Thor Related to Hercules?!?

Thor Related to Hercules?!?

Thor Related to Hercules?!?

A short, silly post about the Mighty Avenger

As you probably already know, the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War dropped last week and, as a result, we lost our minds in excitement. To prepare for the film’s May release date, we decided to go back over some of our favorite Marvel crossover events and refresh our memories on some of our favorite character’s backstories. This is when we rediscovered something in Marvel canon that we had almost forgotten. Thor is a relative of Hercules! No joke!

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the general reaction we get when we say this!

How do we know this? We recently read the Thor entry to the 80’s version of the Essential Handbook of the Marvel Universe; an encyclopedic series breaking down every Marvel character’s powers, story, and appearance in meticulous detail. In this series, they list the known relatives of every hero in the Marvel universe, and under Thor, it lists his mother as…Gaea?

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a scan to prove it; the info is circled! a more up-to-date version is below!

 

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For those of you who don’t know, Gaea (also spelled as Gaia, Giah, etc.) is a primordial Greek Goddess (a powerful alien being that originates from an alternate dimension in Marvel canon), and is the mother of the Greek Titan Kronos, as well as the grandmother of Zeus! And we are pretty sure that everyone knows who Zeus’s son was… Hercules! Thor has this unique relationship with the extremely powerful Gaea for a specific reason; Marvel wanted Thor to have a reasonable reason for being the most powerful Asgardian besides Odin, and they wanted to connect the Asgardian and Olympian mythologies more closely since they were extra-dimensional beings that existed in the same universe.

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Obviously, in the original myth of Thor, Frigga is Thor’s real mother, and this seems to be the route they’re taking in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (but who knows, maybe Frigga will be revealed to be Thor’s step-mother later). However, Marvel’s version of the Thor story presents us with a fascinating family tree which the original myth does not! We did some checking to make sure that this familial relationship is still canon (after all we were looking at the outdated 80’s version of this encyclopedia for nostalgic reasons) and we confirmed that it remains in the Marvel timeline; at least for now. So, what does this mean for Thor?

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It means that, as of now, Thor is the brother of the Titan Kronos, and the Uncle of Zeus…making him the Great Uncle of Hercules! Now, before you pop-culture fans get too excited, we must specify that the Hercules which Thor’s related to is not the one from Disney’s animated film, but rather a Marvel character that we will show below…

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Marvel’s Hercules

Unfortunately for Disney nuts, this dashes the hopes of there being a definitive Disney/Marvel Universe crossover…unless you count Big Hero 6, or say that Disney’s animated film is just a different interpretation (or point of view) of the same mythology shown in Marvel; perhaps Disney’s Hercules is the human’s legend of Hercules, and not what really happened? After all, humans did accidentally mistake the Asgardians and Olympians for Gods, so it’s possible that they could have exaggerated the myths a little from what really happened. You can take that theory as far as you like, but we just find it fascinating that Thor is related to both the Asgardians and Olympians in Marvel continuity; a Son of Odin and an Uncle of Zeus!

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our reaction to this glimmer of false nerd hope.

There’s even a theory floating around that connects Ariel’s family to Hercules’ through Ariel’s father Triton! It’s not our theory, but we do think it makes perfect sense and has a lot of evidence, so maybe we’ll cover the theory someday if you really want to know about it. But for now, just be satisfied to know that Thor could be a distant relation of Ariel! It’s all such an interconnected family tree that it makes our heads hurt to think about it! Who knows; maybe Disney Animation and Marvel might be connected by more ways than just business/ownership. What do you think Disney should do about this?

If you’re still scrolling, and you haven’t clicked away yet (we love you random viewer!), we wanted to let you know that this post which you’re reading was chosen by YOU! Thank you so much to all of you who cast your votes on Social Media and remember that there will be NEW polls weekly on our Twitter and Facebook pages; always bookmarked at the top of our page! Please take a quick minute to tap on one of the poll’s options and let us know your favorite subjects from the choices shown. Also, have request or idea that you want us to cover that isn’t in the polls? Leave comments with your requests and thoughts (keep it family friendly please; we have parents who read these posts with their kids!) on our Social Media and here on WordPress. We may even feature your comment on one of our blog posts! Regardless of whether your comment gets used or not, we want to let you know that your opinion matters a lot to us and we LOVE hearing from you!

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our viewers are our heroes!

 

The Eras of Disney Animation

The Eras of Disney Animation

Here’s some fun Disney History for all you fans out there! If you already know this stuff you can check out last week’s post instead! But for the new fans, or those general Disney History buffs, this post is for you! Who knows; Maybe you’ll learn something new!

