Ron Clements

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Burbank International Film Festival

Ron Clements and John Musker - Burbank International Film Festival - Closing Night Party - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 8th September 2014

The Princess and the Frog Review


Excellent
Gorgeous imagery and an energetic story make this one of Disney's most enjoyable animated features. And the fact that the studio has returned to an eye-catching hand-drawn style is very good news for an industry that's in a visual rut.

In 1940s New Orleans, Tiana (voiced by Rose) has grown up with a dream to have her own jazz joint. But as a young black woman she has to work two jobs to make ends meet. One day the sinister Facilier (David) turns a visitor, Prince Naveen (Campos), into a frog as part of an elaborate plot to take over the city. But things don't go as expected Tiana reluctantly kisses the frog, and soon they're lost in the bayou with only a trumpet-playing gator (Wooley) and a lovelorn firefly (Cummings) to help them.

Continue reading: The Princess and the Frog Review

The Little Mermaid Review


Good
DIsney's animation team looked just about washed up (no pun intended) before The Little Mermaid hit theaters in 1989. Before The Little Mermaid, we had "classics" like The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver & Company. Afterwards, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King. The Little Mermaid was a turning point, reviving Disney's animation studio by grossing almost $110 million at the box office. It was also the last hand-painted Disney film, and the first to use computer animation.

That said, The Little Mermaid is not that great of a movie. The story is simplistic to an extreme, and the animation is extremely crude, a rush job that looks better if you aren't wearing your glasses. But thanks to a spunky heroine with a clamshell brassiere, a menacing villain, singing animals, and some calypso-inspired tunes, The Little Mermaid was a hit with kids and adults. It's certainly not brain food, but give this fish the credit its due: Turning around Disney.

Continue reading: The Little Mermaid Review

Aladdin Review


Extraordinary
Disney's version of Aladdin and his magic lamp is one of its best animated features -- or features, period -- with terrific songs and gorgeous colors, thrilling action sequences and big laughs. It doesn't have the classical emotional weight of Beauty and the Beast, which came out a year earlier, but it's one of the only Disney films to break out of that nebulous "family" genre and function as a genuine comedy/adventure.

What everyone remembers, comedically speaking, is Genie, a blue whirling dervish of impressions and wisecracks as vocalized by Robin Williams in 100 percent inspiration, negligible perspiration mode. But Aladdin also features what may be the only tolerable role for Gilbert Gottfried, period: Iago, the cranky parrot sidekick of evil villain Jafar. Even Aladdin and Jasmine, while essentially bland, have likeably cynical streaks (Jasmine is disgusted by the parade of handsome princes sent to woo her, as if she's just finished watching a Disney movie marathon). These characters would have significant goodwill flogged away by a TV series and the pair of direct-to-video follow-ups that bookend it, but on its own, Aladdin is a rollicking good time. And although the contribution of Williams is immeasurable, the Disney team rises to the occasion with some terrific, fast-paced gagwork and visual mastery.

Continue reading: Aladdin Review

Hercules Review


OK
Tepid Disney animated entry is redeemed by self-referential jokes about merchandising, and James Woods' neat Hades. Probably the beginning of the Disney-mocking-Disney genre of animated films... something which has saved the studio in recent years.

The Great Mouse Detective Review


OK
A lesser-known entry in the world of Disney animation -- but an endearing one nonetheless -- The Great Mouse Detective is based on the children's book Basil of Baker Street, in turn a kid-ification of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, with a hyperintelligent mouse investigating crime in London.

At 72 minutes in length, it's a quick hop, skip, and jump across London, from a toy store to a pub to Big Ben, while Basil searches for poor Olivia's kidnapped father. The crook: Ratigan, voiced masterfully and inimitably by Vincent Price. With appropriately vintage, late-1800s period music and sets, the movie may not offer children the goofy stimulation of a Shrek or a Toy Story, but it's harmless enough that any kid ought to be entertained for the full running time -- even if the movie's hero is a bit too stuffy to relate to.

Continue reading: The Great Mouse Detective Review

The Great Mouse Detective Review


OK
A lesser-known entry in the world of Disney animation -- but an endearing one nonetheless -- The Great Mouse Detective is based on the children's book Basil of Baker Street, in turn a kid-ification of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, with a hyperintelligent mouse investigating crime in London.

At 72 minutes in length, it's a quick hop, skip, and jump across London, from a toy store to a pub to Big Ben, while Basil searches for poor Olivia's kidnapped father. The crook: Ratigan, voiced masterfully and inimitably by Vincent Price. With appropriately vintage, late-1800s period music and sets, the movie may not offer children the goofy stimulation of a Shrek or a Toy Story, but it's harmless enough that any kid ought to be entertained for the full running time -- even if the movie's hero is a bit too stuffy to relate to.

Continue reading: The Great Mouse Detective Review

Aladdin Review


Extraordinary
Disney's version of Aladdin and his magic lamp is one of its best animated features -- or features, period -- with terrific songs and gorgeous colors, thrilling action sequences and big laughs. It doesn't have the classical emotional weight of Beauty and the Beast, which came out a year earlier, but it's one of the only Disney films to break out of that nebulous "family" genre and function as a genuine comedy/adventure.

What everyone remembers, comedically speaking, is Genie, a blue whirling dervish of impressions and wisecracks as vocalized by Robin Williams in 100 percent inspiration, negligible perspiration mode. But Aladdin also features what may be the only tolerable role for Gilbert Gottfried, period: Iago, the cranky parrot sidekick of evil villain Jafar. Even Aladdin and Jasmine, while essentially bland, have likeably cynical streaks (Jasmine is disgusted by the parade of handsome princes sent to woo her, as if she's just finished watching a Disney movie marathon). These characters would have significant goodwill flogged away by a TV series and the pair of direct-to-video follow-ups that bookend it, but on its own, Aladdin is a rollicking good time. And although the contribution of Williams is immeasurable, the Disney team rises to the occasion with some terrific, fast-paced gagwork and visual mastery.

Continue reading: Aladdin Review

Hercules Review


OK
Tepid Disney animated entry is redeemed by self-referential jokes about merchandising, and James Woods' neat Hades. Probably the beginning of the Disney-mocking-Disney genre of animated films... something which has saved the studio in recent years.

Continue reading: Hercules Review

The Little Mermaid Review


Good
DIsney's animation team looked just about washed up (no pun intended) before The Little Mermaid hit theaters in 1989. Before The Little Mermaid, we had "classics" like The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver & Company. Afterwards, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King. The Little Mermaid was a turning point, reviving Disney's animation studio by grossing almost $110 million at the box office. It was also the last hand-painted Disney film, and the first to use computer animation.

That said, The Little Mermaid is not that great of a movie. The story is simplistic to an extreme, and the animation is extremely crude, a rush job that looks better if you aren't wearing your glasses. But thanks to a spunky heroine with a clamshell brassiere, a menacing villain, singing animals, and some calypso-inspired tunes, The Little Mermaid was a hit with kids and adults. It's certainly not brain food, but give this fish the credit its due: Turning around Disney.

Continue reading: The Little Mermaid Review

Ron Clements

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