Saturday, May 9, 2015


IRVYNE: Hello and goodbye! Here we are at last - the end of the "Year of Disney" project. Sure, it was supposed to be finished five months ago, but in that regard it's very much like my previous blog, the "Year of Retro Gaming" project: as the year went by, more and more entries were added, and the whole thing ended up taking a whole lot longer than originally intended.
Firstly I'd like to do a few thank yous. Thank you to my "team" who watched movies with me throughout the year. It's one thing to enjoy Disney, but it's something else entirely when you can watch it with friends and have very interesting conversations about it afterwards. Although a couple of members only contributed a little bit, I'm still very grateful.
Secondly, I'd like to give a shout-out to Disney Screencaps, who provided me with almost all of the caps that you've seen on the blog. Great website! If you ever need caps of Disney movies (as well as some others) that's the place to go! Thanks!
Thirdly, I'd like to thank the Walt Disney Company for making such fantastically entertaining films! While the quality of the films has come and gone (and come again) throughout the years, overall these are movies that I can watch over and over again.
Without further ado, here is my personal "faves" list...

First of all, my Top 20. Boy oh boy, it was difficult coming up with a Number 1, and I changed it about five times when I was putting the list together! In the end I went with Aladdin. It's a practically flawless movie. It's hilariously funny, beautifully animated, brilliantly paced and just good fun.

Hunchback was ALMOST my Number 1. (It certainly has been in the past) I love that Disney went dark; I love that it doesn't shy away from some of the more sinister aspects of Victor Hugo's story. It is one of the most visually stunning films in the entire Disney catalogue, and Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz's incredible score is one of my all-time favourites.

Beauty & the Beast and The Lion King are pretty predictable bets. Even though Beauty & the Beast has plot holes the size of the Beast's castle (which none of the villagers seem to know exists, even though they can walk to it in the space of an evening) it was a fantastic Broadway musical in animated form, with great characters and an amazing score. The Lion King is an interesting one. I didn't really like it that much when I first saw it. Now I love it for what it is, but it was quite different for its time. Something about the African music and themes of life and death really hit the spirit.

As for Tarzan, this is probably the least predictable of the Top 5. I feel that it's a film that has been somewhat forgotten over the years, but it really is brilliantly written, full of humour and heart. Even Phil Collins's montage songs are kinda great! A classic for sure. I only just realised that all of my Top 5 have been turned into stage musicals - must be my theatre background that makes me love them so much!

The rest you can see for yourself. It says a lot for the modern Disney output that Big Hero 6, Tangled and Frozen have rated so highly! There have been many heated discussions among us as to which is the better movie, Frozen or Tangled. It's clearly the latter, and everyone else is wrong. ;-p

IRVYNE: Here's my "middle-tier" Disney: films that I enjoy watching, but they're not my absolute favourites. It was hard to separate the two Winnie The Pooh films (and most of the lists show the same thing) since they are both so similar and similarly charming. I put the newer film higher though, mainly because it is a much more coherent single plot. (Remember, the original was actually three short movies strung together)

The reason the original Fantasia is lower than its sequel is simply due to length; the 1940 version had some absolutely brilliant segments (The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Dance of the Hours come to mind) but there were lots of really slow parts as well (Rite of Spring and Ave Maria, for example) which slow the experience down and drag it out to over two hours. The sequel was economical with its running time, and every segment is brilliant.

IRVYNE: And here we have the bottom end. Like with most of the others, a lot of the bottom is dedicated to the package films of the 1940s. You know what though? Even though they're down the bottom here and anyone would agree that they're not really that great, I still kind of enjoy watching them. The Three Caballeros is an absolutely bizarre trip of a movie in its second half. Even though Walt had most of his workers either striking or going off to war during that era, he kept innovating and kept entertaining his audiences. It's a shame that most of these films (along with The Black Cauldron) are the only ones in the catalogue not to have had a Blu Ray release.

Some Disney enthusiasts might be horrified to see that I've put The Jungle Book and Bambi so low on my list. After all, they're considered classics, and for good reason. Bambi is artistically stunning. I just find that its story and characters are very undercooked and a bit dull. The Jungle Book has some good songs, and it's a bit of fun, but I really cannot understand why some people ADORE it so much.

