Reviewing all 57 Disney Animated Canon Movies!

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Baloo

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I don't know if this forum is the best place to create this topic, but this is a big project I can't wait to start and finish. I, like many people, love Disney. Disney was a large part of my childhood and teenage years, and as a adult, I love their movies just as much as I did when I was younger, and arguably more so now.

My big project is to review every film in the Disney animated canon in chronological order, starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and ending with Ralph Breaks the Internet. With the exception of Ralph Breaks the Internet, I have seen every film in the canon before, so I won't be going in with blind expectations since I'm familiar with almost all of them. The purpose of coming back to these films is to re-evaluate them and see if they're at the same quality I remember them being at, better, or worse. I also plan to rank all 57 films from worst to best at the end of the project.

Most of my reviews will be fairly similar format-wise. I'll start out with a brief introduction, go through the film's plot, providing my thoughts on the film along the way, and at the end, I will summarize my thoughts on the film and give it a rating from A+ to F-. The only ones that will be somewhat different will be the package films, which I'll rank each segment individually, and give the film a final score as a whole. I highly encourage discussion on what you think of these films, or whether you agree or disagree with some of my points, as there are opinions on some of these films I have that may not go with the general consensus. Besides, I love to talk about Disney, so creating discussion about these films is a lot of fun for me and hopefully the other people involved. Now, here is how I define my rating scale. I'm not a particularly harsh reviewer on grading, so as long as there's a lot of stuff I like in the film and I have relatively few complaints, landing in the "A" range is fairly likely.

A - Great to excellent film; films that get an "A+" are my personal favorites, and the films with an "A" or "A-" are still pretty good as well.
B - Good to great film; solid and enjoyable, but not top-tier Disney material for me.
C - Average/okay film; these films are average as far as being a film goes, but considering the Disney animated canon's generally high quality, this is below average for their standards.
D - Below average/mediocre film; not bad, but pretty weak for Disney standards.
F - Bad-terrible films; while Disney is an amazing company, they can make some big mistakes, and this is what those select few films will receive.

Most big Disney fans probably know that the films are often divided into eras, and I also plan on recapping each era after I review the last movie in the era. Here, I will rank all the films in the era, and talk about my favorite and least favorite aspects of the era, such as characters, songs, animation, and so on. My definition of the eras is mostly similar to most people's, but I like to put the first five films and the 1950s and 1960s films in one big golden age, when most people tend to divide them into a golden age and silver age. If you're not sure of what I'm talking about, these are what I consider the eras to be.

Golden Age (1937-1942; 1950-1967): Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book
Wartime Package Films (1942-1949): Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Dark Age (1970-1988): The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company
Disney Renaissance (1989-1999): The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan
Post-Renaissance (1999-2008): Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Bolt
Disney Revival (2009-current): The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet

Anyway, I'm very excited to begin this 57-part project, and I hope everyone reading these reviews has a fun time as well. I'll post my review of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs once I rewatch the film again. My posting schedule is not consistent, but I'll probably post at least one review a week unless I'm too busy to get stuff done.

The last thing I have to say is that on every review, I will post a question asking you on your thoughts on something Disney-related, with the question pretty much always being related to the movie I reviewed. I put these here to get a better understanding of people's thoughts on certain aspects of Disney films, and I highly encourage answering them to help create discussion, but it is optional. For the first question:

Off the top of your head, who do you think your ten favorite Disney characters are?
(You can just list them; they don't have to be exact or in increasing/decreasing order. The questions in the reviews will be less complex to answer than this one.)
 

zoombie

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Well good luck buddy. Before you start one random question, is the Rescuers / Oliver and Company in the same universe, originally Oliver and Company was going to kind of a sequel in the Rescuers, Bianca and Bernard woudln't be in it, but Penny would be. I am not sure, one of the things about the Rescuers universe are kids can talk with animals, to my knowledge I don't think Jenny communicated with any of the animals in Oliver and Company, I guess you have to be a kid that a lonely isolated childhood to have that ability.
 
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Baloo

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Well good luck buddy. Before you start one random question, is the Rescuers / Oliver and Company in the same universe, originally Oliver and Company was going to kind of a sequel in the Rescuers, Bianca and Bernard woudln't be in it, but Penny would be. I am not sure, one of the things about the Rescuers universe are kids can talk with animals, to my knowledge I don't think Jenny communicated with any of the animals in Oliver and Company, I guess you have to be a kid that a lonely isolated childhood to have that ability.
Thanks for wishing me luck!
I actually planned on talking about Penny and Jenny's similarities once I got to my Oliver and Company review, as I have strong thoughts on one of those two characters, but no, Jenny never had a conversation with Oliver or any of the dogs in the film.

I always thought it was possible that Penny and Jenny could be related, considering they both live in New York and they look similar, but I feel like the two movies probably aren't in the same universe despite both taking place in New York City.
 
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zoombie

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Thanks for wishing me luck!
I actually planned on talking about Penny and Jenny's similarities once I got to my Oliver and Company review, as I have strong thoughts on one of those two characters, but no, Jenny never had a conversation with Oliver or any of the dogs in the film.

I always thought it was possible that Penny and Jenny could be related, considering they both live in New York and they look similar, but I feel like the two movies probably aren't in the same universe despite both taking place in New York City.
Well still doesn't stop anyone from doing crossover fics, imagine Penny and Jenny meeting, maybe Penny can strike a conversation with Oliver and the gang.

When we get to Sword in the Stone, I feel sorry for the squirrel girl, the way the men in the movie just play with her heart, poor girl. Wish we got to see her in human form.
 
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Baloo

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Well still doesn't stop anyone from doing crossover fics, imagine Penny and Jenny meeting, maybe Penny can strike a conversation with Oliver and the gang.

When we get to Sword in the Stone, I feel sorry for the squirrel girl, the way the men in the movie just play with her heart, poor girl. Wish we got to see her in human form.
The first idea sounds cool, and I think I know a way they could make it work. In Brother Bear, the animals can talk with animals, but can't talk to humans. However, as shown in the scene where Kenai is with Tanana right after turning into a bear, he is trying to talk to her, but because he's an animal and she's a human, she hears his words as animal sounds instead of the actual dialogue the audience is hearing. If someone made a crossover between The Rescuers and Oliver and Company, I could see something like that working with Penny being able to understand what the animals are saying when they make noises, but I feel that would raise more questions about how she's able to do this.

I also thought it would have been interesting in The Sword in the Stone if it was revealed that the girl squirrel was actually a human who was turned into a squirrel, but I think that is unlikely since she doesn't talk and Merlin and Arthur still talk when they're squirrels. Since the only animal in the movie who talks is Archimedes (who is Merlin's pet, and since Merlin is magical, I feel he probably enchanted Archimedes so he could talk), I'm pretty certain this is one the humans and animals can't talk, but whether or not the animals can talk with each other with the exception of Archimedes is unknown.
 

Baloo

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Welcome to part 1 of my project to review every film in the Disney animated canon! If you haven't already, I would recommend checking out my first post on how my reviews will be like. Let's start things off with reviewing the very first film in the Disney animated canon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released in 1937. Thanks to the film's groundbreaking innovation and big success, it paved the way for many Disney films to come, and it is one of Disney's most iconic films. However, is it still a good film over 80 years later? Let's see.

To start things off, we begin with the opening credits of the film. A trend I've noticed in Disney is that pretty much all of their movies up to The Fox and the Hound have their credits at the opening of the film rather than the end of the film. This doesn't affect the score of any of these movies, but it's an observation that I felt like I should mention. While I think the opening credits aren't among the most memorable from Disney from both a visual and a musical standpoint, something that does stand out about them for me is the notice made by Walt Disney thanking everyone who worked on the film. It's a very nice touch that helps an otherwise standard and unremarkable opening credits.

After the credits, we get a classic storybook opening that provides a little bit of exposition. A princess named Snow White is considered lovely by many, but her vain stepmother, the Evil Queen, fears that her stepdaughter's beauty will surpass her own. To prevent this from happening, she dresses Snow White in rags and turns her into a slave. Each day, the Queen asks her magic mirror who the fairest (prettiest) person in the land is, and as long as the mirror said the Queen is the fairest, Snow White was safe.

We then transition to the animation, which actually looks very good and holds up well to this day. It's hard to believe this film is over 80 years old. We are introduced to the Evil Queen, who asks the magic mirror who the fairest in the land is. The mirror tells her that Snow White is fairer than her, which triggers the Queen's jealousy. I really like the animation on the mirror, and as for the Evil Queen, while she's not one of my favorite Disney villains, she does manage to be memorable, evil, and threatening, which are the three qualities I generally look for in a villain. I think she's a good villain, though I certainly think there's better villains to come.

