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 ANIMATION ON LASERDISC

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laserkb

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PostSubject: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:35 am

I notice that a lot of forum members are enthusiastic about animation, particularly Disney. I gather that the boxed sets are among the best examples of the format. This got me wondering about ‘toons – classic and contemporary.

I went to the cinema at the weekend – my first such visit in about 8 years. (I used to be a regular cinemagoer pre-2000 but prices and popcorn eventually put me off. Also, I’ve always argued that while a cinema is the best place to see a film, the best films are not always shown in a cinema!) Anyway, I took my grand-daughter to see RIO (my first experience of a 3D movie) and I’ll admit it blew my socks off. The fact that it was from the makers of ICE AGE meant nothing to me. But I have to admit that the animation was astounding. It was a wonderful piece of cinema magic.

Now I’ve never been much of a fan of computer generated animation. Even things like TOY STORY appeal to me more because of the story than the technology. I’ve always preferred the traditional (and now economically unfeasible) style of cel animation, whether it be Disney, Dave Fleischer, Hanna-Barbera or Tex Avery! I’ll admit that there is still artistry in CG animation but it’s hard for me to appreciate colours and textures made by pixels rather than paint.

As for Disney classic animations, I stopped watching (and collecting) after THE JUNGLE BOOK. None of the later works had the craftsmanship of say, SLEEPING BEAUTY or BAMBI. I once received as a prize the laserdisc of one of the ALADDIN straight-to-video sequels and it was Dreadful with a capital D! It put me right off all other later Disney features. What have I missed? Which later classics (on laserdisc) would anyone advise me to consider?
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:48 am

laserkb wrote:
the best films are not always shown in a cinema!

I'm very lucky that I have an excellent independent cinema nearby. If you're in the Newcastle area check out the award winning Tyneside Cinema.

laserkb wrote:
I once received as a prize the laserdisc of one of the ALADDIN straight-to-video sequels and it was Dreadful with a capital D! It put me right off all other later Disney features. What have I missed? Which later classics (on laserdisc) would anyone advise me to consider?

If you haven't seen the Lion King then do yourself a favour and check it out. It's my personal favourite Disney film.

So far I haven't seen any animated laserdiscs but my favourite animated film, the Flight of Dragons, is in the post on its way to me so I'll hopefully be able to add a bit more once I've seen that.
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AvanteProject



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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:51 am

So you haven't seen Hercules? That's my favourite Disney movie!

Also I love animation on LaserDisc. Both cel and computer.

My animation collection so far consists of...

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Beavis and Butt-Head do America
Computer Graphics Special
Dance in Cyberspace
Dream Machine: Computer Dreams
Hercules
The Mind's Eye
Beyond the Mind's Eye
Gate to the Mind's Eye
Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins
Planetary Traveller
Space Jam
Star View HCT-5808
State of the Art of Computer Animation
Tom & Jerry Classics
Toy Story
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:20 am

AvanteProject wrote:
So you haven't seen Hercules? That's my favourite Disney movie!

Also I love animation on LaserDisc. Both cel and computer.


Thanks for the 'Hercules' tip. I'll try to find a copy. Who did the music? (I assume there's music - hope it's not someone gooey and mushy. I often think the music can spoil a cartoon, which is why the new animated film RIO is so good - it's full of Brazilian samba music from Sergio Mendes, no less.)

I have the MIND'S EYE trilogy - great visuals but, again, corny synth music, imo.

I also have the TOM AND JERRY boxed set (THE ART OF...) which is fantastic. There was at least a Vol.2 (not sure if the series went to Vol.3) but they were the later cartoons and I wasn't so keen.

If you get the chance I'd recommend the HAPPY HARMONIES boxed set, a 4-disc collection of early cartoons from Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising including "Barney Bear" and the Musical Fantasias such as "Tales From the Vienna Woods". I remember some of these being on TV in the 1980s. My kids loved them especially "The Bear That Couldn't Sleep" in which poor old Barney is trying to hibernate but can't because of all the 'distractions'. It's a great collection from the golden age of animation.

The best non-Disney animated features in my collection would be WATERSHIP DOWN, YELLOW SUBMARINE and any of the 'Charlie Brown' shorts (The Great Pumpkin is my personal favourite). I did have the SOUTH PARK movie, but wasn't so keen, so now it's in the Dinodisc store, but you'll need to take out a second mortgage to buy it!