And of course, down the very bottom, we have the Disney dregs... At the start of the year I was actually quite sure Chicken Little would end up on the bottom. But while watching the movies this year, I came to two realisations: Chicken Little isn't QUITE as bad as I remembered (although it's still not a good movie by anyone's standards) and I found Dinosaur to be a whole lot WORSE than I remembered. What a wasted opportunity, with that brilliant opening sequence! It could have been something really groundbreaking in terms of story and character, but it is the most dull, cliche-ridden and boring story in Disney's history. Not only that, but after the first few minutes, all of the colour is sucked out of the film and it's all browns and greys until the very end. Dinosaur could have been something amazing, but as it is, I think it's best left forgotten. (In the U.K. it has been - over there they don't consider it an official Disney movie, which is interesting...)

So since the main crew has all ordered their movies, I wanted to take it one step further. (Those who know me will attest that I never like to do things in halves!) So I put everyone's scores into a spreadsheet. The highest ranked movie got 54 points and the lowest ranked movie got 1.

With this information, I could then add up the totals and calculate the average score, giving us an overall picture of which films we liked and which films we didn't! There was a clear overall winner (you can see it with gold numbers in the picture above) and a couple of clear losers, which shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone who's been reading the blog. Here's the final list, with the average score of each movie. (Remember, if everybody had the same favourite movie its number would be "54," and if everybody had the same movie at the bottom of their list, it would average out as "1.")

1 - Aladdin (50.5)
2 - Beauty and the Beast (48.9)
3 - The Little Mermaid (47.6)
4 - The Lion King (47)
5 - Big Hero 6 (46.3)

Isn't it interesting that four out of the Top Five are the classics from the Disney Renaissance of the 80s / 90s? The only one that's pushed its way in is the most recent film! We clearly think it's a keeper!

6 - Frozen (46.2)
7 - Tangled (45.2)
8 - Mulan (43.8)
9 - Wreck-It Ralph (42.8)
10 - Peter Pan (42.6)

Now we see three other more recent C.G.I. movies that have become instantly popular as well. Overall our group thinks Frozen is better than Tangled, by only one point! Madness! Meanwhile, Peter Pan is the most beloved of the Golden Era.

11 - Hercules (41.3)
12 - The Emperor's New Groove (41.1)
13 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame (39.6)
14 - Tarzan (37.8)
15 - Lilo & Stitch (36.9)

All of these five are from the late '90s / early '00s.

16 - Treasure Planet (36.4)
17 - Cinderella (35.6)
18 - Pocahontas (35.1)
19 - The Princess and the Frog (34.4)
20 - The Sword In The Stone

A very mixed bunch here, all from different eras. I'm sure Pocahontas and Tiana would love to be higher up on the list with their fellow princesses, but alas, it's not to be. Not on our list, anyway.

21 - Alice In Wonderland (32.6)
22 - Bolt (32)
23 - Sleeping Beauty (31.7)
24 - Lady and the Tramp (31.2)
25 - Pinocchio (30.1)

Mostly oldies here, except for Bolt. I would have thought Lady and the Tramp would score higher. Sleeping Beauty and Alice In Wonderland are acquired tastes. Some love them, some hate them.

26 - The Great Mouse Detective (29.3)
27 - Robin Hood (28.7)
28 - The Aristocats (27.9)
29 - The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh (27.9)
30 - Meet The Robinsons (27.3)

Aside from Meet The Robinsons, these are all from the '70s and '80s, a period of trouble for the Disney company. In the opinion of our collective group, the original Winnie The Pooh beats out the newer one (though not by much...)

31 - Brother Bear (26.5)
32 - 101 Dalmatians (25.8)
33 - Winnie The Pooh (25.7)
34 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (25.3)
35 - Dumbo (25.2)

Another mixture from across different eras. Pinocchio beat out Snow White and Dumbo in popularity from the early years.

36 - The Jungle Book (25.1)
37 - The Rescuers Down Under (24.6)
38 - The Rescuers (24)
39 - Atlantis (23.9)
40 - Bambi (22.1)

Ooooohhh, this was a close thing! In the end our group chose the Rescuers sequel over the original, but only by 0.6 of a point!

