Month: April 2013

Oliver_poster

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #27: Oliver and Company

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

***

Guys, I gotta confess.

I’ve been sitting here for like two hours trying write something about this movie and I got nothin’. I really, really don’t like Oliver and Company (sorry, spoilers) but my God if I’m having difficulty putting it into words why. I mean, it’s not like it’s the worst Disney movie I’ve had to review. But, Jesus, this one just rubs me the wrong way. Alright, well, no use beating around the bush. Let’s take a look at this thing.

By 1988 the Disney Animation Studios had survived their closest brush with death to date, the failure of the Black Cauldron. They had scraped out a modest win with Basil the Great Mouse Detective, a film that was quickly and cheaply produced and made a decent profit. But no one was kidding themselves that Disney was back to its former glory. It clearly wasn’t. This point was driven home very painfully when production began on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and hey! I could do a review on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Wouldn’t that be fun? Yeah, let’s do that instead!

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #27: Who Framed Roger…

No?

Ugh.

Fine.

Well anyway, production had started on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? which would prove to be one of the most technically accomplished animated films ever. But instead of using Disney’s own in-house animators, director Robert Zemeckis and animation director Richard Williams instead set up a new animation studio with international animators in London. The reason for this being that they simply felt the Disney animators weren’t up to the task. Ouch.

To add insult to…0ther…insult, while Basil the Great Mouse Detective did well on its own terms, it was absolutely trounced by An American Tail, created by ex-Disney apostate (and absolute dictator of at least one alternate dimension) Don Bluth. Losing to Bluth was the final straw. It was as if a massive “Shit Just Got Real” picture appeared in the sky over the heads of everyone  working in Disney animation.

Shit just got real

“Who’s that guy?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think he’s famous yet.”

 There is a tradition at Disney. Whenever they don’t know what to do, whenever they feel that they’ve lost their way and need to get back on the right path, they ask themselves one question: “What would Walt do?”

And somebody, apparently, answered “Oliver Twist. But with…like. Dogs.”

I fairness, I did end a lot of sentences with "but with dogs".

Wow. It’s like you know me.

(more…)

Check out this guy!

Conchubar Seán deBreádún ( Conor Bredin to his English speaking friends) is a friend of mine who I met under rather unusual circumstances. Long story short, I was dating his sister but ended up killing his father, drove his sister mad and then we ended up killing each other. Oh, and we also were both cast in Hamlet. Anyway, he’s a teacher who’s begun an absolutely fantastic project with his class where they create a fantasy world and each team of children is in charge of a single country. Conor has started a blog detailing the fascinating and often hilarious twists and turns a universe takes when it’s under the control of a group of eight year olds. If you’re a teacher yourself and want to know how he did it, or are just looking for a good read, check out the Unexplored Realm.

Curses! Tagged in my prime!

As if I didn’t have enough to deal with rebuilding after the devastation wrought by the Horned King, now I’ve been tagged by fellow aniphile (animation lover, not what you’re thinking) Animation Commendation. Well, as Mary Poppins always says:

Time to choke a bitch...

Time to choke a bitch…

Wait, that’s not right…

If we must, we must.

If we must we must.

There we go. Okay, so Animation Commendation has set me 11 questions. I answer them, and then I come up with eleven questions of my own and ask 11 of you to answer and so the curse is lifted. Okay, let’s do this. Hit me.

1) What is your least favorite color and why? Anything pale grey, green or brown is very hard for me to differentiate so they tend to give me a lot of headaches.

2) What word do you always mess up when trying to spell it correctly? Necessarry Neccessarry Necesarry Necessery Required.

3) What is your favorite animated film? Oh that’s easy, it’s T…waitThat would pretty much render this entire blog pointless, wouldn’t it? Okay, as a consolation prize I’ll give you my favourite non-Disney animated movie which is…sweet Jesu I have no idea. Depending on my mood it’s either Akira, South Park: Bigger Louder & Uncut or Batman: Under the Red Hood (my favourite Batman movie. Period.)

4) What is your least favorite animated film? I’ve probably seen worse movies from a purely technical level but Don Bluth’s A Troll in Central Park (Stanley’s Magic Garden on this side of the Atlantic) is just sickening when you consider that this cloying, sugary, plotless, condescending, diabetes inducing crap came from the man who brought us Secret of NIMH. God, I hated this movie as a kid. And I liked some pretty atrocious crap as a child.

5) What school subject would you like to be eradicated from the curriculum? Geography. What are you? Are you science? Are you history? Are you politics? No, you are a misshapen ungodly fusion of all of them. Fuck you, Geography. Sincerely, Mouse.  

