School of Movies
The Great Mouse Detective / Oliver & Company

The Great Mouse Detective / Oliver & Company

January 24, 2015

[School of Movies 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 next Disney shows.

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus

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

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

January 23, 2015

[School of Movies 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. 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus

Disney’s Robin Hood

Disney’s Robin Hood

January 22, 2015

[School of Movies 2016]

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 the ever-foxy Victoria Luna B. Grieve 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. 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

Victoria Luna B. Grieve: @VixenVVitch 

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

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

January 21, 2015

[School of Movies 2016]

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.

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus

Cinderella / Alice in Wonderland / Peter Pan / Lady and the Tramp / Sleeping Beauty

Cinderella / Alice in Wonderland / Peter Pan / Lady and the Tramp / Sleeping Beauty

January 20, 2015

[School of Movies 2015]

The much-needed success of Cinderella cemented Disney as more than just a one-hit wonder. Following this we delve into the absurd ramblings of Lewis Carol to talk about Alice in Wonderland. According to the Disney of the early 1950s royals will chase you down on black horses in the middle of the night, base the future of their family upon footwear, play croquet with live animals, hold complex legal disputes over jam tarts and cut your head off for the slightest offense. Either way don’t go anywhere near Buckingham palace.

Then we move onto the uncomfortably racist peter Pan, before Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty. These were the last gasps for ink and paint animation. If you look at the lustrous colours and brush strokes you will see a distinct difference from the more pencilled xerox process that ran from 101 Dalmatians all the way up to The Little Mermaid. It's a charming little story about a dog that gets ignored over a new baby and falls in with a vagrant, and a beautiful girl who sings to owls, says 18 lines and then falls asleep causing the social and economic upheaval of an entire kingdom. But delve deeper and the America portrayed in Lady is a very personal idealized one to Walt himself, and Sleeping Beauty was an immense risk tied up in the making of the parks that was one of the most successful movies of the year, yet still failed to meet its expectations. 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus

Dumbo / Bambi / Disney’s Wartime Films

Dumbo / Bambi / Disney’s Wartime Films

January 19, 2015
[School of Movies 2015]

The Disney series continues with two cute animal pictures with unfortunate mother figures. One gets locked up and deemed insane, the other gets shot dead by the most terrifying monster of all. Both of these moments have a profound effect on what we take away from the viewing experience.

The third sections covers the period between 1942 and 1949 when, due to World War II the studio held off on major animated features and instead focused on cheaply produced package films designed to foster relations with South America and keep their struggling animation house afloat. 

It’s an odd bunch, comprising Saludos Amigos, The Three Cabelleros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time and The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr Toad. Virtually none of these are remembered or cherished and on listening to this episode you’ll understand why. Daniel Floyd shoulders the majority of the appraisal this time. 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus

Snow White / Pinocchio / Fantasia

Snow White / Pinocchio / Fantasia

January 18, 2015

This is the first of a series of podcasts covering the full history of Disney’s animated classics. Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits is with us every step of the way.

It is without question that animated cinematic features throughout the 20th Century were defined by this company. Learn more about the studio, the animators and how the animation techniques changed with the time, as well as what the world was doing when each film was released. Also find out which films we love, which ones we don’t and more importantly, why.

Since this is an unabashed analysis that pulls no punches, bad language is used but it is bleeped for the benefit of children. 

Guest:

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus

Fantastic 4 / Ghost Rider / Punisher

Fantastic 4 / Ghost Rider / Punisher

January 17, 2015

[Digital Drift 2015]

We finally come to the dregs of the Marvel cinematic outings. After this it's things like the Hasselhoff Nick Fury, the early Captain Americas and Swamp Thing which barely qualify as movies. 

With the new Fant4stic movie emerging onto the big screen we took a look back on the 2005 version and its 2007 sequel. Were they really all that bad? More to the point, taking the unreleased 1994 Roger Corman version into account, were ALL Fantastic Four movies simply an exercise in keeping the license going rather than in making a superhero family movie that people will love?

After that it's the dregs of the Marvel adaptations. One or two of them have redeemingly fun qualities, but they collectively illustrate how the other studios had NO IDEA what they could do with these worlds and characters.

* Fantastic Four (2005): A pedestrian director wastes Chris Evans.
* Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) The same guy stumbles through Jack Kirby lore.
* Ghost Rider (2007): Nick Cage as eccentric fusion of Spawn and The Mask on a motorbike. 
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011): Cage sleepwalks in pursuit of Antichrist. Filmed in a quarry. 
The Punisher (2004): Thomas Jane plays urban Machiavelli. Travolta never stops being furious. 
Punisher: War Zone (2008): Ray Stevenson is miserable. Many men are punished. 
Elektra: (2005) Jennifer Garner stares at lake Tahoe for 90 minutes. Also occasional ninjas. 

Terminator Salvation & Genisys

Terminator Salvation & Genisys

January 15, 2015

[Digital Drift 2015]

The Terminator series reboots again (kind of), delivering a dark, desaturated, dusty, miserable, angry, shouty future war of dirty humans vs Deceptions! Christian Bale stars as John Connor, bringing with him all the furious, savage, grumpy intensity he is capable of. Not satisfied with one gravely, shaven-headed Johnny Template this movie brings us two with Sam Worthington playing Marcus Wright, the mysterious wanderer with a secret identity… unless you’ve seen the trailer, in which case it’s a pre-established identity we spend an ice age waiting for everyone in the movie to catch up with. That should sound familiar by now if you’re a Terminator fan.

Genisys by contrast is not quite as bad as T3 and Salvation, in fact there were one or two bits I rather liked. It’s more reverent than the third movie, more playful and less boring than the fourth. The writers clearly seem to be able to understand time travel a smidgen more than the other guys. But it's still bad, and almost certainly ensured that Dark Fate was criminally ignored. The promise of Schwarzenegger's return had already been fulfilled, poorly, and it seems like even Linda Hamilton wasn't enough to draw the crowds. That means this fifth movie might have been the magic bullet that finally killed The Terminator. 

The Fast and the Furious 1 - 4

The Fast and the Furious 1 - 4

January 2, 2015

[Digital Drift 2015]

We’re joined by Neil Taylor of GameBurst to get to grips with one of his very favourite series. When we recorded this first show we hadn’t yet seen 5 or 6 (Sharon hadn’t seen 3 or 4 either) so it’s something of a discovery process for us. Find out over the course of the next few episodes if we’re just middling on the car porn, jiggling auto-floozies and machismo-masking-vulnerability or in fact if we end up flippin’ LOVING The Fast and the Furious.

Continuing our road trip through the F&F series, we get to the detour away from the main cast that was initially shunned by audiences but in retrospect is rather great as a stand-alone movie. We move on to the return to the main cast that was initially embraced by audiences but in retrospect is dour and uneventful. Find out what drifting REALLY means.

Guest:

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

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