Art of the Day #443: The Raspberries Challenge



Challenge Completed by @RaspberriesWH
Source [1]

A year ago, last February, a Zootopia Fanartist by the name of Raspberries set a challenge for herself – to create a Zootopia crossover pic for every Disney animated feature, from Snow White right up through the present, (not including the Pixar films.)

Three weeks ago,that challenge was finally met with the creation of a Zootopia X Frozen 2 crossover image.

To call Raspberries’ accomplishment remarkable would be a first-class understatement. Her collection includes not only tributes to the classics that we all know and love, but to many of The Mouse’s more obscure efforts and a few practically forgotten films. Make Mine Music? Fun and Fancy Free? Melody Time? I didn’t even know those films even existed until I saw this collection. There are even a few of the more reviled Disney animated efforts included here…with one notable exception, Song of the South.  (I’ve seen that movie and Raspberries was absolutely right to leave it off the list.)

But other than that…well, see for yourselves, as we proudly present the Raspberries Challenge Collection in its entirety.  Enjoy…and don’t forget to show the original artist some love by clicking on the source-links.  (You might want to check out her ko-fi page too.)

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Part One:  The Golden Age

When Disney’s Snow White hit the theaters, it created a sensation.  No one had ever seen anything like this movie and it was a huge commercial and critical success.
And yet…it was the only Disney animated feature from the Golden Age to turn a profit.  All the others posted a loss; not making money until re-released in future years.



O1 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by RaspberriesWH
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Give it up, Honest John; as if Nick Wilde doesn’t know a hustle when he sees one,



02 – Pinocchio by RaspberriesWH
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This, I believe, is taken from the Beethoven Pastorale sequence .



03 – Fantasia by RaspberriesWH
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04 – Dumbo by RaspberriesWH
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Zootopia dropped a Bambi Easter Egg in the scene where Judy is assigned to Parking Duty.  When Bogo walks out the door, what does she do with her foot again?



05 – Bambi by RaspberriesWH
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Part Two: The War Years

None of Disney’s World-War-Two Era animated films were feature-length efforts in the style of the Golden Era.  They were either a sort of animated travelogue, (Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros.) or collections of shorts, (everything else. )  The closest thing to a full-length feature during this period was the Ichabod / Mr. Toad film.



06-Saludos Amigos by RaspberriesWH
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07 – The Three Caballeros by RaspberriesWH
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08 -Make Mine Music by RaspberriesWH
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09 – Fun and Fancy Free by RaspberriesWH
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10- Melody Time by RaspberriesWH
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11 – The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad by RaspberriesWH
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Part Three: The Silver Age

Cinderella was the movie that literally saved Disney Animation from extinction.  As mentioned above, except for Snow White, every animated feature released during the Golden Age was a commercial failure, (most notably Fantasia.)  By the time Cinderella came along the studio’ had its back to the wall; if this movie flopped, it would mean the end of Disney Feature Animation, possibly even the end of Disney as a corporate entity; Walt had staked that much on his new film’s success.

Happily, Cinderella was a box-office smash–but there was price to pay.  Because of the need to keep expenses to a minimum, the animation quality was notably less dazzling in any of the Golden Age movies…and things never improved afterwards.



12 – Cinderella by RaspberriesWH
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13 – Alice in Wonderland by RaspberriesWH
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One thing you have to give the Silver Age; it produced some of the best–and funniest–Disney villains of all time.  A personal favorite of mine was Captain Hook.   Some bad guys are bumbling idiots while others are scary and menacing.  Peter Pan’s nemesis was one of the few that managed to be both at the same time.



14 – Peter Pan by RaspberriesWH
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Perhaps the most parodied scene in any film, Disney or otherwise.



15 – Lady and the Tramp by RaspberriesWH
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16 – Sleeping Beauty by RaspberriesWH
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101 Dalmations was the first Disney film I saw on its initial release…and Cruella DeVille was the first Disney villain that I truly loved to hate.



17 One Hundred and One Dalmations by RaspberriesWH
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Madame Mim from Sword in the Stone was another Disney baddie that was funny and scary all at the same time.  She was so good, Disney even paired her up in a comic with the Beagle Boys. (Remember them?)



