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Teacher's Pet

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Jessica L, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Jessica L

    Jessica L Member

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    I don't know if anybody here is a fan of the show like I am but I just came back from seeing Disney's Teacher's Pet and it is fantastic! I bought the soundtrack while I was out and am listening to it now. It's nice to see a soundtrack that isn't filled with rehashed songs and there's only one "pop" song on it - which really isn't too bad. The songs are great - very clever and catchy. Of course, I am a huge Nathan Lane fan so that could have something to do with it. :)

    If you haven't seen this amazing film, I urge you to - even if you aren't familiar with the show. And it comes on Toon Disney every afternoon in case you want to catch it. ;)

    Jessica
     
  2. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    Thanks for the info, Jessica! I'm not familiar with the show, but we've seen the trailer for the movie a few times and were interested, especially with the Nathan Lane connnection--also spotted the CD, which surprised me! So.....how is the CD now that you've listened to it--how many songs does Nathan Lane do?

    Thanks again!
    Mike
     
  3. Jessica L

    Jessica L Member

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    The CD is excellent - probably the only downside is that it runs under 40 minutes in length (but the movie itself is only like 70). Nathan (who is amazing in the film) sings in 7 of the 14 songs - most of them being with Shaun Fleming (who does the voice of Leonard and is an amazing singer!) in back-and-forth type lyrics. The songs are very upbeat and have that tendancy to get stuck in your head.

    The pop song is "Teacher's Pet" by Christy Romano. I saw the music video on Disney Channel last week so if you have that station you might be able to catch a listen that way. It's really not bad as far as pop songs go. Two of the songs are also featured in the end credits after Christy's song - Hot Diggity Dog and Mambo Del Perro. They sort of remind me of the "Run Llama Run" track on Emperor's New Grove - that Latin feel to them.

    All in all it's a great CD and I'd highly recommend it - but I'd also recommend watching the movie beforehand. Baseman's fast-paced animation style is not to be missed - the things he comes up with to accompany the lyrics is just hialrious!

    And if you'd like some background info on the series, I'd be happy to post some. :)

    Jessica
     
  4. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    Thanks Jessica--sounds like fun, upbeat music--something we could use now in the dead of winter here in Maine, with yet another cold blast on the way.....

    If you could, just briefly--what is the theme of the series anyway?

    Mike
     
  5. Jessica L

    Jessica L Member

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    The basic theme of the show is a retelling of Pinocchio with a twist. Leonard Helperman's mom is also the teacher of his 4th grade class, so he is already as far from normal as possible (esp. since his mother uses silly language like "right-a-rooney" - she is voiced by That 70's Show's Debra Jo Rupp).

    In the very first episode, his dog Spot (voiced by Nathan Lane) decides that he wants to go to school too. Against the wishes of Pretty Boy (the canary - Jerry Stiller) and Mr. Jolly (the cat - David Ogden Stiers) who want him just to be a lazy soap opera-watching, internet-surfing pet like them. But Spot dons Leonard's clothes, and wears a beanie on his head to hide his ears. He goes to school and finds Mrs. Helperman's class were he says he is a new student. When he says his name is "Spot" Mrs. Helperman thinks he says "Scott" and then he finds his last name, Leadready II on her pencil. From that day on, he becomes the head of the class - constantly going above and beyond and basically becoming the Teacher's Pet (in more ways than one). In classic Nathan Lane style, he will often jump up on his desk to give an answer to a question, or the similar. He's the most popular kid in class too - much to the dismay of Leonard.

    Each ensuing episode focuses on Scott/Spot and Leonard and 4th grade life as well as trying to constantly keep Scott's true identity a secret. For example, Scott has to cross-dress to pass himself off as his mom for Teacher-Parent night. And when it's Parent Profession day, Scott has problems when a mailman shows up. These episodes are also filled with the antics of Mr. Jolly and Pretty Boy. The episodes are very fun but also very intelligent - something rare in Saturday-morning cartoons.

