The Lion King

February 10, 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.

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Aladdin

February 3, 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.

Once again we are joined by Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse.

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/

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Beauty and the Beast

January 27, 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.

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/

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The Rescuers Down Under

January 20, 2017

This will be the shortest of our Disney 90s Renaissance episodes, principally because there's so little information available on the making of this movie and also not too much actually happens.

It's more mice wearing shirts, but there are some wonderful elements in there that we will illuminate in between me being scathing about Disney underachieving and some amusing side roads into Australia.

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits joins us once again.

Next week; one of the greatest animated films ever made.

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The Little Mermaid

January 13, 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

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The Great Mouse Detective/Oliver & Company

December 16, 2016

We're back on the Disney shows with Daniel Floyd, this time on the cusp of the 90s renaissance. This episode delves lightly into two of the last examples of their Dog/Cat/Mouse fetishism that defined the post-Walt wilderness years.

The Great Mouse Detective, originally named Basil of Baker Street (from the novel) is Sherlock Holmes with rodents. Oliver is the Twisty Dickens tale with a cat and a bunch of dogs in a painfully late 80s New York, presided over by prostitute-hating mayor Rudy Giuliani. We never see him in the film, but he's there all the same, along with his derision for people of colour and the impoverished, which fits rather well into the Victorian principles of the source novel.

This show was actually recorded several years ago and I apologise for my frequent interruptions of Dan and Sharon. I knew better than that back then and I have no excuse. I'll simply try my level best to let them speak without butting in as we record the final Disney shows. This episode is well-timed in its release as Moana has just launched in theatres and it is absolutely wonderful! Go see.

Next week; The Sound of Gonzo returns with a showcase of the music of 90s Disney.

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The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh / The Rescuers / The Fox and the Hound / The Black Cauldron

May 27, 2016

Continuing our Disney podcasts with Daniel Floyd of Extra Histories, this one covers the fifteen year period between 1970 and 1985. 

It was a dark and odd time for the once great animation studio. Their mentor and namesake had fallen and they were carrying on without him, or the acclaim that went with the bold and beautiful films of their golden years.


The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh theatrically released a package of three animated shorts. The Rescuers had a budget so low it barely had to sell any tickets to succeed commercially. The Fox and the Hound swung in the other direction, piling on the budget, only to receive middling critical and box-office response.


And as the company reformed in the early 1980s, having lost a dozen animators in a crippling walkout, the decision was made to throw untold amounts of money into a project that is now barely mentioned in the hallways of the House of Mouse, principally because the Black Cauldron only made half of that money back. 

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Zootopia

April 1, 2016

[SOM #151]

We're back talking about Disney and we've jumped from their 21st animated classic all the way to the 55th.
Dan was not available this time round but when we reach this movie in our list of films we're going through naturally anyway we can get his take on it for an epilogue. 

This was a movie that kind of came out of nowhere and delighted pretty much everyone by having a lot more going on below the surface than your average animated animal adventure. At the very least it's a major new find for the furry community as our guests Lorin Grieve from A Year of Steam and Matt Wardle and Laureta Sela of New Century can attest. As well as this there is a multi-layered and infinitely applicable series of social commentaries on everyday prejudices. This downright demanded discussion so we pulled out all the stops to deliver you a packed two hour show. 

Folks on the patreon at the $5 per month support level can, this week, get their paws on an additional 90 minutes of rambling tangents which also took place during recording and while fascinating in places, strayed far from the movie itself. If you love these shows there are far worse things you could do with five bucks every thirty days which DON'T get you access to exclusive content. 
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Robin Hood

March 25, 2016

[SOM #150]

Robin Hood (1973) is 83 minutes of amusing shenanigans. It's twee, minimally dramatic, fun and light with lovable simple characters. It did not restore Disney to the heights of Snow White and Cinderella popularity it had previously reached. 


Originally we recorded a paltry ten minute chat about Disney's Robin Hood during our sessions with Daniel Floyd, because there really wasn't much to talk about aside from it being a pleasant experience. We decided to add to this with an in-depth discussion about the impact of this movie on a community that's been going far longer than any of us have been alive; the furries.


Since Sharon and I are not experts in this matter we brought in Lorin Grieve of A Year of Steam to explain how these folks tick in different ways, what media they love and some of the history, whilst dispelling a few prejudices along the way. 


We continue along these lines into next week's Zootopia show.

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101 Dalmatians / Sword in the Stone / Jungle Book / Aristocats

March 18, 2016

[SOM #149]


The Disney shows return. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits is back to talk us through the difficult 1960s period for Walt Disney Studios.

101 Dalmatians
The Sword in the Stone
The Jungle Book
The Aristocats

Animation was changing, cinema was being influenced by television and for some reason people really liked British writers. In this show we'll talk about where Disney went after their expensive Sleeping Beauty project failed to hit Snow White status, and the aftermath of Walt's passing.
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