Snow-White-and-the-Seven-Dwarfs-One-Sheet-1937Eighty years ago this month, Walt Disney revolutionized the art of animation with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In the span of only a couple years, Walt had pushed himself and his artists to creative heights they never dreamed of and created a film that broke the feature barrier for animation forever.

It’s hard for moviegoers today to imagine a world without animated features. Animation is such a lucrative segment of the box office that it seems like there’s a new film coming out every few weeks. Both adults and children flock to the latest efforts from studios like Pixar, Blue Sky, Illumination, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

All of today’s animation powerhouses owe their very existence to the success and appeal of Disney’s first princess. So for its 80th anniversary, I thought it might be worth looking back at this truly timeless animated masterpiece. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of my favorite films of all time – not just because of its place in film history, but because the care given to its artistry and storytelling has been rarely surpassed. And its moral center connects to something spiritual within us.

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The first trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was dropped last week, and it’s a mixed bag. A lot of people online are comparing the tone to Jurassic Park III, which was more of a monster movie and lacked the awe-inspiring scenes of the previous films. I think that’s a pretty apt description. The director, J.A. Bayona, is known for horror projects like The Orphanage and Penny Dreadful. But he also directed the epic The Impossible as well as the fairytale-esque A Monster Calls (which I still would like to see). So this could go either way. It’s a definite darker tone to be sure.

COCO – The Treasure of Family

Coco_posterCoco, Pixar Animation Studios’ 19th animated feature, is another solid, delightful masterpiece for the hit-making studio. Like most of Pixar’s best films, Coco hits all the notes to make it an amazing piece of storytelling: a compelling plot, great characters to follow, a wonderful universe to explore, and themes about life that appeal to everyone.

Director Lee Unkrich (who also helmed the amazing Toy Story 3) has crafted yet another compelling and sincere family adventure, and all of Pixar should be very proud.

Coco is rich in themes and tropes that resonate with every person on the planet, which is the reason why I think this film will have lasting universal appeal. The themes are deep, and it’s very difficult to discuss all of them in this review. However, I will discuss what is probably the film’s most prominent thematic string: the importance of family.


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