    One other thing worth mentioning to make the movie more enjoyable... Ian Wazeluski is referred to as "Eeu-an" by his fellow classmates for good reason. He does the most random, grossest things ever. For a report on the Odyssey, he made a model of a ship out of ear wax. Just keep that in mind. :)

    Hope this helps - and if you need anymore info - just let me know!
    Jessica
     
  6. SharonKurland

    SharonKurland Active Member

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    It's a Disney CD that I don't own yet. I'll buy it.

    Shut up, Bill .

    -Sharon-
     
  7. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    Thanks for the great synopsis, Jessica! As I said before, sounds like it could be effective treatment for the winter blah's this weekend(only after we see The Return of the King again......).

    One interesting comment my son made last night when we were talking about the movie--"Hey, a Disney movie--with SONGS!" Isn't that something we haven't gotten alot of recently(Brother Bear excluded)......

    Mike
     
  8. Jessica L

    Jessica L Member

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    Sharon you mean you don't have it yet?? :eek:

    :)

    And Michael - I thought the same thing as your son! It's so refreshing to hear the characters sing themselves (and all the people doing the speaking voices do their own singing!). This movie seems like it went virtually unchecked by Disney management - it's a little crazy and there are some moments which do make you understand why it has a PG rating. It's nice to see a movie that isn't completely "by the book."

    Oh - and I found some video clips on Toon Disney's website if you wanted to see some examples of the animation/writing style.
    http://psc.disney.go.com/abcnetworks/toond..._pet/index.html



    I hope you enjoy it! I still haven't seen LOTR and I'm thinking now I'll have to wait until it's DVD release as I'm back at school - very upsetting! :)

    Jessica
     
  9. SharonKurland

    SharonKurland Active Member

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    Nope, not yet. I've put off buying CDs because I have to compile what I have so I don't buy doubles again .

    -Sharon-
     
  10. Jessica L

    Jessica L Member

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    What!?! This is a cartoon from tv - so it makes sense it would be made by the Television Animation Department. And this movie was in the works for quite some time - it's not like they just shoved it out there yesterday to spite the poor animators who've lost their jobs.

    And perhaps if you saw it, you would realize it's actually very good. It was created by Gary Baseman, who was voted by several magazines to the Best Animator/Illustrator of the Year in past years and has also had work in the New Yorker, Time, the Cranium game etc. etc. This is not your typical run-of-the-mill sequel junk. And for the first time in a long time - we actually have characters singing. Shouldn't that be seen as a good thing?

    But I think Disney is seeing this movie in the same light as you are - for they put hardly any effort into marketing it, and it's only made $3 million in its first weekend. Seems a shame they can promote the heck out of projects like Cinderella 2 and Jungle Book 2 when they can't even let a great and intelligent show/movie have a chance.

    I'm all for traditional feature animation - believe me! I'm someone whose dream their entire life has been to work for Feature Animation. I just think this specific movie has very little to do with the Orlando studio closing. When Bambi 2 comes out - then we'll talk... :)

    Jessica
     
  11. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    No, Bill, I hate Soylent Green(interesting 70's-retro-analogy, though), and I also don't have to be served Dom Perignon at every meal......

    I don't believe that garbage for a second about the reason for closing traditional animation--a quick sound-bite to a more complex problem--there's other evil at work. Let's give the folks some credit, as even P. T. Barnum felt that "you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time."

    It's obvious to me, and I'm sure most people, that "Teacher's Pet" is not on the grand scale of "Sleeping Beauty"--it doesn't pretend to be, nor does it have to be-- it still can have its own redeemable features, such as the songs Jessica has mentioned. It's simply a different type of film.

    What's wrong with a fine chardonnay?--save the champagne for a special occasion(Soylent Green doesn't go well with either).

    Mike
     
  12. Jessica L

    Jessica L Member

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    Who said I'm happy with the lowest denominator? Who said this movie is trash animation? I think it's perhaps some of the most innovative animation I've (personally) seen in years. Just because it's produced by the Television department doesn't mean it is trash. Feature Animation doesn't have to be the almighty among animation - it is possible that a movie (created by someone outside of the company no less) that is not done by them can still be quite good. Saying that only Feature Animation can create the "good stuff" is a little extreme.