We then meet our main character, Snow White, who is doing chores around the castle and singing the first song in the Disney animated canon, "I'm Wishing". For me, "I'm Wishing" isn't that great of a song and certainly not the best song to start the canon out on, but it isn't bad. As for Snow White herself, I have to say that she is far from being one of my favorite Disney characters. She isn't a very interesting character, doesn't have much personality beyond being nice, and while the actress voicing her is clearly trying her best, I don't really get into her performance and I think they could have picked a better actress to voice her. To be fair, there's nothing about her that's horrible, but there's really nothing about her that I care for and she is, at least to me, a fairly boring character. A trend you'll probably notice in Disney films for me is that the main character is rarely my favorite character in the film, as I usually think the villain and side characters tend to outshine them, and this film fits that description pretty well.

Suddenly, the Prince arrives (What's his name, you ask? He doesn't have a name or a personality!), and startles Snow White away into the castle. He gains her trust by singing the song, "One Song" to her, and my feelings on this song are exactly the same as my thoughts on "I'm Wishing". While the Prince is super boring and the romance between him and Snow White does nothing for me, he's at least only in the film at the very beginning and at the very end, which means you don't have to deal with the zero personality of his character for long.

Meanwhile, the Queen summons a Huntsman to kill Snow White for her, telling him to cut out her heart and put it in a box for proof that she's dead. He reluctantly goes along with the plan at first, but just as he is about to kill Snow White, he stops himself from doing so and warns her of the Queen's plan, telling her to run away. Despite only being in the film for this scene, I did like the Huntsman's character, even if there's not much to him.

Snow White then runs into the woods to escape the Queen's wrath, which leads to a very intense scene where everything in the forest is out to get her. The animation is fantastic in this scene, the intensity is high, and it's a very memorable sequence. The forest ends up being harmless, and Snow White was imagining everything out to get her, which is kind of weird, but since she just found out her stepmother is trying to kill her, I guess it makes a little sense. Some animals come out of the forest and quickly befriend her, which leads to another song called "With a Smile and a Song". The song itself is nothing special, largely due to Snow White's singing voice being pretty lackluster. Like I already said, I'm sure the voice actress was trying her hardest, but it doesn't work that well for me.

Snow White asks the animals if there's a place she can live in, which has the animals lead her to a cottage in the woods. Upon finding the cottage trashed and empty, Snow White starts to clean the cottage, as she thinks the owners will let her stay if she does it. This leads to the "Whistle While You Work" song while Snow White and the animals clean the cottage, which is much better than the last song and has a somewhat catchy melody, but Snow White's singing voice lessens the impact of the song for me. The scenes with Snow White and the animals go on a little too long and aren't particularly engaging, but the film does take a turn for the better right after this scene.

The film cuts to a mine, where the seven dwarfs (Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey) are at work digging up diamonds. For many people, the dwarfs are the highlight of the film, and for me, I have to agree that they are the film's best characters. They're not complex characters, but they're very charming with their personalities and they stick with you. Most people say that either Grumpy or Dopey is the best dwarf, and for me, I think Grumpy is the best, as well as being my favorite character in the film. He plays the straight man to the other dwarfs' antics and he does get a little bit of character development. When the clock rings for them to go home, the dwarfs sing the very iconic "Heigh-Ho" song as they head home. While it wouldn't place in my list of favorite Disney songs, I do think "Heigh-Ho" is a classic and very enjoyable.

As the dwarfs arrive home, they discover the lights on in their house, which leads them into saying "Jiminy Crickets!" (brilliant foreshadowing?) in fear. As they investigate their house, we do get some gags from the dwarfs that, while not necessarily laugh-out loud funny, are entertaining and charming, such as Grumpy being suspicious of everything, Doc stuttering his words, and Sneezy producing massive sneezes. However, while there are some decent gags in this scene, the scene does feel like filler, nothing really gets accomplished, and I think it goes on a bit too long. The scene has enough charm to it to be good and I enjoy these characters, but I think it could have been a little shorter.

Before the dwarfs entered the house, Snow White had fallen asleep in their beds, and just as the dwarfs enter their room to find a "monster" in there, they nearly kill Snow White with their pickaxes. She wakes up and befriends the dwarfs, and despite Grumpy's negative beliefs about women, the dwarfs let her stay with them. The dwarfs get some benefit of her living with them since Snow White is good at cooking food, but upon seeing their dirty hands, she orders them to wash their hands before they eat the food she is making. The scene with the dwarfs washing up for dinner has them singing a song called "Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum" during it. The song is catchy and the sequence is entertaining. Grumpy is hesitant towards the idea of washing up, which leads to an enjoyable scene where the dwarfs forcefully wash Grumpy.

We then cut back to the Evil Queen, who asks the mirror who the fairest person in the land is again. The mirror tells her that Snow White is still the fairest and is alive, and the Queen finds out that the Huntsman tricked her by putting a pig's heart in the box instead. The enraged Queen heads down into her underground lair to start playing a more active role in her attempts to kill Snow White. She uses black magic to create a potion that causes her to undergo a very visually intense transformation. The transformation turns the Queen into an old hag (If the Queen was so obsessed with being pretty, why doesn't see just turn herself prettier so she can be the fairest in the land?). In my opinion, the Queen's most memorable and enjoyable scenes are when she's in her old hag disguise, as she becomes really hammy and insane in this form, while still maintaining her diabolical nature.

We go back to the dwarf's house, where they perform "The Silly Song" with Snow White. The song itself is alright and there are some decent gags in it, but the only big thing I'd take notice of is that some of the animation in this scene would later be reused in Robin Hood. After that song, we get Snow White singing the iconic "Someday My Prince Will Come" song to the dwarfs. As you can probably predict based on my feelings towards the other songs Snow White sang, I think the instrumental is fine, but I think it would be better if a different voice actress sung it.

After that scene, everyone goes to bed, with the dwarfs sleeping downstairs while they let Snow White sleep in their room. We get some gags of the dwarfs being noisy sleepers (I didn't really find any of these gags that funny), and we get a scene of Snow White praying for Grumpy to like her, which kind of stands out since it's pretty rare to see characters praying in Disney films (The only other Disney films I can think of where we see characters praying are The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, The Rescuers, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Lilo and Stitch).

We then go back to the transformed Queen, who is making the iconic poison apple to feed to Snow White and send her into the sleeping death, all the while cackling and being hammy (the scene where she tells a raven to "HAVE A BITE!!!" got a laugh out of me thanks to the fantastic delivery). However, the Queen discovers that there is an antidote for the poison apple, which is that the victim will come back to life if they receive a kiss of true love. The Queen laughs it off, thinking it won't happen, which leads to some more funny haminess as she laughs about how Snow White will be buried alive by the dwarfs. She leaves the castle with the apple and heads out through the foggy night to find the dwarf's cottage.

The next morning, the dwarfs head off to work and they are all kissed by Snow White as they leave. Dopey attempts to get multiple kisses, and after reluctantly being kissed by Snow White, Grumpy starts to grow an appreciation for her. Snow White then prepares a cake for Grumpy, only to be visited by the old hag. The animals know that she is the Queen, and they try to attack her, but Snow White takes the Queen inside the cottage for protection, despite Grumpy's warning to not let any strangers inside. The animals head off to the mine to warn the dwarfs about the Queen, and they quickly head back to the cottage to stop her.

Meanwhile, the Queen is trying to convince Snow White to eat the poison apple. After saying it's a "wishing apple", Snow White then takes a bite of it and falls to the floor, now in the sleeping death. The Queen starts cackling maniacally as she heads out off the house, only to be greeted by a thunderstorm and the angry dwarfs and animals (I really like how the dwarf who is most concerned for Snow White in these scenes is Grumpy). The dwarfs chase the Queen up a cliff, where a giant boulder waits at the top. She gets an idea to knock the boulder onto the dwarfs, claiming she'll "crush their bones". While not very long, the chase scene is pretty solid, and a line or two from the hammy Queen in the past two scenes did make me laugh.

We then get the first Disney villain death in the canon, where the cliff the Queen is standing on is struck by lightning from the storm, causing her to fall to her death (you probably know that falling to your death is the most common way Disney villains die; here's the start of it). On top of that, the boulder she was trying to crush the dwarfs with falls off the cliff and lands on her, definitely killing her if the fall didn't already. They even go further and have these two vultures (who have been following the Queen around in the last few scenes) eat her dead remains off-screen. While it is just a typical "Disney villain falling to their death", the fact that the Queen also gets crushed and eaten makes it stick out a bit more than most of these types of deaths.

We then cut to a funeral scene where the dwarfs and the animals mourn over Snow White's death, with Grumpy being the person who is hit by her death the hardest. I very rarely cry at movies, so the scene didn't make me cry, but it is effective in showing how the dwarfs react to it. We then get a short bit of some more storybook narration, saying that the dwarfs were not willing to bury Snow White, so they put her in a coffin in the forest (there's another nice moment where the dwarfs put some flowers at the base of the coffin, and Grumpy puts his in Snow White's hands).

