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74 minutes | Mar 9, 2019
The Little Mermaid: Part of Our World [Part One]
The time has come to discuss 1989’s Disney classic - The Little Mermaid! View fullsize View fullsize Based (loosely) of course on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of The Little Mermaid.Aly kicks us off with a biography of the author before taking us on the journey of what exactly was changed when Disney took up the tail…er…tale. We’ll give you a hint: less blood, tongue cutting out, and death. She also talks about a lot of the feminine metaphors put onto mermaids and The Little Mermaid in particular. Speaking about this famous aquatic lass wouldn’t be complete without mentioning her iconic statue in Copenhagen, dedicated to Christian Andersen’s arguably most famous work. Unfortunately, we also learn that mermaids are a bit of a hot button topic when it comes to feminine issues (mainly related to the idea of giving up your voice for a man, it rubs some people the wrong way). This leads to the statue being vandalised multiple times over the years, as you can see below. In Aly’s talks about mermaids, she not only covers the types of mermaids and their place in various culture’s mythologies (from Greece to Ireland to Asia) as well as their history in art….she also covers real life “sightings” of mermaids. Of course, once people start to get excited about something, some shyster is going to try to make a buck off of it. Introducing P.T. Barnum, famously of Barnum and Bailey’s CIrcus and the watered down movie ‘The Greatest Showman’ (Note: Aly seriously loves this movie but totally admits that it’s problematic in it’s glossing over some of the major issues with this historical figure). Barnum bought a “real life mermaid” called the Feejee Mermaid and had it on display. It was a fish stitched together with a monkey. Sarrah comes in and takes over with some major studio news, Disney was changing up as we hit the renaissance. A lot more employees came in, and the studio expanded to three locations. They were trying to hit that nostalgia button by going back to what originally worked - fairy tales. In going back to the old ways, they also decided to go back to using life models in the form of actors as references. They hired two actors Sherie Lynn Stoner and Josh Finkel, gave them the pre-recorded audio as well as storyboards, and the two worked closely with Keane and others to bring the characters to life. You can really see Stoner bringing a lot of what would become Ariel’s mannerisms in to her work! View fullsize View fullsize After we discuss the studio and technique, it’s on to Inspiration and Influence and man, do we have a lot. Ariel (as a Disney Princess) is everywhere. She had a short lived TV show in the 90s, as well as two sequels to flesh out her story. But it’s not all Ariel all the time, the original story has also had its share of adaptations, most commonly in the form of ballet or opera. View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize Possible the most famous live performance of The Little Mermaid would be the Disney Broadway Musical, which Alan Menken came back to add new music for. It began its run in 2007, replacing Beauty and the Beast in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in NYC. It starred Sierra Borgess as Ariel and Sherie Renee-Scott as Ursula and while it was visually delightful, it didn’t enjoy the success of its predecessor. View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize Of course Ariel lives on in the Disney Parks! Tokyo Disney Sea has a partic
49 minutes | Feb 28, 2019
Exploring the Little Mermaid: Howard Ashman & Alan Menken
Last week we discussed the artistry of Glen Keane, today on our journey to The Little Mermaid we’re spotlighting composer and lyricists Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.These two gentlemen not only gave Ariel her voice and are responsible for so many of our favourite childhood songs, but they also revolutionised how music was used in Disney animation. View fullsize View fullsize Aly takes us through the early biographies of the two men, and how they came together in New York City to write some Off-Broadway Musicals…one of which is a childhood favourite of Aly’s : Little Shop of Horrors. She then tells us about their work with Disney and just how much they contributed together to The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t have the happiest ending. For those who don’t know, while Menken is still working with Disney to this day, Ashman passed away before Beauty and the Beast was completed due to AIDS. A lot of the information Aly got today was based on articles quoting the movie “Howard”, which premiered in 2018 at the Tribeca Film Festival. So join us as we discuss the huge influence these two men had on animated musicals, and Disney’s early renaissance in particular. Here are some of the videos that Aly collected quotes and information from!Our Sources:HowardAshman.comWikipedia Article on Howard AshmanWikipedia Article on Alan MenkenHoward Movie Official SitePlaybill.com Article on Little Shop of HorrorsTheDailyBeast.com Article on Howard AshmanNyPost.com Article on Howard AshmanVanityFair.com Article on Howard DocumentaryGizmodo.com Article on Howard AshmanNYTimes.com Article on Alan MenkenChicagoTribune.com Article on Alen MenkenMedium.com Article on Alan Menken and Disney Renaissance
34 minutes | Feb 21, 2019
Exploring the Little Mermaid: Glen Keane
Today we have an extra special episode!We wanted to do something special leading up to our Little Mermaid episode, because of the massive impact that film had on animated features as well as Disney itself. So we’re taking two weeks to give you specialised, informative, episodes based around some of the people that helped make The Little Mermaid the success it was, and who helped change the way animated features at Disney were done.Today Sarrah is taking us through the life, times, and style of Disney Legend Glen Keane. Sarrah gives us Keane’s biography as well as a highlight of his work both with and without Disney, ending with where he is today.We then discuss our own Keane favourites and ways that he has inspired us on our individual journeys. Below you’ll see some samples of Keane’s character work for Disney, so you can see some visual examples of what we discuss in today’s episode. We also touch on the work his children are doing - and we can’t wait to further discuss their work in the future. Particularly Claire Keane, who helped with a lot of concept art for Frozen and Tangled, and Tangled the series! Her work is inspiring on its own and she is also one of our favourite artists, we can’t wait to spotlight her! SIt back and enjoy as we take this special episode to tell you all about one of our favourite animators and artists, and help celebrate the journey to the Little Mermaid. Below you’ll see some of the videos we discuss, including Keane animating the Beast, his work in the 3D program, and his two shorts that he directed post Disney.
89 minutes | Feb 14, 2019
All Dogs Go To Heaven: But maybe they shouldn't....
