A couple of weeks ago, my friend and editor David Swindle published an open letter to me dividing the history of Disney animation into ten eras and encouraging me to explore the history of Disney through the same frame of mind. Here is the first in a series looking at the eras of Disney history.
As the United States slid into the Great Depression at the end of the 1920s, Disney’s output grew tremendously in quality and quantity. Walt and his team of animators and writers released plenty of entertaining product, but they also experimented, honing existing techniques and developing new ones. A struggling nation loved what it saw and couldn’t get enough.
Disney’s output during this time period reflects a uniquely American can-do spirit, one that helped this country survive the Great Depression in both determination and innovation. Here are ten great examples.
10. “The Golden Touch” (1935)
The 1935 cartoon “The Golden Touch” carries a special significance not because of any achievement but because of its failure – and because Walt himself directed it. The short, which tells the story of King Midas, has more of the feel of an episode of the Twilight Zone than a charming Disney animated cartoon.
Walt took control of “The Golden Touch” after a period in which he had criticized his directors repeatedly. He had not directed a cartoon in five years. The short, with only two characters, ran long on time and budget. The characters lack the appeal and much of the humor of typical Disney characters, and the story takes a dark turn with little of the typical Disney optimism at the end.
As a direct result of the failure of “The Golden Touch,” Walt learned to trust his talented directors, and he allowed them to continue to create, which of course allowed him to oversee the company that would change entertainment forever.
You might recall that in January I offered up seven New Year’s resolutions that others could burgle from me Bilbo-style:
Usually when I’m working I have some combination of talk radio and Songza/Pandora on in the background. Now I’m going to replace the music with Disney films, cartoons, and documentaries, immersing myself in everything until I feel like I’ve really gotten a handle of the repeating themes and style.
This spring I utilized the PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon feature to pursue this project, so far blogging through all 75 of the experimental Silly Symphony series, noting themes and cultural references. I’ll have more lists in the future explaining the significance of the series and its artistic depth but for now thsese first two are a good place to get started:
- From June: The 7 Revolutionary Silly Symphony Cartoons That Won Oscars In the 1930s
- and in August: 10 Classic Disney Cartoons For Introducing Mythology & Morality to the Next Generation.
In March I responded to a Roger L. Simon column with an approach for “How Conservatives Can Conquer Hollywood.” The Walt Disney method of becoming a billionaire? Depict the battle of Good Vs. Evil with innovative technology:
Conservatives should be looking to the future and to new mediums of entertainment. Humans are not going to amuse themselves by sitting around staring at screens forever. I still believe in the Breitbartian idea that the battle for the culture is more important than the fight over political ideology. Where I’ve changed is in realizing that there’s actually a force more important and powerful to affect and control. Culture is driven by technology. Movable type came before the Gutenberg Bible. Edison’s film camera came before Hollywood. The techniques of animation had to be discovered by Disney and his animators through years of experimenting with Silly Symphony and Mickey Mouse shorts before Snow White could be achieved.
So yeah, politics is downstream of culture. But technology has the power to carve the shape of the river itself.
Chris, as we start to think in a bigger picture direction with our continued research into Disney history and ideology, here’s my attempt to sort of lay out a broad look at the territory. How does this sound as a way to think of the different periods that run across the company?
All 75 of the Silly Symphonies, the Gold Standard of the Era:
- Walt Disney’s First Silly Symphony: ‘The Skeleton Dance’
- PETA Would Hate This 1929 Disney Cartoon…
- Nature Animated to Life
- A Disney Cartoon Set In Hell!
- Getting Drunk With Disney’s Merry Dwarfs
- Summer: The Sixth Silly Symphony, A Sequel to Spring
- Corn on the Cob as Musical Instrument
- A Cannibal-Version of Carmen With Clicking Human Skulls… Made By Walt Disney
- Frolicking Fish Almost 60 Years Before The Little Mermaid
- Mickey Mouse As a Polar Bear
- Toy Story‘s Great Grandfather?
- A Bug Flying Too Close to the Fire In the Darkness
- Innocence Incarnate: These Smooching Monkeys Will Make You Smile
- Goodbye Winter! Disney’s Playful Pan Emerges to Call In Spring (two cartoons)
- Birds of a Feather Flock Together
- A Cartoon First Released April 17, 1931: Disney’s Mother Goose Melodies
- Dora the Explorer’s Politically Incorrect Cameo in a 1931 Disney Cartoon
- Apparently Beavers Invented the Wheelbarrow Before Man
- A Sweet & Spooky Silly Symphony for Cat Lovers
- Egyptian Melodies Vs. Father Noah’s Ark
- Geppetto’s Original Workshop And Cogsworth’s Great-grandparents?
