Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Etherjammer: Does the definition include the shift from "things that are happening in the movie" to "things that are not actually happening in the movie outside of a character's mind or imagination"? If so, most of the examples listed... well, aren't.

Joie De Combat: The definition usually includes a shift from "things that are unquestionably happening in the movie" to "things that may be happening in the movie but are being depicted in a surreal way that isn't necessarily explained." Most of the examples given do qualify, although there are some (like the James Bond opening sequences, which don't count because they're credits sequences and not part of the action of the movies themselves) that don't. Alice in Wonderland doesn't count because the whole movie takes place in a surreal dream world; The Emperor's New Groove, on the other hand, slips past because it's constantly shifting back and forth between realistic and fourth-wall-breaking surrealism in the fashion of a classic Disney Acid Sequence.

Malimar: Added Fantasia as an example. It seems to me like it either a.) doesn't fit at all; or b.) is the ur-example from which all other Disney Acid Sequences are derived; but nothing in between.

Mysticpenguin: I see some live-action examples down near the bottom of the page. Do those count? Because I'm not really seeing the line between "the action stops reflecting what's really happening and goes into crazy singy dance time in a live action film" and every musical number from every musical made.

Joie De Combat: The distinction is that it's not just that people are singing and dancing around, it's that the laws of nature seem to be entirely suspended: there are Art Shifts during the sequence when the rest of the movie doesn't have them; characters fly during the sequence when they can't in the rest of the movie, or seem to be in zero gravity with no explanation; they are suddenly in completely different locations without it actually being a travel montage; random costume and/or color changes, and so forth. The sequence is surreal in ways beyond the fact that people are singing and dancing, which is why Alice In Wonderland doesn't qualify - yes, the musical numbers are surreal, but so is every other part of the film - and why every musical number from every animated musical isn't listed, only the ones that contain additional unexplained surreal elements. Scenes from live action musicals can be Disney Acid Sequences, but only if there is something surreal about the sequence beyond singing and dancing: compare Singin' In The Rain's "Broadway Melody" sequence to most of the film's other musical numbers.

Mysticpenguin: Okay, I think I get it now. Basically the concept is the difference between say, "Little Shop of Horrors" where the musical numbers mostly just narrate what's going on and the stage version of "Kiss of the Spider Woman" where they're all bizarre, dreamlike mindscrew material, yes?

Etherjammer: I think you've got it, Mysticpenguin, and thus so do I. I'm still concerned about some of the Disney examples on the page, though - the Mulan example, for instance, is a slightly-exaggerated Training Montage, and I think that we're meant to assume that the songs in Hercules are largely occurring as shown, given the framing device. (Oddly, the non-Disney examples don't appear to have this problem.) I suspect that people are seeing the title and reading it as "anything weird that happens in a Disney musical sequence". (Also: I didn't realize until I went to Preview this comment that mine was actually the first comment in the discussion... >_>;;)

Joie De Combat: There are some suspect examples, but with regards to the specific ones mentioned, the "A Girl Worth Fighting For" number in Mulan features an Art Shift into visions of imaginary brushstroke women and, among other things, a shot of Yao showing off a giant hole through his chest as a "battle scar." The Hercules musical numbers also go into classic Disney Acid Sequence territory: "Zero to Hero" does a bunch of fairly abstract illustrations of the music, and during "I Won't Say (I'm In Love)" Meg seems completely oblivious to the fact that there are frescoes of the Muses singing at her.