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Discussion in 'Platypus Comix' started by Peter Paltridge, Sep 1, 2014.
Watch them make a silk purse out of a llama.
Pleased to see you cover this one, as your description of the film's turbulent back story in your old "Bury That Film" article was naturally very simplified and basically played the entire conflict off as case of Eisner vs. everybody else (Eisner barely has any presence in The Sweatbox at all, you'll notice.)
For me (and what I expect was quite a common experience for animation fans in summer 2012) suddenly and unexpectedly being able to see The Sweatbox was a deeply fascinating experience but something of an underwhelming one too. And not for the lack of anti-Disney juiciness - after more than a decade of secrecy, suspicion and speculation (and vague reviews in the vein in of the first one you quoted), it was honestly a relief that the documentary didn't live up to its reputation for being an all-out behind-the-scenes *****fest that painted the Disney execs in the ugliest of lights. Certainly, it captures the frustrations that inevitably entail when a project fails to come together, but I was struck by just how professional everyone was able to remain throughout (at least in what we're shown). Ultimately, I was disappointed by just how little we actually learn about the original vision for Kingdom of The Sun, beyond the tiny out-of-context snippets the film taunts us with. I'd like to have known what, specifically, Schneider and Schumacher's issues were with the work print that they saw - we learn that it "isn't working", but only the vaguest, most generic explanations as to why.
The Emperor's New Groove is an entertaining film (and a much more successful attempt at wacky irreverence than was Hercules), though I remain forever curious as to what might have been.
I think if I saw Kingdom of the Sun, it would have suffered from comparisons to the Mickey Mouse version of The Prince and the Pauper. The Emperor's New Groove, on the other hand, felt pretty hilarious, even if I don't consider it my favorite Disney movie of its decade.
I was watching the bonus features on the Aladdin DVD again, and what struck me was how much time they spend talking about the version of the film we've already seen, vs. the abandoned version they spend three minutes fretting over yet say nothing about. When anybody watching this would be most curious about that abandoned workprint. The point of watching these bonuses is to learn something new.
If Disney ever had the guts to come out with a DVD of rough alternate versions of their movies, it would sell like crazy. I wish they'd swallow their pride and just let us see some of these things. I'd like to see Kingdom of the Sun, the adolescent version of Aladdin, and the horrible version of Toy Story where Woody is an irritating jerk.
I'd wish that it would have the version of Frozen in which Queen Elsa turned evil when she ran away, if only to see context and storyboards for the deleted songs.
EDIT: After watching The Story of Frozen, I'd also wish for the version in which Anna and the Snow Queen weren't even sisters.
Always wanted to know what this documentary was about, so I'm gonna get on reading and see what all the hubbub is. Thanks for making this article, Peter!
Amazing. Emperor's New Groove is actually one of my favorite Disney films (its certainly the funniest). Imagining this as a straight Disney film is so weird, its almost like finding out that Spaceballs began development as a serious space opera or that Man of Steel was originally intended as a light, upbeat superhero story.
Me too. I compare this movies production to Richard Williams' The Thief And The Cobbler, only much much shorter, and the fact that it suffered from having too many side plots, which I think thief suffered from too. Either way, I prefer the final product.
Those, and Chris Sanders' original work print for American Dog before it was retooled into Bolt. Whatever story problems it reportedly had, I'm sure it would have at least been more inventive than the movie we got.
Also, it's interesting that you identify The Road to El Dorado as Dreamworks' answer to Kingdom of The Sun, because that movie had a notoriously troubled production all of its own - like KOTS, it went through multiple rewrites and a change of directors, and the production team apparently had difficulty settling upon whether to play it as more of a comedy or drama, or what age demographic they wanted it to appeal to. It's a lot more evident in the final product in El Dorado's case, I think. Whereas Emperor never betrays that was ever intended to be anything radically different to what it is, El Dorado comes off as a much more awkward mishmash of ideas that all seem to be trying to pull the film in different directions.
Wow. The change from â€‹Kingdom of the Sun â€‹ to â€‹The Emperor's New Groove is jarring.
I forgot about the sequel. A 0% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes doesn't sound all that great.
The sequel is fairly typical for the direct-to-video nasties that Disney was churning out at the time. Which is to say, three different stories back-to-back, with an unconvincing framing device designed to make the whole thing look somewhat cohesive. One wonders if it was salvaged from yet another proposed spin-off TV series that wasn't picked up.
The funny part is that Disney made a spin-off TV series called the Emperor's New School, which I thought was decent.
There was a version of this documentary that Disney did approve of for the film festival circuit....its apparently much different in explaining the story behind the production.
Also, most major film productions have story changes before it even gets to production; one good example is "Back to the Future"; the original 1982 storyline the time machine was in a refridgerator that used Coke to make it go back in time; the movie ended with the refrigerator being sent to the Nevada Desert during a atomic bomb test to shoot it back to 1985, which when Marty returned, it was a steam powered world where Rock N Roll hadn't been invented yet....yeah....
The original Back to the Future DVD included that script as a DVD-ROM bonus feature.
Kronk's New Groove is actually one of the better DTV sequels, though given some of the competition (Fox and the Hound II, Pocahontas II, Hunchback II), that's not saying much. And it goes without saying that it's nowhere near the quality of the first film.
I've seen The Sweatbox and while it would've been nice to see more of Kingdom of the Sun, it was still fascinating to see the team struggle to make this film work. A part I particularly enjoyed is when Marc Shaiman's score was shelved because his music was too "Mickey Mouse-y". Someday I'd love to hear his unused tracks.