The Persistence of Disney

The Persistence of Disney, Part 17: One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 17: One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

The only way that I can really deal with One Hundred and One Dalmatians in terms of watching the Disney animated features in succession is to put Lady and the Tramp completely out of my mind.  That lovely film extolled a kind of watercolor intimacy of a dog’s experience.  One Hundred and One Dalmatians isn’t […]

| February 19, 2017
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 16: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 16: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

For a man known for reinventing the language of fairy tales, it’s odd to consider that Walt Disney only made three straight out fairy tales in his career.  Yet, it is important to note that those three films, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are not only some of the most accomplished work he ever […]

| February 12, 2017
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 14: Peter Pan (1953)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 14: Peter Pan (1953)

If James Barrie hadn’t invented Peter Pan then his adventures might just as well have come from the mind of Walt Disney.  The story of the adventures in the far away Neverland with the pixie boy who never grew up and does battle with the hook-handed pirate Captain Hook seems right up the animator’s alley.  […]

| October 9, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 13: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 13: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

One constant in the story of Walt Disney seems to have been an ever-persistent passion for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”  That is reasonable because, for a visual storyteller, it might have seemed irresistible.  It is said that Disney read the book as a child and was so captivated by its bizarre and clever world […]

| October 2, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 12: Cinderella (1950)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 12: Cinderella (1950)

After nearly a decade of sidelining his artistic yearnings in favor of World War II and frustrating limits of his budget, Walt Disney celebrated the birth of the new decade with his first narrative feature in eight years.  It was not just a return to the form that he helped to create but it was […]

| September 25, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 11: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 11: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

From 1942 until 1949, Walt Disney’s animated output came in bits and pieces.  That is, his features came in collections called “package films,” which were segmented anthologies of animated musical numbers.  The events that led to this nearly decade long series of bits and pieces has much to do with the winds of change in […]

| September 18, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 10: Melody Time (1948)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 10: Melody Time (1948)

The package films in Walt Disney’s animated cannon made between 1942 and 1949 are an odd bunch at best.  They’re a grab bag of artistic quality, commercial safety nets, animated experiments of limited appeal and in a few cases leftovers that were intended for Fantasia.  The results are sometimes satisfying and sometimes just plain baffling.  […]

| September 11, 2016
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The Persistence of Disney, Part 8: Make Mine Music (1946)

The Persistence of Disney, Part 8: Make Mine Music (1946)

What is best in life?  Art or commerce?  This is a question that plagues all who work in the mass arts and it is certainly something that seems to have plagued Mr. Walter Elias Disney.  It is admirable, if not a bit naïve, that in the beginning of his career his trajectory was his intent […]

| August 28, 2016
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