Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Walt Disney Animation Studio's 34th feature film.

Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 34th feature film.

http://www.firedrive.com/file/B772A272D8FE8855

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that it is a lot better than Pocahontas is. I do think that it has a lot going for it, and there is a lot of good stuff in it. The animation is good to look at, the music is phenomenal, the characters are likable, and there is a lot of story, but the tone of the movie is an issue, and I do feel like they made a mistake with the protagonist. This movie is definitely at a crossroads.

Production

I think this film started development in around 1993. Executive David Stain was reading the comic book version, and was inspired to make an animated film off of it.  Beauty and the Beast directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise were working on minor projects (finished off BatB as while ago), so they easily took up this project.

There were many issues that took place adapting this film. Frollo was hard to get done, and they had to change his role a lot, as he was changed from the Archdeacon to the Judge, and his song Hellfire was almost cut from the film. I know that God Help the Oucasts had some issues as well. They made the song Someday to replace it, only to stick with God Help the Outcasts.

I could not find anything else on the production of this film.

Story

The film starts in 1482 Paris with The Bells of Notre Dame, which is narrated by Clopin (Paul Kandel), who sings about how Quasimodo (Tom Hulce)’s parents snuck into Paris, but was caught by Judge Claude Frollo (Tony Jay), and she was chased all across town, to only be kicked and cracked her head on Notre Dame, dying in front of Archedean (David Ogden Stiers) ‘s eyes, who also stops Frollo from throwing baby Quasi in the well. Frollo has to raise him as debt for killing on Notre Dame, and the old man decides to raise and leave Quasi at the attic to raise, so he can visit him whenever, and to hide him so no one will see him.

20 years later, Quasimodo is a grown, deformed redhead, who is encouraging a bird to fly, to which it eventually does. The gargoyles eventually wake up and immediately ramble obnoxiously and Hugo (Jason Alexander) farts with his armpit. I will just get this out of the way. I hate the gargoyles. I get it that they need comic relief, but they did not need to make them so damn obnoxious and over the top. They completely ruin the dark tone of the film, and distract the main plot. They mean well, but they are really grating. Them interrupting the plot is a HUGE issue in the movie. Let’s move on. Quasimodo does not feel like watching the Festivals this year because he is never allowed to go, and knows that Frollo will HATE that he wants to go to the festival, so he does not bother asked.

The gargoyles convince him to go to the festival, but as he leaves, Frollo arrives, and works with his manipulation. He almost always make Quasimodo feel like shit without really saying so. He has Quasi remembering the alphabet by making him say insults and negative words. He accidentally says Festival for F, which makes Frollo lose it.

Out There is another good song. It gives more depth to Frollo and Quasimodo's relationship, and he does get his "I Want" song. Some people say Quasimodo is bland because he is only his story of being an outcast and ugly, and.........that is kind of all he is, but they do make him a flawed, overly naive, and inexperienced character, who does go through issues....unlike Rapunzel. He wants to roam around with the normal people. Hucle did a REALLY good job with the song.

Out There is another good song. It gives more depth to Frollo and Quasimodo’s relationship, and he does get his “I Want” song. Some people say Quasimodo is bland because he is only his story of being an outcast and ugly, and………that is kind of all he is, but they do make him a flawed, overly naive, and inexperienced character, who does go through issues….unlike Rapunzel. He wants to roam around with the normal people. Hucle did a REALLY good job with the song.

So we go in the town to see war hero Phoebus (Kevin Kline) making his way back into town for being gone for “a couple of decades”. A few gypsys dancing catches his eye, and is stunned when he lays eyes on Esmeralda (Demi Moore). They share a glance, but some of her gypsy crew give the signal whistle, meaning the guards are coming. They grab her and accuse her of stealing money (that she earned from dancing), and she manages to escape. Phoebus moves his horse so the guards will fall and not get to her. She sees this and blushes. He apologizes, and they are about to curse him off, until they realize he is the Captain Phoebus.  They take him to the Palace of Justice, and he passes by a disguised Esmeralda to pick up her coins and give it back to her, leaving her shocked.

So he goes to the Palace of Justice, and Frollo is enjoying watching someone get whipped. Phoebus is not pleased that he is called to Paris to take care of “palm readers and fortune tellers”. Frollo is hoping he will be a good captain and not disappoint his last one (who I think is getting whipped for the villain’s enjoyment). They go to the festival (because it is his job as a council member) as Quasimodo sneaks out, which leads us to or third song Topsy Turvy.

 

This is another good, fun song. We see Esmeralda pole dance, making all the men want to "make it rain" if they had bills, and it explains how out there Gypsies are. It is to celebrate the opposite. So Quasimodo wins after Clopin forces him up to stir trouble, and he is praised, but for some reason, a guard throws a tomato at him, which everyone joins. This is a sad scene, and Frollo feels no way about it.  I have to call out a plohole. How did a random commoner know about the Hunchback of Notre Dame? I thought no one ever saw Quasimodo, and ti was a big secret. This makes absolutely no sense. This is easily Esmeralda's best scene in the film.

This is another good, fun song. We see Esmeralda pole dance, making all the men want to “make it rain” if they had bills, and it explains how out there Gypsies are. It is to celebrate the opposite. So Quasimodo wins after Clopin forces him up to stir trouble, and he is praised, but for some reason, a guard throws a tomato at him, which everyone joins. This is a sad scene, and Frollo feels no way about it.
I have to call out a plohole. How did a random commoner know about the Hunchback of Notre Dame? I thought no one ever saw Quasimodo, and it was a big secret. This makes absolutely no sense. This is easily Esmeralda’s best scene in the film.

Quasi ends up being covered in food, humiliated as he was tied up. Esmeralda comes out from changing, and stops the madness. Frollo tells her to stop, but she refuses and yells “JUSTICE”. This gets her into shit with Frollo, and orders Phoebus to get the guards to capture her, but she escapes with her kick ass moves and her parlor tricks, putting them to shame, and everyone cheering weirdly for her. I think they did this because everyone hates the guards so much. Quasimodo rushes inside, regretting ever leaving the attic, and realizing that Frollo is right.

Phoebus sees Esmeralda’s old person disguise enter Notre Dame, so he curiously follows her in. She senses that someone is following her, and without instinct, she grabs his sword and throws him down to the floor with no ease. He tries to calm the situation, but she is more than angry. He trips her to the floor, and they end up exchanging witty commentary as they….swordfight….with her using a candle stick. What I will say about their relationship is that Phoebus treats her like a human being. He does not praise her (Quasimodo) or treat her like a bad toy (Frollo). He says that he does not want that to happen and wants them to properly introduce themselves. She gives him an extreme side eye when he tells her his name means sun god, and when she tells him her name, they go closer to one another, before Frollo shows up.

Captain tells her to claim sanctuary, but she thinks he set her up. He tells Frollo that she claimed sanctuary, and Archdeacon tells all of them to leave. Frollo hides as everyone leaves before grabbing her by pulling her arm behind her back, and sniff her hair. He threatens her that gypsies do not do well in stone walls, and he will be waiting for her as soon as she leaves. She has a little chat with the Archedeacon, disgusted by Frollo’s actions and no one stopping to help Quasi. This leads too…

This song shows her extreme selflessness (compared to the others praying about fame, wealth, and for glory to shine on their name). It is sad that she says that she is not supposed to talk to God. Fucked up stuff.

This song shows her extreme selflessness (compared to the others praying about fame, wealth, and for glory to shine on their name). It is sad that she says that she is not supposed to talk to God. Fucked up stuff.

Quasi comes down to listen to her angelic voice, but a villager yells at him for being down there after causing enough trouble, causing him to run off and for her to follow him. She arrives at his attic, and is stunned by his sculpture of the town. They bond over not being outcasts, and they tell one another that they are good people (as he thinks every gypsy but her is ad, and he is an abomination. She realizes that Frollo is his master, and she asks him to escape with her, which he refuses. He instead offers to help her escape (as she helped him), and they do this by climbing down the outside of the church, and are almost caught by guards She gives him an artifact that holds the map of Paris in his hands, and she walks off. As soon as he manages to get back inside, he is approached by Phoebus, and the hunchback is ready to drag his ass like a gangsta so they could fight in the stairwell.

Look at that? Tell me that is ot impressive. I dare you. Anyways, Phebus came there to apologize to Esmeralda for trapping her there, and tells Quasimodo he is a good friend.

Look at that? Tell me that is not impressive. I dare you.
Anyways, Phoebus came there to apologize to Esmeralda for trapping her there, and tells Quasimodo he is a good friend.

The Gargoyles make things worse as they put in a bunch of crap in his ear, like how Phoebus was stealing his girl pretty much already happened before Quasi and Esmeralda ever met and how she likes him, which leads to the smallest and probably the weakest song Heaven’s Light, which is really only there to contrast Frollo’s burning lust and hatred for the gypsy girl, which he sings about in Hellfire. He really believes he is doing something right, and that he is being tempted by the devil. He is begging Mary and the lord to have mercy on him. It gives him a lot more depth than most other villains do not manage to get. He and Gaston are why I like the more realistic, magic-less villains. The guards tell Frollo that Esmeralda has escaped.

The next morning, Frollo goes on a bloddy rampage to look for Esmeralda, and burns houses, drowns carriages, and arrests/or kill gypsies and anyone who he thinks would help gypsies, which Phoebus slowly starts to dislike and wants no part of. This comes to a climax when he refuses to burn an innocent miller family’s house, which causes Frollo to do it himself, and the military hero to save the family. This causes him to be ordered to be beheaded by Frollo, but is saved by a disguised Esmeralda, who throws a rock at Frollo’s horse, which distracted everyone, and Phoebus managed to escape and steal Frollo’s horse. The guards shoot him down, causing him to fall over a bridge into the river. Esmeralda goes down to save her budding crush (it is amazing as to how proactive she is in this movie and how many people she saves).

I am just going to say what I think many would have been a better option and payoff from the movie; Esmeralda should ahve been the protagonist. It would have developed her romance with Phoebus better, and her friendship with Quasi as well. We could have seen more of the gypsy life. I understand he directors and company wanted to tell an Ugly Duckling story, but at around this point in the film, the plot and action centers around her instead of Quasimodo.  I know she is more interesting than our actual protagonist (as SHE was the protagonist in the book), but you need to have the majority of the focus on the main character.

I am just going to say what I think many would have been a better option and payoff from the movie; Esmeralda should have been the protagonist. It would have developed her romance with Phoebus better, and her friendship with Quasi as well. We could have seen more of the gypsy life. I understand he directors and company wanted to tell an Ugly Duckling story, but at around this point in the film, the plot and action centers around her instead of Quasimodo. I know she is more interesting than our actual protagonist (as SHE was the protagonist in the book), but you need to have the majority of the focus on the main character.

So Quasimodo is in a sad mood, and the Gargoyles do not want him to worry anymore. He approaches to look at the city gone wild, and wonders if she will be okay. Hugo says that she will be fine, with Laverne (Mary Wickens in her final role, to be replaced during the song by Jane Withers) and Victor (Charles Kimbrough) singing A Guy Like You, which is about how he will be a good boyfriend, and how Esmeralda cannot resist him, which is building him up to only get crushed, when she and her gypsy friend bring a barely conscious and injured Phoebus to the room. She asks to look out for him, and as she sets him down (and they are alone) she and Phoebus end up kissing, as he says he is not sure if his heart is pierced (and if anyone did, it is by her).

I know many people hate this kiss and Esmeralda and Phoebus as a couple, but......I do not. I think they work well together. Their relationship is underdeveloped, but they KNOW that and do not pretend like it is anything else. I do feel bad for Quasimodo in this scene, and it makes it only the more emotional. I actually like how he is a bit bitter when he talks to Phoebus later on in the film for "stealing his girl". It is clear that he is not ready for a relationship, and there is no chemistry with him and Esmeralda.

I know many people hate this kiss and Esmeralda and Phoebus as a couple, but……I do not. I think they work well together. Their relationship is underdeveloped, but they KNOW that and do not pretend like it is anything else. I do feel bad for Quasimodo in this scene, and it makes it only the more emotional. I actually like how he is a bit bitter when he talks to Phoebus later on in the film for “stealing his girl”. It is clear that he is not ready for a relationship, and there is no chemistry with him and Esmeralda.

Esmeralda and her friend have to leave, and Frollo (who realized Quasimodo is how she escaped) arrives to pay his adopted son a visit right after his lust target has left. He loses it on Quasimodo, throws the food off the table, and burns the mini statue he made about Esmeralda, telling Quasi that she is manipulating him with her dirty, gypsy spell. He reveals that he and his men found the Court of Miracles, and is planning to attack at dawn, and leaves. Phoebus (who was barely conscious) got out of the table and asks if he is going to go to the Court of Miracles with him. Still bitter, Quasimodo refuses to help Phoebus, as she has her knight in shining armor.

The two struggle to work together as he shows the captain the map, but there is smooth sailing after that. Phoebus realizes that they made it too far without a trap, which leads to the Court of Miracles song, where Clopin and the gypsies are so willing to kill them, knowing they are innocent. I am glad they are not portrayed as angels, and do get dirty. Esmeralda stops this, and tells them that her man and friend are their allies, with Phoebus warning them about Frollo coming. She runs and hugs him, and Phoebus looks at Quasimodo and pushes her off to not make the deformed man feel awkward.

Frollo and his men show up to arrest all the gypsies + Phoebus, and to tie Quasi to his room with a bunch of chains.  He cuts the gargoyles off (who was trying to encourage him to save the day), as he felt like he caused all of this. Esmeralda refuses an offer to be with Frollo (and spits in his face), so she is about to get burned, but Quasi breaks through the chains and jumps from the sky, swinging on the chain to grab her and to bring her back to his room. Phoebus and the other gypsies are released and the fight off the guards, with the Gargoyles throwing lava through the church (which proves these pests are real and not in Quasi’s imagination).

So Frollo is willing to stab Quasi as he realizes that Esmeralda “died”, but when he sees that his father is ready to stab him, he realizes everything the old man told him was a lie, and he is the bad one. Esmeralda wakes up, causing the deformed man to rush to her, and for Frollo to pick back up his sword. They end up in this long chase, with Frollo swinging the sword like a mad man. Quasi and Esme end up at the edge, and she is holding him up, with Frollo ready to kill them both, but he loses his balance and grabs onto a piece of the architecture, which breaks and smiles devilishly.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Esmeralda loses grip of Quasi, causing him to fall, but to only be caught by Phoebus , who is a few levels down. She rushes down the floors to see her two men hug one another, which makes her feel warm inside and give off a genuine smile. She runs straight to Quasi and hugs him, right before he grabs their (her and Phoebus) hands and merges them, with them eventually kissing. I have heard many complain about this ending, but I do not see the big deal about it (though it would have paid off better if Esme was the protagonist). The couple runs outside to be cheered, but she runs back to grab a nervous Quasimodo, and brings him with everyone, to only be embraced by a little girl lifted up into everyone’s arm and cheered. The film ends with Esme, her goat and Phoebus cuddle together, and Quasi being carried through the town…by the entire town as Clopin sings a small reprise of Bells of Notre Dame.

This film does have it's issues. There is too much focus shifted away from Quasimodo and given to Esmeralda (which suffers form having the wrong character as the protagonist), and the tone form dark to comedic is done horribly. We still have great (though not the deepest) characters, an engaging and full plot, and some good animation. I would not call this a bad movie, and I am glad that it is going to be on Broadway, and growing a bigger following. I think this suffered financially from being released right after Pocahontas and Toy Story, and for it being something that a general audience would not attach to again.

This film does have its issues. There is too much focus shifted away from Quasimodo and given to Esmeralda (which suffers from having the wrong character as the protagonist), and the tone from dark to comedic is done horribly. We still have great (though not the deepest) characters, an engaging and full plot, and some good animation. I would not call this a bad movie, and I am glad that it is going to be on Broadway, and growing a bigger following. I think this suffered financially from being released right after Pocahontas and Toy Story, and for it being something that a general audience would not attach to again.

Characters

The characters are for the most part likable. While some of the characters are not the deepest and could have been better, some of the characters are standouts, while others (you ALL know who) are grating, which is the nicest thing to say about them.

I like him. I feel like he is an artistic, sympathetic character, who we can easily relate too, but that is also kind of a problem..... I do see the criticisms that his character is ONLY to feel sorry for, but nothing else. I think he is fine enough, but I do think he was built to be a tritagonist and a deuteragonsit. He cannot carry a film.

I like him. I feel like he is an artistic, sympathetic character, who we can easily relate too, but that is also kind of a problem….. I do see the criticisms that his character is ONLY to feel sorry for, but nothing else. I think he is fine enough, but I do think he was built to be a tritagonist and a deuteragonsit. He cannot carry a film.

She is one of the most proactive females; especially up to this point in the canon. She is a bit defensive, and overly violent, but she does have a big heart, and wants to be better than the typical dancer. She fights for what she likes, and fights hard, and that is relatable. Oh, and if any of you are willing to rip her to shreds in the comments about choosing Phoebus, I will be ready, and we could talk about it down there.

