Link to Previous Part: The Disneyathon – Part 4: The Package Movies
We’re now entering The Silver Age of Disney Animated. This is the era where they had enough money to go back to making actual movies and it’s the beginning of their climb to the top. We’re in the early 1950’s now and the war is long gone so more people are able to go to the movies. More classic movies are coming your way so we’ll start with the most famous movie of this era…
Cinderella! What can I say…. it isn’t very good.
A poor start to the Silver Age which shouldn’t be something I have to say about the most famous movie from this era. (But I am, Get Over It!) I’m serious here. I know it’s a classic and all but that doesn’t mean it’s safe from ME or any major flaws.
I’m just going to assume you know the plot because everyone knows Cinderella. In case you don’t, just imagine the exact same plot from Snow White but with some minor alterations. They’re basically the same movie. It is baffling to me that so many people overlooked this when deciding that this is one of Disney’s best.
Let’s talk about the characters. You’ve got Cinderella who is a clone of Snow White except a little less naïve. Her step sisters aren’t as beautiful as her because they are cursed with wrinkles at the age of 18 or 20 and there is the step mother who is just a witch. Lastly the sidekicks, Jaq and Octavius who is nicknamed Gus. (Don’t ask me how they connect, just don’t!) Every Disney movie has had a comedic sidekick, some are more annoying than others. Cinderella introduces us to the most overused sidekicks yet, as the movie completely stops when these characters show up. Their scenes always involve Granny’s cat Lucifer who is kind of like Tom or Sylvester. These scenes aren’t bad but I wish there weren’t so many of them because it really bogs down the movie which is only an hour and 15 and these scenes easily take up the first 20 minutes.
The most polarizing moment in this movie is probably the most famous scene in the whole film. It’s when The Fairy Godmother shows up and, Oh My God, absolutely everything is wrong with this scene! Imagine that you have never seen or heard of Cinderella before, just imagine how shocked and confused you would be when a random old woman just teleports right in front of our heroine and then tells her that she is her Fairy Godmother. There has been no mention of this character until this point, there is no mention that magic exists in this world (talking mice don’t count!) and why is she only helping now? Did she miss the part when Cinderella’s parents died and how horrible her step family have been TREATING HER!!!
It gets worse when the fairy magically grants Cinderella everything she ever wanted, then out of nowhere she throws this curve-ball that she has until midnight before the magic runs out. YOU ARE SUCH A USELESS FAIRY GODMOTHER!!!! YOUR JOB IS TO HELP HER REACH HER DREAMS NOT PUT OBSTACLES IN THE WAY!!! I DON’T CARE HOW OLD THIS MOVIE IS, THIS SCENE SUCKS AND EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS CHARACTER IS AWFUL!!
Those are the main complaints. There are others but I want to focus the rest of this section on what I do like. Props to the Disney dream team for upping the budget as the animation is once again fantastic and I really liked the music in this movie including that song the stupid fairy sings. Even though the characters are very basic the movie did do a good job at making me care for Cinderella as I felt bad for her and I wanted her to go to a better place. The step mother is probably the most effective villain yet in this series as I genuinely hated her as she was such an old bat and deserved to be struck by lightning.
Although I hated on the mice for being overused I think this movie also has some good examples of side characters being done right with The Grand Duke and the Prince’s Father as I absolutely loved these characters. They’re just the right balance of over the top silly and do a good job at moving the plot along without completely slowing down the entire movie.
So overall Cinderella is a movie with impressive visuals but it hasn’t aged particularly well as there are more plot holes than I could count and the movie is just way too simple. A 4/10. I will say it’s a great movie for kids as I think it’s perfect for their innocent mindset. Anyone older I doubt would find as much enjoyment.
Yet another movie considered a classic. It’s funny, during the Package Era there were no movies classified as “classic”. Whilst in The Golden Age and The Silver Age pretty much every movie was considered an instant classic but I have been reviewing these movies as if none of them were classics. 6/10’s 4/10’s – you’d think a classic would do better than that. Well I thought that for a while too, until a certain movie just broke the Disney Classic curse.
