October 10, 2012 by fansiesalliance
It was the end of freshman year. And while my friends huddled together, poring over pages of notes and laptop screens for the next day’s JOUR 200 (that’s “Journalism History, Roles and Structures,”for the uninitiated) final exam, I stayed up late and watched clips from Newsies on YouTube.
Since flopping spectacularly in theaters (grossing just less than $3 million domestically), the 1992 Disney musical film has found a devoted cult following and spawned a hugely successful Broadway adaptation. Now the film is back on the big screen at the American Film Institute in Silver Spring, where it will run as part of the AFL-CIO’s DC Labor FilmFest.
So what is it that has made Newsies, so reviled at the time of its release, a cultural touchstone for the modern era? How did this “joyless” and “pointless” (as New York Times critic Janet Maslin described it) musical manage to find legs?