Are you ready for one of our most confusing journeys yet?Well today Aly & Sarrah are discussing Don Bluth’s 1989 film ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven’. And boy did this come with a suitcase of nostalgia and questions. First off, Aly tells us all about the source material. It goes as follows: it was an original story that came about from a Robert Louis Stevenson quote and the fact that Disney movies about dogs were making money. Got it? Great. Moving on. So since that riveting information took less then five seconds to state, Aly decides that this is the episode to do an actor bio on her favourite …. Dom DeLuise. That’s right! It is time! She describes his origin story, some of his earliest acts (check out this amazing video of him on Dean Martin’s show) and how he finally was laid to rest (the quotes from his friends are beautiful).Dean Martin and Dom DeLuiseAfter Aly goes into detail about Mr. DeLuise and his amazing career, Sarrah is up with the creation of this film from the studio and artistic side! She fills us in on how Charlie was always going to be Burt Reynolds, even before the final plot was created! This was also during the tough times at Bluth studios, during which they switched over to Ireland. In fact, this movie was the first to be entirely done in the UK studios!Then we (of course) discuss the voice actors, the music, and the release. Not much was really going on with the release for this movie because…..it came out the same day as a little movie called The Little Mermaid. Whoops.After all this information it is time for our walk through! Which leads us to realise how MESSED UP this movie is. Gambling, drinking, smoking, kidnapping, murder, this movie is basically the Godfather with dogs. In fact, we come to the conclusion that if this movie stayed the exact same, but the animals were switched out for people, it would absolutely be rated R. But don’t just take our word for it! Listen in and make your own judgement, should ALL dogs really go to heaven? Star Rating for All Dogs Go To Heaven: 2.5 StarsVoice Acting: Half Star- While Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, and Judith Barsi did a great job as their respective characters, there just wasn’t anything above and beyond about their performances in this film.Music/Songs: Zero Stars - No. These songs were sometimes catchy, but not for the right reasons. Most were talk-sung, and while the film was set in New Orleans, they never made use of that location to create some great jazz songs!Script/Story: Half Star - This was an ambitious story and we like that it didn’t shy away from difficult subjects and addressed negative behaviour rather than glossing over it. But the ending was messy and there were some definite filler moments that didn’t fit.Animation - Full Star - Technically, there was nothing to complain about with the animation. No issues here!Style -Half Star - While the film is quite striking (particularly with the colour palettes), there is nothing that really sets it apart from other Bluth films. You can’t really say “draw me something in the All Dogs Go To Heaven style”.And for those of you looking for the infamous bear rug photo….. Hello Burt Content Link Block Select a page and create a visual link to it. Learn more Podcast Episodes Our Sources:IMDb page for All Dogs Go to HeavenWikipedia Article for All Dogs Go to HeavenPeople.com Article on All Dogs Go To HeavenWikipedia Article on Dom DeLuiseBiography.com Article on Dom DeLuiseNYTimes.com Article on Dom DeLuiseFanfiction.net Stories
89 minutes | Feb 7, 2019
Kiki's Delivery Service: Good Boy, Jeff.
What’s this? Another Studio Ghibli gem? Are you as excited as we are?This week we watch and discuss the least well known of the well known Studio Ghibli films: Kiki’s Delivery Service from 1989! View fullsize View fullsize Aly of course brings us up to date on the series of children’s books this film was adapted from, all written by Eiko Kadono who is definitely a woman that should get more credit and love. Thankfully, she was honoured with the Hans Christian Andersen award for Children’s Literature! Author Eiko Kadono Aly also discusses some alterations from book to film and then takes us on an interesting ride where we learn about witchcraft in Japanese culture. Sarrah discusses the making of Kiki at Studio Ghibli, including how Miyazaki ended up as director for this project.Together we discuss the voice cast (and how this was actor Phil Hartman’s last project), release and reviews (this movie won a lot of awards!), and where we can find Kiki these days (not many places unless you’re looking in Hot Topic). Actor Phil Hartman View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize And if you’re wondering about those little hidden easter eggs we mentioned! Here you go, the Tangled-esq sun on the clock tower (that we know has nothing to do with Tangled), and the Totoro-esq monster on the Tv! View fullsize View fullsize So find your familiar and let’s head out on an adventure with Kiki’s Delivery Service! Star Rating for Kiki’s Delivery Service: 4 StarsVoice Acting: Half Star- While the cast generally does a great job, we weren’t won over by Phil Hartman’s interpretation of Jiji, we both found it jarring. The casting otherwise was nice, but there were no stand out performances.Music/Songs: Half Star - The music was it’s usual Studio Ghibli awesome. But Sarrah had some moments that she didn’t feel it fit the action, and while it supported the movie it wasn’t very memorable.Script/Story: Full Star - This was a lovely adaptation of a very beautiful book. They added just enough new plot to make it unique, but kept a lot of elements and the feel of the story.Animation - Full Star - It’s Ghibli. It’s amazing.Style -Full Star - What we love about Ghibli is that every movie has a unique style and sense to it. Kiki is no different. The city she moves to is such a cool take on European cities, and the colour scheme was really unique to other Ghibli films.Our Sources:IMDb page for Kiki’s Delivery ServiceWikipedia Article for Kiki’s Delivery Service (novel)Wikipedia Article for Kiki’s Delivery Service (movie)BooksFromJapan.jp article on Eiko KadonoBBC.com article on Eiko KadonoWikipedia Article on Eiko KadonoWikipedia Article on Witchcraft in JapanBroadly.Vice.com article on Female Ghosts and Demons of JapanCavernacosmica.com article on Witchcraft in JapanKiki’s Delivery Service. Eiko Kadono. Annick Press: Toronto. (2003).