    Give the movie a chance. Please don't take out all your frustration about the troubles that animation is suffering on this innocent movie. Yes, the company defined animation for the past 7 decades - but there's still many decades to go. I think this film is just continuing that innovative process.

    Jessica
     
  13. Dirk

    Dirk Member

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    Hey there, Hi there, Ho there,

    especially I would also say that Teacher's Pet is different from the usual cheaper animation Disney churns out by NOT pretending to be your classical Disney fare.

    I mean: look at the trailers / posters / covers / ads for Belle's World, Cinderella II, JungleBook II, ... they are designed to make you believe to get a full, typcial Disney animated classic. The drawing style, the colors everything tries to camouflage as a Feature Animation product. They are trying to deceive the audience / custumer.

    Now take a look at the trailers / posters / ads / ... for Teacher's Pet: from the first look it screams that this is a rougher, edgier look and NOT your typical Disney Animation style. It is the same as with the Recess movies - the promotion material makes it obvious that the audience is going to be treated to a product in the style and in the line of the animated TV-series. So there is no way the audience would expect something else - which is the important difference for me.

    Actually I must say that Disney TV animation does do quiet a lot of good work - if you look at their medium and the budgets they get. It is only when their products are sold as up to the level of feature animation that they fall flat.

    Disney TV animation does produce (to stay in the picture used in earlier posts in this thread) some of the best sodas on the market. For that they need to be applauded. I think we can't blame them if some management in Burbank tries to sell the soda in a fake bottle as the champagne usually produced by Feature Animation. But luckily in this case the bottle has NOT been mislabled. Now if only marketing would have had the courage to push the movie anyway...


    Yours
    Dirk
     
  14. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    Check the label.....

    Good point, Dirk--yes, the labelling was appropriate on the bottle for this movie.

    Somehow the movie came up in my son's 7th grade homeroom class; his teacher said he wasn't interested in seeing it, as he didn't care for the style of animation--that's fine, but.....wait a second......I thought the "official word" from the Disney "experts" was that people aren't even supposed to be able to tell the difference between different animation styles--time to issue more "official B.S." while Mike is busy figuring out more cheesey ways to cushion his mattress with more crisp 100's.....

    Mike
     
  15. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    All good points. Let me clarify a few things though:

    What I think Bill is upset about is not that Teachers Pet itself, but that Disney has decided to throw money into this type of film INSTEAD of Feature Animation. Let's be honest. The creator of Teacher's Pet, while still involved, did not animate the film. Most likely he didn't even draw anything used from the film. My guess is he created the characters for the series and may have had some input on the films story. But the majority of the work was done by the machine that is Disney TV Animation. And that of course means that a majority of the majority of the work was done overseas. This is not ok when there are far more talented artists here in the US who were just given thier walking papers. This doesn't mean that Teachers Pet is a bad film, or that anyone who sees it will not find something about it they like. But Walt Disney Animation used to be known for continually pushing the boundaries, coming up with their own characters which went on to become classics. They have pretty much said "We don't need to do that anymore, we'll just rehash stuff and no one will care".
     
  16. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    OK....OK.....but just to repeat, the interest in this film was still that of "alternative fare," something to hold one over until the next Disney feature presentation......and speaking of throwing money around, and feature animation--all the money Mike is "saving" after shutting down traditional animation--what exactly is that money being ear-marked for(dare I even ask)???!?!?

    Mike
     
  17. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    That's true. After Home on the Range, the TV animation will be THE Disney animated films. They won't be the filler. That'll be it.
     
  18. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    Those were the days.......

    I knew I didn't choose the proper words.....but figured it wasn't too early to start reminiscing about the "good ol' days".......

    Anyone catch Roy's "SaveDisney" Walt quote of the day yesterday(I signed up for this on the site):

    "Cartoon features give us our biggest financial
    problems. They take a lot of manpower that could
    produce much more in other fields. Like most
    luxuries, however, there is solid value in the feature
    cartoon. While they're expensive, they are also
    prestige builders."
    --Walt Disney

    .......yep, the "good ol' days"........it's just gettin' tough being a dinosaur in the 21st century.

    Mike
     

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