Monday, June 8, 2009

Great Buzz for Disney's Next Animated Blockbuster

Pictures Courtesy of Walt Disney

As a kid, I always looked forward to seeing Disney animated classics like Lady & The Tramp, Winnie the Pooh, The Aristocrats, Fantasia, and The Jungle Book. They helped inspire and elevate my childhood imagination. And after a string of lackluster releases, I saw Disney regain the very magic that made it an icon.

Starting with 1989's The Little Mermaid, Disney released eight movies that solidified an unmistakable Disney Renaissance. The themes and story lines were sharper. The animation more cutting edge. Locations around the globe - from Asia to Africa - were used. The lead characters had more dimension. From the pageantry of Beauty and The Beast, to the grandeur of The Lion King, to the sweeping and good-humored Tarzan.

Hoping to spark an animation renaissance of sorts in this new millennium, Disney will release the eagerly anticipated The Princess and the Frog this Fall. It's the first Disney film featuring an African American princess. Set in 1920s New Orleans, it tells the story of a young waitress and chef with big dreams of owning a restaurant.

According to sources who've seen the film, it combines the great storytelling and infectious energy of Disney's 90's classics with the handrawn throwback look of its older films. So its understandable if Disney executives are giddy: great early buzz, criticism from some quarters that will only peak interest, and a star cast powered by Anika Noni Rose and Oprah Winfrey (who also served as a film consultant).

Check out the film trailer online and you'll be as excited as I am about what will certainly be a huge blockbuster.

3 comments:

  1. Disney has come a long way. As an Asian-American, I am so happy they did the movie "Mulan". The character in this movie will especially make African-Americans proud, but will still have a story that's relatable to the mainstream. Can't wait for it.

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  2. Oh this is great. I think I remember reading about this on Buzzfeed. Way to go Disney.

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  3. Oprah is voicing a character in this too?! Ok. Well I guess that means Oprah's going to have the cast on her show, which will mean an extra $10-$20 million for the movie in the first weekend.

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