107 minutes | Feb 1, 2019
Oliver & Company: Rambo Kitty
Hey, remember us?Well we’re back!And Aly wants to make it clear that Sarrah had nothing to do with this hiatus! It was all her. She apologizes. Now let’s move on.This week we are heading back into late 80’s nostalgia with Disney’s 1988 masterpiece: Oliver & Company! View fullsize View fullsize Aly starts us off by telling us all about Charles Dickens (you may have heard of him), the author behind the source material for this movie: Oliver Twist (you may have heard of it). She also breaks down Oliver Twist itself and what elements were taken or altered for Disney’s family friendly film purposes. So if you’ve ever wanted the Cliff’s Notes of Oliver Twist for your highschool purposes….I mean don’t fully trust us. But here you go! Our man Dickens Sarrah chimes in with some fun facts about where this movie began. From gong show meetings to an original opening where dobermans kill Oliver’s parents Batman-style, to the fact that there was almost a panda? Yeah, this movie went weird places.In Voice Cast Corner we see the Disney debut of Cheech Marin and Dom DeLuise! We also learn that this was the first Disney movie to contain real-world advertising (because New York).Some quick updates since this episode was recorded:As of at least fall 2018, the Disney Store does have Dodger and Oliver plush. Yes, Aly owns the Dodger plush. Don’t judge.The store Aly bought the bandanna from was called “Whosits and Whatsits”. Here is a photo of Poddog modelling it for your pleasure. Poddog says hello. So try not to worry, because while perfect isn’t easy…this episode comes pretty close. So let’s all hit the those streets of gold with Dodger and the gang and watch Oliver & Company! Star Rating for Oliver & Company: 4 1/2 StarsVoice Acting: Full Star- This cast is amazing. Each actor brought so much character and detail to their role. From DeLuise’s endearing patheticness as Fagin, to Midler’s outstanding choices and bravado as Georgette. This movie is driven by it’s characters. Music/Songs: Full Star - These songs are catchy as hell. Sure, there’s some less memorable ones. But try to tell us that ‘Why Should I Worry’ isn’t one of the best Disney songs. We’ll fight you. Looking at you Siskel.Script/Story: Half Star- It was a valiant effort to adapt a massive story. There were some fun one liners and great characters, but the plot was chaotic and the whole finale was super messy.Animation - Full Star - Sarrah looked for faults and couldn’t find any.Style -Full Star - This movie differs from most other Disney movies. It brings us back to the sketchy style of 101 Dalmatians and has some beautiful watercolour-esq backgrounds. We like it’s uniqueness.Our Sources:IMDb page for Oliver & CompanyWikipedia Article for Oliver & CompanyWikipedia Article for Charles DickensBritannica.com Entry for Charles DickensBiography.com Page for Charles DickensCharlesdickensinfo.comDisney Parks website page remembered Oliver and Company Dickens, C. and Horne, P. (2003). Oliver Twist,. London: Penguin Books.
77 minutes | Oct 18, 2018
The Land Before Time: Bambi . . . with Dinosaurs!
We’re finally here.If you didn’t know this one was coming…you’ve lived under a rock. This week we’re looking at the movie with a million sequels: 1988’s The Land Before Time by Bluth Sullivan Studios! This was a tricky one.Aly usually starts off with source material, but this movie is an original concept! In addition to there not being too much in the way of source, there isn’t a whole lot of information on the conception of this film. So…she decided to entertain us all with a bunch of information this movie got wrong about dinosaurs!It should be noted that they did do a lot of research on this film (as Sarrah tells us later), but our knowledge about dinosaurs has come so far since the 1980’s that there are a few things Aly had to mention!Then Sarrah takes over for a quick discussion about the studio process of this film. It has a pretty big Spielberg and Lucas connection, which is always fun to talk about. She also goes through the entire release history (so much home video) and quite a few reviews. Most of the reviews were consistent with our own opinion “it’s okay…but very much a kids movie”. Sarrah also reminds us of the Pizza Hut tie in where Pizza Hut gave out rubber hand puppets of the characters! So incredibly late-80’s/early-90’s. Aly then takes over by giving us a short synopsis of all of the sequels. She also found an article that rated them all, so we learn which ones are decent (…..) and which ones to ignore (pretty much all of them). We also have some pretty big questions about Little Foot’s Dad.Aly also starts a new segment in which she reads the synopsis of select film fan-fiction until Sarrah is laughing so hard she cries. You don’t want to miss it. Or maybe you do, people are WEIRD. And with that we begin our walkthrough! In which we complain about Cera, adore Ducky, question how the heck they survived, and thank the heavens this movie was short.So grab your Tree Star, find your cutest, quietest, bossiest, and most annoying friend and let’s journey back to The Land Before Time! Star Rating for The Land Before Time: 3 StarsVoice Acting: Full Star- It wasn’t a huge voice cast, but on the whole they did a very good job. Especially considering most characters were voiced by very young actors. We may find the dialogue groan-worthy, but the actors delivering those lines gave us a lot of personality and heart. Special points to the voices of Ducky and Little Foot.Music/Songs: No Star - Sarrah found the music forgettable, and Aly found it either forgettable or annoying. It tended to be very over-dramatic compared to what was happening on screen. In short, we’re not fans.Script/Story: Half Star- It was okay. It was blessedly short, they knew when they had enough there. It is a good kid’s film, but it definitely doesn’t translate over to adults. Also, there were a few questionable filler scenes (the cherries?) and some of the dialogue was stilted or too sappy.Animation - Full Star - Listen, Bluth knows what he’s doing and his studio delivers consistent and beautiful work.Style -Half Star - You know it’s The Land Before Time when you see it. The style is there. But it’s pretty darn barren (Which we know is kind of the point) but there’s a lot of emptiness and darkness and we just found it kind of boring. Pretty? Yes. Boring? Yes.Our Sources:IMDb Page for The Land Before TimeWikipedia Article for The Land Before TimeWikipedia Article for The Land Before Time FranchiseNyPost.com Ranking of The Land Before Time moviesStoryboards for The Land Before Time - 1 2 3Inverse.com Fact Checking Land Before TimeDinosaurswtf.com Fact Checking Land Before TimeLand Before Time FanfictionBuzzfeed Land Before Time QuizMentalfloss.com Land Before Time Facts
98 minutes | Oct 12, 2018
Akira: Oh Kaneda we stand on guard for thee.
