disney movie marathon

Disney Movie Marathon #4 – Tarzan (Where There’s More Death Than a Morgue)

Remember back a loooong time ago when I said the next movie in my marathon was going to be one I had never seen before?  And then I skipped it to talk about what a hot mess Dumbo is?  Well, let’s hop in the time machine.  The Disney movie I had never seen before was Tarzan.  I know, right?  When this came out, I thought I was too old for Disney movies or something, and other than the fact that *NSYNC performed a song for the soundtrack, I had no desire at all to see it.  I don’t even know why that was a draw because BSB 4 LIFE~~ but I digress.  Plus, Phil Collins did the soundtrack, and I was not at all pleased that the characters in the movie wouldn’t be singing the songs.  Yeah, I’m an idiot.  But we all know this now.  So, I rented this beast from Netflix and spent one Saturday morning bawling my eyes out.

Now, you all know the spoiler from Bambi, right?  The thing that made millions of children cry their little hearts out?  Dude, Bambi is a drop in the bucket compared to Tarzan.  In the first ten minutes of the movie, I went through a box of Kleenex.  Seriously.  I just….holy crap.  Way to depress people before the main character is even out of diapers.  In case you’re like me and glossed over this movie entirely, I don’t want to ruin it for you….well….I guess I already did in the title.  So whatever.  A goddamned giant jungle cat kills Tarzan’s parents, leaving this abandoned human baby in a tree house for Meow Mix.  Luckily, a mama gorilla picks him up, and then we can move on from there.  NO FOOLIN’ TEN MINUTES IN AND TWO PEOPLE ARE DEAD.  Actually, if you count the mama gorilla’s monkey baby, three people died in the first ten minutes.  That’s bullshit, Disney.

After that, the movie peters out until Tarzan grows up and gets ripped.  His best friends are a monkey named Terk (played by Rosie O’Donnell) and a baby elephant who is scared of everything.  Oh, and his adopted gorilla dad hates him.  But then, he saves Jane from some evil herd of baboons, and it’s like kismet.  Disney fate!  The angels sing!  You know how this goes.  He realizes that Jane is the same as he is, and Tarzan learns to talk and all about humans by Jane playing teacher and by watching filmstrips.  There’s a really cute part where he picks her flowers.  I swoon.  The end.  Meanwhile, all Jane wants to do is go watch some monkeys, but Tarzan refuses to bring her home with him until he realizes she’s going back to England.  Then, he takes her back with him, everyone gets pissed off because he’s fucking up the ecosystem or something, and this evil jungle guide Jane and her dad had with them decides that oops, he’s a a poacher, and is going to capture and kill all the monkeys.  Big giant monkey fight.  Tarzan saves the day.  And the evil poacher ACCIDENTALLY HANGS HIMSELF.  What?!?!?!?!  Disney…for real, now.  I can’t take all this death.  I did not sign up to watch a Quentin Tarantino film.

Anyway, Jane and her dad decide to stay with Tarzan in the jungle, everyone gets half naked and makes clothes out of vines, the end.

The soundtrack that I bitched about when I was little is actually really great.  It’s completely better than the soundtracks from previous movies like Pocahontas (what a waste of a film, but I’ll get to that when it comes up in my queue).  “Strangers Like Me,” ugh, can we talk about it?  It’s probably one of the most perfect songs in existence.  I sing it all the time.  And not even on purpose.  It just comes into my head, and I have to belt out, “I wanna know!  Can you shoooooooow me?” as loud as humanly possible.  It’s the *NSYNC song that’s probably the worst one in the film.  Whoops.

All in all, I’m glad I got to see something new when I rented this off Netflix.  I don’t know why or how I avoided it for so long, because unlike all the direct-to-DVD sequels, I didn’t have a purpose for choosing not to watch this.  Even if I cried for 80 minutes.  So much for a light-hearted movie about some half naked dude.

Next time, hold on tight as I watch a live action…direct-to-DVD sequel.  You’ve been warned.

