A selection of the best animation news, opinions, and features from around the world for the week ending January 11th, 2020.Read more
Rather amusingly, the question of whether Disney is running out of new ideas pops up more regularly than you might think. In the latest version, Maya Phillips points out the discrepancy in the variety of content the company used to put out even twenty years ago, and what it puts out today. The reasons aren’t mysterious or secreted away in the vault, they’re much more straightforward. Yet they are indicative of a corporation with an allergy to new ideas and their rewarding results.
Traditionally, the twin concepts of Disney and high-fashion being mentioned in the same sentence would have been laughed at. Low-grade, mass-produced, and with mass-appeal are what defined Disney merchandise for decades. Things appear to be changing though, as the company makes a concerted push into luxury fashion in a move that is bewildering yet not entirely surprising.
Disney’s latest addition to the princess lineup ticks all the right representation boxes, yet still isn’t pleasing everyone. What’s going on?
The production of animated TV programs has never been greater. All three kids channels have full slates, numerous cable networks have their own shows, and FOX continues its long tradition of animated programming on Sunday nights. It’s a good time to be an optimist, yet it’s never been more important to be pessimistic about this sector of the business, because it’s about to go barrelling over a cliff.
In this month’s podcast, I chat with Helen Haswell. Helen is a PhD candidate at Queens University in Belfast, who’s area of research happens to be the merger of Disney and Pixar that took place back in 2006. We discuss that, and lots more in this episode. Just excuse the error in the opening; this is the third episode, not the fourth!
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Disney’s Frozen has generated a lot of debate but specifically on the topic of whether it is a feminist film or not, the answer is a bit more elusive. On the one side, are people who claim that it is thanks to dual female protagonists, a positive message, and a muted romantic theme compared to other Disney films. On the other side, there are claims that the film is merely masquerading as a feminist film and in reality continues to undermine the feminist ideal through subtle and not-so-subtle marketing. Which side is correct? You can make up your own mind with these sixteen articles published in recent months that discuss the film.
This morning it was announced that Disney has released Frozen for digital downloading through iTunes. What makes this all the more astonishing is that the film remains in general release in cinemas and indeed, remains well inside the top 10; grossing over $4.5 million this past weekend. So why is Disney doing this now? Are they striking while the iron is still hot, or are other motives in play?
Almost all films are a commercial venture to some extent but not all are created equal, as the films of Hayao Miyazaki and Disney demonstrate. Both make successful films, but only one does it to genuinely tell stories.
Baiting title aside, Mickey Mouse really is more popular than Bugs Bunny. He sells a lot more merchandise, appears in far more places around the world and is lauded as a mascot for the company that operates ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’ Bugs never even got such opportunities and yet as a character, he is far superior to Mickey. Why is that?
Sprung upon the (non-Japanese) world last week was a series of lingerie based on the Disney Princess brand. Yet here in the west, a bit of a burhaha unfolded as people discussed the merits and demerits of such merchandise. In the midst of it all, people forgot that they might not be so weird, or so bad after all.