ABC Film Challenge – Animation – R – Robin Hood (1973)

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

Writer: Larry Clemmons, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry, Frank Thomas, Eric Cleworth, Julius Svendsen, David Michener (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov, Terry Thomas, Brain Bedford, Monica Evans, Phil Harris, Andy Devine, Carole Shelly

 

Plot: The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals.


Tagline – Oo-de-Lolly Golly What a Movie!

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Disney

 

Story: Robin Hood starts as we head to Nottingham to meet the humanoid versions of the Robin Hood legend, Robin a fox with Little John being a bear, we see how they are trying to fight back against the Prince John a lion who uses the Sheriff of Nottingham a wolf to take the taxes from the poor leaving the country being near broke. We play into the idea of how Robin Hood fought back against this prince in a hope to bring King Richard back to his rightful place.

 

Thoughts on Robin Hood

 

Characters – Robin Hood is the legend we know in British folk law, stealing from the rich giving to the poor, a brilliant archer that finds a way to get away with any crime that comes his way and now he stands up for what everyone can’t. Little John is the trust second and partner of Robin Hood, they have excellent chemistry which helps us see there plans come together. The Sheriff of Nottingham does Prince John’s dirty work, taking the money a striking fear in the locals. Prince John continues to take the money from whoever has any to continue his reign of terror.

StoryThe story plays loosely into the idea of Robin Hood, to make it family friendly of course, this is Disney. We see how the poor were treated badly by the Prince of John and being told through different animals adds to the predator that this could be considered through these characters. It is an easy to follow story, which does have a side to how serious things could get, but never offers the true peril of the situation.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventures of Robin Hood are the stuff of legends and this is nothing away from this, even if it has a comic tone to everything going on.

SettingsThe film recreates the Nottingham setting for the Robin Hood era well to show the divide between the castle of the Prince and the homes of the poor.

AnimationDisney were the top dogs for animation and this never looks like it misses any beats with how the look of the film looks.


Scene of the Movie –
Archer tournament.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too loose with the legend.

Final ThoughtsThis is Disney doing their magic in the 70s without a doubt, a fun and enjoyable movie throughout.

 

Overall: Fun family enjoyment.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Animation – F – The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens

Writer: Daniel P Mannix (Book) Larry Clemmons, Ted Berman, David Michener, Peter Young, Burny Mattinson, Steve Hulett, Earl Kress, Vance Gerry (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Micky Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Baily, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram

 

Plot: Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies.


Tagline – A New Captivating Animated Adventure!

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet Disney Animation

 

Story: The Fox and the Hound starts as we see Tod’s mother killed by a hunter, trying to keep him safe, the other animals in the woods including Big Mama an owl takes the cub to Widow Tweed to look after him, but they just so happen to be living next door to a hunter that gets a new bloodhound pup Copper and the two become unlikely friends.

After the two grow up over a winter, Copper becomes the hunting dog he was meant to be, but refuses to attack Tod, forcing Widow Tweed into letting Tod go into the wild. As the two grow up they follow their nature until one fateful clash between the two reminds them who they were.

 

Thoughts on The Fox and the Hound

 

Characters – Tod is a curious orphaned fox that just wants to explore the world and without his real mother struggles to understand boundaries. He must learn that his new friend will soon become his biggest enemy. Copper is the bloodhound that befriends Tod when they were pups and cubs. He gets trained to become a hunter including Tod, but their friendship puts his instinct on the back burner. Big Mama helps guide Tod through his countryside adventures warning him of things to come.

StoryThe story follows the two young animals that become friends only to follow their natural instinct and become sworn enemies. The story tries to show us that friendship will last till the end even when the two at meant to be enemies in the natural selection of things. We do get other messages in this film, including how hunting is bad and shouldn’t be turned into a sport and learning about your place in the world.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure in the movie shows us just where Tod and Copper life will take them, this is one for the family, but maybe not the youngest members.

SettingsThe settings created show us the world the animals will be living their whole lives, peaceful quiet countryside.

AnimationThe animation used shows where Disney was and makes things look the magical style.


Scene of the Movie –
The bear scene is terrifying.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Dinky and Boomer sounding like mobsters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sweet and simple Disney story, it focuses on friendship over anything else with two unlikely friends.

 

Overall: Short and Sweet.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – B – The Black Cauldron (1985)

Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich

Writer: David Jonas, Vance Gerry, Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Al Wilson, Roy Morita, Peter Young, Art Stevens, Joe Hale (Screenplay) Lloyd Alexander (Novel)

Starring: (voice talents) Grant Bardsley, Susan Sheridan, Freddie Jones, Nigel Hawthorne, Arthur Malet, John Byner

 

Plot: A young boy and a bunch of misfit friends embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.


Tagline – Magic twelve years in the making. Magic that will live forever.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Fantasy Animation

 

Story: The Black Cauldron starts as we meet young pig farmer Taran, who has been getting trained to take over the care of Hen Wen a pig that is the only creature on Earth that knows the location of the Black Cauldron, the place where the evil Horned King can regain his power.

When the King learns that Hen Wen knows the locations he goes in search of the pig, which leads Taran to go on an adventure across the fantasy world to stop the Horned King regaining his power and bringing a new era of terror across the land.

