ps《Parce que tu crois》还蛮好听的
灭绝 Extinction ★★★
灭绝 Extinction ★★★
The Walt Disney Company Behind Seven Films
预习功课读了一本"The Craft of Research"，讲的是如何写学术论文。简单总结一下就是一个Practical或Reaearch的问题（前者解决生活实际问题，后者提高认知理解能力）引出自己的Claim或Argument（两者为一但从不同角度入手最好用不同的名称）列出surppoting reason和相应的靠谱的evidence。具体的前提条件做出切实可信的warrants. 从头至尾作者都在强调和读者的"想象性互动"，根据读者提出的不同意见再分析alternatives，最糟糕的结果不是读者说"I don't agree...
预习功课读了一本"The Craft of Research"，讲的是如何写学术论文。简单总结一下就是一个Practical或Reaearch的问题（前者解决生活实际问题，后者提高认知理解能力）引出自己的Claim或Argument（两者为一但从不同角度入手最好用不同的名称）列出surppoting reason和相应的靠谱的evidence。具体的前提条件做出切实可信的warrants. 从头至尾作者都在强调和读者的"想象性互动"，根据读者提出的不同意见再分析alternatives，最糟糕的结果不是读者说"I don't agree"而是"I don't care". 最后作者还特别强调了一下剽窃问题。
The thesis will review and discuss how theWalt Disney Company produced films though the years. Through the production anddevelopment of seven certain remarkable films, I hereby introduce how theDisney Company started, its commercial and cultural influence, and Disney’scooperation with other companies.
For a cultural and creative enterpriselike Walt Disney, beyond commercial factors, I think the key to make asuccessful cultural product like a film is to present truly thought-provokingsubstance and to keep pace with the times to deliver modern values.
In view of the above, the main body of thethesis will focus on two aspects: commercial aspect and cultural aspect.
The first animated feature film - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
“Magicmirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
“Lipsred as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow.”
A few words, paint the image of the firstDisney’s princess – Snow White – beautiful, pure, kind; also imply the reasonof her escaping experiences – her beauty, which the queen was jealous of.
Telling the story about a princess namedSnow White whose parents are dead, ran into the forest to escape from her harshstepmother and met seven dwarfs, SnowWhite and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) announced the birth of the firstfull-length animated feature film.
The first is usually the most difficultone. Before Snow White and the SevenDwarfs, the Disney studio had been primarily involved in the production ofanimated short subjects in the MickeyMouse and Silly Symphoniesseries. Walt Disney himself hoped to expand his studio by moving into features,but he had to fight to get the film produced. Both his business partner and hiswife attempted to talk him out of it, and the Hollywood movie industry referredto the film as "Disney's Folly" while it was in production. ButDisney managed to do it, at big financial cost and strong determination.
The film was a critical and commercialsuccess, international earnings of $8 million during its initial release andWalt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar at the 11th Academy Awards. The filmwas ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest Americanfilms by the United States Library of Congress. Disney received both reputationand revenues, Disney Empire rose since then.
An important reason to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs successis obvious: the film was born in the right time. The remaining influence of theGreat Depression still existed in 1930s, and people needed a warm story torediscover hope in life.
Based on the German fairy tale by theBrothers Grimm, the queen is jealous of her young stepdaughter’s beauty andsend a hunter to bring Snow White’s heart back. The dark side within humanitypromoted the story’s beginning, but the good side – the hunter’s sympathy, theseven dwarfs’ optimism and the prince’s love, allowed it to end with happiness.
You may ask: so what Snow White did? Afterall, she is the heroine of the film. Unfortunately, it seems like she didn’t doanything useful to fight against the evil queen, but wait and ask for help. Itmay be out of style in today’s feminine standpoint, but back in the earlierdays in last century, whether the values about good and evil that the filmdelivered, or both the external and internal image of a princess leaves alegacy in later generations.
An independent heroine - Beauty and the Beast
After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Walt Disney attempted toadapt Beauty and the Beast (1991)into feature films in the 1930s and 1950s but ultimately gave up because it "proved to be a challenge".Decades later, following the success of TheLittle Mermaid (1989), after script rewrite and music scored, the projectwas eventually done and became a success.
As a musical film, the theme song “Beauty and the Beast” won the AcademyAward for Best Original Song. In addition to more awards, the film was alsoselected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library ofCongress.