18 – Sword in The Stone by RaspberriesWH
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19 The Jungle Book by RaspberriesWH
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Part Four: The Bronze Age

The Aristocats was the first Disney animated feature produced after Walt’s passing. (Jungle book was released after his death, but produced while he was still alive.)  When it hit the theaters, it didn’t do nearly as well at the box office as the studio had hoped…and it was the beginning of a long, sad trend.



20 – The Aristocats by RaspberriesWH
Source [21]

Yes, I know, this was the film that would later inspire Zootopia.  Even so, it wasn’t one of the Mouse’s better efforts…or one of the Disney Studio’s more profitable outings.



21 – Robin Hood by RaspberriesWH
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22 – The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh by RaspberriesWH
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23 – The Rescuers by @RaspberriesWH
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Disney’s second film where the fox was the good guy.



24 – The Fox and the Hound by RaspberriesWH
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Part Five:  The Dark Age

The Black Cauldron was one of the most infamous flops in the history of Disney Animation.  How much of a flop? It made less money than the Care Bears Movie, released that same year…and it set the tone for what was to follow.  Afterwards, Disney Animation cut back even further in the quality department…for the first time employing watercolor and CGI backgrounds in their animated features.

But there was a light at the end of the tunnel–in the persona of the new head of Walt Disney Studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg…who brought with him an entirely new approach to making animated feature-films; henceforth the studio would pattern their efforts after Broadway musicals.



25 – The Black Cauldron by RaspberriesWH
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26 – The Great Mouse Detective by @RaspberriesWH
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27 – Oliver and Company by RaspberriesWH
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Part 6: The Renaissance

With the release of the Little Mermaid, Disney Animation finally found it’s footing once again.  It had all the elements of a Disney Classic, great visuals, a great story, great songs…and oh yes, a great Disney villain.  And much more brilliance was soon to follow.



28 – The Little Mermaid by @RaspberriesWH
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This one was something of a milestone; the first-ever sequel to a Disney animated feature.



29 – The Rescuers Down Under by RaspberriesWH
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The first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar



30 – Beauty and the Beast by @RaspberriesWH
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With Robin Williams as the Genie, this one was practically a guaranteed instant classic.



31 – Aladdin by @RaspberriesWH
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Disney Animation’s biggest hit to date.   And yet…from here on out, things began to go downhill.  Even as Disney was killing it at the box office, trouble was brewing in the front office.



32 – The Lion King by @RaspberriesWH
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Part Seven: The Decline

There are any number of reasons that the quality of Disney’s animation began to slip following the Lion King.  First, Disney’s #2 man Frank Wells died in a helicopter crash the year of its release.  Shortly thereafter, Jeffery Katzenberg left Disney to help found Dreamworks SKG.  Almost immediately, he began luring animators and other staff away from from his old studio for the Dreamworks’ animation division.  There was no way Disney Animation wasn’t going to suffer in the face of such difficulties, and it did.



33 – Pocahontas by @RaspberriesWH
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34 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame by @RaspberriesWH
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34a – The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 by @RaspberriesWH
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Hercules was the film that almost checked The Decline…thanks to the amazing visuals inspired by Gerald Scarfe, (the artist behind Pink Floyd’s The Wall, ) and James Woods’ brilliant turn as Hades.



35 – Hercules by @RaspberriesWH
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36 – Mulan by @RaspberriesWH
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37 – Tarzan by RaspberriesWH
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Part Eight: The Second Dark Age

By now, the Walt Disney Corporation was being torn apart by an internal political struggle…and it showed in the features they put out.  Even wonder why the heck they put a Pomp and Circumstance sequence in the Fantasia follow-up?  That was done at Michael Eisner’s insistence; either the animation department agreed to include it, or he’d refuse to greenlight the the project.  That was par for the course at The Mouse in those days.  With Wells deceased, Katzenberg gone, and his successor Michael Ovitz basically reduced to the status of a drone, there was no one left to hold Eisner’s often impulsive tendencies in check.



