My favorite Disney movie (and some thoughts on steampunk)

Yesterday I found out that I'm much cooler than I thought I was.

How did this come about, you ask?  Well, I was floating around the Interwebs in my usual morning fashion, and I stumbled upon this blog post by Scott Westerfeld about Disney and steampunk.



(For those of you unfamiliar with steampunk, here's a link to the Wikipedia article.)

Scott, along with many others, argues that, far from defiling this subculture, Disney has always been at the forefront of steampunk. And as I was reading the article, I realized he was right.  Specifically, I'd like to talk about my favorite Disney movie, The Great Mouse Detective.
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I have loved this movie for two decades, and it's always been one of my top five Disney animated films, along with The Rescuers, The Aristocats, and Duck Tales, the Movie.  It combines my love of Sherlock Holmes with my affection for cartoon mice (long story) plus there's no "icky kissing". (a direct quote from my eight-year-old self)

However, The Great Mouse Detective  is now permanently on the top of the list as my All-Time-Favorite-Disney-Movie-Ever, because it is also excellent steampunk.

Don't believe me?  Here are some stills from the movie.




And I couldn't find a picture of the STEAM-POWERED ROBOT  that the main villain wants to put on the throne, but here's a clip that has it.  (the robot shows up around 2 min, 30 sec.)




So to recap, Disney has been doing steampunk off and on for decades, and one of my favorite Disney movies is steampunk. Therefore, that makes me an early adopter of the subculture, and not at all someone who had to have it explained to her three times before she understood what it was about. *cough cough*

No one ever told me I was such a trendsetter.
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What do you think?  Is Disney making steampunk uncool? Or are we all now a little cooler since it turns out we liked this kind of story all along?

9 comments:

  1. I haven't actually seen this movie, but it's interesting how things that have been around for awhile become hot trends all of the sudden. The steam punk "trend" baffles me because I don't think there have been many books coming out in the genre. Everyone keeps saying it's a huge trend but...maybe they just haven't hit the shelves yet.

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  2. Disney itself is a little strange. I mean, it bounces back and forth between awesome stages and lame stages. Recently, it's been going through a lame stage. *sigh* but it's done it before, and ocme back with awesome movies like the Lion King.
    But I think steampunk will still be cool, because disney is disney. The people who would think steampunk is awesome and dislike disney aren't going to care what disney does, the people hate steampunk and like disney might find out they like steampunk after all, people who like steampunk AND disney are in for a treat, and the people who dislike both aren't going to care anyway.
    Sure, there'll be a minority of pompous teenagers who now officially declare steampunk 'uncool,' but if we ignore them, they'll go away. :D
    Or ignore their comments, anyway. Ignoring people is mean. :)

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  3. Jade- I had much the same thought. One of the other posts I linked to pointed out that steampunk hit its recent heyday when it became a fashion statement, which is possible.

    I've come across a lot of steampunk-ish stuff lately that isn't really marketed as steampunk. Like THE HUNCHBACK DIARIES, and THE LOOKING GLASS WARS. I think a lot of it is just in hiding. :)

    Bethany- I love this! "people who would think steampunk is awesome and dislike disney aren't going to care what disney does, the people who hate steampunk and like disney might find out they like steampunk after all, people who like steampunk AND disney are in for a treat, and the people who dislike both aren't going to care anyway."

    Bwahahaha! So true. It probably won't really change anything will it?

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  4. I've never seen the movie, but Disney can make ANYTHING cool!

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  5. OH my gosh, I haven't seen this movie in forever! I used to have it on cassette tape (!) with a read-along book. Wow, what a trip down memory lane! :)

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  6. PJ- Heehee! I love that you say that! And it's pretty true that Disney can make most things cool (Except for Pocahontas. I was not pleased with that movie at all.)

    Laura- Yah for memory lane! And if you want to know something amusing, I still have it on cassette tape. I bought it at a used video store for two dollars. :)

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  7. I haven't seen this movie, but leave it to Disney to use animation in such an innovative way.

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  8. It's always gratifying to see good parental influences blossom. BTW do you still have a crush on Cary Grant? ;-)

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  9. Joanne- True. And this is old-school animated Disney from the eighties even. The Mechanical Kingdom is just a line of buttons and stuff right now, but I think it would make an awesome movie.

    DR- Um... heck yes? Never stopped actually. *sighs* No movie star today compares...

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