Monday, June 1, 2015

Disney Movies - Days 6 - 8

There is a very good reason why I skipped my stitching post yesterday and all will be revealed tomorrow, but until then, I need to get caught up on my weekend Disney movie watching.

Since I watched the Holy Trinity Thursday night, I needed to finish up the Cinderella sequels, so I tackled those Friday night. I had seen both of them in the past, but I had never watched them together (and apparently that's something you shouldn't do). The most important thing I can say is that whoever made 3 didn't bother to watch 2 first because they almost contrasted one another.

First, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True. There is nothing I hate more than a sequel that really isn't a sequel but rather the characters sharing stories that make up mini movies inside the main's just lazy storytelling. I wasn't expecting high quality animation either, so I'm not going to judge the movie on it, but what was up with Cinderella's teeth? Did she even have teeth in the original movie? Why did they feel the need to show her teeth every two seconds in 2? It was downright creepy actually. Here is the only trailer I could find, which is actually nothing more than a short clip, but there you go:

Cinderella III: A Twist In Time wasn't actually all that bad storywise. But like I said, the maker of 3 didn't watch 2 first because the stories clashed and I had to put 2 back in when I finished to make sure I had even watched them in the right order (except for the teeth thing...again with the creepy teeth!). They could have done without adding so many songs because none of them were even remotely quality songs and they brought the story down quite a bit:

To get those crappy sequels out of my head, I turned to another favorite of mine, The Princess And The Frog. Granted, I can't watch it for the animation quality, but the story and music are so strong, I don't notice the patchy artistic work. Had the company not made such an issue out of race, the movie probably would have done much better than it did financially. They hyped it up so big, it was a disappointment to everyone excited about it. I remember hearing everything from it's not Afro-centric enough to it's way too Afro-centric. I never understood why it just couldn't be a good movie that kids (and adults) of any race can enjoy?

But I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to getting overly excited about a movie, especially the next movie I watched, Brave. I had such high hopes for Brave...I mean, come on! I was finally going to get a Scottish princess! I watched the progression of the entire production, anxiously awaiting any and every little tidbit they provided. I was there opening weekend to watch it, on the edge of my seat, and practically giddy with excitement. It didn't take long for my face to start to drop and my heart to sink. You really notice the errors or the bad quality of animation, especially in the backgrounds, when you see it on the big screen. The story lags in several places, the "liberties" they took with history kind of ruin it for me, and don't get me started on the backgrounds...did they think just because Merida is riding her horse fast through the forest one wouldn't notice the lack of finished animation in the forest? Not this girl. I noticed it all. I do like the songs though and it's a good movie to stitch to since you don't have to pay full attention to it, so I do watch it again and again, each time expecting to finally love it, only to be disappointed every single time.

After Brave, I gave up for the night, but by the time I woke up Saturday, I was determined to give sequels a positive spin, so I turned to the master of all sequels...The Lion King trilogy.

Even though Hercules is what turned my mind around concerning the "new generation" of Disney films, The Lion King was the first movie of the new set that I absolutely adored from start to finish. I do make exceptions on the backgrounds because they aren't good quality and I don't particularly like the graphic style that is present throughout so much of the movie, but the story is one of the strongest and the music is absolutely in my top five Disney soundtracks of all time.

I actually prefer The Lion King 1 1/2 more than the first one, despite it's story in a story theme which they do a brilliant job of covering up the whole "characters sitting around telling a story" idea. This movie doesn't get the props it should. And I'm glad that the trailer I found to show you contains my absolute favorite Lion King song!

Although The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride is my least favorite of the three, I still love it and the story is just as strong as the other two. I like the fact that it shows the aftermath left by Scar's death and that not everyone is "team Simba". The trailer I picked for this one isn't good quality, but I like it better than the clip that Disney Movies On Demand shows:

Although there are no shorts on The Lion King, 1 1/2 and 2 both had two shorts a piece, both of which were Timon and Pumbaa-cetric and since Timon is one of my favorite Disney characters of all-time, I was happy with that.

It's hard to stitch when you have to get up every hour and a half or so and change a DVD, so I decided to switch gears a bit for my next selection. I don't own a lot of Walt Disney Treasures Collection discs, but I have the important ones (i.e. Donald Duck themed). I've always had a thing for animation of the 40's and 50's, Donald's heyday. Most people don't know that Donald Duck was a far bigger movie star than Mickey Mouse ever was. Donald was the company's main draw back in the day when shorts as well as full-length animation was shown in the theaters. When WWII happened, the Disney company was instrumental in helping the war effort by making training videos, propaganda films, and promotional videos to fund and support the war effort.

