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  1. #1

    • Reaver of Souls
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    My humble take on Disneys films...

    After watching Lilo & stitch for the first time last night, I started looking back on Disney's animated features, and was quite disheartened by what I saw as an overlaying pattern of thinly veiled plagiarism... L&S is a unique storyline, yes, but you look at it in the vein on The Iron Gian (which was a great movie) and even E.T., and you see some glaring similarities. Ironically, L&S was the MOST unique movie in Disney's recent history...

    Emperor's New Groove - Prince and the Pauper (originally, before the script was hacked to pieces and rewritten, anyway)

    Atlantis (which I also enjoyed) - An almost identical copy of the Japanese Anime "Nadia - The secret of the blue water"

    Lion King - Another anime ripoff, straight from "Kimba the white lion" (humeroisly pointed out in an episode of the Simpsons, no less!)

    Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Mermaid... all from previously written stories, but at least there was a lot more creativity in the "re-telling" of these stories.

    It seems the farther back in time you go, the more creative the writers were. Sure, they based their movies off of previously written works, by they made them their own, and did it well. as time went on, it seems the witers, short on ideas, simply started carbon-copying other stories, and "changing the names to protect the innocent."

    Lilo & Stitch seems a departure from that formula, at least moreso than Disney has been. It is similar to other stories, yes, but what story ever told is not remotely similar to another? "There is nothing new under the sun", the saying goes, and it's true. I am happy to see that L&S has it's own personality, and an attitude missing in a lot of Disney films. Not to mention there was no singing! Nothing against the great musical features in Disney's library, but it's good to have some every now and then that don't rely on Celine Dion, Phil Collins or Elton John to tell their tales...

    As my recent visit to DL did, Lilo and Stitch gave me a shot in the arm of hope. Hope that things may be turning around. Hope that creativity may once again be returning to the house of mouse. Hope for greater things in the future. Now all we need is for the animators to be given the freedom and resources to tell their tales, and not have to tell them from a broom closet... Animation is one of Disney's two legs, and right now, they are seriously lopsided. It's only a matter of time before they fall on their face....
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
    But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

  2. #2

    • Minion
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    What sorts of movies do you like? Some titles please...

  3. #3

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    Most Disney stories are either retellings of old stories or adaptations of old stories. I can't think of a single one that is completely original. Disney is passing down fairy tales and stories from the past, which is certainly not a new thing. As time goes on, it get harder and harder to find stories that are not completely original.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reaver
    Lion King - Another anime ripoff, straight from "Kimba the white lion" (humeroisly pointed out in an episode of the Simpsons, no less!)
    This is actually a loose adaptation of Hamlet (by Shakespeare). Chances are that if there are similarities between Lion King and Kimba, that is because maybe Kimba was also a loose adaptation of Hamlet. Like I said before, as time goes on, it gets harder to come up with a story that doesn't have similarities to another story. There have been so many stories written in the past that even if it wasn't intentional, most modern stories could fit into a formula set by a previos writer.

  4. #4

    • Reaver of Souls
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacha
    What sorts of movies do you like? Some titles please...
    Disney, or otherwise?
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
    But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

  5. #5

    • Reaver of Souls
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech_Disney
    Chances are that if there are similarities between Lion King and Kimba, that is because maybe Kimba was also a loose adaptation of Hamlet. Like I said before, as time goes on, it gets harder to come up with a story that doesn't have similarities to another story. There have been so many stories written in the past that even if it wasn't intentional, most modern stories could fit into a formula set by a previos writer.
    If? It's much more than similar. It's like taking someones homework and re-writing it in your own handwriting. It may look different, but it's the same work. Done by someone else... Lion King and Atlantis are simply the two most obvious.

    As I said, I know many of their movies are re-telling of fairy tales, and I have no prolem with that at all. It's just when that they so obviously steal someone else's work that I get angry. Roy himself called Simba "Kimba" in a couple of different memos... oops.
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
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  6. #6

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    The problem hasn't been reusing/retelling of old stories. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beuaty. All existing stories that Disney retold. There's nothing wrong with that. Heck, Shakespere, for all of his productivity, had about 4 different plots. He just changed the characters, killed someone if he wanted to make it a drama, had a girl crossdress if he wanted it to be a comedy (which was extra funny in those times, when men played women's roles, so you'd have a guy playing a woman dressed as a guy...but I digress).