One day, the Prince from earlier in the film comes to the coffin and kisses Snow White, which brings her back to life and makes the dwarfs happy again. She says goodbye to all the dwarfs as she and the prince ride off to his castle (which is apparently in the sky for some reason?), where they, as the storybook tells us, "live happily ever after" as the film ends.

That is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and do I think it is deserving of the masterpiece status it is often labeled as? For me, I would say yes in terms of being revolutionary, but as far as being an amazing film, I don't know if I would go so far as to say that. There certainly are things to like about it though. First of all, the animation in this film is fantastic, especially on the dwarfs, the Evil Queen, and the backgrounds. It's hard to believe this film was made over 80 years ago and it still looks this good. The dwarfs are charming and entertaining and the Evil Queen is delightfully wicked, especially in her old hag disguise. The story, while simple, is so iconic that it clicks with all of us, and it is so revolutionary in the field of animation that I have to respect it for defining a lot of what is to come for Disney. However, there were a few things I wasn't a big fan of that ultimately hold it down from being a great film for me. Snow White is a pretty unremarkable character, and her voice actress, while I'm sure she was trying her hardest, didn't appeal to me very much, especially during the singing scenes. The Prince is super boring, but to be fair, he is barely in the film. There's also several scenes (mainly with the dwarfs and the animals) that feel like filler and go on a little too long, and the filler does make the film less appealing to rewatch for me. The songs are a bit hit or miss for me, usually because Snow White's voice actress doesn't have the best singing voice, but the songs she doesn't sing tend to be good and some her songs do have a nice melody. As a whole, I definitely respect the film and I admire its ambitions, but overall, I would consider it to be good, but not great. If Snow White was a better character and there was less filler, there's a decent chance I would call it great, but as it stands, I still think this is a good film that's definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it.

Favorite Character: Grumpy
Favorite Song: "Heigh-Ho"
Favorite Scene: Snow White running through the dark forest
Final Score: B-

Feel free to discuss Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, agree or disagree on anything I said, or post any extra thoughts.

Next time, I will be taking a look at Pinocchio, so stay tuned for that.

For this review's question:
Do you think the animation in this film holds up well today, or is it only good for its time?
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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The mods better allow double-posting in this thread. I want Baloo to get to everything without me having to post a reply every time.
 

zoombie

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Quite a task he has going for him.

I wonder if the early movies when they were released you had classic Disney shorts opening for them. A Mickey Mouse, a Donald Duck, or a Goofy, etc. cartoon playing before these movies. It would make sense. There was a new Mickey Mouse short playing before Frozen.
 

Baloo

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The mods better allow double-posting in this thread. I want Baloo to get to everything without me having to post a reply every time.
I was a little hesitant because I wasn't sure how strict this forum was on double posting, but since most forums I'm on don't care if you do it as long as you wait a few hours, I tried that.

Quite a task he has going for him.

I wonder if the early movies when they were released you had classic Disney shorts opening for them. A Mickey Mouse, a Donald Duck, or a Goofy, etc. cartoon playing before these movies. It would make sense. There was a new Mickey Mouse short playing before Frozen.
I'm not sure about most of the older Disney movies, but both Rescuers movies had shorts proceeding them (Mickey's Christmas Carol for the original during a re-release; and The Prince and the Pauper for the sequel).
 
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Dr.Pepper

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For this review's question:
Do you think the animation in this film holds up well today, or is it only good for its time?
I think it still holds up. The story is a bit simple by today’s standards, but the animation is still great.
 
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Baloo

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Welcome to part 2 of my project to review every film in the Disney animated canon! Last time, I reviewed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Here, I will review the second film in the animated canon, Pinocchio, released in 1940. This film is widely considered to be a classic, being the only film in the canon with 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but do I like as much as most people do? Let's find out.

To start things off, the opening credits in this film have a song playing over them. The song in particular? "When You Wish Upon a Star", which is one of the most famous Disney songs of all time, and arguably the most famous. Cliff Edwards sings the song excellently and it's such a motivational song that it's almost impossible not to love it. It's easily one of the best opening credit songs to a Disney film.

After the opening credits, we find out who was singing the song: Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy Cricket is often considered one of the all-time great Disney characters, and I definitely agree. He's very entertaining with his one-liners, Cliff Edwards' performance is fantastic, and his overall character is very enjoyable (Fun Fact: In the background of this scene, you can see books that say "Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan" on them; brilliant foreshadowing Disney!). Jiminy breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience, stating about how his beliefs on dreams have changed over a personal experience of his. Jiminy opens a book called Pinocchio, and begins to tell us his story.

One night, in a village in Italy, Jiminy tries to find shelter, noticing only one house with lights still on (just a minor thing, but upon seeing the village at night, the design of this background is incredible, and it's hard to believe that this film was made in 1940 if the animation still holds up this well today). Jiminy goes inside, which turns out to be the home and workshop of a kind, old man named Geppetto. Much like the village, the artistry inside Geppetto's home, particularly on the clocks, is groundbreaking and holds up well today. Geppetto puts the finishing touches on a marionette puppet he's working on. He calls it Pinocchio, which his pets, a cat named Figaro and a goldfish named Cleo, don't like as a name. As for characters here, Geppetto is a pretty likable character and you care for him throughout the whole film. Unfortunately, Figaro and Cleo don't do much for me when they're on-screen, but they're not that important to the film and I don't have anything against them; I just don't care for them that much.

Geppetto tests Pinocchio out while he sings a short song called "Little Wooden Head". I like the instrumental to the song, but the actual song itself is a bit on the short side and the lyrics aren't super memorable. After testing him out, Geppetto's clocks go off, telling him it's time for bed. Just as he gets in bed, Geppetto decides to be lazy and orders Figaro to open the window, albeit he does ask him to do so in a kind manner. Outside, Geppetto spies a wishing star, and he wishes upon it to have his dream of Pinocchio becoming a real boy come true. Once Geppetto falls asleep, Jiminy tries to fall asleep as well, but noises such as the clocks ticking, a noisy hourglass, and Geppetto and Cleo snoring make it very hard to do so. Jiminy, having enough, shouts "QUIET!!!", and everything is silenced (Jiminy has noise-stopping powers? Never knew; makes for an entertaining scene though).

Just as Jiminy is about to go to sleep, the wishing star goes through the window and enters the house, transforming into the magical Blue Fairy, who depsite not being human, looks a lot more human than the human characters in the film. Since Geppetto has brought so much happiness to others, the Blue Fairy uses her magic to bring Pinocchio to life. The Blue Fairy tells Pinocchio that he will become a real boy if he proves himself brave, truthful, and unselfish. She also assigns Jiminy Cricket as his conscience and tells Pinocchio to always "let his conscience be his guide" as she disappears. In general, I don't care for most of Disney's kid characters as I find most of them to be pretty bland, but Pinocchio is one of the few exceptions to that rule. His voice actor, Dickie Jones, brings a very realistic child-like feel to the character, his mess-ups are to be expected due to him just being born, and he does try to learn from his mistakes and comes off as a flawed, but likable character. I'd say he's probably Disney's second best kid character, as there is one from a later film I enjoyed more, but he's still pretty good. I think it goes without saying that enjoyed Pinocchio as a character much more than Snow White.

To teach Pinocchio about temptations and his conscience, Jiminy sings a song called "Give a Little Whistle", which I find odd that nobody talks about this song, since I think it's really good, and, dare I say it, the film's best song (before you shoot me, "When You Wish Upon a Star" is second place of the film's songs for me, but this one is just that enjoyable). After the song ends, Geppetto wakes up, and discovers Pinocchio talking. He believes it's just a dream at first, but is immediately happy upon discovering his wish really did come true. He and Pinocchio dance to celebrate, which goes well until a candle gains Pinocchio's attention and he burns his finger (due to Pinocchio being a puppet, he doesn't feel any pain from it, so it's not as painful as it may sound). After putting the fire out in Cleo's fish bowl, Geppetto puts Pinocchio in bed with him, telling him he's going to school tomorrow (somehow, in the old days of Italy, you don't need to be enrolled to go to school?).

The next day, we get treated to a beautiful shot of the Italian village in the morning, while Geppetto gets Pinocchio ready for school. Pinocchio goes off, and for some reason, Geppetto doesn't see any reason to go with him to make sure he gets there. I highly doubt Pinocchio would know where the school is, so Geppetto is probably creating problems for himself even if what happened in the film didn't happen. Meanwhile, we see two con artists, and the first of several villains in the film; a sly talking fox named John Worthington Foulfellow, and a silent idiotic cat named Gideon. While Gideon is fine, albeit not spectacular, Foulfellow is such a joy to watch due to his charismatic, hammy, and over the top nature, and he takes the title of the best character in the film for me. Upon seeing a poster for a puppeteer named Stromboli, and seeing Pinocchio, Foulfellow gets a scheme to make some money.

