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Tony Grist

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The Evil Of Disney [Dec. 1st, 2004|10:26 am]
Tony Grist
I'm told that Werner von Braun- the scientist who built rockets for Hitler (slave labour was involved) and later for NASA, also designed rides for Disney.

I love it. A life that links the Third Reich, the Space Race and Disneyland deserves to be novelized- deserves to be turned into the biggest of block-buster movies.

I've always hated Disney. The way his factory turned all those great children's stories into formulaic, sentimental kiddie-feed. Pah!

Note the word "hate". Not "dislike". This an affair of the passions and not so far removed from love. The animation in those early films- Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo- leaves me gasping with admiration.

And I have a weird, twisted regard (as you may have guessed) for Mary Poppins and its companion-piece, the under-rated Bed-knobs and Broomsticks.

That Disney magic- an evil spell cast across children's entertainment for more than half a century, so that rivals felt they had no choice but to attempt to do the same thing only worse: how glad I am- how very, very glad- that Pixar has escaped from its shadow!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-12-01 10:59 am (UTC)
How do you feel about studion ghibli?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-01 11:15 am (UTC)
I haven't seen much. Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.

I thought Princess Mononoke had too much story. Too many charaters. Too much going on. The pace was breathless.

But Spirited Away is wonderful. A modern day Alice in Wonderland. Creepy and wildly imaginative and very, very beautiful.
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[User Picture]From: silent_mouse
2004-12-01 01:02 pm (UTC)
Try My Neighbor Totoro by studio Ghibli - at the beginning it's rather slow, but then it becomes such a wonderful thing that will make you happy, I'm sure. You can really see where the charm of Spirited Away comes from.

I also love European animation. Unfortunately they are really hard to come by. By my sister-in-law, who is a starting animator herself, knows more and sometimes even shares that knowledge with us. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-01 01:12 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Bellevue Rendezvous. Otherwise I can't think I've seen much else from Europe recently.

Yeah, I must look out for more from Ghibli. Thanks for the recommendation.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-12-01 02:19 pm (UTC)
Oh yes - that's my happy film for when I'm down. The cat bus always makes me smile!

Miyazaki is the greatest animator that I know.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-12-01 02:15 pm (UTC)
I agree. there seems to be a split between afficionados on this one.
I would urge you to see Grave of the fireflies which is tragic but lovely.
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[User Picture]From: butterscotch711
2004-12-01 12:49 pm (UTC)
I went into a course that covered animation a couple of years ago expecting all of the literature to be fairly anti-Disney.

All the academics I read were at great pains to point out all the forms of animation that *aren't* cel-based, and to detail the traditions/genres of cel-based that were very different from Disney, and kind of at odds with the Disney tradition (like anime).

But then, we learnt *tons* of stuff about how Disney were so amazingly innovative, and were in many ways the driving force in creating a new medium. When the Russian director Eisenstein saw Snow White, he declared it the best film of all time.

Though, yeah, through such corporate success, Disney not only forced their competitors into using similarly soppy narratives, but they also engineered a factory-line type of animation that was imported everywhere, and which was highly restrictive.

I kinda liked 'Treasure Planet' and 'Atlantis'. It felt like Disney was really starting to branch out - probably to compete with anime. Pixar is great, but if Disney do phase out 2D animation I will be kinda sad, despite the evilness.

Just don't get me started on the homophobic, racist, misogynist subtexts of The Lion King...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-01 01:07 pm (UTC)
Snow White is amazing. No doubt about it.

Oh, go on- give us a diatribe about the Lion King!
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-12-01 02:18 pm (UTC)
Yes do!

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[User Picture]From: currawong
2004-12-01 12:53 pm (UTC)
Werner von Braun used to appear regularly on the Tomorrowland episodes of "Disneyland", ( aka "The Wonderful World of Disney) He was presented as an avuncular, kindly boffin type.

Dick van Dyke killed "Mary Poppins" stone-dead.

"Spirited Away" was wonderful, though very gross in parts.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-01 01:09 pm (UTC)
Dick Van Dyke is terrible. Why, why, why didn't they get an authentic Londoner? Anyone- even Bruce Forsyth (who has a part in Bedknobs and Broomsticks) would have been better.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-12-01 03:47 pm (UTC)
...And Disney replaced those superb pen-and-ink illustrations in Winnie the Pooh with that silly looking fat bear.

The drawings in Milne's books were integral to the stories and poems.

I'd lean against my mother while she read to me

"Halfway up the stairs
is where I sit"

--and she read with wonderful rhythm. Before I understood the words I loved the music of her reading--

I wonder if children today ever read the books with those illustrations? Disney's pictures of his cartoony bears and donkeys have replaced Ernest Shepard's.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-01 06:27 pm (UTC)
His vandalization of Winnie the Pooh is one of Disney's worst cultural crimes.

I too can remember my mother reading Pooh to me when I was very small- perhaps as young as two. It must be one of my earliest memories.

And we had recordings, from the 1930s, of some of the songs from When We Were Very Young- and I'd play them on the wind-up gramophone which was a souvenir of my mother's youth.

"They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice....."

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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-12-01 06:38 pm (UTC)
"They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice....."


That's a favorite of mine.

And something about

"...please, a bit of butter for my bread...."

I think I was about two when they were first read to me.

And we had recordings, from the 1930s, of some of the songs from When We Were Very Young- and I'd play them on the wind-up gramophone which was a souvenir of my mother's youth.

I'd love to have used one of those old gramophones.

My parents' friends had a record changer that would lift the record and flip it over. Fascinating.

Equally fascinating was watching the little lines disappear into the label in the center of the record.

I liked the paper Capitol record labels--I think they were white and purple, with the Capitol building.

--My first memory was of dancing to Bizet's
"Farandole." I was wearing a striped cotton dress and my parents were watching me and smiling. I remember the music and the moment perfectly.
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[User Picture]From: silent_mouse
2004-12-02 02:31 pm (UTC)
I never liked Disney's Winnie the Pooh as well. But I was raised watching the russian animation movie Winnie the Pooh - where Winnie the Pooh looked like this or like this. Now of course it looks strange to me - the colors are not as vivid as in Disney movies, but still worth looking at. Here's IMDB record for it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0211729/ , but I'm not sure it was transalated to English.
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