For this installation of the Disney Odyssey we turned to a couple of real experts: Maureen Smith and Daniel Johanson of Chicago’s own Scapi Mag! Two trained opera lovers and performers, Daniel and Maureen have made it their mission to seek out and promote independent artists, companies, collectives, and projects of all kinds in the city of Chicago, whether it’s theatre, poetry, music, opera, or beyond. As I have never seen this movie and don’t know a whole lot about which classical hits are included, I thought it would be neat to get an inside perspective from these two phenomenal music nerds on what pieces are included, why they’re unusual, and how well the animations play along (or don’t).
The Film: Fantasia 2000 (2000)
My good friend Eli Kurtz has spent this month of May running a Kickstarter for his brand new setting for Savage Worlds, a wuxia/folktale inspired world called The Blackwood. He has spent the last several years building this world and preparing to bring it to the public, and his Kickstarter is fully funded at this time, but with PLENTIFUL stretch goals yet to be reached in the last home stretch here (including more fiction from yours truly). Eli asked me to write a folktale for the game book, and so I chose a few interesting threads from various world folklore traditions to weave together into a new glimpse into the dangerous world of The Blackwood.
If you’re so inclined, please CLICK HERE to check out their Kickstarter and contribute if you can!
I give you “The Lesson of the Hunter and his Stepchildren.” (Extra points if you can name some of the influences on this story!)
As we wrap up the Disney Renaissance with #37, we were happy to finally have someone with us who we’d been looking forward to teaming up with for a while now. Justin Blankenship is a pretty talented guy we met here in Chicago when working on “A Klingon Christmas Carol” in 2016. Since then, he’s been gaming and hanging with us on all sorts of other fun things… but this is his first Disney Odyssey appearance. He also did a really hilarious (somewhat sweary, slightly NSFW) webseries called “Muggled” and we highly recommend it! Additionally, you can catch Justin on our brand new weekly live stream through One Shot Podcast Network, a Fate inspired game called Warda: Curiosities!
TL;DR – Justin’s cool and he came to watch Tarzan with us. Get hype.
The Film: Tarzan (1999)
The thirty-sixth installment of the Disney Odyssey brings us to the year 1998 with an exquisite example of Disney’s growing awareness that women can kick just as much trash as men and don’t necessarily require overt romance or a wedding to satisfy their movie destiny. I have long been deeply-rooted in my love for Mulan as a Disney Princess, as she is the only Official Disney Princess to date to be made so for extreme acts of courage instead of a royal bloodline or marriage.
It is an interesting film, more on the dark and mature side of the Disney spectrum, especially in the latter years of the Disney Renaissance. It deals with war very openly for the first time in any of the animated feature films, and yet it still holds a great deal of quotable levity and heartfelt sweetness.
This time, Drew and I were joined by fellow Disney dork and performer Kat Geertsen!
The Film: Mulan (1998)