The Disney 52 Animated Challenge: Year-Long Activity - NOW PLAYING: Wreck-It Ralph AND Frozen

Discussion in 'DPF Game Room' started by MerlinEmrys, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    1. Fox and the Hound! This is actually one of my favorites, though it does have its flaws. It's darker than a lot of the previous films, thought it does have its light moments, too. And it has one of the single most devastating shots in all of Disneydom:

    [​IMG]

    The characters again are pretty likeable overall, even if you may disagree with their actions. Though y'all thought Madam Medusa was crazy for shooting at random around the boat - Amos Slade aimed his shotgun at Widow Tweed's car while she was driving and took a shot. Luckily he only hit the milk jugs, but he was close to murdering her just to get back at Tod for something he assumed that Tod did.

    I found the songs to not be as memorable in this movie. Best of Friends was nice, but otherwise the songs were kind of meh to me. The voice acting, on the other hand, was excellent. I am forever in love with young Copper because of this. "My name's Copper. I'm a hound dawg!" Again the movie was hit with the "recycle voice actors" stick, though almost were distracting and actually helped in certain situations - the porcupine and Piglet from Winnie the Pooh have similar personalities, so John Fielder was a pretty logical choice for providing the voice. The one exception to this was Paul Winchell as Boomer. Most of when he was talking was fine, but the Tiggeresque "who hoo hoo hoo"s were very distracting and brought me out of the movie sometimes. Mickey Rooney did a great job of putting on a different voice as Tod. He actually sounded a fair bit younger in this than he did when he was in Pete's Dragon, which came out five years earlier.

    It's nice to once again have an older female character who is not either a magical being or a villain. Widow Tweed is probably my favorite character in the film. She's nurturing, forgiving, and kind, though she can be stern with Tod and stands up to Amos Slade when needed. She loves Tod with all her heart, but she is willing to give him up in a place where he could be free, happy, and safe instead of keeping him locked up inside of her house just to be close to him. She reminded me a lot of Nora from Pete's Dragon, though instead of taking in a human boy she took in an orphaned fox.

    It's interesting that we leave the film off not entirely knowing what the future holds for Copper and Tod. Now that they've saved each others' lives, will they continue to be friends? Or are they just "even" now and go their separate ways from now on? Will Copper continue to hunt animals as long as they aren't Tod?


    7. This film served to explore the conflict of nature versus nurture. Copper is a hound dog, whose nature is a hunting dog. He is supposed to be naturally inclined to hunt foxes like Tod. Conversely, Tod should instinctively be afraid of a hunting dog like Copper. But the two of them meet and become friends when they are very young, before these instincts can kick in. Through their friendship (nurture), Copper was able to overcome the nature side of himself to protect Tod multiple times, and Tod wanted to remain friends even long past when it would be dangerous for him to do so.


    8. This movie reminded me a lot of Bambi. It's (mostly) set in the woods; the main character's mother is killed by a hunter; the main character becomes friends with other creatures in the forest; he grows up and falls in love; he faces danger from a hunter, fire, and dogs, etc.

    It has progressed from Bambi, though. Whereas Bambi was mostly fun slice of life scenes in the forest where everyone got along, Fox and the Hound was more realistic about the relationships of the characters. Natural enemies were shown not getting along (Chief and Tod, especially), and Tod faced danger from both a hunter and other wildlife. In this aspect, talking animals aside, it portrayed a more accurate view of what actually goes on in nature.


    9. Of all the dangers that Tod faced, the one that sticks out to me was the bear. Amos represented the most immediate threat since he had the gun and the traps and the dogs, but they played him off as almost slapstick at times, which lessened his dangerousness in my view. The bear came out of nowhere and posed a real threat to Tod and the others.

    [​IMG]

    10. I know that baby animals usually are much cuter and do better in marketing, but it's somewhat surprising how small a percentage of the film Tod and Copper are kids versus adults when the vast majority of pins show them as kids. And most of these pins with them as kids focus on the one short moment where they're playing on the log.

    I chose this pin because it demonstrates the overall theme of the movie that I talked about earlier. Tod and Copper's friendship was love for each other - nurture over nature.

    [​IMG]

    Pin# 123490 - WDW – Love is an Adventure 2017 – Love is … Mystery Pin Set - Love is Friendship - Tod and Copper

    Random Thought

    Are one of the pelts in Amos' hunting shack Tod's mother? We aren't told explicitly that Amos is the hunter who shot her, though I thought it was heavily implied. If so that's REALLY dark.
     
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  2. unibear

    unibear DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    I can't see the most devastating picture. What is it?
     
  3. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

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    Data's not working properly so I'm going to have to be prompt and add pictures later.
    [​IMG]
    1. Overall Impression
    I believe this is one of those movies that made an impression on a lot of you(before my time); I never saw it growing up(though I have seen the sequel) and was actually quite underwhelmed about it. The given plotline was okay, if parts of it seemed borrowed. The
    animation standard Disney good, but not great. Music was good in it's given moments but not really memorable; I didn't care for it's naturesque music one moment and country hillbilly background the next. The main cast of characters designs clearly shined, though much of the secondary animal cast seemed as if they were an after thought. Out of the many Disney legends featured in this film, Boomer the woodpecker's VA clearly stood out as the familiar voice of Tigger, laugh and all...

