Tag: Snow White

Uncle Walt-a-thon: Sleeping Beauty

<- Uncle Walt-a-thon: Lady and the Tramp

In some ways, Sleeping Beauty is a revised version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, since both adapt fairly simple fairy tales that don’t seem to lend themselves to a feature-length film. Disney has covered wide variety of subjects in his films so far, so it’s sometimes difficult to compare them, but these two lend themselves to comparison.

Of course, Sleeping Beauty does offer better animation than its predecessor. The backgrounds are gorgeously detailed, and the first part of the film has an unusual, flat look to it from the lack of shading, making it reminiscent of simple storybook illustrations. Snow White is also visually appealing, but the extra two decades of refinement shows in the newer work.

The main difference between them, though, is in how they attempt to fill out an eighty-five minute run time. Snow White did so mostly with music. This kept the film entertaining without trying to pad out a very simple plot, but does have some drawbacks. We know next-to-nothing about the world outside the dwarves’ cottage; all we know about the prince, for example, is that he’s handsome, has a good singing voice, and isn’t afraid to kiss a girl while she’s asleep.…

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Why I Watch Anime: An Internal Dialogue

In short, why do you watch anime?

A few reasons. One is that I enjoy the community. A few problems aside, I like exchanging thoughts with other fans on blogs, forums, and Twitter. Conventions and podcasts can be fun, too, and it also gives me something to share with my little sister.

Of course, there’s also my interest in Japanese culture generally; I’ve studied Japan’s language and history, and seek out Japanese films and literature. Primarily, though, the medium of traditional, 2D animation fascinates me, and Japan is the only nation that produces a lot of it.

What is the appeal of animation, then? If there’s a relative lack of material in that medium such that you have to go halfway around the world to find much of it, why not focus more on, say, its cousin film, which has a greater quantity and quality of work?

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Uncle Walt-a-thon: Pinocchio

<– Uncle Walt-a-thon: Snow White

So, after a brief delay the Uncle Walt-a-thon continues, this time with Pinocchio. Like Snow White, it’s a technically impressive film with the art, animation, and music. The character art, in particular, improved noticeably. In the older film, characters sometimes stood out against the background due to a simpler colour palette and less texture, like they were obviously animated separately from the environment they were in. Here, that wasn’t a problem at all.

I mentioned last time that Snow White is almost an animation showcase, but Pinocchio is much more story-oriented. It ain’t Les Miserables, obviously, but a lot actually does happen in this film, along with legitimate character growth, which makes it more interesting and satisfying than Snow White. I will say, though, that the Stromboli and Pleasure Island segments are a lot creepier to me now that I’m old enough to know what “human trafficking” is.

Another thing that didn’t occur to me as a child is that Jiminy Cricket is totally useless through the whole movie. I’m pretty sure the only reason he got to be Pinocchio’s conscience to begin with was that the fairy found him amusing, and decided to humour him.

Finally, something I did notice as a child is that they use the word “jackass,” which is pretty cool for a kids’ movie, but it helps drive home the main point, namely, a boy who isn’t good may as well be made out of wood, and if you really act like a jackass – you might just turn into one!

Uncle Walt-a-thon: Dumbo –>…

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Uncle Walt-a-thon: Snow White

This past weekend, I started an Uncle Walt-a-thon. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be watching every major animated Walt Disney film. First up was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Overall, it was quite good, primarily as an animation showpiece. The background art was done with a soft colour palette, similar to water colours, which gives it a childlike, storybook feel. It reminds me somewhat of last year’s Wandering Son. There’s also a nice variety in the settings; the evil queen’s castle, the dark part of the forest, the dwarves’ cottage, and the mine all have their own colour schemes and very different atmospheres. The character animation was very fluid – this show has almost constant movement, which modern animation often lacks (granted, this applies mostly to TV shows).

The plot can be explained in its entirety in under two minutes, but plot seems to be mostly beside the point. The ending, for example, is nothing more than the prince, who doesn’t even have a name, just showing up, kissing Snow White to bring her back to life, and the two of them riding off. Instead, we mostly just get a sequence of individual scenes, usually with music and singing. It’s all well directed, the songs are catchy, and the simple humour makes it a “family film” in the best sense of the phrase.

On a side note, I’d like to say that Grumpy is the best dwarf, by far. Mainly because he’s the only one to ask the obvious questions, like “Who is this girl to boss us around in our own house? What’s she doing here in the first place? Isn’t it kinda risky to hide someone a powerful witch desperately wants to kill?”

Uncle Walt-a-thon: Pinocchio ->…

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