We begin with #51, and Chicken Little. Picking the film I considered to be the weakest Disney film of all time was actually more difficult than picking the film I considered to be the best Disney film. The reason is because — what are your qualifications?
I struggled on this question for a while, and I flip-flopped between this film and the film that is going to be #50 on my list for the longest time. Ultimately, I decided that it’s worse to have a film that isn’t trying more than a film that just isn’t. So that’s why this is #51.
The 2000s were not a kind decade for Disney. They had some hits, but mostly, they had misses. A lot of this can be blamed on the rise of Pixar, which really messed with Disney’s style. They started to think, “Well maybe we should get into that computer animation game…”, and that really screwed them up, because… well, when you see which of their films are fully CG, you’ll understand.
Chicken Little is a mess. I’m not really sure what the idea with it was. It certainly wasn’t to tell the original story, since they dispense with that within the first sixty seconds. This film is just a jumbled mess of references to other films, gags pandering to children under the age of 5, and the biggest cardinal sin for Disney — using preexisting music. Everything about this film is just wrong. This is definitely the weakest thing Disney has put out.
This will begin a series of articles I’m calling “Ranking Disney.”
When I started the blog, I was already (part of the anatomy)-deep in the Oscar Quest, and I knew two things: that I was going to document all the categories on the blog and that I was going to post something on the blog every day. And back then, I hadn’t finished enough categories for the Quest to start putting those up. So I needed something to fill the first three and a half months before I could start posting categories without worrying about running out. And during my brainstorming session, I came up with the idea for a series of articles ranking all the Disney movies.
The idea was pretty simple — watch all the Disney movies (at the time there were only 50, and the articles were going to be called “Ranking Disney, 1-50,” and I’d put them up in the days leading up to the release of Winnie the Pooh. But two important things happened during that time: first, I realized just how much stuff was involved with the Oscar Quest (plus I went into overdrive to finish it, watching about 500 movies in the span of 6 months), and I moved out to Los Angeles. So these got pushed (to just over a year later).
But now, they’re back. I knew these were going to be one of the first things I posted, post-Quest, simply because it was the thing I was most excited about from the beginning. The other reason was — once I started the blog, I started watching a lot of movies I hadn’t seen before (outside of the Quest, I was doing those Top Tens of the Decade lists). And I realized that I really hadn’t seen that many Disney movies despite loving Disney. I figured I’d only seen less than half of all the movies Disney had put out, with a nice handful coming because I started buying the DVDs once they came out of the vault. And I felt that made me a lesser human being. Plus, here I am, watching all this stuff from the 60s and 50s, and I still hadn’t seen some major Disney movies yet? I had to rectify that. (more…)