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Should the package features be canon?
Yes 84%  84%  [ 27 ]
No 16%  16%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 32
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:39 pm 
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The studio DOES consider these six films (Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun & Fancy Free, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad) to be part of their official canon of animated features, just so there is no misunderstanding. But this has been a recurring subject among some Disney fans for several good reasons.

1) Due to World War II, Disney lost money from the premieres of Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi, films that were so expensive that the studio had to put the lot of their upcoming movies on hold. When the US entered the war, Disney's resources turned primarily to military-commissioned propaganda shorts.

2) The package features largely utilized stories that were intended either as their own features, or as future segments for Fantasia. For the former example, The Legend of Happy Valley was condensed to be the second half of Fun & Fancy Free, which later became known as Mickey and the Beanstalk when presented separately. In the latter, the Clair de Lune segment for Make Mine Music was an already-completed segment intended for the first Fantasia. It was re-scored instead as Blue Bayou.

3) The tone of these features leaned towards the pop culture scene of the 1940s. The musical segments from Make Mine Music and Melody Time were more contemporary, and the stories in Fun & Fancy Free and Ichabod & Mr. Toad were narrated by some of the biggest celebrities at the time. Disney still occasionally does contemporary stories once in a while (Wreck-it Ralph, anyone? :) ), but I guess depending on how it's approached, it can age the films quite easily.

4) Even at the time they were being made, the piecemeal approach to these films were unpopular choices. They performed moderately well with audiences, enough to keep the studio from going bankrupt. But many of Walt's animators lamented how they were "stringing shorts together", and movie critics were mostly uninterested, waiting for the studio's next full-length feature.
This, more than the other three reasons, was why the package features had a "third-tier" status among Disney features. Almost never theatrically re-released, largely shown as individual segments, and among the first of Disney's animated features to premiere on TV and video.

I would like to discuss the films by themselves, but first, let's hear some thoughts from you. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:21 am 
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So they animated Clair de Lune to certain music but changed that music later? Then how would it match up?

As for the question at hand, I don't think they should be included in the canon for reasons already stated, because in general they are not one-story concise animated feature-length films, thus not animated features, they are called "package" features for a reason, and...I forgot the other reason. At least I can just give my opinion.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:21 am 
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Ah yes, WW2. The game-changer of cinema and the world.

Well, these films were in the 50-disney-film trailer during Tangled's trailers, so yes. ... no. ... Maybe?
In all honesty, these films (and the shorts) have a mixture of opinions. For films like "Make Mine" and "Melody Time"? Not fully interested (but should re-visit those. Clair De Lune was good... only if seen as a standalone with original music. Yeah, the Make Mine version isn't that good, but what can you do?).
3 Caballeros- have not seen that film for years! Saludos- ... when the heck am I gotta see this?
Fun/Fancy and Ichabod/Toad- Oh wow, did I enjoy those as a kid! Mickey/Beanstalk short film is, of course, one of my favorites (actually saw this a stand-alone years before I found out that it was under "Fun/Fancy Free". Bongo wasn't too bad; had good music (and if my memory's correct, two different narrations for stand-alone and Fun/Fancy versions each. The Fun/Fancy version's narration was more fitting.)
The Mr. Toad short was surprisingly dark. It was still good and enjoyable, but different. (40's Sherlock was the narrator of this?!) But it's Sleepy Hallow that stole the show in regards to the climax, including "The Headless Horseman". (with the enjoyable Bing Crosby's narration) Wasn't scary as much as being active (animation-wise) and a bit suspenseful.(and boy did the ending had to be dark. ... Jeez, Disney!)

Overall, it's mainly half-and-half of opinions that I have on these repackaged shorts. While what we got wasn't up to par with the earlier films, they were still okay. I

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:08 am 
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I've always been torn on this. At the end of the day, I voted yes because they ARE feature films. If they were excluded based on the fact that they are a compilation of short films, then Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh would also have to be excluded, because quality shouldn't be a factor.