So, without further ado…

The Golden Age:

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The Golden Age of Disney Animation began with the release of Snow White in 1937. The term ‘Golden Age’ doesn’t necessarily refer to the success of these films because, besides Snow White, most of the films in the Golden Age were largely unsuccessful at the time of their release. Most of them only gained “Classic Status” years later. ‘Golden Age’ more accurately refers to the quality and technical achievements of the era’s animation. Walt spent almost every cent he made during this time on the next masterpiece. He focused on making each film better than the last, ushering in visions of great art and innovation. Unfortunately, this ‘Age of Art’ was cut short by the advent of a worldwide war…

The Wartime Era:

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Because this era was the result of WWII, a largely uncontrollable event, most critics don’t seem to hold it against Disney. This ‘sub-era’ is marked by a halt in the production of animated features as the studio was literally taken-over by the U.S. Government and co-opted into creating propaganda for America…for very little compensation. During this time, Disney had to rely on ‘package films’ to pay the rent and had almost no time to explore more creative avenues. These package films were often compilations of several short films edited together with new inserts to fill out a feature film run-time. Although many of these films are beloved today by Disney fans, they are generally considered of far less quality than the rest of the Golden Age.

The Silver Age:

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Considered by some to be a late extension the Golden Age, the Silver Age is nonetheless separated from the earlier films of the era by the events of WWII. Artistic expression was put on hold during the war. However, with the success of Cinderella, Disney was finally able to revive the innovative works which categorized its early years. This era marks the most prosperous time for the company during Walt’s lifetime, with many films in this era proving to be massive successes that went down in history as Disney Classics. But sadly this era of innovation was not to last. During this time, Disney’s increasingly high standards of innovation started making films incredibly expensive to produce. The cost of production was reaching a critical mass that no Box Office success could overcome. This finally happened in 1959 when Walt Disney reached what he considered the pinnacle of his art form: Sleeping Beauty. It was a Box Office hit, but was still dwarfed by its extravagant production costs. The constant improvement of animation could not be sustained.

Although the films after Sleeping Beauty still met with success, they were far less innovative than earlier endeavors. Animation as an art form began to fade. Eventually the quality of animation came to its lowest point when Walt Disney passed away during production of The Jungle Book. His passing left the company confused and directionless, ushering in a figurative “Dark Age” for animation.

The Bronze Age:

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Also referred to as the Dark Age, the Bronze Age of Disney Animation was largely a result of Walt Disney’s passing. Left without a sense of direction or strong leadership, the company entered an era of hits and misses. They seemed to largely fall short of the ‘magic’ that most people associated with Disney. Most of the films in this era, while fondly remembered today, struggled to reach an audience, critical or otherwise. The films in this era did explore some unique and fascinating ideas, but were far less capable of executing them than previous generations. Animation was at a low point, with a focus on films that were cheaper and faster to make, as well as the company shifting its attention to live-action films and theme-parks. during this era they underestimated the vast potential that animated films could have on an audience…That was, until a surprise Box Office hit paved the way for something new…

The Disney Renaissance:

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The Great Mouse Detective (from the Bronze Age) made enough money to finance a fairy tale passion project called The Little Mermaid. This film officially launched what most modern audiences consider to be the definitive era for the company in today’s filmmaking landscape: the Disney Renaissance! It is referred to as a ‘Renaissance’ by film critics because of its return to Walt Disney’s ideals of art and innovation, and the company’s success at finally capturing that sense of ‘Disney Magic’ that set them apart from other animation studios. Disney was back as the world’s leading animation studio, churning out hit after hit and charming the world with its beloved characters and stories.

The New Millenium:

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The New Millennium, also called the Experimental Era, mostly centered around Disney changing the way they produced their animation and structured their stories. It was a time of exploration which saw much less success than the Renaissance, and focused on new genres of storytelling. These included Sci-Fi Comedies, Irreverent Comedies, Steampunk, and even Time Travel! Not only did Disney try new things with writing and story structure during this era, but they also experimented with new technology. In this era, Disney introduced more Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI), which they had already utilized with their partners at Pixar. This led to Disney making their own full-length CGI animated film: Dinosaur. Not only would this experimentation with technology become the standard at Disney, but it would also spell the beginning of the end for traditional hand-drawn animation in the next era. Despite its shortcomings, many of the films in the Experimental Era would become crucial to the success and reliability of the next age of animation.

The New Golden Age:

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Also referred to as the Revival Era, The Second Golden Age is the one we are currently living in. Starting with the critically acclaimed Princess and the Frog, and going straight through to Disney’s latest film Moana, this era is typified by its unprecedented critical and audience approval. Every single film in this era has been critically acclaimed, and while some are more successful than others at the Box Office, they are all highly rated by audiences. This era was also marked by the decline of traditional hand-drawn animation, with Winnie the Pooh as the last Disney film of this kind, and saw the company switch exclusively to CGI. Built on the foundation of the Experimental Era’s innovations, and fueled by nostalgia for the Renaissance, the New Golden Age continues to forge a path of unique and engaging storytelling for a new generation.

Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks Part 2

Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks Part 2

Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks Part 2

In Loving Memory of Francis Xavier “X” Atencio (1919-2017)

Disney has always been known for having the most memorable characters in animation, and with every memorable main character comes the lovable sidekick! Whether carrying out their partner’s plans, or offering moral support, the sidekick often steals the show. Even then, there are a few of these Disney buddies that just don’t get the attention they deserve. To honor them, here’s Part 2 of our picks for the Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks!

