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Other Don Bluth Films

edited February 2014 in General Discussion

Tell me what other Don Bluth films you liked. I love Land Before Time and All Dogs Go To Heaven and of course American Tail.

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  • American Tail, Rock-a-doodle and Anastasia are probably my favorite non-NIMH Bluth movies.

    Banjo the Woodpile Cat is also fun.

  • edited February 2014

    I can't stand the mawkish nature of American Tail, though I haven't seen it in a long time, so yeah. Other ones I've only glanced at briefly and they fail to measure up to NIMH.

  • Let’s not forget Titan A.E.! A valiant attempt to bring to the American public an animated film that wasn’t primarily for kids, only to see it bomb at the box office due to that all-too-American tendency to deal with such a film by NOT dealing with it. (“But-but it’s a cartoon! Everyone knows cartoons are for kids! Now you’ll have to excuse me ’cause rasslin’s on…”)

  • DavidLeemhuis said:

    Let’s not forget Titan A.E.! A valiant attempt to bring to the American public an animated film that wasn’t primarily for kids, only to see it bomb at the box office due to that all-too-American tendency to deal with such a film by NOT dealing with it. (“But-but it’s a cartoon! Everyone knows cartoons are for kids! Now you’ll have to excuse me ’cause rasslin’s on…”)

    I kinda have a problem with this. Titan A.E.'s failure at the box office was likely due to a lot of factors that don't involve the fact that it was an animated film not intended for young children. Lack of promotion, budget problems, and much more are likely the main culprits here.

    Also, animation didn't necessarily begin as children's entertainment here in the west. We have Looney Toons, which dealt with adult topics, WWII propaganda films made by Walt Disney, and The Flintstones, which also dealt with some mature subject matter to name a few. Also, in modern times we have South Park, The Simpsons, Archer, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and other Adult Swim shows, Adventure Time, Rocko's Modern Life (trust me, this isn't a KIDS show), Family Guy and a ton of others.

    And if you're talking about movies, Heavy Metal, which is certainly not a kids film, was a box office success, and in fact The Simpsons Movie was probably the highest grossing American animated film of all time (I think, last time I checked).

    So yeah, while some may lead you to believe that cartoons are kiddy fodder, I think there's plenty of adult-themed animation out there that has been successful. And if you join any sort of fandom of children's shows/movies, a lot of them are adults, heck, even modern day television shows/movies intended for a younger audience have adults in the fandom. Again, maybe I'm part of it as I don't watch children's shows anymore, I don't think that stigma of cartoons being only for kids is valid or really even exists outside of people's heads. Titan A.E. very likely did have an audience, it's just that the movie didn't find it at the time. Treasure Planet and Atlantis, both aimed at a more older audience, found an audience due to its promotion and such.

  • edited February 2014

    I grew up on Land Before Time and Anastasia.

    The Simpsons, Archer, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and other Adult Swim shows, Adventure Time, Rocko's Modern Life (trust me, this isn't a KIDS show), Family Guy and a ton of others.

    And don't forget Happy Tree Friends...

  • I think I was mainly referring to feature films, and the fact that the great majority of releases in the past ARE intended primarily for kids. Of course there are exceptions, i.e. Titan A.E., Watership Down, The Triplets of Belleville, and “9”, but how many of them have gone to be any more that cult hits? It doesn’t make sense when you consider how much adult animation there is on TV; why does this not carry over into movies? (Obviously The Simpsons Movie is a welcome exception.)

    Then too, adult animation on TV has largely been dominated by comedy—some of it a bit mean-spirited, at least to my taste. But the moviegoing public, at least in the U.S., doesn’t seem ready to embrace straight fantasy or SF animation on the big screen; Elfquest and Michael Moorcock’s Elric come to mind as examples of attempts that never got off the ground. So that was my main point, that and the fact that I’ve met many people who write off what they see as “just a cartoon” when their own tastes aren’t what many would call mature, i.e. so-called Professional Wrestling, which is really just a live-action cartoon, after all.

  • edited February 2014

    But the moviegoing public, at least in the U.S., doesn’t seem ready to embrace straight fantasy or SF animation on the big screen

    I wouldn't go too fast there. Sure, in this day-in-age where CGI reigns supreme, we have real actors in fantasy/sci-fi roles as animation would seem kinda arbitrary in most cases. Simply put, animation is by it's very nature, cartoonish. Therefore, it's easier and better presented to tell a serious human drama, like what you would find in sci-fi and fantasy, with real actors.

    And that's why you see so many comedy adult shows, because animation is cartoonish. It's better to have a good 30 minute cartoon featuring funny looking people doing cartoonish things than a mediocre hour and 30 minute feature film with the same characters staring in an inane plot. 'Cause really, it would be a stretched out episode of a TV show. Movies have beginnings, middles, and ends, whereas cartoon TV shows don't have to have any sort of serious continuity and can begin and end however they please. So it's just easier for this kind of comedy to be attached to a TV show rather than a film and it makes sense.

