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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:15 pm 
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Which, in your opinion, is the best decade for Disney animation overall? In other words, just because your favorite animated movie comes from a certain decade, doesn't mean you have to choose that particular time period.

~

I choose the 1950's.

Right away, Cinderella came out, which was a welcome change from the "package features" that came before it (not to say that some of those films weren't good). I think of all the fairy tale stories Walt produced, Cinderella had the tightest pacing, with less filler than some of the others. The relationship between the stepmother and Cinderella really evokes a feeling of pity for the girl, and just makes you want to root for her. The scenes in which Cindy is transformed and then attends the ball carry that unmistakable feeling of magic that was so prevalent in the early 40's films. The climax is probably the most small in scale of any Disney film, yet it is so tense and gripping. Besides the fact that it brought back the classic fairy tale movie with a bang, its also a really well constructed movie, and is a classic, pure and simple.

Next came Alice in Wonderland, which was met with harsh treatment from both the critics and those who actually worked on the film. However, I think its one of the top 10 animated classics, simply because its so unique and so engaging. It is extremely episodic, but I think the rather short running time makes it enjoyable and actually an asset - its refreshing to see something so different from anything that came before it. The characters are all wacky and hilarious, and it has this weird, demented, darkness to it that is unlike any movie I've ever watched. A fantastic source of escapism.

Peter Pan, I think, is the best movie of the decade (though Alice is probably my favorite to watch). It has a quality to it where it feels like classic Disney, but at the same time, is very contemporary as well. There's not a single slow part in the film, as it all moves at a very brisk pace, keeping the fun rolling. It contains one of the best villians, Captian Hook, and an extremely funny sidekick, Smee. In the end, it succeeds not just because of the excellence of its individual parts, but because the concept of never having to grow up is so magical.

Lady and the Tramp is a bit lesser movie than the previous three in most aspects, I think - story, characters, music, etc. It's still a good film, with a nice tale to tell, and contains arguably the most famous scene in all Disney history, the dinner at the Italian restaraunt. Even though its a love story between dogs, its a very romantic movie, because the animals are so human. I can't think of much else to say but: this is by all means a well-done movie, that continued a streak of quality, but dipped a little lower than the previous few.

Sleeping Beauty is the artistic high point of the era, which looks like an animated mideval painting. Its beautiful to look at, containing stunning visuals. It also features a superb villian, Maleficent, who is the most downright sinister villian in the Disney canon. The story relies a bit too much on filler with the side characters, as it tries to expend the story to fill a full-length motion picture. But it stands out as being a visually innovative and creative film, and really stimulates the viewer.

So in conclusion, each animated film to come out of the 50's excells in its own way. It was a era where new things were tried, and old ways were brought back, but each film was consistantly excellent.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:07 pm 
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interesting topic, I choose the 90's because most of my favourites were produced during that decade. I love each and every one of them except Lion King - wich I think is ok, but a little overrated.

But 1950's were wonderful too... starting with Cinderella and ending with Sleeping Beauty. And the 1940's werent bad either... gee its hard to choose lol... But if I have to choose I'd say 1990's of wich Aladdin, Mulan and Tarzan are my favourites.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:49 pm 
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The 90's weren't bad, at least better than the 80's...

But I definitely feel a need to go back in history... The 40's started with a number of animated features that together with Snow White form the "Mount Rushmore" of animation (sorry, forgot who wrote that...). They were followed by the low-budget "package features", some of which, in spite of obvious shortcomings, show wonderful creativity. My vote goes to the 40's.

The 30's also deserve being mentioned. Disney animation went a long way during that decade.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:56 pm 
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1939 + 1940's.

Reason One: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - This film started it all for the Animated Classics. It basically is a no-brainer.

Reason Two: Pinocchio - My absolute favorite movie. We had some awesome inventions of animation because of Pinocchio. The whale scene being just one.

Reason Three: Fantasia - The name says it all. Fantastic

Reason Four: Babmi - best movie fully on animals. One of the studios best.

Reason Five: Goofy Shorts - The Goofy Shorts started in the '40's. These are some of the funniest shorts that I have ever seen, and trust me, I have seen many animation shorts - past and present.

Okay - these are just the top five that came up in my head, in no particualr order. There definately are more, but time will not allow for this.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:58 pm 
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I agree with Jack. The 50's were the best years for Disney. All of the releases during that time were artistically stunning and 3 of them are some of Disney's most popular and successful works.

Basically, I choose this decade for the same reasons Jack pointed but here we go anyway...