41 - The Fox and the Hound (21.4)
42 - Oliver and Company (20.7)
43 - Fantasia 2000 (18.8)
44 - The Black Cauldron (18.3)
45 - Fantasia (17.8)

Another close call, but in the end the second Fantasia film beat out the first. I personally think the fact that these two movies are so far down the list is a TRAVESTY. They are masterpieces! Yet many people in our group just don't like them. How sad.

46 - Home On The Range (15)
47 - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (13.6)
48 - Melody Time (7)
49 - Fun and Fancy Free (7)
50 - The Three Caballeros (4)

Now we're getting to the ones we really don't like! And, not surprisingly, we're seeing a lot of the 1940s package films.

51 - Saludos Amigos (3.8)
52 - Make Mine Music (3.7)
53 - Chicken Little (3.4)
54 - Dinosaur (2)

... And here we have the bottom of the bottom. I can't say I'm at all surprised by those bottom two. Compared to other kids' movies they might not look so bad, but compared to all of these Disney classics, they just don't hold up.

The next official Disney animated film is Zootopia, set to be released in March 2016.

Will it be as successful as the other recent Disneys? Only time will tell. Until then, keep wishing upon stars. Keep observing the circle of life. Keep looking after your Ohana. Thank you for being my guest. You ain't never had a friend like me!


RAPUNZEL: My order is influenced a lot by nostalgia. Aladdin, The Rescuers and Oliver & Company were my favourites as a child, but now Tangled, Beauty & the Beast and Mulan are my favourites as well. I love the characters and storylines in these movies the most. Aladdin is an absolute masterpiece and one of my favourite movies ever made. I also love that Mulan and Tangled have strong female lead characters.

RAPUNZEL: With Disney films you can always expect an amazing level of quality. While I have to rate all of the movies from favourite to least favourite, I realise I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every Disney movie I have seen. (Except Dinosaur, I really hate Dinosaur...)

Each film has a unique story, wonderful characters and a new place to take its audience. From the modern, more relatable gaming references of Wreck-It Ralph to classics from the '50s like Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty which have a specific magic that's no longer around in movies today.

Snow White is down the bottom of the list simply because she's useless and needs everyone else to look after her and rescue her. I do like other characters in the movie though; the Evil Queen is awesome. Chicken Little doesn't feel like a Disney movie at all. It seems to be missing a lot of those magic elements I mentioned earlier. It is still a fun watch though. Dinosaur is... not worth mentioning.

There are still quite a few Disney movies I need to watch, including the newest one Big Hero 6, but this experience has certainly influenced me to do so. I can't think of a more magical set of movies, and it was great getting to experience them with such a Disney-passionate group!

Friday, May 8, 2015


JASMINE: Hi! I'm Jasmine! I joined the Year of Disney blog just in time for it to finish! But I can still tell you what my favourite Disney movies are!
JASMINE: Not surprisingly, I love Aladdin! I saw the new stage production on Broadway a few months ago, and it was so good I didn't want it to end!

JASMINE: Well, that's my list! Nice to meet you! Bye!


ANNA: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King will always be my Top 3 because they featured a lot in my childhood. I fell in love with the songs and characters, and spent hours upon hours listening to the soundtracks and making up dance routines in my lounge room! I can't wait to see Belle and the Beast immortalised in real life in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast live-action remake!

ANNA: I really don't like the Fantasia movies. I get way too easily bored by them. That's why they're at the bottom of my list. But I do love Disney movies (although I have a lot to catch up on!) and I hope the kids of today can learn to love them as much as I do!


Thursday, May 7, 2015



SHENZI: My top three - Aladdin, The Lion King and Big Hero 6 - are all about family and where to belong. Aladdin has to be Number 1, as the music is so amazing and the movie is full of mystery and wonder. I particularly love Abu and the Magic Carpet. It's definitely the Genie who makes this movie though! R.I.P. Robin Williams...

The Lion King is a ground breaking movie, and it's obviously been the inspiration for my avatar on this blog! By actually showing Mufasa die, it makes you realise how fragile life is and what true family means. You can't go past the powerful music in this movie either. It's so incredible. The comic relief of Pumba and Timon truly makes this movie brilliant, along with old Rafiki ("Hush-bish-kwana-squash-banana")

Big Hero 6 is a modern classic with amazing imagery and family values paramount. It's so great!