Ideally, to me, the 'canon' would include all feature films that include the work of Walt Disney Animation Studios. So, the stop motion films and hybrid films as well as the package films. The hybrids were included for quite a long time, and were certainly looked at in the same light as the rest of the features by the artists that worked on them. The stop motion films had story work, visual development, and even animation done at the studio - sometimes by the same artists that worked on the other features.

Hey speaking of the hybrids, I just looked at the list of them on Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Walt_Disney_Animation_Studios_films) and I noticed that Oz the Great and Powerful was added. That isn't correct is it? WDAS didn't work on Oz, right?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:12 am 
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Yes.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:01 am 
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SWillie! wrote:
Hey speaking of the hybrids, I just looked at the list of them on Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Walt_Disney_Animation_Studios_films) and I noticed that Oz the Great and Powerful was added. That isn't correct is it? WDAS didn't work on Oz, right?


I think you're right. Also, I would remove Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Enchanted from that list too. As far as I know Roger Rabbit was animated entirely at the Richard Williams Studio in London, and the animated sections of Enchanted were made at the now (sadly) defunct James Baxter Animation. James Baxter is now back at DreamWorks, I believe.

On the package films ... yes I think they should be canon, if only because despite being narratively fragmented, the running time of each ultimately clocks up to that of a feature (Saludos Amigos excepted, though I'm glad Disney still counts that as canon.) Also, if they weren't canon they probably would be even more obscure than they are today and harder to find on home video.

While I have very low expectations, I am still hoping that Disney will reissue them on blu-ray, with a decent (and not botched) restoration. There are so many different, exciting, animation styles in those films (especially Make Mine Music, Melody Time and Caballeros) that they deserve to be seen on a home video medium that does the fabulous artwork justice. The current DVDs may have been acceptable quality 10 years ago, but no longer satisfy me. Each one has issues.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:08 am 
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Of course they should remain canon. They were released as features and should be considered as such. And many of the characters have become iconic and there are even attractions and restaurants based on them in the parks....Mr Toad's Wild Ride, Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros, Pecos Bill's Café, Casey's Corner, etc.


Last edited by carolinakid on Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Jules wrote:
I think you're right. Also, I would remove Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Enchanted from that list too. As far as I know Roger Rabbit was animated entirely at the Richard Williams Studio in London, and the animated sections of Enchanted were made at the now (sadly) defunct James Baxter Animation.

You're right, both of them throw a curveball at things. I personally think in this case the definition of "Disney Animation" can be stretched a little. For Roger Rabbit, Disney sent a number of animators over to London to work with the animators at Richard Williams, who them returned to the studio after the movie was complete. Andreas Deja was among them. For Enchanted, it was pretty much the same team of people (or at least a chunk of them) who had just been let go after Home on the Range the previous year or so. In both cases, while they weren't technically employed by Disney, and they weren't working in the same physical building, these are Disney animators in every sense of the word. I think that's why they're usually included in the same list with Song of the South, etc.

Anyway, I'm surprised to see so many yes votes for the package films. I thought for sure it would be split.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:05 pm 
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First voting no, haha.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:57 pm 
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:-o :-o :-o

Goliath???

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:53 am 
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Disney Duster wrote:
As for the question at hand, I don't think they should be included in the canon for reasons already stated, because in general they are not one-story concise animated feature-length films, thus not animated features, they are called "package" features for a reason, and...I forgot the other reason. At least I can just give my opinion.


If that be your final answer, don't forget to cast your vote. :)

Compilation films in general is a tricky subject: With Disney, SWille is right about the quality factor being irrelevant, since the package features, even though were compromised from what could've been grander stories, still hold a relatively higher standard of art than much of Disney's Xeroxographic full-length features.

I would say Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 count as legit films, because they were conceived from the beginning as comprehensive "programs", in the style of a concert, consisting of selected songs combined with abstract and story art. Even with its initial failure, Fantasia had long been considered one of Disney's "first-tier" films; appearing in theatres once every several years, very rarely were any of the segments featured separately, and up until the 90s, never appeared on video. Fantasia is one of the few Disney films that still has never been shown on TV.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was made up of three-pre-existing featurettes, which was reportedly intentional. The film itself also works more cohesively than any of the package features, since the "book chapters" all follow the same set of characters in the same basic setting, under the same style and tone. (In fact, the Xerox art works better than in most of Disney's other films). Though, Disney Channel did occasionally replace Tigger Too with A Day for Eeyore, which was noticeably different from the other segments.

