Disney Movie Marathon Challenge

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

  1. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Awwww yeah! It's the GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE - Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time to STAND OUT and hit THE OPEN ROAD with...A GOOFY MOVIE! :cheer2::jumping1::cheer2:

    Do you think I like this movie? Yeah. Yeah I do!

    This movie not only has obviously great music, but it also has so much heart! The relationship between Goofy and Max is just the kind of family love and strife that we all go through, especially as moody teenagers. I mean, yeah, Goofy is, well, goofy, and Pete really makes him panic. At the end of the day though it is all motivated by love and only Goofy would crash a Powerline concert and pull off the perfect dance to impress the crowd. The music is just so catchy, so energizing, so fun. As much as I love Powerline, The Open Road may actually be the best song. Its so perfect and it has Mickey for half a second! This movie just speaks to me. It is amazing!

    I will try to answer your questions since I am an expert on all things A Goofy Movie.

    1. This movie is based on the Disney Afternoon cartoon Goof Troop. Max was aged slightly because the voice actor who played him in the show actually passed away, so they made him a teen to explain the voice change. In the show they are Goofy and Max Goof. Now, Goofy may just be a nickname based on his last name, like "Sully", but it's his only name ever, so I mean, yeah.

    2. The populace of this world are generally dogs, but not always. In fact, classically Big Pete is a cat. No kidding! That's why he was a Mickey Mouse villain - what do mice run from? Anyway, I think dog is a good baseline, but like DuckTales, where there are anthropomorphic ducks, various other waterfowl, and also dogs, but sometimes another creature sneaks in there. They are what they are I guess - cartoons.

    3. This movie was not made by Walt Disney Animation Studios, but rather DisneyToon (or whatever it was called at the time), the company that made television animation and many of the direct-to-video movies. This movie shows what they can do when given a theatrical budget! They also did DuckTales The Movie since that was also a Disney Afternoon spin-off. This doesn't really count as a "Renaissance" film in that regard, despite the fact that it is better than all of them combined! :teeth:

    So, on your scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being The Black Cauldron and 10 being The Lion King, I give A Goofy Movie a 1,000,000 for being an absolute delight and as I once told the actual Goofy at Tusker House, "The Citizen Kane of movies." Goofy did not react, but his handler sure did!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
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  2. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Pocahontas (1995)

    Pocahontas was always going to be a difficult subject matter for a Disney film, but as we know Disney doesn't always shy away from dealing with difficult topics, especially in the 90s (Hunchback of Notre Dame coming up!??). But trying to make a coming-of-age/love story with a neat beginning, middle and end, set in early colonial America, with the necessary comical sidekicks and musical numbers, that also tries to tackle racism a legacy of oppression was always going to be...well, impossible.

    And Pocahontas really does try - it’s a film that’s trying so hard that it’s almost not that fun to watch; certainly a lot less fun than films that are seemingly so effortless, like Robin Hood or Who Framed Roger Rabbit, although obviously dealing with allot less serious subject matter. It doesn't have a lack of drama - it just has to keep pointing out to you how dramatic it is. And it’s so earnest. Which it probably should be, as it’s dealing with a complex period of history, one in which there are few ‘heroes and villains’ and instead a big nameless system of oppression. But that earnestness when juxtaposed with the frankly irritating antics of Meeko, Flit and Percy makes for a bit of a tone problem.

    I don't want to be too hard on Pocahontas, because I don’t hate it by any means, and as a child I absolutely loved it. I also think Disney should be given credit for not shying away from the difficult topics. The films they make these days are often so safe (except Zootopia, but we will get to that!), that they don’t really leave much of an impression, and there’s definitely merit in making something beautiful and flawed, even if it doesn't end up aging too well.

    So, after that lengthy introduction, here are some thoughts on Pocahontas.

    The animation is somewhat mixed for me. The backgrounds are very beautiful - maybe too beautiful. None of it looks very real. I think the native American characters look great. The white characters are mostly flat and cartoony, apart from John Smith and Ratcliffe. This is probably on purpose, and it works pretty well. There’s some very beautiful imagery in this film, and you get the sense they were going for a very artistic approach, like in Sleeping Beauty, which works OK. I think my main problem with the visuals (and the rest of the movie too kinda) is the mystical, dreamy quality of everything; the sense that the native Americans are ‘in touch with nature’ and therefore a bit magic and able to talk to trees and stuff. This seems a bit problematic to me.