SHENZI: I find the Fantasia films to be like sketch shows: there's too many different stories, and therefore I don't make any major connection. Most of the music is good, but I don't appreciate them much as overall movies.

SHENZI: The only ones I missed are a few of the package films of the 1940s, so I did pretty well!

All Disney films have elements of romance, humour and family values, and I think it's the latter that really pulls on the heart-strings. It's been great to watch them this year. I am most definitely satisfied with my care!


PASCAL: Yes, it seems the new stuff is my fvourite. Frozen is at the top of my list because it has it all: girl power, a touch of romance (but not too much!), quirky sidekicks, laughs, tears, amazing animation and songs that I never seem to get sick of!

PASCAL: Dinosaur is at the bottom because... well, it's boring. Deadly boring! And bleugh. To be honest, I can't even remember why I didn't like it so much; It was so bad, I've blanked it from my memory!

Apart from that, I love Disney so much because it is magical! It can transport you to worlds you can only dream of. No matter what age you are, you can be a Disney Princess at heart... or at least in costume! You can learn so much from Disney. I can't get enough of it... And don't get me started on the theme parks!!

I think I'll be a Disney Princess forever...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


MALEFICENT: "A Disney Film Is Only As Good As Its Villain" used to be my motto... But now I have a variety of reasons for picking my faves: the villain, the hero, the comic timing, the artwork, the music, the story... All of these elements come together to make my favourites.

Sleeping Beauty will always hold the top spot in my heart. A combination of the best evil villain (obviously!) matched with the fantastic artwork in the style of Eyvind Earle, beautiful Tchaikovsky music and a good telling of a classic fairytale make it the best.
There are some films with such amazing songs, they've got a permanent place in history. The writers, singers and film attached to those songs will be part of that legacy and never forgotten. That in itself is a special thing. 

MALEFICENT: You'll notice I prefer hand drawn animation, as the 3D films aren't up in the top of my list. This is just my preferred style of animation, but I have to admit, Big Hero 6 & Wreck-It Ralph are such excellent films that they rank higher than many of the 2D films.


2014's "Year of Disney" was a very special year for me. I've always loved Disney films and they were a huge part of my childhood. It's been wonderful to see the progression, fill the gaps with things I'd missed, and see some films I hadn't revisited in a long time. Most of all, it was great to do it all with such an amazing group of fun people who share some of the best common interests!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015


HAKU: I'm going to buck the trend here and admit that most of my top films are NOT those based on fairy-tales! Even though it is the newest, Big Hero 6 has jumped straight to the top of my list. No other film in the collection has made me say "AGAIN!" as soon as it finished. I've always been a big fan of The Emperor's New Groove for its off-the-wall comedy. As was mentioned before, Frozen is so far removed from Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen" it's practically an original story.


HAKU: While I certainly bow to the pioneering talents of the artists who established and then pushed the envelope with hand-drawn animation, I am more excited by the possibilities of digital. I see it as an evolution; so many of the skills needed for 2D animation are also required for 3D - and then some! I think Walt Disney himself would be proud of what his company has produced in recent years.


WENDY: I've chosen these movies as my favourites because they're the ones I could happily watch multiple times. They've got memorable songs, they make me laugh and they remind me of my childhood. (... except for the more recently released ones, of course!)

WENDY: The nine that are listed here as "missed" are the movies I didn't get around to watching in the past year. I have seen most of them before, but it's been too long since I watched them last to properly rank them.

I'm glad that watching all of these Disney films this year hasn't changed my perspective on the ones that I love the most. It's been really interesting to reflect on how we connect to these films, and comparing perspectives with others in the group.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


MERRYWEATHER: I've chosen The Princess and the Frog as my Number 1, because life has twists, and this is reflected in the story. We all want health and happiness for ourselves and others, and we think our lives need to go a certain way. However, our dreams can come true in ways we had never even considered! I thought the movie would follow the classic fairy-tale, but I never thought Tiana would become a frog and marry Naveen! Her goal was her career; she just wanted her restaurant.

