Twenty years later the Walt Disney Animation studios were in a crisis. Disney had already died and now the “nine old man” had stepped aside for a new generation of animators. The first years proofed a little bit wonky. "The Black Cauldron" bombed, both at the box office and Von the critiques. The modest success of "The Great maus Detective" thankfully convinced the executives to green-light new projects. "Oliver and Company" was again a moderate success at the box-office, but is considered as one of the weaker Filme of Disney. To add insult to injury, Don Bluth, a former Disney animator, was on oben, nach oben of his game with Filme like "An American Tail" and "The Land before Time". For the first time in years Disney had serious concurrence. So Disney decided to go back to the roots and produce another fairy tale movie, one Walt Disney himself had considered doing at one point.
"The Little Mermaid" naturally was designed to recreate the great successes of the past, but the concept was modernized considerably for this movie. This is especially evident, if one pays attention to the songs of the movie. We start out with “Fathoms below” – already the first big step away from the classic fairy tale movies, which all started with the storybook opening. This time we get a slow introduction into the world in which the story is set Von following the fisch down into the sea. Weiter we get “Daughter of Tritons”, a song which really doesn’t carry much meaning in itself, but it serves as the perfect introduction for the main character of the movie, which again marks a big change in the formula. The older fairy tale Filme started with the Titel character (in a frankly obnoxious fashion), this time around we first see the world in which Ariel lives before we met her. And while in the older Filme the main Titel character tended to be overshadowed Von their sidekicks, this time the story is first and foremost about Ariel. In “Part of Your World” she tells us about her dreams. Which are in no shape of form related to finding the Liebe of her life; she is the first Disney princess who wants “more”. Mehr in this case means being part of “that world” away from the sea. Only in the reprise, after she rescues Eric, she wants to be part of “your world”. And unlike the other princesses, her desire doesn’t go unchallenged. “Under the Sea” is a fun piece, but it also Fragen her, pointing out what she already has in her life.
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” established a new tradition for Disney movies: The villain song. Seeing all the “best villain songs” lists on Youtube it’s difficult to imagine, but the villains of the old time didn’t sing, at least not if they were supposed to be menacing. Yes, Captain Hook from "Peter Pan" and Madame Mim from "The Sword in the Stone" sing at one point, but in both cases it is played for laughs. Yes, Cruella Devil has her own theme, but she is not the one who sings it in the movie. It used to be the victims who sing about their suppressor (like in "Robin Hood" oder "Alice in Wonderland"), but never the villains who celebrated their motivation, until Professor Rattigan in "The Great maus Detective" came along. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” became so popular, that the villain song became as expected as the “I want” and the Liebe song (which is in this case “Kiss the Girl”).
Well, there is also “Les Poissons”, a short reprise of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” called “Vanessa’s song” and another Reprise of “Part of Your World”, and all those songs are still well remembered. Needless to say that Disney made a good choice with Alan Menken.
But the really big change from the older fairy tale Filme is the Mehr loosely approach to the original story. And I don’t mean the fact that Ariel survives and finds love, while in the original story the little mermaid sacrifices herself for the prince who doesn’t Liebe her at all. Disney’s version is Mehr than just a Liebe story, it’s a story about the conflicting Ansichten of different generations (King Triton believes the humans are dangerous, Ariel Fragen him) and about growing up. There is a lot of symbolism in the movie. Since Triton is the king of all seas, Ariel is under his influence as long as she stays were she is. But she wants to be “part of that world”, where she can make her own decisions. She feels that she is “ready to stand” (on her own feet), which is both true and untrue. Ariel demonstrates in her very first scene in the movie that she able to take care of herself Von escaping a shark, but the very fact that she went into danger in the first place for some trinkets shows that she still lacks judgment and needs guidance. But Triton doesn’t provide the necessary guidance; instead he tries to bend his daughter to his own will, which results in Ariel making some very rash decisions leading her right into Ursula’s trap.
There is also a lot of double meaning in the fact that Ariel gives up her voice to be with her prince. Ursula convinces her that men on land are not interested in her voice and that she should rely on her good looks to get what she wants. But Eric isn’t interested in her good look at all, without her voice he isn’t able to identify her, and it’s only when he spends time with her and gets a glimpse on her personality that he falls in Liebe with her human self.
With this modern twist to the old fairy tale, it’s no wonder "The Little Mermaid" was a huge success. It’s a very important movie for me personally. When I was a child, my parents took me to the movie every Jahr around Weihnachten to watch the actual (or rereleased) Disney movie. This ended with "The Black Cauldron". And for a while, I mostly Lost interest in animated movies. I still watched them, but not in the movie theaters, so I missed out on "The Great maus Detective" (I watched it years later and loved it). I tried to rekindle the old tradition once and convinced my father to watch "Oliver and Company" with me, but that movie proved to be a big disappointment. At this point my expectations for Disney Filme were on a really low point, and the only reason I decided to see "The Little Mermaid" in the theater at all was the fact that this happens to be one of my Favorit fairy tales. And I was blown away. In short, I was one of those old customers Disney managed to lure back into the fold with this movie, and there is quite a bit of nostalgia connected with this one.
But as much as I liked the movie back then, I was also a little bit bitter about the ending. Today I see the whole matter differently. Disney’s "The Little Mermaid" will never be as melancholic as the original story. But it is a worthy reinterpretation in its own right. That in mind I like the movie even better than I did twenty years ago, and it’s certainly very high on my Favoriten list.
"The Little Mermaid" started the so called Disney Renaissance. One might think that the success of the movie was the reason that "Beauty and the Beast" was chosen as theme for a movie, but in fact, it was already in planning stages when "The Little Mermaid" hit the theaters. But the success certainly influenced this movie heavily.