    NOW, with all that being said, my examples of Atlantis and Treasure Planet ARE sci-fi and fantasy movies that did/do have an audience, but the main difference here is that they used the cartoony nature of their films to their benefit. They use sci-fi as a backdrop with cartoony characters with a dark story, not so much different from SoN. So that type of movie does have an audience if marketed well. But you likely wouldn't see a full on serious rated R adult animated film, the only such rated R adult film you might see is an animated comedy, like the South Park movie. Seeing a serious film like Saw or A Serbian Film in 2D animation would be silly; it would be a comedy instead of a horror film.

    So yes, while sci-fi and fantasy animated films do seem to be rarity, I don't think it to be the common movie goers fault as you seem to put it. If anything, it's the executives who love playing it safe who are at fault here, which is sadly a big problem in this day-in-age. I also think having these films be a rarity is part of its charm. If we got an influx of these films, they wouldn't have have the same original effect that they do now and would just be a commonplace thing. So to recap, I think there is an audience for this stuff and more people will probably be interested in them if they were more common, but for reasons listed above, including the fact that sci-fi and fantasy is leaning more towards the serious people drama instead of the cartoony characters, you aren't really seeing a lot of them

    Also, Watership Down was also a big financial success, it just seems like a cult film now because it's not really a big part of popular culture, it's just a really good animated film. It's probably more well known than you think.

  • edited February 2014

    Adding on to my post from above, I didn't mean to imply that animated films couldn't deal with or touch serious subject matter or even have serious characters, it's just by its very nature, animated films are cartoonish and most sci-fi and fantasy these days deal with serious human interaction, which wouldn't have the same effect if animated. Stuff like Watership Down or SoN with anthropomorphic characters in a dark world, however, would be better suited for animation. Traditional animation can deal with serious subject matter and, in my opinion, can present more mature scenarios better than gooey full on CGI movies (like Shrek or Final Fantasy Spirits Within) can.

    Now let me bring up an animated film that bombed at the box office: Iron Giant. You may say that its failure was the common moviegoers fault and that audiences are simply not ready for a film like it here in the west. Not true. Iron Giant was a loved and still loved film. Critically acclaimed, Warner Bros. was actually attacked for its lack of promotion on many fronts, which is very likely its real reason for failure among other things. We're basically the slaves of executives here who dictate who or what gets funded and promoted. Okay, not really, but if you want to point a finger at someone, chances are you want to point it at the suit and tie people who want to add another yacht to their collection instead of promoting creativity.

  • I loved American Tail almost as much as SoN. In fact I still have one of the orginal plushies of Fievel that I bought at Sears when they were promoting them at the time. I also liked All Dogs go to Heaven, Anastasia, Land Before Time, and Titan A.E. Each of these movies has their strong points that in my opinion, made for outstanding quality entertainment at the time. However, SoN remains not only my favorite Bluth animated film, but my favorite animated film period.

  • Hey Greta, I love The Land Before Time as well and All Dogs Go to Heaven is all right. I have yet to see An American Tail. I hope that it is as good as you say it is.

  • Hello,

    Let's see...I once watched "The Land Before Time", but I don't remember much about it. I saw "An American Tail", and I LOVED the song, "Somewhere Out There", but I almost love "Fievel Goes West" even MORE, because of Tanya's role in that movie. I saw "All Dogs Go to Heaven", and I LOVED it, but I am horrified by the tragic story of poor Judith Barsi! I saw "Thumbelina" when I was in HS (1994), and I loved it! I saw "Anastasia" during my Freshman year of college, and I LOVED the soundtrack from that movie!

    "The Secret of NIMH" has to be one of my favorite Don Bluth movies of ALL time, though!

    I think that much of the appeal of Don Bluth's movies is, for me, the songs! I mean, how can you beat some of those great musical solos, like, "Flying Dreams", "Home to My Heart", "Dreams to Dream", "Soon", or "Journey to the Past"?

    I am a woman who grew up listening to the songs from stage and screen musicals, and so animated musicals are very close to my heart.

    I wish that Don Bluth was still making movie musicals, because his were among the most interesting.

    Bye Now, Mrs. Brisby

  • DavidLeemhuis said:

    Let’s not forget Titan A.E.! A valiant attempt to bring to the American public an animated film that wasn’t primarily for kids, only to see it bomb at the box office due to that all-too-American tendency to deal with such a film by NOT dealing with it. (“But-but it’s a cartoon! Everyone knows cartoons are for kids! Now you’ll have to excuse me ’cause rasslin’s on…”)

    I really wanted to like Titan A.E., and I do enjoy the effects... the story on the other hand... ehhh. There are too many characters and the film moves too quickly from one thing to another for me to really care about any of them, the double-cross bit is a plot-hole wide enough to drive a spaceship through... I could go on, but I won't. I feel like Titan A.E. is a concept that would've worked much better as a TV series than a film. So, quite honestly, I think Titan A.E. bombed not because it was too adult, but more because it was actually not a very good movie.

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