Ice Age — will it dominate overseas again?

If anything signaled the end of Disney’s dominance in the feature-length animated-film department, as well as the rise of computer-animated films over traditionally hand-drawn animated films, it was the release, ten years ago, of Ice Age.

Prior to that, most of the major cartoons — the successful ones, that is — were produced by Disney, distributed by Disney or, in the case of DreamWorks, produced by former Disney people who were either imitating Disney’s style (a la The Prince of Egypt) or mocking it (a la Shrek).* But Ice Age changed all that: produced by Fox, it borrowed at least some of its sensibility from the old Warner Brothers cartoons — certainly where the hapless Wile E. Coyote-like Scrat was concerned — and its makers didn’t seem to have Disney on the brain at all. And audiences still flocked to it anyway.

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Review: FairyTale: A True Story (dir. Charles Sturridge, 1997); Anastasia (dir. Don Bluth & Gary Goldman, 1997)

IN ADDITION to the social and political havoc it caused, the First World War precipitated a sort of spiritual crisis. In a world rapidly giving in to industrialism and modernization, the war proved that science, far from saving the world, was just as likely to speed it along to its destruction. And with so many people killed or missing in the conflict, survivors were left to wonder if they would ever see their loved ones again, in this life or the next.

Two recent movies made for children, based on true stories set in this period, answer that question strongly in the affirmative. But in doing so, they play fast and loose with the known historical facts.

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