I have been thinking of this topic sort of in the back of my mind for the last few months. Ever since the beginning of the Disney Renaissance which started with The Little Mermaid in the early 90’s, as far as children movies go, Disney has pretty much been unbeatable.
Not lately though. At least, not according to me. I feel like ever since Pixar and Disney paired together, the true Disney movies (aka without Pixar) have been going down in quality. Does anyone even remember Brother Bear or Home on the Range? The Princess and the Frog was okay, I guess, but nowhere near the quality of a movie like Beauty and the Beast. Of course, everyone was so excited when it came out. “It’s the first black Disney Princess! It’s so progressive!” Yeah, until you consider that Disney’s shot at racial empowerment is destitute, lives in a poor part of New Orleans, and is being chased by a voodoo villain. What part of that is not racial profiling? Tangled was a yawn. A few humorous jabs plus one very cheesy song and very predictable events… enough said.
While I know many people will disagree with me, I think even many of the Pixar movies don’t live up to the glory of what Disney use to be. With some exceptions. Toy Story is pretty awesome. And Finding Nemo was great. Other than that, I just don’t find the Pixar movies that memorable.
Compare all this to Dreamwork’s increasing power with funny movies like Shrek (don’t count the sequels), Madagascar (don’t count the sequels) Ice Age (don’t count the sequels) and How to Train Your Dragon. Competing against movies like these, I’ve just started getting the feeling that maybe the once impervious movie titian was losing its touch, and maybe even on the wane, leaving Dreamworks available to become the new champ to rule for a century.
I had that feeling for all of two weeks, until I saw a couple of previews. The first was for an upcoming Dreamworks movie called The Rise of the Guardians. In this film coming out in November, children of the world are threatened by an evil force that wants to rule over them through fear. Holiday figures that we know and love such as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sand Man, all come together to answer the threat and protect the hope of children. This movie looks incredible. Of course, when it comes to previews, I always take it with a grain of salt, because the people who make previews are paid to make these movies look like hits, even if they are not. Despite that, I am eagerly awaiting this film.
So, at first, I saw this movie preview and thought, “Okay, Disney has just possibly been blown out of the water.” Then, when I saw The Avengers, I caught a preview for a new Disney movie. Brave, a Celtic, feminist adventure, comes out in June. Brave seems to be about a Princess who looks to actually be like a true feminist princess, not the supposed to be feminist because she’s educated and thinks for herself but really not because the prince still save her at the end kind of princess. Although, this we will not know for sure until the movie actually comes out. But I’m really interested in this movie. Reason 1: my own family comes from Celtic roots. Reason 2: I am a woman and really want to see if this is Disney’s first true feminist princess. Reason 3: Based on the preview, it looks all around really good. The humor, the breath taking setting, the music. I really hope it will be as good as the trailer makes it seem.
Now that it seems that both Dreamworks and Disney have two very potentially awesome movies coming out, now it seems like it’s anyone’s game. We will have no idea until both movies come out in theaters. Until then, I would love to know some of your opinions on the whole Dreamworks vs. Disney score.
And check my Squid clips for the trailers to both The Rise of the Guardians and Brave. Top right hand corner of my blog.