WDAS Revival Era and Frozen Rant

Hello everyone. It has been a while since I have just talked to you all and not just review something. Well, this article started because I heard yesterday that Frozen officially outgrossed The Lion King, made $1 billion dollars, and is only behind Toy Story on being the highest grossing animated film. I have mixed feelings about this for a few reasons, but let’s just talk about Frozen for a minute.

This movie has won a ton of awards from Oscars, to Annies, etc for its songs, directing, Best Animated Feature, etc. It has been PRAISED and compared to The Lion King and other Renaissance films, and do I think it is deserved? no. While the characters, animation and most of the songs are nice, the story has some crystal clear problems, and suffers from the same issues as The Princess and the Frog, but done a bit worse. Plotholes, contrived story and plot elements, story not as deep as they want it to be.

While The Lion King has some issues as well (and I never got into it that much from when I was little), nothing felt forced and rushed about it, and I could invest into it more. Well, since this is not a review, I am going to change the topic to this so-called Revival Era.

Just look at the picture, and there is a lot of truth to it.  Chicken Little and The Black Cauldron were both absolutely rock bottom garbage, and the studio was humiliated from the reception and the outlash  these films did to their brand name. Many thought that Disney could not come back and that there were officially done, then The Great Mouse Detective and Meet the Robinsons both came, and those were mediocre, but at least they were better than the previous output. The next comparison is very much an insult to Bolt, since it is way better than the style over substance Oliver and Company. What I will say is that both films were more remembered than the other 2 films and gave the studio and the world some faith.

Now The Princess and the Frog‘s place in things are very debatable; many see it as the start of a new era, adding more heart to their films, being nominated by a bunch of awards, getting critically praised. And then there are the other side that believe it is the end of the treacherous Post-Renaissance Era, as it still made around the amount of money than those films, it being a disappointment financially, and not being CGI. I am more on this side, but then I remembered; The Little Mermaid only made a bit more than Oliver and Company in 1989, and the other films after out grossed it by A TON.

There are some comparisons; they are both the first fairy tale to be done in years (TLM was the first since Sleeping Beauty, TPATF was the first since Aladdin). They both brought back the traditional classic feeling of Disney that everyone has been missing, and both heroines added a new flavour and depth to Disney Heroines. So I can definitely see why these two are compared to one another.
So now it is time to compare Tangled and Beauty and the BeastThey suffer from having a purity or mary sue as a protagonist.  Well, Beauty and the Beast got some credit for progressing CAPS, and is the first to have a CGI background (the ballroom), and Tangled had to go through many animation techniques to work through Rapunzel’s hair, so they both had some technological improvement and innovation. They both made A LOT of money for the studio, and it was unheard of for them to make that much money (for Tangled, it had just been 16 years, and in between then were mostly flops or disappointments). They are seen as classics and have helped out the studio become more recognizable.
With The Rescuers Down Under and Winnie the Pooh, they both barely made it past its budget, and are completely forgettable amongst fans. They are films that most skip over (The former for being a lackluster sequel and the latter being a package film). Both suffered from poor promotion, and for being different from Disney’s recent output, so they definitely have the forgotten spots in their perspective eras.
Now it is time to compare Wreck-It Ralph and Aladdin. One of them (the most obvious one) is that both are targeted to boys, and have a male protagonist. The male protagonist is seen as “below, gutter trash, etc” and wants to prove that he is more than what he appears to be, and ends up in this long adventure. That is another thing similar; both focus in the adventure side a lot in the movie, which was definitely used in the promotion in both movies. Another one is that they both made roughly around the same amount of money (Wreck It Ralph made $470 million, and Aladdin made $500 million). And here is another important similarity; both involve A LOT of pop culture references (at least compared to the average Disney film). Genie kept on rambling on and on and on about quotes, roles in movies at the times, and pop culture figures, but in Wreck-It Ralph, there were a lot of video game references (whether it were cameos like Sonic, or video game lingo and quotes).
And now we get to the big ones; The Lion King, and Frozen. Well if you compare them to the films in their perspective eras, they made A LOT more money than the others (close to or over twice as much). The Lion King WAS the highest grossing WDAS film until a week ago, and then it became Frozen to take that title. The Lion King is still the highest grossing traditionally animated film, and the highest grossing Disney Renaissance film, with it being the Magnum Opus of the Renaissance, and the most critically acclaimed film in the era. So far, that goes for Frozen as well critically and financially, and it is currently seen as the Magnum Opus.
Aside from for reception reasons,  there are still some similarities. One is that the main story involves some family drama, it is a coming of age film, and it involves a rushed relationship that is inserted in the second half of the movie.
We all know what is after The Lion King
The infamous and controversial Pocahontas. Many people believe that this film killed the Renaissance, was the beginning of the end of the Renaissance, the beginning of the end of traditional animation (I don’t blame this film for that), and a slap in the face to American history. This film did well in the box office (same amount as Beauty and the Beast), but received mixed views. The films after this would not make as much money or get as great reviews as beforehand, but most of those films are GREAT, and better than this one. I will go more in-depth when I cover the Renaissance films. So far, things have been following the Renaissance pretty damn closely, but we have to look at the next features being released.
  • Big Hero 6 (November 7th, 2014)
  • Zootopia (March 4th, 2016)
  • Giants (probably November 2016)
  • Moana (2018)