BTW, have you seen any of the compilations put out on laserdisc by Lumivision of "The Best of the International Tournee of ANIMATION"? I've no idea what a 'tournee' is, but I have the collections from the 21st, 22nd and 23rd Tournees. These are fascinating discs (all in CAV) showcasing the prizewinners of all types of animation - stop-frame, traditional cel and computerised - from master animators. These short films are not really aimed at children, many are quite sinister or gross, a lot are political, but all are intriguing. Well worth collecting if any come up for sale.
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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:51 am

The Hercules music was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, with vocals performed by Lillias White, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, and Susan Egan among others, along with the successful single version of "Go the Distance" by one of my favourites Michael Bolton.
I havent seen the film but I have heard the song go the distance by Michael Bolton YOUTUBE : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
I havent really seen many animation films but after watching toy story 3 I decided I should try and watch a few more. I agree with hippiedalek The Lion King is brilliant , its one of them films that I have watched time and time again. I have just got A Bugs Life on laserdisc so I should be watching that one tonight.
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bullruckle

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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:47 am

Are you telling me you haven't seen beauty and the beast, the little mermaid or Aladdin?! All three are awesome! As said before, the lion king and hurcules are also winners. I'm sad that you stop all new Disney intake after watching a rubbish straight to video sequel. Wasn't beauty and the beast up for a best picture Oscar? You should check it out my man.
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:26 am

bullruckle wrote:
beauty and the beast, the little mermaid or Aladdin?! All three are awesome! As said before, the lion king and hurcules are also winners.

Thanks for these suggestions. I'll certainly follow them up, but on the basis of some of the Disney animations my 5-year-old grand-daughter now watches on DVD I'm not expecting much. She's currently into CINDERELLA and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (is this the same version you're referring to, I wonder?) and they seem far too slick and sassy to be true classics. The voice characterisations are awful - so Ameeeeericaaaan. What was cute in the early films is now just twee, what was a proper narrative is now just a contrived plot, and of course, like so much in modern movie-making, everything is driven by the merchandising and marketing. Most of all, the animation lacks the subtlety and purpose of the pre-1970s films. My main criticism of so many CGI-driven films (animation or live action) is that the SFX teams put loads of visual gimmicks into a film simply because they can, not because they help the film. It's as if the producers say, "Look, guys, we're paying you a helluva lot - now justify your fee!"

I suppose the same could be said of Ray Harryhausen's masterworks. He and producer Charles Schneer DID look for projects that would utilise his Dynamation techniques, but in most cases the effects were still in service to the story, not the other way round. Somehow, that seemed justified.

Also, each early Disney had its own stylised look, appropriate to the storyline. Just consider, for example, the graphic design differences between SLEEPING BEAUTY and THE 101 DALMATIANS, both very different from each other, but perfect for the contemporary feel of the narrative. Anyway, I'll give THE LION KING and HERCULES a fair hearing, and post my responses here. I'm looking forward to being converted!
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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:41 pm

I finally managed to get both sides of Flight of Dragons to play, once they start they play ok, the problem is getting them to start. Luckily I had the LD set up neat the computer at the time and managed to capture the film in case I don't get it running again.

As you're looking for animated films to look out I thought I'd upload the intro sequence to let you see. The video actually makes a good example of laser rot...so if you want to track it down it's probably best to get hold of it on DVD...
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Right, I'll stop going on about this film now...promise.

I'd say that the animation of the Lion King is pretty "slick" so may not be to your liking, but it is still all hand drawn with the exception of a couple of shots where they use CGI, but it is done exceptionally well and to be honest you probably wouldn't notice them if I hadn't mentioned them. The story and acting are also pretty strong in the film.
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AvanteProject



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PostSubject: Re: ANIMATION ON LASERDISC   Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:23 pm

Wow, the colour on that is fantastic, even just looking at the rip of it. I can imagine it looking pretty awesome in person, with or without critical laserot.

Reminds me, I need to start ripping some of my LaserDiscs. There's a lack of LD footage on youtube and I think if there were more good quality videos showing the advantages of LaserDisc it could get more people interested.
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