June 13, 2001, 11:49 p.m. CST
...my favorite Disney film is still "Pinnochio" (spelling?). That donkey scene is just so damn scary!
June 14, 2001, 12:09 a.m. CST
They'll keep cranking out the merchandise, and the movies will keep on falling short of mediocre.
June 14, 2001, 12:20 a.m. CST
Great review. I'm going to see the film, but not with the same enthusiasm I'm looking forward to with Monsters, Inc. Saw the "making of" book today, and wasn't impressed at all. But I'll see the film, and have a feeling I'll be surprised. I also agree with you on "Hunchback." A noble failure. The "chickening out" marred the film to the point of no return, but the dramatic moments are outstanding, as are the songs--easily the most mature of the Disney musicals. Not as fun or necessarily witty, they hit a home run nonetheless. As far as Milo looking like a Bluth character, he was animated by Don's sidekick for many years, John Pomeroy. Skilled draftsman (but poor actor) who did one or two nice things with Bluth early on, but began relying on formulas to a fault, including poor rotoscope (especially awful upon his return to Disney animating John Smith in "Pocahontas." SUCH bad roto...makes Bakshi look like Milt Kahl!). He needs to have the "bluth" beat out of him, although the clips I've seen of Milo make it look like someone's pulling his reins a bit (a good thing).
June 14, 2001, 12:29 a.m. CST
This is a review. Please end it by actually saying if it was good/bad/whatever. So, there were shortcomings, but did you enjoy it? Would you recommend it? That's the whole point of posting a review!
June 14, 2001, 12:49 a.m. CST
they do have some cool ideas. the premiere season they held this may was awesome (and 7 bucks for Rear Window, i can accept). but the whole block is disney now. Maybe Universal should buy out disney, to give Ripley's the JP look it rightly deserves.
June 14, 2001, 1:18 a.m. CST
Granted, we're all thankful that Eisner has permitted a slight derivation from the established Disney formula (songs and animals, 1.85 ratio), but is this latest Atlantis movie the type that kids will grow up on, regarding it as a mesmerizing classic, or is it merely an underwater Stargate, an animated Centropolis mishmash? ... From Mermaid on up, Disney's been milking the archetypal formulas for calculated emotional reactions, and it's worked, establishing a worthy niche footnote for cinema historians... and the animation has seemed to get savvier, building from Mermaid to Beauty to Aladdin, then climaxing with Lion King, then backsliding post-Katzenberg with Pocahontas-Hunchback-Hercules-Mulan (each of which was experimental in style and IMHO often too bland/ugly), then reemerging for a second climax with Tarzan which blended classical style with bold new 3D, then backsliding yet again with the experimental Emperor. My main concern so far with the Atlantis ads has been that the animation and character designs look "cheap," a low-tech chunky-blocky old-fashioned art style that seems to go backwards rather than continue Disney's heretofore "usual" forward momentum ala Aladdin and Tarzan. Sure, Disney's animation epics are always leaps of quality above the competition (Quest for Camelot), but it seems to me that in an age when comic books like Fathom explore the oceans in such breathtaking glory, the megabudget studios in Burbank could deliver a more impressive style of Atlantis than what the hohum trailers have shown so far. Yeah, I'm talking expensive, but c'mon, the trailers for Tarzan were a heckuvalot more amazing and "new" in energy than the rather old-fashioned ads for Atlantis.
June 14, 2001, 1:33 a.m. CST
I can already see it...*sigh*
June 14, 2001, 3:03 a.m. CST
Complete with toy submarine to illustrate the plummeting Disney stock... When I heard how the animation team was being treated at Disney it made me physically Ill...see www.pruiksma.com/bananasplit.html...Everything since The Lion King has just been a 1 1/2 hour commercial to sell toy shit...
June 14, 2001, 6:08 a.m. CST
I thought that this was a very well written review. I
June 14, 2001, 6:25 a.m. CST
Disney is never going to reach the hights of artistic output they did during the classic years as long as they keep holding their creative people back in favor of formula and safety. Eye candy gets boring after a while.