Based on the French fairy tale byJeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Beautyand the Beast tells the story of a girl whose name is Belle (means “beauty”in French), is trapped in a magic castle with an ugly beast (turned into from ahandsome prince) and several live objects turned by servants, to save herfather.
Started with Snow White, followingCinderella, Aurora, all these girls are kind but passive when facing evil poweruntil the Little Mermaid Ariel, who has free will of her own. The Little Mermaid brought renaissanceto Disney. Belle’s story in Beauty andthe Beast is even more impressive and made a huge progress. At last theheroine is no longer a weak princess, but a strong woman with knowledge andindependence.
The desire to control her own destinyenables Belle to refuse the ordinary life of a country girl; the knowledge shegained from books broadened her horizon and eliminated her prejudice; and inthe end it comes down to the happy ending, thanks to her falling in love withthe beast.
On the other hand, the prince is no longerperfect either. His handsome appearance was an obstacle to help him get to knowhimself and ultimately made him into a selfish and cold person alongside otherreasons. What’s more, His ending tells the idea that a person with flaws canchange, therefore he/she is forgivable and deserves a second chance.
Revealing the truth that a man/woman can’tbe judged only by his/her appearance, but more like something inside. Not likeprevious Disney princess films, it doesn’t put beauty as the heroine’s biggestadvantage. That is something, too.
Beautyand the Beast is a breakthrough among Disney’sprincess films. The heroine doesn’t have to be a princess, an ordinary daughteris an alternative. She doesn’t have to be saved by male characters, quite theopposite, the prince is the one who needs to be saved.
Adapted to a live-action film in 2017, Beauty and the Beast is a story withmany potentials even can be a guidance today.
Animated films are not only for children - The Lion King
In 1994, a famous lion was born, his roarsleft an indelible mark on the history of world animated films and unforgettablememories for several generations.
With a worldwide gross of $766 million, The Lion King finished its theatricalrun as the highest-grossing release of 1994 and the second highest-grossingfilm of all time. It garnered two Academy Awards for its achievement in musiclike “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture. The film has led to manyderived works such as a Broadway adaptation.
The film was first conceived in late 1988during a conversation which happened on a plane to Europe. During theconversation, the topic of a story set in Africa came up, and decided thatelements involving coming of age and death would be added up. It would be anepic story happening on an ancient mainland with desert, jungle, and vastprairie – a kingdom governed by a highly regarded lion king.
TheLion King tells the story of Simba, a young lionwho is about to succeed his father as King of the Pride Lands, but he wasdeceived by his ambitious uncle and blames his father’s death on himself. Simbaflees into exile and meets two new friends in jungle. When he grows up, Simbarethinks about his life and responsibility.
Although influenced by WilliamShakespeare's Hamlet, the main idea of TheLion King is not about revenge, but growth and responsibility. Young Simbahad a good time in the jungle, living a carefree life under the motto"hakuna matata" ("no worries" in Swahili). But the guiltinside for his father’s death has never gone, so he is never free as long as heremembers who he is, or was – the rightful heir to the throne, which means theone who carries the responsibility for his subjects and ancestors.
“Rememberwho you are. You are my son and the one true king. Remember who you are.Remember. Remember. Remember…”
TheLion King is notable in that it changed people’sopinion about animated films somehow. A grand world is built, well-developedcharacters are given, and serious topics are presented. It revives WaltDisney’s opinion about animated film – it’s not supposed to be just a simplecomedy story for kids, but a serious art work for all ages. The Lion King reveals the circle of lifeand presents the growth process of a boy to become a man: face yourresponsibility that must be taken, face the truth that some wounds will nevercure and you’ll never be free. Face it, then accept it.
Pixar gives you a sci-fi future - Wall-E
WALL-E(2008) is a computer-animated science fiction film produced by Pixar AnimationStudios for Walt Disney Pictures.
Before we begin, let’s talk about Pixar.Founded by George Lucas as a part of his company Lucasfilm in 1979, thenacquired by Steve Jobs and renamed as Pixar Animation Studios in 1986, Pixar isan American studio which is famous for its computer animation films. Thecooperation between Disney and Pixar started from 1991 and produced fivecomputer-animated films including Monsters,Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003)together. But the differences between the two studios set them apartafterwards, until 2006 Pixar was acquired by Disney at a valuation of $7.4billion. Now it is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
WALL-Eis one of the best films that produced by Pixar and an instant blockbuster,grossing $533.3 million worldwide, and winning the 2008 Golden Globe Award forBest Animated Feature Film, the 2009 Hugo Award, the final Nebula Award, theSaturn Award and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The film also toppedTime's list of the "Best Movies of the Decade".
