Disney Movie Marathon Challenge

Discussion in 'Disney Movies, Books, TV and Music' started by RSandRS, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    Welcome to thread! We've sorta been the 3 Mouseketeers(!) but it's a pleasure to see another Disney movie fan.:)
     
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  2. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    @TheStarscream759 has also joined in. Always good to have more in the discussion.
     
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  4. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Lilo and Stitch (2002)

    Lilo and Stitch is a sweet and heartwarming 2002 movie about two sisters, young adult Nani and little sister Lilo, and their attempts to build a family after the death of their parents. The relationship between the two sisters, both of whom are strong-willed, grief-stricken and fiercely loyal and loving toward one another, is beautifully rendered and developed in the film, and has you both laughing and crying throughout. The film is also set on a Hawaiian island and has some wry and humorous commentary on the island’s tourism and the way that tourists engage, and fail to engage, with the native culture.

    And there’s also this alien, but the less said about that the better.

    I joke, obviously, but Lilo and Stitch is a weird one. I really do like this movie; it affects me emotionally in the way the really good Disneys do, but I can’t help being frustrated by it. If the movie had just been called Lilo, or had been called Lilo and Nani, I’d probably love it, but as far as I’m concerned Stitch doesn’t belong and doesn’t earn his place.

    Although the innovative and cool design of the film attempts to bring the alien-world and the human world together, and does so to a certain extent, it never really bridges the gap. This is perhaps most noticeable with the (very long) opening sequence. People walking into the cinema for the first time must have wondered whether they’d gone into the correct theatre. Expecting a film set in Hawaii they’re instead plunged into a weird alien world with spaceships and illegal genetic experiments, and the credits don’t roll until 10 minutes or so into the film. This opening really jars with the rest of the film, and the continued presence of the two aliens, Jookiba and Pleakley, unfortunately continues to jar.

    The main problem with the movie that I can see, however, is Stitch himself. I think they got the balance between annoying and cute wrong for this character, and if this had been different I might have been more willing to accept the weird juxtaposition of action-packed alien adventure and bittersweet examination of a family in crisis. But Stitch is just mean. I genuinely don’t find him or his destructive ways funny. If he had been a bit less destructive, and a bit more willing to accept Lilo’s love, or if there had been more of a sense that the family needed someone like him in it, I think the movie would have been stronger. It would have helped to ground the story in the little family of Lilo, Nani and Stitch a bit more. As it is I find myself wishing Stitch would get lost and stop messing things up for the two sisters, who have already been through enough.

    As I said though, this all doesn’t make me dislike the film. I love Lilo and Nani - they are both such charismatic characters. I think Lilo would have been funny enough as a character by herself; there was no need to add in the madcap Stitch. I also love the design of the film, particularly the characters, who look different from characters in any other Disney movie, and the soundtrack which mixes musical styles really well.

    This is all (even more than most of my reviews I think) very much a personal opinion however. I watched Lilo and Stitch for the first time as an adult and I have no idea how a child would react to Stitch. His prevalence in the parks and the mountains of Stitch-related merch (plus the sequels and the TV show) suggest...pretty well. :p But the movie seems like a movie of two parts to me - one part is for kids and the other part is for adults, and they haven’t managed to marry the two together as smoothly as with other Disney films. I’m just left, at the end of the film, wishing I’d spent more time with Lilo and Nani and less time chasing Stitch.
     
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  5. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    I've not watched Mulan II or Pocahontas II, I guess they were straight to DVD/VHS? Although Mulan II is later in the 2000s so it may appear on this list. Our next review is actually Jungle Book II (which-spolier alert! WE LIKED!) I cannot recommend Return to Neverland, its not a good movie, but for the purposes of Disney education maybe worth a watch!
     
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  6. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Great to have another contributor! :) Hope you enjoy the further reviews!

    Jungle Book II up next!
     
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  7. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    They were indeed straight-to-video. Jungle Book 2 was theatrical, and usually DisneyToon studios did better when they had a theatrical budget. Many people don't realize that animation is very expensive and the quality can definitely suffer when the money isn't there. I always feel like DisneyToon did the best with what they were given, but obviously that is why the quality of the straight-to-video releases is criticized. They also can't afford to produce songs that are of the caliber of the Theatrical films, and that can put a damper on them. Still, of the few I have seen I have found them to be mostly fun if you consider them more like a TV series than a movie (some of them were intended to be TV series and are stitched together from elements produced for such). Here's a quick rundown of the D-Toon straight-to-video movies that I have seen:

    Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World: Not that bad. It has some nice action sequences but is nothing special. I can't believe they showed a bear baiting!