She is one of the most proactive females; especially up to this point in the canon. She is a bit defensive, and overly violent, but she does have a big heart, and wants to be better than the typical dancer. She fights for what she likes, and fights hard, and that is relatable. Oh, and if any of you are willing to rip her to shreds in the comments about choosing Phoebus, I will be ready, and we could talk about it down there.

I think I already covered as to why he is such a good villain. He is overly realistic, and one of those really old school, overly religious, prejudice christians, and will do anything to "cleanse the town". He is really dark, and you see him struggle to not release in his deepest fantasies. He is really good, and goes after what he wants, with any issue.

I think I already covered as to why he is such a good villain. He is overly realistic, and one of those really old school, overly religious, prejudice christians, and will do anything to “cleanse the town”. He is really dark, and you see him struggle to not release in his deepest fantasies. He is really good, and goes after what he wants, with any issue.

I really like him. He is snarky (just like Esmeralda), tough, really heroic, but he does have a naughty, semi perverted side to him. He is not prejudice about sex, race, or anything. He is very go with the flow, and does help out with the plot and the characters. He is one of the guys who will be good to kick it with a beer. He is funny and relatable without trying to be.

I really like him. He is snarky (just like Esmeralda), tough, really heroic, but he does have a naughty, semi perverted side to him. He is not prejudice about sex, race, or anything. He is very go with the flow, and does help out with the plot and the characters. He is one of the guys who will be good to kick it with a beer. He is funny and relatable without trying to be.

He is......alright. Kind of funny, and VERY anti-hero-ish. He knows everything about everyone, and does not really care about anything.

He is……alright. Kind of funny, and VERY anti-hero-ish. He knows everything about everyone, and does not really care about anything.

Treacherous, grating, and unfunny at best.

Treacherous, grating, and unfunny at best.

Animation

The animation is pretty good. The details in the town and the church is very 16th or 15th century, and the character designs are less cartoony, but not Pocahontas-level realistic, as they can give wide expressions. I do not like the CGI though, and I do think it makes the film look a lot weirder.

Music

The music is very good. It has a french, catholic theme to it, which is PERFECT, and all of the song (except Court of Miracles) have use and expand on the story and characters. They are not songs that are going to make you dance like the Aladdin soundtrack, but it is more sophisticated, and really works on the musical formula. This film should have been the last of the musical format, as the others after this did not use it well, and you could do without it.

Reception at Release

When the film came out on June 21, 1996, it was clear that the Renaissance was past its peak, and things were beginning to simmer.  A part of this had to do with it being released right after the disappointing Pocahontas, and this was no less controversial than that film. it opened to the #2 spot, but saw a decline as the weeks came on, making a disappointing, but bearable $100 million in the domestic box office. It made $225 million overseas, with a total of $325,338,851. It is still the 5th highest grossing film of the year, so there is still success.

Critically……I do not know if I would call it mixed to positive reviews…yeah, I will call it that. Most liked it more than Pocahontas, and there were not too many complaints. People liked it for its deep story, great music, and more adult themes, while others hated it for ruining the book, and confused as to why this is a children’s film.

When it comes to the accolades, it went on a HUGE downhill spiral since Pocahontas. It was still nominated for many awards, like Best Music (Academy Awards), An annie for Best Animated Film (Toy Story was its only competition, and this film suffered from being released a few months after this film), many other Annies for the individual achievement, voice acting, and won 7 awards from minor award ceremonies.

The soundtrack did do well; it reached 11 on the Billboard charts.

Reception Today

It is growing a bigger reception today, but it is still not seen as a classic. There is a musical that Disney is adapting off of this film, so it is a bigger improvement. It is known as being one of the darkest films in the canon, but many do not like this film for ruining the book. It is managing to age better since 1996.

Final Score

Story: 6.5/10

Characters: 7.5/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 9/10

= 31/40 = 78%

Next Time…

Review: August 11th, 2014

Review: August 11th, 2014

Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: Pocahontas

Walt Disney Animation Studio's 33rd feature film.

Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 33rd feature film.

http://www.sockshare.com/file/DBB5A20CBE7463B0#

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that it is not very good. There is worse in is canon, but I think so much in this film is hollow. The plot is EXTREMELY slow paced to the point where barely anything happens in the first half, the characterization is not very strong, and I do not feel like they took much risks with this film. If it REALLY wanted to be a serious movie, it needs to have depth, and stuff that makes sense. It does have good music, pretty animation, and likable characters, but this film jumped the shark. While I do think this is the beginning of the end of the Disney Renaissance, it is not the beginning of the end of traditional animation (this film is not to blame for that, as Toy Story was released AFTER this film).

Production

Production for this film started on late 1990 when The Rescuers Down Under was about to be released. Down Under directors Mike Gabriel and Eric Golbeg created the idea on Thanksgiving about 2 people from clashing worlds falling in love, and Katzenberg immediately picked up the project because he was interested in a Romeo and Juliette-ish type of story. They travelled to the Algonquin tribe and Jamestown to accurately represent the natives in the movie, and for landscaping ideas for the film. The Powhatan Tribe would later release a statement about Disney refusing their input or suggestions for the film, and they are PISSED about it.

Things changed in 1992; right after Beauty and the Beast was nominated for Best Feature. Katzenberg saw Pocahontas as the next film that would be nominated and possibly won) Best Feature, so many changes were made to the film. The characters would be stylized more realistically, Pocahontas and John were made to be older, and A LOT more changes took place.

This was the hardest time for the studio, as Pocahontas and The Lion King were side by side the biggest projects they were working on, Aladdin was going through the theaters, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame was being picked up and starting development. Many worked on this film because as the years this and Lion King went through production, this movie was the A project, which will make them more money and awards.

The animals were supposed to talk, but John Candy died in 1994, having his character of a turkey removed, and all of the animals silent. Richard White was cast as Ratcliffe, but they were scared of him sounding too much like Gaston, so he was replaced by Stiers.

People say that the Renaissance and this film went down the drain because of Frank Wells dying in a crash in 1994; right before The Lion King was released, as he was the middle man between Roy Disney, Katzenberg, and Eisner. Another event that happened was that Katzenberg quitfired, left the studio in the fall of 1994 after he was not allowed to take Wells’ jobs. These 2 events are what is one of the reasons why things went downhill, and I disagree. Pocahontas was already in post production when Katzenberg left and most of the bad choices in this film were made BEFORE either of these events took place.

Story

The film starts with the song Virginia Company, which is about the men going on the boat journey “The Virginia Company” to get gold for their families. A young man named Thomas (Christian Bale) and 2 other men (Bill Connolly) are excited about getting gold and blasting Indians, and are excited to be joined by the head explorer, hero, and captain; John Smith (Mel Gibson). This quest is being led by government member Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers).  A few weeks or months later, they are caught in a storm, and Thomas sails overboard, for John to heroically save him like a boss.

Ooh, the thrilling, dashing, and sdaring action this scene is giving would give anyone hope that this film would have a lot of action in it.....so not the case.

Ooh, the thrilling, dashing, and daring action this scene is giving would give anyone hope that this film would have a lot of action in it…..so not the case.

The men sing attempts to on Gibson’s part a reprise of Virginia Company, which they are all excited about so they can kill Indians (which John says to leave that to him), and to make money. John does not really see the big deal, because he has been to hundreds of other new worlds, and they are all the same.

So 4 months later, we are introduced to the Powhatan tribe via the song Steady as the Beating Drum, which is a very nice song, that wraps up their culture nicely. Chef Powhatan (Russel Means) and their form of military come back from defeating the Massawommacks, and he goes on to brag that a young soldier Kocoum (James Apaumut Fall) being the best of all. He wonders where his daughter is, and we are introduced to our heroine Pocahontas (Irene Bedard) by the wind and leaves swirling around her, as she stands on a high cliff. Nakoma (Michelle St. John) tells her that her father has returned, which excites her, and instead of taking the easy way down, she wants to be dramatic, and very the top, causing her to jump off the cliff and into the water.

After they play around for a bit, she tells Nakoma about a constant dream she has been having about a spinning arrow. They return to their tribe to see her father announce that there will be a feast for Kocoum’s bravery in the war. Nakoma fawns over him, but Pocahontas does not because he is so….serious. She reunites with her father, and they talk privately in his hut for a bit. She tells him about having a weird dream, and that she feels something exciting is about to happen, to which he replies that something is because Kocoum asked for her hand in marriage, and he agreed to it. She reacts like this…

I do hear the criticisms of the characters not being allowed to have facial expressions, and it is clear here. If this was Jasmine, there would have been A LOT more facial expression because of the character animation. Anyways, she does not like this because he is so serious, and she wants to be able to choose her own path. Didn't we go through this with Jasmine?

I do hear the criticisms of the characters not being allowed to have facial expressions, and it is clear here. If this was Jasmine, there would have been A LOT more facial expression because of the character animation.
Anyways, she does not like this because he is so serious, and she wants to be able to choose her own path. Didn’t we go through this with Jasmine?

Her father tells her that she needs to settle down and to play her role as the daughter of a chief. He gives her her dead mother’s necklace, as she wanted Poca to wear it when she got married. One thing I WILL give this film, is that they do address the deceased or missing parent. He sings about how the rivers last so long because they are steady (like what she needs to be). She then jumps in a canoe and sings Just Around the Riverbend, and this is one of the best songs in the movie. It expresses her being indecisive, not knowing what to make out of her life, and what to do. She likes to follow her instincts and to explore, but she does not know what she is exploring for.

She pays a visit to a tree named Grandmother Willow (Linda Hunt) and why the fuck do we have talking trees in a realistic world but in the 1600s? she tells Pocahontas to Listen to her Heart, which is so coincidental when a boat shows up. John Smith is up and out of the ship as soon as possible to explore the new land, and we learn that Ratcliffe is using the boys to get the gold, and to steal it from all of them. We know that this is his last chance to not be a laughing stock in council too late. Poca follows the ship, and has an eye orgasm when she sees the unfamiliar and attractive blonde and pale man in front of her.

Mmmmmhhhmmmm. You notice that it has been 20 minutes, and nothign has happened yet/ You have to wait another 20 minutes (the MID POINT) of the film for them to meet up. Herewould have been the perfect time for them to meet and develop their relationship omre, giving the extra time to developing the other characters and developing the other conflicts, but what do we get....20 minutes of gold digging (literally), John runnigng around lie he has ants in his pants, and Pocahontas stalking him like a thirsty fangirl.

Mmmmmhhhmmmm.
You notice that it has been 20 minutes, and nothing has happened yet? You have to wait another 20 minutes (the MID POINT) of the film for them to meet up. Here would have been the perfect time for them to meet and develop their relationship more, giving the extra time to developing the other characters and developing the other conflicts, but what do we get….20 minutes of gold digging (literally), John running around like he has ants in his pants, and Pocahontas stalking him like a thirsty fangirl.

So Pocahontas’ raccoon Meeko (John Kassir) runs in to John, which causes him to whip out his sword out of first instinct. He ends up liking the animal, but soon returns to Ratcliffe to only be told to handle and to get rid of the Indians that are nearby. So we get to the mediocre at best and the silliest song of the movie, Mine, Mine, Mine. Governor sings about wanting to glitter in riches, and hoping to be lord, as his greed for the gold and wealth takes over. John also sings about wanting adventure and land. Really? This is our villain? If we are going to have a serious movie, we need a serious villain, and Ratcliffe is SO not a serious villain. Why couldn’t we have 2 groups of people’s prejudice being the leading conflict, and not a greedy, unaccomplished fat man be the SOLE person responsible?

Pocahontas has been following John for hours, and he senses that something is following him. He prepares his gun, and as soon as Pocahontas goes to follow him, he jumps on a rock, and ready to shoot the thing up, but as he is a muscle away from shooting, he stops because he sees a beautiful girl. How shallow.  Pocahontas has this fear overcome her, so she runs away from him, but he aggressively (not trying to be so) grabs her, so she will not leave.

While Poca and John are getting more than comfortable with one another, the Natives and Settlers get into a full out shoot fight, with one of the natives getting shot, and they found the treatment unknown, and did not know how to treat him. So, did they let him die?

While Poca and John are getting more than comfortable with one another, the Natives and Settlers get into a full out shoot fight, with one of the natives getting shot, and they found the treatment unknown, and did not know how to treat him. So, did they let him die?

John and Pocahontas are talking about how they find their names weird, and how to have a handshake and…..oh shit, I almost forgot. When Pocahontas comes out of the canoe, she listens with her heart, and is SUDDENLY able to speak English. What the fuck? This is the most pathetic cheapshot I have ever seen to get out of a language barrier in film. So anyways, this boring conversation ends up with John calling her people uncivilized, savages, and that they are going to build a bunch of buildings and to teach them how to use their land and how to live. I already discussed their relationship here so I do not need to recap everything about their relationship. She walks off from him, but he follows her, and this leads to Colors of the Wind.

Ichabod and Mr Crane

Suddenly everything he based his lengthy and successful career off of, and how he was raised to be prejudice against Natives is changed because he caught feelings for a girl, and a few hours will undo EVERYTHING YOU KNOW. Right……. -_-. This is extremely contrived, and it only makes his character come off as flatter and more unrelatable. Colors of the Wind is a nice song, though it is really preachy.

So she hears the emergency horn, and is about to leave, but he grabs her, begging, needing to see her again. You could feel the lust (and nothing else) between them. A few days has gone by, and they are both a bit down, which their people notice. John has had enough and randomly goes to look for Pocahontas, and finds her at the corn fields. Nakoma loses her top, and Pocahontas asks her to cover for her right before they go off. Kocoum arrives and asks Nakoma where his fiance is? He says that she needs to stop running around, and that Nakoma is the only one she will listen to.

The couple walk around the forest, and John is fascinated by it. He soon realizes that there is no gold on the land (as Pocahontas thought Corn was gold). He chuckles as he knows some of the settlers will lose it and might go home, causing her to ask sadly if he will go home. He reveals that he has nowhere to call home. This shows a different side to John that could…no, SHOULD have been explored by to make him more relatable, but they never do. He soon enough meets Grandmother Willow.

Our reaction to some of the weirdness that is in this film. I want to bring up that many complain about Belle being inconsistently animated, but if oyu look at John Smith, he is inconsistent too. One moment, his face is really squinty, and his eyes and nose are thin, but then he had very bluw and wide eyes, with a huge nose. Really look at him, and you will see different character looks.

Our reaction to some of the weirdness that is in this film. But with better and more varied facial expressions.
I want to bring up that many complain about Belle being inconsistently animated, but if you look at John Smith, he is inconsistent too. One moment, his face is really squinty, and his eyes and nose are thin, but then he had very blue and wide eyes, with a huge nose. Really look at him, and you will see different character looks.

So Willow ends up liking him, as he has a good soul. His 2 older settlers go looking for him, but Willow soon gets rid of them. Realizing that the entire group will look for him, he parts ways with Pocahontas and tells her to meet him there tonight so he can poke her hontas, as he caresses her cheek. Poca is very indecisive about whether she should be with him, though she knows her father will not approve, but she feels like she is doing the right thing.

They both go to their groups to tell them that they do not need to fight one another, but Ratcliffe refuses and tells Smith (who reveals he met a native) that if anyone does not fight with them, they will be tried for treason. Pocahontas tries to convince her father (who brought many of the neighboring tribes to help them fight the settlers off) to talk to one of them, but he refuses and says that she needs to learn to stay in her place. This of course leads to them meeting later that night to warn one another and in the worst time, they end up making out.

Kocuom and Thomas followed them and the former attacks Smith in a crazy outrage, and pushes Pocahontas to the floor when she tries to separate them. Thomas (who has been seen as a disappointment the entire time) loads his gun and kills Kocoum.

At least my hair is still laid like a boss.

At least my hair is still laid like a boss.

John tells Thomas to bounce, and he takes the cover for him, as the natives run to the sight. Smith gets captured to be beheaded in the morning, and Powhatan yells at his daughter for her foolishness and her recklessness. You see, she is not perfect. Whens he does something wrong, it is acknowledged as wrong. Nakoma tells Pocahontas that she told Kocoum to go after her as she was worried about her friend. Feeling bad, she takes Pocahontas to the tent John is in, where they sing If I Never Knew You (which was cut because children thought it was boring in an early screening, but it is an important song).  In the song, They both practically say that they found their other half in each other (which is kind of strange, since we almost never see them talk about themselves instead of their culture, but maybe that was off screen). During the song, they are caressing one another, leaning on each other, and inches away from one another’s face. Neither one has regrets about meeting each other, as they would be empty if they never knew each other.

Thomas returns to camp to tell everyone that Smith was captured. Ratcliffe uses this as an opportunity to kill off the Natives to get the gold. This leads to the song Savaages, with both sides singing their hatred for one another (the lyrics are very weird in this song),with Pocahontas joining in the song to sing about what to do. She eventually runs as she looks at an arrow (the one in her dream), and she realizes her path; to stop a war and save John Smith’s life. As soon as Powhatan is about to club Smith, Pocahontas lays over him and demands her father to stop.

