Monsters University: Graded on a Curve

by Ethan Alter June 21, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Monsters University</i>: Graded on a Curve

Once upon a time, when Pixar was still a relatively young studio as opposed to the family entertainment monolith it is today, it was decided by the powers that be at Disney and Pixar that Toy Story 2 -- the sequel to the 1995 smash hit that eventually made computer animation the industry standard -- would be a direct-to-video feature in the vein of such lesser Mouse House productions as Pocahontas II and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. But unhappy with the movie's creative direction, Pixar head honcho John Lasseter took back the reins of the sequel and once again steered it into theaters. I bring this piece of history up because Monsters University, the prequel to the company's 2001 romp Monsters Inc., feels like it too originated as a DTV production before being transferred to the theatrical pipeline.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

by Ethan Alter November 13, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Meet the real housewives of Drug Cartel County.

Brave: Fairy Tale Theater

by Ethan Alter June 22, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Brave</i>: Fairy Tale Theater

Although Mickey Mouse remains the company's figurehead, Walt Disney is, in many ways, the studio that fairy tales built. From 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to 2010's Tangled, Disney's legacy has largely been defined by its adaptations of these classic folk tales, which for generations of kids, have become the definitive versions of the exploits of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid. The studio's in-house animation company Pixar, on the other hand, has largely prided itself on creating original stories usually in contemporary settings; look through their feature filmography and you won't find a single adaptation in the bunch. So the company's latest offering Brave is an interesting hybrid of Pixar and Disney's respective specialties. The makers behind this film are attempting nothing less than inventing an entirely new fairy tale, one that employs some of the genre's familiar tropes and characters in service of a wholly original narrative. They don't completely succeed, but it's exciting to watch them try.

Cars 2: World Gone Wrong

by Ethan Alter June 24, 2011 6:00 am
<i>Cars 2:</i> World Gone Wrong

The following is an excerpted transcript of the podcast What Planet Earth Are You From?, a co-production of The Daily Bugle and Wayne Entertainment.

TAGS: Cars, Pixar

Disney Needs to Stop… Almost Everything It's Doing

by DeAnn Welker September 8, 2008 3:51 pm
Disney Needs to Stop… Almost Everything It's Doing With the latest news (here, gleaned from an interview in Disney's in-house magazine) that Disney could possibly remake The Black Hole and/or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I have just one question: How many more of these remakes are possible? I mean, how many original cheesy Disney movies still exist that haven't yet been remade? ...No, really, I need to know how prepared I need to be, because it's starting to feel like when the world ends, the only things that will survive the apocalypse will be cockroaches and old Disney movies.

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