Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Remember Disney Movies Past

There's been a bit of a kerfuffle over Disney's upcoming CG fairytale being renamed from Rapunzel to Tangled, and that got me thinking about past Disney fairytales. Then I saw the trailer for Waking Sleeping Beauty, and that made me want to make a blog post. So this is mostly just random things that come to mind when I think of Disney movies in relation to my childhood, along with a few random observations.
I grew up during the Disney Renaissance. The absolute earliest memory I have of seeing a movie in a theater is from Oliver and Company (I don't remember the whole movie, but the chase scene near the end has always remained in my memory). When The Little Mermaid came out, or rather, when it came out on VHS, it was specifically given to me as a present, but my younger sister took to watching it religiously, and to this day my older sister can still quote the movie word-for-word thanks to those watchings. Eventually it dawned on me that since the video had been given to me, I could control when we watched it, and after that we didn't watch it quite so much.
Considering the quick turnaround of movies coming out in a theater and then being released on DVD we have these days, it's weird to remember that it used to be six months to a year. I recall getting Beauty and the Beast on VHS for Christmas and then going to see Aladdin a few days later back in 1992. And now, The Princess and the Frog is coming out on DVD in just a few weeks. Amazing how things have changed.
When The Lion King came out, my younger sister got a sing-along cassette of the songs, but when I heard the radio version of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," I had to own the actual soundtrack. And since this was the summer when my sisters were forced to give a third of their birthday money to me, I actually had money in the summer for change, and thus I was able to buy it myself. I was rather proud of that, and I'm pretty sure I still have that cassette somewhere. (As for why my sisters had to give me money, I had used all my birthday money earlier in the year to buy a Sega Genesis with Sonic 2, and my parents felt it was fair that my sisters pay their part as well, since we all used it. Which makes sense, but I hadn't expected that, so it was a bit of windfall for me.) I wasn't compelled to buy the soundtrack to another Disney movie until Mulan, but that was partially because my younger sister got the soundtrack to The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Speaking of that movie, the summer that it came out, my family took a trip down to Williamsburg, and on the return trip, Mom gave my sisters and I whiteboards to draw on. For a reason I can no longer remember, we got obsessed with coming up with scenarios for the gargoyle characters (with Laverne as Hugo's Abhorrent Admirer mostly), which somehow gave way to drawing parodies of the titles of musicals with Hugo inserted (i.e. Hugo on the Roof, Kiss Me, Hugo). When we got home, my older sister re-drew the best ones in Fine Artist, though those have all been lost to time by now.
My sisters and I were disappointed by Hercules, though it took a while for us to figure out exactly why. After some debate, we chalked it up to Hades not getting a villain song, reasoning that all the Disney movies in recent years gave a song to the villain (even McLeach from The Rescuers Down Under had a very short one), and this one didn't, so that must be the key.
Speaking of songs in Hercules, I was looking up the voices in that movie just the other day, and was amused (no pun intended) to see that one of the muses (the short one) has gone on to voice Bubie in The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Another muse was voiced by LaChanze, which I note only because I recently got the OBC of Once on This Island, which is where she had her first starring role.

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