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame II:
    This one is pretty wacky. I don't even know what to think about it, but Quasi gets a girlfriend. It's short too, but it's fine because it's really just a bonus feature on my Blu-ray disc.

    Atlantis: Milo's Return:
    From a movie I love to a TV series that would have been a mediocre Scooby-Doo type of thing apparently, this one isn't that great. The TV series was scrapped when the movie bombed. It could have been interesting but it takes place mostly on dry land. What?

    Mulan II:
    This is probably the best that I've seen. It follows the characters forward and even has decent music.

    Tarzan & Jane: This is also stitched from some unaired episodes of an actually released TV series. It's actually pretty decent and it seems that the show probably was as well. It expands the world and even has nods to The Jungle Cruise in it, which I appreciate. Obviously, the animation is of a lower caliber and the voices are different, but it's not bad. It has a great song, The Song of Life, for the finale and end credits!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  8. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    Lilo & Stitch: I have seen it several times, I even own a copy. I will no longer watch it because Stitch creeps me out. I recognize some nice animation and love the tropical setting, I can't get past how gross Stitch is.
     
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  9. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Lilo and Stitch is pretty good, though Stitch never really spoke to me too much as a character. I don't really find him annoying, but I just don't really engage with him. Honestly, I don't engage much with Lilo either, so that's why this one has never been a favorite of mine. I certainly don't hate it of anything, but it's not a top-tier one for me. What is top-tier, and not mentioned in your review, is the great music by Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu. "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" is tremendous! I could have done with more songs like that and "He Mele no Lilo" than the Elvis stuff. Stitch was immensely popular though, probably because he makes a pretty cute plush toy, but he's not a favorite of mine.
     
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  10. TheStarscream759

    TheStarscream759 Earning My Ears

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    Hello everyone! Sorry I haven't been on in a while I hope you guys had a good christmas and enjoyed the New Year's celebrations and all that. Anyways things I've missed:

    Monsters Inc - I wouldn't say this one is my favourite when it comes to Pixar but my god is it good. I definitely agree that the dynamic between Mike and Sulley is well done, the animation isn't completely there with the humans since this was 2001 when it came but the animation in general does look stunning and it's definitely something I've appreciated it more with age. For some reason I didn't think too much of Monsters Inc when I was a kid but nowadays I regard as one of the better films that Pixar ever made.

    Disney Direct to Video Sequels - Ooh where to start? There are Disney Direct to Video Sequels that people like, some that people don't like, some that people are just indifferent about and pretty much some people just saying that these in particular weren't needed at all. I could go on about them but hey we would be here all day talking about them.

    Stitch the Movie! - I do remember watching this one it's not really a Disney "Sequel" per say but more of a pilot episode to the TV series that I watch quite a bit when I was younger. It was fairly OK from what I remember, animation is obviously not as amazing as the original movie but does the job just fine, there's not really that much of a plot other than Lilo and Stitch go searching for Sparky or Experiment 221 that they accidentally unleashed onto Hawaii and have to get him back before Gantu and Dr Hamsterviel can get their mitts on the electric experiment. Otherwise this is far from the worst I've seen.

    Aladdin: Return of Jafar - This is definitely one of the proper sequels that everyone thinks of when you talk about Direct to Disney Sequels. I have no idea why I kept on watching this one when I was younger. As much as I love Dan Castellaneta as a voice actor, he really is no Robin Williams when it comes to the Genie. But I can forgive him a bit more seeing as this sequel was a way to lead in to the Aladdin TV series at the time and I think after he did Return of Jafar I feel he took the role of the Genie and made it his own over time but here? Ehhh the humour is a bit on the forced side of things with the Genie. Animation feels too much like it belongs in a Saturday morning cartoon. Is it a terrible sequel? Well yes and no. Yes it's not good but it's not terrible either. I just feel like it, it just missed the mark and it's more tolerable than dreadful honestly.

