Thursday, 25 December 2014

Retrospective: The Last 25 Years of Walt Disney Animation Studios

by
Julien Faddoul


The Jeffrey Katzenberg Era












The Little Mermaid (1989) ***

A mermaid falls in love with a prince and longs to be human.
The film that opened the door for the Disney Renaissance, reestablishing the commitment to superior animation and an excellent score. The rampant sentimentality is forgiven.

Writer/Director – John Musker, Ron Clements
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – Howard Ashman
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – Michael A. Peraza, Donald A. Towns
Editor – John Carnochan
Visual Effects Supervisor – Mark Dindal
Layout Supervisor – David A. Dunnet
Background Supervisor – Donald A. Towns
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher

Supervising Animators
Mark Henn
Glen Keane
Duncan Marjoribanks
Ruben A. Aquino
Andreas Deja
Matthew O’Callaghan

Producer – Howard Ashman, John Musker

Cast: Rene Auberjonois, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Jodi Benson, Pat Carroll, Paddi Edwards, Buddy Hackett, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Edie McClurg, Will Ryan, Ben Wright, Samuel E. Wright












The Rescuers Down Under (1990) *

The mouse Rescue Aid Society goes to Australia to help a boy and a trapped eagle.
Slick animated feature that improves on the original without ever really justifying its own existence.

Director – Hendel Butoy, Mike Gabriel
Writer – Jim Cox, Karey Kirkpatrick, Byron Simpson, Joe Ranft
Original Score – Bruce Broughton
Art Director – Maurice Hunt
Editor – Michael Kelly
Story Supervisor – Joe Ranft
Layout Supervisor – Dan Hansen
Effects Supervisor – Randy Fullmer

Supervising Animators
Mark Henn
Glen Keane
Duncan Marjoribanks
Ruben A. Aquino
Nik Ranieri
Ed Gombert
Russ Edmonds
Kathy Zielinski
David Cutler
Anthony de Rosa

Producer – Thomas Schumacher

Cast: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, John Candy, George C. Scott, Tristan Rogers, Douglas Seale, Frank Welker, Adam Ryen












Beauty and the Beast (1991) ****

A prince, turned into a beast by enchantment, is rescued by the love of a beautiful girl.
Superb, scintillating animated musical that is often deservedly credited with starting the dominance of animated films with the viewing public. It is full of great scenes and character animation and contains one of greatest scores ever written for film.

Director – Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Writer – Linda Woolverton
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – Howard Ashman
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – Brian McEntee
Editor – John Carnochan
Story Supervisor – Roger Allers
Layout Supervisor – Ed Ghertner
Background Supervisor – Lisa Keene
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – Randy Fullmer
CG Supervisor – Jim Hillin

Supervising Animators
Belle – James Baxter
Beast – Glen Keane
Gaston – Andreas Deja
Lumiere – Nik Ranieri
Cogsworth – Will Finn
Mrs Potts & Chip – David Pruiksma
Maurice – Ruben A. Aquino
Lefou – Chris Wahl
Phillippe – Russ Edmonds

Producer – Don Hahn

Cast: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Rex Everhart, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury, Jesse Corti












Aladdin (1992) ****

An urchin with a magic lamp falls in love with a runaway princess.
A masterful film: Witty and acute in its story and vivid in its execution. It is the summation of sublime animation, stunning design, hilarious jokes, great songs and one magnificent vocal performance.

Director – John Musker, Ron Clements
Writer – John Musker, Ron Clements, Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – Howard Ashman, Tim Rice
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – Bill Perkins
Editor – H. Lee Peterson
Artistic Coordinator – Dan Hansen
Production Designer – R.S. Vander Wende
Story Supervisor – Ed Gombert
Layout Supervisor – Rasoul Azadani
Background Supervisor – Kathy Altieri
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – Don Paul
CG Supervisor – Steve Goldberg

Supervising Animators
Aladdin – Glen Keane
Genie – Eric Goldberg
Jasmine – Mark Henn
Jafar – Andreas Deja
Abu – Duncan Marjoribanks
Iago – Will Finn
Carpet – Randy Cartwright
Sultan – David Pruiksma
Rajah – Aaron Blaise
Beggar/Snake – Kathy Zielinski

Producer – John Musker, Ron Clements

Cast: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried, Douglas Seale












The Lion King (1994) ***

A royal lion cub, exiled by his evil uncle, returns to restore balance and take his rightful place as king.
An absorbing drama with many stunning moments despite a somewhat preachy tone. It found enormous favor with the public. Problematic though it is, it remains cogent 20 years later.