- When A Cavalry of Horseflies Goes To War Against the Spider
- Drinking Tea Before the Fox Hunt
- How Much Can an Ugly Duckling Grow Up Over a Decade?
- The Marx Brothers As Cartoon Birds
- A Primordial Winnie the Pooh
- A Dog Jail Break at the Pound!
- The First Technicolor Cartoon: Disney’s Still-Amazing ‘Flowers and Trees’
- It’s Amazing What Kinds of Cartoons Were Considered Family Friendly in 1932…
- Bugs In Love Battle a Blackbird in Black and White
- ‘Babes In the Woods’ Vs. The Witch In The Candy Cottage
- What Secrets Do You See Inside Santa’s Workshop?
- The Snake Hypnotizes His Prey
- The Disney Version of Noah’s Ark
- An Oscar-Winning Cartoon That Defined the Depression Era
- Who’s Ready to Open Pandora’s Box?
- Enter Sandman? Where We Go When We Sleep
- If You Don’t Pay the Piper He’ll Just Take Your Children Instead…
- When Walt Disney Imagined Santa Claus In Alliance With The Robot Toys
- The ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’ Monkeys In Cartoon Form
- ‘Oh, the World Owes Us a Livin’…’
- Among the Easter Bunny’s Secrets: Scotch-Colored Paint!
- Practical Pig Saved Little Red Riding Hood From the Big Bad Wolf
- Donald Duck’s First Appearance
- The Lesson of the Flying Mouse: Sometimes A Blessing Is Actually A Curse…
- Chill Out Today With These ‘Peculiar Penguins’
- Compare and Contrast: The Goddess of Spring With Snow White…
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race?
- What Would You Do If Everything You Touched Turned to Gold?
- A Cartoon To Teach Kids About the Danger of Celebrating Crime
- Dreaming of an Innocent Unity With Nature
- A Fantasy Land Where Everything Is Made of Candy…
- How Did Disney’s Mae West Bird Caricature Compare With Real Life?
- VIDEO: If Romeo and Juliet Were A Saxophone and Cello
- Another 1930s Disney Cartoon with Creepy Racial Stereotypes…
- What Does It Take to Be the Cock o’ The Walk?
- What Is the Fate of Broken Toys?
- Elmer Elephant: Is This the Most Adorable Cartoon in the Whole Series?
- How Kids Can Learn To Defeat Bullies
- ‘I Like a Man That Takes His Time…’
- The 3 Blind Mouseketeers Vs A Room of Traps
- A Country Mouse Discovers the Joys of Drinking in the Big City…
- This Very Cute Video of ‘Mother Pluto’ Parenting Chicks Will Make You Smile
- 3 Troublemaker Kittens Make a Mess in the Garden
- The Dark Secrets Hidden in the Woodland Cafe…
- What Is Animism?
- One of The Classic Breakthroughs In Animation History
- When Moths Fly Too Close to The Flame…
- 3 Babies Fishing For Stars In Dreamland
- Walt Disney Introduces The Farmyard Symphony on the DisneyLand TV Show
- Long Before Spongebob: The Underwater Circus of the Merbabies
- Katharine Hepburn As Little Bo Peep in Blackface
- Practical Pig Delivers a ‘Harsh Interrogation’ To the Big Bad Wolf
- This Ugly Duckling Abandond By His Family Will Melt Your Heart
12 Early Betty Boop Cartoons
- Betty Boop’s First Appearance
- Before Betty Boop Was Beautiful…
- Betty Boop as Snow White In A Cartoon For Jazz Lovers
- Your Initiation Into Betty Boop’s Secret Society
- ‘No, He Couldn’t Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away!’ (2 cartoons featured)
- Why You Shouldn’t Try Robbing Betty Boop
- The Betty Boop Approach to Dealing With ‘Silly Scandals’
- Moving Day for Betty Boop!
- A Plus-Size Betty Boop As Kitty From Kansas City
- Playing Chess with Betty Boop & Taking a Mean Shot at Mickey Mouse
- Betty Boop’s Crazy Inventions
22 of Fleischer Studio’s Color Classics, a competitor to the Silly Symphonies:
- A Redheaded Betty Boop As Cinderella Debuted a New Series
- ‘Joy Like This Cannot Be Bought!’ A Cartoon Variation of Hansel and Gretel
- An Elephant Never Forgets
- Back When Cartoons Taught the Miraculous Power of Prayer…
- ‘Momma Don’t Allow No Music Playin In Here’
- Animal Newlyweds Take Their Honeymoon In Outer Space!
