, then it simply can't be done.

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Post by GRUNT » January 2nd, 2010, 11:56 pm

Princess and the Frog only opened on Jan 1 here in Australia, so I couldn't see it until then :P.

Sufficed to say I've seen it twice now, and while I enjoyed it more the second time around, I have to say that my opinions don't differ too largely from most other folks here.

For me, my biggest issue with the flick was indeed Tiana's frog. I felt as if Naveen's frog was somehow a whole lot more expressive (possibly because he had teeth), and Tiana was indeed not particularly interesting to watch for the majority of the film, although there's no denying that everything was animated very well - the flaw's just in her character design.
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I'm especially disappointed because of how fantastic everything was to watch when there were humans around. The whole beginning oozed with atmosphere, and every second that Dr Facilier was onscreen was pure gold.
My goodness, that opening with 'Down in New Orleans' almost brought me to tears, I love it so much.

In fact, that's one of my favourite songs in the flick, along with 'When We're Human', 'Friends on the other side', and 'Almost There'.

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From the moment I heard the story's premise, there was a particular issue I was concerned about: how much presence the villain was going to have. Although Dr Facilier is incredible, I think he suffers from the same problem as Rasputin in Anastasia in that it doesn't really feel like he's 'there'. He just does a little something at the start, launches an evil scheme or two during Act 2 (and these were especially short-lived in 'Frog'), and then shows up at the end to get killed.

While this may be the case in a lot of films (and doesn't necessarily make those films bad), I just felt that the issue was a lot more noticeable in 'Frog'.

One plot hole which irked me is that Tiana already knew that there was someone posing as Naveen (and that he had Charlotte's full attention), so I thought she jumped (hopped) to conclusions a little too quickly when she saw 'Naveen' with Charlotte on that mardi gras float.

I also felt that Ray getting killed was too much of a down note at the end of the film, even if he did turn into a gigantic ball of burning gas. Incidentally, the amount of evil which it took to kill a mere firefly struck me as being a little awkwardly humorous, even though it wasn't supposed to appear funny.
Although I've mainly talked about my negative thoughts on the film, I should state that I do so mainly because most of my positive thoughts on the flick mirror what's already been said. There's definitely much more good than bad here, and it's a thoroughly light-hearted and fun film, and I was sucked into the rich, southern vibe right off the bat. Setting the flick in New Orleans was a very smart choice, and it really went a long way to giving this flick its own identity.

After the first time I saw the film, I felt so inspired, I went and cooked gumbo even though I'd never done so before :P. Never having had gumbo, I can't vouch for its authenticity, but I felt warm and fuzzy making it, anyway :P.
Last edited by GRUNT on January 3rd, 2010, 2:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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