We do not know much about these next 4 films, but I will give you a synopsis of somewhat of each film.

Big Hero 6: “Set in a fictional metropolis called San Fransokyo (a portmanteau ofSan Francisco and Tokyo), Hiro Hamada is a 14-year-old prodigy who created a huggable robot named Baymax to fill the void after the death of his brother, Tadashi. To find the killer, Hiro formed a team named Big Hero 6, which included Wasabi-No-Ginger,Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago, Fred, Baymax, and himself.”
Zootopia: “The comedic adventure film follows Nick Wilde, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big, who goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, the self-righteous rabbit Lt. Judy Hopps, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends.”
Giants: The story revolves around the protagonist Jack, who fell in love with a higher merchant class, Angelina. However, Marco, a noble who loved to travel (based on Marco Polo), was part of the love triangle. They also met Inma, a tomboy teenage girl who fought for justice, but was never taken seriously due to her age.The humans made a pact with a family of Thunder Giants: Feebus, Fifen, Fogel, Fobert, and their leader, Faustus. They were villains with a relatable point of view. The humans agreed to give the giants a percentage of their harvest and livestock, they’ll prevent any danger that might befall the humans. However, as time passed, the giants seemed to forget their duties often, making the humans miserable and doubting the pact.One day, Jack ended up befriending a giant, which started an adventure.”
Moana: “The main character will be Moana Waialiki, a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. The film will also include demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology.”
There is a King of the Elves in production, but it is frozen in production; not cancelled, but frozen. Do you see any resemblances of Hunchback, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Mulan, and/or Hercules? Do you think this Resurgence Era will only go downhill or continue to go up? What are your opinions about the future films and rumors about this era. I would love to hear your thoughts. See you next time, where I rip Alice in Wonderland apart.
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32 thoughts on “WDAS Revival Era and Frozen Rant

  1. Very interesting point of view!

    I feel though that this resurgence will still continue…at least until “Giants”. I feel “Giants” will be a flop (then again, we don’t know much about it yet), but “Moana” will bring back the hits. I’m soooo looking forward to “Zootopia” because I love the anthropomorphic animals/crime thriller/mystery thriller aspect of it.

    Rip “Alice in Wonderland”?! How dare you rip my #2 favorite Disney Canon film, lol!

    1. Wow, I need to edit this article when I get my hands on a proper computer.

      Anyways, I am a bit unsure about Giants as well, and even Moana. I don’t know how some of these will do financially as well. We will see which film will be this generations Pocahontas, though I am still wary on Big Hero 6. I never realized that things were so similar in the two eras.

      Oh, I forgot about you really liking Alice in Wonderland. Monday will not be the best review for you. Sorry.

  2. Awww, “Alice in Wonderland” is one of my favorites as well! You at least have a chance to redeem yourself for “Sleeping Beauty and “The Jungle Book”, as those are two other favorites of mine produced by Walt himself. (My favorite Walt-produced film is “Fantasia” BTW.) A lot if people seem to dislike “Alice.” WHY?
    As for “Frozen,” Swanpride’s review sums up my thoughts, as I have a lot of the same complaints as her.
    As for your favorite Disney movie, which era is it from?

