Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Frozen and the State of Animated Feature

The trailer debuted for Frozen, in house Disney's latest.  Looks very Ice Age-ish-- in fact, isn't the teaser essentially selling the same joke?  Anyhow it's something upon the horizon on the heels of this weeks release of Pixar's latest travesty, ahem-- fourteenth full length feature, Monster's University, a prequel to the positively delightful 2001 stand alone film Monsters, Inc.  2013 has been so far a fairly barren ground for animated features, with the box office sensation The Croods and the more earthbound grosses of Epic making up a largely artistically forgettable field for this years animated features Academy Award.

Much has been written of the current state of Pixar and the diminishing returns of the fabled studio house since 2011's Cars 2 broke their longtime tradition of excellence-- last years Brave was a decent movie (and the eventual winner of the Academy Award), but still left an impression as a minor achievement to say the least.  With Monsters University, the are continuing to further brand characters, and to say nothing of the film (I have not seen it yet), it strikes as an increasingly desperate undertaking for the house that prodded story as their most important asset.  Further pillaging will take place as a Finding Nemo sequel is in the works.

What's interesting about 2013's crop of animated features is just how few of them are original, and what impression that might leave at the end of the year-- on top of Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 opens in July and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens this September.  Looks like a potentially weak field at least on the onset-- GKids, this may well be your year to pounce.  Monsters, Inc. was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar in the first year of its inception and famously lost to Shrek (the funny thing about legacies is that sometimes you just never know-- at the time that seemed like the right move), so could Monsters University achieve what the first film failed to do?  The cases for Despicable and Cloudy are much fuzzier because neither of the their originals were in contention in the first place, rendering them longshots at best.

Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson

That may be where Frozen comes in.  Coming off an especially strong 2012, in house Disney seems poised and more confident than ever, even if the sheen and shine of the early '90s Renaissance is well behind them.  With last years Wreck-It-Ralph (considered by many much more of a "Pixar" film than Brave) and Frankenweenie, Disney had it's most artistically fruitful year in over a decade.

Still this year doesn't exactly look the most promising. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...