    2. Character Analysis
    [​IMG]
    For an animated featured made over a decade after the civil rights movement, I found the character Big Mama as the matriarchal owl a little jarring. She is clearly based on the Mammy character, her distinct AA dialect(if toned down) and mannerisms clearly reflecting this. Her VA, Pearl Baily also had a similar role as a Matriarchal character in the 1959 film version of Porgy and Bess...

    5. Symbolism
    The transformation of the caterpillar into a butterfly is one of the secondary arcs that symbolisms the balance of nature through the film; You clearly have a hunter/prey relationships take place through the film. The first instance of a butterfly is of Tod curiously chasing one into Amos' property. You then have two birds trying to catch an easy meal as a caterpillar through the film, before you see it emerge free as it's final stage as a butterfly at the end, in turn symbolizing its freedom from them after the process but not necessarily as prey. This also mimics the foxes' plight at the end, safe at the moment but not necessarily from the hunters(especially if they aren't in the hunting preserve).

    8. Progressions
    [​IMG]
    Being a Disney feature post Walt, you could see that some aspects were borrowed. The scene of the squirrel jumping was clearly a scene copied from The Sword and the stone. Many of the voice actors featured are recurring Disney legends, some more prominent then others. The film clearly also borrowed many of its aspects from Bambi: For instance, the mother and quail being shot; The natural scene of twitterpatering; and the final shot of the homesteads with Tod/Vixen in the background to name just a few.

    9. Iconic Scene
    [​IMG]
    I chose the scene of them meeting them for the first time face to face. There's just a curious nature between the two that is neither friendly nor hostile that makes it a believable scene.

    10. Representative pin
    Pin 123490 WDW – Love is an Adventure 2017 – Love is … Mystery Pin Set – Love is Friendship –Tod and Copper.
    [​IMG]
    The scene of them playing in the water as kids is one of the best scenes in pin form. It greatly contrasts with the pinultimate scene between Amos and Tod as they are also in a pool of shallow water with only Copper standing between them, instinct memory I wonder.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  4. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    1. Overall Impression
    Strangely, this was the first film that felt like a “modern” Disney movie; “modern” in terms of animation, style of storytelling, etc. It just felt more on par with films like Mermaid or Aladdin as far as how I responded to it. I didn’t feel like it was immediately dated, as I do for films like Dalmatians or Robin Hood, like they’re part of some past era. It was a very strange feeling that’s hard for me to describe. But somehow, I feel like this is a turning point for the studio (not to mention they lost a ton of animators over this movie, Don Bluth included. So in many ways, it was a turning point).

    After thinking about the film and talking about it with Russ, I think the best way for me to describe this one is to call it “Tragically Beautiful.” The amount of realism in terms of childhood relationships carrying over into adulthood is both heartbreaking and poignant. I’ll get into it more in a bit, but that’s the best way for me to word it.


    2. Character Analysis
    I connected a lot with the Widow during this watch-through. The fact that she felt “complete” after finding Tod, and voices that multiple times (“And I realized I needed you too!” / “I’m not going to be so lonesome anymore!”) just provided her so much depth of character without trudging through backstory—we never find out about her husband, or really much more about her relationship with Amos, so in many ways she’s kind of flat. But adding that dimension of mutual completeness with Tod does a lot to flesh her out.

    There were also just a lot of small points of animation that really sold her, such has how she would hold Tod in her arms, or have a little trouble getting up off the ground. I just really like how she was presented.


    3. Scene Analysis
    Well, apparently I’m a glutton for punishment, because I’m going to analyze the “Goodbye May Be Forever” scene… In many ways, I found this more heartbreaking that Bambi’s Mother’s death simply because of the subtlety of animation and delivery. The song is done in voice-over, which normally I don’t care for but it was so effective here. It allowed the animators to focus on body language and facial expressions rather than having to animate singing mouths.

    The range of emotion the Widow goes through is profound and strikes me as so realistic considering the situation. The happy memories, the feeling complete, realizing you won’t have that any more, and even worse that you simply have to do it. It’s so painful, but somehow so accurate. And the animation just brought that to life:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The range of emotion is just so good…

    Even more so was Tod’s reaction to everything. The simple act of putting his head on her arm, or constantly trying to play, or how utterly confused he is at her leaving. Man. It was all done so well and struck all the right notes.

    [​IMG]

    While there were plenty of moments in this film that were so sweet it gave me cavities, or so anxiety-inducing I had to remember to breath, this scene somehow felt like the perfect balance of all of it. It was real, and painful, and beautiful, and painful again. And that’s a very difficult balance to strike for any medium. So kudos there.


    4. Song Analysis
    “Lack of Education” was kind of a throw away song, but it was pretty effective in its delivery. Not a style that Disney has used before or after (as far as I can remember), so it stands out as fairly unique. The strength of this song, which ties in too for the film as a whole, is that it’s painfully true. Copper is a hunting dog, born, bred, and trained to hunt foxes. Tod is a fox. Period. And that sucks. And even though we had the beautiful, utopia of childhood in which we ignored, or rather, weren’t told of those natural boundaries, ultimately we all knew that Tod and Copper were going to grow apart. And sadly, that’s life—childhood friends don’t always last because we grow up differently (or at least that’s how it worked for me—so maybe I have a little more skin in this particular game…)

    And even though Tod adamantly claims that nothing will change, Big Momma’s song here attempts to give him a dose of reality. While opening the tanning shed may have been overly gruesome, it was still in service of pointing out this rather difficult pill to swallow.


