Tags: Disney Fairy Tales

Article: Maleficent, Rape and Sympathy for the Devil

A story like this demands to be seen through the lens of what biblical scholars call “redaction criticism,” which basically means “What was changed, added or deleted in this retelling of the story, and what do those changes tell us about the storyteller’s intentions and outlook?”   Read more >

Post: Maleficent [video] (2014)

D | Kids & Up*

Angelina Jolie is perfect for the part of Disney’s most iconically evil villainess. If only they’d let her play it for more than one scene.   Read more >

Review: Maleficent (2014)

D | | -2| Kids & Up*

It’s fair to say that Disney’s Maleficent plays to an extent as warmed-over Frozen. This is not a good thing, even, I think, if you are a fan of Frozen.   Read more >

Article: How Christian is Disney's Frozen? (Not very.) Part 1

I’ve been surprised at the popularity of efforts to interpret major story elements in Frozen as a Christian parable. I’m not talking about merely commenting on the climactic act of self-sacrifice as reflecting Christlike love, etc. That, I don’t object to. I mean interpreting the film’s structure and themes as, in effect, an allegory of the Gospel — one rivaling or even surpassing C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.   Read more >

Review: Frozen (2013)

C+ | **½ | +1-1| Kids & Up

Frozen may be the most tragic fairy tale in the Disney canon, which is saying something.   Read more >

Post: Frozen [video]

Compared to Disney’s last (and only other) computer-animated fairy tale, Tangled, Frozen has twice the princesses, twice the hunky love interests, twice the domesticated anthropomorphic ungulates … but not a fraction of the humanity.   Read more >

Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

A+ | **** | +2| Kids & Up

Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is widely celebrated as a beginning, the first feature-length animated film in Hollywood history. It’s just as correct, though, and perhaps more illuminating, to hail it as a culimination — as the crowning achievement of years of experimentation, discovery, growth and achievement by Disney’s animation team.   Read more >

Post: Tangled [video] (A review in verse)

Disney’s Tangled in 30 seconds — in rhyming verse.   Read more >

Review: Tangled (2010)

B+ | *** | +2-1| Kids & Up

We really do accept as normal whatever we’re raised with, don’t we? Like, say you’ve lived all your life alone in a lonely tower in a hidden valley, and your golden hair is 70 feet long, and the only mother you’ve ever known — the only person you ever see — comes and goes using your hair as a rope ladder, and she’s never let you so much as set one foot outside, and your hair does this magic trick when you sing that — well, not to give it away, but that would just be life to you, wouldn’t it?   Read more >

Review: Beauty and the Beast (1991)

A+ | **** | +2| Kids & Up

At the intersection of great animated films, great filmed stage musicals, and great fairy-tale romances, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast stands alone. Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, it is simply the quintessential Disney masterpiece, the perfection of everything that Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid aspired to.   Read more >

Review: The Princess and the Frog (2009)

B | *** | +2-2| Kids & Up*

There’s a villain with magical powers — but instead of Disneyfied magic, like Aladdin’s friendly genie, the film’s New Orleans voodoo is an occult world of terrifying powers and principalities in which the villain himself is at much at risk as anyone. It’s almost Disney’s most overtly Christian depiction of magic and evil at least since Sleeping Beauty, if not ever — though the waters are muddied by a benevolent, swamp-dwelling hoodoo mama in a sort of fairy-godmother role.   Read more >

Review: Pinocchio (1940)

A+ | **** | +2| Kids & Up*

Emotionally resonant, visually dazzling, imaginatively captivating, thematically rich, Walt Disney’s Pinocchio may just be the greatest of all the early Disney masterpieces, possibly outshining Snow White, Fantasia and Bambi.   Read more >

Review: Cinderella (1950)

B | *** | +1| Kids & Up

Coming in the wake of a string of early classics — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi — Disney’s Cinderella represents, alas, the early stages of Disney-itis.   Read more >

Review: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

A- | ***½ | +1| Kids & Up*

A worthy successor to the early classics Snow White and Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty is the one great fairy-tale adaptation of Disney’s post-war period, outshining Cinderella and unrivaled until 1991’s Best-Picture candidate Beauty and the Beast.   Read more >

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