Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
PG | 1h 35min | Animation, Action, Adventure | 15 June 2001 (USA)
A young adventurer named Milo Thatch joins an intrepid group of explorers to find the mysterious lost continent of Atlantis.
Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Writers: Tab Murphy (screenplay by), Kirk Wise (story by)
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Jim Varney, Corey Burton
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
G | 1h 18min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy | 15 December 2000 (USA)
Emperor Kuzco is turned into a llama by his ex-administrator Yzma, and must now regain his throne with the help of Pacha, the gentle llama herder.
Director: Mark Dindal
Writers: Chris Williams (story by), Mark Dindal (story by)
Stars: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt
Recess: School’s Out (2001)
G | 1h 22min | Animation, Comedy, Family | 16 February 2001 (USA)
TJ and company must save summer vacation from disappearing forever.
Director: Chuck Sheetz
Writers: Paul Germain (television series Recess), Joe Ansolabehere (television series Recess)
Stars: Andrew Lawrence, Rickey D’Shon Collins, Jason Davis
G | 1h 28min | Animation, Adventure, Family | 18 June 1999 (USA)
A man raised by gorillas must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is a human.
Directors: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima
Writers: Tab Murphy (screenplay), Bob Tzudiker (screenplay)
Stars: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Brian Blessed
Toy Story 2 (1999)
G | 1h 32min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy | 24 November 1999 (USA)
When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends set out on a rescue mission to save Woody before he becomes a museum toy property with his roundup gang Jessie, Prospector, and Bullseye.
Directors: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon (co-director)
Writers: John Lasseter (original story by), Pete Docter (original story by)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
A Bug’s Life (1998)
G | 1h 35min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy | 25 November 1998 (USA)
A misfit ant, looking for “warriors” to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe.
Directors: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton (co-director)
Writers: John Lasseter (original story by), Andrew Stanton (original story by)
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Dave Foley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
G | 1h 15min | Animation, Family, Fantasy | 25 December 1959 (USA)
After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies.
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Writers: Erdman Penner (story adaptation), Charles Perrault (story “Sleeping Beauty”)
Stars: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley
G | 1h 14min | Animation, Family, Fantasy | 4 March 1950 (USA)
When Cinderella’s cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother.
Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson
Writers: Charles Perrault (from the original classic by), Bill Peet (story) (as William Peed)
Stars: Ilene Woods, James MacDonald, Eleanor Audley
Ooh! A piece of trivia! These thirteen things about Disney’s Hercules will have you praising the gods, Or cursing us to Hades. Either way, we aren’t speaking Greek here.
13. The role of Hades is one of James Woods’ all-time favorite characters. So much so, any time Disney needs him to reprise the character for any cartoon show and video game, such as Hercules: The Series or Kingdom Hearts, he has agreed to do so. When this film was about to go over-budget, he offered to refund his salary and finish the film for free. Disney decided against this, and finished the film anyway.
12. Hades was scripted as a slow, menacing character until James Woods took the role and impressed the crew with his rapid-fire style. Even after the script was rewritten, Woods ad-libbed many lines.
11. The animators spent 6 to 14 hours to render a frame of the Hydra, depending on how many heads it had.
10. The Spice Girls were originally approached to portray the Muses following an invitation to sing one of the songs, but declined the offer due to scheduling conflicts.
9. Early into production, the filmmakers decided the Hydra would ultimately have thirty heads by which the animators created one master head, and the computer could multiply the heads to their desired scale. Overall, thirteen animators and technical directors spent nearly a year-and-a-half creating the four-minute battle sequence.
8. Due to backlash against the previous two Disney releases of Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules was released to lighten things up. The major criticisms of the two films were that they were “too dark” and dealt with “serious issues” that Disney shouldn’t use in their animated films.
7. The film’s interpretation of the character of Hades is said to be based on Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, who left the Walt Disney Company on bad terms to form DreamWorks Pictures.
6. Directors John Musker and Ron Clements envisioned Mount Olympus as a city composed of clouds. In order for the animators to achieve the directors’ vision, the painted backgrounds of clouds and cloud-like imagery were blended with hand-drawn effects animation to create a morphing technique that were used for baby Hercules’ cradle and Zeus’ reclining chair.
5. A sequel was planned starring the children of Hercules and Meg, which was scrapped along with many other sequels after John Lasseter became CEO of both Disney and Pixar.