    6. Line Analysis / 7. Overall Goal
    Which leads nicely into the line analysis and overall goal I see for the film. While still a kiddo, Tod says “Oh no, not my friend Copper. He’ll never change.” Only for the opposite to become apparent when he meets Copper again and is greeted with “I’m a huntin’ dog now…” The two have grown apart, down two separate paths, something Tod does not want to accept. But it’s the sad reality of life that it does happen—and it does suck.

    But what makes this film so tragically beautiful is that there isn’t a huge, tied-up-with-a-bow resolution where Tod and Copper realized they’re still friends forever. Even though Tod comes to save Copper from the bear, and even though Copper stands between Tod and Amos, there is still a gulf between them that can’t be ignored. And what I like so much about the ending of the film is that there are no words spoken between Tod and Copper—there are a few quick glances, a soft smile of mutual acknowledgement of respect and remembering, and that’s it. They don’t rush back into each others’ arms because it doesn’t work that way. They spared each other not because they’re friends now, but out of respect for the friendship they had. Past tense. They part ways because they know they cannot interact without one of them getting hurt, so they “break up” and go on to live their own lives, remembering what they had but not broken by its loss

    [the rest of this answer gets personal, so feel free to skip it, hahah!]

    And I don’t know, maybe this is too personal of a note, but that’s so much of my past right there, hahah! I had two very close friends as a child/teenager and I thought we were going to just take over the world together—nothing could stop us. But something happened, there was a falling out, and we grew in different directions. I remember the good times we had, and for a long time I was crushed that I no longer had them as a pillar in my life. But at some point I just had to realize that I need to be thankful for the time we had, for our friendship that ultimately ended but still had such a profound effect on me and who I am now. The main friend in question and I never speak—we quietly observe each other and hit that “Like” button on Facebook when we’re really happen for them (he got married recently, I’m steadily moving forward in my Ph.D.). But we will never be friends the way we were. And at some point, I just had to be okay with that.

    And I think that’s what this film is getting at: you grow up, you and those around you change, and at a point you just have to accept that. It’s sad, and it sucks, but it’s life. And that’s what makes this film so tragically beautiful to me because it did that justice.


    8. Progressions
    Okay, back to the film. In many ways, I put this film in conversation with Bambi as we are dealing with similar themes: dead mom and growing up without one, friendship (and the changes that happen along with that), hunter v. animal. Interestingly, though, this film tweaks a few of those tropes established in Bambi. For one, we get to know the hunter a bit (though maybe that doesn’t give us any sympathy for him); we also have the “twitterpated” concept being delivered by the Owl character, but here it’s much more “matchmaker” style and positive. There are also bits of reused animation, which I see more of as an homage to the connection the two films have.


    9. Iconic Shot
    Despite the bulk of the film taking place while the two characters are adults, I think the most iconic shot is while they’re kids, namely when they’re nose to nose for the first time:

    [​IMG]

    That moment of discovery, connection, and not being aware of those natural boundaries is really sweet and pure.


    10. Representative Pin
    (edit: as I went to post this, originally I had “Love is Friendship”, but I saw Tessa had that one, so I’ll swap it out for my second choice XD )

    [​IMG]
    Pin 85894 DisneyStore.com - 110th Legacy Collection - Young Tod and Copper

    A solid representation of my iconic shot, even if the line art is a little wobbly. XD But the scene is so tender, I just think it’s a solid representation of the part of the film that we all remember (and prefer to focus on, hahah!)



    Spare notes:

    *The opening of this film made me so anxious!!!! While the credits rolled, there was just the silence of the forest with the occasion strum of music. But when the chase kicked in—man. My chest was tight!!!


    *The animation for Dinky was SO SO GOOD. I loved how they had him so fidgety. It was just perfect.


    *This is the first time to a voice actor’s previous role bothered me in this current film. Mickey Rooney as Tod was a solid choice, but having JUST watched Pete’s Dragon last week, all I could see was Lampy (which wasn’t exactly positive). So there @unibear, there’s a recycled voice actor that bothered me ;P But again, probably only because I had JUST watched him in a live action film. Tigger as Boomer—zero problem. Sheriff as Chief—perfect. But something about Mickey Rooney just didn’t work XD
     
  5. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Just a reminder, we've got the chat tonight at 7pm eastern. :3 so a little under an hour!

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
     
  6. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    We are live in the chat! :D
     
  7. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    Widow Tweed driving away with Tod looking at her.
     
  8. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    [​IMG]
    The Black Cauldron (1985)

    Monday is our "wrap-up" discussion on The Fox and the Hound. So you're welcome to respond to other analyses throughout the day.

    However, you may not post any more full analyses for The Fox and the Hound to count for completion toward the 52 Challenge. No late homework. ;P

    ~Merlin
     
  9. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

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    Gonna try to watch this one this week (if I can find anywhere to stream it!) I don't remember anything about the movie, but I loved the Chronicles of Prydain books as a kid! I remember hiding in the school bathroom after lunch so I could keep reading... I was probably the only kid who skipped class so they could read. xD
     
  10. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    Looking forward to watching again; Black Cauldron is one of my favorite underrated Disney movies.

