Tag Archives: Maleficent

Oliver & Company (1988)

Oliver, wide-eyed at the world.

Oliver & Company continues the Disney Renaissance in good style. Taking a popular story and adapting it for the screen without binding themselves too much to the source material is a tried and true Disney tactic. With the addition of celebrity voice talents and the courage to return to the Disney formula of story-telling, Oliver was perfectly suited to steal the hearts of a generation.

But the film still has its drawbacks as the studio prepared for a full-on animation rebirth. The Black Cauldron was still fresh in everyone’s memory and even with the success of The Great Mouse Detective, the best from that project were already hard at work on The Little Mermaid, slated for a 1989 release In fact, one of the lead animators and the brains behind the computer-generated clock tower sequence in The Great Mouse Detective, Michael Peraza, was tapped to lead the design team on The Little Mermaid at the wrap party for Mouse Detective. Work started shortly thereafter.

That left many of the same brains who worked on Black Cauldron, including art director Dan Hansen, director George Scribner and several story writers, as the team of second stringers working on Oliver & Company as a stop-gap until Ariel could take centre stage the following year.

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Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Once upon a dream, Briar Rose meets her prince.

Sleeping Beauty is a unique production in the Disney canon. The first time a single artist was given total control over the look and feel of the entire production, the angular lines, static backgrounds and minimalist dialogue are inspirations from medieval art, and would never be repeated again by the studio, despite their success.

Briar Rose, or Princess Aurora, is barely present through most of the film. Her first line in the film is spoken at the 19 minute mark, and 20 minutes later she speaks her last line. In fact, she’s second only to Dumbo for fewest lines spoken by a title character. Instead, despite the film’s title, the vast majority of the story centres around the three fairies trying to protect the young woman and in so doing undo the curse of a vicious sorceress.

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