The rest of my "Top 5" are there because of their strong themes of sibling love. I love The Little Mermaid for its songs and characters. Ariel sees Eric for who he really is; it doesn't matter that he isn't a merman. Her father can't see past that fact.

MERRYWEATHER: I have 18 films to watch for homework!

Disney films are so special. They can have you in tears or fits of laughter. They touch peoples' hearts in different ways, and they bring out different emotions with each viewing.

BIG HERO 6 (2014)

RELEASE DATE: Friday 7th November 2014

Here we are, folks. The final movie in the Year of Disney project! This one wasn't originally scheduled to be included on the blog, since it didn't get an Australian release until the 26th of December. But as the blog went just a liiiiittle over time, we definitely had time to watch and comment on Disney's latest blockbuster.

I was actually a very lucky Aussie, in that I visited Los Angeles in late November (I flew to the U.S. to see the new production of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" play in La Jolla, just out of San Diego) and so I got to see Big Hero 6 before anyone else in Australia. Even better, I saw it at Disney's El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, right in the heart of Movie-Land!

Now, Disney don't do things by halves. When you go to see Big Hero 6 at the El Capitan, you don't just see the movie. Oh no. You get an organist playing Disney classics while the audience is being seated. Then, as a pre-show bonus, you get a full light and laser show featuring Baymax himself! (Not surprisingly, someone managed to film it and put it on YouTube, but I can tell you one thing, seeing it in the theatre itself was another thing entirely!)

Big Hero 6 is very loosely based on a Marvel comic series. When Disney bought Marvel in 2009 it immediately began scouring the entire catalogue for something that might be able to be turned into an animated feature. Don Hall, who was directing Winnie The Pooh, stumbled upon a fairly obscure and not-very-well-known series called Big Hero 6. He pitched it to the Disney bigwigs and the film went into production.

The story of Hiro Hamada, his science-school friends and giant vinyl robot struck a chord with audiences. It has been extremely successful. It hasn't made as much money as Frozen (about half) but let's get real here - NOTHING has made as much money as Frozen! Big Hero 6 manages to match the thrill of a Marvel superhero movie with the heart of Disney. The result is something quite remarkable, proof that the Second Renaissance of Disney is still going strong.

In the slums of San Fransokyo, an illegal robot fight is happening between the unbeatable master Yama and a 14-year-old genius named Hiro Hamada. Yama doesn't much like being beaten...

As Hiro barely escapes Yama's henchmen, he is rescued at the last minute by his older brother Tadashi. Unfortunately, their late-night escapade lands them in jail, and their poor Aunt Cass has to bail them out.

Trying to steer his little brother back on to the straight-and-narrow path, Tadashi shows Hiro around his science college. Hiro is amazed by all of the cool tech on display, especially Tadashi's personal project, a health-care robot called Baymax.

Hiro, having already passed high school, decides that he must join his brother at the "nerd school." All he needs is an idea to showcase his talents. With some help from Tadashi, he finally finds the idea he's looking for.

Some time later, Hiro shows off his new invention - Microbots - to an enthusiastic crowd, including the school's own Professor Callaghan and a business entrepreneur Alastair Krei. Krei shows a keen interest in buying Hiro's microbot technology, but Callaghan warns Hiro not to sell them.

Hiro's impressive demonstration ensures that he is accepted into the college. Suddenly the entire building explodes into flames. Tadashi rushes inside to save Professor Callaghan and is tragically killed in the fire.

Some weeks later, Hiro - who hasn't left his bedroom in a long time - accidentally stubs his toe and says "Ow," which activates Baymax.

Hiro finds a solitary microbot under his bed, and Baymax tells him that the tiny robot is trying to go somewhere. In order to make Hiro "better," Baymax leaves the house to find where the microbot is trying to go. A frantic Hiro chases after him. They are eventually led to an abandoned warehouse where thousands and thousands of new microbots are being manufactured.

They are suddenly attacked by a man wearing a Kabuki mask. This mysterious man can control the microbots himself, and Hiro and Baymax barely escape intact. They rush to the police station to report the criminal. The policeman is not particularly interested in their story. Suddenly Baymax's battery runs low and Hiro must get him home before he stops functioning altogether.

