|endlesschris - 2012-03-27 |
To live and die in Disney
|American Standard - 2012-03-27 |
Anybody interested in in understanding how Disney's traditional animation division went from cranking out blockbusters to shitting the bed and surrendering completely should watch "Sweatbox." It's a documentary by Sting's wife.
Sting was asked to do the soundtrack to a '97 Disney project (Working title: Empire of the Sun), and said yes on the condition his wife could document the process. What she ended up filming was the horrifically convoluted, wasteful, and heartbreaking process of producing a Disney cartoon, which went from an artist-driven exercise to being subjected to so much executive meddling (most of which is petty, some of which seriously comes across as plain fucking malicious) that budgets exploded, valuable creators quit, and the entire infrastructure collapsed. Even Glen Keane (who animated Ariel, The Beast, and Aladdin in their respective movies) has quit trying to work with The Mouse, and recently left Disney after 38 years. For animation geeks (read: me), this is like Jordan ditching the Bulls.
Funny you should mention it, "The Sweatbox" was just uploaded here a few days ago, but Disney yanked it down before any of us could watch it.
To nitpick, the working title was actually "Kingdom of the Sun", and it ended up becoming "The Emperor's New Groove", which despite what you may think, was a financial success to the point that Disney made a tv series out of it and a direct-to-video sequel. Both which were terrible, mind you.
It's cool to hate Disney anymore, and I won't deny the fact that they did some terrible things over the last twenty years and are a sad shell of their former selves, but they did have made some quality animated films since "The Lion King" that no one will give them credit for these days.
Also, you mean to tell me Tokyo Disneyland still has the Main Street Electrical Parade but California Disneyland doesn't? What the fuck Disney?
Tangled was quite good and Wreck-It Ralph coming out this fall seems pretty interesting, so Disney Animation might be finding its footing.
They outsourced here, because its just a commercial, and they wanted to use an anime studio or something, whatever, you guys are too damned cynical.
I'll miss Glen Keane, but I can't blame the guy. Disney treats its traditional animation division like crap these days. The studio has turned its back on his craft so there's no point in sticking around and waiting for the axe to fall. There's some amazing 2D work being done in Europe so hopefully he'll land at one of those studios.
Oh, I know ENG was profitable. Not disputing that. I'm not even disputing that it was good. My problem with Disney is the way they treat their creatives, their executive meddling and their insane development process.
Beauty and the Beast cost something like 45 million to make, and ended up grossing 400 million. ENG cost 100 million to produce, and grossed 165 million. That's about a 10-year gap, about it tells you a lot. Even if we subtract BatB's head-start on profits, Disney movies are costing more and earning less.
That's because for about 15 years, every asshole in a suit at Disney wanted to be involved in feature animation, especially after "The Little Mermaid" revitalized the department. And their way of being involved was tormenting the creatives. Chucking out years of work because they decided to make an Inca-themed prince-and-pauper story a wacky physical comedy instead... after half the dialogue has been recorded and the film was already partially animated. That's insane.
Glen didn't quit Disney because he thinks they put out crap. I really doubt that. He quit because he couldn't continue to work under those conditions, and I don't blame him. Creator and creative-driven animation is where things like Adventure Time, Samurai Jack and Flapjack come from. It's the good stuff. And Disney hasn't been creative-driven for ages. The execs straight-up do not fucking trust the creatives.
It sounds like Disney, much like every other studio, makes good movies in spite of the assholes in charge, rather than because of them. It's a pity it's bleeding over to Pixar now, as they've come down with a really bad case of sequel-itis.
It might not be the reason it sucked so much on a technical level, but one forum (I think it might have been Fark) had a guy purporting to be a CGI animator at a major studio explaining why the "burly brawl" in the Matrix might have looked as shitty as it did in places. The suits come down to see what "they" are doing and look over an animator's shoulder. The animator is trying to make Neo look as real as possible by adding imperfections, blurs, etc. to the models so he doesn't look like a Ken doll. The suit, knowing jack shit about animation, doesn't like how "bad" the frames look, and orders them to be cleaned up, thereby "doing something" and "earning" his salary.
|Triggerbaby - 2012-03-27 |
It's well-animated, trite, and dull. Just like a Disney movie.
Well animated? Did you watch the same commercial as me?
Yes, despite that it managed to be both maudlin and tedious in only 30 seconds, the actual animation is high-quality. I'm not sure why you're disputing this.
There are still people who reflexively act hostile towards anything remotely anime or Japanese.
Because they're stupid.
|Agent #1 - 2012-03-27 |
Every girl dreams of getting married at Disneyland to a man with no face.
That is clearly The Blank, the faceless man from Disney's 1990 film adaption of Dick Tracy.
Except The Blank actually turned out to be a lady in disguise, so really this whole thing is a clever viral ad for Disney's Gay Days.
|Jet Bin Fever - 2012-03-27 |
Tokyo Disney rules. It's like our Disney but without all the fat people and the screaming unpleasant children.
It also has fewer Japanese tourists.
|Spaceman Africa - 2012-03-27 |
Welcome to Disneyland.
Don't forget: you're here forever!
|Seven Arts/H8 Red - 2012-03-27 |
..and Cartoon Brew tried to tie this in to Glen Keane leaving Disney. Glen Keane's almost the only thing that site talks about lately.
Cartoon Brew is run by a gaggle of nerds, and I judge them all on their individual merits. Amid Amidi in particular is a total joke; the day I consciously stopped taking CB seriously is the day he simultaneously shat on "Millennium Actress" and passionately defended "Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party."
There's a sub-group of cartoon geeks convinced anything made after the 1960s is irredeemably awful. Amidi is one of them. He would literally rather fawn and squeal over a Flintstones cigarette ad than give Satoshi Kon the time of day. When I see him listed as the author, I scroll past the article.
He must have been given a talking to a year or so ago, because he's a lot less vociferous with his absurd opinions. But the old Amid is there in the comment sections for sure.
|Hooker - 2012-03-27 |
When Kim Jong-Il died and his fat fifth son or whatever was named the heir apparent, I was intrigued to find out why none of his older children were tapped to become the new glorious leader.
As it turns out, one of the older sons in particular, who has always had a shakey relationship with Kim, smuggled himself and his family out of North Korea so they could visit Disneyland Japan. The got caught, and no longer live in the North.
|Caminante Nocturno - 2012-03-27 |
And when you die and turn into a ghost, you can get in for free and nobody will ever know!
|Explodotron - 2012-03-28 |
It's like that episode of Cowboy Bebop where Spike is fighting the floating fat assassin in the creepy theme park. Don't know whether I'm shivering because of pure exhilaration or pure terror.
That was by far the best episode of the series (and I'm not even being sarcastic).
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