    1. As for Alice, I will save my commentary on it until I lost my review. Trust me, I actually enjoyed Sleeping Beauty more than I thought it was; not as bad as I thought it was.

      I definitely agree with what you and Swanpride think about Frozen, as it is probably the most overrated movie in the canon. I would say ALL my issues with it, but Swanpride covered it better.

      1. Actually, I think “Snow White” is the most overrated canon film, followed closely by “Tangled” and “Frozen.”

  3. I said something similar already, but I would compare Tangled with TLM (Because Tangled was the movie which brought the crowd back – and yes, I know, TPatF was also a modest success, but I would compare that movie more to Oliver and Co, which was also a success but above all a marketing machine), Wreck it Ralph with Beauty and the Beast and Frozen with Aladdin (it even has the “unforgettable Song” – Aladdin had “A whole now World”, now it’s “Let it go”). Frozen ist basically reaping the success from the two very good movies which came beforehand….but honestly? I think TLM and Beauty and the Beast are way better movies than Aladdin and the The Lion King.

    1. Really? Little Mermaid over Lion King? Well, to each their own, I guess.
      I mean, I love both of those films, but I’d prefer Lion King. I do agree that BATB is slightly better than Aladdin and Lion King, but it’s mostly because it’s my favorite canon film.

      1. I remember when the Lion King came out, I was all over that movie…but this stopped pretty fast overall. It is impressive. Impressive music, impressive visuals, some really good character moments in the first half…but looking back at it now, it really looses footing in the second half. TLM on the other hand is strong from start to finish.

      2. I never felt any loss in footing towards the end, but as far as character progress goes, there are opposites. Ariel gets more passive towards the end, but Simba gains more courage towards the end when he confronts Scar.
        The only areas where I prefer Mermaid to Lion King is in the songs and villain. There are a few subpar lyrics in Lion King’s songs, but not a lot, so it’s just by a hair. Same with Ursula and Scar, as I feel the former villain is a tad more menacing, so just slightly.

    2. I know your opinion very clearly. We have known one another for over a year. You can definitely compare these movies to some of the others, but I was looking at receptionary reasons, and also because of the order they were released in.

      TPATF definitely was a failed marketing device that worked in the 90s, but the same thin can be said about Tangled. I compared Frozen with TLK because of the clear box office, but many are considering it the magnum opus of this era (rolls eyes).

      1. Nah, TLK and Aladdin were, pretty much like Frozen, riding on the wave of the movies which came beforehand. They were good, no question, but if the movies had hit the theatres in another order, another one would have been the highest grossing one.

  4. Lol I love the spew of comments this post has created. Not to take sides or anything, but…

    SWANPRIDE IS RIGHT. TLM AND BATB IS BETTER THAN ALADDIN AND TLK.

    Haha, what I actually wanted to say (before reading the comments) is that The Lion King is definitely not the most critically acclaimed. 90% compared to BatB’s 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Similarly, TLK has an 8.2 compared to BatB’s 8.4 on Rotten Tomatoes. The Lion King won as many Oscars (in the same categories, even) but had 2 fewer nominations, including the highly-coveted Best Picture nomination.

    TLK probably has the edge in general audience popularity, with gaudy box-office numbers and an unprecedented 8.5 on IMDb compared to BatB’s 8.1, although, it’s always more difficult to get a hold of a movie’s reputation among the general public since the opinions tend to be so diverse.

    Sorry for ranting… I defend the BatB whenever I can 🙂

    1. Hey Kevin Tae. I have been waiting for you to comment.

      Why do I feel that my Beauty and the Beast review is gonna be VERY controversial.

      I see you are educating me about the critical reception of TLK and BATB. I have seen so many things, and I have heard MANY consider The Lion King to be the best.

      I have not watched any of the Renaissance (or Disney films) in moths specifically to get a fresh opinion on the films. So far, I am saying that BATB and Aladdin are the 2 weakest in the Big 4.

      Do you think this eras Pocahotas or Hunchback is gonna come soon?