Director – Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Writer – Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton
Music – Elton John
Lyrics – Tim Rice
Original Score – Hans Zimmer
Art Director – Andy Gaskill
Editor – Tom Finan, John Carnochan
Artistic Coordinator – Randy Fullmer
Production Designer – Chris Sanders
Story Supervisor – Brenda Chapman
Layout Supervisor – Daniel St. Pierre
Background Supervisor – Doug Ball
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – Scott Santoro
CG Supervisor – Scott F. Johnston

Supervising Animators
Young Simba – Mark Henn
Adult Simba – Ruben A. Aquino
Scar – Andreas Deja
Mufasa – Tony Fucile
Pumbaa – Tony Bancroft
Timon – Michael Surrey
Young Nala – Aaron Blaise
Adult Nala – Anthony de Rosa
Hyenas – Alex Kupershmidt, David Burgess
Zazu – Ellen Woodbury
Sarabi – Russ Edmonds
Rafiki – James Baxter

Producer – Don Hahn

Cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Nathan Jane, Ernie Sabella, Nikita Calame, Moira Kelly, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings, Rowan Atkinson, Madge Sinlcair, Robert Guillaume












Pocahontas (1995) **

Pocahontas falls in love with the British settler Captain John Smith and saves him from death.
Bad history and an uninteresting narrative force bog down an otherwise accomplished animated film that doesn’t rank with Disney’s previous triumphs.

Director – Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg
Writer – Carl Binder, Susannah Grant, Philip LaZebnik
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – Stephen Schwartz
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – Michael Giaimo
Editor – H. Lee Peterson
Artistic Coordinator – Dan Hansen
Story Supervisor – Tom Sito
Layout Supervisor – Rasoul Azadani
Background Supervisor – Cristy Maltese
Clean-Up Supervisor – Renee Holt-Bird, Nancy Kniep
Effects Supervisor – Don Paul
CG Supervisor – Steve Goldberg

Supervising Animators
Pocahontas – Glen Keane
John Smith – John Pomeroy
Governor Ratcliffe – Duncan Marjoribanks
Chief Powhatan – Ruben A. Aquino
Meeko – Nik Ranieri
Flit – David Pruiksma
Percy/Wiggins/Grandmother Willow – Chris Buck
Thomas – Ken Duncan
Nakoma – Anthony de Rosa
Ben/Lon – T. Daniel Hofstedt
Kocoum – Michael Cedeno

Producer – James Pentecost

Cast: Irene Bedard, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, Russell Means, John Kassir, Christian Bale, Linda Hunt, Billy Connelly, Joe Baker, Michelle St. John, Frank Welker


The Peter Schneider/Thomas Schumacher Era











The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) ***

The deformed bell ringer of Notre Dame saves a gypsy girl from the machinations of his master.
A curiosity: An unlikely subject for Disney to revise, risking both the boredom and confusion of young audiences. Throughout its duration, it shifts between clumsiness and pure brilliance, sometimes in the same scene.

