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Don Hahn - World Premiere of Disney's 'Maleficent' held at the El Capitan Theatre - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 28th May 2014

Don Hahn
Don Hahn

Chimpanzee Review


Good

Disney shamelessly plays the cute card here, turning what could be a revealing documentary into something almost painfully adorable. We can't help but smile and sigh all the way through this delightful adventure, even though everything has been bent to make these wild creatures as human as possible. Frankly, this does a huge disservice to the realities of nature. But it does make the film a lot more engaging.

The camera crew traveled to the deepest rainforests of Ivory Coast in West Africa, where they follow a young monkey they name Oscar. He's being raised by his loving mother Isha, who teaches him how to crack nuts, collect berries and mash his fruit. Their clan is led by the aloof but benevolent Freddy, who helps protect them from outside threats. The main danger comes from a neighbouring valley, where the greedy Scar leads his band of thuggish chimps on raids into Freddy's peaceful paradise. And when Isha is killed in one of these attacks, Oscar struggles to fit in with his extended family. With nothing to lose, he turns to Freddy himself, with unexpected results.

There's a genuinely amazing story at the heart of this film: alpha males almost never adopt scruffy under-aged orphans as their own. And the growing bond between Oscar and Freddy is astonishing to watch. But then Oscar is so relentlessly cuddly that he'd probably even melt Scar's heart given half the chance. Unfortunately, the filmmakers paint Scar as pure evil, vilifying him so completely that they actually undermine the law of the jungle. And all of this is further manipulated by Allen's trite narration and an annoyingly obvious score.

Continue reading: Chimpanzee Review

Don Hahn Wednesday 10th October 2012 56th BFI London Film Festival- Frankenweenie premiere - Arrivals

Don Hahn

Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short and Don Hahn - Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Don Hahn Wednesday 10th October 2012 56th BFI London Film Festival- Frankenweenie photocall

Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, Catherine O'hara, Martin Short and Don Hahn
Allison Abbate
Allison Abbate, Tim Burton, Martin Landau, Catherine O'hara, Martin Short and Don Hahn

Don Hahn - Producer Don Hahn Hollywood, California - World Premiere of Disney's The Lion King 3D held at the El Capitan Theatre Saturday 27th August 2011

Don Hahn

Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review


Excellent
The song-and-dance numbers are out. The cheery sidekicks are nowhere to be seen. The predictable villains in black are nonexistent. This summer, Disney comes out with both guns blazing, literally, in its newest animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire, an imaginative and eye-popping mix of action, adventure, and sweeping vision landscapes filled with gorgeous computer enhanced animation.

Continuing on its recent arc of solid storylines in its animation and quality visuals, Atlantis is successful in both being a wide-eyed roller-coaster ride for kids and is interesting enough to keep adults from passing out from boredom. The film follows the adventures of Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), a bookworm/boiler room attendant/linguistics expert who probably hasn't had a date in years. Milo's grandfather was an explorer looking for Atlantis who knew where to discover the location of the lost city -- in a hidden journal. With the help of eccentric billionaire Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney), the lost journal is recovered, providing new clues to Atlantis's whereabouts. Milo then joins a group of rag-tag explorers -- including a 200-person Navy, enough surplus to take over a small county, and no cute sidekicks -- in the search for the city of Atlantis.

Continue reading: Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame Review


Weak
Disney's animation studio just about hit rock bottom in 1996, following its worst film ever, Pocahontas, with another weak entry, a difficult adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel.

It's typical of 1990s Disney: unlikely hero (Tom Hulce, as Quisimodo), who falls for a ravishing beauty (Demi Moore, as a gypsy gal), while goofy sidekicks (three stone gargoyles) crack jokes. Every five minutes, someone bursts into song. And yet none of this is kid-friendly, and little of it will be of interest to adults.

Continue reading: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame Review

Beauty And The Beast (1991) Review


Very Good
Often considered the best animated film ever -- and the only one to ever be nominated for Best Picture -- on a return viewing ten years later, Beauty and the Beast doesn't seem to be quite the masterpiece we once thought.

Though it's still good, pop this Special Edition DVD into your player and you're instantly greeted with a crash of noise. Beauty lets you know right from the start that it is not a subtle film, full of bluster and fire and singing and talking everything. (And everything talking at the top of its lungs.)

Continue reading: Beauty And The Beast (1991) Review

Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review


Excellent
The song-and-dance numbers are out. The cheery sidekicks are nowhere to be seen. The predictable villains in black are nonexistent. This summer, Disney comes out with both guns blazing, literally, in its newest animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire, an imaginative and eye-popping mix of action, adventure, and sweeping vision landscapes filled with gorgeous computer enhanced animation.