- Seduced By the Black Swan
- An Old Couple Reminisces On Falling In Love…
- Somewhere in Dreamland Tonight
- When a Chick Tries to Be a Duck
- Newlywed Flies Pick The Wrong Hotel For Their Honeymoon
- Greedy Humpty Dumpty Enslaves Nursery Rhyme Creatures To Build His Gold Wall to the Sun
- Two Lovebirds Take a Hawaiian Honeymoon
- Dreaming of a Big Train
- An Eccentric Inventor Saves The Orphans’ Christmas
- The Wedding of Jack and Jill Rabbit
- The Rooster and His Harem…
- Animal Symphony Chaos: ‘The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray…’
- VIDEO: A Family of Peeping Penguins Finds a New Home
- A Little Fish Has to Learn His Lesson The Hard Way
- Cute: Little Lamby Eats His Grass With Sugar
- The Vegetable Children Don’t Want to Play With the Little Onion Kid
It’s with no small amount of irony that I, of all people, compose this list of hate against George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy. During their production, as each released, and in the years since, I have been quite the prequel apologist. There are several aspects of the films which deliver, and perhaps that will make for a follow-up to this list in the near feature. However, with the knowledge that six new Star Wars films are coming in as many years, and seeing how Disney has thus far chosen to treat the property, the flaws of the prequel trilogy seem more relevant than ever.
On the one hand, these criticisms serve as warnings for J.J. Abrams and the rest of the creative team working on Episode VII, the film which will set the tone for those to follow. On the other hand, it’s a testament to the enduring legacy of the Star Wars brand that the franchise may yet flourish despite these missteps.
Here are the top 10 reasons the Star Wars prequels sucked:
11. A conscious awareness of God is intrinsic to human nature.
Tara Brach recently told the story of a four year old who was excited to have alone time with his new baby sister. When he finally got to the side of her crib, he asked her, “Tell me what heaven is like. I’m starting to forget.” If we didn’t have a conscious awareness of God, we wouldn’t be striving so hard to find Him in everything from houses of worship to fictional characters on the big screen. Don’t let atheists fool you; they might not believe in a God in the sky, but they’re worshiping something, nevertheless, whether its money, power, or simply themselves.
The world mourns the passing of one of the truest talents of all time – Robin Williams. The Juilliard-trained comedian and actor won an Oscar, two Emmys, five Grammys, and — dearest to me — became a Disney Legend in 2009. Williams made his struggles with depression and addiction public, yet he was unable to overcome them. But here at PJ Lifestyle, we’re going to celebrate his life. Here are Robin Williams’ ten best performances. I hope you’ll take as much comfort in these wonderful moments as I have.
10. The Crazy Ones (2013-2014)
One of the most underrated television series of the past season paired Williams with Sarah Michelle Gellar as father-and-daughter partners in an advertising agency. The Crazy Ones featured a terrific ensemble, sharp writing, and plenty of space for Williams to let loose. Williams had his best moments on the show when he had the chance to blend his trademark humor with sweet sentiment (as in the clip above). He couldn’t have a much better alter ego than the character of Simon Roberts — he and the writers even made recovery from addiction a huge part of the character. The Crazy Ones showed such promise, and it’s such a shame that CBS didn’t see fit to give it a second chance.
Last week I shared my picks for the ten most overrated films in Disney’s live-action canon. This week, we’re going to take a look at the flip side and explore the most underrated live-action Disney movies.
Believe it or not, some Disney productions just don’t get the respect that they deserve. That fact could be for a number of reasons: the movie didn’t make enough of a dent at the box office, the picture was overshadowed by another film, or the release just hasn’t had time for fans to consider it a classic. Whatever the reason, these ten films have gone underrated for too long. Enjoy!
10. Pete’s Dragon (1977)
The first movie I remember seeing in the theater was Pete’s Dragon. (I had to have seen Star Wars earlier in the year, because I remember the excitement of a Star Wars watch I received for Christmas, but I just don’t remember it.) Disney first optioned the story of an orphan boy and the dragon he befriends back in the ‘50s, but sat on the property for two decades.