6) Which celebrity have you met? And if you’ve never met one, which would you like to meet? I’ve met quite a few Irish celebrities but they probably don’t count. Ireland’s so small that you can’t spit without hitting someone locally famous. I’ve met the comic book writer Gail Simone, who was suitably awesome.

7) Do you believe that the Loch Ness Monster exists? Sorry cryptid lovers. It’s either cold-blooded, in which case it couldn’t really survive in a lake that cold or it’s warm blooded in which case it should really be showing up on thermal scanners. Count the Mouse as a sceptic.

8) If this is that, and that is this, then would a little bit of this and a little bit of that equal to one this or one that? No. It would be equal to exactly 0.54678 of a this or a that, given that this and that are equal and that a little bit and a little bit would not be enough to produce a whole. Also, I like giving weirdly specific answers.

9) Did you understand the previous question? Did you understand the previous answer? Checkmate.

10) How amazing am I on a scale of 10 to 10? On a scale of 10 you’re 7.67898789. Again, I like giving weirdly specific answers.

11) What song would you like to be your theme song to be played as you enter a room? This. Or maybe the Mighty Mouse theme if I’m actually rescuing someone.

Okay, so now MY questions.

1) What’s your guiltiest guilty pleasure? Movie, book, TV series, music whatever.

2) You can have ONE of Superman’s powers. What do you choose?

3) Name a country you’ve never been to but always wanted to go. 

4) Ninjas or Pirates?

5) If you answered Pirates, what’s the matter with you?

6) Favourite Muppet movie?

7) Piece of pop culture that makes you despair for humanity?

8) Piece of pop culture that gives you hope for the species?

9) Bra sizes. So AAA is smaller than AA but DD is LARGER than D am I the only one who think’s that’s freaking INSANE?!

10) Name two fictional characters who never got together (or did but didn’t go the distance) but that you always felt should end up together.

11) Explain this Harlem Shake thing to me. What even the fuck?

So step up

Qindarka93, Serpentdrake, Ink and Paint Corner, Uncertain Keystone Species, Midnightreview, Come Dine With Mark, (Brackets and Ampersands) The Degrassi Digest and dawnemperor,

Show me what you got.

images

Okay, so let’s never do THAT again…

So. What have we learned?

So. What have we learned?

Um...never try and update the blog from a smartphone?

Um…never try and update the blog from a smartphone?

Because?

Because?

The phone can't handle my long ass posts and only half of the text loads and then that half is what gets updated?

The phone can’t handle my long ass posts and only half of the text loads and then that half is what gets updated?

And?

And?

That it's okay because you keep the last 25 versions of each post saved because you are awesome?

That it’s okay because you keep the last 25 versions of each post saved because you are awesome?

That's okay. As long as you learned something.

That’s okay. As long as you learned something.

Wordpress...I love you.

WordPress…I love you.

I know.

I know.

Hey everyone, thank you for your patience. The Basil the Great Mouse Detective Review is back in full health and ready to be read. As my way of apology, here is a picture of the Queen from Snow White wondering why someone put a dick in her box.

604038_10152735255635187_732400883_n

With thanks to Colin Monaghan.

See you in two weeks, imma go pass out.

stock-footage-cute-little-mouse-sleeping-on-a-white-background

You?

Disney Reviews with the Horned King #26: Basil The Great Mouse Detective

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit, but for the unholy glory of the Horned King.  The Horned King declares sovereignty over all that exists in this pathetic realm save the images used below which are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise.

Hello mortals.

So, you may have noticed some changes to the blog. Why is that, you ask? Well, to put it simply I have banished the previous owner to a far flung dimension and usurped his place. I am the Horned King and your world is now mine. I have come to conquer your lands and warp your souls. I have come to topple your kings and to kill your gods. Your children shall know only my name and recognise only my face for I am your reality now. From this day forth you will not draw breath but to serve me. The sun is gone and you shall not see it rise again. I shall redden the sea with the blood of all who would defy me. And not a day shall go by that you do not long for death.

But don’t worry, we’re still going to review Disney movies. No point fixing something that’s not broken. Today’s film is Basil the Great Mouse Detective. Or you may simply know it as The Great Mouse Detective or perhaps The Adventures of the Great Mouse Detective. It is known by different names depending on the region.

The Horned King cares not for your puny borders.

Your petty borders are as nothing to the Horned King.

During my last attempt to conquer your puny globe I was sealed in the Disney vault by the accursed Jeffrey Katzenberg…

KATZENBERG!!!!

KAAAAAAAAATZENBERG!