    The fact is, the underlying story doesn't have to be wholly original for it to be worthwhile. The way in which it's retold is what matters. Hunchback didn't suck because the story already existed. It sucked because it was retold in a trite, shallow manner with a painfully simplistic message and predictable developments. Lion King wasn't good because it was completely original, it was good because it told the story with a good sense of humor and some relatively complex emotional content. Atlantis was mediocre because it took a good story (man do I love Nadia), stripped it of its complexity, and replaced it with the thinnest group of side-kicks film has ever seen.

    Nearly every movie, book, tv show, etc. is just a retelling of one of a few base themes that have been present throughout the history of human storytelling. I'm not concerned about the uniqueness of the content. I'm concerned with the uniqueness of the storytelling.

  7. #7

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    Lilo and Stitch itself is a take on an old fairy tale, and the disney crew even made that tale a part of the story! Its the Ugly Duckling! While it has its own uniqueness, it is based on the ugly duckling.
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  8. #8

    • Minion
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    Disney, or otherwise?
    Either or would be fine. I guess a better question would be, what films to you find to be original and innovative? Again, Disney or otherwise...

    Well said, Bacon! I agree with everything you said!

  9. #9

    • Reaver of Souls
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacha
    Either or would be fine. I guess a better question would be, what films to you find to be original and innovative? Again, Disney or otherwise...
    I thought L&S was pretty original, as I said. Yes, it had a base in other stories, but the telling was original and fun. I thought most of Disney's movies (even if I didn't particularly like them) up to and including Aladdin took the stories they were based on and retold them in a unique way. It seems like everything between Aladdin and L&S was not only not very high quality, but less originally told than the others. Bad storitelling = Bad movie...

    Other than Disney? Some of my current favs are Army of Darkness, Bubba Ho-Tep, anything Monty Python, LotR series, pre-chopped Star Wars, the Matrix Series (yes, all 3) just to name a few...
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
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  10. #10

    • Minion
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    I guess I agree with you in that some of the Disney movies may have been ripped directly from other existing stories. One thing about that though is that most Disney films are kids films, and kids typically won't know or care if the story was original or not. All they know is Simba (or Ariel or Mickey Mouse or whomever) got into a difficult situation and found a way out of it by doing the right thing. Or that Kronk said or did something silly.

    To echo what Indy said, what Disney excels at is taking a story, whether original or not, and reworking that story and adding their own "flavor" to it.

    I think the real issue is the serious drop in quality Disney animated films have taken in the last few years. That and those hideous sequels! Geez, if they're going to rework an idea, can they please rework it in a quality fashion?

  11. #11

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    The writing has sucked, plain and simple. It wouldn't matter if they were given the most original story ever created, it doesn't seem that anyone there can recognize good wiriting, good story development, and good dialog. Everything is so formulaic and "sappy moral message cramming" garbage.

    Again, nearly every story told is some sort of rehashing of an existing story. They only start looking the same when a bad writer gets a hold of it and can't come up with anything new in its presentation.

  12. #12

    • Reaver of Souls
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    That's the really bothersome thing. They have huge animation/art talent, but fail to match it with equal writing talent. That's sort of what happened with Enterprise - plenty of money, great sets and art direction, great effects, good actors - crappy writers/directors. This season excluded. A story starts with the writing. The art is just the pretty wrapping paper that contains the really valuable gift within...
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
    But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaver
    That's the really bothersome thing. They have huge animation/art talent,
    Not anymore, now that they've all but shut down 2D animation.

  14. #14

    • Reaver of Souls
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    Yeah, I should have rephrased that to "They have access to..." or "Used to have..."

    It's sad, really. Beauty and the Beast was one of the best American animated movies I have ever seen. Beautiful animation, wondeful character design... Nothing since has come close. Now Disney thinks they can Compete with Pixar in the CGI game... Well, it's possible they can, technologically. But Pixar's movies have been popular because of the writing, as much as (if not more than) the CG. I didn't love the incredibles because of the art (which was wonderful), or even because of the acting (which was also great), but because it was a great story, and was so widely appealing. Disney seems to have forgotten how that equasion works...
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
    But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

  15. #15

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    The fact is, the last few high-budget animated films (Emperor's New Groove, Treasure Planet, Atlantis, Home on the Range etc.) have all lost money at the box office; where the cheap movies have raked in tons of cash. So, what do you do if you're CEO and your shareholders are upset with you about the losses?
    Do you?
    A. Fix the problems and keep the loyal fans happy. (No big bonus for this one and crabby shareholders keep whining at you.)
    B. Shut down the department and keep the shareholders happy. (Big bonus here! Oh, and shareholders quit bugging you too! One minor bummer - Loyal Disney fans complain to each other about the lack of quality in the films.)

    Hmmmmm...

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