 

Thoughts on The Black Cauldron

 

Characters – Taran is the traditional Disney reluctantly hero, he was a small pig farmer that goes on an adventure to fulfil his destiny by stopping the evil and bringing together a group off unlikely characters. Eilonwy is the princess that joins the adventure, her care free attitude helps along the way and makes for a strong character than we think. The Horned King is the ruler trying to gain his power to take over the land and will do anything to make sure he has this power. These characters are the by the book for this genre and don’t becoming anything overly memorable.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely hero that goes on an adventure to hopeful save the fantasy world from an evil ruler. This does follow the idea of bringing unlikely friends together on the adventure and does become very dark for a Disney movie, but does follow the whole traditional ideas we have come to know.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/HorrorThe action goes hand in hand with the adventure as we see how the characters must work together to win and battles with the use of the fantasy world, there are elements of horror too because of certain chase sequences and events that happen around the Cauldron.

SettingsThe settings take us on the adventure fantasy world that you could see in any of these movies, which is fine for me.

AnimationThe time this movie was made, you would think this is good high standard for the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too dark for a Disney animation.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good fantasy adventure that follows everything you need it to, but will be too dark for the younger audience.

 

Overall: Very dark animation from the Disney brand.

Rating

 

 

Hercules (1997)

logoDirector: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi (Screenplay) Kaan Kalyon, Kelly Wightman, Randy Cartwright, John Ramirez, Jeff Snow, Vance Gerry, Kirk Hanson, Francis Glebas, Mark Kennedy, Bruce Morris, Don Dougherty, Thom Enriquez (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Rip Torn

 

Plot: The son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney’s Weaker Years

 

Story: Hercules starts with narration of the legacy of Hercules before taking us back to the beginning of the Hercules legend. We see Zeus throwing a party of his baby Hercules giving his first present Pegasus before Hades interrupts the party from the underworld. Hades not content with ruling the underworld wants to rule everything and consults the all-seeing future where he learns that when Hercules enters into battle with him he will lose. Hades sends his two slaves Panic and Pain to take Hercules and take away his immortality before killing him. They do remove his immortality but fail to remove his strength or kill him leaving him with a normal family to grow up as a normal kid.

We move forward to a young Hercules struggling to fit in anywhere, not being acceptable by the locals before being told the truth by his adopted parents. Hercules sets out to make it to the home of the Gods to find out where he really came from and meeting his father who sets him off to meet Phil to be trained as a hero along with his long lost friend Pegasus. We end up with a montage to show the training where Phil sees this chance as one last chance to train a true hero. On his first mission Hercules saves Meg from a creature getting his first glimpse of love.

We learn that Meg is in fact working for Hades and once Hades learns that Hercules is still alive he sets out to finish the job Panic & Pain failed to complete all those years ago. Hades’ attempt to kill Hercules only ends up making him a hero making him the hero Hades was warned about. Can Hercules become the hero he was destine to become or will love stand in his way?

Hercules has 17 writers, really 17 how is this possible? The story really does follow a very typical Disney theme of a son trying to prove himself in his father’s shadow and someone trying to find their place in the world. The ideas of the world Hercules lives in are all nice but as a fan of Greek Mythology I always want to see the Hercules myth told in all its greatness rather than a small segment that is clearly made up for a younger audience. I feel this film is very average and the story offers nothing fresh to the animation idea and is easily one of the more forgettable Disney animations. (4/10)

 

Character Review

 

Hercules: Hercules is the son of Zeus who loses his immortality and left on Earth. He grows up a mortal with strength but ends up struggling to fit in before discovering the truth where he must train to become the hero he was always destiny to become. Hercules is a character that we all know but do we really think he has this clumsy tendencies or failure to fit ideas? I don’t think so. (4/10)

 

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Phil: Phil is the half man half goat trainer of Hercules, who sees this as a chance for him to get his last chance to train a real hero. Phil is your very generic trainer who really doesn’t get the laughs he needs. (4/10)

 

Hades: Hades is the God of the underworld who plans to take over the world but Hercules being alive puts a spanner in the works as Hercules is destiny to stop him. Hades makes for a good villain as he is always turned into the villain when we talk about the ancient Greeks. He is also the highlight of the film. (6/10)

 hades

Meg: Meg is the first damsel in distress that Hercules saves, but she is really forced to work for Hades even after she starts to fall in love with Hercules. Meg tries to be the alternative damsel in distress but it all gets lost when we don’t care about which side she plays on. (3/10)

 

Pain & Panic: These two are the bumbling slaves of Hades who keep messing up the simple ideas but adding comedic moments. These two are meant to be the comic relief but really fail to capture the idea of funny. (4/10)

 

Pegasus: Hercules’ loyal half horse half bird giving to him as a baby, Pegasus is one friend who is always there for Hercules when he needs him most. Pegasus does what it needs to do adding a protective friend but nothing more. (5/10)

 

Support Characters: Hercules has plenty of names known for being around at the same time as Hercules but not many that make too much of a difference.

 

Director Review: Ron Clements, John Musker – I feel these two don’t give us the film we really wanted from the word Hercules but not many do. (4/10)

 

Animation: Hercules has to get good points for the animation because when the Titans come they are frightening for a young audience. (8/10)

Comedy: Hercules has very few laughs if any throughout. (2/10)

Family: Hercules is one for the family to try to together it has attempted jokes for all ages really. (5/10)

Musical: Hercules has good songs used throughout with only one real memorable one. (6/10)

Romance: Hercules throws in a weak romantic angle which we see too often in Disney films. (3/10)

Settings: Hercules creates the settings Hercules could have fought in. (7/10)

Suggestion: Hercules is one that should be watch with the kids only, it falls to reach the levels other films do with the same style of story. (Try It With The Kids)

 

Best Part: I can go the distance song.

Worst Part: No comedy.

What Could Have Been Better? – Better sidekick characters.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Turned into a television cartoon.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Original Music Score.

Box Office: $252 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Zero to Hero!

 

Overall: Hercules feels so much like a complete rip off of nearly every Disney film and never reaches its true potential.

Rating 35