Pinocchio bumps into Foulfellow and Gideon, with the former gaining his trust with his nickname "Honest John" and his general charismatic nature. Foulfellow convinces Pinocchio that being an actor is more important than going to school, which leads to the first villain song in the Disney animated canon, "Hi Diddle Dee Dee". It doesn't sound much like a villain song, but it's still great, and the fact that it doesn't sound evil is amazing because Foulfellow himself is supposed to be a character to represent temptation. A joyful song being sung by a bad person, which also works since Pinocchio doesn't know his motives, is a perfect example of temptation, and it makes the song really memorable. It's also very catchy.

Jiminy Cricket, having overslept, notices the two con artists making off with Pinocchio and whistles to get the puppet's attention. The whistle also causes Foulfellow to freak out, which leads to a funny scene where Gideon, noticing Jiminy on Foulfellow's hat, smashes the fox in the head with a hammer, causing the hat to be stuck on his head and Foulfellow yelling "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!". Jiminy warns Pinocchio that Foulfellow is using temptation to his advantage, but Pinocchio is distracted by Foulfellow, who takes him off to Stromboli. Jiminy Cricket follows behind.

That evening, Pinocchio performs in front of a crowd of people at Stromboli's theater. Right away, he trips down a set of stairs, gaining the audience's laughter and Stromboli's frustration when he delivers this weird shrieking noise (it makes me laugh every time). Afterwards, Pinocchio sings "I've Got No Strings", which is good, but one of the film's weaker songs. Pinocchio is an instant success, and Jiminy, thinking Pinocchio doesn't need him anymore, heads off. Meanwhile, Geppetto is concerned about why Pinocchio isn't home yet (like I already said, things probably would have went wrong even if Pinocchio didn't run into Foulfellow, so this doesn't come across as too surprising), so he goes out into the rainy night to find him.

Meanwhile, Pinocchio and Stromboli are in a wagon, counting the money they've earned. Here, Stromboli manages to actually be pretty funny, such as him flipping out at the fake coin and his thick Italian accent in general provides a slightly more comedic tone to his character. Once hearing Pinocchio is going home, Stromboli shows his true colors of being a greedy villain by locking Pinocchio in a cage, while bragging about how Pinocchio will make him lots of money. Even when Stromboli is revealed to be a villain, he still manages to be funny, some good moments being when he shakes his butt while saying "Constantinople" and, in a bit of dark humor, when he says Pinocchio will make him good "FIREWOOD!" when he's too old to perform.

I want to take a moment to talk about something that Disney loves to use in their newer films that Stromboli is the first example of. He's a "twist" villain, which is a character who is not revealed to be a villain until near the end of their screen-time, and I generally get tired of those villains because they're not as memorable or entertaining as traditional villains and the twist is overused nowadays. Unlike most of them, Stromboli works since he's actually entertaining, isn't the only villain in the film (so if you don't care for him, there's other villains to back him up), and the twist villain cliche was only used twice (here and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad) in the canon before Tarzan, which is the first film where Disney started to do twist villains regularly, so it wasn't overused to make the twist annoying.

Stromboli leaves the room to start driving the wagon off to the next show, and Jiminy, who decides to go congratulate Pinocchio, sees him captured in the cage. He tries to unlock the lock, but fails. Then, the film's most famous scene occurs as the Blue Fairy appears in the room and asks Pinocchio why he wasn't at school (once again, even if Foulfellow didn't find him, I doubt Pinocchio would have went to school because Geppetto never showed him where it was). Pinocchio keeps making lies, which causes his nose to grow. After realizing the situation he's got into, Pinocchio begs the Blue Fairy to let him go and promises not to lie again. She agrees, but warns him that this will be the last time she will help him. After the Blue Fairy frees Pinocchio from the cage, she disappears and Pinocchio and Jiminy head back home. Even though the scene itself isn't too important to the plot, the nose growing scene is really memorable and definitely sticks with you.

Meanwhile, at the Red Lobster Inn, a drunk Foulfellow sings a reprise of "Hi Diddle Dee Dee", while bragging to a new character called the Coachman about the money he made by selling Pinocchio to Stromboli. The Coachman puts out a bigger bag of money, and offers to give it to him and Gideon if they collect "stupid little boys" and bring them to him, so he can take them to Pleasure Island. Foulfellow, despite being a villain, is horrified upon hearing the words "Pleasure Island", but the Coachman reassures him that there's no risk, saying "they'll never come back...as BOYS!" while he makes a demonic looking face. While not a funny villain like Foulfellow or Stromboli, the Coachman is definitely the most evil villain in the film, and he is also pretty memorable. He's truly sadistic and enjoys his evil actions so much that it's hard not to find his scenes interesting to watch.

On his way home, Pinocchio is stopped by Foulfellow, who claims Pinocchio is sick and must take a vacation to Pleasure Island, much to Jiminy's chagrin. Pinocchio goes to Pleasure Island in the Coachman's stagecoach, which takes them to a ferryboat that takes the "stupid little boys" to Pleasure Island. Pinocchio befriends a bully named Lampwick, and the two, along with the other boys, do bad things on the island, such as smoking, fighting, and playing pool (Playing pool is bad? The other things I understand, but why playing pool?). The Coachman orders his goons (who look a lot like gorillas) to shut the doors, claiming that the boys will soon make a "jack***" out of themselves.

We then cut to the island deserted and trashed, with Jiminy searching for Pinocchio, who happens to be in the pool hall with Lampwick. Upon hearing Pinocchio call Lampwick his friend, Jiminy is disgusted and walks off, but makes an important discovery as he's about to leave: the "stupid little boys" have turned into donkeys. The Coachman then sells them into slavery if they can't talk, and keeps the ones who can still talk in a pen until they lose the ability to speak. This is plain evil right here (the Coachman is never defeated by the way), but despite all of that, the Coachman tends to be overlooked when talking about Disney villains. He is definitely one of Disney's most evil villains, and while he might not be as entertaining as the earlier villains, he's still a pretty good villain.

Jiminy rushes off to the pool hall to warn Pinocchio and Lampwick. Meanwhile, while Lampwick complains about Jiminy Cricket, he slowly turns into a donkey, all the while calling out for help and his mother. For many people, this is terrifying, and while it never scared me, I do feel bad for Lampwick here and the build-up to his breakdown is excellent. Pinocchio gets donkey ears and a tail, but Jiminy finds him and gets him out of Pleasure Island quick enough before he can turn into a donkey. The two head home, where the workshop is deserted and Geppetto and the pets are nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly, a dove that's supposed to be the Blue Fairy in disguise drops a message, despite her saying she wouldn't help Pinocchio again. The message says that Geppetto, along with Figaro and Cleo, went looking for Pinocchio, but ended up trapped inside a whale named Monstro. Determined to save his father, Pinocchio goes to sea with Jiminy, and drops into the sea. The underwater effects here are impressive even to this day, and it's incredibly hard to believe this was done in 1940. Pinocchio asks the other fish if they've seen Monstro, which makes them all flee in fear. The scene looks great, but I feel like it goes on a little too long considering it's around five minutes long and nothing really happens for those five minutes until Monstro appears.

We are then introduced to Monstro, who has Geppetto trapped inside him on a boat. Monstro chases after a bunch of fish to eat them, swallowing Pinocchio in the process. As Geppetto reels in the fish for food, he reels in Pinocchio, and is delighted to see his son. Pinocchio gets a smart idea to get out of Monstro by creating a fire to cause Monstro to sneeze them out. Fortunately, it works. However, what isn't so good is that Monstro is chasing after them as revenge for what they had done, and as expected, Monstro is animated beautifully. Once their raft is destroyed, Pinocchio rescues his father from drowning as he swims toward an opening to the shore, while avoiding Monstro. While Pinocchio does do it, he is killed in the process. The entire chase scene is awesome, not only for the fantastic animation, but also for Monstro being a real threat and genuinely epic.

Back at Geppetto's house, he is mourning Pinocchio's death. The Blue Fairy, saying Pinocchio has proven himself brave, truthful, and unselfish, brings Pinocchio back to life, this time as a real boy, and unfortunately, Pinocchio's human design isn't that good (it's only in the film for a minute at most though). Geppetto is happy to see his son back, and while they dance and celebrate, the Blue Fairy awards Jiminy Cricket with a badge of being an official conscience, with a reprise of "When You Wish Upon a Star" playing to end the film.

That is Pinocchio, and much like everyone says, it's definitely a true masterpiece. Coming right after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it feels like this film took everything that film did and went one step beyond in everything, and I struggle to find anything that's done worse here than in the previous film. The characters are great, the music is good and memorable, the intense moments are awesome, and as I said several times, the animation is phenomenal. Outside of one mediocre design that's only in the film for a minute at most, Figaro and Cleo being nothing special, and one or two scenes going on a little too long, I have no other complaints, and these ones are just nitpicks. It's a true classic for good reason, and it's one I'll certainly be coming back to many times in the future.