38 – Fantasia 2000 by @RaspberriesWH
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Dinosaur by @RaspberriesWH
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Yeah, the Emperor’s New Groove is cult classic now…but at the time of its release, it was regarded at a stinker.



40 – Emperor’s New Groove by @RaspberriesWH
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41 – Atlantis: The Lost Empire by @RaspberriesWH
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The one bright spot in Disney’s Second Dark Age was Lilo and Stitch



42 – Lilo & Stitch by @RaspberriesWH
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Would you believe Treasure Planet was first pitched as a project in the same session as The Little Mermaid?  Yep.



43 – Treasure Planet by @RaspberriesWH
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44 – Brother Bear by @RaspberriesWH
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Here was where Disney Animation reached its nadir…releasing back-to-back films that were two of the biggest bombs the studio ever produced.  After Home on the Range, it would be five years before another hand-dawn Disney feature hit the screens.  That may not seem like a particularly large gap, but during the Renaissance, they were releasing a new one every year.



45 – Home on the Range by @RaspberriesWH
Source [47]

This was the first Disney computer animated film not produced in conjunction with Pixar.  It was another dud, and yet…it would Disney Animation’s CGI division that would ultimately usher in the second Renaissance.



46 -Chicken Little by @RaspberriesWH
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Part Nine: The Recovery

When I went into the theater to see Meet The Robinsons, I had no idea what to expect.  It turned out to be a much better film than I expected; funny, poignant, and with not one, but TWO great plot twists at the end.  Afterwards, I was certain that Disney’s in-house animation studio was about to give Pixar a run for their money.  (Took longer than I expected but it happened.)



47 – Meet the Robinsons by @RaspberriesWH
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48 – Bolt by @RaspberriesWH
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The last hand-drawn animated film ever released by Walt Disney Studios…although rumors persist they may try it one more time.



49 – The Princess and the Frog by @RaspberriesWH
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Part Ten:  The Second Renaissance (Up to the Present)

Tangled was the film where future Zootopia co-director Byron Howard first began to come into his own.



50 – Tangled by @RaspberriesWH
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51 – Winnie the Pooh by @RaspberriesWH
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And here is the movie where Rich Moore first began to strut his stuff.   It was also the film where Disney Animation’s world-building skills really began to shine.



52 – Wreck-It Ralph by @RaspberriesWH
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52a – Wreck-It Ralph by @RaspberriesWH
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This was it; Disney animation’s biggest hit ever up to that point, and the film where they finally took the crown from Pixar.



53 – Frozen by @RaspberriesWH
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This, of course, was one of the bootleg movies Duke Weaselton was peddling.



54 – Big Hero 6 by @RaspberriesWH
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Annnnd, here is where we came in.  Note the Tame Collar Nick is wearing and the topknot on Judy’s head; that marks this as a scene from the discarded ‘Zistopia’ version of the movie.



55 – Zootopia by @RaspberriesWH
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This was supposed to be Disney Animation’s big animated movie of 2016.  And while Moana was a great film it was still bested by Zootopia at both the box office and the Oscars.



Moana by @RaspberriesWH
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The last movie Rich Moore ever directed for Disney; makes me sad to think about it now.



57 – Ralph Breaks the Internet by RaspberriesWH
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And finally…
Here it is, Disney’s biggest animated hit ever; a film that did almost as well commercially as the Zootopia sequel is going to perform.  (Are you paying attention, Mr. Chapek?)



58 – Frozen 2 by @RaspberriesWH
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Until next time…stay safe and be well.

2 Comments

  1. Fun fact: one of these movies was stolen (I’ll let you take a guess), like Disney legit stole a movie from a small company struggling to get off the ground, and probably burned the evidence.
    Basically when Disney was making Aladdin, they out sourced to an Indian coloring company, so did this a other animation company. And this other animation company ended up with Aladdin and was like: “Hay this isn’t our movie!” They saw that Disney made it and sent it back and said: “Sorry there was a small mix up. would you mind sending our movie back?”
    Disney never sent it back. And thus this small animation company went bankrupt.

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