1. What is your favorite Disney animated feature-length film and why?
|Alice in Wonderland.|
|Beauty and the Beast.|
2. TIME magazine movie critic Richard Corliss recently listed his top 25 best animated films. Most of the list was dominated by recent films. How do you believe the digitally animated films of today compare with the traditional classics of the past?
Brandie: I think Pixar proved back in 1995 with the first Toy Story film that digital animation has the potential to have as much heart and artistic value as the traditionally-animated films that preceded such technological innovation. That being said, not every studio that jumps on the digital animation bandwagon can produce the same level of films as such stalwarts of animation history as Pinocchio, Bambi, Cinderella, etc. As beautiful and thrilling as digital animation can be, if the story is not strong (Alpha and Omega, Igor) and the characters are uninteresting (Space Chimps, Planet 51) or too broadly comedic (Open Season, Over the Hedge, Madagascar), all the technical "razzle dazzle" in the world is not going to make such movies stand the test of time like their predecessors. But movies like Up, WALL-E, The Incredibles and Ratatouille (both of which Corliss ridiculously left off his list), Finding Nemo, the first two Shrek films, and the three Toy Story movies--all of which combine great characterization and storytelling with wit and sheer joy--will, I believe, be among those that will be considered undisputed classics in the future.
Alex: The Walt Disney Animation Studio throughout the years seemed to have their finger on the pulse of what moviegoers wanted to see until about the mid-late 1990’s. Many cite The Lion King as the end of the second golden age. I personally love all of the films from the 1990’s and feel the decline really started in the early 2000’s. I wouldn’t say that any of those films are truly bad (yes, I even enjoy aspects of Home on the Range), but the quality of these films certainly doesn’t match up to most of their predecessors. Even though Pixar is owned by Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studio seemed to be competing with mediocre pictures like Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. Now the John Lasseter oversees both studios, this seems to have stopped and Disney is getting back to making films that people want to see. I think a few of the more recent films could go on to become classics, particularly Lilo & Stitch and Tangled. Bolt and The Princess and the Frog were good, but left something to be desired. They could, however, grow in popularity over the years and become true classics. After all, Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty were both box office bombs when first released. Only time will truly tell.
Toto: Story and direction will win out over flawless look for me any time. Sometimes the pristine quality of digital films can be marred by old or damaged theatre screens.
3. If you could spend a day with one Disney animated character, who (or what) would it be?