The Toon Talk Top 10 of 2005
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by Kirby C. Holt
At the close of the year, it is time once again to raise a glass to the fruit of the old year and look forward to the new year dawning. In other words, welcome to:
The Year in Review:
2005 was the first year that Disney released two Platinum Editions in the same year; one was brilliant (Bambi), while the other (Cinderella) was overcome with offensive cross-promotions.
Animated features ranged from the sublime (Howl's Moving Castle, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) to the mediocre (Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Chicken Little, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) to the just plain awful (Robots, Valiant, Madagascar).
Releases of Special Edition DVDs slowed, with the new hit The Incredibles (the best-selling DVD of the year) along with old favorites Pocahontas, Toy Story (both in tenth anniversary editions - feeling old yet?) and Toy Story 2.
On the live action feature front, the familiar reigned with more sports (The Greatest Game Ever Played), super heroes (Sky High) and sequels (Herbie: Fully-Loaded); and how could we forget all those big-screen adaptations of popular fantasy novels with really long titles (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)?
Slowed down in recent years, original video premieres had a resurgence of sorts in 2005, with Mulan II, Tarzan II, Lilo & Stitch 2 and, the best of the lot, Kronk's New Groove, plus the reissue of the first two Aladdin sequels.
Repackaged classic cartoon collections were all the rage this past year, beginning with Walt Disney Classic Cartoon Favorites (9 volumes), Timeless Tales (3 volumes) and Walt Disney's Fun Factory (2 volumes), not to mention two of the Walt Disney Treasures, Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts and The Chronological Donald, Volume 2.
Vintage TV shows rounded out this year's Treasures wave with Elfego Baca & The Swamp Fox: Legendary Heroes and The Adventures of Spin & Marty, while two incarnations of The Mickey Mouse Club were revisited as well. Other television titles ranged from popular greats of the past (The Muppet Show, The Golden Girls) to the latest favorites of today (Lost, Desperate Housewives).
The Toon Talk Top 10 of 2005:
One of the most beautifully realized pieces of cinematic art, Walt Disney's fifth motion picture was lovingly canonized in this two-disc edition. The highlight of its bountiful supplements: Inside Walt's Story Meetings, a surprisingly effective alternative to all those staid audio commentaries. An absolute must own for every Disneyphile.
Years from now, this Oscar-winning hit will be remembered, as Bambi was before it, as groundbreaking not only in animation technique but also in storytelling brilliance. Pixar's usual host of DVD goodies yielded not only their typical zany backstage antics, but a whole Easter basket-full of hilarious hidden eggs.