Hiro sneaks Baymax back to his room and recharges the batteries. Baymax is curious as to where Tadashi is. Hiro tells him that Tadashi died. The robot, intent on curing Hiro of his sadness, comforts him and contacts his friends.

Hiro takes it upon himself to find the masked man, but first he needs to give Baymax some upgrades so he will be more useful in a difficult situation. They track the man to the harbour, and just as Tadashi's college friends turn up, they are attacked by the man in the mask.

A manic car chase takes place. Go Go takes the driver's seat. Eventually the entire team is left stranded underwater. Baymax takes off his armour and floats them all to the surface.

When they need a place to dry off and regroup, Fred suggests that they use his house... This turns out to be a mansion, complete with butler. Hiro, now convinced that the man in the mask is Alastair Krei, decides that this group of super-nerds could become real super-heroes. All they need is some upgrades...

Testing out the abilities of Baymax 2.0, Hiro flies all over San Fransokyo, eventually coming to rest on one of the high-altitude wind generator. Baymax activates his new scanner to find where the masked man is hiding. He is located on a quarantined island.

The team visit the island and discover a failed transport device that had exploded some time ago. The masked man attacks, and it's revealed that he is in fact Professor Callaghan! He is planning to use the microbots in a revenge plot against Krei.

An enraged Hiro removes Baymax's healthcare chip and turns him into a destructive monster. Honey Lemon manages to insert the chip back in just as he is about to kill Callaghan. The professor manages to escape in the nick of time.

Back at home, Baymax will not let Hiro open up his access panel again. He shows Hiro footage of his brother, which brings everything into perspective. The team regroup and begin plans to stop Callaghan once and for all.

Callaghan attacks Krei's new building with his microbots, creating a portal in the sky and sucking the entire building through it. The team of heroes arrive to save the day. They are about to flee the unstable portal when Baymax mentions that there is someone alive inside the portal.

Hiro and Baymax fly into the portal to save Callaghan's daughter, who was presumed dead. Just as they are about to escape, Baymax is damaged and cannot fly anymore. He can save Hiro by using his rocket-fist, but by doing so he will be lost in the void. Hiro says a tearful goodbye.

Some weeks later, as Hiro is setting up in his new office at college, he realises that something is inside Baymax's hand - his healthcare chip! A new body is constructed, and Hiro is reunited with his squishy huggable friend.

IRVYNE: Disney has done it again! Big Hero 6 is a classic Disney film, while at the same time being quite unlike anything the company has ever produced before. Whereas Tangled and Frozen were aiming for a much more "classic" Disney vibe, Big Hero 6 is Disney's first superhero film. Even though it's a Marvel story (the comic books crossed over into the Avengers and X-Men plot-lines) it has a massive amount of heart that makes it unquestionably Disney.

For one thing, the relationship between Hiro and his big brother Tadashi is beautifully handled. Remembering back to Brother Bear, I commented that the relationship between the three brothers felt entirely false and forced, both in script and delivery. Big Hero 6 fixes this. Everyone would want a big brother like Tadashi; a soul-mate who is always looking out for you, always encouraging you to be your best, and never giving up on you. At the same time the brothers have friendly banter between them that makes the relationship seem all the more real.

When Tadashi is killed, we feel the emptiness in Hiro's world. He and Tadashi were always a pair. He never really admitted it, but he admired everything about his big brother. Baymax becomes the de facto brother-replacement when he activates, although he is just a robot and cannot feel any real emotion. The growing relationship between Hiro and Baymax - part owner-to-pet, part brother-to-brother, is at the very heart of this movie.
All of the supporting characters are fantastic as well. It could be said that the other four members of the team aren't really given much screen time to develop their individual characters, but I don't mind. I'm quite sure there's going to be a sequel someday, and their characters can be fleshed out more in that. It's important for this movie that Hiro and Baymax take centre-stage.

The city of San Fransokyo is brilliantly realised. What a fantastic concept! This is definitely a movie where you can constantly freeze-frame to see all of the details of the city.