Favorite Character: Foulfellow
Favorite Song: "Give a Little Whistle"
Favorite Scene: The escape from Monstro (this was a tough one to pick, as there are a lot of great scenes in this film)
Final Score: A+

Feel free to discuss Pinocchio, agree or disagree on anything I said, or post any extra thoughts.

Next time, I will review Fantasia, so stay tuned for that.

For this review's question:
Who is your favorite of all the villains in this film?
 

Dr.Pepper

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I remember watching Pinnochio a lot as a little, but when I watched it a few years ago, I didn’t like it as much as I did. It was still good but the Pleasure Island scene just rubs me the wrong way.
 

Baloo

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Jan 3, 2019
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Welcome to part 3 of my project to review every film in the Disney animated canon! Last time, I reviewed Pinocchio. Here, I will review the 1940 classic, Fantasia. Compared to the past two movies and pretty much the entire animated canon, Fantasia has a very different feel to it, and at the very least, it is definitely a very experimental film. This is the first of nine package films in the animated canon, which consist of it, its sequel, every film made after Bambi and before Cinderella, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The package films don't have one single story, but multiple segments that aren't feature-length put into one film. Some of these films can have as many as eight to ten segments, and a few of these films have as little as two segments. For the package films, I'll review them a little bit differently than how I review most of the films. I'll give each segment an individual score, and give the film a final score as a whole at the end of the review. Since many of these segments tend to be light on plot, the reviews for the package films will often be shorter than the reviews for the normal films, especially with the ones that have many, shorter segments as opposed to fewer, longer segments.

If you haven't seen either Fantasia film, I'll give you the basic premise. They're composed of several segments that are set to classical music while the animation unfolds on the screen. Some of the segments have simple stories, some don't, and others are just abstract imagery. The music in all of these segments are fantastic, so this film works great as background music, but watching it for both the visuals and the music is a little bit different. Also, Fantasia is often considered to be one of the best Disney films of all time, and I know of quite a few people who consider it the best of all 57 films. It has a lot to live up to, so is it as good as everybody says?

"Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor":

This segment is just a bunch of abstract imagery that appears on the screen while the Philadelphia Orchestra plays. While not my favorite segment from the film, it is the one I find to be the most interesting. Something about watching these images manages to be very intriguing and oddly relaxing. The music and atmosphere really help make it stand out, and I think it's the perfect segment to start the film on. I'd give it an A-.

"The Nutcracker Suite":

Despite the title, there is no nutcracker to be found in this segment. This one is just watching fairies, mushrooms, fish, flowers, and other things do random stuff while the music plays, with no plot in this segment. The music and animation are once again great, and the visuals are a bit stronger than the previous segment. Despite that, I actually prefer the previous segment over this one for two reasons. I feel like the abstract imagery is more intriguing since it's less concise, and I also feel like the segment goes on maybe a little too long, but it kept my interest and didn't get boring. It's still pretty good and I'd give this one a B+.

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice":

Now here's the segment you probably want to hear me talk about, since it's by far the most famous segment in the film, is arguably Mickey's most famous appearance, and it's also the only segment that really has a plot, so I can explain it slightly more than the other ones.

A powerful sorcerer named Yen Sid is performing magic, while his apprentice, who turns out to be Mickey Mouse, watches as he performs his chores. The hat Yen Sid is wearing is the main source of his magic, and when he takes it off for the night and leaves the room, Mickey puts on the hat and brings a broomstick to life, which he makes do his chores involving buckets of water for him. As Mickey falls asleep and dreams of using his new magic powers, the broom floods the room, which ends when Mickey wakes up and violently murders the broom with an axe. The remains of the broom turn into more brooms, which keep flooding the room with buckets of water. The flood is stopped once Yen Sid enters the flooded room and uses his magic to bring the room back to normal and the broomsticks back to one lifeless broom. Mickey gives the hat back to the irritated sorcerer, who whacks Mickey with a broom and sends him back to work.

Like I already said, this is probably the most famous Mickey Mouse cartoon of all time, and while there are maybe two or three cartoons I prefer over it (one of which I'll be reviewing several films from now), it is definitely one of Mickey's finest. Despite him not getting any lines, he, along with Yen Sid and the brooms, manage to be memorable, and the story itself is classic, with some great animation and phenomenal music. Overall, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is a classic short and I think it deserves an A+. There's a reason why everyone remembers it; it's just a fantastic short.

"The Rite of Spring":

This segment starts with some fantastic animation showcasing the birth of the universe and Earth. The dinosaurs are born and after a cool fight scene between a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Stegosaurus, the land undergoes a drought, bringing the extinction of the dinosaurs. Despite being the film's longest segment, this one doesn't overstay its welcome and this is one of the best segments in the film. The animation on the dinosaurs is great, the abstract imagery of the Earth forming is awesome, and the end of the segment where the Earth undergoes continental drift looks pretty darn cool. I'm going to give this one an A+.

Before the next segment, there is an intermission. Here, the narrator, Deems Taylor, introduces us to the animated "soundtrack", which is used to show how sound is rendered into the film. The scene with the "soundtrack" is sort of cool, but fairly forgettable, and after that, we go into the next segment.

"The Pastoral Symphony":

This is the Disney animated canon's first attempt at Greek mythology, which they would try again 57 years later with Hercules. Here, it shows the life of centaurs and centaurettes, Pegasuses, and the god of wine, Bacchus. Zeus also shows up to create some trouble with his lightning bolts. I used to not really care for this segment, as I remember thinking it went on way too long and wasn't that interesting, but now, while I don't think it's great and I think it's the weakest segment in the film, it grew on me a bit from the last few times I've watched the film. The animation and music is still great here, the scene with Zeus is cool, and there is some charm to it, but I don't think it's great mostly because it does go on a bit too long and is one of the less interesting segments. I'd say it's good, but certainly not great and I'd give it a B-.

"The Dance of the Hours":

There isn't much to this segment. It's pretty much just a bunch of ostriches, hippos, elephants, and alligators dancing and doing crazy antics. It's probably the next weakest segment after the last one, but I enjoyed it a bit more as I like the designs of the animals and it has a fun climax. I don't have much to say here, but it's enjoyable and I'd give it a B.

"Night on Bald Mountain":

In this segment, a village is overlooked by a mountain, and on the top of it is the evil Chernabog, who summons demons, ghosts, and dead animals. It's pretty much just Chernabog having the time of his life being evil. The intense music and the memorable villain in Chernabog make it epic and awesome to watch. It ends with the morning sun coming out, which causes Chernabog to quit what he's doing, cover himself with his wings, and go to sleep. I'm giving this segment an A+, as it's very memorable and very effective. I like "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" a little more, but this would be the second best segment.

"Ave Maria":

After "Night on Bald Mountain", we are transitioned immediately to "Ave Maria" to end the film. A bunch of people holding lights walk off through the distance as the film ends with a sunrise over the hills. It may sound a little boring, and I feel like it probably would have been if it was longer, but it makes a great contrast to what we saw right before it, it is fairly short, and the atmosphere in this one is particularly beautiful. It gets a B from me.

That is Fantasia, and in general, I find the segments successfully ambitious and from an objective standpoint, I would consider it to be a masterpiece. However, from a subjective level (which I base my final score off of), while I still think it's a great film, I wouldn't put it in my top ten like most people would. For me, I prefer more story/character-driven films, and while the film has excellent animation and atmosphere, I feel like some of the segments go on a little too long for the consistent lack of a story. Fantasia is also the longest film in the canon, and while it's not overly long, you can certainly feel that it's longer than most Disney films, which makes it one that's a bit harder for me to want to rewatch over and over again. However, these complaints aren't major ones and I still enjoyed the film a lot. It's easy to see why a lot of people really dig the film, as it gets a lot right and I and many people admire it for doing something 100% different than most Disney films.

Favorite Character: Chernabog
Favorite Song: N/A (I know that the instrumentals in the segments are songs, but this category is meant for more traditional songs; any film with no traditional songs will receive this.)
Favorite Scene: The climax to "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Final Score:
"Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor": A-
"The Nutcracker Suite": B+
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice": A+
"The Rite of Spring": A+
"The Pastoral Symphony": B-
"The Dance of the Hours": B
"Night on Bald Mountain": A+
"Ave Maria": B
Overall: A-


Feel free to discuss Fantasia, agree or disagree on anything I said, or post any extra thoughts.

Next time, I will be reviewing Dumbo, so stay tuned for that.

For this review's question:
Which of the eight segments in Fantasia is your favorite?
 
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Baloo

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Jan 3, 2019
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Welcome to part 4 of my project to review every film in the Disney animated canon! Last time, I reviewed the first package film of the canon, Fantasia. Here, I will review the fourth film in the animated canon, Dumbo, released in 1941. While most people, myself included, wouldn't call Dumbo a groundbreaking film in the same sense that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Fantasia are in terms of advancing animation, it is still considered a classic by many, much like the first three films. Do I feel the same way?