Director – Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Writer – Tab Murphy, Irene Mecchi, Bob Tzudiker, Noni White, Jonathan Roberts
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – Stephen Schwartz
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – David Goetz
Editor – Ellen Keneshea
Artistic Coordinator – Randy Fullmer
Story Supervisor – Will Finn
Layout Supervisor – Ed Ghertner
Background Supervisor – Lisa Keene
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – Christopher Jenkins
CG Supervisor – Kiran Bhakta Joshi

Supervising Animators
Quasimodo – James Baxter
Esmerelda – Tony Fucile
Frollo – Kathy Zielinski
Phoebus – Russ Edmonds
Hugo/Victor – David Pruiksma
Laverne – Will Finn
Clopin – Michael Surrey
Archdeacon – David Burgess
Djali – Ron Husband

Producer – Don Hahn

Cast: Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Tony Jay, Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough, Mary Wickes, Paul Kandel, David Ogden Stiers












Hercules (1997) **

Hercules, son of Zeus, is captured by the minions of Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and brought up as a mortal; he can only restore his Godhood if he becomes a true hero.
Striking, funny animated comedy based on mythology with humor typical of its directors, which too often falls toward crassness. A pleasurable, if not enthralling, Disney film.

Director – John Musker, Ron Clements
Writer – John Musker, Ron Clements, Irene Mecchi, Bob Shaw, Don McEnery
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – David Zippel
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – Andy Gaskill
Editor – Tom Finan
Artistic Coordinator – Dan Hansen
Production Designer – Gerald Scarfe
Story Supervisor – Barry Johnson
Layout Supervisor – Rasoul Azadani
Background Supervisor – Thomas Cardone
Clean-Up Supervisor – Nancy Kniep
Effects Supervisor – Mauro Maressa
CG Supervisor – Roger L. Gould

Supervising Animators
Adult Hercules – Andreas Deja
Philoctetes – Eric Goldberg
Hades – Nik Ranieri
Megera – Ken Duncan
Pegasus – Ellen Woodbury
Young Hercules – Randy Haycock
Zeus/Hera– Anthony de Rosa
The Muses – Michael Show
Pain – James Lopez
Panic – Brian Ferguson
Titans – Dominique Monfrey
Alcmene/Amphitryon – Richard Bazley
Fates/Thebans – Nancy Beiman
Hydra – Oskar Urretabizkaia

Producer – Alice Dewey, John Musker, Ron Clements

Cast: Tate Donavan, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Josh Keaton, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Rip Torn, Samantha Eggar, Barbara Barrie, Hal Holbrook, Paul Shaffer












Mulan (1998) **

A tomboyish girl disguises herself as a young man so she can fight with the Imperial Chinese Army against the invading Huns.
Two tones, one delving into the seriousness of warfare and the other the perquisite Disney humor, never quite mesh together in an otherwise brilliantly designed and animated film. It utilizes a Chinese calligraphic style.

Director – Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft
Writer – Rita Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZebnik, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, Raymond Singer
Music – Matthew Wilder
Lyrics – David Zippel
Original Score – Jerry Goldsmith
Art Director – Ric Sluiter
Editor – Michael Kelly
Artistic Coordinator – Jeff Dutton
Production Designer – Hans Bacher
Story Supervisor – Chris Sanders
Layout Supervisor – Robert Walker
Background Supervisor – Robert E. Stanton
Clean-Up Supervisor – Ruben Procopio
Effects Supervisor – David Tidgwell
CG Supervisor – Eric Guaglione

Supervising Animators
Mulan/Fa Zhou – Mark Henn
Shang/Fa Li – Ruben A. Aquino
Mushu – Tom Bancroft
Yao/Ancestors – Aaron Blaise
Ling/Chien-Po – Broose Johnson
Shan Yu/Huns/Falcon – Pres Romanillos
Khan/General Li – Alex Kupershmidt
Chi Fu/Grandmother Fa – Jeffrey J. Varab
Cri-Kee – Barry Temple
The Emperor – T. Daniel Hofstedt

Producer – Pam Coats

Cast: Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong, Miguel Ferrer, Harvey Fierstein, Gedde Watanabe, Jerry Tondo, James Hong, Soon-Tek Oh, June Foray, Freda Foh Shen, Pat Morita












Tarzan (1999) ***

An orphaned baby, adopted by a great ape, grows to manhood and discovers he is a human when he falls in love with a British explorer.
Smart, magnificently realized tale of humanity and racism, seamlessly mixing traditional hand-drawn animation with computer effects. It broke from the Disney trend of the time in keeping its songs in the background, commenting on the emotion.