The storytelling in this movie is absolutely fantastic. It follows a much more logical flow than Frozen or Wreck-It Ralph, and every character is really enjoyable to watch, especially the ever-entertaining Baymax. I am really looking forward to Disney making a follow-up movie, which is really unusual for me! I usually roll my eyes at sequels. Frozen certainly didn't need a sequel, but no one was surprised when that was announced. It makes financial sense. But as for Big Hero 6, I feel like there's so many more stories yet to tell! I just want to see more of this incredible city, and the adventures of this superhero team made up of science nerds.

Big Hero 6 won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but I think it should have been a nominee for Best Feature as well. It's definitely one of my favourite movies from 2014.

"Wow!" That's what I kept saying as I watched Big Hero 6 for the first time. This would have to be the most detailed and dense animated film Disney has ever produced. Every single shot is filled to the brim with more detail than you could ever see properly without pausing the movie every few seconds. The set decoration on all of the main locations - in particular Hiro's bedroom - is so clever. Every single item has a reason for being there and form part of the wider story. It is also a movie that is packed full of Easter Eggs!

(Some of those inclusions I'm a little skeptical about, but there were a lot that I'd never noticed before!)

The colour scheming of the film is also extremely clever. For example, when the team arrive at the quarantined island and find the chamber where the failed experiment happened, the lower level is shown to be bathed in a red light. When the battle takes the heroes downstairs, this ensures there is a big, dangerous and dramatic red hue to the scene where the villain is revealed and Baymax goes berserker.

The film's creators developed a brand new rendering system called "Hyperion" and used it for the first time in Big Hero 6. In particular, this new system greatly improves the way light reflects and shines through different surfaces. Although I am certainly a staunch advocate for the return of 2D animation, there is no doubt in my mind that Big Hero 6 would be a lesser film if it was hand-drawn. This definitely needs to be in C.G.I.

Big Hero 6 is not a musical, by any means. It only has one song in the movie, although it's a good one! "Immortals," by Fall Out Boy, which plays both during a montage and during the end credits, perfectly encapsulates the film: the Japanese-style influence, the rock guitar, and the lyrical themes. It's also really catchy!

Henry Jackman followed up his work on Winnie The Pooh and Wreck-It Ralph to provide the musical score for Big Hero 6, and he did a fantastic job. While there are some definite "superhero" moments in the score, it has a bit of a hard edge to it. There's a lot of rock guitar in there. Very cool.

While Big Hero 6 has certainly stood the test of time in the half-a-year it's been released, I have no doubt it will continue standing that test in the years to come. It is one of the best films Disney has ever produced. It's funny, it's heart-wrenching, it's exciting, it's beautiful to look at and it's the kind of movie you can watch over and over again. An absolute classic. Disney's next animated film "Zootopia" won't be seen until March 2016, so for now, this marks the end of the Disney collection. And what a way to finish! I love Big Hero 6!

MALEFICENT: This is a very clever film.

SHENZI: I love how Baymax still has such a polite, pleasant voice, even when he's been turned into a powerful super-robot.

PASCAL: My favourite scene is when Baymax has low-battery and acts drunk. "We jumped out a WINDOW!!"
SHENZI: That scene is so funny!

PASCAL: But I also love Hiro's little robot at the beginning with the happy face and the "you're-gonna-die" face. I want one!

HAKU: I first saw this film at the Downtown Disney cinema at Walt Disney World, and immediately loved it. As soon as it finished I just wanted to watch it again!

IRVYNE: That cinema had one of the best digital projection screens I have ever seen! The entire screen was curved, and the picture was so clear it was ridiculous!

MALEFICENT: Once again, Disney kills off a really nice character to make a good story... Tadashi is such a nice guy, I knew it straight away. I thought, "You're gonna die."

HAKU: Superhero movies don't usually have that level of emotional connection.

IRVYNE: You're right. Think about all of those millions of Marvel films. I know for me, I've never felt particularly close to any of those heroes. There's always an emotional distance between the viewer and the character. I tell you what though, this is the fourth time I've seen this movie, and the scene where Baymax shows Hiro the video of Tadashi, it gets me every time. Really gets me.

SHENZI: And to an extent, you can empathize with the villain as well.

IRVYNE: Yeah, we don't excuse what he does, but we can kind of see why he does it.

