‘Bullshit’: Harlan Ellison is really pissed off about ‘Saving Mr. Banks’
12.19.2013
08:03 am

Topics:
Books
Movies

Tags:
Walt Disney
Harlan Ellison
Saving Mr. Banks

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Harlan Ellison describes himself as “a child of the Disney era,” whose first taste of the magic of cinema was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. But Disney’s latest movie (made in collaboration with BBC Films) Saving Mr. Banks has so pissed off the already notably cantankerous Mr. Ellison that he has felt it necessary to post a rather disconnected (one might say rambling) video on YouTube calling out the film as “bullshit.”

Saving Mr. Banks stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P. L. Travers, the author of the book Mary Poppins, which was first published in 1934. The film concerns Disney’s attempts to convince Travers to allow him to film her famous novel. It took Disney over 20 years to achieve this, and eventually his company filmed Mary Poppins, with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, in 1964.

Ellison has great praise for Hanks and Thompson in the film, but his main beef with Saving Mr. Banks is not the acting but a pivotal scene at the end of the movie, which he claims is bogus and bullshit. One can surmise what this scene may entail, as Ellison declares how Travers hated the movie, and went to her grave regretting her decision to ever allow Disney near her work.

Ellison gets all fired up about this, which (I suppose) is understandable as Ellison is a writer who is deeply proud of his own work, and sees anything he writes as sacrosanct. However, I (like no doubt millions of others) have known for decades that P.L. Travers hated Disney’s Mary Poppins. It’s not new news.

When musical impresario, Cameron Mackintosh asked Travers, who was then in her nineties, if he could produce a musical version of Mary Poppins, Travers stipulated (confirmed in her will) that this musical must be adapted by English writers and no Americans, or anyone involved with the film or the Disney empire were to be directly involved with the creative process of the musical. Mackintosh adhered to Travers’ wishes, and the musical opened in London’s West End in 2004, where it ran for four years.

Okay, so it’s not news, but what Ellison is really getting at is his disdain for the…

“...refurbishing of Disney’s god-like image, which he spent his entire life creating, and it is so fucking manipulative…”

Particularly when this involves the misuse of a writer’s work, especially when that work is exploited and bastardized for commercial reward, and in this case, to create propaganda to “burnish” the image of Walt Disney.  Which probably is something to be pissed-off about.
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
I learnt all I needed to know about sacred geometry from Donald Duck
11.21.2012
08:48 am

Topics:
Animation

Tags:
Walt Disney
Sacred Geometry


 
In “Donald in Mathmagic Land,” Donald Duck wanders into a magical place where the beauty of the laws of mathematics unfold before him….

Easily one of the best animated shorts Disney ever produced. And you thought geometry was such a Mickey Mouse subject…

Dig the famous voice of announcer Paul Frees as Donald’s disembodied guide through his geometrical journey through Mathmagic Land.
 

 
Thank you Stuart Silver, by way of the Psychogeographical Commission

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Salvador Dali and Walt Disney’s ‘Destino’
08.24.2012
09:48 am

Topics:
Animation
Art
History
Movies

Tags:
Salvador Dali
Walt Disney


 
Someone was kind enough to post an HD file of “Desinto,” the animated short that Surrealist painter Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaborated on for over eight months in 1945 and 1946 (along with Disney artist John Hench who did the storyboards). The film was eventually shelved due to WWII-era financial problems at Disney’s company. Dalí described the film as “a magical display of the problem of life in the labyrinth of time” and Disney said it was “a simple story about a young girl in search of true love.”

“Destino” came out of its cryogenic deep freeze in 1999 when it was revived by Roy Disney, then working on Fantasia 2000. The short film was constructed from the existing story art and production notes, a 17-second animation test, talking to John Hench and a few clues gleaned from Gala Dali’s personal writings. “Destino” was directed by French animator Dominique Monfréy (his first directorial credit) at the Paris offices of Disney Studios France and a team of over 20 others.

The “plot” of “Destino” involves a tragic love story: Chronos (time) falls in love with a mortal woman and they cannot be together. They dance across surrealist landscapes. Dalinian things happen.

The 17 seconds of extant footage from the ill-fated project is the bit with the Dalian parade floats on turtles moving towards each other as the baseball player looks on. Also, it’s worth mentioning, that there would have been a mix of animation and live action dancers in Dali and Disney’s original vision for “Destino.” The appropriately yearning soundtrack is a song by the Mexican composer Armando Dominguez, sung by Dora Luz.

I’ve seen “Destino” twice in museums (the huge Dali career retrospective exhibit in Philadelphia back in 2005 and the LACMA show focusing on Dali’s work in Hollywood). I loved it, but I have problems with it. It’s a remarkable work of art, don’t get me wrong, I think “Destino” is pretty great, but it’s not really a Dali/Disney collaboration like it was hyped-up to be, but something more accurately described as the work of that was inspired by (however faithfully) Dali and Disney’s vision. I was expecting something “archival” or “vintage” I suppose, so therein lay my disappointment, as a huge Dali buff, nothing to do with the actual work, which is marvelous, as anyone can see.

“Destino” is available as a special feature on the Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 special edition Blu-ray. There’s a gallery of some of the production art and correspondence between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali at the great Disney fanblog 2719 Hyperion.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The trauma of watching ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’

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From when I first saw Bambi at a tender age, I have always suspected that Walt Disney and his famous studios were responsible for releasing some of the most horrendous implements of torture, used to torment and traumatize small children. Possible proof of this can be seen in this rather disturbing video clip posted by Meredith Borders over at Bad Ass Digest:

Friend of a friend Geoffrey Roth took his sons to see the movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and, well, it affected them. Roth and his wife filmed the boys’ intense emotional response to the movie, which is apparently really, really, really, super, insanely sad.

These little fellas spoil the end of the movie, but dudes. Trust me. It’s worth it.

Thanks to Geoffrey Roth for giving me permission to post this amazing video.

Amazing? Not sure about that. Also, I wonder exactly why any parent would want to film their kids’ distress, which only reminds me of the end credits to Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom.
 

 
Via Bad Ass Digest
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Grisly Disney: The Dark Side of The Magic Kingdom
08.08.2012
09:51 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Drugs
Pop Culture

Tags:
Walt Disney


 
Disasterland is Mexican artist Rodolfo Loaiza‘s ode to pop culture, cosmetic surgery, drug use, and obsession with celebrity reflected back at us via some of The Walt Disney Company’s most valuable trademarks.

Disasterland will be on display at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles from Aug. 3 to Sept. 2.
 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Walt Disney’s ‘Taxi Driver’
05.07.2012
05:05 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Walt Disney
Taxi Driver


 
Here’s a truly bizarre mash-up of Taxi Driver and some Walt Disney cartoons. It’s a tad too long for my tastes, but the execution is great. I also had a bit of a chuckle when Cybill Shepherd’s character walks out of the movie theater. 
 

 
Via Nerdcore

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion