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  1. #1

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    DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    So we've heard the news about the pending demise of Circle 7 and the Pixar sequels and there is rampant speculation about WDFA management and changes in priority at WDI - - but there is one key part of this story that hasn't really been reported on... What will happen to the DisneyToon division led by Sharon Morrill, makers of the direct-to-video sequels of Walt's animated classics (Bambi 2, Cinderella 3 and the like).

    That division is sort of the big elephant in the room, an embarrassment to Walt Disney's legacy and brand equity. I can't imagine the Pixar guys would want to support such an endeavor, with products that have often demeaned the characters and tarnished the reputations of the evergreen originals.

    For several years rumors have circulated of secret development on a Snow White sequel in CGI - - something Walt repeatedly stated he did not want to happen. I should think that now it won't - - but what of the rest of the operation?

    The management practices of this division are like the anti-Pixar. How many directors, art directors, story heads and others from the animation industry have been fired in the making of any one such endeavor? The division has implemented non-artist producers who direct or co-direct, creative execs as the project visionary? The DisneyToon culture is antithetical to what the old Walt Disney Productions and Pixar have shown to be the successful way to create commercial art in animation with the quality and invention of dedicated cartoon professionals as leaders. People who understand these types of projects and characters.

    One can speak to the importance of a video revenue stream, but sales of those sequels are finally dropping (Tarzan 2, Lilo 2 reportedly slumped in sales). In the bigger picture, the negative impact on the bottom line could be greater than the short-term gains.

    Also, there is no reason that charming original projects with lower budgets and intentions or good cartoonist-driven stories of classic supporting or spin-off characters (rather than official sequels, prequels and continuations) couldn't fill out the DVD bill. This could become a great training ground for new talent, characters or ideas, much like the shorts and package features in olden days.

    Wouldn't it seem the most effective and merciful thing to just close that entire division and make any potential such projects part of Disney Pixar proper with suitable creative leads? That particular brand of Eisner-era bottom-line, fear-based, template centered concept, development, production and management should not be left to fester in the growing creative, optimistic climate that Pixar promises to bring to Buena Vista St.

  2. #2

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    I found it interesting that they just changed the marketing plan of Bambi 2...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buena Vista Home Entertainment - Press Release
    BAMBI II hits stores on February 7...but on April 18, you may only be able to find the much-anticipated Disney DVD on one shelf: yours.

    In tribute to the 70th anniversary of Walt Disney’s inception of his animated classic, BAMBI, Walt Disney Home Entertainment will place the extraordinary, must-own Disney DVD BAMBI II under moratorium just 70 days after its street date. Audiences will have 10 short weeks to purchase the majestic sequel to the timeless classic, or watch as the film is locked within Disney’s acclaimed vault.
    I just found it interesting... Because normally this would be stuck on Target and Walmart shelves for six months before it gets sent out as a monthy pick for the Disney Movie Club.

    It looks to me like they are releasing the film to recoup the expense of making the film, but not pushing it...

    (Yes, my eyebrow is raised...)

    Oh, there is more to laugh about this little press release too:


    "BAMBI II is a true treasure, an unforgettable next chapter for these beloved characters, and a perfect complement to the original BAMBI,” said Buena Vista Home Entertainment President Bob Chapek. "We’re quite proud of the film."

    Critics revere BAMBI II for its endearing story, pristine animation and engaging score. Scott Mantz of Access Hollywood calls the film “a delightful, enchanting sequel … worth the wait” while NBC-TV’s Bryan Erdy says BAMBI II is “an entertaining family film worthy of the original.” Janna Maloney of FOX sees an even brighter future for BAMBI II in stating the film is “destined to become another Disney classic.”
    How much did you pay these guys to say this? I mean, Access Hollywood? Oh, yeah, that is an objective source... NOT!

    I am absolutely sure Bambi 2 is a treasure... I am sure that someone should bury it on a small remote island somewhere in the remote parts of the South Pacific and forget it was ever made... If they did this, it would likely increase in value...
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  3. #3

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    And sometimes treasures are cursed.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  4. #4

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    True Retailers may need to send it back with a blood sacrifice in order not to turn into the walking damned....
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  5. #5

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    A say cut the sequals off right away. I am tired of hearing about them. I think Cinderella II really did everyone over.

  6. #6

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    You know what's interesting is that at one point Disney guarded its home video market so closely, it didn't even release certain films for years at a time for fear of saturating the market.

    Personally, I wish Disney would knock off the PC crap in their classic animations too. Disneyland already got its guns in the Jungle Cruise back and hopefully Pirates will have pirates chasing women again, but Disney animation still refuses to show Pecos Bill with a cigarette in his mouth, refuses to release Song of the South and refuses to release that Hatfields-McCoys animation from one of the compliation movies.

    This nonsense needs to stop because Walt had a passion for authenticity and if that offends people in the 21st century, that's their problem not ours. Pirates did in fact chase women in pillaged towns, explorers have been known to defend themselves with guns, and cowboys actually smoked cigarettes. Hopefully Disney will get back its edge that it lost to Michael Eisner's "kid friendly" image he gave to it. After all, Disney is *family* entertainment, if it just entertains kids it's not Disney.

    So in addition to the sequels, this PC nonsense needs to go too. Also, I can't wait to see the Studio Ghibli films that will be coming down the pike from Disney. John Lasseter is a MAJOR Hayao Miyazaki fan and I have no doubt there will be a collaboration between Disney and Studio Ghibli in the future.

  7. #7

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    maybe they will merge disneytoon studio into feature animation and NO MORE SEQUELS!! to me a sequel is a sign that you can't think of something better to make so you do another one or even worse a remake of the original. like the shaggy dog coming out soon. IF it were a perfecg world I would love to see pixar doing a picture a year cgi, and disney feature animation doing a classic a year the old way.. 2-d hand drawn. I know it won't happen but that would be so perfect to me. and then have a cartoon division that makes kim possible quality cartoons not the emporer's new school(ew)

  8. #8

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    Why not try producing Disney Afternoon type shows? Create something NEW instead of rehashing old stories.

    I miss shows like DuckTales, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Bonkers and Darkwing Duck!
    Former Submarine Voyage CM 1994-1995


  9. #9

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    Rumors, rumors...I actually heard a rumor today that the sequel studio was given the ax. Lotta unhappy animators. They've stopped production on "Toy Story 3" but it hasn't been canned...yet.


    I miss shows like DuckTales, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Bonkers and Darkwing Duck!


    Me too! DuckTales rips. I love it.

  10. #10

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    >>Rumors, rumors...I actually heard a rumor today that the sequel studio was given the ax. Lotta unhappy animators. They've stopped production on "Toy Story 3" but it hasn't been canned...yet.<<

    Circle 7 - the new studio set up to do CGI "Pixaren't" sequels looks to be closing.

    The fate of DisneyToon, the makers of such non-delightful direct-to-video fare as Cinderella 2 and Fox & the Hound 2 has yet to be determined.

  11. #11

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    Re: DisneyToon/Video Sequels days numbered?

    Quote Originally Posted by Conncr
    Why not try producing Disney Afternoon type shows? Create something NEW instead of rehashing old stories.

    I miss shows like DuckTales, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Bonkers and Darkwing Duck!
    Bring back the Disney Afternoon!
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