    Aladdin: The King of Thieves - King of Thieves on the other hand? Definitely an improvement over Return of Jafar. The animation is loads better and I would be lying if I didn't say the story between Aladdin and Cassim kept me invested throughout, Saluk's definitely a good villain and kind of reminds me a lot of Wolverine with his claw gauntlet. Though I must say it's a little weird to hear Lumiere's voice coming out of him when he talks. I definitely find the songs in this really catchy especially Welcome to the Forty Thieves. I really think it adds to the world of Aladdin and the quest to seek out the Hand of Midas is a great payoff. I really enjoyed this one.

    Beauty and the Beauty: The Enchanted Christmas - I do remember owning not only Return of Jafar on VHS but the Beauty and the Beast christmas one as well. I really feel this one kind of just shoved the message of: "Christmas is great, festive cheer and good tidings to all, blah,blah,blah." so much that it feels really hamfisted and really pales in comparison to the original film in particular. I think the best part of the movie is probably Tim Curry as Forte but other than that, I dunno I really don't think I would want to return to this one any time soon.

    Again I'd be here all day with this but I honestly feel that Disney did focus way too much on the Direct to Video sequels and they were more concerned with quantity over quality for some of them. Not all of them are bad but they probably the worst thing that ever come out of Disney.

    Lilo and Stitch - Speaking of Lilo and Stitch this is definitely something I grew up watching. Stitch is one of my favourite Disney characters because he's so mischievous and cute and I've always wanted to have a Stitch plushie in my room but never have. I love that the lesson of Ohana is an important thing and that you should never ever forget what's important, I adore the soundtrack to no end, the animation is so crisp and remember watching it a lot.

    Treasure Planet - I really don't understand why it was considered a bomb at the box office as I consider it an underrated film at most. And I agree the animation is very steampunk-ish, I feel like Jim and Long John Silver kind of drove the story and their chemistry was believable. And yes...B.E.N was annoying in that film, I have nothing against Martin Short but really every time B.E.N spoke it was just so grating to my ears. It's like they were trying to go with The Genie from Aladdin but they ended up more like Jar Jar Binks and plus he was just useless and just made the situation worse when he was around. If you were to take him out of the movie, the plot would've continued just fine without him. Otherwise I quite like this one.
     
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  11. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    RS 2 wanted me to add the following: Just wanted to pop up to say I totally agree about the Aladdin sequels. Return of Jafar is watchable but a bit weird - who thought it was a good idea for the story to revolve around Iago's redemption arc? Still, it's quite funny. King of Thieves I remember enjoying a lot as a kid and it's definitely a step up from Return of Jafar. Having Robin Williams back is of course great and the songs are pretty good too.

    I have seen Mulan II and Pocahontas II and they were both...meh. Mulan II is probably a bit less forgettable. I've also watch the Little Mermaid sequel about Ariel's daughter which is about as average as a movie could be.

    Also wanted to throw another one into the mix: Lion King II: Simba's Pride, which I adored as a kid. I still think it's one of the better ones and I'm actually surprised it didn't get a theatrical release. The songs are waaaay better than in any of the other direct-to-video sequels. I think it suffers by having such big shoes to fill.

    I really want to watch Beauty and the Beast The Enchanted Christmas because I've heard it's truly dreadful, and the Hunchback sequel for the same reason. Maybe we'll need to do another marathon..
     
  12. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    The Jungle Book 2 (2003)


    The Jungle Book 2 is certainly unimaginatively named, and the plot is hardly Inside Out in terms of creativity but that’s kind of where the bad points end. This was another example (along with Dinosaur, Treasure Planet etc.) where we were pleasantly surprised. It may be that our expectations were low and that’s why we came away with such a favourable impression, but overall I’d say this is definitely worth a watch.

    The animation is of a decent quality, certainly as good as the original, with some pretty backgrounds and nice use of CGI when it comes to things like animating the river. The characters look very similar to how they did in the Jungle Book, with maybe a bit of improvement in how human characters appear.

    And there are a lot more human characters in this film. Mowgli has a whole family and friends in the man-village, including the little girl he meets at the end of the original film. You might remember that we found Mowgli’s going to the man-village at the end of The Jungle Book a little unconvincing after his insistence throughout the film that he wasn’t going, and the little girl (who is called Shanti) who lures him in a little...um...problematic. These issues are explored very sweetly and effectively by The Jungle Book 2. The issue of ‘Shanti’s big brown eyes’ is dealt with via a good-natured joke, and though it’s clear Mowgli has a crush on her, it doesn't seem quite so age-inappropriate, especially since they are now friends and their relationship develops throughout the movie. Plus, Shanti is awesome.