Welcome to the future, lovely listeners!Today we are watching the anime that started it all (allegedly): Akira from 1988! View fullsize View fullsize Neither of our hosts have ever heard or seen anything about Akira before this podcast, so this will be a very new experience. Aly once again starts us off with the author of the original manga the film is based upon: Katsuhiro Otomo. We learn how Otomo got his start, as well as his amazing legacy in Japanese manga and film.Sarrah goes into a little bit of detail about the animation in the film, but there wasn’t too much to find. So she really gets into the release information, this movie has BEEN places. Akira has been released on home video and theatrically almost everywhere in the world, which is pretty amazing. There’s no Voice Cast Corner this week, but we do get to discuss some recent pop culture that has been noticeably influenced by Akira, including Stranger Things, Blade Runner, and Kanye West’s Stronger video. View fullsize View fullsize So get ready for our first rated R animated feature, and buckle in because it sure as hell deserves that R rating! Onward, to Akira! Star Rating for Akira: 4 StarsVoice Acting : Half a Star - The voice acting for some characters was okay, but there was nothing groundbreaking in the dub we listened to. It’s hard to judge without hearing the original voice recording, but we gave it half a star for being decent, but not fantastic.Music & Songs: Full Star - The music was interesting and really worked with the insane visuals to take us to another world. It wasn’t your typical sci-fi music, but something entirely different. Also, points for use of silence.Script: Half a Star - We agree with Otomo, the ending was rushed. Aly likens it to a play with four acts - the first two were great, the final act was confusing but good, the third act was just messy. There was a lot going on in this film and we didn’t feel like the movie did a great job of keeping us in the loop.Animation: Full Star - No arguments. The detail and care given to every aspect of the animation and art was very obvious.Style: Full Star - The rough streets of Neo-Tokyo may not be for you, but they undeniably have their own style. This was like nothing else we’ve seen.Our Sources:IMBd page for AkiraWikipedia Article for Akira (film)Wikipedia Article for Akira (manga)Wikipedia Article for Katshuiro OtomoAnimenewsnetwork.com Article on Otomo’s medalForbes.com Interview with OtomoForbes.com Article on AkiraSlashfilm.com Article on AkiraVulture.com Article comparing Akira with Stranger Things
108 minutes | Sep 27, 2018
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [Part Two]: I'd Murder Him, Too.
Welcome to our second part as we look into 1988’s “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. Last week we took a deep dive into exactly how the movie was made and where it came from. This week we’re taking a brief look at other elements before we head into our walk-through.First, Aly lets us all know some fun information about the music and casting for this film. There are some pretty interesting names who were considered before Christopher LLoyd and Bob Hoskins took the leads.Sarrah tells us all the different awards that this movie received, and what the reviews were (spoiler: pretty much all good. Who’da thunk?)Then Aly takes us into modern day Roger Rabbit. Where is he? What is he doing now?Well, if you take a look below you can see some of the original attractions featuring Roger and his friends at Hollywood Studios in the 1980’s and early 90’s. There was an entire store dedicated to Roger, and it mainly included photo ops and a nifty green screen photo booth. View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize Recently, Hollywood Studios had a few Roger Rabbit nods, including the two photos below taken by Aly on her last visit to the park (4 years ago and before it went through massive construction). You can see the Maroon Studios billboard featuring Roger Rabbit, Baby Herman, and Jessica. Not to mention the Valiant Private Eye window next to Roger’s blinds cutout. View fullsize View fullsize So now that you’ve seen where we’re at now, let’s head back in time and join our friends in old school Hollywood and Toon-Town! Star Rating for ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’:Voice Cast: Full Star - You just can’t argue with the casting. From Fleischer being so dedicated he dressed as Roger onset, to the immense amount of detail and character each actor brought to their roles. Roger had one part in one movie, and he’s still a pretty decently sized member of the Disney canon, and that’s all thanks to the talent behind his voice (and his animators!).Music and Songs: Half Star - We fought on this one. But Sarrah is ultimately right. The score is beautiful and does exactly what it needs to do, the old school sax solos are a great touch. But the actual songs aren’t memorable, and the last one is just downright annoying.Animation: Full Star - Williams did his thing and he did it right. There’s a reason he got a special Oscar nod for his work on this film. While some parts may look dated, there’s no denying that they achieved what must have seemed impossible at the time. It does hold up overall, and that’s a major achievement!Story: Full Star - Not only was the original novel compelling and completely unique, but the screenwriters (with Gary K. Wolf on board) were able to take a complicated plot and streamline it into something that celebrated the novel but was something new and fun. It’s a smart script and we stand by it.Style: Full Star - It’s got great style! Somehow they were able to take all of the different animated characters from different studios and creators and make it all work in one film without looking messy or Disney-fying everyone. It has a great film-noir feel that we haven’t seen yet, and is the best example of animation combined with live-action to date. Sorry Space Jam!
79 minutes | Sep 20, 2018
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [Part One] : I'd Have Died.
Welcome to the first Two- Part episode of Season 3 (?).We had to split this one into two parts, because the details of how this movie was made are so incredible, not to mention revolutionary. There’s a reason Richard Williams got an honorary Oscar for his work on this film!Of course we’re talking about Disney’s 1988 spectacular animation/life action crossover: ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’Based loosely on the novel ‘Who Censored Roger Rabbit?’ written by Gary K. Wolf. View fullsize View fullsize Aly takes us through some information on Gary K. Wolf and his novels, included some fun Q&As she found on a reddit thread! There are a quite a few differences between the film and the novel, but a lot of the changes were actually really necessary to make the story make sense as a movie and Wolf has stated he genuinely likes the edits. He went on to write two more novels about Roger and his pals, but changed the characters around to fit the Disney film’s changes (and get on that Disney money train). View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize After we discuss the source material, Aly moves on to an overview of another big influence on Roger Rabbit: film noir. She goes over the history of this genre/not-genre as well as some of the key elements that categorise a film as noir. View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize Above you can see the examples of low-shot, wide-shot, and dutch tilt that she mentions in the episode. A lot of super-hero movies take from film noir styling as it’s so dramatic, and Joss Whedon’s work in particular (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, the first Avengers movie) is inspired by the style.Below you can see some examples of the typical tropes in film noir.Extreme lightingShadows and profilesChiaroscuro RainLocation and Night shotsFemme FatalsSmoking View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize Here are some examples of modern and neo-noir films.Basic InstinctChinatownL.A. ConfidentialRaging BullSevenSin CityBlade RunnerBuffy the Vampire SlayerVeronica Mars View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize View fullsize Sarrah then takes over with the story of how Disney began working on Roger Rabbit, as well as how such big players like Steven Spielberg got involved and managed to get other studios to loan Disney their characters (with some pretty big terms involved.) She also talks about the test project animators did to pitch Roger Rabbit and prove it was doable, you can see some screen shots of that below with Valiant, Jessica, and Roger’s early designs.