At first, he does not, but she yells at him about letting hatred take him over and with it leading them to a path that is not good. He is convinced and lifts his club up. Ratclife tells them to shoot Powhatan, but they do not because he did not kill Smith. He does not care, and grabs a gun; ready to shoot at Powhatan, but Smith jumps in and takes the bullet. He ends up having to go to Britain, and everyone prepares to send him off. Pocahontas and her tribe return to the sight (with food), and as John is about to go tho the boat, she approaches and gives him some medicine. Apparently, it will be more safe and better if he is on a ship for 4 months than to be treated in Virginia. He is welcomed by Powhatan, and Smith asks Pocahontas to go with him. She realizes that they have to be apart, as her people need her, and he needs to be taken care of.

They have a steamy make out session before he is put on the boat. It is too emotional for her, so she runs as close as she can to the ship, and they wave Wingapo style, and we end with a portrait of Pocahontas watching him leave on a cliff.

I admit it; this movie has some issues. The characterization is not that good, the story is almost plotless in the first half, and overly fast and contrived in the second half. It suffered from adding nothing new to the formula (as I do think being a musical benefits it), and was a lot shallower as it was supposed to be. More needed to happen, and more depth needed to be given. It does have a few standout and optional moments, with the characters being somewhat likable, but......they tried too hard to make it Oscar worthy, and made it worse. Those exec and company meetings (where they would have advertisers criticize things during development) really backfired.

I admit it; this movie has some issues. The characterization is not that good, the story is almost plotless in the first half, and overly fast and contrived in the second half. It suffered from adding nothing new to the formula (as I do think being a musical benefits it), and was a lot shallower as it was supposed to be. More needed to happen, and more depth needed to be given. It does have a few standout and optional moments, with the characters being somewhat likable, but……they tried too hard to make it Oscar worthy, and made it worse. Those exec and company meetings they had (where they would have advertisers criticize things during development) really backfired. The Disney Renaissance never really recovered from this, though some of it’s successors hold up just as well as the “Big 4″.

Characters

The characters in this film are………..decent at best. While I do like a majority of them, I have to admit…they are pretty flat. There is not much to these characters, and I felt like they were too afraid as to how to handle them, just in case they offend people.

Like I said above, she is not the typical adventurous girl who wants mre. She is also not secure about herself (which is rare), and I do relate to her in the part that she wants to find her place in the world. She is a bit carefree, but knows when to drop things, and is very passionate about the environment and the envoromnent. I do wish there was more depth to her and more for her to work with.

Like I said above, she is not the typical adventurous girl who wants more. She is also not secure about herself (which is rare with Disney heroines), and I do relate to her in the part that she wants to find her place in the world. She is a bit carefree, but knows when to drop things, and is very passionate about the environment and her people. I do wish there was more depth to her and more for her to work with.

Oh my goodness. He is at first a cocky, ruggish, confident man who proves to be masculine and is proud of being known as the Savage killer, but as soom as he meets Pocahontas, he changes ENTIRELY #pussywhipped. He know is disgusted when his men mention harming the savages. and taking the gold. His development is incredibly rough, and we barely know much about him. He says a line about being lonely, but they NEVER focus on it. If they did that, and gave him a bit more explanation as to why he needs to be macho, then he would be much more likable, though I...do...like....him.

Oh my goodness. He is at first a cocky, ruggish, confident man who proves to be masculine and is proud of being known as the Savage killer, but as soon as he meets Pocahontas, he changes ENTIRELY #PussyWhipped. He is now is disgusted when his men mention harming the savages. and taking the gold. His development is incredibly rushed, and we barely know much about him. He says a line about being lonely, but they NEVER focus on it. If they did that, and gave him a bit more explanation as to why he needs to be macho, then he would be much more likable, though I…do…like….him.

He is a pompous joke. He is not that good of a villain, and he is desperate for fame and wealth, as he ahs been proven to be a fool. I can't even love to hate him,. I do not even see why we need a villain, and he is such a half assed one too.

He is a pompous joke. He is not that good of a villain, and he is desperate for fame and wealth, as he has been proven to be a fool. I can’t even love to hate him. I do not even see why we need a villain, and he is such a half assed one too.

He is the typical naive youth, who wants to be seen as a man. He is decent, but not important enough o be given much focus.

He is the typical naive youth, who wants to be seen as a man. He is decent, but not important enough to be given much focus, and is only a plot device to kill Kocoum.

She is very practical and serious. especially compared ot Pocahontas. She is unfortunately only a plot device to get Kocoum to go to John and Pocahontas, which will get him killed.

She is very practical and serious. especially compared to Pocahontas. She is unfortunately only a plot device to get Kocoum to go to John and Pocahontas, which will get him killed.

He is...very...eh. He is the typical leader who wants to do the best for his kingdom. He is very traditional, but very....eh.

He is…very…eh. He is the typical leader who wants to do the best for his kingdom. He is very traditional, but very….eh.

She is the mother figure that Pocahontas needs. I do like her, and is the side character that is worth remembering.

She is the mother figure that Pocahontas needs. I do like her, and is the side character that is worth remembering.

Animation

The animation is beautiful. The backgrounds have the most lush details and colors, and it really looks fascinating. I do like the realistic touch on the character designs (though the native girls needed more of a nose). What I do not like was that they were not allowed to be given emotion through their animation, unlike Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and all of the film’s predecessors and successors. Everything else about it is amazing.

Music

The music is pretty good, but not as good as I thought it was. The lyrics in some songs are very weird (Savages, some in Colors of the Wind). The score is really good, as it either has the 1600s British score, or the native score. Most of the songs in there do have purpose, and add something to the characters. About the musical format, I do think it mostly worked here, but this is one of the reasons why the Renaissance ended. I think they should have ended the musicals with Hunchback, because the 3 after that movie did not benefit from the musical format.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on June 23rd, 1995, it was a financial success. It has the hugest premiere for ANY movie, and it made roughly around the same that Beauty and the Beast did 3 and a half years beforehand; with $141,579,773  domestically, and $204,500,000 overseas, with a total amount of  $346,079,773 worldwide; $5 million less than Beauty and the Beast. The issue is that they expected this film to be a huger success than The Lion King, and it made a lot less than that film and Aladdin (though more than The Little Mermaid).

When it came to the reviews………..it received mixed reviews; which was shocking to the studio. It got criticism for being an overall plotless film with bland characters, an offensive portrayal of American history, and SO MUCH MORE. It was praised for it’s soundtrack, as it is the only soundtrack other than Lion King to top the charts, and currently sold the same amount as BatB and Aladdin’s soundtracks.

It won the pattern of 2 Academy Awards (Best Score, and Best Song for Colors of the Wind), and this wold be the last film in the Renaissance to win as many awards, and to get the duo awards that was given to all 4 of it’s predecessors. It won a few Annies (one for Best Animated Feature which took place before Toy Story was even released, and was nominated and won countless of other awards, either for technological achievements, or the soundtrack.

Many people started to catch on that Disney was using and reusing a formula in each of the films, which would cause all the films that were developed since 1995 (Tarzan and the films after) to have a different style.

Reception Today

The reception today is not….really….good. It is seen as being the beginning of the end of the Renaissance. the beginning of the downfall of WDAS, and to a few, the beginning of the end of traditional animation. The studio does not have this film mentioned much, not much merchandise on it (though she is a Disney Princess, who appears the least on that merchandise). It is not buried like The Black Cauldron, and it is remembered, but most of that is for its music and animation. Many are offended about how it gave a slap in the face to the American history. Oh, I forgot to mention, it did well enough to spawn a sequel in 1998.

Final Score

Story: 5.5/10

Characters: 6/10

Animation: 7.5/10

Music: 8/10

= 27/40 = 68% (It only got this high because of the animation and music)

Next Time…

Review: August 4th, 2014

Review: August 4th, 2014

Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: The Lion King

Walt Disney Animation Studio's 32nd feature film.

Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 32nd feature film.

http://www.cornel1801.com/disney/Lion-King-1994/movie-film.html

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that it has never been one of my favourites or first picks, and it still is not. Something about this film always…….bored me, and now I realize what it is; Simba. The plot is really good and establishes the theme of Circle of Life, though I do think it gets a bit too choppy. A great film, sure, but I do not really see how this is the Magnum Opus.

Production

The idea for this film was conceived in late 1988 when they were promoting Oliver and Company. Katzenberg, Disney (Roy), and Schneider came up with an idea of a film in Africa. In November of that ear, a story called King of the Kalahari was brought to the company, and from then, it was confirmed. The story was going to be very different from the one we got now; with Timon and Pumba being Simba’s childhood friends, Scar being the leader of the baboons, and Simba turning into a horrible character after Mufasa’s death.

Around 1991/1992, the film was changed to be a musical, which caused conflicts amongst the crew, and caused some of them to leave. Disney’s B team was working on this film at the time, as everyone else was more excited for Pocahontas, as they thought the latter would be the bigger success. They took a trip to Africa in 1991 for inspiration in the drawings and the script.  The real development of the film started when Pocahontas did in 1990 (as in the 88 board meeting, Aladdin was chosen over The Lion King). In 1992, many changes were made to the film, which ended up being the final product that we have now.

Many of the workers did not want to be working on this film, and it was seen as a secondary project; like The Rescuers Down Under. They brought lions in the studio (like they did with Bambi in the 40s) to study animal movement and behavior.

Story

So the movie starts with the entire Pride Land going to Pride rock to meet Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Sarabi (Madge Sinclair)’s newborn son and future king Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick), and this all carries through the song of Circle of Life (which is the theme of the entire film), which is a good song. Rafiki (Robert Guillaume) walked up to the baby to put some fruit juice on him, and raising him for the entire Pride to see.

Uncle of Simba and distant brother of Mufasa, Scar (Jeremy Irons) missed out on his nephew’s presentation to the kingdom. Mufasa’s messenger Zazu (Rowan Atkinson) lets Scar know about Mufasa’s arrival, for him to be almost eaten by Scar. When Mufasa shows up, he demands his right hand ass kisser man to be let go. He is pissed that his brother was not at the event, and Scar retaliated by him being the first in line, before the hairball was born, and they have an exchange about not turning their back on one another. They almost fight, but Scar throws a passive aggressive remark of Mufasa getting the strength of the family, while he got the brains.

I love how you can feel the oozing tension and disdain between the two of them. They interact like siblings who have an intense rivalry.

I love how you can feel the oozing tension and disdain between the two of them. They interact like siblings who have an intense rivalry.

Years later, Simba runs to his father in dawn to obnoxiously wake him up for their lesson. Mufasa spends the morning teaching Simba about the rise and fall of a king, with Mufasa telling his son that he will fall tomorrow for Simba to rise, and also about the Circle of Life, and how everything has a balance and cycle.As Zazu explains to the older man about the status of the kingdom, they share another father-son moment, when Mufasa teaches Simba how to hunt. Mufasa has to leave to get rid of the Hyenas, causing Simba to go to Scar. It is so clear that Scar dislikes Simba in this little scene. Scar accidentally reveals to the cub about the Elephant Yard, and to never go there; knowing he will go there (he made a plan for the Hyenas to kill Simba there).

Simba runs to his satellite love interest who is only in 3 scenes friend Nala (Nikita Calame and Moira Kelly) who is getting a bath from her mother Sarafina (Zoe Leader) who was probably having a gossip session about how their prophet Mufasa is really good providing for them and the tribe; if you know what I mean. He is the only man in the tribe, and the sole male lion conceives with all the other female lions. Simba is forced to take a bath, and when he asks them for him and Nala to go to the “waterhole”, his mother agrees, only for Zazu to go with them.

You see, children in films in general fits in under 3 categories: 1. Unbelievably bland 2. Unbelievably obnoxious 3. An actual realistic, complex child Simba falls under the second category, and that shows in I Just Can't Wait to be King. He is ot overly irritating, but he talks about how he wants to be a "main event", and everythign about him. Poeple say that ALL children act liek that, but that is a stereotype to children, as I amd most of the other children do not act like this. I am glad they toned the obnoxiousness of Simba down after this.

You see, children in films in general fits in under 3 categories:
1. Unbelievably bland
2. Unbelievably obnoxious
3. An actual realistic, complex child
Simba falls under the second category, and that shows in I Just Can’t Wait to be King. He is to overly obnoxious, but he talks about how he wants to be a “main event”, and everything about him. People say that ALL children act like that, but that is a stereotype to children, as I and most of the other children do not act like this. I am glad they toned the obnoxiousness of Simba down after this.

Simba and Nala manage to ditch Zazu, and they play around aggressively, only for Nala to constantly pin him to the floor, They end up falling into the Elephant grave, and getting into trouble with the Hyenas. Zazu catches up to them, and the hyenas taunt Simba. Soon enough, Mufasa shows up to beat their ass. He is pissed at Simba for disobeying him and for dragging Nala into a dangerous situation as well. I do understand Simba wanted to do this to be brave, but COMMON FUCKING SENSE. He demands Zazu to take Nala home so he can teach Simba a lesson about the Kings being in the sky after they die, and that you are not brave for looking for trouble. They end up playing around, while Scar is planning their deaths, who is not pleased that they failed at killing Simba.

He has planned to kill his nephew for 2 consecutive days now. Has he been doing this from the day he was born?

He has planned to kill his nephew for 2 consecutive days now, and tried it for 2 consecutive days. Has he been doing this from the day he was born?

So Scar gets Simba to come with him to the gorge, and for him to wait there because his father has a surprise for him. I am confused; it seems like Simba and Scar see on another often, which is weird since Scar clearly hates Simba, and Mufasa knows that. Anyways, Scar has his hyenas on the grass fields to scare the crap out of the wildebeests to run into the gorge to trample BOTH Simba and Mufasa. The plan is successful, as Simba is running from the herd, and Scar tells Mufasa that Simba is in the gorge where the stampede is, leading the older lion to go there.

Mufasa manages to save Simba, and clutch onto a cliff for dear life, but his brother shows up and takes out the King with this quote “Long live the king”, throwing him off to his death by being trampled by all those wildebeests, with Simba screaming as he saw his father fall to his death. After the gorge is empty, Simba runs to his father to attempt to wake him up, only for Scar to show up and to blame everything on Simba.

PLOTHOLE. There is an issue with this. Scar BROUGHT SIMBA to the gorge, and TOLD HIM to wait there. He did as what he was told. How is this his fault? Simba is not that young to forget the events? This is not a small issue, because the rest of the film is based off of this error.

PLOTHOLE. There is an issue with this. Scar BROUGHT SIMBA to the gorge, and TOLD HIM to wait there. He did as what he was told. How is this his fault? Simba is not that young to forget the events? This is not a small issue, because the rest of the film is based off of this error.

So Scar tells Simba to run off (with the hyenas trying to kill him), and hat causes him to pass out and almost get eaten by vultures, to be saved by Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella). Oh lord; I am going to say that these two are not as funny as they were when I was younger. They keep him because it will be good to have a lion on their side -_-. So they get Simba, and get him to stay with them. He is soon revealed ot have learned the lesson of Hakuta Matata (no worries; leave your past behind, have no responsibilities), and spends half of his life with this lesson. So Simba is an adult, who eats worms, has no cares, and practically no personality from when he was a child or at all.

Timon and Pumbaa end up coming cross a lioness, who is extremely hungry, but is stopped when he get a fight with Simba (who went to protect his friends). Because he lost to a girl and got pinned, he realized that it is Nala. Timon gets jealous that their trio has turned into a quartet…to only turn into a duo, when Nala and Simba want to talk and hang out on their own. Pumbaa has no issue with this, but is convinced by Timon that their trio will be down to two; via the song Can You Feel The Love.

There is a big chance that they consummated their love during this song.

There is a big chance that they consummated their love during this song.

While all of that is happening it is revealed that there is a drought in the kingdom, causing many to die off, or leave the pride. Scar is not doing anything about it because he is king, and wants his title. So after Simba and Nala pulled a Lady and the Tramp Bella Notte move, they get into an argument about him abandoning his duties as a king, and he tells her to screw off because she does not understand something about an event, that…never happened the way he thought it happened.

Simba walks away from Nala to only bump into Rafiki; who he thinks is a nut. He practically tells Simba that his father lives in him, and that he needs to learn from his past after facing it. Mufasa comes from the sky (like he told him all the previous kings are there when they die) to tell him to go and fulfill his destiny. So he runs, runs, and runs to the Pride Rock, and to return when Scar and Sarabi get into an exchange about the Pride needing to leave the rock because there is no food, and Sarabi spitting out that Mufasa is twice the king Scar is, resulting in a slap in the face.

