Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: the Walt Disney Company has acted for years like A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh is theirs and theirs alone, as is […]

Given the company’s current business model, it makes perfect sense that Disney would finally get around to releasing a film with the explicit message “constantly dwelling in nostalgia is good, and caring about adult things is bad”. I don’t even think I’m being ungenerous to Christopher Robin in summing it up that way; at least […]

So… Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie? Are you fucking with me? That’s not a title, that’s just nouns being crammed together inelegantly in a row, like a German compound word. Even Pooh’s Halloween Heffalump Movie would be an improvement; the grammar would be more coherent. But alas, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie it is, and in all […]

Having exhausted the stable of Winnie the Pooh’s colleagues and associates in the Hundred Acre Wood with The Tigger Movie, Piglet’s Big Movie, and Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo, which is, title be damned, about Rabbit, the Walt Disney Company was in trouble. How to create continued marketing opportunities with their Pooh franchise with […]

You’d be forgiven for assuming that Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo is materially about the kangaroo child of the title, the youngest and most innocent member of the Winnie the Pooh universe. It is not. Instead, it’s a straight-up A Christmas Carol riff set at Easter, with the role of Ebenezeer Scrooge being filled […]

An entire series of movies focused on side characters from the Winnie the Pooh universe sounds an awful lot like the Walt Disney Company mindlessly squeezing money out of anything it can manage to. And it only sounds that way because it is exactly that. Even so Piglet’s Big Movie, the second of these Pooh […]

According to the original plan, at this point in our study of the dubious and uncertain matter of the Disney animated sequel, we were to have arrived at Hercules: Zero to Hero, a direct-to-video compilation of episodes of the television series spun off of the 1997 feature Hercules. Sadly, all of my powers, including those […]

We are gathered here in consideration of the notorious matter of the Disney animated sequel; and yet it is difficult to say exact what the nature of Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin is, as far as sequeldom goes. For our purposes, it makes the most sense to consider it the continuation of […]

When John Lasseter, artistic godfather of Pixar Animation Studios, was put in charge of pretty much the entire animated output of both that company and its new parent, Walt Disney Animation Studios during the merger of those two companies in 2006, it was at least partially with the hope that he’d be able to do […]

Even in the depths of the horrible stretch of critical, commercial, and artistic failures that plagued Walt Disney Productions between 1970 and 1988, there’s one spot of true brilliance, although the degree to which The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh belongs to that interregnum is debatable. Its roots lie in the comparatively strong period […]