Featured image from weheartit.com and/or tumblr.

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Disney Movie Marathon #3 – Dumbo (Where Everybody Gets Wasteddd~)

I’m skipping ahead a couple films in the Disney Movie Marathon just because I watched Dumbo for the first time in years and years and years over the weekend, and well…there’s a lot to talk about.  Dumbo was never my favorite movie as a child.  In fact, I can’t remember if I ever even watched it the entire way through.  What I do remember is the fact that I would play those Disney Sing-Along Songs videos over and over until little me knew the words to every Disney song by heart and didn’t even have to look at the screen anymore.  Do you remember those?  They were the shit, my friends.  Basically, for thirty minutes at a time, you were immersed in the wonderful world of Disney music, where this owl from “Fun with Music” and sometimes Ludwig von Drake (who is one of my favorites) would go through songs from Disney movies according to theme, karaoke style.  Oh lord, did I play the shit out of those tapes.  Well, anyway, every single song from Dumbo was featured on one volume or another, so even though I didn’t really know the plot, I could sure sing along to the Casey Jr. song or be extremely immersed into the psychedelic universe that had pink elephants.

So, over the weekend, I got this odd desire to watch whatever Disney movie had the Heffalumps and Woozles song in it, and I couldn’t remember if it was Dumbo or Winnie the Pooh.  It turns out, what I really wanted to hear was “Pink Elephants on Parade,” but for some reason, kept interjecting it with the “Heffalumps and Woozles” lyrics…yeah, so much for my great memory.  But Netflix Instant had Dumbo and not the Winnie I wanted to see, so I guess I chose correctly.  Now, for those of you like me who can’t remember shit about this movie other than a flying elephant, let me recap it for you.

Every mommy in the circus decides to have babies on the same day, and all the storks are super busy dropping off cute little animals into their new homes.  However, one elephant in particular, Mrs. Jumbo, doesn’t get her precious bundle of joy, so she pouts awhile.  Luckily, one stork was just lost as hell, so he drops off her package the next morning, and little Jumbo Jr. was born.  Yes, Jumbo Jr.  Anyway, all her elephant friends are talking smack and want to see the baby, but when one particularly witchy elephant tickles him, he sneezes, and out pop these gigantic ears.  Of course, everyone decides to make fun of him, and the baby is nicknamed Dumbo, instead of his given name.  What a bunch of animals.  Literally.

Mrs. Jumbo loves her baby so much, she doesn’t give a shit about his ears, but oh, when people make fun of him, especially these bratty kids who are somehow allowed to touch a baby elephant and yank on his tail and shit, Mrs. Jumbo goes postal, her eyes turn red, and she spanks one of the kids with her trunk before raging in an attempt to bring down the circus tent.  You go girl.  This leads her to be quarantined in solitary confinement for the rest of the movie, so she can’t see her kid.  Now, the rest of the elephants start talking more crap ABOUT A NEWBORN BABY ELEPHANT, what the shit, and Timothy the Mouse goes and scares the shit out of them to get them to shut the fuck up.  He then befriends Dumbo and helps him see his mommy, as well as tries to plot a way for him to become the star of the circus so everyone will stop making fun of him.

A couple of failed attempts happen, enough to where Dumbo is demoted from being an elephant to being a clown.  Yes, you heard me.  An elephant is demoted from being an elephant.  The fuck.  And did I mention Dumbo doesn’t say a word throughout the entire movie?  While all the other animals, and even the freaking circus train, can talk and sing, Dumbo just makes little elephant noises.  God, give this kid some way to defend himself, geez.  Anyway, the clowns think that Dumbo jumping off a “burning” building into a washtub of water is such a great act that they all get drunk and try to go to the ringmaster to get him to make the building even taller and ask for raises.  At this time, Dumbo and his little mouse friend start inhaling the beer bubbles and enter this blackout drunk fantasy sequence where they imagine pink elephants going around everywhere in their freaking parade.  Yes.  You heard me correctly.  Disney characters get wasted.  They get so wasted, Dumbo wakes up in a tree the next morning.  I bet you even Ke$ha hasn’t even gotten so fucked up that she ended up in a forest at the top of a redwood.  Way to go, Disney, way to go.

