Scratchy Era

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #22: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

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.

 

Under normal circumstances, I don’t get self-conscious about the fact that the movies I review are intended for children. These are not normal circumstances. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of shame you get opening your DVD case of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and seeing your complimentary stickers of Pooh and Eeyore hugging. Shit, if I was feeling any less macho right now I’d spontaneously sprout pigtails.

Notwithstanding, my lunchbox is now fucking pimped.

Notwithstanding, my lunchbox is now fucking pimped.

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Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #21: Robin Hood

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.

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Introduction to movie. Bitter comment from Walt Disney. Batman joke. He’s been to Bahia. Have you ever danced with the Red Rooster in the pale moonlight? Columbo appearance. Batman joke. Batman joke.

Oh, sorry. Does it seem like I’m recycling a lot of material from other reviews? Well, when in Rome.

Robin Hood came out in 1973, in a decade when the Disney company was moving further and further away from its roots as an animation studio and becoming the massive, many tentacled, HYDRA-esque cartel bent on world domination that we know and love today.

Obey or die.

Obey or die.

The vast majority of the company’s earnings in this period came from the theme parks and merchandise. The studio’s live action movie division was also branching out into new genres like science fiction (The Black Hole) horror (The Watcher in the Woods) and hardcore pornography (Herbie Rides Again. I assume from the title). Meanwhile, the animation division was increasingly being treated like the weak sister of the company and Robin Hood is one of the best examples of this. This movie is infamous for its borrowing of animation from earlier Disney movies, in fact it’s probably got the most blatant examples of any film in the canon. Why is this? Well, because they were fucking broke. They had to make this thing on $15 Million, which sounds like a lot, but for a feature length animated movie is like trying to re-enact the moon landing with some aluminium cans and a few bottle rockets. And yet, I come here to praise Robin Hood, not to bury it. This movie, probably more than any other, perfectly encapsulates the Scratchy Era aesthetic: We got no money, we’re ugly as sin, but we got the charm and we got the tunes. Robin Hood has buckets of charm and some really great songs. It also has the kind of manic energy you would expect from a movie animated by starving hobos who were being paid in hot dogs.

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Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #20: The Aristocats

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.

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Want to hear a joke?

A talent agent is sitting in his office. He looks up when a family of cartoon cats comes through the door.

“What’s your act?” he says, and the father cat (who sounds weirdly like renowned jazz singer Phil Harris) says “Well, it’s an utterly subpar Disney movie with animation that barely rises to the level of competent, characters that are largely nondescript when they’re not either unlikable or totally superfluous to the plot (which by the way makes little to no logical sense), possibly the worst villain in the entire Disney canon and some wasted songs by the Sherman Brothers.”

The talent agent turns white as a sheet, pukes into his wastebasket and stammers “What do you call this act?!”

And the cat smiles and says “The Aristocats!”

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Disney Review with the Unshaved Mouse #19: The Jungle Book

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.

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Oh. It’s you. Fuck do you want?

Yeah I’m drunk. So what? I can review just fine…don’t…just back off. I’m fine. Just, you’re crowding me right now and I feel like I’m losing my balance like you’re giving me vertigo OH FUCK…

Everyday Bar Stool 28inch

Curse you stool…you’ve always been jealous of me! Ever since school! ‘Cos I was a person with dreams and hopes and you WERE JUST FURNITURE! YEAH! I SAID IT!

Okay…I’m fine. Sorry. I’m sorry everyone. I’m so sorry.

Stool…Stool can you ever forgive me?

You promised me that last time would be the last time. We're done Mouse. Never call me again.

You and I? We’re done.

Ohhhh Christ I’m a mess. Yeah, so I needed a stiff drink or twelve after seeing this week’s movie again. See, The Jungle Book is a very important movie for me. This is the first movie I ever saw in a cinema. One day in the eighties my mother brought me to a tiny little one screener called the Regal Cinema in Youghal, Co Cork. Amazingly, I mentioned this to my mother when I was getting ready to write this review and it turns out it was also the first film she ever saw in the cinema too, and that she was brought to that exact same cinema when it first came out in 1967.

Youghal has been absolutely hollowed out by the recession and the Regal closed in 2011 after seventy four years in business but I still have that memory. Watching The Jungle Book with my mother, maybe around three or four years of age, laughing at Baloo and Louie, and being a little scared but not too scared of Shere Khan and Kaa. First Disney movie I ever saw and it was just pure joy. That was the day I learned how much a piece of art could mean to you. And then I watch it again and…ugh I need a drink.

No, I don't need a glass. Why would you ask that?

No, I don’t need a glass. Why would you ask that?

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Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #18: The Sword in the Stone

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.

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The Sword in the Stone represents a couple of milestones in the Disney canon. Firstly, this is the last movie to be released during Walt’s lifetime. It’s also the first Disney movie to feature songs by the Sherman Brothers…

“The Brothers Sheeeeeerman!”

Sorry. Whenever I mention them a choir of angels is apt to descend from heaven singing glorious Hosannas and Hallelujahs. Nothing I can do about it, unfortunately. The Sherman Brothers…

“The Brothers Sheeeeeerman!”

Guys please!

One of the greatest songwriting duos of all time. Possibly the greatest. Certainly the most successful in terms of musicals. I mean just take a look at some of the movies they wrote songs for; Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Snoopy Come Home…fantastic, fantastic songs. Their contributions to Sword in the Stone are not their strongest work but the Shermans on a bad day…  

“The Brothers Sheeeeeerman!”

SHUT UP!

GOD!

Really good songs. Is what I’m saying. Ahem.

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Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #17: 101 Dalmatians

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.

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What kind of Disney movie reads Playboy?

Only two years separated the releases of Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians but they are, in every sense, eras apart. 101 Dalmatians feels so different, looks so different and sounds so different from its immediate predecessor that it almost feels like the work of a different studio. This is the first of what I call the Scratchy Movies, because of the harder, scratchier outlines of the characters compared to previous Disney eras. Take a look:

Tar and Sugar Era.

Never-Heard-of-Em Era.

Restoration Era.

Scratchy Era.

You see how the lines are so much starker and rougher in the last one? Why is that?

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