The opening credits to the film are circus-themed, fitting perfectly with the style of the film. Some catchy circus-style music plays in the background, and I think of all four films so far, the opening credits for Dumbo are definitely the most visually interesting. I prefer the opening credits to Pinocchio more since "When You Wish Upon a Star" is a fantastic song, but these ones are pretty memorable too. Speaking of Pinocchio, some elements of Dumbo are kind of similar to things in that film, so I may bring up Pinocchio a few times in this review.

We start with a brief narration talking about how storks will always complete their job of delivering babies, regardless of the weather, and this leads into the film's first song, "Look Out For Mr. Stork", which plays as a flock of storks deliver baby animals to their parents in a Florida circus. The only animal who doesn't receive a baby is an elephant named Mrs. Jumbo. The song itself, while not one of my favorite Disney songs, is still pretty catchy and very solid. This scene also sets up Mrs. Jumbo as a very sympathetic character that you want to see be happy.

The next morning, everything is loaded up in the circus train, Casey Junior, which takes off to a song named after the train itself. The song is very short, but it is kind of catchy. After the song, we are introduced to Mr. Stork, who is running late on the delivery of Mrs. Jumbo's baby. While not in the film for very long, Mr. Stork does prove to be a memorable and likable character, and his voice actor, Sterling Holloway (a voice actor who pops up frequently in older Disney films; most people will know him best for being the original voice of Winnie the Pooh, the Cheshire Cat, and Kaa), does a fantastic job voicing him.

After accidentally annoying a lion/tiger, Mr. Stork finds the wagon with the elephants inside and gives the baby to Mrs. Jumbo, who says her only line in the movie and names the baby "Jumbo Jr.". Mr. Stork also exits the film in admittedly in a pretty funny way by getting his shirt caught by a post and getting sent off the train while singing "Happy Birthday" to the baby elephant. After letting out a sneeze, the baby shows off its massive ears. This causes my least favorite characters in the movie, a group of four elephants, to nickname the baby "Dumbo" and harass him, which annoys Mrs. Jumbo. These four elephants are very unlikable and annoying characters, and while not evil, are the closest characters to being antagonists in the movie. Dumbo is pretty interesting in that he is one of the only main characters in a Disney movie to not get any lines, and for what he is, he is a pretty charming and likable kid character. I think Pinocchio was a bit better, but Dumbo is still a good protagonist and he's definitely better than Snow White.

Casey Junior stops at a station where the humans and animals exit him and start setting up the circus as the humans sing the "Song of the Roustabouts". Considering nobody talks about it, I think the song is pretty catchy and underrated, and I do like the animation on the rain in this scene. The next morning, after a charming, but pointless parade scene (the only thing worth noting about it is a funny gag where a gorilla rips a bar off the cage he is in and puts it back in place), Mrs. Jumbo washes Dumbo just before the circus starts and the two have a short, but sweet child-and-parent-bonding moment. When some kids come over to see Dumbo, one of them (that kind of resembles Lampwick from Pinocchio) makes fun of Dumbo's ears.

The kid eventually starts physically messing with Dumbo. This justifiably angers Mrs. Jumbo, who proceeds to beat up the kid and, tired of everyone bullying her son, goes on a rampage. Upon finding out Mrs. Jumbo has gone mad, the ringmaster orders her to be captured and put in a cage to keep her from causing any harm, which also separates her from her son. A lot of people consider the ringmaster to be the villain of the film, and I don't really understand. Yes, he did lock up Mrs. Jumbo, but he was doing it for everyone's safety and he didn't know that the kid was hurting Dumbo and that Mrs. Jumbo's rampage was justified. The other elephants are way more despicable and feel more like antagonists than he does. The ringmaster isn't the most memorable character in the film, but he gets some funny moments here and there, so I think he's decent.

Mrs. Jumbo's actions now make the elephants act like even bigger jerks to Dumbo. A mouse named Timothy oversees the elephants' treatment of Dumbo, and gets a moment that's both awesome and funny where he scares the elephants as punishment for harassing Dumbo. Timothy then befriends Dumbo and says that he'll help him get his mother uncaged. Timothy is very similar to Jiminy Cricket in how he acts and in his relationship with the main character, but him being similar is far from a bad thing since Timothy is not only a very good character, but also my favorite character in the film. Much like I said I preferred Pinocchio over Dumbo, I do prefer Jiminy over Timothy, but he's still a great character otherwise and he works for the some reasons Jiminy does.

Timothy tries to come up with an idea to make Dumbo famous, but comes up with nothing until he overhears the ringmaster talking about an elephant ascending a pyramid of pachyderms, but having no idea on what to do for the climax. When the ringmaster falls asleep, Timothy pretends to be the "voice of his subconscious mind" in what is admittedly a pretty amusing scene and tells him to make Dumbo the climax of the event. The ringmaster goes with the idea, and the next day, the pyramid of pachyderms takes place.

The pyramid of pachyderms involves the mean elephants stacking on top of each other while on a ball. Everything goes well until Dumbo runs out to be the climax and he trips over his ears and knocks into the ball, causing the elephants to be spun out of control, getting themselves injured, and destroying the circus tent. The scene itself is good, and one line in this scene I found really funny was when one of the elephants says to Dumbo, "Out of my way, assassin!". After the incident, the elephants make an oath to agree on Dumbo not being one of them.

Dumbo is made into a clown by the circus, and expected to jump a large distance from the top of a burning building into a pool of...something? I couldn't tell what it's supposed to be, but I think it's glue. Dumbo is humiliated by this, but Timothy makes him feel better when he says he's taking him to see his (still imprisoned) mother. The two head to Mrs. Jumbo's cage, where they tearfully reunite as "Baby Mine" plays. The scene is pretty memorable, the song is beautiful, and so far I think this has been the most effective sad scene of the canon.

As they leave the cage, Dumbo is still sad about being separated from his mother and he gets the hiccups. Shortly before this, some clowns accidentally knock a bottle of champagne into a bucket of water. Timothy sees the bucket, and uses it to cure the hiccups. The two drink all the champagne and become drunk, which leads into Dumbo shooting out bubbles from his trunk. One of the bubbles turns into a pink elephant, which forms more pink elephants. Yep, it's this scene...

One of the scenes everyone remembers from this film is the "Pink Elephants on Parade" song/scene. It's just a bunch of pink elephants doing random things for about four minutes. It's very pointless and it is filler, but it is FANTASTIC. The song itself is very catchy, the animators were having a lot fun with it, and its pointlessness makes the scene funnier than it really should be. I know a lot of people find this scene scary, but I never thought it was and it's my favorite scene in the film. I also feel it's safe to say that the scene in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh with the Heffalumps and Woozles was clearly inspired by this scene.

The next morning, five crows notice Dumbo and Timothy sleeping in their tree. Upon discovering where they are, Dumbo and Timothy fall out of the tree, and upon hearing the crow's leader, Jim Crow, suggest that they flew up into the tree, Timothy believes that will be the key to making Dumbo famous, which the crows laugh off. As you probably know, the crows in this film are very controversial for being racist depictions of black people. For me, while I can understand how someone could be offended by it, it didn't bother me that much, I think the crows are enjoyable characters, and there are plenty of worse depictions of black people in animation than this. The only I don't like about it is the leader crow being named Jim Crow, which if you know what Jim Crow laws are, is a bit uncalled for.

The crows sing a song about how crazy the idea of an elephant flying is called "When I See An Elephant Fly". It's pretty catchy and very enjoyable. As the crows continue to laugh off the idea of Dumbo flying, an angered Timothy calls them off for making fun of Dumbo after all he's been through. This makes the crows apologize for their behavior, and they give Timothy an idea on how to make Dumbo fly by making him think an ordinary feather is magic. As it turns out, the plan works, and Timothy is excited to see Dumbo show off his ability to fly at the circus.

Dumbo is on top of the burning building again, this time with the "magic" feather. While he jumps toward the ground, the feather flies out of his trunk. Timothy desperately pleads for Dumbo to fly, saying that the feather wasn't magic, and just as he's about to hit the bottom, Dumbo takes off into the sky. He gets payback on the clowns, the ringmaster, and the elephants as he uses his flying powers. This is a very satisfying ending, since Dumbo manages to impress everyone, people finally like him, and it's rewarding to see him shoot peanuts at the other elephants as punishment for how they've treated him throughout the film.

Dumbo soon becomes a worldwide phenomenon, and Timothy becomes his manager. To end off the film, Mrs. Jumbo is released from her cage and reunited with her son, as the crows sing a reprise of "When I See An Elephant Fly". Just like the previous scene, seeing Dumbo reunite with his mother is very satisfying, and it gives this movie a great ending.