89 minutes | Sep 13, 2018
My Neighbor Totoro: Love, Love, Love.
Once again we return to the beautiful imagination of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. This week we were lucky enough to sit down to watch and discuss one of his most enduring favourites - 1988's My Neighbor Totoro.If you've never heard of this film, or seen images of its title character around, we're assuming you live under a rock. This is an original story by Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki, so there is no author biography for Aly to give us. She had to get creative this week! She instead gives us a rundown of the Japanese philosophy/religion/way of life known as Shinto. While Totoro is not based on Shinto, there are elements of Shinto within the movie and Aly felt it would be an interesting topic to discuss. Please note, this is a brief overview. It is a massive part of the Japanese culture and history and it would be doing a disservice to allow anybody to assume this is an in-depth look at it. But it is very interesting and we recommend you learn more! Aly also lets us in on what exactly IS Totoro. The short answer: a mystery! The long answer: listen to the episode! On the exact opposite end of the scale she also takes us into the dark world of Totoro conspiracy theories. Did you know that many people believe My Neighbor Totoro is linked to death and a murder? Totoro Title Sequence Sarrah takes over and gives us a rundown of the names involved in this film. She also lets us in on the fact that the entire title sequence was not done with storyboards but relied solely on time sheets (and also explains what those are for non-artsy people). Isao Takahata Sarrah also gives us a belated biography of the famed director Isao Takahata, who passed away in April of this year (2018). We learn a little bit more about how he got started in animation and how he met Miyazaki. His later life is not as documented, but we are hopeful as we reach some of his later works we will have more information on this animation icon to share with you.Together we discuss an immensely talented voice cast on two continents (for the record: Pat Carroll did NOT voice the Fairy Godmother at any point. Or, at least, it is not on any resume we could fine.), the duel release of Totoro with Grave of the Fireflies, and debunk the myth of a Studio Ghibli theme park a la Disneyland. Although Aly does let us in on the Totoro details at the Ghibli Museum! View fullsize View fullsize Our walk-through includes us mainly exclaiming over how much we loved it and how cute the sisters were, although we do discuss some problematic parenting and why we're not the huuuugest fans of the Catbus (sorry!). And with that we're off! Call the Catbus, grab your Dad's umbrella and some acorns and let's join our friend and neighbor Totoro! My Neighbor Totoro Star Rating:Voice Acting: Full Star - The cast we listened to (the 2006 Disney dub) was incredible. Between the Fanning sister's chemistry and their spirited portrayal of the two main characters there was nothing we could fault. While we can't listen to the original version, we have to believe it was just as amazing.Script & Story: Full Star - The story is compelling and sweet. The dialogue feels natural and reflects the characters so perfectly, we truly believed every line the two little girls said. It may not have superpowers or take place on another world, but this movie is about life and family and tells those stories incredibly well. The pace never dragged and we were engaged the entire time.Music & Songs: Full Star - We're still singing the finale song! But credits song aside, the score was so well written. It only stuck out when it was supposed to, and really brought the magic of Totoro to life.Animation: Full Star - It was fantastic. End of comment.Style: Full Star - Studio Ghibli's style is always beautiful and almost soothing to watch. The colour palate of this film was beautiful, the character design (except MAYBE Mei) worked so well for each character, and the landscapes were awe inspiring. You could feel the love the animators and Miyazaki had for the Japanese landscape in every frame. Our Sources:IMDb page for My Neighbor TotoroWikipedia Article for My Neighbor TotoroWikipedia Article on Isao TakahataBBC.co.uk Article on ShintoWikipedia Article on BurakuminTofugu.com Article on Totoro Conspiracy TheoriesKotaku.com Article on Totoro and the God of DeathGhibli Museum Official Site
78 minutes | Sep 6, 2018
The Brave Little Toaster: Who Plays with a Vacuum?
We're back!After a nice long(er than expected) break we are back and ready to get into it. Our first film is one that definately hits that sweet nostalgia spot for most listeners.This week we are discussing the 1987 movie 'The Brave Little Toaster'. View fullsize View fullsize Aly has source material this week! But she couldn't read it. The Brave Little Toaster and it's sequel are unfortunately out of print, not at her library, and hideously expensive on Amazon. But she won't let that stop her, because this is what the internet was made for. She gives us an author biography on author Thomas M. Disch (heads up, it's not a happy one), and also a brief synopsis of the book itself and it's publication. She then goes on to discuss the changes that were made when it was adapted to the screen. Author Thomas M. Disch Sarrah talks about the saga of how this movie went from Disney to independent and back to DIsney again. Not to mention some of the key players involved who you maaaay have heard of before. Spooooky fog = Bambi? Together we discuss the incredibly talented voice cast that lent their voices to this film, as well as a short introduction to foley artists (the people who make the sound for movies. It's very interesting, and if you'd like to see it in action check out the video below!).Our walkthrough has us pondering the uses of electricity and cords, arguing with how they thought this wasn't a tradtional kids movie, enjoying some 80's bops, and asking ourselves who ever really played with appliances as a child? AC, you're a dick. So let's all gather up our inanimate friends, and earn our brave titles as we watch and discuss 1987's The Brave Little Toaster! I am your nightmares. Star Rating for The Brave Little Toaster:Voice Acting: Full Star - These people are top of their game for a reason. Every character has so much emotion and character for being appliances. The lines were natural and they blended together so well as a cast.Music & Songs: Half-Star - Okay, so the songs were fun, but they were dated. While we also remember enjoying them, for a musical movie we didn't walk away with any tunes stuck in our heads. We figure for a musical we should at least remember one song straight after watching.Script/Story: 0 - The characters and story-line are super imaginative! But they aren't the screenwriters inventions. There were lots of dragging moments and MANY inconsistencies.Animation: Full Star - Seamless and well done. Nothing crazy interested, but nothing to critique.Style: Half-Star - Pretty, but it doesn't stand out in any way. Our Sources:IMDb page for The Brave Little ToasterWikipedia Article on The Brave Little Toaster (film)Wikipedia Article on The Brave Little Toaster (novella)Wikipedia Article on author Thomas. M. DischNY Times Obituary for Thomas M. DischStrangehorizons.com Article on the death of Thomas M. DischGeeklyplanet.com Article on The Brave Little ToasterThomas M. Disch's Livejournal Account: "Endzone"
6 minutes | Aug 31, 2018
Season 3(?) Trailer
We're Back!Welcome to our re-branding of sorts! We will be back to a regular schedule starting next week (Thursday, September 6th). And we have a few changes to let you know about!1) We are changing our release schedule. With the exception of the first two months (due to a two-parter and Halloween) which will be 4 on, 1 off, we will be uploading 3 weeks in a row, then taking a week off. This is so we can have a nice thing called work/life balance. We're looking forward to it :)2) We will be having some new people on the show! So you'll be hearing from people who aren't just us, but artists working in different fields (like....composing!) who will have a different viewpoint and experience to lend to us!3) There will be a YouTube channel in the near future! We will be launching it with a special (very late) series, and then will be uploading companion episodes with new trivia, new segments, and making sure we give our star-rating to the films we watched before we implemented it. More information on the upload schedule for that will be coming soon!That's it! We're getting to the GOOOOOD stuff, guys! So sit back, relax, and enjoy this little preview of what is to come!