The film contains the hallmarks of a classic – great songs, an Oscar-nominated score, plenty of talent in the cast. Unfortunately, it came near the tail end of the Ron Miller area, which was a low point in quality for the studio. I can’t help but believe that had it debuted at another time in company history, people might remember it more fondly today. Still, it’s worth checking out.
Not long ago, I compiled my ranking of the ten most overrated and underrated animated films in the Disney canon. Now it’s time to look at Disney’s live-action output. Over the years, the studio has released an astonishing array of live action movies covering just about every topic and genre. While many of them are indisputable classics, a few of them are simply overrated. Here are the top ten. Enjoy!
10. The Rocketeer (1991)
I had such high hopes for The Rocketeer when it debuted right after I graduated high school. The previews looked amazing, and Disney hyped the film as an exciting period superhero film. I didn’t get a chance to see it until it came out on video, and it disappointed me.
The Rocketeer just isn’t an engaging film. I’ve only been able to make it through one viewing, and the times I’ve tried since, I can’t make it through the whole thing. (The presence of Jennifer Connelly, who I’m convinced is the most boring actress of all time, doesn’t help.)
The Rocketeer showed such promise, but it never delivered on that promise. That’s a shame, because, had it been a better movie, The Rocketeer could have been a classic.
Pop culture has become as much of a religious powerhouse as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism or any other faith. Don’t believe me? Sit in a college classroom. Better yet, attend a fan convention or simply rent the film Trekkies. Films, shows, bands, comic books and their like have become, for some, sources of spiritual nourishment. Do you feel the power?
12. What was once DVR-able is now weekly appointment television.
“Appointment TV” doesn’t begin to describe your weekly ritual. All pressing engagements are pushed aside, phones are silenced, and ritual food is laid out on the coffee table to be partaken in as the ceremony commences. You still DVR the show for good measure, being sure to re-watch at least once, if not multiple times in deep study so that you may discuss the meanings of both text and subtext with fellow fans.
The rumors of a forthcoming Star Wars land at Walt Disney World keep raising their heads from time to time. So I thought it would be fun to put myself in the Imagineers’ shoes and (to use their term) blue-sky some ideas for a Star Wars land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Here’s what I came up with…
One of the prevailing rumors surrounding a potential Star Wars land at Walt Disney World (and other parks) concerns a restaurant based on the Chalmun’s Cantina at Mos Eisley. A.J. Wolfe over at Disney Food Blog has discussed the idea of a Cantina-based quick service space potentially coming to Disneyland Paris as well as to Orlando.
This idea has a ton of potential. I can picture an animatronic version of the band playing music from the films and dishes themed to the Cantina, along with menu items that conjure up life on Tatooine. Of course, a Walt Disney World Cantina would have to be much more family-oriented than in A New Hope, but I imagine how much fun a Cantina could be for fans of all ages.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published May 31, 2013
We live in an era where children in their formative years do not know what patriotism means. My grandparents’ generation knew what it meant to love America and to stand up for its ideals, but the leftists of my parents’ generation — the Baby Boomers — screwed it up for all of us. To them, the only measure of patriotism was opposition to President Bush. Remember: “dissent is patriotic.” (Tell that to the IRS.)
I was blessed to grow up with parents who loved America despite having lived through the ’60s, but many members of my generation don’t know how to be patriotic, thanks to political correctness, multiculturalism, and the growing influence of the far Left.
While the vast majority of pop culture mocks patriotism, one famous name has celebrated American exceptionalism for more than seven decades: Disney. This unabashed love of America began with the company’s founder.
Walt Disney grew up as part of the World War I generation — a time that saw both the enthusiasm of the dawn of the 20th century and the unspeakable horror of threats to freedom and peace across the globe. Though too young to serve in the war, Disney worked in the Red Cross Ambulance Corps after the war. He wanted to serve his country, one way or another.
After his move to Hollywood, Disney’s love for America drove him in many ways to develop the unique entertainment he created and to lead his studio the way he did. He believed that America’s values were worth celebrating and sharing with the world. He once said:
Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards — the things we live by and teach our children — are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.
Disney admitted to a patriotism that occasionally overwhelmed him. He once confessed, “I get red, white, and blue at times.” His love of country showed up in his films and television programs and has carried on in the theme parks that bear his name nearly half a century after his death. Sometimes the Disney brand of patriotism makes itself known in subtle ways, while at other times, it jumps directly in your face.
Last week I shared my list of the ten most overrated Disney animated features. While it’s true that many Disney cartoons get more attention than they deserve, just as many don’t get the acclaim that they should. Here’s my list of the top ten underrated Disney animated movies. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a new favorite among this list.
