Weekly Recap: Cuckoo for CoCo
This weekend saw the release of Disney-Pixar’s latest animated feature, CoCo. After a string of movies that didn’t quite live up to the studio’s best work, CoCo is being praised by critics including our own Daffy Stardust who predicts that the movie will wake home an Oscar. To celebrate the release of CoCo, we took a look at some previous Disney-related articles this week. We also spent some time talking about Alien 4. It was a strange and unexpected mix, but I guess that’s pretty typical around here. If you missed any of the fun and excitement, never fear. Your weekly recap is here to help you get up to speed.
Disney week kicked off with a look back at Pixar’s first-ever animated feature, Toy Story. Then I dusted off a Disney World trip report from five years ago. This may have seemed random, but it was something I was planning to do whether CoCo was released or not. Over the summer, the online photo-hosting service Photobucket changed its business model locking countless pictures (including many of mine) behind a pay wall. As a result, my picture-heavy trip reports that used the service were rendered unreadable. I have been going back and cleaning up some of the site’s earlier articles and this trip report was just screaming for a little TLC. So I went back to my original files, re-edited each one and posted it here at the site where I can control it. I also figured with this week being Thanksgiving, it was as good a time as any to celebrate family. So, there you have it.
Kevthewriter submitted his article about the cultural relevance of Zootopia a few weeks back, but since I knew Disney week was coming up I stashed it away for later. I have to admit when I saw the article, I was a bit puzzled by the premise. A lot of this sort of thing is shaped by your social circles. As someone who spends more time than most interacting with Disney fans, Zootopia doesn’t strike me as a forgotten movie at all. It was the seventh highest-grossing movie of 2016 trailing movies like Disney’s live-action Jungle Book and Illumination’s Secret Life of Pets. The second highest-grossing movie of the year was Finding Dory. Are people talking about any of these movies more than they are Zootopia? In this day and age, movies fade from memory pretty quickly. Expecting audiences to be buzzing about a movie nearly two years after its release is a lot to ask. Movies like Frozen are the exception because their popularity is bigger than just a movie. Having said that, I don’t think Disney ever expected Zootopia to be as big as it was. When it was a hit, they just swept the money into the register and moved on.
And that was more than I expected to say on that subject. While I am rambling, here’s another stray observation. When I was going through the site looking for Disney-related articles for the week there weren’t as many to choose from as I expected there to be. Having already chosen to run with a massive trip report, I wanted to avoid any more articles dealing with the theme parks. This may not surprise you guys, but it turns out that the vast majority of our Disney material is about Walt Disney World. There were a few other articles I could have revisited, but I had already sunk a lot of time into cleaning up the trip report, so I will save them for Disney’s next animated feature.
It’s past time to light up the candles and bring out the cake. Let’s see who celebrated a birthday this week with Jestak’s updates:
- November 20: Andrea Riseborough, Bob Einstein, Jeremy Jordan, Joe Walsh, Ming-Na Wen, Sean Young, Terrence Malick
- November 21 & 22: Adele Exarchopoulos, Alden Ehrenreich, Auli’i Cravalho, Benjamin Britten, Cherry Jones, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mads Mikkelsen, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Terrry Gilliam
- November 23: Boris Karloff, Franco Nero, Jerry Bock, Jonathan Sadowski, Kelly Brook, Miley Cyrus, Ricky Whittle, Rodrigo Prieto, Vincent Cassel
- November 24: Alain Chabat, Billy Connolly, Conleth Hill, Howard Duff, Karine Vanasse, Katherine Heigl, Shirley Henderson, Stephen Merchant
- November 25: Amy Seimetz, Charlaine Harris, Dougray Scott, Gaspard Ulliel, Jill Hennessy, Joel Kinnaman, Katie Cassidy, Mark Frost, Natalia Cordova-Buckley
I usually go right to the superheroes on the list, but not when Sean Young is an option. Young is best known for her role as the replicant Rachel in Blade Runner. I was always a big fan, but that increased tenfold when she dropped by the site to share her thoughts. Of course, Young does have a superhero connection. She was originally cast as Vicki Vale in the Tim Burton Batman but had to drop out after an injury. Then she campaigned a little too hard to be cast as Catwoman in Batman Returns. It didn’t go over.
We also have an Eagle, an agent of SHIELD who pulls double duty as a Disney princess, a scream queen, the Hulk and Black Widow, Frankenstein and the Grinch, the guy who almost played Wolverine and one of Logan’s sidekicks, a Monty Python member, a Twin Peaks founder, and an actress who gives Sean young’s WTHH story a run for her money.
The Movieline archives kicked off with a cover story on WTHH subject Elizabeth Hurley. The theme of the November 2002 issue was “the most” with all of the subjects bestowed titles like “most tragic” and “most decadent”. Hurley was dubbed “Hollywood’s most resilient star”. This was actually the second year in a row Hurley was chosen to grace the cover of the annual “most” issue. In 2001, she the magazine named her “most underused screen sensation”. I think mostly, Movieline just liked having Hurley on their cover.
The November 1992 issue included a look at six supporting actresses that the magazine thought should be given more leading roles and a profile on Spike Lee who was in a good mood while preparing Malcolm X for theaters. We also had an interview with director Curtis Hanson just before the release of his Eminem semi-biopic, 8 Mile. Rounding out the director-themed articles, the 1997 issue included a conversation with Alien Resurrection director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
As it turns out, today is the fifteenth anniversary of the movie that was expected to reinvigorate the Alien franchise but ended up killing it off. When I realized that was the case, I decided to write up a Franchise Killers entry about Alien 4 to accompany the interview. So Disney Week took an unexpected turn into xenomorph territory, but hey, you guys are used to that sort of thing around here.
As we move into December, I thought I would ask readers what themes they would like to see here at the blog going forward. I am planning to devote some coverage to Christmas and Star Wars, but I figured I would throw open the door to suggestions for other topics we could cover. I was talking to Daffy recently and we both wanted to hear a little more from our readers. What do you want more of in 2018?
As I mentioned earlier, this week was Thanksgiving here in America. I was fortunate enough to spend it with family. Mindy cooked up a turkey dinner fit for a king. When I count my blessings, I am definitely thankful for all of you readers and to the site’s collaborators. We’re always doing our best to make the site better year after year.
Next Week: If there’s a theme for next week, I haven’t found it. We may be making a meal out of leftovers, but then that’s kind of how the week after Thanksgiving goes. We’ll be serving up the equivalent of turkey sandwiches all week long, so come hungry!