Simba goes to confront Scar, for his nerves to only settle in as Scar reveals that Simba is the “reason” why Mufasa is dead, causing for everyone to be shocked. Simba is about to fall, and Scar is ready for the kill, but he reveals moments before he is about to throw Simba off that he tells the young man that his old uncle is the reason why Mufasa is dead, causing him to leap and yell “MURDERER”. So here is how it goes down; the hyenas fight the lionesses, Simba and Scar go at it, and when Simba has the advantage, he tells Scar to leave, but only for Scar to throw s crispy fire dust at him, leading into an epic battle. Simba kicks Scar off the cliff, to be eaten by hyenas (to cower out of being killed, he blamed everything on the Hyenas).

Simba reclaims his throne, and his daughter Kiara is born a few days/weeks/months after.

I think the theme is good, and for the most part, it is pulled off very well. Most things that happen in the film has a reasonable explanation, but the plothole of Simba thinking it is his fault makes no sense. No way of getting around it. I do think the pacing of certain things were a bit too jarring, but  have seen a lot worse. I do not think this film is the best, and could have been a bit smoother in pacing and a bit stronger in characterization. I think it is a bit overrated.

I think the theme is good, and for the most part, it is pulled off very well. Most things that happen in the film has a reasonable explanation, but the plothole of Simba thinking it is his fault makes no sense. No way of getting around it. I do think the pacing of certain things were a bit too jarring, but I have seen a lot worse. I do not think this film is the best, and could have been a bit smoother in pacing and a bit stronger in characterization. I think it is a bit overrated.

Characters

The characters in this film are likable and do their job well enough. The cast work well with one another, but I wish some of the characters have better characterization.

Simba

Simba is……….eh. I could never really get into his character; even when I was little. He is the typical, spoiled child (which ALMOST becomes too much), but then in the second half, he becomes this passive, boring adult. I get that he is traumatized, but you do not lose ALL of your personality beforehand. I wish there was MORE to him than his plot. Not the best, and not a very strong or engaging  main character.

Mufasa

It is sad that he died. He is a clearly strong leader, and will get to scrapping if someone tests him. He admits that he does have fears, and likes things in the right order. He is a good lion.

Scar

Scar is a good villain. He is desperate to be a king, but it is clear that he does not have the traits to be one. When he becomes a king, he does not really do all the necessary things he has to do to run a successful kingdom , as he only rubs the title of the job, but not do the duties. He got what he wanted, and is overall lazy person, but is motivated by hate and jealousy to get what he wants.

Nala

She is in the film to be a satellite love interest. She is shown to be physically strong, and willing to have fun sometimes, but she has little to no importance in the film, and can be removed from it with little to nothing changing.

Timon

I never realized how over the top and irritating he is. He is actually pretty selfish. I could do without him.

Pumbaa

He is less over the top and more sympathetic than Timon.

Sarabi

She is the typical supportive mother. She has a lot of dignity which is shown when she is dealing with Scar.

Animation

The animation is pretty good too. The CGI has not aged as bad as its predecessors and successors in the era. The colors are really nice, and the backgrounds are not overly detailed but the perfect amount to give it the lush African feeling. It is the most consistent CAPS animation yet.

Music

The music is pretty damn good. I like the African theme, and they went ALL THE WAY with it, which is shown in the score and the songs. No modern day songs. It was interesting that they had some songs with the characters singing it, and the others are sung by musicians that are not characters in the movie.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on June 15th, 1994 (limited), and June 24th 1994  worldwide, it was HUGE. It had the 4th biggest opening EVER, and grew to make $312,855,561 domestically, and $455,800,000 overseas, causing them to make a RECORD BREAKING $768,600,000 internationally. Not to take anything from the smash success of this film,  but it came out of theaters………a bit before Pocahontas came out. I am not joking. 

Anyways, it received universal acclaim, just like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. Many considered it to the the animated lion version of Hamlet, for being so deep, and many said that it was the Magnum Opus of the studio. They found Mufasa’s death very ballsy, and many thought that it was more mature than the previous films.

When it comes to the awards, it was nominated for 4 Golden Globes and Academy Awards (Best Song for Hakuta Matata, Circle of Life, and won for Can You Feel the Love). Like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, it won an Annie for Best Animated Feature. Just to sum it up, it was nominated and won a bunch of awards.

When it comes to the soundtrack, it is the first (out of two) to TOP the Billboard charts. It became a Diamond record as well.

Reception Today

Today, it is seen as the Best Disney film to many people at least until Frozen was released; though I do not know why. It was the highest grossing film of the canon (until Frozen about 4 months ago), and is still the highest grossing traditionally animated film. There are 2 sequels, a VERY successful broadway show. There was a TV show about Timon and Pumba, many rides on theme parks, and many games for it. It has been rereleased many times, boosting its box office to $900 million. It is pretty much the biggest cash cow in the company.

Final Score

Story: 7.5/10

Characters: 7/10

Animation: 9/10

Music: 8/10

= 31.5/40 = 79%

Next Time…

Review: July 28th, 2014

Review: July 28th, 2014

Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: Aladdin

Walt Disney Animation Studio's 31st feature film.

Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 31st feature film.

I just wanted to say first off, that it has officially been a year (to the day) since I have started this blog. I would like to think everyone who has supported me from the beginning (Animation Commendation, Swanpride, others) for giving me the motivation to go on, and for assuring me that I am doing something right, and I would like to thank all the other commenters and viewers who have joined me over the year. This has been a fun ride, and I am glad that the review of Aladdin will be on the first anniversary of AnimatedKid’s blog. I will post an Anniversary blog, since I know you clicked this post for my review of Aladdin, so let’s get to it.

http://www.tubeplus.me/movie/28147/Aladdin/

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that it is pretty great. It has a really strong romantic relationship, engaging and characterized characters, a fast paced plot, and it is good to look at. While I do not like the holes that Genie brings to the films and all the aged pop culture references, this film still has heart more than the DreamWorks bullshit that Katzenberg tried to rub in this film.

Production

Production for this film stated in 1988 (a year after BatB did, and 3 years before TLM did) as Howard Ashman brought it to a pitch, with a few songs that were helped completed by Alan Menken, and a screenplay written by Linda Woolverton, and the animators John Musker and Ron Clements chose this out of the 2 other sketches; The Lion King, and a Swan Lake adaption. A full screenplay was brought to Katzenberg (I do not know if it was before or after Ashman passed away), and he told them to rework it. Aladdin was changed from 13 to 18 (to add sex appeal) and to be rougher in personality, his mother was cut out, Jasmine is a stronger character and has much more prominence in the film, a british parrot was turned into Iago; so practically, make it more 1992 and celeb voices.

Agrabah was inspired by the town of one of the crew members; the city being named Istafan, Iran. Genie was created with Robin Williams in mind, and he accepted the job, though he was working on 2 live action films at the same time. He went on the project for SAG pay ($75,000) so he would not be used for promotion (since he was going to sell the film Toys), but of course Disney refused and did the opposite, having Robin Williams #Anti-Disney for about 5 years, and after Katzenberg got the boot.

I mentioned in the Beauty and the Beast review that Howard Ashman died of AIDS in early 1991, but while the former could go on with no problem, Aladdin went through MANY changes. Aladdin (the character) was changed to be older and sexier (being based off Tom Cruise and Calvin Klein models), the main focus of the movie was the romance of him and Jasmine, mother was cut out, many of his songs were cut, since they went a different direction with the film, and having to replace the lyricist with Tim Rice, who wrote 3 songs for the film. They pretty much started over. The Thief of Bagdad was used for inspiration for this film as well.

Story

So the film starts with the song Arabian Nights, which is talking about how the people there will fuck you up if they do not like your face, and it is hot in a lot of good ways (wink wink, nudge nudge). We get a peddler (Robin Williams) who is trying to sell the lamp, and tells that it changes a boy’s life. People thought this scene was useless, but the execs always planned to make sequels from this film (which is why he closes King of Thieves).

We meet Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) and Iago (Gilbert Gottfried) and we automatically gel with how well they work off one another. They are trying to find the diamond in the rough to get the lamp, and grow frustrated, when another man fails to get the lamp, as he is gutter trash instead of a diamond in the rough.

We meet Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) and Iago (Gilbert Gottfried) and we automatically gel with how well they work off one another. They are trying to find the diamond in the rough to get the lamp, and grow frustrated, when another man fails to get the lamp, as he is gutter trash instead of a diamond in the rough.

It is morning and we are introduced to our hero Aladdin (Scot Weinger) through the song One Jump Ahead, which shows him running from the guards for stealing a loaf of bread. It is established that he is the bottom of the social chain in town, has no parents, is broke, and he only steals to eat, so he can live. It is a fun song and a good enough intro. Him and his BFF/pet Abu (Frank Welker) are about to eat their bread, but then they see 2 orphaned children looking through the trash to get food, so he gives the bread to them, as he feels bad for them.

The children run to the street where a prince is about to go to the palace of Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin) to be her suitor. He is about to whip the children, but Aladdin steps in and tells him that he has no manners, to only be kicked to the ground and into dirt. Everyone laughs at him, and he eventually sings a reprise of One Jump Ahead, which is about there being so much more to him, and that he is not just a street rat. We see he has some serious insecurity issues that he needs to work out. He foreshadows about being rich and living in a palace.

The next morning, Jasmine sends the prince packing, with his underwear revealed thanks to a bite her tiger Rajah left in his pants. The Sultan (Douglas Seale) sighs from his daughter’s badassery disobedience, and talks to her about needing to get married, since the law is she has to be married to a prince by her 16th birthday; which is only 3 days away. She thinks the law is wrong, and wants to be able to make her own decisions, as she is extremely sheltered and has never done a thing of her own.

I have to say, out of all the Father-daughter relationships that have been forced amongst us in this era, I think I prefer them the best. They are all the individuals have, and they never really argue and fight, and they seem more considerate of one another and calm, unlike Ariel and Triton. I also realized that Jasmine and Pocahontas have the same goal; to choose their own path.

I have to say, out of all the Father-daughter relationships that have been (and will be) forced amongst us in this era, I think I prefer them the best. They are all the individuals have, and they never really argue and fight, and they seem more considerate of one another and calm, unlike Ariel and Triton. I also realized that Jasmine and Pocahontas have the same goal; to choose their own path.

The Sultan rants to his vizier Jafar, who secretly despises him. He gets the Sultan’s ring by hypnotizing it, so he can find the diamond in the rough. Him and Iago go to their lair to look for the diamond in the rough, and it is revealed that they are plotting behind The Sultan’s back to take over. Jasmine sneaks out to leave, and has a saddening goodbye to her pet tiger and her only BFF.

The morning after, Jasmine is wandering the Agrabahin streets, and she is really curious and a bit overwhelmed with how the other people are interacting, and how the town is. Aladdin takes notice of her, and realizes that she is a hottie. Abu already knows he is lust-struck, but things get crazy when Jasmine gives a little boy an apple from the Market, not knowing about needing to pay. She is about to get her hand amputated, but he comes to her rescue and she goes along with his plan to trick the merchant out of the apple situation she managed to get into. This scene shows that they work great together and both adapt really well in any situation.

Since she has no home, she decides to go to the hot ass’ house, and they start talking which only really happened in a disney princess couple for….Belle and Beast, and even that was half assed. They make it through the slums of Agrabah, and they are already staring at one another lustfully. So she thanks him for saving her, and he says it is no problem. He tries to get to know her, and compliments her on standing out. She refuses to tell him anything about her past life, but he becomes more turned on as she hops between houses through a stick, and says she is a “fast learner”.

So they talk about how they feel trapped, and they feel sorry for one another. Aladdin tries to make a move on her by any means necessary, and she has no issue as she encourages him to take his move. Thy are about to make out before the guards show up. I wonder what the hell would have happened if they were not interrupted.

So they talk about how they feel trapped, and they feel sorry for one another. Aladdin tries to make a move on her by any means necessary, and she has no issue as she encourages him to take his move. Thy are about to make out before the guards show up. I wonder what the hell would have happened if they were not interrupted.

So they run away from the guards and soon enough, he is captured. Jasmine decides to release herself to save her potential lover, but it fails. Aladdin is shocked that she is a princess, and Razoul (Jim Cummings) ignores her request because Jafar (who has more power than her) told them to bring the street rat in the slammer. She rushes to Jafar to tell him off for arresting her potential lover for no reason. He tries to spin it by saying Aladdin kidnapped her, which fails because she reveals he ran away. Jafar tells her that he received the death penalty, and she runs off crying. Jasmine is actually really depressed and sad for most of the movie.

Abu releases Aladdin from the chains in the jail, and the 18 year old goes on and on about her being a princess. Abu rolls his eyes, since he let pussy distract him, which the street rat replies that it was worth it how is it worth it if they did not get any play? So Jafar disguised as an older old man is in the jail, and tells Aladdin about a lamp and a secret passage, and because he is the helpful boy, he goes after it. They bump into Carpet (who is ALL CGI), and were told that only the lamp is supposed to be touched, but of course the money hungry kleptomaniac monkey could not do that.

Aladdin (film)

The Cave of Wonders is about to collapse because of this, and we have a weird, badly aged CGI chase scene on the carpet. They are about to escape, but when Jafar tells them to give the lamp, he betrays them, causing the trio to stay stuck in the defunct cave.

Jasmine is locked up in her room, crying and sulking about her life sucking overall, and Aladdin being “killed”. Her father goes to her to comfort her, and it is nice that she finds it so easy to talk to her father, showing that they really are close.

So Al rubs the lamp to introduce us to Genie (Robin Williams) who randomly sings Friend Like Me, which explains everything Genie could do. It is really catchy. So Aladdin gets Genie to let them out without actually wishing for it, but when Genie does ask him to make a wish, he decides to be a prince because he wants to have a chance with Jasmine. Unlike other couples, he actually states that he likes her because she is smart, fun, THEN beautiful. The teen asks Genie what would he wish for, with the blue man saying that he would wish for freedom. They make an agreement that he will use his last wish to free Genie.

So while this is going on, Iago tells Jafar that he could marry Jasmine and after the wedding, to drop her and the Sultan off a cliff, which Jafar decides to do next, since he has no lamp.

He really did not need to do this. It is clear that Jasmine would not have minded, but I guess it is to show his insecurity. Well, I will say this about the racism., Do I think they portrayed the Arabian culture the best in this film? No. Do I think it was horrible? No. Are Aladdin and Jasmine a lot lighter than Jafar? No. They are all pretty tanned.

He really did not need to do this. It is clear that Jasmine would not have minded, but I guess it is to show his insecurity.
Well, I will say this about the racism. Do I think they portrayed the Arabian culture the best in this film? No. Do I think it was horrible? No. Are Aladdin and Jasmine a lot lighter than Jafar? No. They are all pretty tanned.

There is also the plot hole about the Prince wish, since Genie gets him a parade, and for him to be a prince……he needs land, a kingdom, and people to rule over, but he never gets that. So; Aladdin is playing dress up.

Right after Sultan tells Jafar he is too old for Jasmine (I love this old man Sultan) , we go through Prince Ali, which only turns Jasmine off, and when he meets The Sultan and Jafar, talking about how he will win her, and Jafar is trying to convince the Sultan that he shall marry her, but when Jasmine arrives, she is furious at all of them for deciding her future without her input. It is the end of the second night, and while Jasmine is sighing on her balcony about tomorrow being a sucky birthday, Aladdin is ranting and worrying about Jasmine not letting him talk to her. Genie tells him to tell the truth, which the Arabian refuses to because in his mind, she would laugh at him if she ever found out he was a street rat.

Yeah.....She would totally laugh (insert eye roll).

Yeah…..She would totally laugh (insert eye roll). Those eyes are fucking bed eyes.

So he decides to fly up to her balcony to talk to her, and decides to be suave, and confident. That totally fails when he goes up to her. She instantly recognizes him as the boy from the market place as his hat falls off and is shooing her tiger away. He tells her no, and tries to give an explanation, which she finds pathetic. He tells her she is beautiful, and she goes on to say she is rich too, and is a fine prize. This was a trap that he fell for, causing her to lose her top, since he is apparently like all the other cocky, arrogant losers she met. He says she is right, and jumps off the cliff, which she is worried about. He shows her the carpet, and asks for a ride. She is fascinated, and immediately recognizes that it is the boy from the marketplace, when he offers his hand and asks if she trusts him.

They go on a magic carpet ride, and sing A Whole New World, which is to sum it up; about them wanting to go on adventures and new, thrilling, shimmering experiences with one another. Since his guard is down during the song, she actually likes spending time with him. They end up on the rooftop of a Chinese palace when Mulan is probably being celebrated, and as they converse, she brings up Abu, which only confirms it is Aladdin.

Aladdin (film)

He admits that she is smart, but thinks he could pull this off. Anyways, he comes up with another pathetic lie about being in disguise so he can have freedom, and she accepts because……she did the exact same thing a day and a half ago.

So they make it to her balcony for her to wish her handsome prince goodnight, and him wishing his princes to sleep well. They are nervous, but forced to have one of the best kisses thanks to Carpet. When he makes it to the ground, Jafar has the guards tie Ali up , knock him out and throw him in the river. Sultan needs to be on his shit when it comes to these guards. So Genie is accidentally rubbed, and sees that Aladdin is drowning in the sea, so he uses a wish to save the boy.

