January 17, 2012

I guess he told me.

The following was written in response to my critique of 'The Great Mouse Detective.'

TonyWDA Jan 16, 2012 08:00 PM
So because your three-year old daughter couldn't sit through a film that wasn't in the usual Disney convention -- something you should've looked into BEFORE watching it with her -- you think it's the worst of the animated feature canon?

The Great Mouse Detective was a film made to break away from the traditional Disney fairy-tale formula, so don't judge it for something you wish it was as opposed to what it is: A tale of mystery in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, NOT Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, told through artwork you should've given more credit for. Especially considering many of the people who'd worked on this film had yet to fully master their crafts. Your apathy towards the film's plot and characters is most likely the result of your disdain for the kind of story it's telling in the first place, so don't belittle these two elements just because this isn't your type of film to begin with.

Please do your homework next time, and learn to critique a film for what it is as opposed to what you wished it was.

So, TonyWDA...
THANK YOU for reading my Blog, and THANK YOU for actually taking the time to leave a comment. Not too many folks would pause to leave such a passionate response to something I wrote.

I really don't have some snappy, snark-filled or venomous retort to this. Instead I think my assessment of the film is pretty accurate, and I know I'm not alone in my opinion, and I have no plan to post any kind of apology or retraction. BUT in defense of what I wrote, my opinion, and my LOVE of all things Disney I WILL say this:

My three-year old wasn't offended by the movie, and it's not that she "couldn't sit through a film that wasn't in the usual Disney convention," but her FATHER was offended. To her credit she did sit through the movie, beginning to end, was not negatively effected (that I can tell), and quite frankly, I don't think she gave it a second thought once it was over. And I know that because, like the equally disappointing Disney•Pixar 'Cars 2,' she has NEVER asked to see it again.

That right there should tell you something about the quality of this Disney classic.

I'm not sure I can list every Disney animated feature we have in her collection, but I can tell you we have some great and not-so-great movies on those shelves. And she has sat through and even asked to watch again (and again) some that I feel ain't too great. And most Disney animated features are NOT in the "traditional Disney fairy-tale formula."

Yes, I admit it, she loves her princesses. What three-year old girl doesn't? And yes, her first love was the [truly] classic 'Beauty and the Beast.' But she also loves 'Bolt,' 'The Incredibles,' '101 Dalmatians,' 'Cars,' 'Mulan,' 'Lilo & Stitch,' 'The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,' 'Tangled,' etc., etc. She even likes 'Mary Poppins,' 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' and 'The Love Bug.' So I'm pretty confident that my wife and I have given her a wide and varying selection of Disney classics to watch and to decide (for herself) if they're good or not.

Do I need to police my daughter's movie and TV watching choices? Yes. And to that; have I let her watch 'The Black Cauldron' yet? No. Will I? Yes. Why not yet? Because, it's a pretty dark and scary movie that was definitely NOT in the "traditional Disney fairy-tale formula."

As for 'The Great Mouse Detective,' my "apathy towards the film's plot and characters" is not my "disdain for the kind of story it's telling in the first place," but, rather, my disdain for poor writing, bad casting, bad songs, and an animation style that was flat, uninspiring and jarringly out of place when combined with the computer-animated gears sequence inside the clock tower.

And YES, I know there are a lot of folks out there who love this movie and even critics that liked it too. Some even say that it was this movie, NOT 'The Little Mermaid,' that actually led to the great Disney animation renaissance of the 90's.

Okay, where was I going with this? Oh yeah.
I was raised on Walt Disney movies, trips to Walt Disney World, hours of 'The Mickey Mouse Club' and 'The Wonderful World of Disney,' and I even survived the ups and downs of Michael Eisner's Disney years (it's a love/hate kinda thing). So I am VERY confident in my critique or criticism of what is and is not a good Disney property for me and/or my daughter.

It appears Tony, that you and I will agree to disagree, and that's okay.


  1. And I can totally respect that.
    By the way, just because the songs in this film didn't reach the creative scales that "Be Our Guest" or "Friend Like Me" would later reach, doesn't mean they're terrible. Just not as spectacular (there is such a thing as "average"). Same goes for the voicing, animation and writing; if unspectacular, they're not God-awful. Just not up to par with what Disney had accomplished before or since.

    But again, this is all just your opinion on the film -- I don't see you declaring GMD as the worst Disney film ever made, just the worst *you've* seen, so I can totally respect agreeing to disagree.

    No hard feelings. n___n

  2. @TonyWDA
    No hard feelings what so ever. I totally Google-Stalked you, and I can see how big a fan of Disney you are too!

    Here's another topic that I thought of after I wrote the above post: The MPAA
    I'm not so sure they have handled the ratings of Disney's movies (especially the animated films) all that well. They can't ALL be 'G' rated, and they are not, so I'd like to think that if GMD had been rated PG, I may have reacted differently to some of the content.

    Anyway, in the immortal words of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: "We got ears, say cheers!"

  3. Thank! you!
    The film, much like "Cauldron" AT LEAST deserved a fair PG rating. In fact, now that I think about it, I can completely understand why GMD through you off as much as it did. It'd done the same for me had I seen the G rating before watching the film. (Imagine my surprise when I turned the cover around to see a G rating where a PG SHOULD have been.)

    LOL, and yes; humongous Disney fan here. ^___^