This film was lots of fun. It really lifted me up to see the Disney Company moving in such a positive direction. First: The film is preceded by the classic Mickey Mouse short, Boat Builders. Then there was the Walt Disney Pictures logo AND a Disney Animated Studios logo featuring Steamboat Willie! These two bits tell me good things are around the corner for Disney Animated Feature now that John Lasseter has assumed the Walt Disney figurehead in the company* (i.e. he makes a lot of creative decisions). I remember reading several articles online during the development of this picture where Lasseter stepped in and basically fixed parts of the film that weren’t working. Well let me tell you, it paid off.
This film is heartfelt, funny and features incredibly fun characters. It seemed a little predictable to me only because I’m a sci-fi geek and time travel is one of my specialties (or at least figuring out the grandpa clause and stuff like that). And it really drives home the message of always moving forward through life…never giving up.
* I feel obligated to question Lasseter’s decision to pull Chris Sanders off of American Dog (Chris’ conception) even though Chris was a big part behind the fantastic Mulan and the blockbuster Lilo and Stitch. But hasn’t this been a Disney precedent practically for years (firing really good story/animators and letting them get hired by other companies)? Or was that just an Eisner era thing….I don’t know anymore. And I also feel I have to question something about business and good story. There was a lot of press about how Cars (which was a great film that I really loved) wasn’t a blockbuster smash even though it did fairly well. That film was entirely John Lasseter…if everything he touches doesn’t turn to gold….does it not matter if it tells a really good story? You know what….I say yes!