Posted on 08/15/11 03:09 AM | Last edited on 08/15/11 03:09 AM
The Disney Renaissance contained:
The Little Mermaid
The Rescuers Down Under
Beauty and the Beast
The Lion King
The HunchBack of Notre Dame
A whole Decade's worth of films, so after watching them again how do they hold up?
To be quite honest not all that well, granted they're all good movies at the very least in my opinion( with the exception of Pocahontas which is ok and oddly enough the only one I definitely enjoyed more now then I did in my childhood) but most of the them just did not have the "punch" to them that I remember from my childhood. Granted some are still just as great as I remember ( or maybe a little more so, these are obviusly the ones with a 90% plus score.) most were just not as good as I remember, if I had did this by nostalgia I'd of given all of these 100% with the exception of two which one should be obvious and the other I'll soon go in to detail with. Now I love nostalgia but I've never seen it as much of a reason to recommend something, some wonder why, well heres the thing about nostalgia, its a very personal thing; I can walk around with my childhood memories knowing I enjoy them, but I just don't see how I can go up to someone and say "hey you'll really love this movie cause I loved it as a kid". I can recommend it based on how much I enjoyed it for what I felt was enjoyable and done right in the film, but not for my childhood memories because, my memories are mine alone (not sure if you men and women and understand this perfectly so just ask if you need more clarifying) so yeah nostalgia has never been a factor in this.
As to why I feel it just did not hold up all to well, for starters and this is possibly my biggest complaint, THEY ALL felt like they were pretty much just repeating certain aspects again and again and again, all throughout the era. Some examples you demand? Well with the exception of "The Rescuers Down under", and "The Lion King" the main character was pretty much an outcast to their society for either their apperance or way of thinking or such. Another? Pratically all the films had the main character dreaming of a world out there, or at the very least for a life that was more accepting of them or something along those lines(oddly enough some even spread their hands out as they looked beyond the horizon or something along those lines during their "I want song"). Of course the one thing I've pointed out before on my reviews was that a couple of the films featured a big battle at the climax with possibly all the good characters fighting off the bad characters in a comedic fashion that for the most part felt too wacky to fit in.
Which brings to my other problem is that of all the eras so far this was the one that the tone for most of the films felt inconsistant at one point( usually the big wacky climax battle, but some had it in other moments.) it just felt strange.
Though in the end it managed to overcome the weaknesses and provide an era more worthy as a followup to the silver age then the previous one. Now for best and worst.
For Best it's "The Lion King" which while it may have had some of the problems of the era it actually finds its way to make them work more for the film then against it, even the wacky climax battle doesn't feel to out of place like in most films in the era. The characters all had great actors voicing them, the songs were some of the best and overall the animation still looks great even for this day. While "Beauty and the Beast" was the one to get the nomination for best picture, this film is the one that to me deserved the honor much more. Is it the most unique in the era? no that goes to "The Rescuers Down Under" which was great but unfortunately forgettable, maybe cause it did not repeat pretty much anything from the era or cause it was a sequel that was not from DisneyToon, whatever the reason that ultimately made it weaker then my choice. As a whole "The Lion King" is pretty much the perfect film for the era.
For Worst quite obviously it's "Pocahontas" it's not the worst Disney movie ever, it just felt very bland. Not much stood out from it and it just was not much entertaining. "Pocahontas" did not repeat everything but it just did not have much to really give it much of a punch for me, the songs were hardly of interest and oddly enough the movie is just more memorable for it's "controversy" about it's inaccuracy then it is for itself.
The next era is the Competition Era, granted some refer to it as the New Millennium era but to me the Competition Era fits more because this is where Disney pretty much struggled against competition from other studios and for another reason that will become more clear as I go through it. It's from "Fantasia 2000" to "Chicken Little".
Now as for the reason as to why I did not give "The Little Mermaid" an 100%. Heres the thing, while I know I usually don't put nostalgia as a factor, I just could not give the 100 with my experiance on it. I could but to me I just did not feel right with it. Why? well heres the thing I grew up with 4 sisters, two older and two younger and of all the movies, this was the one they played over and over again. I don't know how many times I've watched it by now I'm just glad they haven't played it over and over again like they use to, I just know I've seen it so much that I could say every line perfectly without even watching the film. I struggled enough just watching it again for the review. I'm just so tired of watching it. It's great, but I've gotten to the point where I just really don't want to watch it anymore.