    I think I will go to my grave with the midi version of the main theme burned into my brain. For years and years before I even saw the movie, my siblings and I played the computer game. At the time I had no knowledge of the source material, but the game was amazing.
     
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  11. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

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    I'll have to look it up, wasn't it made by Sierra? They were one of my fave early computer adventure game devs.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  12. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    Yep, Sierra! They made all the best games - King's Quest, Quest for Glory, Black Cauldron, the Laura Bow games, The Incredible Machine, etc.

     
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  13. PixiePost

    PixiePost Previously SoraPandora

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    Finally gonna do one of these!

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. PixiePost

    PixiePost Previously SoraPandora

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    1. What is your overall impression of the film?

    The Black Cauldron was darker than the usual Disney fare (both figuratively and literally)... But that isn’t the reason I disliked it.

    I remember not liking this film because it was dark, but on this repeat viewing I realize that’s not the case. I like a lot of “dark” films - For Pete’s sake, my favorite genre after Disney is horror. Even as a kid, I enjoyed scary movies. So why did I hate this one so much?

    On this viewing, I realized that what I don’t like about this film is how primitive and pushy it is. The story is choppy and confusing, the characters is one-dimensional, and the scenes are anything but subtle.

    Any part of the movie that was meant to be “scary” to the viewer is dark and bold in color - lots of blacks and reds. The Horned King is, for a large part of the movie, just a black silhouette against a red background. He has a stereotypically scary voice, his lair is decorated in skulls and torches, and ominous music is always playing when he’s near. Have I mentioned he’s EVIL?! :yawn:

    The “happy” scenes, on the other hand, were all in the brightly lit countryside, with flutes playing in the background. Of course, this all sounds kind of par for the course for a Disney movie, but when you’re watching The Black Cauldron you realize how jarring the contrast between the two kinds of scenes are.

    At one point Taran is meeting Gurgi in a brightly lit forest clearing with a blue sky. In the next moment/scene change, the sky is crimson red and dragons are circling Hen Wen. Then he is literally fighting through a dark jumble of thorns on the way to the Horned King’s castle. Where was all this darkness a moment ago, with Gurgi? There is no in between. We don't see the colors change, they just do from one shot to the next. One minute everything is all sunshine and rainbows, the next it’s DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON.

    Through color and mood, the movie tells us exactly how we should be feeling, instead of letting us get to those emotions on our own.


    2. Choose one specific character to analyze.

    I’m going to go with my favorite character, Eilonwy. Although her character is not very fleshed out in the film (which is a shame because she was AWESOME in the books), some things are obvious: She is cheerful and upbeat, though her surroundings are gloomy and dismal. She’s friendly but fiery when disrespected by Taran. (“Girl? GIRL?! If it weren’t for this GIRL you’d still be in the Horned King’s dungeon!”) And she is actual royalty, but completely down to earth, with no qualms about befriending a “pig boy” and his “pungent friend.”

    With her magical bauble, she is a literal light in the darkness. I think she represents hope.


    6. Choose a single line of dialog that you find to be the most significant/impactful line in the film and why.

    This is a very short and small line, but I think it captures the gist of what the movie is trying to say:
    “We are going to have to work together.” Eilonwy

    (“Why?” See my answer for #7!)


    7. What is this film’s overall goal? Is it to teach a specific lesson (what is it) or get an emotional response (such as)?

    This movie starts out with Taran trying to be a mighty hero, and ends with him realizing that friendship is more important than glory, and that two (or more!) friends together can accomplish more than one alone. I think it also teaches that friendship requires sacrifice.

    8. What connections or progressions do you see in this film to past films?

    A few stray thoughts:
    The opening scene reminded me a bit of Sword in the Stone, Taran was a young Arthur, and Dallben reminded me of Merlin, with his cat standing in for Archimedes. The archetype of old, wise, magical man with bumbling boy/main character.

    I haven’t been participating in this challenge so it’s hard for me to chart progressions on movies I haven’t seen in a while... but is this the first time fairies have been depicted as being different ages and genders? One of little annoyances with Disney movies is that they almost always depict faeries as benevolent women who help humans. In most folklore, this is not the case, and Doli was refreshing as a little old man who found the humans completely stupid and annoying.


    9. What is the iconic shot of the film? What single frame of animation do you find to be the most memorable and why? Post it!

    [​IMG]

    I would say the ending shot of them walking away is the most iconic.

    It depicts the movie’s theme, which in my opinion is friendship. All the good guys are here, with the exception Dallben and Hen Wen (which are watching from afar.). They are walking into a red unknown. Although in the movie we see that the red in this scene is the color of the liquid Hen Wen is watching them through, it is also the color (alongside black) that is most representative of the danger that they faced throughout the movie.