    I don’t have any favourite characters really, except maybe Nakoma. Pocahontas is designed beautifully - seriously, she might be the hottest Disney princess - but she’s again a bit earnest. Maybe this is unfair though - she calls John Smith on his nonsense after all, and refuses to be patronised. Pocahontas is OK.

    John Smith on the other hand, I am not a big fan of. They set up him at the beginning of the movie as someone who has travelled to ‘hundreds of new worlds’ and is therefore world-weary and cynical, and sees any native people as ‘savages’. Seriously? You travelled all over the world and didn't manage to view anyone as more than a savage until you met Pocahontas? Guess none of those ‘savages’ were hot enough. Also he plans to kill her on sight and only doesn't because she’s so pretty. A woman less good looking would have been dead. Still, he learns his lesson and tries to change things so...yey for him.

    Ratcliffe is awful. Worst villain since Sykes in Oliver and Company. He’s irritating and ineffectual; I don't even like the design of the character. He also just shouldn't be there. He is a stand in for a big, ugly colonialist strategy that has and is going to cost thousands of people their lives and freedoms - this shouldn't be represented by one, slightly stupid, greedy guy. It’s Disney’s way of giving the movie an ending - Ratcliffe is ‘hilariously’ clapped in irons at the end of the movie and we’re supposed to consider that settled. Villain defeated, all friends now. Yey, we solved colonialism. Oh wait…

    The music suffers from the same problem as the animation I think. It's beautiful - man, it’s beautiful, and I’ve been singing along with Pocahontas since I was a kid, but they’re still not really suited to the subject matter. Colours of the Wind is easily the best song in the movie, and I do love it, but it does present native American beliefs in a slightly stereotypical way. Savages is just a deeply misguided song. I get that they were trying to go for a balanced view, but a 3 minute song is not enough time to get into the complexities of racism, and what you end up with is two sides yelling ‘Savages!’ at each other as if they are both equally wrong its highly problematic. The Powhatan's should not be cast as in the same light as the colonisers, just no!

    I think that’s all I have to say about Pocahontas for now. And I got through the whole thing without using the word ‘problematic’ too many times. This movie hasn't aged well for me. As a kid I loved it, especially Pocahontas because she was so pretty and did that cool dive off the cliff, but as an adult, with the legacy of British colonialism still all around us, it’s more difficult to enjoy films like this. That isn't to say they shouldn’t exist, just that it’s harder to love them unconditionally.
     
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  4. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    [1. This movie is based on the Disney Afternoon cartoon Goof Troop. Max was aged slightly because the voice actor who played him in the show actually passed away, so they made him a teen to explain the voice change. In the show they are Goofy and Max Goof. Now, Goofy may just be a nickname based on his last name, like "Sully", but it's his only name ever, so I mean, yeah.

    2. The populace of this world are generally dogs, but not always. In fact, classically Big Pete is a cat. No kidding! That's why he was a Mickey Mouse villain - what do mice run from? Anyway, I think dog is a good baseline, but like DuckTales, where there are anthropomorphic ducks, various other waterfowl, and also dogs, but sometimes another creature sneaks in there. They are what they are I guess - cartoons.

    3. This movie was not made by Walt Disney Animation Studios, but rather DisneyToon (or whatever it was called at the time), the company that made television animation and many of the direct-to-video movies. This movie shows what they can do when given a theatrical budget! They also did DuckTales The Movie since that was also a Disney Afternoon spin-off. This doesn't really count as a "Renaissance" film in that regard, despite the fact that it is better than all of them combined! :teeth:

    So, on your scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being The Black Cauldron and 10 being The Lion King, I give A Goofy Movie a 1,000,000 for being an absolute delight and as I once told the actual Goofy at Tusker House, "The Citizen Kane of movies." Goofy did not react, but his handler sure did![/QUOTE]

    1) Thanks mystery solved!
    2) A cat? a cat???? Not buying that ;) I love the idea of a dog basline, with the animators slipping in other animals in there!
    3) I also seem to remember reading this film was made in France? by a French contingent of animators, but I could be wrong on that.

    Actually, The Black Cauldron is -1,000,000 :tongue:

    The Lion King :simba: is 1,000,000!

    Will def be watching Goofy and Max Goof again though!
     
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  5. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    Enjoyed your take on Pocahontas RS, I think I'm pretty much in agreement with you. Looking forward to Hunchback.:)
     
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  6. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Okay, just got back from WDW, but looks like I didn't miss much.

