Fantasia 2000

February 9, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

Probably not many people's favourite Disney movie unless there's some deeply personal story attached what this is represents an attempt to resurect Walt's idea for an ever-changing roster of musical sequences with Disney animation. 

If you figure it would have changed and evolved over the years, had the original proved successful, and gone with the original model of adding new sequences in place of old, some might say that 59 years later it would resemble this movie.

Then again, some wouldn't.

We also debate what a third movie in this style could be like, and what it would take to finally start drawing in the crowds. Daniel Floyd once again joins us for a talk about this contentious battle between artists and money men. 

Next week we take a little break from Disney to bring you a new show re-appraising the Star Wars Prequal Trilogy in a new and unique way. It's called "We Need to Talk About Anakin". 

Guest

Daniel Floyd of Extra Histories 

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Tarzan

February 2, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

This time we go deep and we go long. Tarzan is for me one of the absolute greats of the Disney canon and so rarely talked about with the reverence of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, so this time that's what we did.

It's been hugely influential on my writing and stands as maybe the crowning spectacle of the marriage between 2D characters and luscious 3D backdrops utilising the "Deep Canvas" technique. 

Daniel Floyd joins us once again to explore the last of the 90s renaisance. After this it was Fantasia 2000 and Dinosaur and while they occasionally put out something amazing, Disney lost their way until Tangled established the new normal. 

Guest

Daniel Floyd of Extra Histories 

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Mulan

January 26, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

Dan Floyd joins us once again as the Disney Project continues.

The house of Mouse picked themselves up from the financial low for the 90s that was Hercules, and came back punching with this Chinese legend of a girl who steals her father's armour to take his place in the army.

Still to this day one of the most beautiful and moving of their animated classics, Mulan had its detractors, and all of them had solid reasons to admonish story decisions. However, it is also beloved and inspirational, and the kind of movie that could be made today (with a few tweaks). 

Jerry Goldsmith's soaring yet delicate score was fortunately in plentiful supply for this one.

Guests

Daniel Floyd of Extra Histories 

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Hercules

January 19, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

Now we reach the point where Disney seemed off their game, at least in comparison with the lightning strikes of Mermaid, Beauty, Aladdin and Lion King. The fact that I really like Hercules is neither here nor their, this was a snarky yet earnest take on Greek mythology framed around an action sports movie for boys. 

It had one of the most real-feeling and grown up of Disney heroine's so far, James Woods before he revealed himself to be a complete dick, Danny DeVito on top form as a washed up boxing coach and a quick-witted, slightly-too-energetic pace which a lot of people might consider off-putting.

It was also an ideal, basic model for the superhero movies that were around the corner, and in fact it's a better Superman story than any of Kal-El's movies that have followed so far, though Thor and then Wonder Woman far exceed its reach. 

Since Alan Menken's lovely, lively score only spans a few minutes I have used other, tonally appropriate music for this one. Next week, Mulan. 

Guests

Daniel Floyd of Extra Histories 

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

January 12, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

The year was 1996, just a few months ago Pixar had changed the face of cinema by introducing a whole new medium of 3D animated film, with Toy Story.

Disney followed up their lukewarm reception of Pocahontas with another middling-in-appreciation Broadway musical. The art is beautiful, the scale epic, the songs memorable.

The subject matter is a serious social commentary written by a man who fiercely disapproved of injustice, framed as a tragic, gothic romance, but in the all-singing, all-dancing Disney style, the jokes are witty banter mixed with fart noises made by a pig-like gargoyle (who may not have even been real) played by Jason Alexander from Seinfeld. The main villain is a judge, because executives weren't happy with him being a Catholic Priest, yet rogue animators deliberately confounded their demands and depicted him upon his knees, praying for forgiveness from Mary for the darkness inside him which he knew would imminently lead to murder, in one of the most spectacular song sequences in ANY movie. In short, it had a tone problem. 

And with the help of Dan Floyd and Nama Chibitty, we dig into how this was pulled together and what the end result was. It's one hell of a ride.  

We have covered all the Disney animated classics canon so far from Snow White up to The Lion King and they can be found of the "School of Movies Archive" which is a separate feed on iTunes or wherever else you find podcasts. Here's all the Disney ones.

Guests

Daniel Floyd of Extra Histories 

Nama Chibitty

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Pocahontas

January 5, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

The Disney shows return, Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us once again to continue our trek through the past of the animation giant.