    [​IMG]




    10. What single pin do you think best represents this film for you? Why? Give us the pin number and post a picture!

    I’m going with 40128
    [​IMG]


    It has all the major characters, side by side, running from danger, which is pretty much the whole movie. It also has Hen Wen and Creeper!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  15. PixiePost

    PixiePost Previously SoraPandora

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    Random observations:
    • Is there anything as cute as this pig? She gives Pua and Wilbur both a run for their money.
    • Omg this villain is the worst.
    • I think I have something against “pure evil” villains. If they don’t have a sense of humor they bore me senseless. (I.e. Chernabog and Shan Yu.)
    • (30 minutes in) - Yes, Eilonwy! At last! <3
    • "Girl? Girl?! If it wasn't for this GIRL, you'd still be in the Horned King's dungeon!" You tell 'em, Eil!
    • “It takes a great warrior to handle a sword like this!” Lol, Taran, sit down. You can’t even handle a stick.
    • Poor Creeper. He's like a house elf. So eager to please, proceeds to choke himself when he displeases his master. Somebody get this guy a sock.
    • How has Taran not killed himself with this sword yet? Eilonwy, please take it away from him before he hurts himself.
    • Wait a second, after all this, Taran is just trusting this random fairy to take Hen Wen home? And I thought she wasn’t safe at home to begin with?! Wasn’t this the whole premise of the whole movie?!! The psychic pig must be protected at all costs!
    • These witches remind me of the ones in the My Little Pony movie. Which one came out first? Someone’s a copycat.
    • Wait did that one witch just eat Gurgi’s munchings and crunchings?! B*tch, he was offering you that for the cauldron!!
    • Don’t give them the damned sword! SHE ALREADY TOOK THE MUNCHINGS!
    • (At the end) Oh, good, Hen Wen is safe. At home. For some reason. Watching them. With Dallben. I think we all know who the real Creepers are.
     
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  16. unibear

    unibear DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    OK, that was kind of dark for a Disney film. Not the message, but just the overall feel of the movie.

    1. My overall impression of the movie…

    This movie feels like a cheap rip-off of the “Lord of the Rings” books (and movies). Examples:
    • The thing that immediately tipped me off to this connection was Gurgi = Smeagle. I mean, when Gurgi gets the apple from Taran, you can almost hear him say “My Precious!” His voice mannerisms also sound EXACTLY like Smeagle from the LotR books and movies. And he keeps disappearing and reappearing throughout the movie and calls Taran his master. So, Taran = Frodo, right?
    • Of course, once I made this discovery it was a short trip to Black Cauldron = The Ring (One cauldron to rule them all!). The Horned King’s fixation on getting the BC so he could rule over all = Morgoth looking for The Ring.
    • Taran (and his group) decides that his quest, instead of watching over Hen Wen, is to destroy the Black Cauldron = Frodo’s quest to destroy The Ring.
    • The skeleton warriors in Black Cauldron = Orcs in LotR (there were “ghost warriors” in LotR that fought and defeated the Orcs, but they worked for the good guys).
    • Gurgi being “destroyed” by entering the Black Cauldron = Smeagle chasing The Ring to his death in the lava once Frodo threw The Ring.
    • The Black Cauldron destroying the Horned King’s castle = The Ring destroying pretty much all of Mount Doom when it was dropped into the lava.


    2. The character I chose to analyze was Taran. He is supposed to be the hero of the film, and while he had a few heroic moments I still don’t really feel like he matured into an actual hero. He did learn a few things, but by and large the film feels unfinished with respect to his growth into a hero/leader.

    He starts out as an assistant pig keeper (“Pig-boy!”) with delusions of grandeur at becoming a great warrior. He also seems fascinated by this idea of a becoming a “great warrior” (YODA: “Oh, Great Warrior! Ah! Heh heh heh! Wars not make one great!”). He also assumes that the person in the crypt (presumably the crypt of the evil king whose soul is trapped in the Black Cauldron) must have been a great warrior.

    His first appearance in the castle showed him to be pretty hapless and helpless, being forced by the Horned King to get Hen Wen to show him where the Black Cauldron is. He does free Hen Wen, throwing him over the castle walls, but gets caught and thrown into the dungeon.

    After freeing himself, the princess, and Fflewddur from the Horned King’s castle, he said he wasn’t afraid during the escape. He also seems to believe that they escaped because he was a great warrior and not because of the magic sword. When Eilonwy calls him on it, he lets his ego (and insecurity) get the better of him, yelling at her and driving her away. He quickly finds her and apologizes, but it still shows his immaturity.

    Taran also trades the magic sword away for the Black Cauldron. This doesn’t seem exactly wise because he was assuming that he needed the sword to destroy the Black Cauldron (this felt very much like Harry Potter trading the Sword of Gryffindor to get into Bellatrix’s vault to find a horcrux, given that he needed the sword to destroy it!). This shows that Taran is willing to make sacrifices, but also shows that he still isn’t really thinking about the consequences of his actions.

    At the end, he was distraught at Gurgi’s loss, so much so that it doesn’t occur to him to bargain with the witches who want the Black Cauldron back. Thankfully, Fflewddur is smart enough to do so. Taran was offered the magic sword in bargain for the Black Cauldron (which is odd since the witches clearly wanted it and the cauldron, but I’m guessing the Black Cauldron is more important to them). He shows enough maturity/growth to bargain for Gurgi instead of the sword, and we get a happy ending. But I can’t help but feel that Taran hasn’t matured enough to be a “great warrior”.


    3. (and 8.) The the scene I chose to analyze was where the group arrives at Morvin (sp?) to find the Black Cauldron. This scene is very reminiscent of many other movies. First off, entering the hut and seeing a huge of number of eyes that end up being humans that were turned into frogs is reminiscent (foreboding?) of “The Little Mermaid” and Ursula’s collection of “poor unfortunate souls” created from merpeople. Also, Taran trading the magic sword for the Black Cauldron and the magical kerfluffle afterwards reminds me of Ariel trading her voice for legs and the magical transformation (but with a kick-ass song!).

