April 21, 2013

Five Ways Disney Ruined Their Own Trailers in the 80's and 90's

I have not seen any Disney trailers in a while (is it me, or do they not advertise movies on TV like they used to?). But in the 90's I did, and the trailers were always so annoying. It was almost like Disney was so sure about its product they felt they could throw together any trailer and it wouldn't matter. 

Just so you know this is all in good fun. Anyway, here are five things Disney did to ruin their own movie trailers.


This happened with the animated films a lot! Now I mean no disrespect to the guy who did these voiceovers, he was great, but my lord shut up!  First he had to remind of us of the earlier fimes. Then He had to tell us who the characters were and set up the basic plot. How about letting the scenes from the movie speak for themselves without a plot synopsis? And finally he always had to point out how the heroes were onto an exciting adventure the whole family would love! It's like they were trying to convince us that yes, there will be a story! A good trailer should be able to give an idea who the characters are and what the story is about without it being spoon fed to us. And just once I would have loved the guy to say "A terrible movie your whole family is sure to hate!"


This was especially bad with the TV spots. Disney would always have three or four trailers showing different scenes. For example, The Rocketeer. I have talked about this before so will keep it brief. One of the reasons I did not enjoy The Rocketeer is because Disney had at least three trailers, all showing different flyinf scenes! I felt like I had seen the movie before I ever saw the movie! This happened a lot but it flat out ruined this movie for me.


Why does Disney feel it's ok to spoil their own movies just because they are aimed at kids? One trailer for 3 Ninja's ends with the father standing with his kids, saying he is going to take his heroes out for pizza (or words to that effect). This is clearly the last scene in the movie! It's like they know they are making cliche tripe so, the heck with it! The Mighty Ducks trailer pretty much tells you how that's going to end. The end of the trailer to Homeward Bound show's the animals being reuinted with their family. The whole plot of the movie is wondering if they will make it, just watch the trailer!!


Then of course you can go the other way. For instance, the trailer for A Kid in King Arthur's Court says nothing of the story except that the kid is in Camelot and wacky hijinks ensue! Yeah, there is a story in there guys. Ok it's a stupid story but still. How about one horribly misleading ad for Hocus Pocus  that only shows the witches running around having fun. The narration tells as these three witches are back to just have some fun but darn it they just keep messing up. Uh, yeah the story is that the witches came back to steal the souls of children! They're the bad guys! And the main children in the movie don't even get a mention? Wow! That ad is one of the worst ever. Do they think kids wont see it if there is anything more than wacky hijinks?


It's as if Disney didn't have faith in one movie so they would lump it in with another. For instance In 1990 Rescuers Down Under came out, and one ad showed about ten second of the movie before we hear "and also from Touchstone pictures" and suddenly it's an ad for Three Men and a Little Lady. In the end we are proudly told that both are playing. Why not just say "we know you wont see the first one but just in case!" It just comes off as a gimmick, let both movies have their own trailers. That may be one reason no one saw Rescuers Down Under, including me. By the way, Three Men and a Little Lady was the sequel to Three Men and a Baby and it was....ok.

As the 90's went on Disney got better. The trailer for Tarzan was fantastic, showing the action but without that annoying talking. and what they did for Lilo & Stitch was just genius. They would show an iconic image from Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Alaadin, and Lion King and have Stitch interupt somehow. Brilliant because not only did we want to know who this Sticth guy was, but we had no idea what the movie was going to be about! That is how you do an effective trailer, not buy giving away every plot detail or cool scene you can!

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