So, now that my faith has been restored in that everyone wants me to go drink around the world and get wine flights in every World Showcase pavilion in Epcot when I go there in October, Timothy and Dumbo wake up in the tree with these massive hangovers and this gang of crows makes fun of them.  However, they’re just reading like the queens on Rupaul’s Drag Race, and it’s all in good fun.  But, how the hell did Dumbo get up there in the first place?  These smart crows come to the conclusion that he must have flown up there.  Seriously?  Well…I guess I’ll buy it because it’s Disney.  They, of course, want to see if Dumbo can do it again, so they give him a “magic” feather and push him off a cliff.  No joke.  But, hooray!  Dumbo really can fly!  And even though he loses his magic feather, he realizes he can still fly, and he becomes the star of the circus, Mrs. Jumbo gets her own private train car, the mouse makes millions of dollars, THE END.

 

 

 

 

Yeah.

I think I was better off just singing along to “Baby Mine” from my VHS tape.

Do I really need to say anything else here?  Dumbo is barely an hour long, and if I had remembered watching this the whole way through when I was a kid, I probably would have been traumatized.  WHY DID THE MOUSE GET DRUNK?  I can’t get over this.  I’m totally all for Disney not censoring things (can we talk about how they took the cigarette out of Pecos Bill’s mouth? because really, I wasn’t about to light up just because a cowboy did it on tv) because of moments like these alone.  In the 21st century, where everything has to be so cotton candy fluff for our little babies because they aren’t allowed to live in the real world until they’re 12 and having sex and going on Maury to find out who the father of their illegitimate child is, let’s just go back to the 1940s and revel in the fact that cartoon characters could get blackout drunk and have crazy trip-outs.  Time to go party with a flying elephant.  Too bad you can’t bring beer on the ride, even if it is in the spirit of this classic movie.

Featured image from tumblr.

Disney Movie Marathon #2 – Toy Story (Where 2013 Feels Light Years Away)

Last week I tackled the Disney/Pixar “classic” Toy Story as part of my Disney movie marathon.  Please excuse the alien photo.  Well, actually, don’t.  Because even though all the Toy Story photos I could find (even from tumblr!) were from the second or third movies, clearly the aliens are the coolest characters ever, so we’ll leave them be.  Thank you Yahoo! image search for not filtering out the sequels like I told it to, but okay.

Anyway, after the precious gem that was Tangled, I was ready to go full force into some Pixar.  See, I told you I didn’t hate computer animation.  So I found this sucker in my basement on blu-ray and popped it in.  I can’t even remember the last time I watched the original movie.  I mean, I saw it in the theaters with my god parents, I believe on a Thanksgiving weekend, but that’s it.  I know I’ve had to have seen this some other times, right?

Apparently not.  I couldn’t remember a goddamned thing about the original movie.  I kept thinking something awesome was coming up and then I was like, “Oh wait.  That’s Toy Story 2.”  So, I guess it’s not only image searches that forget the first movie in the trilogy.  It’s people, too.  Whoop.

My horrible memory aside, here’s what happens in Toy Story: a bunch of toys come to life after children leave the room, and these particular toys belong to Andy, who is having a birthday party before his family moves.  Now, a birthday party obviously means NEW TOYS! so the old toys are reasonably upset, worrying about whether or not the kid will forget about them.  However, Andy has some really lame friends, and they only buy him one new toy worth mentioning: a Buzz Lightyear action figure who doesn’t know he’s a toy and thinks he’s a real space ranger.  Of course, this makes Woody, the leader of the toy brigade, freak the fuck out because he’s being replaced as Andy’s favorite toy.  Woody basically acts like an asshole the entire movie, gets Buzz thrown out a window, and gets them both caught at the neighbor’s house who likes to blow up and mangle shit, but, eventually, everyone comes back to Andy, Buzz and Woody become bffs, and hooray, happy ending.