    Mowgli’s continued love for the jungle is the main theme of the film, which seems a wise choice considering the somewhat abrupt ending of The Jungle Book. The plot obviously involves his going back to the jungle and having some shenanigans, before having to make a (more informed) choice about whether to go back to the man-village. It’s obviously a thinly-veiled excuse for Disney to trot out well known characters and rehash a lot of the plot points from the original film, but they do it with a lot of charm, and manage to shape the events into more of a proper story than in the Jungle Book, while exploring a central conflict for the main character.

    The characters are mostly the same as they were in the original film and have the same charm; Baloo especially, as he is now voiced by John Goodman, who of course does great work. The guy who voices Shere Khan (who is Frollo in Hunchback) is also a great replacement for the original. In terms of new characters the best addition is probably a new member of the vultures group, who is a fan of puns and voiced (who knows why) by Phil Collins.

    The new songs sound in-keeping with the music from the original film and are reasonably catchy, but of course don’t come near to capturing the brilliance of the Sherman bros.

    When compared with the straight-to-video sequels that we grew up with (the Aladdin sequels, Lion King 2 etc.) this is definitely a step up. I would recommend it to people, with the obvious caveat that it’s a sequel and so not to expect the earth. It’s definitely 10 times better than Return to Never Land!
     
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  13. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    I haven't seen this one, but regarding the animation, that's what a theatrical budget'll get ya! Good to know that this one is pretty solid.
     
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  14. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Piglet’s Big Movie (2003)

    The second surprise in a row! This third sally into the Poohniverse is...really not bad. We were somewhat dreading yet another ‘sequel’, especially after the disaster that was The Tigger Movie, but this one was certainly an improvement. The film is still definitely for a much younger audience, but Piglet has proved that that doesn’t have to equal a terrible, childish plot and annoying characters. Mentioning no names (TIGGER!).

    Piglet’s Big Movie is mostly made up of mini-stories within the bigger story, where Piglet’s friends remember times he’s been helpful or brave. Disney made the wise choice in this movie to refer back to the original source material - the Pooh books - and though it’s many many years since we read those books, both of us remembered some of the stories about Piglet from them.

    There’s a really cute one where Rabbit replaces Roo with Piglet and Kanga pretends not to notice and gives him a bath. In the film this is because Rabbit is planning to hold Roo hostage until Kanga agrees to leave the Hundred Acre Wood, because he’s terrified of her. I’m not sure if this is the reason in the book, but Rabbit is definitely a bit Brexity! :/

    In my opinion, the return to the source material is a very good decision. Where Tigger’s film seemed contrived, childish and over the top, Piglet’s is (mostly) grounded and sweet, without being too saccharine.

    Piglet is of course a much less irritating central character than Tigger, who is luckily used somewhat sparingly in this movie. The other main character is Winnie the Pooh, which again seems like a wise decision, because he’s endlessly adorable. The other characters are all quite well established at this point, so if you don't like them you’re stuck with them (mentioning no names - TIGGER!), and the voice acting is all of a good standard.

    The most obvious negative aspect of the film is definitely the music; it may be the weirdest of any of the films we’ve seen so far. For some reason they chose to have Carly Simon write the songs and though this isn’t a bad idea on paper, the end result is just too weird. It doesn’t gel with either of the other Poohniverse movies (not that The Tigger Movie was any pattern to follow) and the folk-rocky sound doesn’t work for the plot or the setting. The worst song is ‘Mother’s Intuition’, sung when Kanga is giving Piglet a bath - the lyrics are genuinely revolting and it almost ruins one of the cutest bits of the movie. The film also ends with a sort of music video for one of the songs (‘With a Few Good Friends’), where clips of Pooh and friends are intercut with clips of Carly rocking out to an acoustic guitar that she conspicuously isn’t playing. It. Is. WEIRD!

    Overall however, I am happy to give a positive review to Piglet’s Big Movie. It’s for younger children and is definitely wholesome and bit sentimental, but it isn’t silly, has some genuinely funny moments and pays good homage to the original Winnie the Pooh stories.
     
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  15. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    I'm sorry, can't do the sequels or spinoffs. :)
     

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