      1. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you think about BatB…I know, it sounds conceding, but the truth is that it will ALWAYS be the first animated movie which was nominated for the regular Oscar…also the only one which was nominated before they allowed more nominees, and the only traditional animated feature which ever managed this. Until an animated movie actually wins the award, BatB is the critical most successful movie.
        Box office numbers on the other hand…those are dependent on so many aspects. The year of release, the other movies released around the same time, the marketing, the success of the movies which came beforehand…and if you consider inflation, then TLK isn’t even the top grossing animated movie. This honour still belongs to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

      2. Okay, but I still am and will always be entitled to my opinion. I have never said that it sucks. When I watch it again, I might think it is the best thing ever. It would be nice if you did not say my opinion does not matter, cause the same can be said about yours and anyone else’s on anything.

        It is an Honor that it has been nominated for Best Picture in 1992, but things have changed since then.

        You think that Frozen is overrated, but does that stop it from being the only WDAS film to win Best Animated Film? You think the same about Brave, so you are saying your opinions on both of those movies don’t matter?

        Box office is always more tricky to analyze. Snow White will probably always be the highest grossing animated film by inflation.

      3. Considering WHEN the award was introduced it’s no wonder that no other Disney movie has one (and the only two I disagree about were Brave and Shrek instead of Monsters Inc either way).
        But there is a huge difference between getting this award and getting a nomination for best picture. Before BatB managed that it was simply not done. Even Snow White only got a honorary award instead of a regular one.

      4. Lol The Lion King is #4 on AFI’s top ten list, beating out BatB’s #7 spot, so there are definitely many critics who would place TLK over BatB. But as Swanpride points out, BatB is without a shred of doubt the most critically acclaimed Disney movie since Snow White and Pinocchio. This can also be seen in the National Film Registry, which has selected BatB for preservation more than a decade ago, whereas TLK has not yet been selected (I’m sure it will be eventually). I will be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on both of these movies, whether they agree with my opinion or not 🙂

        I’m honestly not excited for Big Hero 6, but I don’t think it’ll be a flop like Pocahontas because it isn’t a continuation of the Disney “revival era,” which I would rather define as these successions: PatF, Tangled, and Frozen. The renaissance was clearly defined by its Broadway musical style, which wasn’t evident in Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, Winnie the Pooh, or Wreck-It Ralph. In fact, the only odd-ball to the Broadway format in the Renaissance was Rescuers Down Under, which was also the only sequel. In short, I don’t think these two eras (revival and renaissance) are that related, so there’s no reasons to suspect the studio will misstep as they did in Pocahontas/Hunchback. There is new talent working there, and I like them a lot. I will walk into Big Hero 6 was big expectations from a studio that has definitely been reviving.

      5. @Kevin Tae, I think you are associating the Revival Era with broadway musicals, and the fairy tale-like story, but that is not what this era is about.

        This era is about adding more depth to the stories, actually going through character development, and the characters are more multi layered. What I also believe they are doing is subtracting gender roles as well. But as you pointed out, they are not that similar.

        But if you look at the Golden and Silver Age films, they have certain things in common. Snow White/Cinderella is the blockbuster success with a fairytale that set stage for the rest of the era, Alice/Pinocchio is the scarier, more crazy in imagery, and just weird film, that sadly flopped. Bambi and Sleeping Beauty are the artistic masterpieces, that flopped. The other two are pretty hard. I would have to compare Peter Pan to Dumbo because they are the most childish, suffer from commercialization , and barely made a profit. LATT and Fantasia is the hardest to compare, but they both are the most unique, and adult films in their era.

        From what info I heard about Big Hero 6, I am not that excited either. It could be the Hunchback or Pocahontas because they are compared to the earlier ones, and were a bit different from the usual Disney without fully pulling it off.

      6. I have no idea what Big Hero is even about.
        But yeah, every era has some sort of running theme. The Golden Age movies are typically very dark with some nice moments thrown in (or like the unshavedmouse said, “Tar and Sugar”), the Package movies are, well, Package movies, the Silver Age has an heavy emphasis on book adaptations (especially British Classics), The Dark Age on the other hand is mostly about cute animals (and cutting down the costs for animation), the Renaissance Era is full with the typical Disney Broadway Formula (I got the impression that Disney decided to reserve that for the DP movies from now onward), the 2000s I like to call the “experimental era” because Disney tried out many different genres and themes during that time and the actual era – well, it builds up on past successes, but in a new way – often by having a stronger focus on the characters, so yeah, they are character pieces, but there is more so it. Tangled was the (successful) approach to mix the traditional DP with CGI, Winnie the Pooh tried to repeat the success of The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Wreck it Ralph is basically “Who framed Roger Rabbit” for Computer Games (but with a totally different story), Frozen was again a take on the DP theme….I wouldn’t be surprised if the next movie is also a modern spin on something which worked in the past.