June 14, 2001, 6:50 a.m. CST
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/archives/feature/atlantis.php Here's the discussion http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/archives/feature/nadia.php Here's a side-by-side comparison of key plot points.
June 14, 2001, 7:58 a.m. CST
Moriaty, for being the most insightful, honest, non-biased and intellectual reviwer on this site. Cheers.
June 14, 2001, 8:57 a.m. CST
by General Idea
My opinion: Disney resists making a more "adult-friendly" animated feature, for this reason. If you peer into the video collection of any family with children, you'll eventually come to numerous brightly colored Disney animated movie boxes. Sleeping Beauty, Dumbo, Aladdin, Lion King, and so on... I'll bet that Disney assumes that leaving out the "silly comic sidekick dialogue" will keep the video from being bought for thousands of kids. Not to mention that if it's not seen as being billed towards kids, it won't do well in the theaters. What they haven't gotten yet is that some of the kids would be replaced by older fans. Maybe not in equal numbers, but nevertheless. Maybe the lackluster showing of the past few Disney duds will help convince them. Atlantis looks like a step in the right direction, if only a small one. Good review Mori, I'm there.
June 14, 2001, 10 a.m. CST
I didn't know he was one of the writers of the script until I read the credits recently. Here's to hoping that it shows in the final product.
June 14, 2001, 11:26 a.m. CST
Disney won't be gettin' anymore of my cash than the regular or matinee price for any of their movies! Oh, and am I the only one that thinks that Beauty and the Beast sucked and that the computer stuff sticks out like a SORE THUMB! Beauty and the Beast was OVERRATED! I hated the ending! What's that say to people when the beast turns into a FAR better looking version of what the villain was? Can anyone say Fabio? Hey people just stick with your ugly guy/girl and maybe you can CHANGE them into something better looking instead of just accepting them for being beautiful on the inside and loving them for what they are! SHREK was so much better with a far more beautiful "message". Oh, and as far as Disney films go ALADDIN and HERCULES are my favorites. And YES I liked TARZAN despite Rosie O'Donnel talking gorilla and that Seinfeld postman talking elephant guy. Possibly because they're a bit more male oriented. Looks like I'm gonna be liking Atlantis too!
June 14, 2001, 1:19 p.m. CST
In my opinion... Atlantis is about as far as Disney's ever gotten AWAY from its classic formula. How many other Disney features have actually KILLED major characters? The style is unique. I don't care for Mignola that much, but anything away from the cutsey, cuddly sidekicks is a good thing. I think the voice work was really good on this. There's no escaping Fox's personality, which can be annoying. The best blend yet of CGI and traditional animation I've seen so far. John Pomeroy still relies too much on rotoscoping for Milo. Cookie and Audrey are pretty grating, but they are not on-screen enough to hurt much. Packard, the old lady, is there only for comic one-liners, but still funny. The ethnic diversity IS too obvious, but we'll probably have to put up with such things until this oh-so-PC era is over. As for being a rip-off of Nadia... I do tend to think it was because they referred to the same source material. Don't believe that? Ok, call it a "homage"! Atlantis may not be as un-Disney as some may like, but it's a real good step in the right direction.
June 14, 2001, 1:45 p.m. CST
Actually, John Pomeroy has been back with the Walt Disney feature animation studio for a few years now, and technically he's already had a 'lead' character animation debut (the Forest Sprite in FANTASIA/2000's "Firebird" sequence) ... On another note, I must say I feel the 'NADIA vs. ATLANTIS' comparison chart sites which many talkbackers are pointing to are extremely flawed; they are deliberately biased toward the view that Disney is trying to "get away" with "ripping off" NADIA, and thus exaggerate the similarities while completely ignoring the many differences between the two (and also conveniently leaving out the fact that NADIA borrows many of its own character designs and plot points from at least a dozen classic anime films & TV shows) ... these claims are being blindly accepted and perpetuated by people who have never seen the show (or even the Disney film, yet). I have seen them, and take it from me, both are well-worth your time (Although at 20 hours, NADIA is much more of an investment, but the reward is perhaps the most awesome set of climax episodes ever created). The only good I can see coming from this is that perhaps someone will finally release the complete NADIA tv series in the U.S., and maybe even get it on the air. At least then people can make an informed decision about whether there's fire to go with this smokescreen.
