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Monday, February 25, 2013

Disney Puts Up A Brave Front At The Oscars

Brave promotional poster - Disney / Pixar artwork
Well, it wasn't exactly Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln last night at the Academy Awards where Oscars where handed out. Steven Spielberg's epic film Lincoln (a DreamWorks release but distributed by Disney's Buena Vista Pictures in the U.S.) was suppose to come up big but instead went out with a whimper with only Daniel Day Lewis's performance as the great president getting the film its only major award as best actor. And since Lewis is the first man to get a third best actor Oscar in its history, he might very well be the best actor - ever. (The extremely serious and somewhat reclusive actor also had the funniest line of the night as he accepted the award from perhaps the greatest female actor ever, Meryl Streep.) Somewhere Walt Disney sheds a tear as the president he most admired and even built an attraction to honor him got pretty much stiffed by the Academy. From what I have read, many believe Spielberg's Lincoln will stand up better over the course of time. Once can only hope as Disneyland will once again on Wednesday of this week, halt the performances of its grand Lincoln attraction and spend a day showing the film Peter Pan in its place. Peter Pan will fill every seat of every showing, the animatronic Lincoln? Not so much.

Disney's Pixar once again flexed its muscle with the Academy with Brave getting the Oscar for best animated picture. This award was a shoe-in for Disney as Brave's main competition was its own Wreck-It-Ralph and Frankenweenie. I pretty knew Brave had it in the bag as the level of detail (and the high production costs) of Pixar films really shows through on the screen. Even the dreadful Cars 2 was visually eye-popping.

Disney also pulled off an Oscar for best animated short film with something called Paperman. I would assume its good but I never heard of it until last night. When I think of Disney short films I think of Mickey and Goofy and Donald but that's just me. Nothing else matters.

With a theater full of celebrities there was one head shot of Disney CEO Bob Iger sitting in the audience going into commercial break. Why? Disney's ABC network pretty much runs the Academy Award telecast though if they want to continue to attract an audience to watch, they had better put on a better show. The three and a half hour telecast was excruciatingly uneven and sometimes dreadfully boring. They now have a year to figure out how to make the show smoother, classier, and funnier. It shouldn't be that hard. 

And don't get me started on that Red Carpet pre-show. There couldn't be a worse 60 minutes of television time ever. I only watched because Mrs. DisneylandTraveler came in the living room and said we had to watch because she likes that sort of celebrity nonsense. Even she got up and left about 20 minutes into it.

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