16 minutes | May 7, 2018
In-Betweener 5: Blooper Reel!
Hello Listeners!You're probably wondering "where did last Thursday's episode go?".Well, there wasn't one.We're taking a short hiatus here at Cartoonin' In. All is well and we should be back soon.In the meantime, have another episode of us being morons! These are almost all of our mistakes and weird tangents that we've been saving since December.We hope you enjoy.And if you're looking for more Cartoonin' In action, check out out instagram page!We're currently doing an 'Our Very Important Opinions Challenge' over there, where every day Aly & Sarrah answer a question about their favourite soundtrack, character, fashion choice, etc from animated films. Not just the ones we've covered, and not just Disney! Check it out over on our social media and tell us YOUR very important opinions!We'll be back soon.So please enjoy our unedited stupidity :)
106 minutes | Apr 26, 2018
Castle in the Sky: If the Robot Dies, I Quit.
It's here. It's time. Another first.This week, dear listeners, we head into the world of anime. And who better to take us there than Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki? This week we are discussing their 1986 film 'Laputa: Castle in the Sky". We have had quite a few people ask us if we would be tackling anime, and the answer is yes. But we figured this would be a good time to remind everybody of some of our rules for film selection.1) We have to be able to watch the film and follow it. This means it at least needs to have English subtitles or be in English, and it needs to be of watchable quality. We don't have a VHS so it's going to have to be online or on DVD/BluRay. It also has to be affordable. We're not going to dish out over $50 for a DVD that is no longer distributed(lookin' at you 'Rock-a-Doodle').2) We don't want to get movies illegally. So no torrents for us.3) We have to find enough information to make a full episode. We've had to cut some movies on our list because we just cannot find information on them beyond the typical release information. Also, see #1 for source material. Aly ain't paying big bucks for an out of print book.That all being said, we do also understand that our podcast has a North American bias. We grew up in North American culture, and so a lot of the things we address are being looked at through that lens. We're also following North American theatrical releases, if it wasn't released in theatres in the USA or Canada we're not going to cover it (yes, there are some exceptions). This also means that we're going for the most part by the North American release dates. So some international movies (including anime) may not be covered until they eventually hit the USA or Canada years later.But yes, we are covering anime. It starts today. We will absolutely be covering Studio Ghibli, and as for other anime films, we will see if they meet our above criteria when we get to them in our timeline.So let's get started! This week is a little bit messy because Aly and Sarrah don't always talk about their notes before they hit record. Oops. This means Aly talks a lot this episode as Sarrah is saving some material for later episodes.Since there is no official source material, Aly starts us off by talking about Miyazaki's TV show 'Future Boy Conan', as it is widely seen as an inspiration and precursor to Castle in the Sky. It was the directorial debut of Miyazaki, and included on the team was Isao Takahata (who we sadly lost earlier this month) and Yoshiyuki Tomino. The main characters are very similar, as is the basic plot arc of a young girl holding the key to a forgotten power that a suspect government greatly desires. She details the similarities further as well as a brief summary of that project. Sarrah joins Aly for a discussion on the style of this film, which has been labeled as 'steampunk'. Steampunk is a genre or style that combines modern technology with steam power and is usually set in the Victorian era. Steampunk is a branch of Retro-futurism, which Sarrah walks us through (think original Disneyland Tomorrowland) and appears in many different novels, films, tv shows, as well as fashion and architecture. Aly explains the connections between Castle in the Sky and steampunk, and how the term 'Laputa Effect' may have more to do with steampunk than Miyazaki's film. View fullsize Retrofuturism in Flash Gordon comics View fullsize Examples of Retrofuturism in Disneyland Art View fullsize One of the grandfathers of Steampunk - Jules Verne View fullsize Steampunk in the American West Style. View fullsize Under water steampunk. View fullsize Supernatural + Victorian Era Steampunk novel View fullsize Steampunk adaptation of a steampunk novel View fullsize More Supernatural steampunk with excellent hair View fullsize Pretty classic air-pirate steampunk After our steampunk discussion, Aly talks about some of the other facts and influences for Castle in the Sky. Included in this are it's connections to Gulliver's Travels, the unfortunate similarity to a certain Spanish word, and how we can ground the film firmly on Earth.This is where we realized that we had many of the same notes, and Aly had covered most of Sarrah's. Sarrah gives us the basic details of animation and confesses that she wants to save much of the studio history for later episodes that will discuss Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. With that we move to a very complicated voice-cast corner!Aly gives us a very brief summary of what it is like to dub a movie versus record for original animation, and then she dives into the many voice talents for this film. We may have a Western bias on this show, but we will be damned if we don't try to recognize the many people who's hard work went into making a film! With that in mind, please forgive Aly if she stumbles over the pronunciations of Japanese TV shows. She tried to choose the biggest highlights of each of the original release voice-actors, but not being familiar with Japanese television it may be a bit off. She also gives a rundown of the voice-actors for the Disney 2003 release.We're then off to release and reviews before spinning into inspiration and influence. Sarrah and Aly inform us about a Twitter world-record involving this film, and Aly begins a multi-episode tour of the Studio Ghibli museum exhibits. Our walk-through includes some differing opinions on James Van der Beek, a quick and strong attachment to the guardian robots, and our delight at how freaking funny this film can be!So grab your wayward brothers, be wary of men with tiny sunglasses, and make sure you understand the magical properties of a necklace before you jump off a roof...and let's watch Laputa: Castle in the Sky! Castle in the Sky Rating: Four StarsVoice Acting: Half - We have to admit that sometimes the English dub on our version was a little rough. You could tell when actors were rushing lines to fit the timing. But there were some stand-out performances