WALL-Efollows a trash-disposal robot named Wall-E who still sticks to his post in theabandoned deserted earth in 2805. However, he is visited by a guest, a probenamed Eve sent by the Axiom ship to find life signs on earth, whom he falls inlove with and pursues across the galaxy.
As a sci-fi film, WALL-E shows a negative future where earth is full of trash andabandoned advertising boards, which remain some signs of human life when therewas human on earth: a totally consumed, commercialized, and lonely planet. Sowhere has human gone? They are on the Axiom ship, after they’ve forgottenearth, their real home for a long time. Human leads a numbing comfortable lifewhere robots can get them everything. They rely on technology terribly becauseeveryone is so fat that they can’t move on their own.
While earth becoming a wasteland andpeople can’t live without machines, the film expresses concern aboutenvironment and technology. The fascinating thing is, they chose anuntraditional way to show it, through a robot who is full of humanity! At thebeginning of the film, Wall-E’s everyday life is to disposal trash, again andagain. But something romantic exists inside him. The arrival of Eve inspiredhis desire for love so that he could do anything for her, even across thegalaxy.
Despite terrible future the film sets, itstill remains hope on human, who fight against machines to return to earth andstated to rebuild home in the end. I don’t think that is likely to happen inreal world when time comes. But with so much shame in life, we need somethinglike WALL-E to warm our heart, weneed hope.
Let it go, let it go, I’m one with the wind and sky - Frozen
Frozen(2013) is a computer-animated musical fantasy film achieved both significantcommercial and critical success, which to both Disney and its crew’s surprise,earning $1.2 billion in worldwide box office revenue, ranks as thehighest-grossing animated film of all time. It won two Academy Awards for BestAnimated Feature and Best Original Song ("Let It Go"), the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated FeatureFilm, the BAFTA Award, five Annie Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Critics'Choice Movie Awards. Audiences from all over the world replied this film withgreat passions.
Frozenfocus the story on two sisters, the princesses of Arendelle: the elder sisterElsa who is full of fear because of her icy magic power, and the younger sisterAnna who is fearless and very optimistic.
From Snow White to Rapunzel (Tangled, 2010), Disney’s princesses arerelying on men less and less and finally welcomed a complete independence in Frozen. They don’t have to be bound bymarriage; they can save themselves on their own; they get to know themselvesand dare to go against common rules.
At the beginning of the film, Anna is asimple girl who has a fantasy romance, but in the end she finds out the truththat the man who claims to love her is not like what she believed. And Elsa isthe first princess in Disney history who doesn’t get a male partner, wow that’sa big deal, what kind of independence you’d call it if a female must match witha man. Marriage is something should be blessed, not a must thing.
Same thing happens in almost all Disneyprincess films: heroine is in danger and needs to be saved. Frozen is not an exception, but Anna isnot saved by a man, but by herself, by the love she has for her sister. What islove? Frozen gives a sort ofdefinition: love is sacrifice. Like it said, “Some people are worth melting for.”
Elsa has native icy power. But under herparents’ education, instead of seeing it as a gift, she sees it as a curse andchoose to shut both her dearest sister and the world out. Elsa representspeople in real life who are on the edge zone of common values and choose toconceal themselves to be more like the others. Her power can be seen asanything that is native but against the rules of the society. After Elsa’ssecret is exposed, alone in the mountains, she finally made the decision torelease her power.
“It'stime to see what I can do / To test the limits and break through / No right, nowrong, no rules for me / I'm free”
Maybe that is what we all need to do: toform your own values and defend it. There is no such clear line between rightand wrong. Sometimes common values are not right, sometimes you are not wrong,what you need to do is just let it go.
It may be mediocre, but it’s fantasy - The Chronicles of Narnia
TheChronicles of Narnia (2005-2010) film seriesis an adaptation based on three books of a fantasy novel series of the samename by C. S. Lewis. (There are seven books in C. S. Lewis’s series.)