    Second, the three witches guarding/protecting the Black Cauldron remind me of the Stygian witches from “Clash of the Titans” who are in charging of guarding/protecting the whereabouts of the entrance to Hades. The Stygian witches were also known for having many human visitors trying to get information from them and the witches having a penchant for eating said humans.

    I also mentioned (in 2.) that this scene also shows Taran on his way to growing into a heroic figure, but that he is very much in transition and playing the part of a hero instead of actually being one. The last thing I will say is that the scene where frog- Fflewddur is bouncing around in the witch’s cleavage is rather risqué for Disney and I have to say I was surprised that the animators got away with that scene…


    5. (and 8.) The symbol I chose to analyze was Fflewddur’s harp (lyre?). Clearly, the harp served as a lie detector because every time Fflewddur told a lie, one of the strings broke. Cool idea but, as with myriad comic relief scenes of the two birds and the caterpillar in “The Fox and the Hound”, this idea never went anywhere. It had the potential to be used as a plot point, but it never was and therefore it just became a pointless running gag. I think this is something that the “dark ages” movies of Disney did badly (pointless gags shown often and given lots of screen time/focus) that we didn’t see in earlier films and hopefully won’t see in the “Renaissance” films.


    8. This movie continues to build on (and recycle) previous motifs used in other Disney movies. These include:
    • The link between the three witches scene in “Black Cauldron” and the poor unfortunate souls scene in “The Little Mermaid” mentioned above.
    • The link between Taran’s and Luke Skywalker’s view of “great warriors” mentioned above.
    • Creeper as an rather inept and toadying henchman to the Horned King is foreboding of Pain & Panic’s relationship to Hades in “Hercules”. Also, at the end of the film, Creeper delighting at the Horned King being trapped (killed) by the Black Cauldron = Pain & Panic enjoying Hades being trapped in the River of Souls.
    • The fairies felt an awful lot like the dwarves in “Snow White”, especially the “grumpy” one who leads them to the witches and the king = Doc. Also, when the Horned King activates the Black Cauldron, we see a skull floating in the air above the cauldron = when the Evil Queen made the poisoned apple.


    9. I chose the scene of the Black Cauldron being activated because it’s so creepy and it even shows the heroes bound in the background. I have to say this scene feels like a complete rip-off of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when Indy and Marian were tied up and the Ark of the Covenant was activated…
    [​IMG]


    10. There aren’t many pins to choose from but I wanted one with the Black Cauldron and the magic sword (and Taran too, I guess). So I chose this pin (77102).

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Ok, I just figured out that the bard's name was Fflewddur, and not 'Fluter'. Oops...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  17. pincrazy

    pincrazy Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    Sorry Merlin, couldn't find a copy in time for this one...I'll have to crunch on extra credit:stitch:
    I'll keep looking, but in case i don't... this is why I'm missing :(
     
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  18. pincrazy

    pincrazy Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    Yay! I was able to find 2 copies! I got both to compare if any differences.
    1) Overall- the last time I saw this film was when I introduced my daughter(5 yrs old) to Disney movies, promising her she'd enjoy it! As a parent watching this in the theatre, and my daughter frightened, I was in disbelief it was a Disney film. I'm still surprised over it's dark overtone! Watching the trailer it's somewhat misleading. My daughter wasn't keen on any Disney films for awhile, much less did she trust me on picking movies . The animation is good, but the story is quite different from what's expected and takes awhile to understand with so mamy different characters, or it seems there are.
    I wouldn't watch this movie voluntarily again, and wouldn't consider it a classic. It seems there should be more to the movie, and the ending.
    3) In the opening scenes of the movie Dallben is setting up the story, while Taran is daydreaming at the window. For the first few minutes with the introduction of Hen Wen, the movie seems entertaining enough, what could go wrong with a psychic pig! It's all typical Disney till chaptet 4, and then it becomes a different entity, with the intro of the Horned King, and that's enough to have nightmares! The artwork and animation is quite effective and imaginative.
    5) The symbol I'll pick is the Sword, it's a Magic Sword! It's powerful and reminds us of what a nice movie Sword in the Stone was, and this movie is not. The sword works as giving Taran the strength to be a strong warrior which he dreams of, but is willing to sacrifice it for Gurgi, realizing what's more important is Friendship/companionship/love over self importance.
    8) There seemed many connections to other movies, characters as well as scenes/backgrounds. Other than reusing ideas or artwork I'm guessing Disney picked projects they have past experience with.
    10)The pin that seemed closest is #18527, looks similar to a video cover. As an alternative for creativity I saw #33246, felt it depicted what cast members must have felt like, kinda demented : p

    In renting the 2 dvds, 1 was from an earlier release date and was set up for the older square tvs, the 2nd one was the 25th anniv and reformatted for digital. The earlier release was easier to watch, it had a film like feel, whereas the newer one looked more digitized in color and appearance. It was nice to watch the film closer to it's original release form, although I'm not sure how it would look on a 50" screen. I miss the soft look from earlier pre digital films, but that's probably just me.
    Till next week that's my 5 :stitch:
     
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  19. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

    Rating - 100%
    262   0   0

    Ack, running out the door. Will have more to say when I get back tonight but want to get this in before the cutoff.