75 minutes | Apr 19, 2018
The Great Mouse Detective [Part 2]: Guns, Booze, & Wily Women
As promised, we're back with more on Disney's 1986 film "The Great Mouse Detective".Now that you're all caught up on Sherlock Holmes and Ron Miller, let's get into all the information on this particular movie. Many may not realize, but we are once again working with an adaptation...of an adaptation. The Great Mouse Detective was based on the five-book series 'Basil of Baker Street Mysteries' by Eve Titus.Aly gives us the (sadly) short biography on Ms. Titus (not too much information to be found) as well as a run-down on the differences between Basil of Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes, as well as Basil of Baker Street and The Great Mouse Detective.Sarrah teaches us about the making of this film in the animation department, including field trips to Big Ben and what animators were in charge of which characters. She walks us through the creative process, both in the journey of Basil becoming his own movie, and the animation it took to get there. Which, of course, means our first look at Computer Generated Animation!UPDATE: So when Aly discusses Inspiration and Influence, she mentioned that Basil and Ratigan were in a music video with French singer Douchka Esposito. It should be noted that these appeared to be Disney sanctioned, and she, in fact, did a few different Disney themed videos/songs. Please watch it. You won't regret it. And our walk-through has us wanting to give Dawson a big hug, pondering once again how the lives of men and mice co-exist in these worlds and getting really aggravated at party decorators.So let's keep our wits about us and try to defeat the Napoleon of Crime as we watch The Great Mouse Detective! 3 1/2 stars for Great Mouse Detective! The Great Mouse Detective Rating: 3 1/2 StarsVoice Acting: Full - excellent and detailed driven performances, particularly by Barrie Ingham as Basil and Vincent Price as Ratigan (plus Val Bettin as Dawson).Script & Story: Half - The story was fine, but with source material like Sherlock Holmes and Basil of Baker Street, we were hoping for a bit more detecting from our consulting detective. Aside from the beginning, there wasn't a whole lot of Sherlock in the Sherlock Holmes of the mice world.Music & Songs: Half - While the songs were fun and upbeat, none were that memorable.Animation & Technical: Full - The animation was beautifully done. There were great effects, the character designs were on point, and the use of CG animation felt natural and not forced or jarring.Over-All Style: Half - It's fine. There's nothing that really sets apart this style from any other animated film. Want to help us out AND watch or read along with our podcast? Here are some handy links to the books and movies we are discussing for you to purchase!Purchasing through these links does give us a commission .Our Sources:Podcast Music By: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-musicIMDb page for Great Mouse DetectiveWikipedia Article for Great Mouse DetectiveWikipedia Article for Eve TitusEve Titus ObituaryD23.com Article on Great Mouse DetectiveDenofgeek.com Article on Great Mouse DetectiveTor.com Article on Great Mouse DetectiveWhatsitgalore.com List of Great Mouse Detective "Sightings"Great Mouse Detective. Eve Titus. Aladdin. Hardcover. 2016Basil and the Cave of Cats. Eve Titus. Aladdin. Hardcover. 2016Basil in Mexico. Eve Titus. Aladdin. Hardcover. 2016
63 minutes | Apr 12, 2018
The Great Mouse Detective [Part 1]: The Source of the Source
It's that time again!Time for a Two-Parter!These next two weeks we will be delving into Disney's 1986 movie "The Great Mouse Detective".As per usual this week will be focused more on the source material and some background information for the studio that will be helpful for next week when we discuss the animated movie in depth. But with source material based on Sherlock Holmes and such a huge shift in artists at Disney, we had to split this up! Sir Artur Conan Doyle Aly starts us off with a biography of the man behind the legend: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. She goes into his writing life, his love life, and his life as a spiritualist. The latter which strangely led him to be friends with Houdini for a little while... and that did not end well! The infamous fairy photo Then we dig into the main characters and a bit of history on Sherlock Holmes himself, just to give some framework of where the Great Mouse Detective characters are coming from. We then discuss one of the most intriguing fan-clubs in the world, and "The Game" that is afoot among them! Sarrah gives us a bio this week, but not our usual Animator Profile. This week we learn about Disney CEO Ron Miller, and his wife Diane Disney Miller. View fullsize Diane Disney Miller View fullsize Ron Miller and Diane Disney Miller View fullsize Ron Miller Sarrah tells us how Ron came into the company, and how Walt gave him his start in the industry. We also learn about how Diane and Ron worked to preserve and acknowledge all the work that Walt did in his life. View fullsize Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. View fullsize The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco Last, but not least, Aly gives us the run-down on what exactly Sherlock has inspired. Get comfy, because there is a lot! Yes, Aly misses some things, some big things. But this was to be a basic overview and she highly encourages listeners to do some googling and find out what Sherlock Holmes adaptations interest them! There are so many! View fullsize Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes View fullsize William Gillette's poster for his play View fullsize William Gillette's film poster View fullsize Guy Ritchie's first Sherlock film View fullsize Ritchie's second Sherlock film View fullsize BBC's Sherlock with Cumberbatch and Freeman View fullsize Elementary with Liu and Lee Miller View fullsize Houdini and Doyle View fullsize Sir Ian McKellen as an elderly Sherlock in Mr. Holmes View fullsize Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street View fullsize Official Blue Plaque outside the Museum View fullsize Details in the Baker Street tube station View fullsize Sherlock Holmes pub exterior So kick off your slippers, pull out that violin, and put your deductive reasoning to the test as we learn about the world's only consulting detective, and what led him to Disney! Want to keep up with our movie journey?Read and watch along with us!But please remember, purchasing from these links does help us out and give us a bit of commission! Our Sources:Podcast Music By: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-musicWikipedia Articles on...T