Director – Kevin Lima, Chris Buck
Writer – Tab Murphy, Bob Tzudiker, Noni White
Music/Lyrics – Phil Collins
Original Score – Mark Mancina
Art Director – Daniel St. Pierre
Editor – Gregory Perler
Artistic Coordinator – Fraser MacLean
Story Supervisor – Brian Pimentel
Layout Supervisor – Jean-Christophe Poulain
Background Supervisor – Doug Ball
Clean-Up Supervisor – Marshall Toomey
Effects Supervisor – Peter DeMund
CG Supervisor – Eric Daniels

Supervising Animators
Adult Tarzan – Glen Keane
Jane – Ken Duncan
Kala – Russ Edmonds
Terk – Michael Surrey
Tantor – Sergio Pablos
Clayton – Randy Haycock
Porter – David Burgess
Kerchak – Bruce W. Smith
Young Tarzan – John Ripa
Sabor – Dominique Monfrey

Producer – Bonnie Arnold

Cast: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Rosie O’Donnell, Wayne Knight, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorne, Lance Henriksen, Alex D. Linz












The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) ***

A selfish Inca emperor, transformed into a llama by his bitter advisor, tries to regain his humanity and kingship with the aid of a friendly peasant.
Hysterical animated comedy that is exquisitely precise despite its thin narrative. It is closer in spirit to Chuck Jones and Warner Bros than the traditional Disney humor.

Director – Mark Dindal
Writer – Mark Dindal, Chris Williams, David Reynolds
Music – Sting, David Hartley
Lyrics – Sting
Original Score – John Debney
Art Director – Colin Stimpson
Co-Art Director – Dan Cooper
Editor – Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland
Artistic Coordinator – Dan Hansen
Production Designer – Paul Felix
Story Supervisor – Stephen Anderson
Layout Supervisor – Jean-Christophe Poulain
Background Supervisor – Natalie Franscioni-Karp
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – Mauro Maressa

Supervising Animators
Kuzko – Nik Ranieri
Pacha – Bruce W. Smith
Yzma – Dale Baer
Kronk – Tony Bancroft
Chica – Doug Frankel
Tipo – James Lopez
Chaca/Bucky – Brian Ferguson

Producer – Randy Fullmer

Cast: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton, Wendie Malick












Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) **

In 1914, the world's most highly qualified crew of archaeologists and explorers is led by a historian in search of the lost empire of Atlantis.  
An attempt by the Disney artists to break from formula and do an animated picture heavy on action and adventure. Despite a tremendous amount of work that is emblematic of its directors, it totally lacks a convincing centre to hold it together.

Director – Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Writer – Tab Murphy
Original Score – James Newton Howard
Art Director – David Goetz
Editor – Ellen Keneshea
Artistic Coordinator – Christopher Jenkins
Production Designer – Matt Codd, Ricardo Delgado, Mike Mignola, Jim E. Martin
Story Supervisor – John Sanford
Layout Supervisor – Ed Ghertner
Background Supervisor – Lisa Keene
Clean-Up Supervisor – Marshall Toomey
Effects Supervisor – Marlon West
CG Supervisor – Kiran Bhakta Joshi

Supervising Animators
Milo – John Pomeroy
Rourke – Michael Surrey
Kida – Randy Haycock
Vinny – Russ Edmonds
Dr Sweet – Ron Husband
Helga – Yoshimichi Tamura
Audrey – Anne Marie Bardwell
Moliere – Anthony de Rosa
Mrs Packard/Mr Harcourt – David Pruiksma
Atlantean King – Michael Cedeno
Cookie/Preston Whitmore – Shawn Keller

Producer – Don Hahn

Cast: Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Don Novello, Phil Morris, Jacqueline Obradors, Claudia Christian, Leonard Nimoy, Corey Burton, John Mahoney, Florence Stanley, David Ogden Stiers, Jim Varney












Lilo & Stitch (2002) **

A Hawaiian orphan befriends an alien creature that is on the run and hiding on Earth.
Spirited, adorable animated film that is delightfully inventive until it succumbs to heavy sentimentality.

