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Posts Tagged ‘Disney Animated Feature’

CHICKEN LITTLE – John Debney

November 4, 2005 Leave a comment

chickenlittleOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It pains me to write this, but the quality of Disney’s annual animated features seem to be decreasing in quality with each passing year. It’s a truly depressing thought to realise that having gone from such legendary fare as Pinocchio, Snow White and Bambi, to modern classics such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, we are now reduced to watching twaddle like last year’s Home on the Range, and this year’s lacklustre effort, Chicken Little.

The story is a simplistic fable variation on “the boy who cried wolf”, aimed firmly at kids, with little in the way of the subtle subversiveness which makes this kind of fare palatable for adults. Young Chicken Little (Zach Braff) causes a mass panic in his small hometown of Oakey Oaks when he claims that “the sky is falling” (it turns out to be an acorn), and is scorned as a dumb kid, and treated as a social pariah. Read more…

HOME ON THE RANGE – Alan Menken

April 2, 2004 Leave a comment

homeontherangeOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken has been away from film music since 1997, after the Disney animated film Hercules crashed and burned both critically and commercially. The announcement that he would finally be returning to the fray with Home on the Range was met with almost universal praise. The man is far too talented, and far too well respected to be consigned to film music history just yet. But, what does he give us as a welcome back gift…? Singing cows and yodeling. Billed as “Chicken Run with cows”, Home on the Range features the voices of Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly as a trio of precocious cows who go off to collect the bounty on the head of the infamous yodeling cattle rustler, Alameda Slim (Randy Quaid), in an attempt to save their ranch from falling into the clutches of an unscrupulous developer. Read more…

DINOSAUR – James Newton Howard

May 19, 2000 Leave a comment

dinosaurOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

A mammoth majestic effort of immense proportions and great beauty, James Newton Howard’s score for the Disney animated epic Dinosaur is far and away the best work of his career to date. Previously defined by taught, almost themeless thriller and horror works with the odd landmark standout (Waterworld, Wyatt Earp), Dinosaur is highly recommended for anyone who was underwhelmed by The Sixth Sense or bored by Snow Falling on Cedars. It is the James Newton Howard score I have been waiting all my life to hear. As a film, Dinosaur’s themes and messages are rooted in the grand Disney tradition. Right from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, through The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Mulan, the mouse house have continually recycled the old story line chestnuts again and again – an outsider comes to be part of a new community, is initially shunned by the group, but is eventually accepted when he/she/it stands up to an aggressor and proclaims the merits of teamwork, loyalty and understanding. In this case, the outsider is a young dinosaur named Aladar, who is orphaned at birth and raised instead by a family of lemur-like monkeys on a small island. When the island is devastated by a meteor shower, Aladar and the survivors hook up with a group of other dinos who are searching for “The Nesting Grounds”, a mythical place where land and water are bountiful, but who are continually avoiding the deadly carnotaur predators who track their every move. Initially shunned by the herd, Aladar eventually makes friends with Neera, a female, and offers help to three elders who are slowing down the group – and making an enemy of Kron, the leader, in the process. Read more…