"Beauty and the Beast" is in a sense Mehr traditional than "The little Mermaid". It has the storybook beginning (yes, I know, there are stained glass windows, but the concept is the same: pictures and a narrator who introduces us to the story), it shows off the newest development in Animation (the ballroom scene) and it’s very close to the Quelle text.
The advantage of the original fairy tale is the fact that it already has a very meaningful message about outer appearance and inner beauty, which fit perfectly into the Disney concept. It also has in the Beast already one potentially complex character. But it has, like Mehr oder less every fairy tales, some issues, mainly the fact that it is the story of a woman who was sold into captivity Von her father in exchange for his life and after falls in Liebe with her captor. Stockholm Syndrome anyone?
Disney’s take on this and their version of Belle was for a very long time my Favorit female protagonist. And I’m not the only one who thinks so; Belle often gets hailed as the first of the modern princesses. I don’t really agree there. Arielle certainly wasn’t a slouch in the heroine department either. Yes, Eric had to rescue her in the end, but she rescued him twice (three times if Du count breaking the spell Vanessa had on him), so I think she is still ahead. But Belle is certainly the Mehr mature character. While both, Arielle and Belle made mistakes, Arielle’s mistakes are the ones of an inexperienced teenager. Belle’s choices sometimes have bad consequences, but those consequences are less obvious and one can easily imagine making the same decisions in this kind of situation. Her most important choice is the one she makes in the woods after the Beast rescued her from the wolves. There is one brief moment in which she considers leaving (the inner conflict subtly shown in just a few gestures), but doesn’t. She stays because she owes the Beast for risking his live for her, but there is never any doubt that she would leave if the Beast acts abusive towards her again.
But what really makes the movie special (aside from oben, nach oben notch animation, catchy Musik and an epic score) is the way it deals with the topic of beauty, especially inner beauty. Belle is considered the most beautiful girl in town, although she is odd. But if Du take a real good look at the town people, Du see some very good looking women (who like to Zeigen off their assets). So why is Belle, who certainly is good-looking but not in the stereotypical bond haired, blue eyed manner, considered Mehr beautiful? Perhaps because she has character.
The Beast starts out as a really terrifying monster (and Mehr oder less a villain). But the Mehr he learns to relate to Belle, the better looking he becomes. And I don’t mean the fact that he becomes human again in the end. Truthfully, doesn’t he look dashing in the Ballroom scene? Gaston on the other hand is quite attractive at the start – if Du like muscle men with hairy chests. He isn’t a sympathetic character, but he isn’t really evil, just an ignorant bully. He becomes the villain in the course of the movie, and when he attacks the Beast, there is certainly something animalistic (and ugly) in his face.
There is one thing about "Beauty and the Beast" which is quite different from all the Disney Filme beforehand: The Liebe story is not based on Liebe at the first sight. The Beast’s initial interest in Belle is based on egoism, on his wish to break the curse. And Belle isn’t interested in the Beast at all. Their feelings for each other develop during the movie – and there is the one problem I have with it. The montage of Belle and the Beast spending time with each other seems to suggest a passage of time, which gets negated Von the fact that Maurice certainly didn’t spend much weeks wandering through the woods. That part of the movie is a little bit bumpy concerning the time line (and if really doesn’t get better Von adding in “Human again” in the extended version).
But otherwise this is a perfect movie (one I saw three times in the theater, just because I loved it so much) and will forever be known as the first animated movie which got an Oscar nomination for the best picture. It really changed how people saw animated movies. Finally there was an acknowledgement that this was Mehr than just kids stuff. And Disney started to make bunch of Filme using the fairy tale formula.
"Aladdin" brought the first male lead in a fairy tale movie – and a very different kind of humor. The style is very cartoony, there are countless references to other Disney Filme and a lot of puns. And although Aladin is supposed to be the main character, the Genie is truly running the show, which is a little bit unfortunate. The classic Disney Filme had an excuse for embellishing the role of the non-human characters. Animating humans properly was a difficult and time consuming task. "Aladdin" doesn’t have the same excuse. Those animators had the necessary know-how and technology. Since the Genie gets so much screen time, liking the movie depends on liking his kind of humor. To say it upfront: I don’t. I’m not a Fan of forced in humor, I prefer it if humor results out of a situation.
So, yeah, I’m not too fond of the movie overall, and not just because of this. Another thing which doesn’t really work out is the animation. In "Beauty and the Beast", the computer Animation blended in with the tradition Animation nearly perfectly. In "Aladdin", the computer animated parts are often way too obvious, especially in some of the flying scenes. They were impressive for their time, but they didn’t age well at all. Jafar is a very beliebt villain, and I can see why. The way he holds his staff, caressing it and how he turns himself into a snake – all very impressive. But it was way Mehr impressive when Maleficent did all this. The animators did much Mehr than just being inspired Von her, they made a male, Mehr stupid (ever noticed that Iago’s influence on Jafar? Maleficent would have never gone to her raven for advice), watered down version of her.
Nevertheless, there is a lot to Liebe about this movie. The plot is a little bit contrived (especially that the sultan is suddenly able to change the law at the end, and really, is everyone in this movie face-blind?), but the story insgesamt has a nice “be yourself” message and it promotes the truly important things in live (love, friendship, freedom and a piece of bread). The carpet ride scene and the finale battle are both very impressive and the Musik is catchy enough (although my Favorit song is one who didn’t make it into the movie).
Aladin was a big success, the highest grossing animated movie ever until The Lion King came out two years later. It’s considered as one of the Fab four, the most successful Filme in the Renaissance era. I think it’s slightly overrated. It’s good, but without the carpet ride scene I would consider it as average.