Don’t forget; this is Part 2 of 2! Click here if you want to read Part 1

[Note: For this list, we’re sticking with sidekicks from the 56 current films in ‘Disney’s Animated Canon’.If you want to see more underrated Disney stuff, you can check out our lists for Animation, Disneyland attractions Part 1 and Part 2, and Disney California Adventure Attractions!]

So, without further ado…

Maximus

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This lovable horse seems to be far more competent than any ordinary soldier in the kingdom…probably a lot smarter too! With a doglike manner, and an eye for justice, Maximus became an unexpected friend to the very fugitive that he had been tasked to hunt down. As one of the most hilarious and entertaining parts of Tangled, Maximus always brings out a laugh when he’s attempting to outwit Flynn Rider, or stealing the scene with another lovable sidekick; Pascal. We’re very glad when Flynn cleans up his act as Eugene Fitzherbert and becomes unlikely friends with this noble steed, otherwise we may have never gotten to see Maximus’s hilarious adventure as one of Rapunzel and Eugene’s ringbearers in Tangled Ever After!

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An unlikely friendship indeed!

Dopey

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What’s not to love about Dopey?

The original, lovable, clumsy, and all-around wonderful comedian from Disney’s very first full-length feature film, Dopey will always have a place in our hearts! Originally one of Disney’s most popular characters, Dopey started the legacy for all Disney sidekick characters that followed. The silent star made us wish we could wiggle our ears and made us want to try out diamond spectacles! Not to mention his extreme athletic skills at balancing on top of two other dwarfs! He may not talk much, but he has a charm that enchants millions of Disney fans around the globe; even after 80 years! With his enthusiasm, simple-minded kindness, and affinity to trip on his own robe, Dopey will always have the last laugh!

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Jaq and Gus

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destined to be friends forever!

Ok, we know that these guys are really two characters instead of one, but could we really have one on this list without the other? Let’s face it, just like Lumière and Cogsworth or Timon and Pumbaa, Jaq and Gus couldn’t be as lovable without each other to interact with. The most loyal pair of mice you’ll ever meet (besides good old Mickey and Minnie of course!), Jaq and Gus would do anything to help their kindhearted friend Cinderella fulfill her dreams. Considering how many dangers they face in their quest to help Cinderella find true love, we think that these mice are the real heroes! They faced the evil cat Lucifer, stole back the key of Cinderella’s freedom from Lady Tremaine, and climbed up a mountain-sized staircase to try and get it back to her! Their bravery is astounding! With Jaq’s shrewd and mischievous mind, and Gus’s selfless bravery, no one could ask for better friends! Gus-Gus fight Lucify! Help Cinderelly!

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Let’s go help Cinderella!

Baloo

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When good old Papa Bear’s around, that’s when the bear necessities are found!

Now we’re getting into those characters who blur the line between the underrated and the best of the best, but we still think that Baloo doesn’t get as much credit as some of the more iconic sidekicks. This ‘jungle bum’ (as uptight Bagheera calls him), always knows how to grab ahold of a swinging beat when he hears one! So, fall apart in Baloo’s backyard and rest at ease with the Bear Necessities of Life; you’ll want to stay in the jungle too after you’ve spent a day with this huggable companion! A true friend who risked his life to save Mowgli from the opulent Shere Khan, old papa-bear Baloo has got it where it counts. Voiced to perfection by Disney personality Phil Harris, Baloo the Bear will have you wishing that you could dance like him! We’ll tell you something true; the Bear Necessities of Life will come to you!

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Not a care in the world!

Tigger

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T-I-Double-Guh- Er! That spells Tigger!

Again, here’s another sidekick that deserves to be ranked with the best, but often gets pushed under the rug when compared to the likes of The Genie or Olaf. In our opinion, Winnie the Pooh would not truly be Pooh without this bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, and fun friend! He may get a little overexcited sometimes, and think that he’s the best at everything (He somehow thinks that ice skating is what Tiggers do best…we don’t know how he feels about that after what happened to poor Rabbit), but he’s a true friend through and through. An expert on Heffalumps and Woozles, and the resident bouncer of the Hundred Acre wood, Tigger always delights us and leaves us wanting more fun. Paul Winchell delivered a hilarious performance as this lisping stuffed cat, and Jim Cummings (also the official new voice for Pooh) carried on the legacy after Mr. Winchell passed away. But whoever is voicing this energetic enigma, the character is alway sure to steal the show! The most wonderful thing about Tigger? He’s the only one! And that’s the end of our list! As Tigger always says “TTFN; Ta, Ta For Now!

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Hello! I’m Tigger!

Enjoy our list? Like and Share! Let us know your favorite sidekicks in the comments and stay tuned for more Disney fun every week! Until next time; have a magical week!