MALEFICENT: I guessed totally wrong on the bad guy's identity. I was sure it was going to be Krei's secretary. For some reason I just thought she looked pretty evil.

IRVYNE: Well you could pretty much guarantee that as soon as they say, "The man in the mask is Krei," it's not going to be Krei.

MALEFICENT: I was glad to see the token Stan Lee cameo, even though it's animated.

IRVYNE: Fantastic post-credits sequence! Always gets a big laugh. And you know, he's actually fully visible in the painting much earlier in the movie, but you're not really given quite enough time to process that it's him. I certainly didn't notice it on my first viewing.

SHENZI: I love Aunt Cass.

IRVYNE: Yeah, she's good fun. She's a bit nutty.

MALEFICENT: I love the other four heroes as well.

SHENZI: Fred is the best! I love Fred! It's awesome how all of their superhero powers are made up of their chosen field of science.

PASCAL: They make nerdiness look awesome!

IRVYNE: And that's something that the film-makers were pretty strong about: none of these guys are actually superheroes. They just use their scientific knowledge to do amazing things. I wonder how many kids have been inspired to be scientists after watching this movie!

SHENZI: It's amazing how detailed everything looks! When it starts and the camera sweeps over San Fransokyo, it doesn't even look animated. It looks like a real city.

MALEFICENT: San Fransokyo is amazing! What a concept! It's got cherry blossoms, the Golden Gate bridge with Japanese gates... It's so clever!

HAKU: It's a good reprisentation of the style of movie it is, East meets West.

MALEFICENT: How pretty is inside the portal? Ahhhhh!

IRVYNE: I KNEW you were going to say that! As soon as that scene started, I looked across at you and thought, "You're gonna LOVE this!"

MALEFICENT: I DID love it! Amazing fairy-floss world that's constantly morphing and changing! Just beautiful!

HAKU: It looks like concept art made real.

SHENZI: Reminds me of the place Jodie Foster goes to in Contact.

PASCAL: Out into space.

MALEFICENT: I'm glad it's not SPACE-space though.

IRVYNE: It's the space WITHIN space.

HAKU: All of the C.G. is top-of-the-line. The moment when I knew the character animation was going to be really good was right at the beginning of the movie when Hiro peers over the umbrella.

IRVYNE: I think in terms of facial animation, this is the best thing Disney has ever done in C.G.I. If you think of the movies even a few years ago, where Disney started with Chicken Little and Meet The Robinsons... The animation has come SO far!

MALEFICENT: It really has. You forget they're not real people.

IRVYNE: And you just know that hours upon days upon weeks upon YEARS goes into making the characters' expressions that good. One of my favourite moments in the entire movie, which is a really subtle moment, is the look Hiro gets on his face when he sees his own reflection, flying on Baymax for the first time.

PASCAL: And the moment where Baymax watches Hiro's feet moving and copies. It's so cute!

MALEFICENT: The music is really great too.

HAKU: The montage sequences work really well.

IRVYNE: Yeah, "Immortals" is a great song. It's a bit random that there's a couple of seconds of "Eye of the Tiger" in the middle of the movie. I mean, it's funny. It works well. I wonder what possessed them to put it in there though!

MALEFICENT: If they did go ahead and make a sequel - Big Hero 7 or whatever - do you think Hiro might create more microbots to help him?

IRVYNE: The problem with the microbots, from a plot perspective, is that they're too powerful. If you can control microbots with your mind, you can pretty much do anything. So they kind of dug themselves into a hole there. It's like Superman. Kryptonite notwithstanding, he's indestructible.

HAKU: I'm sure they could find a way to disable microbots.

IRVYNE: Yeah, I suppose. So Maleficent, for a movie that you didn't want to see...

MALEFICENT: I did not want to see this. You're right.

SHENZI: How could you have not wanted to see this? It's Disney!

MALEFICENT: I just saw the first teaser trailer and thought, "That marshmallow guy looks really irritating. I don't think I can deal with this." But now I really wish I'd seen it at the cinema! I think Disney made a mistake with that trailer. If they'd shown all of the six heroes and their powers, I might have got excited.

IRVYNE: Anything else that anyone wants to add, before we wrap this thing up for good?

PASCAL: "I am satisfied with my care."

IRVYNE: Very nice!