First off, I do not remember Woody being such a dick.  I mean, HE TRIES TO PUSH BUZZ OUT A WINDOW.  Okay, technically, he tries to shove him behind the bed or something, but he ends up on the goddamned front yard.  Seriously?  For some reason I had it in my head that Buzz was an asshole, but no, he’s just an idiot because he can’t figure out that he’s a toy.  Jerky characters aside, if you look at the quality of animation and compare it to Toy Story 3, or really, anything that’s come out in the past few years, and it’s really…dated.  I know that having a completely computer animated film in 1995 was pretty unreal and that it was Pixar’s first full-length movie, but man, it was like watching test footage by today’s animation standards.  It was like you can see the polygons that made up Woody’s head, whereas computer animation now is much more smooth.  In 1995, it was the shit.  Then I realize that 1995 was almost 20 years ago, and, fuck, I feel old.

It was good to revisit this, though.  It made me realize that the sequels surpass the original by far…at least from what I can recall…which may not be much since I shoved pieces of the second movie into the first one in my brain.  Plus, almost 20 years later, the franchise is STILL popular.  Toy Story Mania is one of the rides with the longest lines at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios (RIP MGM) theme park.  Everybody’s still nuts about a pull-string cowboy and his astronaut friend.  And those cute little aliens, too.  You should hear me do the alien voice.  I could have been in this movie.  For real.

 

The next movie in the marathon is one I had never seen the whole way through that has cel animation.  Hard to believe, but it’s true.  Want to guess?  Feel free in the comments for this post.  Now go listen to some Randy Newman and enjoy yourself having his songs stuck in your heads all day.  You’re welcome.

Disney Movie Marathon #1 – Tangled (Where Mandy Moore Continues to Have a Lisp)

Since I’m going to Disney World in October (please see previous posts for more excitement), I thought it would be a good idea to catch up on some of the movies that shaped my childhood, along with the new Disney movies which I haven’t seen yet (think anything with Tinkerbell and most of the Pixar ones).  So I challenged myself to watch at least one Disney movie a week until I leave for Florida.  Let’s be real, I’ll probably cry through every single one for no apparent reason (hey, I cried at Wreck It Ralph, okay, shut up) but a lot of that is the nostalgia talking.  First on my list was the movie I had been waiting for since I was a tiny, tiny little girl…

Tangled

Tangled
(image from tumblr)

When I was a kid, I had long, blonde hair.  I refused to cut it.  I mean, it went past my waist, past my butt, down to my thighs.  It was something I had that nobody else did.  And Rapunzel?  Well, that was my favorite fairy tale.  I was convinced that Rapunzel was just like me, with her long beautiful hair…but how she let anyone climb up it, I had no idea because it hurt like hell to brush the tangles out of it.  I didn’t know how she could have a person tugging on her hair all the time.  I waited and waited and waited and waited for Disney to release a Rapunzel movie.  Why the hell did they have to do something no one had ever heard of beforehand like The Lion King?  Come on now, Disney, where was the movie with the princess I could relate to?  It never came, though.

I have since cut my hair (and dyed it every color of the rainbow and then some), but I still waited for my Rapunzel movie.  Finally, after I had become an adult and didn’t have the magic hair anymore, I saw a preview for one.  SUCCESS!  And then I waited and waited and waited some more…where the hell was my movie??  Well, with the flop that was The Princess and the Frog, Disney wanted to take the time to rework parts of it to make it more accessible to little boys as well as little girls who wanted to be princesses.  Well…okay.  I’d just be here.  Sitting.  Waiting with ungodly anticipation….

And then we FINALLY got Tangled.

And it was computer animated.

And I was so disappointed.