 

 

X Marks the Spot; A Tribute to X Atencio

X Marks the Spot; A Tribute to X Atencio

In loving memory of Francis Xavier Atencio (1919-2017); today, we honor one of the greatest Disney Imagineers of all time.

This week, we were saddened by the news that X Atencio passed away on September 10, 2017; he was 98 years old.

Francis Xavier Atencio, fondly referred to as ‘X‘ by his friends, was a beloved animator and Imagineer at Disney. He served the company for 65 years ( he started at 19 years old) and knew Walt Disney personally. In fact, Atencio was favored by Walt as a show-writer at Imagineering (the Disney branch that oversees the creation of the Disney Parks). His credits in the company include, but are not limited to, animation in films as early as Fantasia, the script for Adventure Thru Inner Space, The Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland , and as a voice-actor in many of those same attractions. He is probably most well known to fans as the voice of the talking skull at Pirates of the Caribbean, and for penning the extremely catchy lyrics of ‘Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me’ and ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’. X Atencio rightfully became a ‘Disney Legend’ in 1996 (the award is the highest honor the company can bestow).

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Walt Disney with a young X Atencio. Walt knew talent when he saw it!

There is no doubt that we will miss this Master Imagineer greatly , and his works will live on in the hearts of millions for years to come!  Because of you, we sail with theiving pirates on the Seven Seas, dance with grinning ghosts beneath the lonely trees, and sing the songs of all your symphonies! May you Rest In Peace our Pirate Captain, our Maestro of Music, and our Great Storyteller! We miss you dearly X Atencio!

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X Atencio drawing what looks to be Winnie the Pooh. We will miss you, and your creative genius, dearly!

 

Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks Part 1

Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks Part 1

Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks Part 1

Disney always creates the most memorable characters in animation, and with every memorable main character, there comes the lovable Disney sidekick! Whether they’re carrying out their partner’s plans, or offering moral support, the sidekick often steals the show.

Even then, there are a few of these overlooked Disney buddies that just don’t get the attention that they deserve. To honor these stupendous sidekicks, here’s Part 1 of our picks for the Top 10 Underrated Disney Sidekicks! Now that Part 2 is up, you can find it HERE!

[Note: For this list, we’re sticking with sidekicks from the 56 current films in ‘Disney’s Animated Canon’. Also, if you want to see more underrated Disney stuff, you can check out our lists for Animation, Disneyland Part 1 and Part 2 , and Disney California Adventure!]

So, without further ado…

Timothy Mouse

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Timothy Q Mouse is a true friend!

Poor little Dumbo didn’t have a friend in the world, until this wonderful mouse came along. Dumbo’s best friend, biggest supporter, and faithful protector, Timothy Q. Mouse has a heart of gold. While not as popular as other sidekicks, Timothy was one of the first to touch the hearts of millions. With a brave heart, unwavering faith, and good old-fashioned determination, Timothy Mouse stuck with Dumbo until the end; finally realizing their collective dream of Dumbo becoming a star and astonishing the world with unbelievable story of the amazing elephant who could fly like a bird!

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Such great enthusiasm!

LeFou

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He may be the simple-minded goon, but he’s also a hilarious!

With a name that literally translates to ‘The Fool’, Lefou could certainly use a little more common sense. Gaston’s number one thug and yes-man, Lefou feeds off Gaston’s popularity; getting whatever praise is left over from the huntsman’s adoring fans. Not much brighter than his boss, Lefou is still quite memorable for his impromptu singing skills and motivational pep-talks. Also, who can forget his awesome impression of a snowman? Who cares if he can’t even spell his best friend’s name! With the strongest and most handsome man in town as your buddy, what could possibly go wrong?

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When Gaston was a lad he ate four dozen eggs…but we think LeFou might want to stick to cereal.

Koda

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Youthful energy and fun!

This little firecracker of a cub seems to have boundless energy and enthusiasm. He may talk too much for Kenai’s taste, but for us, he just comes off as lovable. It certainly breaks our hearts when Koda is rejected by Kenai at first, because we wouldn’t even think twice about staying in the body of bear for this little buddy (okay, maybe not forever, but you get the point). He’s the little brother you’ve always wanted, and even though he can be a bit of a handful, he’s got it where it counts! Thank goodness this little brother finally got what he so desperately wanted; a family that’s always there for him, no matter what!

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He certainly loves to talk…kind of like us if you think about it.

Iago

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This sidekick to the Sultan’s Vizier may get a bit too outrageous sometimes…

Okay, we know we probably shouldn’t like villain sidekicks, but Iago is someone who always seems to make us laugh; even when we know that it might not be a good thing we’re laughing at! He’s just so gosh darn outrageous that it’s hard not to let out a giggle every once and while. But then again, what did we expect from the hilariously comic vocals of Gilbert Gottfried. Seriously, after learning Gottfried was the talent behind this sarcastic parrot, we’re ‘so worked up that we’re molting!‘ With Iago’s spot-on voice impressions (seriously, how does he do that Jasmine voice?), and tough guy attitude, Iago makes the perfect backdrop for Jafar’s more subdued villainy; even if they are both just as crazy in the end!