    1.
    This movie is DARK. Not just visually (though it is in many places - some overly so where the characters actually blend into the background), but it was really heavy with horror. Whereas earlier films such as Bambi and Fox and the Hound were emotionally heavy, this relied much less on emotion and much more on horror and dark imagery.

    The CGI in this film is particularly impressive and well incorporated, considering this was made in the early to mid-80's. The bauble was especially well done.

    It is, though, a much more "surface" film than most of the previous ones. It lacked depth, both in an animated capacity (the backgrounds had great richness but the characters themselves seemed very one-dimensional in front of them) and substance-wise. There wasn't really an emotional

    6. Eilonwy: "I'm Princess Eilonwy. Are you a lord, or a warrior?"

    Taran: "Uh, no. Uh... I-I-I'm an assistant pig keeper."

    Eilonwy: "Oh, what a pity. I was so hoping for someone who could help me escape. Oh, well, if you want to come with me, you may."

    This quote exemplifies Eilonwy. It shows her acceptance of people, and her independence. She has confidence in her own abilities. She makes the best out of the situation she is in, and has a sort of deadpan humor as well.


    7. The overall goal is to teach us that we can accomplish more with friends than we can alone. Taran had grand dreams of being a hero (which we are shown through his daydreams), but his plans usually failed on his own. His daydreaming led to Hen Wen running off and getting captured, he was caught and imprisoned and only escaped due to Eilonwy's help, etc. Only when he allowed his friends to help did he succeed.


    9. The most iconic shot to me was when Gurgi jumped into the cauldron. He spent the greater part of the movie as timid and self- serving, which served him well when he was alone in the forest. Now he's made some friends, and learned to put their needs before his own. So when he saw Taran about to jump into the cauldron, he chose to sacrifice himself so Taran could live.

    [​IMG]

    10. I think the character cluster best illustrates this film for me. Since Taran only really succeeds with the help of his friends, this pin shows all the friends that support him throughout the film.

    [​IMG]
    Pin# 127999 - WDI - Character Cluster - The Black Cauldron
     
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  20. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

    Rating - 100%
    26   0   0

    Hmm, just got home so writing review as we speak...
     
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  21. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    491   0   0

    Just a reminder, we've got the chat tonight at 7pm Eastern Time (that's 4pm Pacific!)

    Ack, which means I need to get my butt in gear and write this analysis! XD
     
  22. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    491   0   0

    1. Overall Impression
    I saw this moving once about 8 years ago and, honestly, remembered next to nothing about it during this watch through. Hahah! Needless to say, I was a little startled by the whole thing. It felt distinctly not Disney—much more in line with something like The Secret of NIMH. While that’s not bad, exactly, I can see why it’s often overlooked in the Disney canon. Like most, I found this film utterly dark, in both tone and subject matter. The Horned King’s desire to destroy the world is…well…pretty wide scale and permanent. While Hades in Hercules has a similar MO, that delivery was couched in humor which soft-pedalled the drama a bit.

    Moreover I found the film a bit disjointed. It worked on two extremes: typical fantasy whimsy versus utter despair. Very rarely would the two connect (the Witches, for example), and I felt myself going up and down with the rather bouncy tone. I also really didn’t see any purpose in the bard (Fflewddur). Anything he did in the film could have easily been accomplished by someone else. He was underdeveloped and fluffy, which distracted a lot from my focus on the other characters.

    Overall, it wasn’t a bad one, nor one I would never return to. But I think it was a story told at the wrong time. If ever I would want Disney to reboot a movie, it would be this one.


    2. Character Analysis
    This isn’t so much an analysis of the character themselves, but rather how they were delivered. I really liked how the film introduced the Horned King. When we first see him, it’s just his feet. Then, the next shot is from behind and we only see his hood. We never get a full on, complete picture of him until very late in the film. We catch glimpses, learn enough to know he’s not a joker to be trifled with, and we fear him because he’s still such a mystery.

    One of the best indicators of this is when he’s sitting in his throne while trying to get Taran the pig to do its trick:

    [​IMG]

    Even though we see him full bodied, his face is still lacking in a lot of detail. We can fill it in mentally (or because we, the modern audience, know what he looks like), but there’s still an element of the unknown. And I thought that was a really effective way to deliver such a sinister character. To have done it all at once may have been over the top, but I like the way they gave him to us in pieces.

    (side note, his death was super bad ass…)


    3. Scene Analysis
    Unpopular opinion alert: I hate that Gurgi comes back. His sacrifice—how forlorn it was—was so powerful and significant. It affects everyone: Taran, Eilonwy, the viewer. So to have all of that tension and impact undercut by giving us back the price we had to pay, to me, cheapens the sacrifice to begin with.

    This is probably a hang-over grumble from comic books/superhero adaptations. I despise when a character dies only to come back to life later. At that point, you’re jerking your viewer/reader around to get a rise out of them. And that’s lazy storytelling. (I’m looking at you, Arrow. And literally any version of Batman that features Ra’s al Ghul…)

    (I feel the same way about Wall-E… So judge me all you want XD)


    5. Symbol Analysis / 6. Dialog Analysis / 8. Connections
    Taran makes for a very interesting foil to Arthur from Sword in the Stone. While one is hunger for great adventure and the life (and acclaim) of a warrior, the other is satisfied with his humble lot and would rather push off the heroic mantle.