Jasmine is humming like she has had the most pleasurable experience as she combs her hair, and when her father arrives in her room, she twirls happily to him and reveals she had the best time. The hypnotized Sultan tells her that she is marrying Jafar. Before she can even fully react to the news, her boo Aladdin shows up and exposes Jafar for a traitor, and sees that he is using the staff to hypnotize her father. After Jafar is gone (he sees the lamp in Aladdin’s hat), the Sultan sees that she has chosen a suitor, and unintentionally interrupts them every time they are about to kiss.

It is Jasmine’s birthday, and Sultan tells him that he has a good chance of being Sultan, which makes Aladdin feel bad and tells Genie for a moment that he cannot wish him free, because he will not be able to pull the lie off. After lashing out at the others, he realizes he needs to tell Jasmine the truth. Iago imitates Jasmine’s room to get Al to leave the room, and he steals the lamp. The boy sees Jasmine in her purple outfit and is about to tell her the truth, but she rushes him to be introduced to the kingdom as her suitor, not giving him any time to talk.

So Jafar gets decked up as he becomes the Sultan and the most powerful sorcerer, exposing Al as a fraud, shipping him off to who knows where, making Sultan a joke, Jasmine a server, and Rajah a small tiger that is more equivalent to a cat.

So Jafar gets decked up as he becomes the Sultan and the most powerful sorcerer, exposing Al as a fraud, shipping him off to who knows where, making Sultan a joke, Jasmine a server, and Rajah a small tiger that is more equivalent to a cat.

So of course Aladdin comes back, and when Jafar offers Jasmine to be his wife, she throws a glass of wine at him, causing her to fall as he almost slaps her. He wishes for her to fall in love with him, but Genie says he cannot do that. Seeing her boo hiding above, Jasmine tries to seduce Jafar long enough for Al to steal the lamp, and she is forced to kiss him. It is comedic with her trying to find ways to compliment him.

So the climax approaches as Jasmine is trapped in an hourglass, Abu turned into a toy, and Carpet turned into a ball of rope. The street rat is trying to kick Jafar’s ass and to save Jasmine at the same time, but is only successful when he uses Jafar’s ego against him, saying Genie will always be more powerful than him. He uses his final wish to become a genie, causing him to be trapped in a lamp (but he makes sure Iago gets stuck with him as well), and Genie tosses it to who knows how far.

Jasmine and Aladdin are torn about loving one another, but being forced to break up. Genie says he can make him a prince again. HE IS ALREADY A PRINCE; or did you Genie just give him prince clothes? Is Genie as powerful as he says he is? This is a plothole that is very strong in this film. Anyways, it is the moral that counts, so Aladdin wishes Genie free. Because Al will be a good ruler, and knowing he will not hear the end of her hatred for him for taking her only love away for as long as he lives because he wants her happy, he says that any prince(ss) can choose their own suitor.

So Aladdin and Jasmine are in purple outfits, and they are singing A Whole New World, and fly off on the carpet. Where are they going? We know they are not married. Are they going on a date? Paying a visit to Belle, Ariel, Megara’s kingdoms? Birthday sex? Who knows.

This is a good movie. I realized that Jafar is not the strongest villain, but we have a very strong couple, a great cast that works of well on one another, creative and vibrant atmosphere (Agrabah is such an interesting place), and we have an engaging and full fast paced plot. The soundtrack could definitely be stronger though. There is a reason why this is considered one of "The Big 4".

This is a good movie. I realized that Jafar is not the strongest villain, but we have a very strong couple, a great cast that works of well on one another, creative and vibrant atmosphere (Agrabah is such an interesting place), and we have an engaging and full fast paced plot. The soundtrack could definitely be stronger though. There is a reason why this is considered one of “The Big 4″.

Characters

The characters are pretty likable, and work off well with one another.

Aladdin

He is actually one of the first protagonists to go through something called character development. He is witty, a bit cocky, a bit suave, adventurous, and has a good heart. It is established that he is an emotional mess and is not perfect. He is relatable and owns all of the shit he does. You cannot compare him to anyone before him, and he takes control of the plot and is a unique case.

Jasmine

I like her a lot. I like that she is very vocal about he opinions, and tries to do something about it. She does not push things too far to the point of a breaking point when it comes to her father (ala Ariel). She is sassy, witty, a bit manipulative, but is genuine, a romantic, and a girl who is depressed throughout the whole movie. She is one of those girls who are sheltered, but when they are released, they go crazy.

Jafar

He is a good villain, but I would not put him in the top 5. He forgets a few steps many times through the film, and gets some of his good ideas from his sidekicks. He does have the charisma, is a huge ego-maniac, and extremely power hungry. He is likable, and gets stuff done. He does things dirty and underhanded, which I like.

Genie

I am not a huge fan of him. His jokes are really dated, and kind of distracts the film, though he does have a purpose and is more than comic relief. He is the only level headed one in this film.

Iago

I love how cranky he is. He is very smart and sarcastic.

Abu

He cares for Aladdin a lot, and it is cute how he was jealous of Jasmine in the beginning. He is VERY greedy. That is all I will say.

Sultan

I really like him. He is a bit stupid, but his heart is in the right place, and is a much stronger person than what meets the eye. I love that he is a child at heart.

Animation

The animation is pretty good. I like the caricatured, Arabians style they were going with, and how everything from the backgrounds to the characters were so shapely and had interesting lines and curves. The character designs and movements are extremely fluid, and the colors are really bold, and is what you will remember most about the animation. I do think the CGI has aged worse than the other Renaissance films though.

Music

The music is good; I will give it that. Some of the songs had the Arabian style to it, but others had a carnival-y theme to it. I do not know why Genie got to sing so many songs by himself, as I think it could have been given to more important characters (Jasmine, Jafar, Aladdin). There are a few filler songs that are not really needed, but all of the songs are really entertaining.

Reception at Release

When this film was released on November 25, 1992, it opened to number 2 right behind Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and managed to stay there for a few weeks, before climbing to and staying at #1 for 5 weeks (only reaching #1 in 1993), and was in theaters for 22 weeks. It is the highest grossing film of 1992, with $217 domestically (a record at the time), and $286 worldwide, leaving the box office to be $504,050,219, with a $28 million budget.

It was praised just like BatB and The Little Mermaid was, being praised for Robin Williams which is getting a bit of backlash now from the pop culture references dating now, the adventure, fast pace, romance, comedy, and for appealing to a wider audience and doing so successfully. There were the handful of people that considered this film racist, and found that they Americanized the Arabian culture and made it like a joke. Disney has had to deal with a lot of racist accusations with their ethnic films.

This film received many nominations and wins (like it’s 2 predecessors) for its music. It was nominated for too many awards to count, but I do know that it won an Annie for Best Animated Film, 2 Academy Awards for Best Song (A Whole New World) and Best Score, and Robin Williams won a few awards for his performance.

The soundtrack was extremely successful as well. It charted at #6 on the Billboard charts, and has become 3x Platinum records.

Reception Today

It’s reception today is still great. It actually launched a successful Broadway show this year (which won a few Tonys), had the FIRST honor of having the first sequels produced by DisneyToon Studios; The Return of Jafar, and The King of Theives. Apparently, they had a plan to make a few sequels to Aladdin before the film was even released. It had a successful TV series from 1994-1996, and is very prominent on merchandise and theme parks. Many see this as the start of celebrity voices (which is SO wrong) and the first modern film.

Final Score

Story: 8/10

Characters: 9/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 7.5/10

= 32.5/40 = 81%

Next Time…

Review: July 21st, 2014

Review: July 21st, 2014

Animatedkid`s First Anniversary

Thanks for remembering WordPress.

Thanks for remembering WordPress.

Well, it is that time to announce that today is Animatedkid blog`s first anniversary. I honestly did not imagine I would make it this far, and it would all happen so quick. This is a very good and fulfilling accomplishment I acheived, but before we get to all the mushy goodness, I think it is important to discuss how I created this blog, and what led me up to create this blog.

I got really interested into animation and all the history in 2012. Before that, I was not involved in the fandom to the point of creating accounts, commenting on blogs, and having all of these accounts, but things changed when I made a Fanpop account (now defunct) in early 2013. While I had a good time on Fanpop, I still felt like my opinion was not heard. I did not find WordPress until April 2013 when I read the blogs of Unshaved Mouse, which is where I met many of my followers. I engaged into conversations with many people at the time, and I was thinking of making a blog,. but never having the courage to.

Then on July 12th, 2013, I decided that I will create a blog, where I would discuss about animated films. I noticed that there were many bloggers who would review the entire Disney and Pixar canon, but never DreamWorks, so I decided that DreamWorks will be my very first project. I created my very first blog post ever on July 13th, 2013, announcing the debut of this blog.

I was in the middle of summer school when I first started this journey, and at first, I thought that no one liked the blog (to only find out that it was VERY unorganized). So, I went through the DreamWorks project within time, and I noticed that as every month passed by from July to December, my views went up. Around October or November, I decided that I would take on Walt Disney Animation Studios, and went on with it as soon as this year started. As soon as I started that project, my viewership went up by A LOT, and it is higher than ever right now.

I accomplished a lot with this first year, and met some brilliant, insightful, nice, and intellectual people, like Animation Commendation and Swanpride (who were my biggest supporters and were there from Day 1), and met other people like The Disney Odyssey, Taestful Reviews, BTW07, and so many more. And even the viewers that don`t comment; I am eternally grateful to you all as well, and I TRULY would not have lasted a year on WordPress without you all. The bloggers on WordPress are all respectful, and we are in a circle, where we view and comment all of our work, and it is not a competitive field. We all encourage one another, and support one another.

My most popular posts are my Shrek, Shrek 2, Chicken Run, Shark Tale, Prince of Egypt, Antz, Madagascar, Sinbad, Flushed Away, and Road to El Dorado reviews (and in that exact order). My Revival Era and Frozen Rant post is the 11th most viewed.

Out of the WDAS reviews, Bambi, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Aristocats, The Little Mermaid (it has only been out for 3 weeks), The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Robin Hood, and Sleeping Beauty are my most viewed in that order.

So, what do I plan on with the next year? Well I am going to finish up my Walt Disney Animation Studios reviews, post the 2014 and 2015 animated films reviews, and come animated couples reviews as well. The options are endless. Thank you all for being another family to me. God bless.

Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: Beauty and the Beast

Walt Disney Animation Studio's 30th feature film.

Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 30th feature film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRlzmyveDHE

http://megashare.info/watch-beauty-and-the-beast-online-TXpZPQ

My opinion right after watching film

You all are going to chew me out on this one. Anyways, my opinion right after watching the movie is that I like it; but it is SO not the best Disney film, at least when it comes to the plot. While the characterization and soundtrack is strong, the story has quite a few holes in it, which I think are more than minor. It has a good message, and the pacing is really good, but….I cannot ignore the holes and issues with it.

Production

While they tried to do this film in the 1930s and 50s, it never picked up, but the official production of this film started in 1987 as Who Framed Roger Rabbit was about to premiere. Originally, this film was going to be a non musical (as they still thought Oliver and Company was going to be a bigger hit than it was at the time), and the first film in the canon to have a screenwriter, which was Eisner’s idea; meaning they wrote the script before the storyboards, which was NEVER the case in the decades beforehand. In 1989, Katzenberg saw the storyboards, and demanded that they start over from fresh. Issue is that they had less than 2 years before it was set to premiere.

So the director Purdum quit a few months later, and Musker and Clements was offered to replace him, but they said that they were tired as The Little Mermaid was just released (to only join production on Aladdin a few months later), so the job went to Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Ashman (who was trying to get Aladdin off the ground) and Menken joined the production to turn it into a musical. With their help, the furniture characters were added, and the script was successfully retooled. Ashman was dying of AIDS, so they did production in New York as they watched him die, which eventually happened on March of 1991.

I forgot to mention in my Down Under review that the CAPS program was pulled off by a small company named Pixar.

 

Story

So the film starts with a stainglass introduction of how the Beast (Robby Benson) was a selfish, cold, bratty boy, man, teen male who lived in a castle. An old beggar came to give him a rose and asks to stay the night since there is nowhere else, but he is disgusted by her ugly appearance and tells her to go fuck off. She tells him that beauty is found within, but he dismisses her again. This causes her to get mad, and she reveals herself to be a beautiful, young enchantress. He then apologizes, but because she realizes that he is a dick and has no love in is heart, she turns him into a beast and curses the entire castle until his 21st birthday. If he does not love another and receives their love in return, he will remain a beast and the castle will be cursed forever.

Remember this image and remember what age he looks like.

Remember this image and remember what age he looks like.

So we skip to years later, and introduced to our heroine Belle (Paige O’Hara), villain Gaston (Richard White), his ass kissing best friend LeFou (Jesse Corti), via the song Belle. I have always liked this song . It establishes the french theme, and gives us insight on the heroine and villain’s goals, with giving us insight on both of them, and we learn a lot about the setting and atmosphere about the town, who are very gossipy and believes that the men should run everything. They all think Belle is odd, but the town hero and hunter Gaston wants to marry her because she is hot (and all the other boys think so as well). Gaston tries to woo her by tossing her library book in the mud, but she is not impressed and calls him primeval. She sings about being bored by the town as well.

Gaston and his sidekick start dissing her father Maurice (Rex Everhart), which causes her to get mad at them and says her father is a genius. When something blows up in her house, she runs home, with them laughing at her. Her father is pissed that the stupid machine is still not working. He is about to give up, but she says he always says that and he will be a worldwide inventor. Spoilers, he never becomes an inventor, it is forgotten about, and he just lives at the castle, probably having a dalliance with Mrs Potts (Angela Lansbury). They have a talk about Gaston, and she reveals that she is disgusted by him. Maurice gets the invention to work, and is off to the fair.

The man gets lost, as he WILLINGLY CHOOSES to go through the dark and scary path. So they end up getting chased by wolves, and the horse abandons Maurice. He ends up going to the castle, and is fascinated when he sees talking home decour like candle Lumiere (Jerry Orbach)  and Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers).

The man gets lost, as he WILLINGLY CHOOSES to go through the dark and scary path. So they end up getting chased by wolves, and the horse abandons Maurice. He ends up going to the castle, and is fascinated when he sees talking home decor like candle Lumiere (Jerry Orbach) and Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers).

Well the Beast finds him and loses his top about having a guest. He does not care that Maurice is lost in the woods and has nowhere else to stay, so he tosses him in the dungeon. I am confused with the castle; what does he own? It is not clarified that he is the ruler of the little town or anything. I did hear from one of the comments on Unshaved Mouse that parents built castles for their reckless and undisciplined children to live at, so maybe that explains it.

It is the next morning, and Gaston literally has a wedding right outside Belle’s door. He knocks on the door (where she rolls her eyes to when she realizes it is him) and opens the door for him to put his dirty feet on her table, and attempt to ravish at her aggressively into marriage. She tosses him out of her house and into the mud, for him to be humiliated by the entire town. This bruises his ego a lot and makes him DETERMINED to marry Belle. After a hell of a morning, she goes outside to sing about wanting more than a provincial life like living in a castle is an adventure or much better . Her horse arrives and takes her to the castle. THE HORSE ABANDONED MAURICE WAY BEFORE HE EVEN GOT TO THE CASTLE. WTF. I hate dumb inconsistencies and plot holes like this.

So word travels fast in the castle that a girl is there, and when she finally finds her father she comes face to face with the Beast.

This is such an unpleasant first meeting.

This is such an unpleasant first meeting.

So she offers to switch with her father, which the beast accepts, and sends off Maurice without letting them say goodbye. When she sees the beast in the light, she is shocked. Lumiere offers him to give her a better room, which he initially scoffs by, but realizes it is a good idea. When he visits her, she hates him because he did not let her say boy to her father, and he feels bad for it. He tells her that she is getting another room, and when they are on their way, Lumiere offers him to invite her to dinner, which the beast does, but the way he does it, he demands her to and says it is not a request before slamming the door. She falls on her bed and cries that she gave her life away.

We learn a lot about Gaston and the town in this song. He is depressed about his ego being taken down a notch by Belle, and LeFou sings a song about kissing his ass, and how he is the best. Gaston gets cheered up from all of them bragging about him, and he joins to gloat about himself. They all like him and praise him because he is the stereotypical male; strong, handsome, heroic, and likes to drink with the guys, and fucks the girls. When Maurice comes in (to only be tossed out) when he tells them about Belle being taken by the Beast, they all think he is crazy, and him and LeFou come up with a plan. LeFou says "A dangerous Past Time", to which Gaston replies "I know", so he has done dangerous stuff and got rid of people to get what he wants. And you know what, the town KNOWS and dis OKAY with it. Maurice decides to go after Belle and get her himself.

