Hey there ho there Hi there, are you as happy as can be? I don't know, Harry here, and quite frankly... there's a couple of problems in the mouse house, and they know it. You see.... Within the entire Disney Empire, the entirety of the brains and animation filmmaking and story telling acumen resides at PIXAR... which only has a deal with DISNEY. Meanwhile, the folks at Disney animation are faced with studio executives that... well act like they are part of the creative process. This first piece is to be expected. It shows Disney as being reactionary as all get up. I imagine if CHICKEN RUN explodes at the box office... you will see Will Vinton being courted like you won't believe by the round eared folk in the suits. Their ambush plan for Fox's TITAN AE didn't work, because Fox had messed that one up long before release during musical script doctor chairs killed it's soul... again heavy executive tampering. Eisner's alleged hatred for THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE? Well, if true, I understand it. This project has had more permutations than anything this side of DINOSAUR, and the studio got caught in a situation where it's simply more profitable to go ahead than pull back... and the film has more quirks than Christopher Walken. See you after the piece....
Dear Mr. Knowles,
I just had dinner with a friend of mine last night. He works very near the top brass at Disney, ( I know people caim to know important people...blah, blah, blah...but this is true. He really does ! ) and told me some interesting news.
First...Michael Eisner hates the Emperor's New Groove. HATES IT. After reworking basically the whole film, they still can't get it to work. It may be delayed until February. Then he told me about a project I hadn't heard anywhere else, called: The Search for Mickey or Disney's Family Reunion (both are just working titles for the same project).
It seems that Disney may be running out of ideas for sure-selling-blockbusters. The early rave reviews of Rocky and Bullwinkle have made Disney go to the drawing board and come up with their own blend of animation/live action. All he told me is that you would see EVERYBODY from past Disney Animation films in the search for Mickey Mouse. Everyone from Simba to Winnie the Pooh, from Tod and Copper to Benard and Bianca
IT'S ONLY A GUESS, but this might be a kind of global search and rescue and will feature the characters in their natural surroundings (not like Tarzan has a corner office in the Studio and agrees to tag along) Anyway....sounds kinda cool. I don't know if this is true, I am taking it with a grain of salt until maybe one of your guys can confirm it from the inside as well.
Next up is an informative outraged report regarding DISNEY's erasure of history. Personally, I wish there was some way that the corpse of Walt Disney could issue a cease and desist. I mean, retro-revisionism is in full swing at the MOUSE-CUTT-TEERS' home. Imagine, Warner Brothers could digitally remove all that dangerous smoking from it's black and white classics. Cutting and digitally changing scenes in anticipation of parental letters is just a CRIME! I mean... in PINNOCHIO are we going to cut Pinnochio drinking beer and smoking cigars and fighting cause... well some kids might interpret that as being a good thing? Will we cut the Indian scene from PETER PAN to appease a group? Or the black birds from DUMBO? God forbid anyone mention the hardcore live action/animated Tijuana test reel for SALUDOS AMIGOS that has Donald riding the back of a donkey while a .... ahem performer performs underneath. Well, that just doesn't exist. But that's right, Disney is the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH... no bad could come from there. And you know what... there hasn't been. INSTEAD OF CUTTING YOUR FILMS DISNEY... TRY THIS! In advance of say.... the tape with PECOS BILL, you could have a brief live action introduction that puts the film in historical context.... "In the 1800's nobody knew that Smoking was bad for you, but today Pecos Bill knows better. So instead of hacking at the moon, you can still hear him howl... that's because, he's smart. He stopped smoking!" Then show the film UNCHANGED! But it's WRONG to change this stuff. PLAINLY WRONG! I mean, if you are an animator at Disney, ask yourself this question. In 50 years will they treat your work any differently? I mean, they're changing the work of Ham Luske and Preston Blair and Frank and Ollie and on down the road. Do you think that DISNEY CORP. will stop one iota from changing your work? PERSONALLY, I'd like the see the ANIMATOR'S UNION come down on Disney for this. To protect the animator's work. This is an abomination to mankind and to cinema itself.
Those spineless revisionist cowards at Disney are at it again. Their latest act of sodomy, the home video release of MAKE MINE MUSIC. Two years ago, fearing negative responses from parents to the "Pecos Bill" segment of MELODY TIME, Disney went in and cut a scene of Bill rolling a smoke and digitally removed all other shots of the offending ciggie hanging from the legendary cowpoke's lips. They did the same thing just recently with the release of SALUDOS AMIGOS, trimming out a scene of Goofy rolling his own as a pardoy of a Texas cowboy. After all, they couldn't show Disney heroes SMOKING! Good God, what would the kiddies think?!? More importantly, how would the parents who buy all the Disney crap for the tots react? Gotta keep selling those Happy Meals, after all. Anything bad is shown in an old Disney movie, out it goes before the letters come in.
Now Disney has topped those atrocities by cutting the ENTIRE "Martins & Coys" segment from MAKE MINE MUSIC! The whole thing, the hillbilly feud, the romance of Grace Martin and Henry Coy, the wedding dance, all of it, whoosh, gone! Okay, so the segment features a lot of comic gunplay with characters getting popped off right and left, but it's a CARTOON, dammit! Those aren't real people getting killed and they all show up in Hillbilly heaven right away anyhow. More importantly, it's a Disney cartoon! Isn't this the company that wants every person who has grown up with their films to treasure every bit of the freakin' animated Disney legacy? That should include works of animation that reflect the attitudes of the world, the studio and ultimately of Walt Disney himself at the times the films were made. To chop the segment in response to (I'm guessing here) gun control hysteria is craven, stupid and ultimately laughable. It's a wonder Disney had the stones to let the hunters in "Peter & The Wolf" hang onto their rifles or to keep in the gunplay in the usually censored for TV barroom fight in "Johnny Fedora". Hell, quite honestly, I was surprised they still showed Willie getting harpooned at the end of the "Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met" segment. You'd figure both Greenpeace and PETA would be all over them for that.
I guess it's to their credit that the Mousekacowards left those segments alone, but that in no way lets them off the hook for cutting "Martins". It seems the Disney folks are working around the clock to take out anything that anyone in this time of psychotic political correctness could find objectionable. In doing so they are robbing their films of what little edge they used to have. We're not talking Looney Tunes here, folks. Warners had Disney beat hands-down in the comedy department, but every so often the Disney directors (usually that madman Kimball) would get in a laugh that appealed to the adults, too.
Now the current reich of Disnazi uber-execs is bound and determined to censor, cut, and worst of all, apologize for anything that remotely smacks of subversiveness, which is the heart and soul of all good cartoons. They are fast turning their entire classic animation library into what cynics have always accused it of being: safe, innocent, simple-minded kiddie crap.
You go, assholes.