      7. I didn’t know Bambi flopped! Walt Disney must’ve went through some serious depression during the Golden Age considering how much critics rave about those movies now (assuming Disney liked his own films lol).

        I think the stakes are higher for Disney Princess movies, which is why The Lion King can be seen as a surprise (even from the studio’s standpoint) and why Pocahontas can be seen as a dud (the studio thought it would be another BatB!). Big Hero 6 doesn’t have those expectations going against it. People who liked Frozen won’t be the target group for Big Hero 6 (or at least the female demographic). Maybe people who liked Wreck-It Ralph will be more likely to find themselves in disappointment.

      8. I definitely agree with the fact that the DP films have higher standards but at the time of release, they did not know that Aladdin would have a prominent female character, and the movie would be a movie for little girls to buy merchandise form. I definitely agree that TLK has different standards than it’s predecessor and Pocahontas.

        If anyone is disappointed by Big Hero 6, it might be the heavy Marvel fans. It definitely is catering to the little boy market that dominated Wreck-it Ralph.

        I feel bad for Disney because the films he loved the most ended up flops at the initial release. A lot of sadness to hear your work turned into a failure.

    2. Why will Big Hero 6 be a film females wont like? If u realize, girls love to watch romance, bht as well as horror and action films. Girls love superhero comic films…….
      Besides, there r 2 badass girls in Big Hero 6, so that has already attracted all ages and genders.

      1. Maybe I should have specified “female demographic” as little girls and mothers, but I don’t know much about Big Hero 6 and it could very well be advertised as a children’s film as opposed to a superhero film I figured it was going to be.

  5. I have realized this similarities since frozen came out. but I would put tangled with mermaid, as both gained hits for Disney, and frog on the mouse detective side…

    however, I think frozen should be compared to beauty and the beast. a princess, a cursed royalty, a cursed land, snow, wolves, douchebag handsome guys, someone died and revived in the end, and inanimate sidekicks.

    I would compare Lion to Big Hero 6, tho. but before it comes out, im not entirely sure. the reason is I got lots of new story details about it and its similar to Lion in several ways.

    as for the next Pocahontas, im not entirely sure on Zootopia. However, I think Giants and Moana will make money, as both have fairy tale flavors, something Disney is familiar with………but I wont judge too soon.

    1. I compared TLM to PATF because they both got nominations, and great critical reception, but made around as much as it’s predecessors, and out grossed by A LOT from it’s successors. This is also going by the chronological order of release.

      I defnintely do see the similarities with Frozen and BatB (though Anna never died), but I am looking at story and economic and marketing reasons as well. I don’t often hear BatB being called the Magnum Opus like TLK is.

      I didn’t compare Big Hero 6 because we still know barely anything about the film. It could be a huge success or a disappointment. We have yet to know. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Looking back at the films after The Renaissance, I can personally see why people are praising Frozen so much as the ‘Best Since The Lion King’. Also the audience has liked this film so much as well. It has an A+ rating on CinemaScore and EQUIVALENT rating from critics AND the users on Rotten Tomatoes (89% each). I don’t see how a film could be considered very overrated if the audience liked it as much, or even more than the critics.

    1. It is personal opinion whether they think that a film is good or bad. I personally do not think Frozen is a bad movie, but by storytelling and character-development wise, I think that it was not handled as well as it could have been, and came off a bit rushed. I also think that the story was not as natural and complex as it was supposed to be. That is my opinion. And there are some others who think the same as I do as well.

      I have seen MANY who now (20 years later) call The Lion King overrated. Just because something is “liked” or “disliked” does not mean it is necessarily “good” or “bad”. This blog is SOLELY on quality, storytelling, and characterization.

      Thanks for your comment and welcome to AnimatedKid blog.

  7. Hmm. I thought that the ‘garbage’ was really ‘Home on the Range’, but yeah, I see what you’re saying. Chicken Little wasn’t great either.

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