June 14, 2001, 2:59 p.m. CST
Think about all the cartoon movies theyve had come out the last few years. Tarzan, Hercules, Mulan and now Atlantis. Can't they think of anything new like they used to? Or does everything have to be a one word title that is a rehash of a myth or old story. I guess if they WERE more than one word long little kids couldnt memorize it to say, "Mommy, mommy! Take us to Atlantis!" I hate disney.
June 14, 2001, 3:56 p.m. CST
In the interest of 'equal time' in the NADIA vs. ATLANTIS debate, I'd like to point to a 'comparison' page which is a bit more impartial and informative, written by one of the foremost 'authorities' on the NADIA tv series, Marc Hairston ... http://utd500.utdallas.edu/~hairston/atlantis.html ... you can also jump from here to his information-packed NADIA site, and even a similar 'informed comparison' page on the KIMBA vs. LION KING debate.
June 14, 2001, 6:03 p.m. CST
by gah rides again
being dead and all, and still contributing his voice to thise really shows his talent... Of course I assume his stuff was recorded before his unfortunate passing... right? Please someone tell me I'm right...
June 14, 2001, 6:30 p.m. CST
by dexter cornell
Their animated movies get more and more repetitive every freaking year, piss on them. I'll sit through Tomb Raider or Shrek again before I give the mouse machine one more of my prized dollars. Their cartoons just aren't good anymore, no better than the ton of cartoons on Saturday morning. I refuse to even rent this piece of shit. When it hits USA at 3 AM, right after Problem Child 14, then I'll sit through it. Otherwise, bring on Lara Croft, I don't care what any dumb ass critic has to say about it.
June 14, 2001, 6:49 p.m. CST
Disney's problem with animation is the split between doing more adventurous mature fare, while at the same time offering it's typical Disney kiddie fare. The answer to this problem seems fairly obvious to me: divide the animation studios into two divisions: one for the kids and one for a more serious animation market. As stated in this review, the problems with THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME stem from the fact that Disney was trying to play to two different audiences at the same time, and unfortunately, they failed to please either. The lusty love triangle was not appropiate for younger viewers and the gargoyles were too silly and childish for adult tastes. TARZAN had similiar problems. So why contine to try to walk this creative tightrope when it would be much more simpler for Disney to produce different animated features for different targeted audiences. I'd like to see Disney tackle something like MOBY DICK or FRANKENSTEIN in a serious way. And the kids could still have their fairy tales. And Dreamworks could still make fun of Disney...
June 14, 2001, 8:15 p.m. CST
I was really impressed by the review, though (and this is but a personal preference) might have done without all the banter about where you saw the film. The thing I liked most about your review was that you obviously did some homework before you saw it. Changing the subject, it seems once again Disney has borrowed a bit heavily from Japanese animation. For me, this would be OK if one, Disney would openly acknowledge it, two, if Disney paid royalties to the people they borrowed their ideas from, and three, if Japanese animation got a fair distribution shake in the US. Sadly, none of the three are happening, or going to happen anytime too soon. After the whole Lion King episode, most Japanese I know just kind of laughed--copying or appropriating things around here is part of the culture. Still, I kind of wonder if Japanese animators ripped off Disney these days, then foisted there films on the American public at the expense of American films, if Disney would be as high-minded and noble as Osamu Tezuka's studios were. I highly doubt it.
June 14, 2001, 8:54 p.m. CST
... I have to say its not a bad theater. It's in a sleezy section of town however. And just a note, Chinese is not across the street. It's a way down the street, closer to the Galixy then to El Capitain.. Good review I suppose. Dash101 out.