Writer/Director – Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
Original Score – Alan Silvestri
Art Director – Ric Sluiter
Editor – Darren T. Holmes
Artistic Coordinator – Jeff Dutton
Production Designer – Paul Felix
Layout Supervisor – Arden Chan
Background Supervisor – Robert E. Stanton
Clean-Up Supervisor – Philip S. Boyd, Christine Lawrence-Finney
Effects Supervisor – Joseph F. Gilland
CG Supervisor – Eric Guaglione

Supervising Animators
Lilo – Andreas Deja
Stitch – Alex Kupershmidt
Nani – Stephane Sainte-Foi
Bubbles – Byron Howard
Pleakley/David – Ruben A. Aquino
Jumba – Bolhem Bouchiba
Grand Councilwoman – James Young Jackson
Captain Gantu – Theodore Ty

Producer – Clark Spencer

Cast: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Zoe Caldwell, Jason Scott Lee, Kevin Michael Richardson












Treasure Planet (2002) **

On a distant planet in another galaxy, a troubled teenager goes in search of a pirate’s treasure.
An underrated film: A space age version of Stevenson’s oft-filmed book that is mostly remembered for its colossal failure at the box office. Its strengths lie in the creation of its beguiling world and characters rather than its uninvolving screenplay.

Director – John Musker, Ron Clements
Writer – John Musker, Ron Clements, Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio, Rob Edwards
Music/Lyrics – Johnny Rzeznik
Original Score – James Newton Howard
Art Director – Andy Gaskill
Co-Art Director – Ian Gooding
Editor – Michael Kelly
Artistic Coordinator – Neil Eskuri
Production Designer – Steve Olds, Frank Nissen
Story Supervisor – Barry Johnson
Layout Supervisor – Rasoul Azadani
Background Supervisor – Dan Cooper
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – David Tidgwell
CG Supervisor – Kyle Odermatt

Supervising Animators
Jim Hawkins – John Ripa
John Sivler – Glen Keane, Eric Daniels
Captain Amelia/Scroop – Ken Duncan
Dr Doppler – Sergio Pablos
B.E.N. – Oskar Urretabizkaia
Morph – Michael Show
Sarah – Jared Beckstrand
Mr Arrow – T. Daniel Hofstedt
Billy Bones – Nancy Beiman
Silver’s Crew – Adam Dykstra, Ellen Woodbury
Onus – Brian Ferguson

Producer – Roy Conli, John Musker, Ron Clements

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Murray, Emma Thompson, David Hyde pierce, Martin Short, Laurie Metcalf, Roscoe Lee Browne, Michael Wincott, Patrick McGoohan, Dane A. Davis


The David Stainton Era












Brother Bear (2003) *

After killing a bear, an Inuit boy is himself transformed into a bear by spirits.
A great example of the loss of nerve that began at Disney at the turn of the 21st Century; almost everything here is recycled from previous films, though it does look good.

Director – Aaron Blaise, Robert Walker
Writer – Tab Murphy, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, Steve Bencich, Ron J. Friedman
Music/Lyrics – Phil Collins
Original Score – Phil Collins, Mark Mancina
Art Director – Robh Ruppel
Editor – Tim Mertens
Artistic Coordinator – Kirk Bodyfelt
Background Stylist – Xiangyuan Jie
Story Supervisor – Stephen Anderson
Layout Supervisor – Jeff Dickson
Background Supervisor – Barry R. Kooser
Clean-Up Supervisor – Philip S. Boyd, Christine Lawrence-Finney
Effects Supervisor – Garrett Wren

Supervising Animators
Kenai Bear – Byron Howard
Koda – Alex Kupershmidt
Denahi – Ruben A. Aquino
Kenai Human – James Young Jackson
Rutt – Tom Stanley
Tuke – Broose Johnson
Sitka – Anthony Wayne Michaels
Tanana – Tom Gately
Tug/Koda’s Mom – Rune Brandt Bennicke

Producer – Chuck Williams

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Jason Raize, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, D.B. Sweeney, Joan Copeland, Michael Clarke Duncan, Harold Gould












Home on the Range (2004) **

Three cows set out to catch an outlaw in order to save their ranch.
Despite the clear (and admittedly exhausting) objective to charm and delight, there is a depressive quality to this film that I find illuminating and honest. "Depressing" sounds like a negative word so maybe I should say "sad". But that also seems false given the cartoony and comic nature of the film. It's as if the bleakness and vulnerability of the hand-drawn staff during the Stainton era is eminently seeping through their drawings.

