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The Little Multi-National Corporation That Could February 22, 2010

Posted by Paula in Cinematics.
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The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast… I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that anyone reading this who is under the age of 30 owned at least one of these on video (and still does, even if they don’t own an actual VHS player anymore). Disney’s streak of classics from 1988 onwards defined the childhoods of millions.

But what came before 1988? Well, not very much really. There was a huge lull in the number of Disney animations released post-The Rescuers (1977) and pre-Roger Rabbit (1988). And unless you are an extremely dedicated Disney fan, you would be forgiven for not remembering such live-action classics as The Cat From Outer Space (1978) and The Journey of Natty Gan (1985).

Waking Sleeping Beauty is the story of Disney’s efforts to drag itself out of the doldrums, and of the stellar work done by animators like John Lasseter and Tim Burton from the mid-1980s onwards. The documentary is currently doing the festival circuit in the US, and begins its limited theatrical release on March 26. Fingers crossed it makes it to this side of the Atlantic.

Avril in Wonderland February 18, 2010

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics, Muzak.
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As excitement for the brand spanking new Alice in Wonderland 3D live action spectacular builds to a fever pitch, Avril Lavigne drops the video for her song from the soundtrack, Alice.

Although the song also has the task of launching one of the film’s soundtracks, Almost Alice, it’s also Avril Lavigne’s chance to prove herself after the relative failure of her last album and tour. The Best Damn Album and Tour they weren’t. It’s hard to gauge what Tim Burton was thinking, or indeed smoking, when he plonked the most important piece of the soundtrack in the Canadian sk8er girl’s hands.

Visually, the video is gorgeous, with Avril prancing around wonderland with freaky blue eyes, seemingly playing the role of Alice. She sits at the table with Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter for nearly a minute of the song, perhaps placed there so some dimwit could say “I can’t believe they got Johnny Depp to appear in an Avril Lavigne video!”

That aside, the movie scenes are mostly spliced in quite well, until the part when she opens a random door and they bung a load of clips in to take up some of the running time.

The song itself is a bit of a grower. The first time I heard it I thought it was god-awful, but it becomes more listenable over time. Lavigne’s vocal completely overpowers the song, with a so-so verse contrasted by an actually-quite-catchy-and-good chorus.

I shudder to think of Lavigne performing this live, because unless you’re into shout-singing that chorus is not going to be pretty. Check out the video below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.