Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Disney Movies - Day 30 & 31

I guess in a normal 30-day challenge, this would be the end but, since I've really only started to reach the halfway point in my Disney DVD collection, I guess we've got a ways to go yet.

I went light Monday and Tuesday because I really have been taking this a bit too far and watching too many movies at a time (plus, I've already plowed through my favorites, so I'm just at the "getting through it" point). My Sofia The First: The Curse of Princess Ivy disc came in and, considering this disc's princess is Rapunzel, I was kind of excited (kind of sad really that a grown-ass woman is excited over a toddler show). Curse of Princess Ivy was a full-length movie and I was a bit surprised that not only did Mandy Moore actually do Rapunzel's voice, she actually even sang a song! In every other Sofia movie, the princess is there for all of two minutes and I'd say Rapunzel had about 10 minutes of screen time, so all in all, pretty darn cool! And despite the fact that Princess Ivy was a villain and trying to take over Enchancia, I really kind of liked her turning everything black and white because it was this cool silvery color that was really pretty!

There was also three episodes of the show on this disc as well, so more to add to the count.

To round out Monday night, I went with Frozen next. The more I watch this movie, the more I like it, but I'm still not at that "loving it" stage yet. From an animation point, there are a lot of great special effects and the scenery is really quite pretty. I love Olaf, seriously, what a great character! But I still can't get over the whole "princesses don't need princes" mentality. I might agree with Anna giving up her chance to save herself to save her sister, but Elsa laying there like a wounded animal waiting for Hans to split her in half with a sword just walks all over me. Why couldn't Anna just holler at Hans, it would startle him enough to give him pause, Elsa would hear her too and she was raise up, giving Kristoff time to reach Anna for that all important true love's kiss, and Elsa time to knock Hans for a loop. Guess I'm just too old school.

Honestly, my absolute favorite thing about Frozen are the shorts on the disc. The Making Of Frozen is absolutely hilarious and I'm still singing it two days later! But someone needs to show Josh Gad how to brush his tongue...I find myself starring at it more than what is happening around them!

I'm calling this one a live-action short, even though it is basically a music video, simply because I don't want to create yet another category.

And one of the finest cartoons to come out of the Disney Studios in YEARS is Get A Horse. It is absolutely brilliant when they start running in and out of the screen and you can see them shift from black and white to color. Whoever came up with that idea should lead the next animated feature!

I'm running out of princess movies, but I still have a couple few left. Since yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Pocahontas, and I have both of those movies on one disc, that's where I started last night. I'm not a fan of either of these two movies, but let's start with Pocahontas first. The music is fantastic, but the story has always irked me. I also don't care much for Mel Gibson as John Smith. I can't focus on the character because I only see Mel Gibson's face. I'm also not a fan of the animation (surprise).

This is really going to sound petty, but I think I resent Pocahontas more because I'm forced to sit through a very lengthy Pocahontas-themed section in Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. At the time when Fantasmic at WDW was created, Pocahontas was the newest film out, but that was 20 years ago and we're still subjected to it. A lot of people in the audience, especially the kids, don't understand that section. Why they don't update Fantasmic is beyond me. They would save a ton on not paying those dozens of actors to play those parts which would probably cover the cost of redoing the song for the show (or they could just use Disneyland's version).

Then there is Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World. This movie is really weird and a first...the princess doesn't stay in love with her first love, but moves on to another. I'm not sure if it was Disney's way of correcting the glaringly obvious historical inaccuracies of the first one or what, but it made me really not like her because it makes her look wishy-washy. Don't get me started on the scene where Pocahontas is crying like crazy as she's departing for London, then suddenly the tears are gone and she's happy, talk about continuity issues! There is an ironic disclaimer at the end of the movie that says that this was a fictional representation of Pocahontas' life and go elsewhere online if you want the true story. Disney never did that before. Don't get me started on the animation in this one...atrocious!

I found a trailer that includes both and I'm using it because this is the disc I have and I didn't want you suffer through two separate ones:

Again, the special features on the disc are limited, but there is a great behind the scenes doc about Walt's vision for Pocahontas back in the days of Cinderella and why it never came to fruition. They also go through the storyboards for Hiawatha, which is where Pocahontas started to turn later on. Honestly, the storyboarding for Hiawatha was far more interesting than Pocahontas ended up being.

There is a great toon on this disc, one I remember from my childhood called Little Hiawatha, not the full-length feature they were planning, but a Silly Symphony short.

Since it was still kind of early, I decided to do my Mulan two disc set net. I like THAT'S a princess! She kicks butt and still gets the guy (she saves him, he saves her, over and over again with relatively no interaction from family or friends or whatever, it's all about them). That's the direction these princess movies should go in. That way, they can show that women can still be strong, but men still have to be chivalrous to win our hearts. The way it's going now, men are more of an accessory after the fact (don't get me started on Maleficent or Frozen again). I absolutely love the animation on this as's simple but has a very Asian style to it that is quite beautiful. It's soft with tranquil undertones when it needs to be as well as strong and sharp in the tense moments.

This was the first time I had seen any of the behind the scenes stuff on the disc and it was fascinating to see the design process with background and characters and they pretty much reiterated what I had always felt about the movie.

I had never watched Mulan II before, but again, I really enjoyed it, especially the whole "what happens after the princess gets her prince" moments. Plus, their friends get to find love too, so it was like a giant love fest with a battle in the middle. You don't even notice that Eddie Murphy isn't Mushu (he was pretty deep in Shrek by that point)...I just LOVE Mushu!

I'm still in kind of princess mode, but I really only have one left, the Little Mermaid series and, considering it's my least favorite, I think I might start in the sub-princess movies, like Tarzan or Hunchback of Notre Dame (I can find princesses in practically every movie). But by the time I get home, there is no telling where my head will be.

Live Action: 20
Full-Length Animation: 70
Mixed-Medium: 4
Animated Shorts: 240
Live Action Shorts: 1
Mixed-Medium Shorts: 1
Animated Series: 17
Mixed-Medium Series: 2


Tiffany Pincombe said...

Great reviews! I always like how Mulan kicks butt and gets her man too.

Vickie said...

I like Frozen but not like I love Cinderella!!! I have never seen Pocahontas..I own it but just never wanted to watch it.

Alyssa F said...

I actually like the Pocahontas section in Fantasmic, but I think that's because it's different from the one at Disneyland that I grew up with, so the first time I saw it, it surprised me. I've always loved the music of Pocahontas, so I appreciate the section more from a musical standpoint than a visual standpoint. I blame listening to my Fantasmic soundtrack over and over.

Interesting side note, since I used to work in Fantasmic, the cast isn't as big as you would think it would be based on how many dancers/actors are in each section. With the exception of major characters (Mickey, Maleficent, the princesses, evil queen, etc.) most of them are reused in each scene over and over.