The package features, in comparison, were conceived purely out of circumstance, hence why Disney to this day have never even entertained the notion of doing any more. Most Disney fans never seem to rank them among their favorite films, though it can be debated between the package features themselves which is better than the other.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:28 am 
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SWillie! wrote:
:-o :-o :-o

Goliath???

SWillie!!! :D :D :D

Ha, I've been back for a month or two, but have laid low, only answering the threads that really interest me or where I thought I could add something new.

To explain my vote: I don't think these 'package features' were ever intended as 'Classics'. They were being made to save money during a time when the studio faced financial difficulty. Wasn't Cinderella considered the first 'feature film' Disney did since Bambi, back in 1950? The inclusion of the package features in the Classics-line only happened many years later and seem to me like an attempt to add more substance to an otherwise 'meager' list (the same way Dinosaur was recently shoehorned in to make Rapunzel the 50th animated Classic). Saludos Amigos particularly has no place in the list, since it's only 45 minutes long and consists of only 4 shorts, held together by a kind of documentary/travelogue of the artists working on the film. Three Caballero's is neither a collection of shorts nor a feature film, it's kind of nothing. At least Melody Time and Make Mine Music can be seen as 'lesser Fantasia's', so there's a point to be made to keep those in the Classics-line. But the two South-American films should definately be cut from the list, in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:40 pm 
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They have their own charm, and I do like the bit of history they're connected to in the company. But all of this is relevant because we all know this "canon" list was made so Tangled was the super uper duper special 50th film as to attract an audience. :roll: If that so, Disney could've choosen more stellar films to their canon than say Dinosaur.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:26 pm 
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No one answered my question about Clair de Lune

SWillie! wrote:
...they ARE feature films. If they were excluded based on the fact that they are a compilation of short films, then Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh would also have to be excluded, because quality shouldn't be a factor.

No they wouldn't have to be excluded because those are not films "made of shorts" but rather films that were intended to feature different segments, and were always intended that way unlike some of the package features. Well I guess Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros were intended that way, but all in all the package features weren't made to be classics.

And actually it is only now that I am learning Disney did intend the Winnie the Pooh shorts to form a whole movie later? So when I didn't except it in the canon before, now I do.

I agree a lot with Goliath.

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Last edited by Disney Duster on Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:08 pm 
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I lean just enough to one side to say "no". I won't argue with anyone who feels otherwise, but to me they just don't feel like feature length movies. They feel the same as any compilation video of various shorts. The only reason I think Fantasia and Winnie the Pooh are exceptions is because there is a clear linear vision and connection to each segment. Not saying my opinion is more valid than the "yes" camp, but from this audience members perspective, these feel more like shorts that were randomly thrown together after the fact.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Pssst, guys ... if Disney are browsing this forum you're not exactly encouraging them to release the package films in new super duper hi-def gobsmackingly awesome blu-ray editions. Just write how much you love them and stuff! 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Whether they should be canon vs whether we all like them are two separate issues. In my understanding of the term, canon is determined by owner. So if Disney says they are, it's their canon and they get to decide.

That being said some of the package films are better than others in my opinion. I like Ichabod and Mr. Toad a lot, but Three Caballeros is just strange. But others love it. Go figure.

In terms of Disney fudging things so that Tangled would be #50, the only film that would factor into that is Dinosaur. The six package features have been counted since at least Beauty and the Beast, which at the time was heavily marketed as their 30th. About that time, the defunct Disney News published the official list and at that time all 6 were included.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:56 pm 
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:? What does that mean?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:21 pm 
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Disney Duster wrote:
No one answered my question about Clair de Lune.


It was edited. The original Clair de Lune segment was almost six minutes long, and to me, better matches the mood and pace of the art. Blue Bayou is four minutes long.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:26 pm 
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WilbyDaniels wrote:
:? What does that mean?


Was that a question to me? I'm happy to respond but I'm confused as to what part of my post you are questioning . . .

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