The Capri Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina, December, 1979. Sleeping Beauty (1959) was re-released theatrically in 1970, 1979, 1986, and 1995.
(Image via Retro Charlotte)
Surveying the Gen X landscape and the origins of geek
Courtesy of Tom at Garage Sale Finds, where you can flip through the whole catalog. I suspect the (costly) films here were purchased primarily by elementary schools, because I remember watching a number of Disney flicks on the trusty projector in the 1970s. They were always the second tier films, though: Herbie, Snowball Express, The Apple Dumpling Gang, etc. I would have jumped around like a delighted madman if one of the teachers had busted out The Black Hole.
Interesting piece on the revolutionary effects of Tron, and the inevitable movement of film to a digital format. Says Richard Taylor, co-supervisor of special effects:
Computers can’t replace the uniqueness of actors. If a motion picture does not connect to your heart, it doesn’t matter how it looks. You cannot save a film by making it look good…
I don’t want people to believe that computers are a threat to society. They’re a creative tool that will allow people to express themselves more clearly, more uniquely. They are only going to make our lives easier.
According to the seller (Beach Parking/eBay), these are from the estate of a Disney animator. It’s a shame we don’t know his/her name or the history of the drawings, because I find them pretty interesting. The basic storyline appears to be in place, but instead of the gorgeously gothic vision we ultimately (and thankfully) got, the artist here presents much cheerier (i.e. typical Disney) fare.
In place of the dreary, massive, cathedral-esque Cygnus, we have the rotund, smiley-faced New Cosmos. And instead of lobotomized zombie slaves, we have a perfectly jovial crew traipsing about the amenity-laden ship like so many Eloi.
The miracle of The Black Hole is that its darker elements were allowed to shine through. That’s a big reason I’m so fond of the film despite the mediocre script.
UPDATE (4/3/13): Please see AcroRay’s comment and link below. These sketches appear to be of prequel stories designed for educational media kits. The kits are, naturally, very rare. If anyone comes across one or has more info, please let me know.
Yeah, I just bought it. Can you make out the shrink wrap surrounding the box, nerds? That’s right. It’s never been opened. I win.
Who the hell is going to play this with me, you ask? Not my wife, obviously. She won’t even let me buy a Winnebago.
There can be only one person, really. He knows who he is. Yes, I refer to friend J.
Friend J. is very probably not going to be happy about it, because friend J. isn’t big on kiddie board games based on a much maligned Disney movie that attempted to capitalize on Star Wars (irony abounds).
In other words, friend J. doesn’t share my obsession with The Black Hole. But that’s too bad. Because The Black Hole is awesome, and he’s going to play this awesome game with me.
There will be vodka.
Son of a bitch. Condorman! And of course the bastards at Disney made the DVD available exclusively to members of the Disney Movie Club.
Flight of the Navigator starts out strong. After a family outing on the Fourth of July, 12-year-old Joey is sent to fetch his annoying little brother from a friend’s house, but along the way big brother falls into a ravine and knocks himself out. When he wakes up and hoofs it back to his house, some old lady answers the door. She has no idea who he is. His parents are nowhere to be found. It turns out he’s been missing for 8 years. His parents, now visibly aged and haggard, break down when the police return him. His little brother is now his big brother.
This is pretty dark stuff for a Disney film, but it quickly becomes sort of an E.T. meets Close Encounters clone, with a dash of D.A.R.Y.L. and a pinch of Explorers. As the kid and his family are trying to figure out what’s going on, NASA discovers a crashed alien spacecraft. Dr. Faraday (Howard Hesseman from WKRP and Head of the Class) smells a link between the unaged Joey and the alien ship, and moves the kid to a scientific facility for observation. Hip teen rocker Carolyn (Sarah Jessica Parker) befriends Joey and eventually helps him bust out and get to the ship (a presence inside has been calling to him telepathically).
You can figure out what happens next. It’s a fun little movie with some substance, back when filmmakers treated kids with some respect.