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Vault-emort: Harry Potter and the Disney Vault: Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?

I’ve known about the “Disney Vault” ever since I started buying DVDs, well over a decade ago. It’s the reason why you can’t simply go into a movie shop and ask for a copy of every Disney movie, as the company regulates the titles coming in and out of release on various home entertainment platforms at any given moment, giving consumers only the smallest window of opportunity to pick up a given childhood classic before snatching it away for another six or seven years. While I have some serious problems with the practice, it’s a shrewd economic move, and I always wondered why Disney were the only studio to really do it.

Well, Warner Brothers recently announced that they’d be doing something similar, pulling the theatrical versions of the Harry Potter films from DVD and blu ray on the 29th December 2011. That leaves movie fans with only forty-eight days in which to pick up their copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. I suppose this sort of development was inevitable, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Will a lot of film fans feel a bit hallowed by the news?

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The Scar Factor: The Key to a Great Disney Villain…

I watched Tangled again this weekend with the family, and was quite impressed about how well it held together. It genuinely is the best animated picture that Disney has produced in quite some time, and I honestly hope that it is remembered fondly. As I was watching it, I noted that I really, genuinely disliked Mother Gothel. Gothel is hardly either the most quantifiably evil, nor violent, nor ruthless character in Disney lore, but she was still a great villain. That’s something I’ve always admired about Disney. While still maintaining a G-rating, the company is able to produce some of the most genuinely disgusting individuals ever put on film.

One evil mother...

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See the Aborted Monsters Inc. 2 Trailer…

I’m a sucker for all things Pixar, so when this turned up on-line, I thought I would share it. Basically, it’s a trailer for the original planned Monsters Inc. 2: Trouble in Scaradise movie that was in development at the company few years back. It’s apparently radically different from the iteration of Monsters Inc. 2 that we will see hitting our screens next year, but the writers of the original film found some concept art that had been prepared for their draft of the film, and decided to give us a taste of what their version of the film might have looked like. I think it was interesting, but it does seem a little close to Toy Story 3 (with a child abandoning the objects of their fantasy), but perhaps I’m too harsh. Give it a look below.

Non-Review Review: Tangled

Disney’s 50th animated feature film is something of a return to traditional values. Despite the surrounding discussion about whether this would be Disney’s last “princess” fairytale film or whether boys would respond to the story of Rapunzel, the movie is assuredly old school in its style. Although the way that it has been handled by the studio betrays a stunning insecurity about it, it’s self-assured a good old fashioned fairytale at heart. Though it moves away from hand-drawn animation to computer-generated imagery (though it’s reportedly heavily influenced by the old-school approach to animation), it couldn’t be more of a traditional Disney film if it tried. After so many attempts to update, subvert, revise, deconstruct or play with that classic formula, sometimes it’s nice to be served a traditional film, straight-up.

Go on, let your hair down!

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The Princess is Dead, Long Live the Princess: Disney Won’t Be Letting Fairy Tales Live Happily Ever After…

Apparently Disney are putting an end to the production of fairy tales, which is somewhat ironic for a studio which has an iconic fairytale castle as its distinctive corporate logo. I suppose it was sort of inevitable coming from a studio that was terrified of advertising Tangled as a “princess” movie. Disney board director John Lasseter explained the decision:

Today, among little girls especially, princesses and the romanticised ideal they represent – finding the man of your dreams – have a limited shelf life.

It’s very clever to couch his argument in what might be considered modern feminist terms  – “finding the man of your dreams” is such a fifties aspiration for young girls, after all – but I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable with what Disney plans to replace them with. I’ll admit that I am a relatively conservative individual – I just don’t like change – but there’s something unsettling about such a major refocus, and perhaps what it says about pop culture as a whole these days.

Okay, so maybe Disney needs to work on its female leads...

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