We learn a lot about Gaston and the town in this song. He is depressed about his ego being taken down a notch by Belle, and LeFou sings a song about kissing his ass, and how he is the best. Gaston gets cheered up from all of them bragging about him, and he joins to gloat about himself. They all like him and praise him because he is the stereotypical male; strong, handsome, heroic, and likes to drink with the guys, and fucks the girls. When Maurice comes in (to only be tossed out) he tells them about Belle being taken by the Beast, and they all think he is crazy, and him and LeFou come up with a plan. LeFou says “A dangerous Past Time”, to which Gaston replies “I know”, so he has done dangerous stuff and got rid of people to get what he wants beforehand. And you know what, the town KNOWS and is OKAY with it. Maurice decides to go after Belle and get her himself; remember that.

The alive home decor has already evolved a plan to hook up Beast with Belle, and he is worried about her breaking the curse as well. They all tell him that they need to control his temper. Cogsworth tells them that she refuses to join him for dinner, which causes him to lose it. They get into an argument, and Beast is pretty close to being physically abusive. He demands that she will not eat if it is not with him.

Belle sneaks down to get something to eat, and Lumiere and Potts are more than willing to serve her, which leads them to the awesome Be Our Guest. While it is a good song, it is pretty much pointless. It does tell us that they have been objects for 10 years. Hold the hell up; they have been objects for 10 years, meaning Beast was about 10-11 when he was cursed. Then why does he have the photo (the one that I showed in the beginning about his human picture) like he has not aged since he was in the end of the film? They should not have had the 10 years line if it was insignificant. Plothole much? And it is not the only one. It is nice to see how much they want to entertain her and got them optimistic, but this song is useless because she is already their guest.

So she bails on the tour Cogsworth and Lumiere are willing to take her on to go to the West Wing, when she knows she is not supposed to be there. She sees the pic of the prince and likes what she sees. When the beast gets there, things turn almost physical.

Look at this picture. He was about to hit her. She is in the same spot he is aiming for. You cannot tell me he was not going to hit her.

Look at this picture. He was about to hit her. She is in the same spot he is aiming for. You cannot tell me he was not going to hit her.

So she runs away to only be almost killed by wolves, and is saved by the Beast. They are both grateful for saving one another (she took the beast back to the castle when he was scratched up) and some of the ice between them is broken. Maurice just left to get Belle, and Gaston is ready to set his plan to get Maurice in the Asylum, but no one is there and sends his bitch best friend LeFou to be the watcher of the house, in case Maurice and/or Belle comes back.

So we then get 3 songs back to back; Something There, Human Again, and Beauty and the Beast, which takes about 10-15 minutes. So it is the next morning, and Belle is wearing Green (signaling her comfort and happiness) and Beast gives her a library because he suddenly wants to do something for her. It switches to another day (the final day to break the curse. And I know it is another day because Belle is wearing Pink), and they are playing with snow and eating, when they realize that there is something else between them, though their situation is not the typical Prince Charming type.

While Belle is reading Beast Romeo and Juliette like it is a romantic epic that couple(Romeo and Juliette) makes the Classic couples look like geniuses, the objects are singing Human Again, which gives us a bit more insight on the side characters and what they want to do when they were human again, and what they were doing before the I realized that they waited until the last 3 days to actually do something. This film does not take place in months because…we will get there.

We get into the third song, as Beast is getting prepared for their dinner date, ready to confess his love for her to her. Beauty and the Beast starts with Belle and Beast meeting one another as they go down a long step of stairs. Mrs Potts is narrating their feelings about how they are both scared to love one another, and it was a surprise to them, and a big change for them. I think this expresses their relationship in a nutshell, and it is a magnificent song. So the couple goes outside and he asks how she likes it here, and she says she enjoys herself. She then drops a bomb about missing her father, and then he goes to get her mirror, where we see her father laying in the forest.

Another plothole. Maurice went after Belle the day he was released and she took his place. It has been approximately 2 days. So he has been laying here for 2 days, and is not dead yet? And for the people who think this film takes place in months, this proves otherwise. This also means that LeFou has been waiting in the snow for 2 days straight. Messy.

Another plothole. Maurice went after Belle the day he was released and she took his place. It has been approximately 2 days. So he has been laying here for 2 days, and is not dead yet? And for the people who think this film takes place in months, this proves otherwise. This also means that LeFou has been waiting in the snow for 2 days straight. And even if it took place in months; HOW THE HELL WOULD MAURICE SURVIVE OUTSIDE IN THE COLD FOR MONTHS? Messy.

So she leaves the castle (which saddens everyone) to take her father home. Soon enough, there is a knock at the door, and Monsieur D’Arque (Tony Jay) arrives to pick up her father. She refuses to let that happen, and Gaston offers a bargain; she marries him for her father’s freedom. Not even that will get her to marry him, which shows that she always thought Gaston was worse than the Beast. She shows them the mirror that the Beast does exist, which leads to the Mob Song. I forgot to mention that Gaston and the town have a lot of similarities to Grom and Sleepy Hollow in Ichabod and Mr.Toad.

They go to the castle and all of the men get their asses kicked by the furniture and abandons the castle. Beast vs Gaston takes place and Gaston is whooping his hairy ass since he is too depressed from Belle leaving. When Belle shows up, it gives him motivation to drag and throw Gaston like a rag doll, and has him begging to let him go and will do anything like a bitchass. Bele goes to Beast, and he demands Gaston to get out. As the couple reconcile, Gaston pulls a punk move and stabs him, and the villain falls to his death by bad balance.

So the beast does, and is revived into a human by Belle saying she loves him. So everyone turns back into a human, and it takes her a few seconds to recognize it is the Beast, and they share one of the most passionate kisses in the canon. They are later in the castle celebrating and dancing, with Lumiere about to chase Babette (Mary K Bergman), but ends up fighting Cogsworth, and Chip (who got Belle and Maurice out of the truck and to the castle in the climax; also voiced by Bradley Michael Pierce) talks with his mother with Maruice standing right beside them. The films ends with a stainglass picture of the couple.

The film is really good. The characters are the strongest we have seen yet, the theme of it is executed really well, the soundtrack has a coherent theme to it, the animation is eye candy, but the loop and plot holes (while not really major but not minor) holds this film back for me.

The film is really good. The characters are the strongest we have seen yet, the theme of it is executed really well, the soundtrack has a coherent theme to it, the animation is eye candy, but the loop and plot holes (while not really major but not minor) holds this film back for me.

Characters

The characters are awesome in this film. I like that they have more characterization and depth (more than ever at this point), and they all are really fun. It is rarer for me to not hate or dislike at least a character in a movie, but I honestly cannot say that I dislike a character in this movie.

Belle is a great protagonist. She is relatable, likable, and logical. She wants more, but does not know what it is, is booksmart, and is aware that she is odd for her atmosphere.  While I think she should have a bit more flaws (though they are there) it is almost always excused. I understand why some like her, and understand why others dislike her. I like her enough.

Belle is a great protagonist. She is relatable, likable, and logical. She wants more, but does not know what it is, is booksmart, and is aware that she is odd for her atmosphere. While I think she should have a bit more flaws (though they are there) it is almost always excused. I understand why some like her, and understand why others dislike her. I like her enough.

He has never been one of the more memorable princes to me. I know that he is the first one to be an actual character than a prop, and I know he is an emotional mess, which is relatable. He goes from the angry beast to the mushy beast, and it was kind of a bit weird. I do not know, he just does not really stick out to me to be honest. You need to be more than a loner and an emotional mess to be memorable to me.

He has never been one of the more memorable princes to me. I know that he is the first one to be an actual character than a prop, and I know he is an emotional mess, which is relatable. He goes from the angry beast to the mushy beast, and it was kind of a bit weird. I do not know, he just does not really stick out to me to be honest. You need to be more than a loner and an emotional mess to be memorable to me.

I never realized what a good villain he was before I watched this film for the review. He is very arrogant and egotistical, and expects everything to go his way. When he does not get what he wants, h goes to drastic measures, and listen when LeFou says "A dangerous Pasttime" when Gaston comes up with a plan to get rid of Maurice. He has done this stuff before, and it is no like it has been a secret. He really is just as devious and deceptive as the other villains. He will do anything o get Blele, and you can tell that he is really hurt when his ego is taken a hit; like when Belle chooses Beast and when he is rejected a proposal.

I never realized what a good villain he was before I watched this film for the review. He is very arrogant and egotistical, and expects everything to go his way. When he does not get what he wants, he goes to drastic measures, and listen when LeFou says “A dangerous Pasttime” when Gaston comes up with a plan to get rid of Maurice. He has done this stuff before, and it is not like it has been a secret. He really is just as devious and deceptive as the other villains. He will do anything to get Belle, and you can tell that he is really hurt when his ego is taken a hit; like when Belle chooses Beast and when he is rejected a proposal.

He is really entertaining. He really likes being hospitable and welcoming to people, which might not always be the best idea long term. He is a womanizer, and just loves to loves.

He is really entertaining. He really likes being hospitable and welcoming to people, which might not always be the best idea long term. He is a womanizer, and just loves to loves.

He is entertaining too, but I like Lumiere better. Cogsworth is just the stuck up British guy. Entertaining at tomes, but a lot more boring than Lumiere.

He is entertaining too, but I like Lumiere better. Cogsworth is just the stuck up British guy. Entertaining at times, but a lot more boring than Lumiere.

She is the nurturing one out of the entire group. She is the most wise, and the one people looks up to. She has the respect of everyone at the castle, even the Beast. I am glad that not all of the sidekicks are male (like so many other animated films). She is definitely the one that runs things right after the Beast.

She is the nurturing one out of the entire group. She is the most wise, and the one people looks up to. She has the respect of everyone at the castle, even the Beast. I am glad that not all of the sidekicks are male (like so many other animated films). She is definitely the one that runs things right after the Beast.

Maurice is the first of the short, and gimmicky parents, but unlike his successors, he s not overly goofy, and is actually quite wise and level headed. I like that he has something else going for him (his inventing), but it is kind of dropped. From the end, I am assuming that he is going to go out with Mrs. Potts and live at the castle.

Maurice is the first of the short, and gimmicky parents, but unlike his successors, he s not overly goofy, and is actually quite wise and level headed. I like that he has something else going for him (his inventing), but it is kind of dropped. From the end, I am assuming that he is going to go out with Mrs. Potts and live at the castle.

LeFou is one of those wannabe ass kissers that no one really likes, but is around to give an ego boost, and so there is always someone worse looking or worse personality wise than everyone else. I don't hate him, but I could do without him.

LeFou is one of those wannabe ass kissers that no one really likes, but is around to give an ego boost, and so there is always someone worse looking or worse personality wise than everyone else. I don’t hate him, but I could do without him.

Animation

I have to say that the animation is an improvement over both The Rescuers Down Under and The Little Mermaid. The CAPS looks more organic and like they know what they are doing. The character designs are brilliant (though Belle does look different in certain scenes) the background settings look exquisite, and the coloring is perfect. The settings are really well done, but sometimes, some things are really choppy and weird looking, but this is with the background characters and minor objects. They did have like a year and a half to animate this film.

Music

The music is awesome. Most of the songs give extra depth to the characters, extremely catchy, and smartly lyric-ed. I like the french Broadway theme, and I think it is perfect for the pacing and the setting of the film. Show-stoppers like Be Our Guest, Gaston, and so many others will be forever stuck in your head. They are perfectly placed, and I honestly have mo complaints against it.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on November 13, 1991 internationally and November 22nd, 1991 domestically, it broke records. It is the third highest grossing film of 1991,and the first animated film to gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, making $145,863,363. It made $206,000,000 internationally, with a worldwide total of $351, 863, 363 I do not know why they complained about Pocahontas‘ box office, when it made $5 million less. This was a HUGE and overwhelming success for the company, and this caused them to officially make musicals their thing.

When it comes to critical reception, it was praised even more than The Little Mermaid. It was compared to being as good as or even better than the films in the Golden Age, liking it for being relatable to modern times, but still keeping the classic fairy tale theme. People went crazy over this film in early 1992, so much that it was nominated for Best Picture, which was unheard of for an animated film. Because of this, they would make massive changes to a project that was just getting into production: Pocahontas.

Well, the songs Belle, Be Our Guest, and Beauty and the Beast (which won) was nominated for Best Original Song in the Academy Awards, and that was rare for 3 films of a film to be nominated, which only happened to The Lion King, Dreamgirls, and Enchanted. It was nominated for 2 other Academy Awards, a Golden Globe (as it won the other 3 it was nominated for). The soundtrack charted #16 on the Billboard charts, and is deemed 3X Platinum.

 

Reception Today

Do I even have to say it? It is still a mega-classic. Some see this film as the best Disney film to be ever put out, and it is still a huge money maker. It is extremely successful on Broadway, spawned 2 sequels from 1997-98, is very prominent on merchandise and theme parks. This movie is one of the first things that pop up when Disney is mentioned or seen.

Final Score

Story: 7/10

Characters: 9/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 10/10

= 34/40 = 85%

Next Time…

Review: July 14th, 2014

Review: July 14th, 2014

 

 

Is DreamWorks Animation in trouble?

Dreamworks Animation

I have recently heard of the box office failures of their recent outputs in the past 3 years, like Rise of the Guardians, the underperformances of Turbo, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 not doing as well as we were all expecting, and dropping as the weeks go on rapidly, many are wondering what is going on at DreamWorks.

Rise_of_the_Guardians_poster

Well, there was the massive layoffs in early last year because of the failure of Rise of the Guardians, as they laid off 350 people, and they wrote an $83 million writedown for the first quarter of 2013. I discussed this in my review of said movie, and how after the release of that film, DreamWorks switched their distribution from Paramount Pictures to 20th Century Fox, and The Croods being the first film under that distribution.

The_Croods_poster

After The Croods was released, we all thought that DreamWorks was fine, as it made $587 million in the box office, having a decent fanbase, and garnering a franchise. It was not a How To Train Your Dragon, but it was decent.

Turbo_(film)_poster

Then Turbo was released in July of last year, and it did not really do too well with either the fans, critics, or the box office, as it only made a bit more than $280 million dollars, and it came and went with no impact, as people were still praising over Monsters University and Despicable Me 2. In February of this year, the company took a $13.5 million writedown after the disappointment of Turbo; which happened a year prior with Rise of the Guardians.

Peabody

With their next film Mr. Peabody and Sherman, they made $260 million in the box office, and even though it made that much money, DreamWorks took a $53 million writedown in May of this year (I did not know any of this when I was writing the review for said film). This is the third flop from DreamWorks animation in a year and a half, with only The Croods making some money. Let’s add it up.

83,000,000

13,500,000

+53,000,000

___________

$149,500,000

This means that from the duration of early 2013 to now, they lost almost 150 million dollars. That is HUGE.

How_to_Train_Your_Dragon_2_poster

And with How To Train Your Dragon 2, it has been almost a month, and it has made $240,000,000 so far. It never hit #1 on the weekend box offices, and is performing worse than it’s predecessor. Many are worrying about why this film never really took off, though this is the first film since Kung Fu Panda 2 to really hit critical acclaim.

There is a desperation from this company to have another hit franchise that will take off in the box office and with the fans, but they have been having trouble with that. Are we seeing another bad era from DreamWorks? Why is this happening to them? Maybe it has to do with them releasing too many films in a year, and maybe because people are getting tired of the gimmicks from DreamWorks. What  do you all think of the reasoning of the downward trend of DreamWorks? Does anyone have high hopes for their next projects Penguins of Madagascar and Home? I don’t know what is going on in that studio, but there are some serious issues they need to work out. I wish the best for DreamWorks.

Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: The Rescuers Down Under

Walt Disney Animation Studios 29th feature film.

Walt Disney Animation Studios 29th feature film.

http://www.cornel1801.com/disney/Rescuers-Down-Under-1990/movie-film.html

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the movie is that I do not feel like it is a successful sequel. I say this because the protagonist’s presence in the film is very limited and they do not have a very active role in it. The narrative is not as tight as it’s predecessor is, and has weird pacing. The characters are likable, the score being more memorable than it’s predecessor, and the CAPS (while not the best here) is a blessed welcoming. I just feel like the integrity of the original is lost and it is TOO different from it.

Production

I could not find much information on the production of this film except for the fact that they fully developed the digital CAPS system, which they used to make traditional animation on using computers; so this means no Xerography and scratchy looking films like the ones we got from One Hundred and One Dalmatians to The Little Mermaid. 415 artists and technicians went to the Australian Outback to draw for inspiration (this would be common for the studio from hereon out). The computer work cut down production by 6 months. This is Eva Gabor’s final film before her retirement in 94 and death in 1995. There was a Rescuers 3 planned to release in 1996, but the former’s death caused them to scrap the project. It started development in 1987.

Story

So the film starts with a close up, speeded up view of many flowers, which eventually lead up to the house of Cody (Adam Ryen). He is an 8 year old who spends his free time running through the Outback and forest with no supervision. Anyways, a bunch of animals (how can they be able to perfectly communicate with him, and this is the real world?) tell him that a golden eagle named Marahute (Frank Welker) got caught in a trap, and that he is the only one who can get him.  Cody sets the bird free with a knife (how in the hell does an 8 year old have a knife), and gets knocked off the tall cliff he climbed to get the bird.