And we are in the middle of the 90s renaissance, their third period of creatively blossoming (Pre-War/Post-War/90s) and the first after the box office high point of The Lion King presented a bar almost impossible to reach. Even if it hadn't been culturally troubling, deliberately historically naive and melodramatic when the audiences wanted fun, Pocahontas was going to stumble.

It became the benchmark of what happens when Disney decide they have a hit on their hands before release (everybody thought this was going to be their Cinderella and Lion King was just going to be a muck-about with animals). And yet for its faults, which we will go into, it remains a beautiful, sweeping, bittersweet Hollywood romance of the kind it's very tough to pull off successfully, even today, *especially* today. 

The music by Alan Menken is once again amazing, the voice acting is top notch, the animation might make you gasp, and it's probably the most Broadway musical-feeling of all the Disney canon, for better or worse. 

We have covered all the Disney animated classics canon so far from Snow White up to The Lion King and they can be found of the "School of Movies Archive" which is a separate feed on iTunes or wherever else you find podcasts. Here's all the Disney ones.

Guests

Daniel Floyd of Extra Histories 

Nama Chibitty

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The Lion King

February 10, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

This episode will be the deepest single Disney show we will ever do. It weighs in at just under four hours long, so I'd recommend absorbing it in two sessions, unless you have a long drive or a flight. But if you love the film you'll feel like you've died and gone to never-ending Lion Heaven!

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us again to examine this magnificent beast of a film. Disney had taken a year off after Aladdin to develop their next two theatrical, animated projects, a sweeping Broadway musical melodrama, sure to go down in history as one of their greatest achievements (Pocahontas... it didn't) and a fun little movie about lions (which became known as one of their greatest achievements).

More than anything else, this movie made Bambi redundant for me. I never much gelled with the little dear, and while the death of his mother did have a shocking impact its repercussions were felt for all of 90 seconds. Lion King spends the rest of the movie either overtly avoiding confronting grief or stepping up to face it. The courageous subject matter, the beautiful animation, the majestic James Earl Jones, the amazing music and brilliant songs put this one at the highest peak for me.

This super special episode also includes the debut of the SteamHeart trailer.

Guests:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

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Aladdin

February 3, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

This one was recorded immediately after the Beauty and the Beast show, so we are absolutely exhausted by the end. What you can't hear because I trimmed it out is all the times we lose our thread and forget the point we were making. The magic of audio editing.

As it is, with musical breaks and comedy clips, this is another superbly detailed show where we praise the animation and efforts that went into making this a truly unique Disney experience.

It was recorded one month before Robin Williams died, and 23 years after master songwriter Howard Ashman died, and it is a celebration of their amazing work.

Extra Credits: https://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz

Cane and Rinse: http://caneandrinse.com/

Support our shows on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Come listen to my audio drama series, New Century:http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/

Guests:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

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Beauty and the Beast

January 27, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

Get ready for a show of epic proportions, and a roller-coaster journey through the making of an absolute classic.

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse join us for a deep study into what made this work so well, and why it manages what so many of the previous films in the canon couldn't quite reach. Every aspect is discussed, from animation to music, to rejected ideas, to what makes Beast and Belle so endlessly appealing and what function the supporting cast serve.

This is either one to absorb in two sittings or a long evening spent watching the movie with the sound off at the same time... twice.

Support our shows on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Come listen to my audio drama series, New Century:http://newcenturyshow.podbean.com/

Guests:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

00:0000:00

The Little Mermaid

January 13, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

We finally his the 90s third renaissance for Disney, and this kicks off a series of two hours plus shows of super detail and perspective on this era. Disney was under new management and after a string of mediocre successes and big failures now aimed to pull themselves out of the doldrums they had settled into following Walt's death. This entailed a storm of creativity with artists being ridden ruthlessly by cold-hearted businessmen. By all rights it shouldn't have produced such wonderful results... but it did. 

The Little Mermaid is a story of a human girl born as a mermaid, who just never feels right down under the sea, looking up longingly at our world. The emotional arc of the movie is the barely-seen King Triton getting over his overprotective desire to see his child stay down aith her family, culminating in him letting her go for her own happiness. 

Plus it has a Jamaican crab. 

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Extra Histories joins us again and you will hear the music of Alan Menken and the late, but indescribably great Howard Ashman. 

School of Movies is funded not by advertising, but by Patreon. It's you guys who keep this show going, help us pay our bills and buy more stuff to watch and talk about. So if you get a major kick out of these shows consider throwing a few dollars per month our way: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

Guests:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

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