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Patience Iago!

Kronk

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He may have gotten mixed up in the wrong crowd, but Kronk truly is a good guy at heart!

In our opinion, Kronk is literally the best thing about Emperor’s New Groove and that’s saying a lot! In a movie full of comedic irreverence, Kronk takes the cake (or in this case, spinach puff!), and makes us laugh out loud every time. While not the sharpest tool in the shed, Kronk is a lovable goofball, and we can’t blame Pacha’s family for wanting to ‘adopt’ Kronk as their uncle; even after Yzma tried to burn their house to the ground! It’s a good thing that both Kronk’s Shoulder Angel and Shoulder Devil could agree on fighting back against Yzma, or Kronk wouldn’t have accidentally saved the day! With a superhero jaw, and the perfect physique, it’s hard to believe that he also happens to be such a great cook! Talk about having it all. Voiced to perfection by Disney luminary and television personality, Patrick Warburton,  Kronk will always charm us with his impromptu theme music. Just remember, junior chipmunks must be versed in all the woodland creatures…*nods head in understanding* Riiiiiiight!

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Redundancy? “Got you covered!”

Enjoy our list? Like and Share! Let us know your favorite sidekicks in the comments and stay tuned for more Disney fun every week! Until next time, have a magical week!

Top 5 Underrated Disney Movies

Top 5 Underrated Disney Movies

Top 5 Underrated Disney Movies

With so many good films to remember in the Disney animated canon, it can sometimes be easy to overlook a few of the lesser-known masterpieces. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the ‘Top 5 Underrated Disney Animated Films’, so that these great movies can finally receive their due. For this list, we will stick to 56 films that are  presently part of Disney’s official ‘Animated Canon’. It’s very hard to narrow this list down to an economical number, so if your favorite movie isn’t featured, please let us know in the comments and please understand that we did our best to include what we could. Perhaps we’ll compile a Part 2 with your picks if enough people want it!

Now without further ado, here we go…

#5: Fantasia 2000

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Fantasia has experienced a great deal of resurgence in popularity since its debut in the 40’s, but its sequel is still vastly overlooked even by Disney fans at large. The same concept of the original Fantasia, a showcase of music synchronized to gorgeous animation, remains; but it is enhanced by valuable lessons learned from the original. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 82%, Its hard to believe that Fantasia 2000 only broke even at the box-office. However, its breathtaking scenes of melody and imagery have spoken to the hearts of many viewers who have seen it since. But the coup de grace of the film is the final sequence; the beautiful music of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite synchronized to one of the most beautiful pieces of animation ever created. The breathtakingly beautiful scene of the Forest Sprite and the primeval destructive forces of the world must be seen to believe!

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#4: Tarzan

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This is by far one of the more well-known films of this list, but we at Disney Magic Fanatic believe it is still vastly underrated. The gorgeous film is listed among many people’s favorite Disney films, but due to licensing issues (The estate of Edgar Rice Boroughs limited what Disney could do with the property), Disney was never able to capitalize on its initial popularity. However, due to its Oscar winning music by Phil Collins, gorgeous backgrounds, animation (Tree Surfing rocks!), and an intense attention to anatomy and detail, this film rises above the rest and deserves more attention than it seems to have been receiving.

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The amount of detail in the animation and anatomy of the characters is breathtaking. Tarzan is animated by Glen Keane; the mastermind behind Tangled and the animator of dozens of gorgeous sequences of animation (such as the Beast’s transformation). Not a single frame is wasted with his work!

#3: Winnie the Pooh (2011)

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For some reason, no one we ask seems to know that this sequel to the adorable Disney classic even exists. Perhaps it’s the fact that it was released the same weekend as a super-popular Harry Potter film (how could it hope to compete at the box-office!), but regardless of the reason, there is no denying that this film is amazing. Imagine all your childhood nostalgia being fulfilled in an innocent tale of beauty and fun in The Hundred Acre Wood; that’s what this film does. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 90% and a devoted fan following, there is no denying how well-made this film was. In fact, here at Disney Magic Fanatic, Winnie the Pooh is one of our favorite Disney films since the Renaissance of Animation. Just trust us…GO SEE IT!

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The canonical sequel is absolutely adorable and faithful to the original.

#2: The Emperor’s New Groove

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Sure, it’s no Lion King, but The Emperor’s New Groove is hilarious! Everyone we ask seems to love this film and we certainly understand why. What can go wrong with a selfish Emperor being turned into a talking Llama? What’s not to like about a villain who’s scary beyond all reason and proof that Dinosaurs once roamed the earth? Nothing; except for the full comedy of ridiculous events and crazy meta-commentary in which those things are found! Plus…who doesn’t love Kronk and his shoulder devil and angel? Spinach Puffs for everyone!

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Kronk is our favorite! He makes the film into a real hoot!