89 minutes | Apr 5, 2018
An American Tail: Return of the Dragon Cats (Addition of Moustaches)
Somewhere out there....We know our listeners have been waiting for this one!After our NIMH episode revealed we have some pretty big Don Bluth fans listening, we're excited to bring the next chapter of Bluth goodness.That's right, it's 1986's 'An American Tail'. Original Poster Aly doesn't have too much to go on this week, as this is an original story. She talks a little bit about the book that was worried it would be sued, but it is really quite different. She gives us a little bit of backstory on Ukranian Immigration into American as well as the conditions that immigrants to New York in the 19th century faced, which is really what this film is about. Sarrah dives deeper into Bluth territory and examines what issues erupt when you combine the world of animation (Don Bluth and his animators) and the world of live-action film-making (Steven Spielberg). We learn a lot about the studio side of things and get a lesson on storyboarding vs beat boards. Aly (at the height of fashion here) posing next to the Feivel sign at Universal Studios Orlando Our walk-through has us applauding some patient parents (and some great Mama one-liners), questioning pacing, and groaning at the huge amount of near-misses!So sit back, and relax, because there's no cats in America! Let's all go on a trip with Feivel and his family in 'An American Tail'. An American Tail Rating:Voice Acting: Full - Every character had so much expression and personality. For a seven-year-old Phillip Glasser (Fievel) was so well done! Shout outs to particularly great performances by Dom DeLuise (Tiger), John P. Finnegan (Warren T. Rat), Neihemiah Persoff (Papa), and Christopher Plummer (Henri).Script & Story: Half - Original story that was touching and had an important message, but there wasn't enough time spent on the emotional moments.Music & Songs: Half - It was technically a musical, and it didn't deliver as such. The score was great, but out of the four songs sung, only one was truly memorable and even then as a pop song. It's not remembered for being part of this film.Animation & Technical: Full - Once again, beautifully animated and executed.Style: Half - We're bringing personal bias in. Aly thought it was too cluttered, and Sarrah didn't buy their attempt to honour old-school Disney films like Pinocchio. But Bluth has a distinctive style that we couldn't dislike if we tried. Backgrounds and character designs were beautifully done. But it just isn't our favorite!Want to keep up with our movie journey?Read and watch along with us!But please remember, purchasing from these links does help us out and give us a bit of commission! Our Sources:Podcast Music By: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-musicIMDb for An American TailWikipedia Article for An American TailAn American Tail WikiaWikipedia Article on Sullivan Bluth StudiosWikipedia Article on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory FireWikipedia Article on Little UkraineWikipedia Article on US Immigration ActsCollider.com Article on Themes of Racism and Immigration in An American TailMentalfloss.com Article on 12 Facts on An American TailThe Complete Maus: A Survivors Tale. Art Spiegelman. Pantheon. Hardcover. 1996.Link to Purchase
105 minutes | Mar 29, 2018
The Secret of the Sword : So Many Undertones
96 minutes | Mar 22, 2018
The Black Cauldron: The Movie that Never Happened.
Welcome, friends!Today we are discussing Disney's 1985 under-appreciated adventure fantasy - "The Black Cauldron". Which of course, means we are also discussing the books it is based on! Aly gives us the biography of author Lloyd Alexander, who wrote the Prydain Chronicles. Disney's The Black Cauldron is based on the first two books in the series: The Book of Three, and The Black Cauldron. Once again, we see how mythology directly inspired another writer - this time it was Welsh mythology, and The Prydain Chronicles are steeped in it. Aly breaks it down (a little bit, it's a wee bit complex) for us the best she can.Sarrah discusses how this movie failed. It just did. It really did, guys. Remember how The Care Bears Movie beat it at the box office? But there are a few silver linings! She also lets us know how there was a major breakthrough in animation technology with the invention ofTogether we discuss the brief moment The Black Cauldron had in the Disney parks, as well as a video game based on the film and it's potential brighter future within Disney. View fullsize Mural within the Cinderella Castle Adventure Tour in WDW View fullsize The Horned King in the Cinderella Castle Adventure Tour in WDW View fullsize Picture of a Cast Member inside Gurgi's Munchies and Crunchies in WDW View fullsize Cast Member working at Gurgi's Munchies and Crunchies in WDW In our walk-through, we make a fair few Harry Potter references (again), rename the anatomy of a piggy, and mispronounce every single character's name at least once (at least we're honest about it).So let us gather our friends, companions, and our courage as we face the cauldron born on our quest for The Black Cauldron! The Black Cauldron Rating: 3 1/2Voice Acting: Half - once again, it was good but not great.Script & Story: Half - it wasn't awful, but it was a less-than-great adaptation of a really good story.Music & Songs: Half - the score was decent, and it included a really interesting instrument.Animation & Technical: Full Star - it's Disney, let's be honest. They're good at this.Over-All Style: Full Star - the character designs were great, as was the overall setting of the story. No misses here.Princess Agency Rating:Eilonwy takes spot 3 on our list! She's able to rescue herself (not to mention Taran and Flewdder) and has spunk! But for some reason the writers took away her independence when they gave Taran a sword.Our list so far: Want to keep up with our movie journey?Read and watch along with us!But please remember, purchasing from these links does help us out and give us a bit of commission! Our Sources:Podcast Music By: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-musicIMDb Page for The Black CauldronWikipedia Article for The Black CauldronWikipedia Article for The Chronicles of PrydainPrydain WikiWikipedia Article for Lloyd AlexanderBritannica.com Page for Lloyd AlexanderKidsreads.com Page for Lloyd AlexanderNYTimes.com Article on Lloyd Alexander The Book of Three. Lloyd Alexander. Square Fish. 2006. PaperbackThe Black Cauldron. Lloyd Alexander. Narrated by James Langdon. Listening Library. Random House. 2004. Audio Book.
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