My next selection was my Walt Disney Treasures Collection: On The Front Lines. It's not all shorts though (several of which won Academy Awards...I told you Donald was a bigger star!), there is actually a full-length movie on Disc 2 called Victory Through Air Power. I do often shy away from graphic-type animation, but there is just something about the war era animation that I give a pass to and this movie is filled with it. This movie was quite instrumental in getting the States involved in the war in the first place and people today don't know how important the Disney company was to the war effort. It drives me insane when I hear someone talking about Walt being a communist, if they only knew! I couldn't find a trailer for the collection, but I did find the entire Victory Through Air Power on YouTube. Although the clip is long, you should at least watch the introduction by Leonard Maltin which explains the importance of the film:

Overall, I watched 30 shorts and the full-length movie on these two discs.

On Sunday, we went and saw Tomorrowland in the theater. Since the reviews were mixed, I didn't have high hopes, but I absolutely LOVED this movie! For the Disney geek like me, it was heaven! From the second they busted out into "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" to all the Walt quotes, and Disney ride quotes, and actual Disney rides, and the 1964 World's Fair and...well, there were a TON of Disney references and let's just leave it at that.

Once I got home, I started with Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I have a love/hate relationship with this movie. It's an excellent story, but I think the older live-action/animation movies like Pete's Dragon, Mary Poppins, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks do a much better job of melding the two mediums. Not even the remastered Blu-Ray fixed some of the animation issues.

There were three Roger Rabbit shorts on the DVD too, so that's kicking up the short total as well.

I still had On The Front Lines in my mind, so I turned next to the Avenger's movies, starting with Captain America: The First Avenger. I often say I'm not really a patriotic person by nature, but you couldn't have been able to tell by my weekend viewing choices! Cap is my favorite Avenger (and the best looking) and this movie has a lot of the same feel as those propaganda cartoons from the 40's. And besides, Richard Armitage is in it (albeit for a couple of minutes), so what's not to love?

Once you start the Avenger series, you have to finish it, so next up was Iron Man. I always try to watch these movies in the proper order rather than their release date. I don't own Hulk or he would have been second. I need to break down and get it, but it's just such a sucky movie, I can't bear to waste money on it. But back to Iron Man, the first one is my favorite of the three, probably because I prefer to see why characters are the way they are versus where they are going. I'm not a Robert Downey Jr. fan per-se, but they honestly couldn't have cast this role better!

That ended me at about midnight Sunday, so tonight I'll pick back up with Iron Man 2 and Thor and I will hopefully have time to watch the first Avenger's movie. But now on to the totals...thanks to the Treasures DVD, my short total got jacked up significantly including the four from The Lion Kings and the three from Roger Rabbit. I added a new category, Mixed Medium, aka the blending of live action and animation, which includes Roger Rabbit and Victory Through Air Power. Sad thing is, I haven't even scratched the surface yet of my collection of Disney movies. But alas here are the final numbers so far:

Live Action: 7
Full-length Animation: 19
Mixed Medium: 2
Shorts: 60


Linda said...

Wow Keiley. Thats alot of Disney watching. I haven't seen most of the ones you have so far. Maybe someday. I am enjoying your reviews of them.


Tiffany Pincombe said...

Great reviews, and I didn't know about the treasures collection, so thank you for that info. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's post now to find out what's up. :)

Heather said...

You and I are pretty different when it comes to what we enjoy in Disney movies but I love Princess and the Frog and the Lion King sequels too. But Captain America is probably my least favorite Avenger. Thor is the hottest and Iron Man is my favorite because of his attitude :)

Alyssa F said...

Great post to read again. :)

I agree with you about how Cindy III was much better than II. I thought II was just lazy. It's been too long since I watched either of them though, so now I have to go back and see where they contradict each other. You've made me curious.

I've always like the Lion King and Aladdin sequels, and that's what I pull out of my hat as examples when someone tells me Disney's never made a decent animated sequel.

I totally LOVED all the references in Tomorrowland too. We were actually a little late to the theater when I saw it, but I couldn't help singing along to "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" as I walked up the theater steps. I was a little disappointed with how it ended. It just seemed like the whole movie built up so much anticipation, and then kind of ending abruptly. Loved the scenes shot in It's A Small World though. I was totally like "huh, they totally shot that at Disneyland and tried to make it look like 1964 New York". It was fun. And good to know that even Disney can't take decent unblurry movies while inside that ride!

I also totally agree with you on the Avengers stuff. Cap is by far my favorite Avenger, both in personality and looks (although Thor is fun to look at too, LOL). I'm not a huge fan of the movie, but I enjoy it because I like him. And the first Iron Man is probably up there in my favorite movies for sure. I haven't seen either of the Hulk movies, but don't really plan to based on what others have said.