Honestly, I am only thinking about the fucked up home training and upbringing this kid must have had. Neglectful parents who condones a little kid wandering off in the middle of nowhere with a knife.

Honestly, I am only thinking about the fucked up home training and upbringing this kid must have had. Neglectful parents who condones a little kid wandering off in the middle of nowhere with a knife.

So the bird catches him and takes him on a 3 minute ride, and eventually to her nest, where her eggs are laying Cody bonds with the bird, and is taken back to land. He is running around like he is a bird, which makes him unaware of his surroundings, causing him to fall in a trap. Percival McLeach (George C. Scot) goes to the trap he set, expecting to catch an animal, but is shocked and disappointed to catch a little boy. He is about to let Cody go free, but he then sees the feather of the rare eagle, which in a nutshell, causes him to kidnap Cody and throw his bag of a ledge. to make it look like he was killed by alligators.

So the message finally gets to New York, where Bianca (Eva Gabor) and Bernard (Bob Newhart) are having a romantic date. Here is the issue; we are a little less than a quarter way through the film, and our protagonists have just appeared. The pacing is really slow. So Bernard goes through his only arc of the film and tries to propose to Bianca, but fails.

I have to say Bernard and Bianca, I am LOVING the updated look the CAPS system is giving you two. This is such a nice shot. They are so much more easier on the eyes, and the colors are much more bold.

I have to say Bernard and Bianca, I am LOVING the updated look the CAPS system is giving you two. This is such a nice shot. They are so much more easier on the eyes, and the colors are much more bold.

Bianca is told by a messenger that they are given a task about saving a little boy in Australia. Bernard and Bianca are having a conversation, but it is one sided, as both are talking about different things. Bernard is discussing that the messenger told Bianca about the proposal, while Bianca is discussing the case that the messenger told the both of them. Thy go off to the Rescue Aid Society for Bernard to finally realize that she is not talking about marriage, but a case.

So they go to Albatross Airlines (I don’t know the real name, I just created this one) to go to Orville, but the Airlines is changed because Orville died like his voice actor they are under new management, ala his brother Wilbur (John Candy). They tell him that they need to go to Australia ASAP for a case, which Wilbur refuses because they are under a major snowstorm, but changes his mind when they tell him the details on the case.

So Wilbur only flies half way for a cheap comedic laugh him getting too tired, and hopped on the cargo hold on a plane to Australia. When they get there, the RAS’ local regional operative Jake (Tristan Rogers) struggles to get Wilbur to park properly, but manages to make the landing space large enough for an albatross. He gets a ladder and becomes attracted to Bianca as soon as he sees her. He says something about helping her husband with them correcting him on not being married. As soon as he hears this, his hormones shoot up and pushes Bernard to make a move on Bianca. 

The Rescuers Down Under

So we suffer from more annoying humor from Wilbur when he breaks his back, and we have to suffer from a scene of him being in the hospital, bitching and moaning as nurses stuff random needles in him. As the trio carry on their journey without Orville Wilbur, McLeach decides to play knife darts, with Cody being the target. He does this to scare the living crap out of him to get him to tell where the Eagle is, which Cody refuses to do. Bernard and Bianca  end up in the middle of the forest, and as she picks prickly things off him, he decides hat it is time to propose to her, but is interrupted when Jake saves them from a snake. He uses an intimidation tactic on the snake to get it to be their ride. Bianca is impressed and goes with Jake at the front, as Bernard is holding onto its tail to keep up. I feel bad for him.

We have this filler scene of Cody being locked in a room with a bunch of animals, and they just ramble on and on and on. They all want to escape and we have some annoying humor in it, and it becomes useless because....they are never seen again or released. I think this film was trying too hard to be funny, wild, and cool that the story became sloppy as a result.

We have this filler scene of Cody being locked in a room with a bunch of animals, and they just ramble on and on and on. They all want to escape and we have some annoying humor in it, and it becomes useless because….they are never seen again or released. I think this film was trying too hard to be funny, wild, and cool that the story became sloppy as a result.

So Orville Wilbur is released from the “hospital”, and goes to look for Bernard, Bianca, and Jake. Percival McLeach is trying to find a way to get Cody to tell him about Marahute, and realizes that her eggs are his weak spot, so he tells Cody that Marahute has been shot and taken by someone else. He releases Cody, and does this to follow Cody and trap the bird and to capture it. The mouse trio FINALLY arrive to the scene, and realizes that Cody is being tricked. This entire third quarter feels like filler. As they follow Cody and Percival, Bianca and Jake ends up being trapped, and Bernard is the one to save the eggs.

Cody gets trapped (along with Marahute) and tied above a crocodile river, and is about to fall. Wilbur ends up bumping into Bernard and after Bernard switches the eggs with rocks (he did this because Joanna (Frank Welker) is supposed to drop the eggs into the river, which he does, but realizes that the eggs are rocks). Wilbur spends the rest of the film sitting on eggs. Bernard uses the technique that Jake did to get an ostrich to take him to where the others are.

The Rescuers Down Under

Bernard gets the key, which causes the car to stop and for Percival to stall drowning Cody. He throws the keys to Bianca to release her and Jake. Percival takes a gun and shoots the rope Cody is hanging on, causing it to almost break. Bernard tricks Joanna  into jumping on McLeach, causing both of them to fall in the crocodile infested river. Cody’s rope breaks as well, but gets saved after Marahute (who was released by Bianca and Jake) catches him as he falls from the waterfall. Joanna manages to escape, and Percival drowns to his death as he falls the waterfall. Marahute catches all of them, and Bianca congratulates Bernard on being a hero. He proposes to her, which she accepts. Jake congratulates them, and Cody tells Marahute to fly home, which is how the film ends.

This is a weird ending. We do not get to see Bernard and Bianca return home, Cody reunite with his mother and for everyone to know he is alive, and the other animals are never released. Non of these are properly closed off.

Do I think this film deserved to flop? No. Why do I think it did? Well, it was very different for a Disney output, and it did not help that it was released the same time as Home Alone was. Anyways, I think the story is a bit sloppy and unfocused with weird pacing, but I have seen a lot worse, and the film is not really bad. While I am disappointed with how it continued The Rescuers franchise, it holds its own with a brilliant animation and soundtrack, likable characters, and an interesting theme.

Do I think this film deserved to flop? No. Why do I think it did? Well, it was very different for a Disney output, and it did not help that it was released the same time as Home Alone was. Anyways, I think the story is a bit sloppy and unfocused with weird pacing, but I have seen a lot worse, and the film is not really bad. While I am disappointed with how it continued The Rescuers franchise, it holds its own with a brilliant animation and soundtrack, likable characters, and an interesting theme.

Characters

I am disappointed in how our protagonists are handled in the sequel, but most of the characters are still likable and enjoyable.

Bernard

I like that they remembered that he is very superstitious. While he is still enjoyable, he was only trying to propose to Bianca. He did somewhat save the day, but he suffers from not developing at all and from having limited appearances in the film.

Bianca

I am disappointed in how they handled Bianca in the film. In the first film, she was extremely active, useful, and saved as much as she needed to be saved. I still stand that she is a BIG improvement for feminism in Disney films. In this film, she was only a tool for the two men to battle over, and barely took part in things other than that. Very disappointing.

Cody

He is alright. He is adventurous, curious, and aware for his age. He is not irritating or bland, so you know, I guess he is more than alright.

Percival C. McLeach

He is actually a pretty unique and good villain. He is uneducated, but he is deceptive, embraces his cruelty, and knows he is gutter trash, and just does not give a fuck. I think he is one of the better villains, but the under performance of the film leads him to be underrated.

Wilbur

Oh lord do I find him irritating. He is not funny, helps with literally nothing, and is just painful to watch. While I am sad that John Candy died, I imagined him being a talking comic relief turkey in Pocahontas would have only made that film worse.

Jake

He is pretty cool. He is ruggish, adventurous, chauvinistic, and a joy to watch. I am glad that they did not make him unlikable as he is kind of Bernard’s rival. He is extremely resourceful.

Animation

The animation is better than it has been in years. I like the updates that they did to The Rescuers world, the bold coloring, and the fluidity. While I do like it, I do feel like I have seen better, and it is not the most memorable animation. It is a bit disappointing with how Australia looked, since I was expecting more.

Music

I like the Australian score. It does give the film an adventure journey theme. Since there is no songs……that is it for this section.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on November 16th, 1990, it opened 4th behind Home Alone, Rocky V, and Child’s Play 2; opening with $3.5 million. Because of this, Katzenberg decided to stop promoting the movie on television (sabotage much). It ended up making $27,931,461 domestically, and $47,431,461 overall, making it an extremely minor success.

Critically, it got favourable reviews. Many did not like the absence of our protagonists in the film, and the fact that it was made off of the Western World’s obsession with Australia at the time.

Reception Today

Because of it’s underwhelming performance, it has been tossed in the Disney vault for many years, is overshadowed by it’s predecessor and all the other films in the Renaissance. The company has decided not to make sequels ever again, leaving that to another studio called Disneytoons. Many people have forgotten about or do not know what this film is.

Final Score

Story: 6/10

Characters: 6.5/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 7.5/10

= 28/40 = 70%

Next Time…

Review: July 7th, 2014

Review: July 7th, 2014

 

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Review

2014's 6th feature film.

2014’s 6th animated feature film.

I know that I did not do Legend of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (the 5th animated film of this year), but so far, I honestly cannot find a link to watch it, and it has almost been 2 months. I heard the film s doing horribly, so that is why.

http://megashare.ca/watch-how-to-train-your-dragon-2-online/#.U6TzbfldWcY

My Opinion right after watching movie

My opinion right after watching the movie is that it is a good sequel. It gave me everything I needed in a film, it built on the world and the characters (which I said that I wanted to see in the review of its predecessor), a lot of action, a darkness and seriousness that are not in DreamWork’s films, but I have to admit that the movie can be a bit clunky at times. I still prefer the Kung Fu Panda franchise, but this is some good stuff.

Production

Dreamworks announced a sequel to the public and to start development literally a month after How To Train Your Dragon aired in theaters, and they even started drafting in February of 2010. They planned this sequel before it’s predecessor was even released.I think this was done because their first franchise Shrek was ending later that year.

There is not much else to really discuss about it, as all I know that they got a new animation program for this film, and all of the actors returned. I think there is not much info because the film was released a bit over a week ago.

Story

So everyone is in their early 20s and we are 5 years after the first film (they never give us a date in either film as to how old they are), and Astrid (America Fererra) and her crew are playing some dragon game, where a black sheep is a ball, and Stoick (Gerard Butlar) is cheering on his future daughter in law. While this is going on, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is flying his dragon Toothless as they are trying out a new flying trick, which gives us a great flying and motion sequence. They land back on a land, and Hiccup and Toothless play around with one another, which is how many boys interact with one another. He takes note of the new land that he is observing (as he has started to draw a map of what is around Berk).

His girlfriend Astrid finds him, and asks why he is by himself, where he reveals that his father told him that he is going to be a chief. He of course does not believe in himself, and she of course tells him that he is a great chief because of his heart; so everything that every movie and parent tells us. They then start flying and see a cross fire, which causes them to land, and they bump into Eret (Kit Harington), who is the leader of Drago (Djimon Hounson), and he tells them that Drago is planning on taking all of the dragons that Berk “took”, and the two rush off to Berk (after they tried to kidnap the couple`s dragons).

I really do not want to upload images of these poor quality videos, but I do want to give you readers some imagery as you are reading the review.

I really do not want to upload images of these poor quality videos, but I do want to give you readers some imagery as you are reading the review.

He tells his father about Drago and his crew ready to fight and to steal their dragon which causes the older man to get really nervous, and tells berk to get ready to fight. Hiccup does not want them to fight, and decides to go to Drago and Eret to try to make piece (with Stoick objecting). Astrid goes with him (I like how proactive she is in the film, without rubbing “Ooh, we are so feminist” in our faces). They go on the boat, and gives themselves up so they could leave Berk alone, but their sidekicks follow them, and Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) lusts over Eret when she sees his muscles, and sacrifices herself to him, only for Hiccup to save her. Long story short, Hiccup flies away, and Astrid kidnaps Eret.

As Toothless is flynig with Hiccup, the latter is taken by another dragon rider and is placed on their land. The dragon rider reveals herself to be Valka, his long lost mother. She said that she picked him up because “A mother never forgets”.

It is very smart for them to add her in the film. Not only does it give more depth to Hiccup, but also Stoick, and continue the plotlines in the series without rehashing constantly. But I am doubting her remembering him when she left him when he was months old. Did he look like young Stoick or a young her to recognize him?

It is very smart for them to add her in the film. Not only does it give more depth to Hiccup, but also Stoick, and continue the plotlines in the series without rehashing constantly. But I am doubting her remembering him when she left him when he was months old. Did he look like young Stoick or a young her to recognize him?

So he is confused about the bomb she just dropped, and demands an explanation. She tells him that her marriage to his father became strained because he was too obsessed with hunting and killing dragons, and she  had the very unpopular opinion of dragons, which made things worse. One night, a dragon came, and was about to touch Hiccup, but she sacrificed herself and went with the dragon, causing the entire town to think that she was killed.  So she tells him that he does not know as much about dragons as she does, and they start to bond. You can definitely tell that she is a bit over eccentric and loony.

As Valka and Hiccup bond with flying dragons, Astrid and crew (along with a kidnapped Eret) goes to Drago`s boating area, and as they approach there, they are captured by Drago`s helpers, and the dragons have darts shot into them, as they are hypnotized by Drago to be under his control. Astrid and crew tells them that if they are not released, then Hiccup the ALMIGHTY Dragon master will take them down, which angers Drago.

I know that this picture is not a good representation, but Astrid`s newer design is a bit too soft and delicate for me. She just seems a bit unfamiliar, and ti is weird how ALL the others are ugly but her  and Hiccup, as they are dolled up to be overly attractive.

I know that this picture is not a good representation, but Astrid`s newer design is a bit too soft and delicate for me. She just seems a bit unfamiliar, and it is weird how ALL the others are ugly but her and Hiccup, as they are dolled up to be overly attractive.

Stoick and his BFF Goober (Craig Ferguson) tracks his son down (after he finds his helmet) and he realizes that his ex wife is still alive. She is nervous to trust him, but he shows her that he has changed int he past 20 years. It is so nice to see these 2 couples reunite and interact so softly and genuinely. Their scenes together are so heartwearming, but it sucks that it is short lived because Drago and his crew set an attack right outside Valka`s living area, to bring out Valka`s Bewilderbeast (which can control all dragons), so it can be killed and Drago`s Bewilderbeast can be the one in control.

So Valka and Drago bring their dragons to duke it out, the two Bewilderbeasts (Alphas) battle it out, only for Valka`s Bewilderbeast to be killed by the other one. Drago fights Valka, as he says he has been waiting for years to kill him, but Stiock takes over and starts to fight him. Drago`s Bewilderbeast brainwashes all of the dragons (including Toothless) and Drago (who controls the Bewilderbeasts, who controls the dragons) tells Toothless to kill Hiccup, and as Stoick sees this happens, he runs to protect his son and……

NOOOO. You KILLED STOICK. This actually made me pretty close to tears. For 2 whole movies, we have seen him grow and develop as a character, and we have gotten used to him, for us to only have him killed off. It is definitely sadder than Mufasa`s death to me.....only by a bit though. I do have to say that without this move, the movie would have been a bit generic.

NOOOO. You KILLED STOICK Toothless. Right as he was getting ready to blast Hiccup to death, Stoick gets shot. This actually made me pretty close to tears. For 2 whole movies, we have seen him grow and develop as a character, and we have gotten used to him, for us to only have him killed off. It is definitely sadder than Mufasa`s death to me…..only by a bit though. I do have to say that without this move, the movie would have been a bit sugar-y.

Hiccup lashes out at Toothless (after he comes out of his trance) and tells him to leave the area, which after realizing what he did, the dragon does, as he is filled up with guilt. Drago controlls Toothless again, and uses him as his ride to invade Berk. After the crew has a scandinavian funeral for Stoick, Hiccup finally learns that you cannot always make peace with someone and to avoid war. While I do not like his father`s death, it finally got him to learn that you cannot always create a peace treaty, and that sometimes war is inevitable.

So we get a final battle, and Drago has Toothless brainwashed into shooting Hiccup, but he tells Toothless that it is him, and to break out of his trance (which he tried to do right before Stoick was killed), but succeeded this time, and puts a blindfold around Toothless so he could not be controlled again. Drago has the dragons shoot them up, and the duo are stuck in the ice for a moment, before they break out and completes the trick that they were trying to work out in the beginning of the film to cause the dragons to break control from the Beast. The Beast and Drago end up getting injured and fleeing off.

So Hiccup becomes Alpha, they all celebrate, he kisses Astrid passionately, and we get a closing sequence of  Hiccup again narrating how the village of Berk is like, as the young Dragon Riders play the game they were in the beginning of the movie.