Writer/Director – Will Finn, John Sanford
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – Glenn Slater
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – David Cutler
Editor – H. Lee Peterson
Artistic Coordinator – Dennis Blakey
Layout Supervisor – Jean-Christophe Poulain
Background Supervisor – Cristy Maltese
Clean-Up Supervisor – Marshall Toomey
Effects Supervisor – Marlon West

Supervising Animators
Maggie – Chris Buck
Mrs Calloway – Duncan Marjoribanks
Grace/Wesley/Rusty/Pearl – Mark Henn
Buck – Michael Surrey
Alameda Slim/Junior – Dale Baer
Rico/Willies/Horses – Russ Edmonds
Sheriff/Jeb – Sandro Lucio Cleuzo
Pearl – Bruce W. Smith
Farm Animals – James Lopez
Lucky Jack – Shawn Keller

Producer – Alice Dewey

Cast: Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly, Cuba Gooding Jr, Randy Quaid, Steve Buscemi, Charles Dennis, Charles Haid, Carole Cook, Joe Flaherty, Richard Riehle, Sam J. Levine











Chicken Little (2005)

When a tiny acorn bonks a chick on the head, he causes widespread panic and gets on the bad side of the entire town.
Disney's first fully computer animated effort is a bad and noisy film: Unattractive visuals, dull characters and a narrative that relies on parodying other films. The bottom of the Disney barrel.

Director – Mark Dindal
Writer – Mark Dindal, Mark Kennedy, Steve Bencich, Ron J. Friedman, Ron Anderson
Original Score – John Debney
Art Director – Ian Gooding
Co-Art Director – Dan Cooper
Editor – Dan Molina
Visual Effects Supervisor – Steve Goldberg
Production Designer – David Womersley, Mac George
Story Supervisor – Mark Kennedy
Layout Supervisor – Terry Moews
Technical Supervisor – Eric Powers
Animation Supervisor – Eamon Butler

Supervising Animators
Jason Ryan
Nick Ranieri
Doug Bennett
Tony Smeed
Dick Zondag
Mark Anthony Austin

Producer – Randy Fullmer

Cast: Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Joan Cusack, Dan Molina, Steve Zahn, Amy Sedaris


The Ed Catmull/John Lasseter Era












Meet the Robinsons (2007) ***

A preteen orphan, longing for the love of his birth mother, is tricked by a boy with a time machine to help him fix a problem in the future.
A strange and wonderful film, with the furious, frenetic first-half only revealing its necessity when one has experienced the eloquent second-half. It applauds rational thought and patient research, and asserts the freedom to fail in the pursuit of scientific and emotional advances. It remains one of the most undervalued films ever made.

Director – Stephen Anderson
Writer – Jon Bernstein, Michelle Spitz, Don Hall, Nathan Greno, Joe Mateo, Aurian Redson, Stephen Anderson
Original Score – Danny Elfman
Art Director – Robh Ruppel
Co-Art Director – David Goetz
Editor – Ellen Keneshea
Visual Effects Supervisor – Steve Goldberg, Chris Peterson
Story Supervisor – Don Hall
Layout Supervisor – Scott Beattie
Technical Supervisor – Mark Hammel
Animation Supervisor – Michael Belzer

Supervising Animators
Nik Ranieri
Dale Baer
Dick Zondag
Jay N. Davis
John Ripa
Bob Davies
Ruben A. Aquino
Brian Ferguson

Producer – Dorothy McKim

Cast: Jordan Fry, Daniel Hansen, Wesley Singerman, Stephen Anderson, Harland Williams, Angela Bassett, Laurie Metcalf, Adam West, Tom Selleck, Nicole Sullivan












Bolt (2008) *

The star dog of a television show, unaware of that it’s all fake, goes missing and must find his way back to Hollywood with the help of a cat and a hamster.
A computer animated film that is not as strong as it could’ve been, borrowing most of its story elements from Toy Story (1995). It is funny, though.