The first film of the series The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe(2005) was co-produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures and was highlysuccessful at the box office grossing more than $745 million worldwide. It wonthe 2005 Academy Award for Best Makeup and various other awards. However, thebox office of the remaining two films PrinceCaspian (2008) and The Voyage of theDawn Treader (2010) which were produced by Walt Disney Pictures and 20thCentury Fox respectively, were not as highly regarded.
The series focus the story on four kids,who are brothers and sisters with each other, ran into the fantasy world ofNarnia through a Wardrobe. There they started their adventures and met the kingof Narnia, the Lion Aslan.
Written by C. S. Lewis, it’s natural tocompare Narnia series with The Lord ofthe Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, a great linguist and writer who livedin the same era with C. S. Lewis and a good friend to him. While the reply andinfluence of both the books and the film adaptation of Narnia are not as good and big as LOTR, there is no such a comparison literally. Because Narnia is a fantasy children literaturewhile LOTR as well as other works ofTolkien (some of them were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien) like The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, UnfinishedTales of Númenor and Middle-earth, The History of Middle-earth, Beren andLúthien, Children of Húrin and so on are fantasy adult literatures.
Overview all films adapted by fantasynovel series, LOTR is an outstandingadaptation as the third film of the trilogy TheReturn of the King (2003) won 11 Academy Awards included the awards forBest Picture at the 76th Academy Awards, therefore holding the record forhighest Oscar sweep. And it’s the first time a fantasy film has done so. Harry Potter series (2001-2011, novelsby J.K. Rowling, teenager literature) is also a huge success commercially whilethe reply of other fantasy adaptations such as The Golden Compass (2007, adapted by the first book of PhilipPullman’s His Dark Materialstrilogy), Percy Jackson series(2010-2016, novels by Rick Riordan), Oz:The Great and Powerful (2013, from Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz series), TheDark Tower (2017, novels by Stephen King) and so on are not good that much.Even The Hobbit series (2012-2014)adapted by Peter Jackson (director of LOTRfilm series) are mildly successful.
Turn to fantasy television series area. Game of Thrones (2011-2019, adapted byGeorge R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice andFire series) made a significant success both critically and commercially. American Gods (2017- , novels by NeilGaiman) is also a hot one. Yet other adapted TV series such as Legend of the Seeker (2008-2010, adaptedby Terry Goodkind’s The Sword of Truthseries), The Shannara Chronicles(2016- , adapted by Terry Brooks’s TheSword of Shannara trilogy), and so on are not up to much.
An epic a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away - Star Wars
StarWars is an epic space opera media franchisecentered on a film series. The original StarWars trilogy (1977-1983) and prequel trilogy (1999-2005) are created anddirected by George Lucas. A sequel trilogy (2015-2019) as well as moretrilogies and vast Star Wars Story films are/will be released by The WaltDisney Company.
With the release of the film A New Hope (later name) in 1977, Star Wars soon became a worldwide popculture phenomenon. It has spawned an extensive media franchise includingbooks, television series, computer and video games, theme park attractions andlands, and comic books, resulting in significant development of the series'fictional universe.
In 2012, The Walt Disney Company boughtLucasfilm for US$4.06 billion and earned the distribution rights to allsubsequent Star Wars films. Thisexpensive acquisition proved to be a right decision for Disney in a commercialperspective with the release of The ForceAwakens in 2015, which became the third highest-grossing box office film ofall time with a worldwide gross of over $2 billion, only below Avatar (2009) and Titanic (1997).
The original trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) focuses thestory on Luke Skywalker while the prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith)focuses on Luke’s father Anakin Skywalker. Lucas gave us epic adventures in anancient, distant galaxy of two Skywalker generations through six films. Adecade later, after Disney taken over the franchise, story core shifted intoRey, a girl who has strong force potential and a mysterious birth.
There is no doubt that Star Wars is a sci-fi film saga, but Isay it is also a fantasy story. True there is no fire-breathing dragons orwizards with pointy hats in it, but that is not the key. With the amazing power– the force – connects everything, keep swinging around the balance between thedark side and the light side, Star Warspossesses every basic factor of a fantasy work.
StarWars gives us a dream about space: the hero’sgrowth and adventure; the fight between light and dark; countless planets,races and cultures. Looking at the two setting suns on Tatooine with youngLuke, don’t you find this universe fascinating, miraculous, and amazing?
“Maythe force be with you.”