This film is very good and enjoyable (though it would have been better if I watched it on a better copy). Hiccup learns a different lesson, almost everyone contributed to the plot, the humor was more adult and funny, the plot was eventful and all tied together well, and from what I can tell, it has glorious animation. I heard that there is a good chance of there being a fourth film in this franchise, but I think they should stop soon, or else it will be as disastrous as another franchise. This has a good chance of being Best Animated film this year.

This film is very good and enjoyable (though it would have been better if I watched it on a better copy). Hiccup learns a different lesson, almost everyone contributed to the plot, the humor was more adult and funny, the plot was eventful and all tied together well, and from what I can tell, it has glorious animation. I heard that there is a good chance of there being a fourth film in this franchise, but I think they should stop soon, or else it will be as disastrous as another franchise. This has a good chance of being Best Animated film this year.

 

Characters

The characters in this film are pretty likable, though not all of them are developed. The ones from the first film have the same personalities as they did beforehand, but they do have a sense of maturity to the, while the new characters are decent, though do not stand out much, except for a few of them.

Hiccup

I remember when everyone saw the first peek of grown up Hiccup last summer, and the women went crazy. Despite that, I am glad that they did not make him a Superman-type hero, and he is still the smart, quirky, individualist that we have all grown to care for in the first film. in that film, he needed to learn confidence, and in this film, he learns that he cannot always avoid war and make peace with others who don’t want peace (especially with Stoick kind of being the villain in the last film).

Stoick the Vast

NOOOOO. I CAN’T BELIEVE HE DIED. Anyways, he is still shown to be his tough side, but he is a lot more vulnerable and fun in this film, especially when he has his short lived reunion with his wife. R.I.P Stoick The Vast.

Toothless

Toothless………is a bit forgettable to me in this film. He does not really get a whole lot of focus in the film outside of killing Stoick, but I honestly do not really remember much about him in this film. He has the same personality, but he was a bit underwhelming in this film.

Astrid

I am also going to discuss Astrid’s friends under her. Outside of Astrid, we do not get to see them interact with Hiccup in this film, but I like how they always have his back, and it amazes me how wherever Hiccup went, Astrid was getting ready to join him. Not ONCE did she sit around and let him go do something (like many other girls that are either Damsels or Amazons do). I like how Tuffnuff had her lust for Eret, and it was the funniest thing to me in the film. The side characters were good comic relief.

Valka

Valka is a good character. Though she came around in the middle of the film, we find out that she is a lot like her son. I do think it is ridiculous how she never even once tried to see her son in 20 years. She is decent.

Drago

I know a bunch of people are praising him online, but he is honestly one of the most forgettable DreamWorks villains. He really does not get much screentime, and he is just a bit boring to me. He was not really too threatening where I wanted to love to hate him, but I just felt nothing. He is just bland to me.

Eret

He is alright. He was a worker of Dago, but soon started to side with Astrid and co. He has some funny lines, and the gags with his muscles were funny. He could really be a good character if they built on him a bit in the third film.

Animation

Though I watched the film through a bad copy link, I could tell that the animation is pretty good. I like how the humans look a bit more realistic, but they still have the origins of their younger designs. They atmosphere and backgrounds are amazing, and they did really well with the textures. They definitely improved over the first film with their animation.

Music

The music is the same as the first movie. I literally remember hearing some of the same scores, which is not a bad thing. I would not say they improved the music in this film, but it is the same, and the music in the first one is good, so overall, the music in this film is pretty good.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on June 11th, 2014, it has (by June 25th, 2014), made $97,719,301 domestically, and it made $80,188,371 overseas, causing a worldwide amount of  $177,907,672. It opened on #2, and dropped to #3 on its second week (last weekend), and I am a bit surprised that it did not open as strongly as expected. With how things are going, I think the film is going to make around $500 million (around the amount the first film made).

Critically, it is received critical acclaim and praise. I have to agree with DeBruge, when he saysBraver than Brave, more fun than Frozen, and more emotionally satisfying than so many of its live-action counterparts, Dragon delivers.Many praised it for not rehashing the story of the original, having a bit of an edge, and not playing it completely safe. Many are impressed with this film, and that they have another hit franchise on them.


Final Score

Story = 8/10

Characters = 7.5/10

Music = 8/10

Animation = 9.5/10

=33/40=  83% 

 

Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: The Little Mermaid

Walt Disney Animation Studios 28th feature film

Walt Disney Animation Studios 28th feature film

http://www.sockshare.com/file/1ZWQVFKU7YAR#

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that it is great. I like that there is more characterization in the characters and pretty much all of them serve a purpose, the plot is perfectly paced and full, and while the animation is not the best I have seen, it is a nice goodbye to Xerography, and the soundtrack speaks for itself. One issue that I do have is that Ariel learns nothing in the end, and is selfish and entitled, and her relationship with Eric is bleh.

Production

This film started production in 1985; the same time Oliver and Company was, and they were both big projects for the studios, but Oliver and Company was seen as the one that will make more money, and was more important (as well as Who Framed Roger Rabbit). Directors Ron Clements and John Musker was interested in the idea of this project as The Great Mouse Detective was in development, and brought it to a “suggestion meeting”. Work was found in the old files that Walt Disney had, and were designs for a 1930’s adaption of The Little Mermaid, and used it for inspiration.

Alan Menken and Howard Ashamn joined the project in 1987, and the latter decided that it would be best to change the film into a broadway formula, and change Clarence the crab to Sebastian, which is why we have the style of music that is in the film.

This is the last film in the canon to have traditional celled animation and Xerography, as the rest would either be in CGI or use CAPS (which this film had a little of).

Jim Carey auditioned to be Prince Eric, Bea Arthur was first in mind to be Ursula, but she turned it down. Elaine Stritcch was cast as Ursula for a while, but she was removed from the project when she clashed with Ashman and his music style, leading to Pat Carroll getting the part.

Story

So the film starts with Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes) and his sailors talking about King Triton and the mythical mermaids, as they are sailing the sea. A fish escapes the grasp of one of the sailors and swims back to sea, where we are seeing everyone going to Triton (Kenneth Mars)`s castle for a musical dedicated to him, and Ariel (Jodi Benson) is the star, but ends up missing it,which shocks everyone and angers Triton. She is instead dragging Flounder (Jason Marin) with her on adventures of capturing human artifacts, where they are almost killed by a shark. As they pay a visit to Scuttle (Buddy Hackett), she realizes that she missed the performance and gets into a yelling match with her father about her disobeying him and forgetting her responsibilities.

If you are expecting me to praise Ariel for all the bullshit she does in this film, well.........that is not going to happen.

If you are expecting me to praise Ariel for all the bullshit she does in this film, well………that is not going to happen.

Triton says that she has done this before, so she had been disobedient for a while now. She runs off to her grotto with her right hand bitch  best friend Flounder following her, and she sings Part of Your World, and I will give credit where credit is due; this is a great song, and it establishes the theme of the movie perfectly. Take note that Ariel just wants more, right? This will set the stage for………..about a decade to 2 decades in animated film.

So it is Eric’s birthday and he is having a jam on the boat. What I find interesting is that there is absolutely no royalty there whatsoever. The studio (Word of God) confirmed that he is 18 years old, and it is his birthday. This means he is actually the youngest Disney Prince, since Aladdin was 18 for the entire film. Anyways, Ariel swims to shore and likes the hot piece of stud she sees. She goes on and on about how beautiful he is, only for his dog to run up to her.

His father figure Grimsby (Ben Wright) gives him an obnoxious present of a statue of Eric, and then mutters about him wanting to give it as a wedding present.

I actually feel bad for Eric. He is being taunted about marriage the day he becomes a legal adult. He is not about that life right now.

I actually feel bad for Eric. He is being taunted about marriage the day he becomes a legal adult. He is not about that life right now.

He goes on to explain that he will find his girl and fall in love when he is ready, and when he finds the girl, it will hit him like lightning, with lightning erupting, and causing a fire on the ship. They all escape except for Max, whom Eric goes after. Max is tossed in the sea, and the boat blows up with Eric on it. Ariel does something that is uncommon for Disney Princesses at the time; actually save someone. She brings Eric on the shore and asks Scuttle if he is dead. She sees Eric breathing, and she sings about wanting to be a Part of His World, and he opens his eyes to see a hot girl singing above him, and is now determined to get with the girl who saved him.

So the next morning, Ariel is humming like a lovesick mermaid, which grows curiosity from her 6 sisters and father. Sebastian (Samuel E. Wright) (who Triton deemed as her personal supervisor) goes to talk to Ariel, who is trying to meet with Eric. He tries to convince her about staying in the sea via Under The Sea. He brings up some good points; he TELLS HER that they eat fish and their kind, but she does not even listen. He is having too much fun to realize that Flounder got her ungrateful ass to leave. Flounder somehow gets Eric’s statue in her grotto, and she is happy with glee.

Sebastian accidentally spills the beans to Triton when he is asked about who Ariel likes, and he storms over there and gets into ANOTHER fight with her, which ends with him blowing Eric’s statue to pieces. She is crying, and lashes out at Sebastian when he sees her following the eels to go to Ursulas.

I forgot to mention that Ursula (Pat Carroll) has been watching Ariel and plotting to take down Triton so she can return to the castle and rule. She is working her role.

I forgot to mention that Ursula (Pat Carroll) has been watching Ariel and plotting to take down Triton so she can return to the castle and rule. She is working her role.

So the broad knows that the witch is trouble, but she goes anyways. Ursula convinces her to a deal of trading a voice for 3 days to get Eric to give her the Kiss of True Love,  via the amazing Poor Unfortunate Souls. I guess this is to show Ariel’s riskiness and determination, and her being naive, but….I will get to it later. We are midway through the film, and we have action and good pacing.

So Eric is playing Part of Your World on his recorder, but is interrupted when his dog runs to a newly legged Ariel. Sebastian is flipping out, but decides to help her because she will be miserable for the rest of her life (insert eye roll). Eric follows his dog to automatically forget him for the hot tamale in front of him.

#LustAtFirstSight.

#LustAtFirstSight.

So it is time for lunch or dinner and when Ariel comes out in her pink dress, Eric’s jaw dropped and eyes widened. I am a guy, so I know EXACTLY what he was thinking. She is trying to fit in at the dinner, but fails when she combs her hair with a fork and blows a smoker. Eric is encouraged to take her out to town tomorrow, which she happily accepts.

On the second day, they go out to town. They dance, ride the horse, walk around town, and just have a good old time. He thinks she is a bit crazy, but he apparently likes it somehow. They are at the canoes, and Sebastian and the other animals decide to sing Kiss The Girl to get them in the mood. I never knew humans could understand crabs, birds, amphibians, and fish, but whatever. They got close to kissing many times, but Eric gets nervous. When they are finally about to smooch, they are pushed over by Jetsam and Floatsam (Paddi Edwards). Ursula decides that things got too close, and she needs to get dirty.

The Little Mermaid

Grimsby convinces Eric that he need stop give up on the girl that saves him and go after Ariel (who is on the terrace blushing at him) like falling for a girl that can’t talk and you only want to bone is any better. So on the third morning, Scuttle rushes to Ariel’s room congratulating her on getting married. She rushes downstairs to only see Eric (with Vanessa on his side) demanding things for their wedding that needs to be done for the wedding that will take place ASAP. Like it makes sense for you to rush downstairs for your wedding when he did not put a ring on it. #Dumbass.

Ariel runs off and cries at the dock as everyone goes on the ship to see Eric and Vanessa’s wedding. Scuttle sees Vanessa singing about crushing Ariel and seeing Ursula in the mirror, causing him to realize that Vanessa is Ursula. He swims over to Ariel and the other animals to tell them, and they all swim over the ship. The wedding is stopped and the amulet that holds Ariel’s voice is broken and her voice is hers again.

Her and Eric are about to kiss, but the deal is done, and she turns into a mermaid again. Ursula grabs Ariel and drags her ass to the sea, and then shit gets real when Triton sees them. Because she got caught, she apologized that all of this happened, NOT because of what she did.  Ursula offers Triton to take Ariel’s place, and he does, making Ursula queen. So her, Eric, and Ariel gets into a heated battle, but when Ariel is about to get killed, Eric stabs Ursula to her death.

Because Triton feels bad, he turns Ariel into a human, and she rushes into Eric in her sexy silver metallic dress, and he scoops her up to kiss her. They get married with Ariel saying that she loves him and then hops right back to her husband. My issue on the ending is that Ariel never takes full responsibility for her actions or learned anything. They were building up to this, and they barely touch on it. She gets exactly what she wants, despite causing all of this trouble.

I know I roasted Ariel, and somewhat her relationship with Eric, but it is not the worst, and it  is kind of an improvement form their predecessors. This film is fast paced, action packed, engaging, and everything makes sense about it. The music and animation really helps the movie, and I can see why it brought new life to the studio. While I think this film does get a bit too much credit for starting the Renaissance, it is a big improvement, and it holds it`s own.

I know I roasted Ariel, and somewhat her relationship with Eric, but it is not the worst, and it is kind of an improvement from their predecessors. This film is fast paced, action packed, engaging, and everything makes sense about it. The music and animation really helps the movie, and I can see why it brought new life to the studio. While I think this film does get a bit too much credit for starting the Renaissance, it is a big improvement, and it holds it`s own.

Characters

While I am not a fan of the main characters, they are not the worst, and I guess it is personal taste. The side characters are pretty good though, and most of the characters are developed enough.

Ariel

I think I covered my opinion on her above. I think she is a brat, selfish, entitled, ungrateful, and I do find her unlikable, and I am not sorry about it. She learns nothing, and does not actually own up to what she did. She did not go to the land just for a man, but that was her biggest motivation. I know you all are going to attack me in the comments, but I am ready.

Eric

Eric is very generic. We do not know much about his background, and what he does on screen is not particularly interesting. His idea on love is shallow, just like hers is. We do not see anything from his perspective, and he is used as a prop in the film. We do know that he likes music and…..dogs, and is not over the top.

Ursula

She is boss. She is doing it out of revenge, which makes sense, and it is said that she was at the palace, but was kicked out. She loves being evil, and she enjoys what she is doing. Her charisma makes her a lot more interesting. She makes sure her sidekicks gets shit done.

Sebastiam

I do not really see the point that he had to be Jamaican. He is clearly the most logical one in the entire movie, and he is cool enough. I feel sorry for him.

Flounder

He is like one of those sidekick friends who does not have a backbone. They are cool people to hang around with, but they are so willing to be a follower.

Triton

He is really the first parent who was developed. HE is the one who got development, HE is the one who had to learn something, but EVERYTHING he did makes absolute sense, unlike his daughter. He is stubborn and has an ego. I would have been a lot more strict if I was raising Ariel.

Animation

The animation is pretty good. It definitely improved over the past Xerography films, but I also heard that the animators from Who Framed Roger Rabbit worked on this film after that film was finished. The colors were nice, and the animation is very fluid. I am still thankful that CAPS was created. I am praising the animation, but I have seen a lot better, and it does not stand out the most.

Music

Do I even need to discuss the music? The only filler song I can say there is, is the Poissons song. Under the Sea describes the ocean life perfectly, Part of Your World is so emotional and explains the main theme about the movie. All the other songs are great, and Poor Unfortunate Souls explains Ursula`s motivation perfectly, and established the Villain Song more than World`s Greatest Criminal Mind did. The broadway, sea-like theme worked perfectly. The soundtrack charted to 32 on the Billboard charts in 1989.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on November 17, 1989, it made $84,355,863 in the North American box office. What I realized beforehand is that ALL of the predecessors box offices only counted the domestic sales. While initially, this film was seen by the studio to make less money than its immediate predecessor, things changed as the film was concluding production, with Katzenberg thinking it will be the first to make $100,000,000.

It was critically praised. Many said that it deserve to compete with the earliest releases in the canon, and it brought life back to Disney. Many liked that Ariel is the first not true female to be proactive, as Aurora, Snow, and Cinderella were not proactive. The animal females are NEVER included, since Bianca kicked ass. It was automatically deemed a masterpiece.

It was nominated for 3 Academy Awards in 1990, and the first since The Rescuers to be nominated for an Academy Award, and won for Best Song (Under the sea), and Best Score. The soundtrack won a bunch of awards between 1990-1991, charted at 33 on the charts and the soundtrack was deemed as 2 times Platinum (6 times today)by September 1990, which was a record for animated films.

Reception Today

Well today, it is still as praised as it was in those days. It is the official start of the Disney Renaissance (though it did need help), and one of the first animated films to make $100 million (thanks to rereleases) overall. It broke some records, and it is given credit for bringing a new style of storytelling for animated films. There was a broadway show, many rides in Walt Disney theme parks, 2 sequels, and I am sure I am missing a lot more. This film does really well in merchandise.

Final Score

Story: 8/10

Characters: 7.5/10

Animation: 7.5/10

Music: 9/10

= 32.5/40 = 81%

Next Time…

Review: June 30th, 2014

Review: June 30th, 2014