Saturday, September 12, 2009

On Stranger Tides

When I wrote for Animated News we had a policy that even though it wasn't an animated film that news about the Pirates of the Caribbean film series was fair game to be covered. I'll continue that policy here at this little blog.

Word has just got out that the fourth Pirates film will be subtitled On Stranger Tides. This news was announced at the D23 Expo going on in Anaheim and they even showed a title treatment. Ironically I found this out just a couple hours after riding the attraction at Disneyland with a friend and talking with her about what the fourth film might be like. Some people are wondering if it might be the start of a new trilogy. Honestly, I am looking forward to seeing it but I am kind of hoping for it to exist as its own (mostly) separate, independent movie and to be the last film in the series, period. They should treat it as though it was the only Pirates movie ever made and as though everything rode on it, almost ignoring the prior three films but leaving some story threads that tie into the other movies for those keeping up on continuity.

I didn't despise parts 2 and 3 like some people did. I felt they were immensely imaginative but they still don't grip like the first one does, which felt like it captured lightning in a bottle. Part 4 could redeem all that and wrap things up great without people feeling the weight of another trilogy coming. Here's hoping...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Song of the South Animation

Disney's animated classic Song of the South may not be coming to DVD or Blu-Ray anytime soon (although I hope I'm wrong) but at least the animated segments are available on YouTube and I've collected them all here. Contrary to popular opinion there is nothing racist about this movie. It does not portray Uncle Remus as a black man happy to be a slave simply because he's not even a slave due to the fact that the movie is set just after the Civil War ended and the slaves had been emancipated. In 2006 I interviewed an animator (Art Stevens) who had worked on the film in the early 1940's and asked him about the accusations of racism that have been levied against the movie and from the sincerity of his answers I am thoroughly satisfied that there was no racist motivation behind the production of this film.

People have often said that the live action part of the movie is on the boring side and that the only good part is the animation. That may be right but I'll withhold final judgment since the animation is so good that I've never given the live action bits much attention. But I think we need a reminder of these great bits because we have a generation growing up now who doesn't know that the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland is based on an actual movie.

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah/Dollar a Minute

Here's the famous Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah song. I remember watching this in the theater as a small child and my parents telling me that Uncle Remus was about to enter a cartoon world:

How Do You Do?/The Tar Baby

On this next sequence look at how well it reads when Uncle Remus lights Br'er Frog's pipe:

The Briar Patch

"Born and raised in the briar patch!:"

Everybody Has a Laughing Place

Everybody has a laughing place, except Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear still haven't found theirs:

Not only is the animation great but so are the songs and the voice work. This last little bit is not known as being one of the animation segments in the movie but it still shows some fun live-action/animation interaction:

A good site for info on Song of the South is, run by Christian Willis.