Posted September 18 2004 - 02:45 PM
"...ironically with an anarchic film that is often as far from the Disney style as you could imagine."
This is not accurate -- the history of Disney animation is full of moments of wild abandon, surrealism, and yes, even outright anarchy. The *stereotype* is that Disney's work was laid-back and safe, but the *experience* and *actual history* of Disney's work is quite the oppposite. The character animation of the Genie leans heavily on the work of Tex Avery, of that there is no denying, but the hellzapoppin visual energy of his scenes can be traced all the way back to Ward Kimball's work in long-unappreciated The Three Caballeros. In fact, there is even an homage to The Three Caballeros in the genie's first scene, when he turns into three sombrero-wearing mini-genies.
I suppose I could make a list of the wildest moments in Disney animation, and demonstrate why Aladdin was merely a return to that side of the Disney tradition -- Bumble Boogie, After You've Gone, the Mad Tea Party, Pink Elephants on Parade, Blame it on the Samba, Mars and Beyond, scores upons scores of Goofy and Donald cartoons, Ward Kimball's "Adventures in Music" series -- you watch all these and you realzie that Aladdin is not as unique as it seemed. After 20 years of films like Robin Hood, The Fox and the Hound, and The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver and Co., I can see how it was a breath of fresh air -- but in comparison to the Walt-era work and Ward Kimball's work in particular -- it really isn't that "out there" and in fact, compared to some of these, it is really quite safe.