Space horror in The Black Hole. Animated death in The Black Cauldron. Ryan looks back at a unique period in Disney's filmmaking history...
When George Lucas started writing Star Wars in the early 70s, the space saga was intended to fill a void left behind by westerns, pirate movies and the sci-fi fantasy of old matinee serials. "Disney had abdicated its rein over the children's market," Lucas once said, according to Peter Biskind's book, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, "and nothing had replaced it."
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Indeed, Disney was one of many Hollywood studios that Lucas had approached with Star Wars and they, just like Universal, United Artists and everyone other than 20th Century Fox boss Alan Ladd Jr, had turned it down flat.