The Little Mermaid Celebrates 30 Years

The Little Mermaid will celebrate its 30th anniversary later this year but the film joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection with a new edition. Mermaid princess Ariel (Jodi Benson) has a dream of being human.  Much to her father’s dismay, Ariel frequently makes the journey to the surface.  It doesn’t matter that Atlantica King Triton (Kenneth Mars) forbids her from doing so.  Ariel is going to visit the humans because some dreams can’t be overcome. …

"The Little Mermaid Celebrates 30 Years"

Aladdin kicks off Tuesdays with Robin

While Aladdin holds up as a beautifully animated motion picture with awesome songs, there’s a major flaw in casting non-Persians. Fresh off of The Little Mermaid, directors Ron Clements and John Musker went to work on Aladdin.  Walt Disney Animation Studios had offered the pair a choice between Swan Lake, Aladdin, and some film about lions in the jungle but they were like, “Who would want to see that?”  The latter of which went on…

"Aladdin kicks off Tuesdays with Robin"

Tribeca 2018: Howard – A Nostalgic Documentary

Howard is a long-overdue documentary that tells the story of the late songwriter/composer Howard Ashman, who passed away as a result of AIDS in March 1991. To those who grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ashman’s music played a large role in our cinematic upbringing.  Ashman and Alan Menken teamed up for The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast.  Make no mistake about it, these films simply would not be…

"Tribeca 2018: Howard – A Nostalgic Documentary"

John Musker on Animation, Filmmaking, and Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers

Walt Disney Animation Studios director John Musker was in Chicago this week and addressed students of The Second City Training Center and Harold Ramis Film School.  I didn’t take a lot of notes during the Q&A session but here’s a recap of what I did jot down. Musker has an impressive resume over the years, having co-directed The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and The Frog, and most…

"John Musker on Animation, Filmmaking, and Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers"

Moana: The Ocean Comes Calling

Moana is the 56th animated film to be released by Walt Disney Animation Studios and it continues the studio’s reign of animated hits as it enters Disney lore. Disney veteran directors Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess & the Frog) directed the animated musical, set across the Pacific Ocean. They were joined by co-directors Don Hall and Chris Williams. The voice cast is led by Auli‘i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson.…

"Moana: The Ocean Comes Calling"