Not to sound conceited, but part 1 of this series was awesome. That’s not because of me, mind you. It’s because the films being gif-ed were all A+ productions. With Walt Disney and his hand-picked crew creating the cartoons, there was an extremely high level of craftsmanship, storytelling and imagination being infused into each and every production. Hell, even in abbreviated gif form the magic shines through!
After Disney’s death, though, things at the studio kinda floundered.
The Jungle Book was the last film to have Walt’s fingerprints on it. If you ever decide to watch the films in consecutive order, you can literally feel the magic disappearing little by little in the cartoons that came after. While The Aristocats and The Rescuers certainly have their charms, by the time you get to The Black Cauldron and Oliver and Company, the once reliable Walt Disney title card feels a little like false advertising. Gone are the unforgettable creative flourishes and moments of unmatched beauty and genius. In their place are disjointed plotting, one-dimensional characters and ear-gouging songs.
It is with this downer of an intro that I introduce part 2 to this collection of grim Disney gifs. While the pickings are slim this time around, I ask you to stick with me. Part 3 documents Disney’s remarkable renaissance, and trust me — you WON’T want to miss that!
One Hundred and One Dalmatians, 1961
The absolute saddest scene in this flick is when one of the puppies is birthed stillborn, but honestly, who wants to be the joy-killer to create THAT gif? Instead, here’s a small moment of canine tenderness that is eminently less disturbing, yet no less a tearjerker.
The Sword in the Stone, 1963
The flirty, female squirrel is shocked to discover that the male squirrel she fell in love with is actually a human. Her first reaction? Run and hide. Her second reaction? Climb the tallest tree and watch as he slowly fades into the distance. Ah, l’amour…
The Jungle Book, 1967
Baloo lies in a puddle, playing dead. Mowgli crouches over him, attempting to awaken his fallen comrade. This should be funny. We should be laughing at Baloo’s trickery. Instead, we’re right there with the man-cub, ready to bawl our eyes out.
The Aristocats, 1970
This is the first full-length Disney cartoon featuring a boring villain — a boring villain willing to drug cats and then dump them miles away from home.
(One wonders: Did Disney ever green-light a sleeping tablet tie-in?)
Robin Hood, 1973
There is nothing scary enough in this movie to warrant this facial expression. I think that’s why I picked it.
The Rescuers, 1977
A doe-eyed kid crying in a tight, cartoon close-up. This is what the Disney haters are referring to when they complain about the films’ melodrama and manipulation. Oh, well. Their loss.
The Fox and the Hound, 1981
To someone who has never seen this film, this gif probably looks a little…weird. So for those folks, allow me say it right now: No, the dog is NOT about to defecate on the fallen fox.
Ew, no! He’s also not showing him what ‘hung like a hound dog’ means! He’s protecting him from a hunter’s rifle! Sheesh. Get your mind out of the gutter. This is an emotional moment of friendship and redemption!
The Black Cauldron, 1985
Full disclosure: This film never did anything for me. I like this gif, though. The way the glowing eyes slide to the sides is a pretty creepy effect. It feels sorta like standing in the middle of the road as a car races towards you.
The Great Mouse Detective, 1986
As we learned from yesterday’s Fantasia gif, a well-drawn shadow play can be hella creepy. This one? Kinda creepy.
Oliver & Company, 1988
I loathe this flick. The voice-acting and the songs just kill it for me. That said, this small scene is wonderfully animated and has amazingly effective FX. Maybe I should give the film another try…on mute.
There, now that wasn’t so bad, was it? And like I said at the outset, THE NEXT SET IS GREAT. See you Monday!