Thursday, January 23, 2020

Disney Animated Movie Challenge: Part I

Like many people, I was pumped when Disney+ came out. I mean it's incredible how almost every single Disney movie is now available through one streaming service. I'm still mind blown that I can watch classics like Cinderella or The Little Mermaid by just clicking a few buttons on my laptop or phone.

Back when my friend, Mary Ellen and I were running a joint blog, which ignited my passion for blogging, we started to do a challenge where we wanted to watch every single Disney Animated movie that has been released in theaters (meaning no direct to DVD movie will be included in the challenge. Sorry Mulan II, I really do think you're a good sequel). However, it was really hard to find a good version of the movies on a third party streaming service, so the challenge died out.

However, when the glorious day of November 12 came around and we got Disney+, Mary Ellen and I were talking about how much easier it would be to finish the challenge, so I started to get back into it. The checklist has been sitting in google drive untouched for a while.

While watching Mulan the other night, I decided it would be fun to review the movies again and have it be an interactive challenge on the blog. I would love for y'all to do the challenge also and leave your thoughts in the comments for the movies being reviewed in each part!

So here are the rules:
  • Right now it's currently on Disney animated movies that have been released in theaters. I will take on live-action movies and direct-to-DVD's at another point. 
  • has to be animated* 
  • has to be a full-length feature 

*I have also included movies that have small sections that includes animation, such as Mary Poppins and Song of the South

Alright guys here we go. First part of the animated movie challenge! 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

This movie is one everyone has to respect because it's the first full-length theatrical Disney animated movie. It was cute and of course started off the Disney princess pack. Gotta respect the OG Disney princess. There have been so many other movies and TV shows that have been influenced by this movie, i.e., Once Upon a Time, Mirror Mirror, and Snow White and the Huntsman. Watching this movie reminded me of how far animation has come in recent days. 

Pinocchio (1940)

I've never cared much for Pinocchio. Of course the storyline did stick with me asl a kid scared that if I told a lie by nose would grow. Only great part for me is that we got "When You Wish Upon a Star" out of it and is now the staple Disney song, I mean hello, they play it at the beginning of basically every Disney movie. Watching it as an adult, I'm picking up on parts that I wouldn't have before such as the underage drinking and drug abuse with the kids who turn into donkeys and Pinocchio join in with. 

Fantasia (1940)

This movie started off great with a popular Bach piece, the popular Sorcerer's Apprentice, which this film was built around, and of course my favorite the Nutcracker Suite. After the first hour, it started dragging on for me and I had trouble trying to find the will to finish the film. I do appreciate the attempt to introduce classical music into the early childhood period.

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

This was a half-animation, half-live action. This movie was interesting because you didn't get into the actual story of the reluctant dragon until the very end. However, what I enjoyed about this movie was how it took you into the behind the scenes aspect of animation at the Walt Disney studios. I felt that Disney took the opportunity of this movie to promote Dumbo and Bambi, which were the next two full-length animated movies to be released by Disney. 

Dumbo (1941)

I'm a sucker for a cute baby animal in movies. They are seriously my favorite. It's been awhile since I've seen Dumbo and honestly I didn't remember much from it. However, "Baby Mine" was one of may favorite songs to play one-handed on the piano (disclaimer: I definitely don't know how to play piano) and of course I remember the song "When I See an Elephant Fly".

Bambi (1942)

This is a movie I did not have much interest in going back to watch. While I do love the character of Thumper, I just felt like there wasn't much of a plot in the movie. However, I do love how Disney created a villain that is never seen in the movie.

Saludos Amigos (1943)

I loved how they used the fab five characters to help tell cultural and geography lessons to children. Of course as soon as they added a llama to the short animation with Donald Duck, I couldn't stop referencing The Emperor's New Groove. 


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