#1: Treasure Planet

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In our opinion (note the keyword: OPINION), Treasure Planet is the most underrated Disney film of all time. It seems to grow on you every viewing more and more, until it’s firmly planted in your mind. Directed by Disney luminaries John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Moana, etc.), Treasure Planet is a breathtaking display of gorgeous animation, brilliant world-building design, and lovable characters. Sure, it lacks a little on the plot side, and has a few bugs with its logic, but it’s all worth it for the sumptuous visuals and unique blend of 18th century design and high-tech cyberpunk. Featuring a brilliant voice cast, including a now-superstar Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the great Emma Thompson, and the ever-entertaining Martin Short to name a few; this film has an immense imagination and deserves a little more credit!

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The film’s visuals are the stuff of dreams; taking years to painstakingly animate.

 

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There is absolutely no shortage of imagination in this film!

 

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The stylistic design is unique and fresh; always catching the eye with its intricate detail.

Like our list? Please Like and share and also stay tuned for weekly Disney joy!

 

Top 5 Most Successful Disney Villains

Top 5 Most Successful Disney Villains

The Top 5 Most Successful Disney Villains

In some cases, Disney’s villains are just as memorable as the heroes they face off against. However, there are a few fiendish felons that rise above the rest in their craftiness. So, to be fair to these guys, we’ve compiled a list of who we think are the most successful Disney animated villains; regardless of how good of a villain they are or their actual level of popularity. This list is based solely upon the villain’s individual level of success in a film’s plot; even if they remain unmemorable for the audience!

Warning: ‘Be prepared’ for a spoiler alert (but you already knew that!)

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#5: Doris the Evil Bowler Hat

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Creepy! Doris gives us the shivers!

 

Meet the Robinsons is a lesser known Disney movie and the villains are therefore often overlooked by Disney fans at large. However, there is still no denying the success which that film’s villain obtained. Doris, a multitasking super-hat that somehow controls minds (don’t ask), was invented by the film’s hero, named Lewis, in the future. Doris subsequently became self-aware, turned evil (again, don’t ask), and manipulated Lewis’s childhood friend Michael ‘Goob’ Yagoobian into attacking Lewis’s legacy. By stealing a time-machine, Goob allows Doris to go back in time and sell herself as Goob’s invention before she had been invented by Lewis so that she can be massed-produced and have the numbers to mind-control all of humanity (it’s very complicated). She succeeded in doing all of this, but thankfully all of her evil machinations were easily undone when the young version of Lewis decided to overcome his fears and never event Doris in the first place (confusing timey-wimey stuff). At least the endearing unicorn-loving Goob wasn’t such a bad guy after all!

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We’re glad Bowler Hat Guy (Goob) isn’t a bad guy after all!

 

#4: Prince Hans

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We love to hate Prince Hans! Shame on him!

No villain makes us cringe more than the chief slime-ball of all Disney villains; the wicked Prince Hans from Frozen. Even Gaston seems a gentleman when compared to how Prince Hans treated the women in his life! Prince Hans set out to marry into the royal house of Arendale and thus inherit the kingdom himself. He manipulated poor Anna into thinking he was in love with her, forced Elsa to retreat from fear, and then dumped Anna and left her to the effects of a frozen heart! He tricked the whole kingdom into thinking he was some dashing hero. He succeeded with all his plans, but in the end, he had not counted on true love to thaw the frozen heart!

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EEEVIL!!!!!

#3: Ursula

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Who knew such a deep voice could get any deeper…..or that such a big octopus lady could get bigger!

Besides having one of the best villain songs in all cinematic history, Ursula also stands as one of the most successful schemers in the Disney canon. It’s amazing how fast she accomplishes her goals; considering she made up her plan from scratch only after she had discovered Ariel’s rebelliousness! Ursula managed to trick a distraught Ariel into selling her soul and her voice in return for human legs so that she could get prince Eric to fall in love with her. It was not a fair deal! Despite awesome relationship advice from Sebastian, Ursula uses Ariel’s stolen voice to make certain that poor Ariel would never reach that already-difficult goal. Because of the loving father he is, King Triton takes Ariel’s place as Ursula’s slave (talk about a different kind of Disney ‘true love’!) Ursula becomes the master of wind and tide just as she had always wanted….at least for a few minutes. Even if he isn’t good at guessing names, Prince Eric still makes a great hero!

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*Shivers*….That’s one bad octopus lady!

#2: Jafar

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Just look at that Monkey-faced malice!

This slimy Sultan’s Vizier manages to sneak his way into the Sultan’s highest confidence with snake-like craftiness. Not only does Jafar manage to remain the Sultan’s most trusted adviser for most of the movie, but he also pulls off a pretty convincing old man disguise! This schemer even seems to have backup plans to achieve his goals if the original plans fail (like marrying Princess Jasmine…He’s so old; YUCK!). Through carefully laid schemes and tempered patience, Jafar not only reaches his life’s goal of becoming Sultan, but even goes a step further; becoming a powerful sorcerer and then an all-powerful genie! Pulling off ‘phenomenal cosmic power’ is an astonishing feat to be sure, but it’s too bad some major strings came attached to the whole genie thing…

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So glad this didn’t last!