It only took 6 movies (13 if you count the Package movies) but I think Alice in Wonderland is our first winner. Once again I’m sure many of you are familiar with the plot of this movie. It’s about a young girl who rudely cuts her mother off mid-sentence to sing about her dream paradise. It’s also kind of like be careful what you wish for as five seconds later a white rabbit hops by and our adventure begins and the mum doesn’t bother to figure out why her daughter has disappeared.
Alice in Wonderland is pretty much a series of segments with a very lose plot tying them all together, kind of like a Package Movie except done better. I think it worked very well for this movie as it’s a nice tour around this weird world where you see all of these wacky and zany characters going about their weird lives. I made the point in my Cinderella review, and my previous couple of reviews, about how some of these movies feel like their stalling for time. You could make the same point here but since these scenes are so entertaining and well executed I could just overlook that.
I think this is the first Disney movie to have an actual good protagonist (again, if you exclude Mr Toad). Alice is very naïve like Cinderella but instead of having literally everything handed to her on a silver platter Alice grows as a character and learns a lesson and that is don’t make up dream fantasy lands kids because you’ll not be welcomed there. There is a good cast of supporting characters unlike in other Disney movies where the secondary characters bog down the movie. These characters serve their point and are pretty entertaining. My favourites probably include The Dodo, Cheshire Cat, The Caterpillar, The Queen of Hearts and so on – there are too many to list.
This is the complete opposite of my Cinderella review as I should mention my negatives. There aren’t that many this time around. It’s pretty basic again which does kind of work for this movie but it also doesn’t have much connection to reality besides that it is better than dream land. I know it’s a weird dream land but it would be nice if there was some consistency, especially whenever Alice eats something. Sometimes she grows, other times she shrinks, I thought she had to eat specific food but I guess not. Whatever, I learned to turn my brain off like I’m in a weird dream land myself. I enjoyed this movie but this is the first movie where I can barely remember any of the songs.
That’s about it. I don’t have much else to say except it’s better than Cinderella. Alice in Wonderland is the first movie that I believe is deserving of being regarded as a classic. It’s a fun and interesting movie that is well animated, the score is great, there is a great voice cast and really great characters. I think we have found something special here, a solid 8/10. Disney are finally heading in the right direction and I’m really looking forward to what they have to offer next!
God Dammit we have been duped!
Movie number 3 is, surprisingly, not considered a classic but it’s still completely okay to pan.
Peter Pan is not an interesting movie to watch but I don’t really have much hate towards this movie because it’s just really stupid. There is no plot to this movie, the music is pretty stale, all of the characters are stereotypes and caricatures. There is just nothing interesting about it. It’s a dumb silly cartoon movie which is very disappointing coming from Disney.
So Peter Pan is about kids not wanting to grow up which is something I imagine we all thought about when we were kids unless you’re like me who has never grown up. Peter Pan follows three main protagonists (or maybe 4 or 5, it’s definitely not one). One being Wendy a girl head over heels for Peter Pan and also wanting to be his mummy, huh? Captain Hook a guy wanting justice against Pan for putting the irony in his last name and Peter Pan a magic boy child who has no arc besides wanting the Lost Boys to have a mother, I think?
I was surprised to find out that Peter Pan is accused of being racist because it’s full of Indian stereotypes which is very true. Maybe if they were in the movie more it would get a The Song of the South cover-up. The Indians are there but the worst characters by far are the female characters because they’re more annoying and I would say are more stereotypical. Wendy and Tinker Bell really dragged down the movie alot because they’re always chasing after men, they’re very emotional and are basically jealous of everything that comes in contact with their favourite man. I don’t understand how anyone can like Tinker Bell after her stupidly telling Hook where The Lost Boy’s hideout is but I guess that wouldn’t follow the typical kids movie formula and change is bad.
I don’t know about you but I was on fully Team Hook. Captain Hook and Mr. Smee are the only great characters in the entire movie because they’re just stupidly entertaining. Hook is a simple, over the top, cartoon villain and Smee is his bumbling henchman. They make a fun duo and these characters kept me going. That’s about as far as my positivity goes.
How I sum up Peter Pan is it’s an okay cartoon movie, with one fun villain surrounded by an annoying bag of hens. I’ll give it a rating below 4 and slightly above 3.
Link to Part 6 Coming Soon.