Cinderella - Opened the decade. It was an immediate return to the style of Disney's past work, like "Snow White" and "Bambi", only better. Much better.
It was a huge smash back in 1950 and proved how enthusiastic audiences were for a classic fairy-tale from Disney. Also, the animation in the film is the best of the decade. Yes, better than that in "Sleeping Beauty".

Alice In Wonderland - I don't care if this movie flopped. It's pure fun, and I like it. The animation is also very detailed and colorful.

Peter Pan - Classic! Oh how I love this film. The animation is superb, the characters are great and very much like Alice, it's all about having fun.

Lady and the Tramp - It doesn't hold me as much as the previous three but still, it's amazing to look at and the story is touching.

Sleeping Beauty - tied with "Cinderella" as my favorite movie from the decade. The animation is breathtaking, the music is magical and the three fairies and Maleficent are soooo Fun.

As for the 90's: Yes, The Little Mermaid (I just can't consider it an 80's movie, c'mon, November 1989!), Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin.... etc., they're all some of my favorite Disney movies EVER! Yet there was a certain qulaity to the 50's films that has never been captured (perhaps only with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:04 pm 
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I would have to also say the 90's, although the 50's does come close.

The 90's produced some of the best disney films ever, including 3 of the fab 4 - Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

The 90's also brought 2 of disney's most mature/adult films - Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The 90's then ended with 2 of disney's best films - Mulan and Tarzan.

Even the odd 2 out - The Rescuers Down Under and Hercules were enjoyable, and far better than some of disney's past projects.

All in all, I think it is pretty apparent why the 90's were the best decade. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:11 pm 
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The two Disney movies on my top-20 films of all time list are 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Aladdin.'

Guess. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:44 pm 
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The 50's were good but I'd definitely have to pick the 90's. Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (haven't seen it personally but heard it was good), Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan, WOW.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:52 pm 
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Ill give the 50s a very slight nod over the 90s.

Most of my reasoning has already been covered by others.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:56 pm 
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70s and 80s (excluding The Little Mermaid) get my vote for being the best. Although the animation wasn't the best, the most fun movies were made during this era, since I enjoy the movies without judging their animation.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:14 pm 
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I agree with the '50's as well


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:29 pm 
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::smack::

Forgot: Fantasia 2000 as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:22 pm 
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I don't know. The 50s were too stylized for me. But the two serious decades would be 1937-1947 and the 1950s. (BTW, Snow White is 37, not 39.) Anyway the 37-49 run would include many interesting developments in animation, including the development of full length features, new painting and filming processes. Also the core characters, under Freddie Moore, Fergie, Tytla, etc.--take on interesting emotional and physical depth in the 1940s, but the 1950s, those same characters (Mickey, etc.) have become slick and fixed. I think the early features (SW, Pinoc, Bambi and Fantasia) are more ambitious than the 1950s features (except for Sleeping Beauty). Cinderella is too frigging rotoscoped for me. I do admire Peter Pan and Alice--there's lovely Kimball and Khal scenes in Alice--but I think the story telling was better in Pinoccohio and even Snow White. But then again, all of the mid-war and post-war Disney Feature Animation efforts are meager, at best: all the package features and the war films, so I guess that might count against the 1940s.

Still, I'll go with 1937-47, despite the package features and war effort flicks.

Why are so many people picking the 1990s? Yuck. B&TB is an excellent film. The Lion King holds up pretty well. And the stylized 2D-ish stuff in Hurcules is visually interesting. But also in the 1990s a series of films that are not going to hold up well at all: Aladdin (yeah, shoot me now), Pocahontas (if you didn't want to shoot me for Aladdin, you might want to now), Hunchback, Mulan, and Tarzan. Except for the visual style of Hercules, you can toss it in there, too. These movies simply don't have the character development, production values, craftsmanship of the better Disney films. The storytelling is formulaic. Technically these films do nothing new. The early Disney films (37-47) consist of tight stories, developed characters, and interesting technological advances in filmmaking, which is why I like them. The 1950s features have a fine sense of playfulness, which makes them unique.

My childhood was the 1980s, but there's no way I'm picking that decade even though I have fond memories of it. Why's everyone picking the 1990s???


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:13 pm 
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It looks like some people here are just chosing the period that they grew up but to me that is not the correct thing to do.

The best decade must have been 37-47. It is hard to find the best decade, but this is most deffenetly the most important decade to animation as a genre.

Just take a look at the shorts that was made before 37, and se the evolution that whent one between those years. The evolution of animation has never been greater in history then between those years.