#1: Scar

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What a showman! If he wasn’t so evil, he might be a pretty good actor!

Scar certainly did exactly what he had set out to do (except for catching that mouse for lunch…). Not only did his years of patience and planning pay off with his rise to King of The Pride Lands, but he met every single goal on the way to get there; all of it working perfectly to his design. He engineered the demise of his own brother, managed to convince his own nephew that it was somehow his fault, and even fulfilled his promise to some rather crazy Hyenas. Also, he has the longest period of success out of any Disney villain in history! Scar managed to rule as King long enough for Simba to be raised to adulthood by a lovable Meercat and Warthog; all while enjoying a rousing chorus of Hakuna Matata! Even though the Pride Lands went to waste under Scar’s lethargic rule, he still proved himself to be an extremely successful schemer!

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What follows this still brings tears to our eyes…

Like our list? Was your favorite foe included? Let us know in the comments below! Tell us who YOUR picks would be, and we may make another list with your picks later! If you like our content, please like our post and share!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Winnie the Pooh (1977)

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Winnie the Pooh (1977)

5 Things You May Not Know About Disney’s ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’!

The original Winnie the Pooh film’s 40th anniversary is this year, and we thought we might celebrate in our own nerdy way! Here’s our list of 5 Things You May Not Know About ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’!

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The El Capitan Theater’s advertisement for a throwback showing of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

#1: It is Actually 3 Separate Films

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh might feel like several separate adventures stitched together instead of one cohesive film. The reason for this feeling is because this was indeed the case! Most kids who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s already know this, but The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is an amalgamation of three separate short films edited together; with new sequences added to weave the segments together naturally. The three short films were originally released in theatres in double-bills with live-action Disney features; Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (released with The Ugly Dachshund in 1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (released with The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit in 1968), and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (released with The Island at the Top of the World in 1974). Therefore, even though the final product wasn’t released until 11 years after Walt Disney’s death in 1966, he personally worked on two out of three in this collection.

#2: It was Responsible for Disney’s Last Oscar

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) is responsible for the last of Walt Disney’s Acedemy Awards. The award, given posthumously to Walt in 1969 and accepted on his behalf by animator/director Wolfgang ‘Woolie’ Reitherman, was for ‘Best Short Subject’. It was a shame that Walt Disney had passed away before the film was finally released theatrically, but the honor was deeply felt for him; especially since it officially capped off Walt Disney’s record of Academy Awards won at a whopping 26! Walt Disney still holds the world record for most academy awards won by a single individual; as well as the world record for most academy awards nominations at 59 total nominations!

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Winnie the Pooh’s innocence was something that Walt Disney was especially fond of and he said so several times while making the film.

#3: It Made Winnie the Pooh an American Icon

A.A. Milne’s classic books had been quite popular in England for a long time before Disney purchased the rights to make their films. However, Pooh was comparatively unknown in the U.S. It may be hard to think of a time when kids didn’t know who Pooh was, but his obscurity was very real in the new-era sixties of the United States. Walt Disney was worried that the obscurity would be enough to majorly hinder a full-length feature film. He felt like he needed to start off Pooh in a series of short films, to introduce him to the average American audience and establish his character, then it might have been possible to move on to a full-length film. Sadly, Walt did not live to see his vision of a feature film realized, but he did succeed in making Winnie the Pooh a Very recognizable character in the U.S.

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When making their Disney themed paintings, the Thomas Kinkade Estate could not ignore the vastly popular Winnie the Pooh stories. Go buy the paintings on the Thomas Kinkade website if you can; they’re fantastic!

#4: It Was the Last Chapter for Several People

As mentioned above, Walt Disney passed away during the production of these iconic shorts and was not able to see all his dreams about it to come true. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was the last film project to be released which Walt ever worked on. However, Winnie the Pooh didn’t just mark the last chapter for Walt. It also sadly marked the very last screen performance of the well-respected thespian Sebastian Cabot (the Narrator) as the actor passed away five months later. Interestingly, Winnie the Pooh also marked veteran actor Sterling Holloway’s final theatrical performance to be released before his retirement in film. Sterling was the voice of Pooh, the Cheshire Cat, Kaa, and many other iconic Disney characters.

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Sterling Holloway holding, arguably, his most famous character.
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Sterling Holloway had a long and illustrious Disney career as a voice artist before retiring.

#5: It Spawned one of Disney’s Greatest Franchises

When Walt set out to adapt A.A. Milne’s classic tales into a dream-fulfilling feature film, he had no idea what it would one day become. It spawned dozens of direct-to-video sequels, tv-films, several television shows, thousands of items of merchandise, theme-park attractions, and many more appearances which we do not have room to list here. Pooh’s influence is even acknowledged by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also, if you want to relive the nostalgia of the Hundred-acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh is one of only 3 Disney films to have a canonical full-budget theatrical sequel. Winnie the Pooh (2011) is a critically acclaimed film which does justice to the original tale. If you haven’t seen it, we would highly recommend it!

