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Walt & El Grupo

Walt & El Grupo (2009)

tomatometer

70

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

46

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 194

My Rating

Movie Info

Theodore Thomas, son of the late Walt Disney Studios animator Frank Thomas (1912-2004) and director of the acclaimed 1995 documentary Frank and Ollie, helms this second foray into Disney history, Walt & El Grupo (2007). The subject this time lies somewhat outside the boundaries of Disney animation and rests on an unusual footnote: in 1941, Walt Disney personally led a "goodwill tour" and research expedition of South America, with a team of animators in tow whom he collectively christened "El

PG,

Documentary, Television

Theodore Thomas

Nov 30, 2010

Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (9) | DVD (2)

The production values are first rate. But you will wait in vain to hear a good reason for this movie's existence.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At a time when Hollywood doesn't remember last year, is obsessed with the bottom line and is run by men who often have no sense of history, Walt & El Grupo evokes a better time.

October 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While skimming over the troubled waters of impending war and ongoing labor unrest, it's both a vicarious vacation and a crash course in animation.

October 21, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Thomas] may need more distance from the subject -- Walt & El Grupo could shed about 20 minutes -- but there's no questioning his sincerity or his instinct for revealing anecdotes.

September 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This may be the first documentary that contains not a single American, living or dead, who is anything but merry of disposition. That cheer carries over to the on-the-spot gusto of el grupo's sketchbooks -- a more accurate tribute than the final cartoons.

September 21, 2009 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A relentlessly upbeat vanity project destined for the Disney family archive.

September 11, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...a niche effort that has little to offer all but the most ardent of animation junkies.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

An intimate, albeit uneventful, story filled with flashy graphics but not a lot of substance.

December 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Views

... less probing documentary than colorful press release for the paternal Disney...

December 3, 2010 Full Review Source: MSN.com
MSN.com

This is the 'untold story.' And apparently there's not much more to tell.

November 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Above all else the film is a treasure trove of fantastic archival material, much of it never before shown.

January 15, 2010
Kansas City Star

A bland tourist souvenir, the equivalent of an authorized biography rather than an independent one.

October 18, 2009 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

You get a taste of what the Disney group went through and saw, and you see how that work translated into rough sketches and designs.

October 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A lively, well-edited documentary brimming with insight, warmth and humor while captivating audiences both young and old.

September 13, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Provides a framing device for the Disney creative process as well as the issue of the place of art in geo-politics.

September 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The trouble is that there's no real drama here; Walt is painted as a kind, benevolent soul whose very presence gave a lift to the poor citizens and their dreary lives below the equator.

September 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Hardcore Disney fans will appreciate how serious-minded and intimate this movie is, but for others, Walt & El Grupo might feel like an expensive vacation slide show, assembled by strangers.

September 10, 2009 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

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September 10, 2009:
Critics Consensus: 9 Looks Great, But The Plot's Weak
This week at the movies, we've got post-apocalyptic conflict (9, with voice work by Elijah Wood and...
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