But if I have to shose the most enjoying decade it must have been the 50s. Even the great movies in the 90s can not handle that decade.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:39 pm 
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Even though I grew up with the 80's films, I choose the 1950's because those films as a whole have much better storylines and are much more beautiful than the grouping of films from every other decade. This isn't to say that films from other decades aren't beautiful and great! I just think that the 1950's provide the most Disney Magic for me.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:41 pm 
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It's a close struggle between the 50's and the 90's for me, but I like the 50's just a smidgen more for the reasons Jack, Rodis, and Cinderelly all stated. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:50 pm 
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If I had to choose one decade, a think it would be 1928-1938. In just a short decade, we had more development in the field of animation than, say, until the advent of computer many, many years later. We saw the birth of five of the most popular animated characters there ever was (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto), the advent of sound and Technicolor in cartoons, the multi-plane camera, the creation of America’s first full-lengh animated feature… And most important of all, we saw animation evolve from rubbery figures to characters full of life that the audience can care about. Animation became a form of art, not just a way of big companies make a quick buck. And it was all under Walt’s guidance.

As far as the animated features go, the period 1937-1942 was the most important. In this period we encounter five of the most brilliant crown jewels of animation that ever existed and will ever exist: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. Once again, they marveled the audiences with tight storytelling and characters they could care about. Besides, they were experiential features, so we saw all the kinds of innovative and expensive techniques being used: daring shots using the Multiplane Camera, fantastic inking (I’m always marveled at all the painstaking use of airbrush in Pinocchio and Fantasia) and special effects plus great evolution of character animation.

Yes, the 1950s also saw the creation of some of the most important animated features ever. As great as they are, they aren’t up to the standards of the first five features. Even though character animation continued to evolve more and more, they weren’t as daring in the use of special effects (including MultiPlane shots) and storytelling (the only exception is “Sleeping Beauty”). Even the much-maligned anthology features from the mid-late 40s are more daring in technical specs (By the way, they weren’t that cheap as some people may think. “Cinderella” even cost less than “The Three Caballeros” – which was quite a success when released, but cost way too much, so it didn’t earn as much money as “Saludos Amigos” – which made less money).
Of course, great special effects don’t make a movie good – and from the five features from the 50s, three are among my all-time favorites: Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:54 pm 
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I choose the 90's. A large part, yes, because I grew up with those films, and while I appreciate and love the older Disney films, my favorites seem to be more recent.

The Rescuers Down Under (my favorite Disney after Lilo & Stitch). Loved that one, an overlooked, little gem. And Beauty and the Beast, of course. Aladdin. The Lion King. Mulan, and the others, and I'm going to include Fantasia 2000 (my third favorite Disney film, after Lilo and RDU), because it's right on the border there. And I thought it was an elegant, creative, refreshing thing. And a joy to watch.

So, I go with the 90's. As for other decades, the 40's (also including Snow White from '37) had some definite classics. And the 50's, and the other decades. And wonderful films. And while, what with the passage of time, they have endured and can be said to be better (and I do love Snow White and Bambi, especially, from the 40's), I have, personally, more a fondness for the films of the past few decades (from, I'll say, Oliver & Company to Brother Bear). They're the best to me.

Hard to say, though. I love a lot of Disney films/works, from each of the studio's decades. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:15 pm 
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englishboy wrote:
Why are so many people picking the 1990s? Yuck. B&TB is an excellent film. The Lion King holds up pretty well. And the stylized 2D-ish stuff in Hurcules is visually interesting. But also in the 1990s a series of films that are not going to hold up well at all: Aladdin (yeah, shoot me now), Pocahontas (if you didn't want to shoot me for Aladdin, you might want to now), Hunchback, Mulan, and Tarzan. Except for the visual style of Hercules, you can toss it in there, too. These movies simply don't have the character development, production values, craftsmanship of the better Disney films. The storytelling is formulaic. Technically these films do nothing new. The early Disney films (37-47) consist of tight stories, developed characters, and interesting technological advances in filmmaking, which is why I like them. The 1950s features have a fine sense of playfulness, which makes them unique.


I will have to disagree with you here. I respect your opinions on the quality of storytelling (though I don't exactly agree with them), but the level of craftsmanship of "Aladdin", "The Lion King", "Pocahontas" and "Tarzan" are much higher than those of "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast". No, I'm not saying they are bad movies or bad animated - on the contrary, both are two of the best movies in all the Disney canon and include some of the best character animation ever. The thing is, they still suffer a bit from the cost-cutting policy of the 70s and 80s. Just pay atention to the scenes in Belle's village (in some scenes you can clearly see that some of the folks are computerized dummies, and their design are half-finished - they also use silluetes in the late sequences) or to the design of some of the fish in "The Little Mermaid". Of course, when you are really engaged by the story, you don't pay attention to these small details at all.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:20 pm 
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I think people judge the films they watch too much, they should stop looking for bad things and just enjoy the movies, sheesh!

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