Director – Chris Williams, Byron Howard
Writer – Chris Williams, Dan Fogelman
Original Score – John Powell
Art Director – Paul Felix
Editor – Tim Mertens
Visual Effects Supervisor – John Murrah
Story Supervisor – Nathan Greno
Layout Supervisor – Terry Moews
Lighting Supervisor – Adolph Lusinsky
Technical Supervisor – Hank Driskill
Animation Supervisor – Doug Bennett

Supervising Animators
Clay Kaytis
Mark Anthony Austin
Lino Di Salvo
Renato Dos Anjos
Mark Mitchell
Wayne Unten

Producer – Clark Spencer

Cast: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, Malcolm McDowell, James Lipton, Randy Savage












The Princess and the Frog (2009) **

A waitress, desperate to fulfill her dreams as a restaurant owner, is set on a journey to turn a frog prince back into a human being, but she has to face the same problem after she kisses him.
An endeavor by Disney (and its directors) to make a return to the hand-drawn musicals that rejuvenated the studio 2 decades prior after recently converting to computer animation. The results are mixed, with exceptional character animation from the Renaissance tribe, a fairly good score and plodding narrative momentum. To date, the future of hand-drawn remains inconclusive. Make of it what you will.

Director – John Musker, Ron Clements
Writer – John Musker, Ron Clements, Rob Edwards, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland
Music/Lyrics – Randy Newman
Original Score – Randy Newman
Art Director – Ian Gooding
Editor – Jeff Draheim
Visual Effects Supervisor – Kyle Odermatt
Story Supervisor – Don Hall
Layout Supervisor – Rasoul Azadani
Background Supervisor – Sunny Apinchapong
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – Marlon West

Supervising Animators
Tiana – Mark Henn
Prince Naveen – Randy Haycock
Louis – Eric Goldberg
Dr Facilier – Bruce W. Smith
Charlotte – Nik Ranieri
Ray – Michael Surrey
Mama Odie – Andreas Deja
Lawrence – Anthony de Rosa
Eduroa/James – Ruben A. Aquino
Big Daddy La Bouff – Duncan Marjoribanks
Frog Hunters – Dale Baer

Producer – Peter Del Vecho

Cast: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Jim Cummings, Jennifer Lewis, Peter Bartlett, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Goodman













Tangled (2010) **

A girl kept in a tower her whole life escapes when she blackmails a wanted thief.
A film that was 10 years in the making culminates into one of compromise, with many story beats consisting of beginnings with no ends and vice versa. There was an aspiration at Disney to use the film to improve the computer animation department, which is evident. But the results are still inadequate when compared to Pixar or Dreamworks. It is bright, handsomely composed with an entertaining story.

Director – Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Writer – Dan Fogelman
Music – Alan Menken
Lyrics – Glenn Slater
Original Score – Alan Menken
Art Director – David Goetz
Co-Art Director – Dan Cooper
Editor – Tim Mertens
Visual Effects Supervisor – Steve Goldberg
Production Designer – Douglas Rogers
Story Supervisor – Mark Kennedy
Layout Supervisor – Scott Beattie
Lighting Supervisor – Mohit Kallanpur
Technical Supervisor – Mark Hammel
Animation Supervisor – Glen Keane, John Kahrs, Clay Kaytis

Supervising Animators
Lino Di Salvo
Mark Mitchell

Producer – Roy Conli

Cast: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, Jeffrey Tambor, Brad Garrett












Winnie the Pooh (2011) ***

The midcap adventures of A.A. Milne’s characters in the Hundred Acre Wood.
Calm, entrancing animated film of the kind that is now virtually extinct. Its reach is modest but a film that treats children with such dignity is hard to come by.