I don’t hate computer animation.  Some computer animated films are my favorites of all time.  But I had been waiting for this movie for over a decade and if it wasn’t going to be a classically animated Disney film, I was going to pout a little.  Okay, a lot.  But I sucked it up and got with the times.  Clearly, I would give it a chance.  Tangled was Rapunzel, even if it wasn’t called that.  RAPUNZEL.  She was my princess and I was going to see it, like it or not.

Plus, Mandy Moore was voicing the main character, and I love her even if she’s married to some hipster musician now.

My daddy actually took me to see it in the theater in 3-D.  I know, right?  It was pretty adorable.  And I could tell in the first couple minutes he was crying away because I got the poke in the side and the “Rapunzel will always remind me so much of you!”.  Lord, then I started crying.  I wish 3-D glasses were waterproof.  And despite my pre-hate on the computer animation, it was really well done.  Tangled is such a beautiful movie, especially the lantern scene…oh lord, sobbing.  I’m sure the families that came with small children were all like, “what the hell is wrong with THAT girl?” but it was so gorgeous.  That’s really all I remember from when I saw it the first time, except that the songs weren’t that great.  If I wasn’t singing them when I came out of the the theater then the music got a thumbs down from me.

Well, I was really in the mood to watch it again a couple weeks ago, so I pulled out the blu-ray and popped that sucker in.  I hadn’t seen it since it was first released, so my second impressions were quite different than the first ones.

Firstly, Mandy Moore has a lisp.  I swear, she didn’t have one in the beginning.  I cannot remember her opening for the Backstreet Boys belting out “Candy” with a lisp.  It’s weird.  Like, these singers start out perfectly fine and then gradually their speaking voices turn into lisp central.  I don’t know if it’s on purpose or what, but Kelly Clarkson has one, too.  I only pay so much attention this because I, also, used to have a lisp, but went through all the speech therapy and stuff to correct it.  I mean, I was like…seven.  I got out of gym.  I thought speech was the best thing in the world.  But anyway, it wasn’t until recently that I noticed Mandy Moore has a pronounced lisp and I wondered if it would get corrected through some Disney magic…but it didn’t.  So I kept imagining Rapunzel as Mandy Moore especially towards the end when they rock the same haircut.Rapunzel stole Mandy Moore's haircut  (See photo to the right that I found on google image search.  I remember this fondly because, well…I also had that haircut.)  It got kind of distracting, but I love Mandy Moore.  She could sing in Italian or just stand around making pissed off faces at people and I’d still watch her all day.  Shockingly, when she sings, the lisp disappears.  How does this happen?

I suppose it didn’t really matter because the songs were terrible.  This was not the fault of any of the voice actors.  The singing was fine.  The singing was above average for what I’ve seen of the newest crop of Disney movies.  But the only memorable song was the one with the lanterns (though, I guess it’s not THAT memorable if I can’t even remember the title at the moment) and that was only because…it was in the scene with the lanterns.  My heart swooned, I wanted a prince in a boat ready to kiss me and release paper and fire into the air without my head catching on fire…god.  Future Mr. Glitterbots, please take note.

Remember how I said that Disney re-tooled parts of the movie to make it so more boys want to see it?  Honestly, this was probably the smartest thing they could have done.  Flynn Rider is not the plastic prince of Disney movies past, oh no.  He actually has a (gasp!) personality!  Good on ya, Disney.  I love that character.  Flynn had the best lines in the movie.  He was an asshole but not an asshole.  Rapunzel had the heart that tamed the savage beast.  And really, isn’t that what Disney movies are all about?  Love it.

All in all, I’m glad I made Tangled my first pick on the Disney Movie Marathon.  Did you know they’re actually building (it may be finished by now, I’m not positive) Rapunzel’s tower over in New Fantasyland in Disney World?  Did you also know its main function is to be a bathroom?  Seriously??  It’ll be exciting to see, even if it was made for the sole purpose of changing diapers.  As the little girl who wanted to grow up to be Rapunzel, I was completely entranced with how they made my dream come true.  I guess that’s really what Disney movies are all about.