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The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction at Disneyland takes its namesake directly from the original film and follows the same events. There is a variation on this ride at many Disney Parks; including the extremely popular version at Tokyo Disneyland!

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Disney’s Sleeping Beauty!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Disney’s Sleeping Beauty!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sleeping Beauty

Revered as one of Disney’s Greatest films, Sleeping Beauty has stood the test of time. Almost 60 years later, it has become a major pop-culture icon. To honor this masterpiece, here is our list of 5 Things You May Not Know about Sleeping Beauty!

#1: Sleeping Beauty Was a Technological Triumph

Walt Disney insisted that Sleeping Beauty must be the most beautiful film the studio had ever made. He famously said that the film should look like ‘a moving illustration’. He did not care how long it took, or how much money it would cost to get it there. Walt wound up spending twice as much on Sleeping Beauty than any other Disney animated feature before. Over an arduous 8 years of production, Walt made sure the film was refined to a level of quality which stunned critics of the day. The animation was specifically altered from Disney’s typical style to make it feel more Gothic and intricate. The format which it was intended to be released in (Super Technirama 70) was specifically chosen because of its depth of sound and widescreen picture; making it one of only two animated films in history at the time to be produced in anamorphic widescreen (the first was Lady and the Tramp).

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The climactic scene between Prince Phillip and Maleficent is a fantastic example of the entire film’s epic artistry and technical innovations.

#2: The Score Was Not a Disney Original

Walt Disney had always worked hard to produce the best original scores that he could muster; making his animated films famous as lavish musicals. However, Disney took a very rare approach to the scoring of Sleeping Beauty. To produce the sophisticated feeling he was looking for, Walt insisted that the score be adapted directly from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous Sleeping Beauty Ballet; the lyrics of Once Upon a Dream are the only new addition to the score. The score was adapted and revised by George Bruns and the adapted score was nominated for an Academy Award, but it was turned down in favor of a completely original score.vnlLPbCazLIl

#3: Maleficent’s Voice Should Sound Very Familiar

Although Maleficent is arguably the most popular of the Disney villains, and was Eleanor Audley’s most well-known performance, it was not the first Disney villain the radio veteran portrayed…nor the last of her dark Disney roles. Nine years prior, in 1950, Eleanor had made her Disney debut by portraying Lady Tremaine, the cruel stepmother in Cinderella. Disney Parks veterans will also recognize her as the voice of Madame Leota at The Haunted Mansion! If you already knew that, then you may still be surprised to learn that Eleanor was one of the few actors in sleeping beauty who also portrayed her character for live-action reference footage. this live-action performance was studied by Angelina Jolie for her role as the same character in Maleficent (2014).

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Eleanor Audley erupts in rage at her goons in this still from the live-action reference used by animators as inspiration.

#4: It Is One of the most Revered Animated Films of All Time

Today, many film critics and historians agree that Sleeping Beauty is one of the best animated films of all time. With a Rotten Tomatoes Score of 92%, and numerous praise from filmmakers and critics allike, it stands the test of time. Sleeping Beauty is also notable as the “33rd highest Grossing Film in History” with a total value of $642,456,300 in today’s currency when adjusted for inflation. The film is also the “5th Highest Grossing animated film of all time” when adjusted for inflation. In addition, The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland is now the spiritual icon of the entire Walt Disney Studios; replacing the previous generic castle as the company’s logo (despite popular belief, it is not Walt Disney World’s Cinderella castle).

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Although much more elaborate than the version at Disneyland, this logo is confirmed by the company to be an updated Sleeping Beauty castle. It was commissioned by the Walt Disney Studios from special effects house ‘WETA DIGITAL’ (known for The Lord of the Rings).

#5: It Was the Last of Its Kind

After 16 animated features, Walt Disney’s films were getting better and better, but they were also getting more and more expensive as a result. The price it was costing to improve upon their films, and make them at such a high quality, was quickly outweighing the profits the studio made. Sleeping Beauty was the last-ditch effort by the Walt Disney Studios to keep animation improving, and it is considered by many as the pinnacle of animation as a result. However, even though it was a huge hit, the film had cost so much money to make that it ended up with only a small profit; that’s how expensive it was to produce! With a sad heart Sleeping Beauty became the last film Walt Disney Produced at such a caliber. The Golden Age was over, and although Disney’s next film (101 Dalmatians-1961) was a success, the art of the animation was greatly reduced….until a certain mermaid!prince-philip-slleping-beauty-annie-leibovitz-s-disney-dream-portrait-series-disney-1361380-2000-1300Enjoy these facts? Interested in more? Like, share, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter by following the links on our menu page in order to receive updates and let us know in the comments what films you want us to cover next!