That is Dumbo, and for the most part, there is a lot to enjoy here. The relationships Dumbo has with both his mother and Timothy are great, the songs are pretty good, the pink elephants, while pointless, are awesome, the film does have a very satisfying ending, and the animation, while not as atmospheric as the last three films, is still pretty good. It's one of the shortest Disney films, only clocking in at barely over an hour, but it doesn't feel distracting short and it's thoroughly charming and endearing throughout. The only thing about the film that I would say I really didn't like is how mean the elephants are to Dumbo. I get that they're deliberately supposed to be unlikable, but they come across as too mean and annoying when they're on-screen. Outside of that and Jim Crow being the leader crow's name, I don't have any other complaints. Dumbo is a great film that has some pretty good characters and songs, genuine emotion, great animation, and a whole lot of charm to it. I wouldn't say it's quite as good as Pinocchio, but it's the next best one so far and it's deserving of its classic status.

Favorite Character: Timothy
Favorite Song: "Pink Elephants on Parade"
Favorite Scene: The aforementioned favorite song
Final Score: A


Feel free to discuss Dumbo, agree or disagree on anything I said, or post any extra thoughts.

Next time, I will review Bambi, so stay tuned for that.

For this review's question:
Would your feelings on the film be the same or different if the "Pink Elephants on Parade" scene was omitted?
 
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Dr.Pepper

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Fantasia is my favorite Disney movie. I loved it ever since I was a little kid. My favorite segment was the Pastoral Symphony. I always wanted to see a spin-off with those characters.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen Dumbo, but I remember it being one of the lesser favorites for me.
 
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Baloo

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Welcome to part 5 of my project to review every film in the Disney animated canon! Last time, I reviewed Dumbo. Here, I will review Bambi, released in 1942. After a more simple and laid-back film like Dumbo, Disney went back to revolutionizing animation in Bambi. Bambi was a box office bomb in its original release, but it has made back its budget from later rereleases and is widely considered a classic today. Do I think it deserves the praise it receives? Let's find out.

The film's opening credits start out with a song called "Love is a Song". The opening credits have some nice imagery on them, but the song itself isn't anything to write home about. One morning in the forest, Friend Owl is awakened by a bunch of animals, who run to see the newborn prince of the forest, Bambi. A good portion of the beginning of the film is just seeing Bambi interact to the world around him, with the help of his mother and his friends Thumper and Flower. These scenes are fine, but most of the reason why they are fine is because of the phenomenal animation and great atmosphere that persists through the entire film. Bambi is a mostly atmosphere-driven film and a result, the story and the characters are quite a bit weaker than the content in Pinocchio and Dumbo.

Most of the earlier scenes in the film are just watching the animals act cute, and while it's not bad and I wouldn't even say it's boring, it's not particularly engaging, these scenes can go on a little too long, and it leads to probably my biggest complaint about the film: the characters. These are certainly not bad characters, but they have so little going for them personality-wise other than "they're cute", and honestly, I don't even think they're all that cute. I don't mind if you want to make a character cute, but please don't let that be the only defining trait of the character, because if you don't find them that cute, then you're left with pretty much nothing. Of all the characters introduced at this point in the film, the only one who is somewhat entertaining is Friend Owl. He gets some good moments here and there, but the other characters are pretty unremarkable, and it's really the animation and atmosphere that make the scenes.

One night, a rainstorm hits the forest, which leads to Bambi experiencing rain for the first time in the song "Little April Shower". The songs in this film aren't sung by the characters, so they're usually not super memorable, but this song is fine, and the animation of the rain is fantastic. Also of note is that some of the animation on the animals here would later show up in both The Rescuers and The Fox and the Hound. Eventually, Bambi's mother (who is just called that; for some reason she doesn't have a name) decides to take her son to the meadow, where some impressive animation of a bunch of deer running occurs. Bambi also meets a female fawn named Faline, who acts crazy around him and it does get a little old, but the scene is short. He also meets the quiet, stern, but reasonable Great Prince of the Forest, who also turns out to be his father later in the film.

However, things aren't always so easy in the forest. Upon seeing a bunch of crows appear with a three note theme being repeated over and over again, the Great Prince detects someone in the forest: Man. He orders all the deer to run out, while Man shoots at them, missing each time. All the deer make it back safely, and Bambi's mother tells her son that Man was in the forest. Despite not appearing on-screen even once, Man is actually a pretty good villain for being able to create so much conflict and tension in the film without even appearing.

It eventually turns into winter, which is a new discovery for Bambi. He tries to skate on some ice with Thumper, and he discovers that Flower hibernates. The rest of the winter turns out to be harsh with little food, but one day, Bambi's mother spies a small patch of grass, and lets Bambi come out to eat it with her. As they're eating, we hear the same three notes repeated over and over again as Bambi's mother looks around. As you probably know, we are entering the film's most famous scene. Bambi's mother orders Bambi to run to the thicket, running closely behind as the music gets more intense and Man starts shooting at them. Bambi makes it to the thicket fine, but as soon as the intense music stops, we hear a gunshot, and Bambi's mother doesn't make it back. Bambi notices his mother is gone, and searches in the snow for her, only to be stopped by the Great Prince of the Forest, who tells him "your mother can't be with you anymore".

This scene is obviously the very (in)famous scene where Bambi's mother is killed, which is considered one of the saddest Disney moments of all time and the most well-known one outside of arguably Mufasa's death. Me personally, I find the death overhyped. I didn't really find Bambi's mother to be that interesting of a character, and I think not seeing her dead body (especially compared to seeing Mufasa's dead body) lessens the impact of the scene. Disney also had a pretty good mother character with Mrs. Jumbo last film, so I feel like Bambi's mother could have been better than she ended up being. It also doesn't help that Bambi's mother reappears for brief cameos in The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, The Rescuers, Beauty and the Beast, and Brother Bear, which makes the death scene not as effective if she reappears in several films after this one. After that scene, Bambi walks off with his father while the screen fades to black. I wonder what will be coming next?

Birds happily singing?!?!?

Talk about fantastic transitioning. It's suddenly spring and a bunch of birds are singing "Let's Sing a Gay Little Spring Song". The song itself is okay, but I find the transition from the death of Bambi's mother to this...really strange. Regardless, the timing of this song makes what would probably have been a forgettable song unintentionally hilarious. Friend Owl is awakened by the birds, annoyed. He tries to scare them off, which works at first, but they come back and he flies away to get some sleep, only to be awaken by a buck scratching his antlers on a tree. This buck turns out to be a grown-up Bambi, who reunites with a grown-up Thumper and Flower (A little thing I think I should mention is that Adult Flower is voiced by Sterling Holloway).

The three notice some birds acting weird, which leads Friend Owl into explaining to them that they're "twitterpated", or in love. He tells them that it can happen to any of them, but the three decide to keep it from happening and head off. As it turns out, Flower and Thumper meet a female skunk/rabbit and fall in love with them, and both scenes go on a little too long considering the outcome is exactly the same. Bambi also meets a doe, who turns out to be a grown-up Faline. As the two reunite, another buck appears (his name is never said in the film, but most sources online tend to call him Ronno) and fights with Bambi over Faline, which leads to some really impressive shadows and coloring on the deer during their short, but intense fight. Bambi throws the deer over a waterfall, and is the winner of Faline. Bambi and Faline enjoy themselves that night with a song called "Looking for Romance" playing, which has some really good animation during it, but the song itself is pretty forgettable.

Unfortunately, the fun isn't for long as Man decides to return to the forest. Bambi, feeling something isn't right, searches the forest and finds Man's campsite. The Great Prince shows up and says that there are many men this time, and he and Bambi must quickly run deep into the forest. Faline is awakened by a bunch of crows and notices Bambi is gone. As she and Bambi search for each other, the crows warn the other animals of the hunters' presence. As the animals hide in the grass, a pheasant is terrified about Man's arrival, but the other pheasants try to keep her quiet. Thinking they should escape, the terrified pheasant flies off, only to get shot and killed by Man, who proceeds to attempt to shoot the other animals (Man (no pun intended), that scene with the pheasant was intense).

Meanwhile, Faline is chased by a bunch of demonic-looking dogs that belong to Man. As Faline gets cornered, Bambi appears and fights off the dogs, knocking them out and possibly killing them with a bunch of rocks as he and Faline run away. More conflict arises as the fire at Man's campsite spreads to the forest and sets it on fire, and Man manages to shoot Bambi. Bambi is wounded, but still alive, and with his father's urging, he gets up from his wounds and the two run away from the fire, which proves to be no easy task. As the fire burns down the forest, all of the animals get together on an island in the middle of a river, where Bambi reunites with Faline. The climax of this film is awesome, with tons of awesome action, impressive animation, and showing why Man is such an effective villain. Despite some of the slower things in this film, I feel that it's worth sitting through them to get to this scene, which is the highlight of the film for me.

The film ends pretty similar to how the film started. All the animals move back to the forest once the fire is gone, and they all run to the thicket to see the two newborn fawns of Faline. Bambi and his father stand on a cliff overlooking the forest, and thinking it's time, Bambi's father steps down from his position, making Bambi the new Great Prince of the Forest.