10. Fantasia (1940)
No one can deny the artistic spectacle that is Fantasia. There wasn’t anything like it before, and there really hasn’t been anything since, other than Michael Eisner’s attempt to recreate the magic with Fantasia 2000.
Fantasia makes this list because most everybody fails to realize what an audacious project the film was. Walt Disney and his collaborator, arranger and conductor Leopold Stokowski, took a tremendous risk combining animation with classical music, and the gamble didn’t pay off right away, as it took years for the feature to turn a profit.
I consider Fantasia underrated because most moviegoers (even Disney fans) just don’t understand how bold and revolutionary an undertaking this piece of art truly is.
For over 90 years, the Disney Studios has created some of the most memorable and enduring animated films of all time. But even a fanboy like me can admit that not everything Disney has released has been perfect. As much as Disney markets and hypes every animated feature as a classic, many of them are simply overrated. Here are the top ten.
My ground rules were pretty simple: I didn’t include Pixar’s output because they haven’t always been directly part of the Disney family. I also didn’t include the direct-to-video “cheapquels” that Michael Eisner made so famous, because they’re in a lower class all their own, and I left out the package features of the 1940s. Enjoy!
10. Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Once in a while, Disney tries to throw a bone to boys to make up for the prominence of the princesses in animated films. While the idea is worthwhile and the efforts are valiant, once in a while the more male-oriented movies fall short. 2007’s Meet the Robinsons is one of the latter.
Meet the Robinsons had a lot of potential – a twisty, time travel story with a sweet adoption plot coupled with clever, stylized animation. Instead, Meet the Robinsons is dizzying, noisy, and just falls short. Part of the cartoon’s problem may stem from the fact that John Lasseter, newly taking over as head of animation after Disney acquired Pixar, suggested a retooling.
Whatever the reason, Meet the Robinsons just didn’t make the impact that it could have.
Walt Disney’s Frozen is a huge hit and is causing some serious angst among mothers (like me) who are frantically trying to find Elsa and Anna costumes for their little girls. Normally, The Disney Store would be stocked with dresses and merchandise in preparation for a new release. For some reason, the brains in marketing dropped the ball on Frozen and there are now empty shelves where merchandise should be.
The most coveted items are the costumes. Disney makes these for around $50 each. You’ve all seen them: shiny, itchy ball gowns for little girls to play pretend. At some point, Disney stopped making quality items and outsourced everything to China where everything is cheaply manufactured with hideous material that falls apart within a year of playing. Up until now, we’ve all just put up with it and accepted that we must buy these costumes so our daughters can have their fantasy play.
It is a lot of fun to watch them pretend in these get-ups, but I started to realize they are seriously not worth the money when my oldest daughter, Kit, was visiting Walt Disney World for the first time. She had just visited the Bibbity Boppity Boo Salon where they give the children a princess makeover and do their hair and nails and give them a princess costume and a photo shoot, for the bargain price of $200 per child. (I did NOT pay for this. My parents decided they had to have this for their grandchildren. For the record, I objected to this foolish expenditure but grandparents are entitled to do what they want.)
Kit was beyond thrilled. She chose a Jasmine costume for her makeover and she looked adorable with a pink hair piece and crazy nails. However, within 10 minutes of leaving the air conditioned salon she began to sweat profusely in the Florida sun. By the time we reached the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland she was ready for her cotton shorts and teeshirt back. Her fantasy of wandering the parks in her costume ended there. Whose bright idea was this to make these things out of non-breathable polyester and non-washable acrylic?
As she got older, she began to stop dressing up, claiming she itched too bad and the costumes were uncomfortable. Who could blame her? They feel like scouring pads. Her little sister, Kat, still loves to dress up and it is she that sent me on the hunt for the elusive Elsa costume.
What I found disturbed me.
Here they are selling Elsa costumes (the same cheap, Chinese manufactured garbage) that goes for $50 at the Disney Store for $225 by Amazon poachers. The comments are especially entertaining. This is because Disney didn’t have the foresight to have enough merchandise for the demand and now enterprising scalpers are pillaging the pockets of desperate parents. Since Kat’s birthday is in July, I want an Elsa costume to give her by then. Clearly, I am not going to find the Disney version in time. It occurred to me to search Etsy, a website where handcrafted items are sold, and what I found there has turned me off from cheap and itchy Disney costumes forever.
Here are the 10 best, most creative Frozen costumes on Etsy that you can buy right now with no waiting or supporting of stupid companies that don’t seem to care about customer service.