Director – Stephen Anderson, Don Hall
Writer – Burny Mattinson, Stephen Anderson, Don Hall, Clio Chiang, Don Dougherty, Kendelle Hoyer, Brian Kesinger, Nicole Mitchell, Jeremy Spears
Music – Robert Lopez
Lyrics – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
Original Score – Henry Jackman
Art Director – Paul Felix
Editor – Lisa Linder
Visual Effects Supervisor – Kyle Odermatt
Story Supervisor – Burny Mattinson
Layout Supervisor – Rasoul Azadani
Background Supervisor – Sunny Apinchapong
Clean-Up Supervisor – Vera Lanpher
Effects Supervisor – Marlon West

Supervising Animators
Pooh/Christopher Robin – Mark Henn
Eyeore – Randy Haycock
Owl – Dale Baer
Rabbit – Eric Goldberg
Tigger – Andreas Deja
Kanga/Roo/Piglet – Bruce W. Smith

Producer – Peter Del Vecho, Clark Spencer

Cast: John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Bud Luckey, Craig Ferguson, Travis Oates, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Tom Kenny, Jack Boulter, Wyatt Dean Hall












Wreck-it Ralph (2012) **

A villain in an arcade game decides to abandon his game for another when he becomes tired of being the bad guy.
Clever, effects-heavy computer animated film set in the video game world with plenty of inside jokes and a complex plot. It constructs a fascinating world with appealing characters, though the situations they find themselves in aren’t as inventive.

Director – Rich Moore
Writer – Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, Jim Reardon, Jennifer Lee
Original Score – Henry Jackman
Art Director – Mike Gabriel
Co-Art Director – Ian Gooding
Editor – Tim Mertens
Visual Effects Supervisor – Scott Kersavage
Story Supervisor – Jim Reardon
Layout Supervisor – Rob Dressel
Lighting Supervisor – Adolph Lusinsky
Technical Supervisor – Brian Leach, Ernest J. Petti
Animation Supervisor – Renato Dos Anjos

Supervising Animators
Doug Bennett
Mark Mitchell
Tony Smeed
Zach A. Parrish

Producer – Clark Spencer

Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyck, Mindy Kaling, Ed O’Neill












Frozen (2013) **

An ice salesman and a Norwegian princess journey through snowy mountains to find her sister who has frozen their entire kingdom.
Glossy, structurally awkward film that is, to date, the highest-grossing animated film of all time, despite stock characters and weak songs. In the end, the meticulous work of the Disney artists outweigh the cons, but it is hard to find a film in recent memory that is less deserving of the adoration it has received.

Director – Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writer – Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris
Music – Robert Lopez
Lyrics – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
Original Score – Christophe Beck
Art Director – Michael Giaimo
Co-Art Director – Lisa Keene
Editor – Jeff Draheim
Visual Effects Supervisor – Steve Goldberg
Production Designer – David Womersley
Story Supervisor – Paul Briggs
Layout Supervisor – Scott Beattie
Lighting Supervisor – Mohit Kallanpur
Technical Supervisor – Mark Hammel
Animation Supervisor – Lino Di Salvo

Supervising Animators
Tony Smeed
Rebecca Wilson Bresee
Hyrum Viri Osmond
Malcon B. Pierce
Wayne Unten

Producer – Peter Del Vecho

Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciaran Hinds












Big Hero 6 (2014) ***

The special bond that develops between an inflatable robot and a prodigy as they team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.
For my full review, click here.

Director – Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer – Jordan Roberts, Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson
Original Score – Henry Jackman
Production Designer – Paul Felix
Art Director – Scott Watanabe
Editor – Tim Mertens
Visual Effects Supervisor – Kyle Odermatt
Story Supervisor – Joe Mateo, Paul Briggs
Layout Supervisor – Rob Dressel
Lighting Supervisor – Adolph Lusinsky
Technical Supervisor – Hank Driskill
Animation Supervisor – Zach Parrish

Supervising Animators
Doug Bennett
Nathan Engelhardt
Jason Figliozzi
Michael Franceschi
Brent Homman

Producer – Roy Conli

Cast: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph





1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, thank you for taking the time to put all this together. Who would of thought HOME ON THE RANGE would require the most words ;)

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