That is Bambi, and while I may have sounded a bit negative towards it in my review, I do think it is a good film. The big strength of the film is in the animation and atmosphere; both of which being consistently fantastic throughout the better and weaker scenes of the film. This is the aspect of the film it focused on the most, and it did it very well. However, the characters, story, and songs (three elements I tend to hold at great value when analyzing Disney films) aren't the best. Most of the characters minus Man and Friend Owl aren't very interesting, Bambi's life experience doesn't make for the most interesting story since he isn't that special of a character, and the songs are mostly forgettable. However, these aspects aren't done bad, they're just not done all that strong. Regardless, I do like Bambi, though I liked it more when I was younger and I don't think it's as good as most people say it is. It's around the same quality for me as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is, but while this one is probably more interesting to watch while you're watching it, I'd say this one is probably a little weaker due to having less rewatch value and having most of the good elements being put in the atmosphere, where the other film also had good atmosphere and also had a better story and characters. It's a good film, but it's certainly not top-tier Disney material for me.

Favorite Character: Man
Favorite Song: "Let's Sing a Gay Little Spring Song"
Favorite Scene: Man's return to the forest
Final Score: B-

Feel free to discuss Bambi, agree or disagree on anything I said, or post any extra thoughts.

Next time, I'll take a break from the golden age and head into the era of the package films. Join me with my next review where I review Saludos Amigos.

For this review's question:
What are your feelings on the death of Bambi's (Gunshot)

(Cue birds merrily singing)
 

wonderfly

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Golden Age (1937-1942; 1950-1967): Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book
Wartime Package Films (1942-1949): Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Dark Age (1970-1988): The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company
Disney Renaissance (1989-1999): The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan
Post-Renaissance (1999-2008): Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Bolt
Disney Revival (2009-current): The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet
That's an interesting way to break up the eras. Lumping in the Golden and Silver Age eras works (in that those are all of the old classics). Most people don't see any distinction between (for instance) "Pinocchio" and "Peter Pan", even though they are products of different times...so yeah, I guess that works.

You really consider the Revival to start with "The Princess and the Frog?" Hmm, I've been starting the Revival with "Tangled". I've seen others that want to start the revival with "Bolt".

I consider "Chicken Little" to be the "hit rock bottom" moment, and "Meet the Robinsons", "Bolt", and "Princess and the Frog" to be steps along the way to "fixing" what had become broken following the Renaissance.

Anyway, I look forward to reading your reviews!
 
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Baloo

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That's an interesting way to break up the eras. Lumping in the Golden and Silver Age eras works (in that those are all of the old classics). Most people don't see any distinction between (for instance) "Pinocchio" and "Peter Pan", even though they are products of different times...so yeah, I guess that works.

You really consider the Revival to start with "The Princess and the Frog?" Hmm, I've been starting the Revival with "Tangled". I've seen others that want to start the revival with "Bolt".

I consider "Chicken Little" to be the "hit rock bottom" moment, and "Meet the Robinsons", "Bolt", and "Princess and the Frog" to be steps along the way to "fixing" what had become broken following the Renaissance.

Anyway, I look forward to reading your reviews!
Thanks for the compliment on my reviews! As for the Disney Revival, I don't think I've ever seen anyone who starts the era with Tangled, but I can see how someone would considering most of the Revival takes place in the 2010's, it was the first one in the 2010's, and this is where CGI truly started to become the definitive norm for the canon. From what I see, most people tend to start the Revival with The Princess and the Frog, though I have seen some start with Bolt. I personally see Bolt as a transition film in between the post-Renaissance and the Revival, and The Princess and the Frog is where the Revival truly started, but that's just how I see it; I can see others viewing things differently.


In case anyone is curious how far in the canon I am now, I have seen everything up to Melody Time, including it. I'll likely watch The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad later today, and I generally tend to do one film per day, though I may do more or less depending on how busy I am. I'll try to upload one review per day if I can. Anyway, here's my next review.

Welcome to part 6 of my project to review every film in the Disney animated canon! Last time, I reviewed Bambi. Here, we'll take a break from the golden age and enter a new era of Disney animation with the package films, the first one of the era and the second one overall (after Fantasia) being Saludos Amigos, released in 1942. This is by far the shortest film in the animated canon, clocking in at only 42 minutes, and it is also one of the canon's most obscure films. Is it a masterpiece, or is its obscurity deserved? Let's see.

The film's opening credits start with a song named after the film itself, which is alright, but nothing too special. The concept of the film is that the Disney animators take a goodwill trip to South America, while they visit Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and some other South American countries. Upon their discoveries, the Disney animators make drawings of South American themed shorts, and all of them are put together into this film. I like the concept of the film and there is some good culture shown in there, but the movie does feel a lot more like a documentary than an actual film, due to the short runtime. Regardless, I think it works as a documentary, but how is it as a film? Now I'll review the four segments individually, in the order they appear in the film.

"Lake Titicaca":

There isn't too much to "Lake Titicaca". The first half is about Donald Duck trying to sail a boat in Lake Titicaca, and the second half is Donald riding a llama on a rickety bridge high up in the mountains. There isn't much to the short, mainly because the emphasis is more on comedy than an actual story, but it's charming and while it's not super funny, there are some entertaining moments, mainly when Donald and the llama are on the bridge (I'm curious if the bridge scene in The Emperor's New Groove was inspired by this scene). Of course, Donald is a classic character and he helps make the short a little better, and while the short isn't great and anything that memorable, I enjoyed watching it. Overall, I'd give "Lake Titicaca" a B-.

"Pedro":

In this segment, a young airplane named Pedro lives in an Santiago airport with his parents, with his father being a mail deliverer. One day, his father gets sick, and the mother can't stand high altitudes, so Pedro decides to go to Mendoza and pick up the mail. This involves flying through the Andes Mountains, where a fierce mountain named Aconcagua awaits. Pedro gets to Mendoza without much trouble, but on his way back to Santiago, a condor lures him to Aconcagua, which starts a thunderstorm to get Pedro. Pedro nearly dies when making it back, but he does get the mail back home. This is the only segment in the film that has an actual plot, and while the plot is simple, it is enjoyable and charming. The scene with Pedro trying to make it through the storm is pretty cool, and even if there's not that much to talk about, it's a pretty good short. I'd give "Pedro" a B+.

"El Gaucho Goofy":

In this segment, Goofy is a cowboy who moves from Texas to Argentina. He gets into a bunch of antics with a horse, and pretty much all of the segment is just typical things you'd see in a normal Goofy cartoon, in terms of the characters and the slapstick. Like "Lake Titicaca", this segment has very little plot and a heavy emphasis on comedy, but the jokes are funnier here than they are in the former. Much like Donald, Goofy is a classic character and the familiarity of him helps the segment, and a decent amount of the jokes in this segment (especially the slow motion scene with the ostrich) are fairly funny. While not hilarious, among one of the package films' best segments, or even one of my favorite Goofy cartoons, "El Gaucho Goofy" is still pretty enjoyable and will be earning a B+.

"Aquarela do Brasil":

The film's final segment has a song playing throughout it named after the segment itself, and the song is really catchy. The segment starts with an artist painting a South American jungle, bringing things to life, with Donald Duck eventually appearing. It is here where Donald and the audience are introduced to Jose Carioca, a Brazilian parrot who would also reappear in the next film, The Three Caballeros. Jose takes Donald into Rio de Janeiro to experience dancing the samba (a similar segment to this would also be featured in Melody Time) as the film ends. Despite being very minimal in the plot department, I really enjoyed the segment. Donald and Jose are great characters, the animation is lively and fun, and the Brazil song is catchy. It's my favorite segment in the film and I'll give it a B+.

That is Saludos Amigos, and while it's nothing super memorable, for what it is, I definitely enjoyed it. All four segments, while none are fantastic, are all good. I also think that as a documentary, it does work. There's not a whole lot to say about the film, largely due to how short it is, and I do think it's one of the less memorable Disney films, but for what it is, it's certainly good, and I even liked more than Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi. The film's charming, has some nice animation, some interesting culture in it, and there's really nothing to dislike about it. It's far from one of Disney's best, but I think it's worth checking out.

Favorite Character: Jose Carioca
(For the package films, I make it so my favorite character has to be a character who debuted in the film, and while I like Goofy and Donald more than Jose, he debuted here and they didn't, so I'm giving him the credit)
Favorite Song: "Aquarela do Brasil"
Favorite Scene: The "Aquarela do Brasil" segment
Final Score:
"Lake Titicaca": B-
"Pedro": B+
"El Gaucho Goofy": B+
"Aquarela do Brasil": B+
Overall: B

Feel free to discuss Saludos Amigos, agree or disagree on anything I said, or post any extra thoughts.

Next time, I will review The Three Caballeros, so stay tuned for that.

For this review's question:
Do you like the Latin American theme of the film, or is it too gimmicky for its own good?
 
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Frank98

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I think the first five movies are on a whole different league compared to everything that came later. Good job so far.
 
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