Also check out the three previous shorts featuring the three little pigs overcoming the wolf…
From 1929 through 1939 the Walt Disney studio released 75 short cartoons in the Silly Symphony series. Starting in March I began watching and featuring them all at PJ Lifestyle to learn more about the culture, history, and technology of the period. It’s really neat to see how the series evolved from beginning to end as Disney utilized it as a kind of experimental laboratory for testing new ideas that would later make it into the feature films. Fantasia – which has become one of my absolute favorite films in recent years, I’ll often have it on in the background while writing — can be understood as the ultimate Silly Symphony. So many of the themes and techniques developed over the decade would find their greatest expression there (a subject that I’ll write about more soon.)
I’ve scheduled the last two Silly Symphony cartoons for tomorrow and Friday. Now that I’ve seen them all I’ll be organizing them into a few lists and collections to highlight the good, the bad, the ugly, and the fascinating. And starting on Monday the PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon feature will take a break from Disney and turn to another company and its standard bearer: Fleischer studios and Betty Boop.
But to start, so others can start to see the fascinating pattern of advancement over the decade, here’s a collection of the 7 Silly Symphony cartoons that won Oscars, along with some remarks on each.
I’ve reported in the past about rumors of a Star Wars land coming to Walt Disney World. Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, two attractions are closing in the near future, and these closings are leading some writers to speculate that Disney is making way for a Star Wars land at DHS.
The close is not that surprising. The show has never really gotten solid traction and it seems Disney is ready to pull the plug.
A statement was posted between the Walt Disney World Company:
“After more than five successful years, The American Idol Experience will be coming to a close at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in January 2015. Our partnership with FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment has been a great addition to the park and we are very appreciative of the amazing cast and guests who have devoted their time and talent to make this experience special and memorable. We are incredibly proud of the more than 2,000 Dream Tickets that have given guests a chance to live their very own Cinderella story and audition for ‘American Idol.’”
Over at Disney At Work, sources report that the long-running Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular will close soon as well:
My sources also suggest that Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is also slated to close at the end of the year. All of this is happening to make way for the major Star Wars additions coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It will surround that end of the Echo Lake corner of the park, and supposedly extend further out as well, though in what direction(s) is uncertain. What is coming in remains to be formally announced, as the attraction is also being tied to a very anticipated follow-up series starting in 2015.
What’s interesting about the closings is that nearly all the vestiges of Disney’s Hollywood Studios as a “behind-the-scenes” park will be gone. Instead of the original park idea of a glimpse behind the magic of the entertainment industry, DHS is increasingly becoming a park about the movies, music, and television programs themselves. Do both closings point to a new Star Wars land? Of course, the outcome remains to be seen, but I’ll keep you in the loop.
The 1889 poem, via Wikipedia:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
Here’s what we know about the future of Star Wars on the big screen. Director JJ Abrams and his cast and crew are currently weaving dreams at Pinewood Studios in London, headlong into production of Star Wars Episode VII. We’re going to get Episodes VIII and IX to complete a third trilogy. There will be a couple years between each new episode of the saga.
But Lucasfilm has also confirmed at least three “stand-alone” films which will release between the main episodes. The stated goal is to have a new Star Wars film every year starting in 2015. Gareth Edwards, the man behind the lens of the new Godzilla, has been tapped to direct the first of these stand-alone films. Josh Trank, director of the found footage superhero pic Chronicle and the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, will helm the second.
Rumors have been circulating regarding the subject matter of these stand-alone films. The conventional wisdom, or perhaps just the communal wish, is that we’ll get films focused on popular characters from the franchise.
Assuming the purpose of these stand-alone films will be to flesh out the broader mythology of the fictional universe while remaining anchored to the core saga, here are ten stand-alone Star Wars films fans would love to see.
#10. Jedi Master Dooku
As the Star Wars prequels progressed, the Sith menace took phantom forms. One such manifestation was Darth Tyranus. Known by that name to few, Tyranus was known to the galaxy as Count Dooku.
Dooku’s choice to abandon the Jedi Order, reclaim the wealth and title of his birth, and rally opposition to the Republic led directly to the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire. A prototype of Vader, Dooku once commanded the highest respect and confidence from his Jedi peers, before turning against them and everything they represent.
In the prequels, we learn far more about Dooku from what others say about him than from what we witness firsthand. A stand-alone film exploring the arc of this Jedi swordmaster turned Sith lord would add layers of depth to one of the saga’s most under-utilized characters.