Continuing on its recent arc of solid storylines in its animation and quality visuals, Atlantis is successful in both being a wide-eyed roller-coaster ride for kids and is interesting enough to keep adults from passing out from boredom. The film follows the adventures of Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), a bookworm/boiler room attendant/linguistics expert who probably hasn't had a date in years. Milo's grandfather was an explorer looking for Atlantis who knew where to discover the location of the lost city -- in a hidden journal. With the help of eccentric billionaire Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney), the lost journal is recovered, providing new clues to Atlantis's whereabouts. Milo then joins a group of rag-tag explorers -- including a 200-person Navy, enough surplus to take over a small county, and no cute sidekicks -- in the search for the city of Atlantis.

Continue reading: Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame Review


Weak
Disney's animation studio just about hit rock bottom in 1996, following its worst film ever, Pocahontas, with another weak entry, a difficult adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel.

It's typical of 1990s Disney: unlikely hero (Tom Hulce, as Quisimodo), who falls for a ravishing beauty (Demi Moore, as a gypsy gal), while goofy sidekicks (three stone gargoyles) crack jokes. Every five minutes, someone bursts into song. And yet none of this is kid-friendly, and little of it will be of interest to adults.

Continue reading: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame Review

The Lion King Review


Extraordinary

One of Disney's greatest achievements, this is to my knowledge the only animated film to be turned into a Broadway musical. (Beauty and the Beast doesn't count, since that film had prior life outside the Disneyverse.)

The Lion King is primarily memorable because it's not based on a fairy tale or a children's story, and thus avoids the cliches that saddle so many Disney flicks. There's no "love conquers all" message, no moral about how trying hard will make everything come out OK. In fact, for much of its running time, The Lion King says the exact opposite: Hakuna Matata means "no worries," right? It's in the past, so let it go. But The Lion King also tells us that we can learn from the past, that tyrants should be overthrown, and that we should own up to our mistakes in the end.

This also makes The Lion King one of Disney's most adult movies. Though it's rated G, it features numerous scenes of peril and death -- with lion cub Simba orphaned after his uncle kills off his dad to usurp the throne and title of king of the jungle. But that too is part of the famed Circle of Life. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Simba runs off to live in the jungle -- gettin' real, ya know -- stricken with guilt that he (thinks he) killed his father. Eventually he returns home to showdown with evil uncle Scar, who has been ruling the jungle with an iron fist, disrupting the Circle of Life.

The Lion King is one of Disney's last great 2-D creations, with computers aiding in some truly stellar moments such as the wildebeest stampede. Lots of perspective shots and moving cameras make this one of the genre's most film-like movies.

If there's anything annoying about the film, it's the singing, young Simba sounds like a young Michael Jackson. On the new song added to the just-out DVD release of the movie, the atrociously vapid "Morning Report," he sounds like a castrato Michael Jackson. You almost don't want him to succeed, but thankfully, Simba eventually grows up and is replaced, voice-wise, by Matthew Broderick. By way of other extras, there's a whole second disc of goodies, including an extensive selection of making-of footage, a deleted scene or two, an alternate first verse of "Hakuna Matata," a special home theater audio mix (sounds good), and about a bazillion kid-friendly features like games and singalongs.

The Lion King has rightfully spawned one of the most enduring industrial complexes ever to come from an animated cat. Way to go, Disney.

[]Join the Disney Movie Club and get three free Disney DVDs![][]

Ah, the majesty.

The Haunted Mansion Review


Good
Attendance must be down at Disney theme parks. It's the only explanation I can come up with that would explain the Mickey Mouse conglomerate's insistence on making movies based on attractions in its parks. After all, what better way to remind us that we're overdue for a visit? Earlier this year, The Pirates of the Caribbean dazzled us with its vivid animation and special effects, while last years The Country Bears fizzled behind some silly singing animals. As Disney's third attempt, The Haunted Mansion flourishes more than it flounders, but only works as mindless entertainment.

Eddie Murphy stars as a sleazy realtor named Jim Evers, who along with his wife Sara (Marsha Thomason), have built one of the most successful real estate practices in New Orleans. Jim has closed a record seven deals in the last month alone, yet despite the success, Sara has grown tired of Jim's absence from their children's soccer games and team barbeques. Deciding it is time for a vacation, the Evers set out on a road trip. But before they leave town, Jim must make one last deal at the sprawling Edward Grace Estate.

Continue reading: The Haunted Mansion Review

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Don Hahn Movies

Chimpanzee Movie Review

Chimpanzee Movie Review

Disney shamelessly plays the cute card here, turning what could be a revealing documentary into...

Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

Atlantis: The Lost Empire Movie Review

The song-and-dance numbers are out. The cheery sidekicks are nowhere to be seen....

Beauty And The Beast (1991) Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast (1991) Movie Review

Often considered the best animated film ever -- and the only one to ever be...

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The Lion King Movie Review

The Lion King Movie Review

One of Disney's greatest achievements, this is to my knowledge the only animated film to...

The Haunted Mansion Movie Review

The Haunted Mansion Movie Review

Attendance must be down at Disney theme parks. It's the only explanation I can come...

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