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If you’re currently in your 20s or 30s, you know that the TV shows of your childhood are nothing like the TV of today. Thanks in part to an earnest social networking fanbase, on July 25th, Teen Nick debuted The ’90s Are All That, a two-hour weeknight programming block featuring a rotating lineup of some of the most popular Nickelodeon shows from the ’90s.
Currently, the TV block includes episodes of All That, Kenan and Kel, Clarissa Explains It All, and Doug. The ’90s Are All That website has even more to offer with a rotating lineup of clips and episodes of Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, CatDog, Ren & Stimpy, and more! Website fans can chat, view media, vote in polls, and enter sweepstakes to win ’90s-era products! Remember GAK, anyone?
As one of the millions of former kids who grew up watching these classic Nickelodeon shows in a regular afternoon lineup, I think the late night programming block is fantastic. Now the kids of the 21st Century can see the best of what the ’90s had to offer, and they’ll have to agree that the ’90s were indeed All That. If the Disney Channel were to follow Teen Nick’s example and bring back some of their own ’90s hits, then I, and millions of other 20-something-year-olds, would be in absolute nostalgia heaven.
Recently, I visited my old blog and I stumbled across an entry I wrote about the children’s book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which inspired the movie musical of the same name. I was embarrassed to see that I had incorrectly attributed the film to Walt Disney Studios, when it was actually produced and distributed by EON Productions and United Artists. But my mistake is understandable. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a magical, family-friendly musical starring Dick Van Dyke and released in 1968, four years after the release of that other magical, family-friendly musical starring Dick Van Dyke: Disney’s Mary Poppins (1964).
Screenshot from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
When I was growing up, my VHS home video collection was an equal mix of Disney- and non-Disney productions, and even though I know my Disney Animated Classics by heart, I’m still a little iffy on which live action films from my childhood were made by Disney and which weren’t.
As a companion piece to Animated Movies NOT By Disney, I present some of the live action family-friendly favorites from my childhood that had nothing whatsoever to do with Disney. What are some films that you were surprised to discover weren’t made by Disney?
Thanks in part to its place in history as the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon and its appearance in the Walt Disney Animation Studios logo, most people are at least passingly familiar with Steamboat Willie, which debuted more than 80 years ago on November 18th, 1928. Steamboat Willie features Mickey Mouse as a sailor on a ship captained by the villainous Peg-Leg Pete, with Minnie Mouse as one of the ship’s passengers. The short’s most iconic shot is of Mickey whistling cheerfully while at the helm of the ship, and this shot can be seen in the Walt Disney Animation Studios logo as an artist’s flipbook transforms into the animated clip.
If you’re a fan of Steamboat Willie or any of the hundreds of Mickey Mouse cartoons that have come along since, then it’s high time that you add them to your home video collection. From now through September 14th, Disney Movie Rewards is offering a discount on the Have a Laugh DVDs, a collection of four DVDs featuring classic Mickey Mouse cartoons.
During the Disney Renaissance, Walt Disney Animation Studios dominated the box office with a decade of high-quality, animated super hits of the late ’80s (The Little Mermaid, 1989) through the late ’90s (Tarzan, 1999). Before computer animated sensations (the Toy Story trilogy, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon) made Pixar Animation Studio and DreamWorks Animation household names, Disney was the only company whose name was really synonymous with animated features, although many other studios were active at the time.
Below are a number of traditionally animated features of the ’80s and ’90s which are commonly mistaken for Disney films. The films may be fairy tales and epic adventures, but they’re not animated by Disney. Which ones are you surprised to discover aren’t Disney films?
In 1986, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs purchased the computer graphics division of George Lucas’s Lucasfilm, Ltd. for $10 million and established the group as an independent company named “Pixar”. And now, 26 Oscars, 11 feature films, and more than 20 animated shorts later, Pixar Animation Studios is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the release of the company’s third sequel, Cars 2, which premieres in theaters on Friday, June 24th, 2011.
Screenshot from the official Cars 2 website, image copyright Disney
The original Cars was released in 2006, coinciding with Pixar’s 20th anniversary and grossed more than $244 million domestically for a worldwide total of almost $462 million. Cars is widely considered by critics to be the weakest of Pixar’s feature films with a 74% Fresh rating on Rottentomatoes.com, as compared with Monsters, Inc.‘s 95%, Wall-E‘s 96%, Up‘s 98%, and Toy Story 3‘s 99%. 74% Fresh is hardly shameful, and it’s a target that parent company Disney regularly misses (52% for Alice in Wonderland (2010), 35% for Mars Needs Moms), even with mega-hits like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (33% for On Stranger Tides).