I saw Disney’s Frozen recently! It was very good. I noticed while watching it that I’m not all that impressed by visuals anymore- this was linked in to a thought about how computationally difficult it must be to do the multiple-reflection stuff that some of the ice was doing during “Let It Go.” But people tend not to go “look at how impressive those effects are!” anymore. I think, in terms of digital animation, we’ve hit the peak. Stuff will keep improving, but towards photorealism, and we’ll stop thinking of it as animation.
Now, for those who don’t know, Frozen is loosely based off of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. I actually read that for the first time recently, having just returned from Denmark with a book of several of his original works. Frozen is, I must say, not a whole lot like it. Only bit I noted was in the beginning, with the talk of hearts versus heads.
Trying not to be too spoilery about Frozen. It’s a great movie, go see it. You will hear the song “Let It Go” and you will feel so triumphant. It’s wonderful.
Anyhow, Disney. Sometimes I think about the Disney Corporation, and I get a little bit scared. Because Disney is terrifyingly huge. Seriously: net value of ~75 billion USD. More than 150,000 employees. Disney World alone is 75,000 acres of land, and they also own the several Disney Lands around the world, plus a chain of islands or two, I believe. Subsidiaries including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilms, ABC, and ESPN.
Seriously, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilms. Right there, they own childhood and nerdery.
But I find it hard to keep focus on the fact that that’s a bad thing. This is the golden age of superhero films, if you’re a Marvel fan. They’ve made sweeping moves to alter the Expanded Universe of Star Wars, establishing tighter control over what’s ‘canon.’ That one has varying degrees of support, but I see it as an indicator that they’re about to be producing a lot more canon. Not everyone agrees that that’s a good thing, but I always like to see a fictional universe that I love being expanded.
So much for making a point about how terrifyingly large Disney is. Sure, they’re a megacorporation, the sort of multinational that conspiracy theorists love to hate. But they’re also doing a pretty good job of making movie magic.