…to prevent my evil from spreading. Disney forswore all knowledge of my movie, The Black Cauldron, in the hopes that I would fade away from the memory of man. Curse them! By sealing me away, they denied me my rightful place as monarch of this pathetic maggot hatchery of mankind, as well as a fortune in merchandising opportunities! There were to be Horned King action figures! Lunchboxes! SNUGGIES!

This "Mickey the Mouse" is worthy of a snuggy, but the Horned King is not? PAH!

This “Mickey the Mouse” is worthy of a snuggy,
but the Horned King is not? PAH!

Fools! They shall pay for their insolence!

But while they may have won the battle, it cost them dearly. Following the failure of The Black Cauldron, the Disney animation studio was a shattered husk (let all who would trifle with the Horned King take warning).  The next film would have to be a success, or else the Disney  bosses would shut down the animation wing, and place the severed heads of the animators on pikes in the parking lot as a warning to the other employees.

Ah...I miss Hollywood.

Sigh…I miss Hollywood.

For their next film, the studio decided on an adaptation of known wretched human Eve Titus’ Basil of Baker Street, a novel about a brilliant evil genius named Ratigan and his struggles against an infuriating, insufferable mouse.

The Horned King can relate.

So…let us see what pathetic humanity has wrought while I contemplate how best to deal with the puny inhabitants of this blog.

"SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! HEEEEELP!!!"

“SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! HEEEEELP!!!”

SILENCE!

(more…)

Jesus, look at me. I look like a scheming penis. Pass me that bottle of Regaine.

Don Bluth Reviews with the Bald Mouse #503: An American Tail

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material.

***

My my. Has it really only been ten years since I began my epic quest to review every movie ever made by the greatest, most influential figure in all of American cinema?

The Master.

The Master.

And what a decade it has been. When I started this blog in 2003 Al Gore had just begun the third year of a momentous first term, the euro  became officially adopted as the world’s only currency and Iraq was not invaded.

Yeah I...I don't know why I felt the need to remind your of that.

Yeah I…I don’t know why I felt the need to remind you of that.

Little did I know then that I was starting what would go on to become the most popular blog in history. And yet here I am a decade later, millions of fans, a vast personal fortune and a statue on the moon. We’ve had good times, haven’t we? Remember when I paid for every reader of this blog to go on an all-expenses paid trip to Bluthworld, Florida?

Man those were some creepy mascots.

Man those were some creepy mascots.

And I owe it all to one man. One legend. The one and only Don Bluth. Thanks Don.

Hey, don't mention it  Mouse.

Hey, don’t mention it Mouse. It was my pleasure.

Wow, what a nice guy. So I thought that for this special anniversary I’d review one of Don’s earlier, lesser known works: An American Tail. Why this one? Well, granted, it’s not as influential as his other movies. It didn’t reignite interest in Elvis Presley like Rock a Doodle, or restore the Russian monarchy like Anastasia or unite all of humanity under a single canine worshipping religion like All Dogs go to Heaven.

God, I hope the next Pope isn't a Rottweiler.

Sidenote: Isn’t the new pope just freakin’ adorable?

But An American Tail occupies an important part of  bluthistory because this was the first bluthimation to be a major financial success and so paved the way for all the world changing masterpieces that were to follow. It also represented a major personal victory for Don, as this is the movie that once and for all finished off the…let me see if I’m pronouncing this right…”Dies Nee” studio? Sorry, that’s Disney.  Who were Disney? Well, I’m not surprised you don’t know. You’d probably have to be a hardcore Bluthimation fan to have heard of them but back in the day they were actually considered a pretty big deal. And yeah, some of their earlier works were really quite impressive, some almost rising to the standard of modern Bluthimations. Nowadays however they’ve faded completely into obscurity and are only really known as the studio that gave Don Bluth his start. Bluth left the studio in 1979, utterly disheartened with how the Disney studio was being run and the decline in the quality of their Bluthimated films. He left and formed Don Bluth studios and in quick succession released two films, the sublime and critically acclaimed The Secret of NIMH, and the box-office smash that was An American Tail. Upon which, the Disney studio rolled over like a dead dog and was quietly consigned to history. Some Bluthimation historians have speculated that if Disney hadn’t simply folded at the first challenge to their monopoly, that they might actually have had the talent and resources to push back, up the quality of their movies and maybe even experience some kind of “renaissance” and really give Bluth a run for his money. But personally I think that’s horseshit. Pure horseshit!

Hey buddy, gotta quarter?

Hey buddy, gotta quarter?

Sure thing. Here. Get yourself something to eat and find someplace warm.

God bless your sir.

Bless you, sir.

So let’s take a look at An American Tail.

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