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In a sense this is untrue. It’s been 27 years and Disney has yet to make a better film.

So, I have seen every feature film Disney has ever made, from Snow White through Black Widow.  And now I have ranked them all.

First, there is a full alphabetical list of every Disney film.  I won’t try to include too much information so that it isn’t too ridiculously long but I do have at least a slight blurb with every film.  But it does include the rank.  That way you can find a specific film.  At the bottom is the full ranked list.  This list somewhat supersedes my original Animated Ranking list but it might be pretty close – I haven’t checked. (more…)

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Depending on which chart you use, each of these films can lay a claim to being the biggest Disney film of all-time.

A Century of Film

Disney

The Box Office

“In 1989, USA Today computed that if one adjusted for inflation and changing box-office prices, Snow White’s theatrical earnings up that time would exceed six billion dollars!”  (The Disney Films, 4th Edition, Leonard Maltin, p 32).  That is patently absurd, of course, but it’s the kind of thing that makes all of the box office earnings for all films, but especially Disney films, so difficult to accurately calculate.  There are a lot of things at play and the first, of course, is the complete mythology that builds up around certain numbers.  So let’s start the look at the box office for Disney by looking closely at Snow White. (more…)

A Century of Film


disney-logoDisney


The Studio

It began with a man named Walt and a mouse named Mickey.  But of course neither of those things is actually true and that’s part of the image that lies behind the company that is not only the most successful movie studio at work today but pretty much an all-encompassing way of life that can not be ignored. (more…)

A Century of Film

Kids Filmsozgang


The Genre

For a lot of people, Kids films mean Animated films.  Perhaps part of the problem is that I really should re-name the genre to Family Films, which I probably would if it didn’t mean making changes in so many different spreadsheets.  “Kids” implies it’s only for children and a lot of these films are only for children (and really shouldn’t even be for them because they’re so insipid) whereas “Family” opens up the notion to films that are good for kids, that kids can enjoy, but really are also aimed at the whole family where adults can also enjoy them.  That would make people stop thinking just “animated” and open things up to films like The Wizard of Oz, Miracle on 34th Street, The Muppet Movie or Babe.

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A Century of Filmfantasia

Animated Film

Of all the categories that the Academy took too long to recognize (like Costume Design or Makeup), this is the most excusable.  It would not be until 1941 that there are even multiple feature length animated films, there aren’t five until 1970 and there aren’t really enough to justify a category until the early 80s.  The awards groups probably should have jumped on things earlier like the LAFC (1989) and Annies (1991) did but they didn’t wait way too long like they did with Costume Design and Makeup.

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The best cameo of the year in the Oscar winner for Best Animated Film.

The 84th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2011.  The nominations were announced on 24 January 2012 and the awards were held on 26 February 2012.

Best Animated Film:  Rango

  • Puss in Boots
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Chico & Rita
  • A Cat in Paris

Most Surprising Omission:  The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (more…)

The LEGO Batman Movie

  • Year:  2017
  • Director:  Chris McKay
  • Series Rank:  #5
  • Batman Villains:  Joker (Zach Galifianakis), Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate)
  • Love Interest:  Batgirl (Rosario Dawson)
  • Batman Allies:  Robin (Michael Cera), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), Commissioner Gordon (Hector Elizondo)

The ongoing debate between myself and my Australian reader, F.T. is over the value and worth of camp.  I have never been a fan of camp while F.T. enjoys it.  I prefer my films to be good.  So, the question is, can something be silly, cheesy and yes, even campy, and yet still be good?  Well, I give you The LEGO Batman Movie, a film that willingly embraces every ridiculous thing that has ever been added to the Batman legend and does it with such humor, wit and quality that it is one of the funniest films of this past year. (more…)

Batman: The Killing Joke

  • Year:  2016
  • Director:  Sam Liu
  • Series Rank:  #10
  • Year Rank:  #145
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Batman Villains:  Mark Hamill (Joker), Maury Sterling (Paris Franz)
  • Love Interest:  Tara Strong  (Batgirl)
  • Batman Allies:  Ray Wise (Commissioner Gordon), Brian George (Alfred)

“But my favorite comic book character is Batgirl.  My uncle has a lot of Batman comics and there’s a lot of Batgirl, and she’s cool and she reads (because she’s a librarian) and she kicks butt and she’s smart.  She’s awesome.”  That’s my character Kayce speaking, but in many ways she speaks for me there.  Batgirl is smart and cool and awesome.  What she is not, is a love interest for Batman.  That being said, writers are free to do what they want.  If you want to look at a good example at how to make her a love interest for Batman, just wait until tomorrow’s post.  For a primer on how to do it absolutely, completely wrong, I present to you Batman: The Killing Joke, a straight to DVD film made as part of DC’s Animated Universe but which earned a theatrical release and thus makes it into this series. (more…)

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

  • Year:  1993
  • Director:  Eric Radomski  /  Bruce W. Timm
  • Series Rank:  #7
  • Year Rank:  #38
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Batman Villains:  Mark Hamill (Joker), Hart Bochner (Arthur Reeves)
  • Love Interest:  Dana Delaney  (Andrea Beaumont)
  • Batman Allies:  Efrem Zimbalist, Jr (Alfred), Bob Hastings (Commissioner Gordon)

When I was in college, there was a successful wrestler at my school that I knew who was built oddly.  He had this enormous upper body and these scrawny little legs.  It is a look that a lot of animators like to give to their characters (which has roots in the comics themselves when drawn by such people as Rob Liefeld) and I’m not fond of it.  It is the look of Batman specifically in this film, as it was in the Batman Animated series which was critically acclaimed but I didn’t watch because I was in college and was watching hardly any television.  The show was a huge hit and given the noir feel of the show, that was understandable.  The film also has a lot of critical acclaim and I have a harder time understanding that.  It was thrown into theaters in the years between Keaton taking off the mask and Kilmer putting it on and most people didn’t seem to notice as it quickly died at the box office (it made just over $5 million when every Batman live-action film was taking in at least $40 million on opening weekend alone). (more…)

For someone whose entire pantry is filled with his childhood toys, this is a poignant moment to me about what you choose to let go.

The 83rd annual Academy Awards for the film year 2010.  The nominations were announced on 25 January 2011 and the awards were held on 27 February 2011.

Best Animated Film:  Toy Story 3

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist

Most Surprising Omission:  Despicable Me

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Tangled

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #5

Oscar Score:  69.2

Alternate Oscar Score:  95.5

Note:  If the Oscars had nominated five films and added Tangled and Despicable Me, this year would still be 5th.  But if you replace The Illusionist with Tangled and keep three nominees, this year leaps all the way to #1. (more…)