4. Scar makes a cameo in this film as a pelt. This could be a built in joke from The Lion King as Zazu joked Scar would make a good throw rug.
3. The promotional ads featured Hades saying “Two thumbs way way up”. Film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel complained, pointing out that “Two Thumbs Up” is a phrase uniquely invented and trademarked by them, and the use of it in promotional ads implied that the film had received “Two Thumbs Up” when only Ebert gave it a favorable review. Ebert thought the ad was misleading and unfair and asked that the line be removed from the ads, while Siskel quipped that they ought to make it “Two Thumbs Down.”
2. “Hades’ line “…hey, you, get off my cloud’, when telling the Sisters of Fate about Zeus, is part of the chorus off The Rolling Stones” single of the same phrase.
1. Despite the positive critical reception, the film under-performed in its theatrical release notably in comparison to its predecessors before ultimately earning $252.7 million in box office revenue worldwide.
G | 1h 33min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy | 27 June 1997 (USA)
The son of Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.
Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
Writers: Ron Clements (animation screenplay by), John Musker (animation screenplay by)
Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned? Well that’s because they just heard about these thirteen things from Disney’s Pocahontas. So thanks for giving us your time while you gobble these up.
13. Animators working on the film regarded it as being one of the hardest films ever produced by the studio. The complex color schemes, angular shapes, and facial expressions meant that the film was in production for five years. The hard work paid off, however. Pocahontas is now frequently cited as being one of the most beautifully, and realistically, animated characters in the Disney canon, her fluid movements mainly being attributed to rotoscoping.
12. The film’s release on June 23, 1995, was also the 400th anniversary of the real Pocahontas’ birth.
11. The Disney executives had all the secondary animal characters, such as Meeko and Flit, lose all of their dialogue in order to make the film a bit more serious.
10. The end credits song “If I Never Knew You”, was cut after children in test audiences found it boring and the adults found it too depressing. At the time, it was almost fully animated, with the exception of color. The unfinished sequence was shown in ABC’s 1997 airing of the film. For the 10th anniversary DVD release, the animation was completed and the song inserted back into the film, as well as a short reprise in the final scene.
9. “Colors of the Wind” was the first song written for this production, and helped define the tone and direction of the film. Though this song features the word “mountain” in its verses, the real Pocahontas supposedly never saw any mountains in her lifetime. The Powhatans and the Patawomecks both resided on the Atlantic coastal plain.
8. John Candy had provided a large amount of voice work into a character named “Redfeather”, a turkey as Pocahontas’ sidekick. However, after Candy’s death in 1994, the concept was scrapped.
7. In real-life, Pocahontas would have been more likely to be topless and likely covered in tribal tattoos, even her face.
6. Pocahontas is one of the few cartoon characters to be granted a proper “photo spread” in Harper’s Bazaar. For the June 1995 edition, Gianni Versace, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, and Isaac Mizrahi all designed special outfits for her, which were then drawn by Disney animators for the magazine.
5. Upon it’s initial release, then-studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg regarded Pocahontas as a more prestigious project than The Lion King, and even believed that it had a chance of earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, following in the steps of Beauty and the Beast. However, the movie was less successful commercially than was hoped with its more adult themes and tones, which did not appeal to younger children.
4. John Pomeroy was the Supervising Animator for John Smith, and watched several Errol Flynn movies, as reference for the movements of the character. Once the look of Smith was finalized, fourteen other animators were drafted in to make him come to life.
3. As all the actors recorded their dialogue separately, they did not meet each other until the premiere. Mel Gibson did not attend the premiere because he was away filming Braveheart. As of 2019, Irene Bedard (who voiced Pocahontas) still has not met him.
2. Shirley “Little Dove” Custalow-McGowan, a descendant of the real Pocahontas, worked on the film as a consultant. When she discovered that there would be a lot of artistic license with history, she left the project. Her appearance was also an inspiration for how the animated Pocahontas would look.
1. This is the first Disney film to be censored before going to theaters, due to “racial slurs in the song ‘Savages'”. Some lyrics where changed for the film, as they were viewed as inappropriate (even though authentic to the setting). If you watch the scene in the film, it’s obvious the animators had no time to match the mouth movements with the new lyrics. Interestingly, for some unknown reason, the original motion picture soundtrack still features the earlier lyrics.
G | 1h 21min | Animation, Adventure, Drama | 23 June 1995 (USA)
An English soldier and the daughter of an Algonquin chief share a romance when English colonists invade seventeenth-century Virginia.