    The difference between the two can come down to analyzing their respective responses to their sword. Arthur grabs the sword to help someone else and “wields” only its symbolic power (of authority/rule). Taran, on the other hand, swipes it for himself as a nice replacement for his childhood sticks, even going so far as to say “What? It’s not like he’s going to need it!” Moreover, when Taran realizes the sword is magical, he goes from timid tagalong to insufferable braggard who then drags Eilonwy around; while Arthur would rather put the sword (and the power it holds) back and forgo the responsibility because he doesn’t consider himself worthy.

    Even though Taran ultimately gives up the sword, I would argue he’s not giving up the power, he’s giving up the pride and grandeur he’s attached to it. The power (to defeat the Horned King) he finds elsewhere, in his friendships. Arthur keeps the sword as he finds the power within himself.

    All in all, I think Taran was a more didactic version of Arthur. But that may be my personal bias a bit too ;P


    7. Overall Goal
    I’m not sure what the goal of this movie was…. It felt very much like your standard medieval fantasy tale. The lesson I assumed it was teaching was the power of friendship and relying on others (Fflewddur says everyone has to learn to work together, and Gurgi sacrifices himself because he doesn’t think he has friends, even when he does). But Gurgi’s return kind of shoots that lesson in the foot for me.

    So, I guess…I don’t know… Don’t get too close to the cauldron? XD


    (9. Iconic Shot
    I honestly didn’t think there was one that stood out… Which was kind of surprising to me. Maybe because I don’t find the film very iconic? This question doesn't count, but I felt compelled to mention it still, hahah!)


    10. Representative Pin
    There’s not a lot to choose from, so I went with this pin:

    [​IMG]
    Pin 35788 DLR - The Black Cauldron Villain Collection (Three Witches)

    It’s got the focus on the sword, and, even though the witches aren’t in the film a ton, I do think they’re very important to the plot and add to that whole mystic/fantastic element of the medieval fantasy.

    Honorable mention goes to this pin because I now find it so freaking hysterical. XD

    [​IMG]
    Pin 126422 WDI Horned King Black Cauldron Halloween 2017
     
  23. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    491   0   0

    If you're around, feel free to hop into the chat! :D
     
  24. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    491   0   0

    You say that Black Cauldron is building on these motifs. But...it and its source material came before a lot of this... Little Mermaid is several years later. Star Wars came out several years after the original book (and itself is a rip off of a lot of other stuff...).

    Sometimes you're hard on films for "recycling" material, but I think there's such a thing as a borrowed tradition. ;P

    Darn near any medieval/fantasy story is going to sound a lot like LotR (even when it came before Tolkien). The Hobbit itself is a blatant rip on Beowulf (which Tolkien avidly admits). Tolkien was a fantastic medieval scholar, and translated a TON of works (including Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) So much of his work deals with that subject matter, borrows from it, and builds on it.

    Lucas widely acknowledges Dune as his inspiration for Star Wars, and the two are very very similar. The Witches here are the same as those in Macbeth, the Nordic mythic tradition (and consequently anything Neil Gaiman has ever written...), the Greek Fates (and their portrayal in Hercules). The Evil Queen's apple is from the Garden of Eden. Everything goes WAAAAAAAY back.

    Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces calls this the "monomyth" and explores why we keep going back to these motifs and how useful it is. So, forgive me for being a professor here, but rather than get hung up on what's getting re-used, consider why we feel the need to return to it? It's not a matter of being lazy (usually)--it's a matter of something having an effect on us that we want to revisit or reconsider that reaction.

    EDIT: This is not me disagreeing with you! Gurgi is totes the poor man's Smeagol, hahah! But I've just noticed it in your analyses a few times so wanted to push your thinking a bit ;)
     
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  25. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

    Rating - 100%
    26   0   0

    1. Overall impression
    [​IMG]
    Wow, just wow. How different this has been from anything that has come before. Unlike most Disney film that utilize a balance a deep backstory story and safe atmosphere, this goes completely in the dark path. Think Night on bald mountain, dark and foreboding through out most of it. The story, based on the chronicles of prydian, unfortunately seems very rushed with very inconsistent plot jumps. The music is very fantasy based though the main antagonist theme uses a very distinct chord reminiscent of 80's television. I don't know if the overall dark/mute color scheme may be because of a lack of master transfer as it doesn't have a bluray release.

    2. Character Analysis
    While work started in the late 70's, character designs weren't incorporated until late in the fantasy and adventure was huge. As such the main villain, the horned king, seems inspired by the villains of the era such as Skeletor or MummRa.

    8. Progressions.
    [​IMG]
    As dark and foreboding as this film is, it's not surprising that it takes inspiration from Fantasia: Hen Wen's premonition is reminiscent of the Night on bald mountain sequence. The whirlpool is s nod to the sorcerer's apprentice. The fairies seem a bit inspired by the cupids from the pastoral scene. The witch's advance toward the audience you is another nod to the Night on bald mountain sequence.
    [​IMG]


    9. Iconic Scene
    [​IMG]
    I think this was one of my favorite scenes, of the group just traveling together. It reminded me of past films such as Bambi or sleeping beauty.


    10. Representative pin

    Pin 126422 WDI Horned King Black Cauldron Halloween 2017

    [​IMG]

    There isn't many pins that truely represent this movie, though I like this one as it mimics the Horned King dropping his servant into the cauldron...
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018

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