    First, yes, Pete, Big Pete, Peg-Leg Pete, is in fact a cat. He was originally some kind of bear but that was short-lived and he became a cat when he became Mickey's nemesis. Why he is in Goof Troop in a slightly more dog-like appearance, I don't know. His wife is clearly a dog. Anyway....

    Pocahontas. Well, while it's certainly not my favorite of the Disney Cannon, I agree that it's beautifully animated from backgrounds to characters. I don't really think of it as "problematic" either, but I think you know I just don't read the the politics into most of these movies. It's just a story. Ratcliffe is clesaly the bad-guy and I don't think the movie purports to "solve" anything other than espousing's Pocahontas's perspective. There is a sequel to this, though I wouldn't call it high art. It does explain some of the next happenstances though, but it is not 100% historically accurate, not that it needs to be.

    Anyway, yeah, the songs are good, the animation beautiful, and overall it's a solid movie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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  7. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Been awhile! I actually wrote this ages ago but had real problems uploading before our Halloween trip to DLP and Paris! This is now very sadly over. I do wonder whether we will have our next trip to a Disney park planned before this is done. So many more films to go!

    Toy Story (1995)
    And so we reach yet another landmark film in this string of absolute classics: Toy Story! Toy Story is almost like the Snow White of the 90s because, although it’s not my favourite, it is so ridiculously good that it managed to reinvent the genre and the change the face of children’s movies forever. As with Snow White you find yourself wondering what would have happened if Toy Story had been a failure, and thanking your lucky stars that it wasn’t.


    We will at some point have to have the conversation about which of the Toy Story trilogy is the best one, but let’s wait until a bit further on before we do that. However, I think for me it’s probably not this one - not because it’s not good (man it is good) - but just because there is a bit of a sense of them finding their feet with this movie, whereas Toy Stories 2 and 3 are a bit more relaxed and confident. This is understandable of course, and maybe has a bit to do with the slightly tortuous journey the Pixar guys went on to make the movie.


    All that having been said Toy Story is an immensely enjoyable film and sets up a lot of what we love so much about Pixar. It maybe doesn’t hit the big emotional notes that become Pixar’s trademark in the years to come, but it already has the knowing humour meant to appeal to adults as much as children, the imperfect, complex and recognisable main characters, the great use of music and of course the groundbreaking animation.


    Woody is such an unusual main character, especially for Disney at this time. He’s almost a bit of an a**hole at the beginning of the movie, and I think he’s definitely a character that adults would identify with perhaps more than children. He’s the big man on campus, or that guy in the office who is great at his job and who everyone is a bit jealous of. Buzz too is an unusual choice for a main character, because although he is more ‘pure of heart’ (more like Hercules or other Disney heroes), he’s so single-minded that you can understand why Woody finds him irritating.


    I think as a child this slightly affected my enjoyment of Toy Story. I was more used to the Disney Princesses, who were beautiful and good and who I could look up to, but as an adult I think it makes me like the film even more. Whereas something like Pocahontas I adored as a kid and now have problems with.


    Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot for kids to love in this movie - just the idea of your toys coming to life when you left the room was so awesome that, even though I was quite a rational kid, I couldn’t help thinking ‘Well it could happen. I wouldn’t know if it was happening, would I?’ The movie is also hilarious whether you’re a child or an adult, and if a movie can grow with its audience, so that every rewatch brings something new to enjoy (whether it’s a joke you didn’t previously get, or a new appreciation of an emotional moment), I think you’ve got a masterpiece on your hands.


    Though I did like Toy Story when I was a kid, I found Sid very frightening. This is weird because while everyone knows a boy like Sid when they’re growing up, they rarely know any insane octopus witches or regicidal lions; and yet Sid was far scarier to me than Ursula or Scar. I think this is another way in which Toy Story exemplifies one of the tropes that makes Pixar films stand out and feel like such a breath of fresh air in the years to come. The characters in Pixar films are often trying to reconcile themselves to living with a system or an aspect of life that seems unfair. Pixar deals with things like aging, bereavement, growing up and family relationships, rather than with heroic people defeating evil in the form of an evil person. Sid is not an evil person (he’s certainly a little psycho, but he’s not evil) but he represents the toys’ powerlessness. Woody has no control over being replaced as Andy’s favourite toy; Buzz has no control over being a toy rather than a space hero. Both of them have to learn to be OK with this and learn to live in the system they’re in, which is not as easy a concept for a children’s film as defeating an evil witch.


    I have no idea whether this is why I found Sid so scary when I was a kid though. It might have just been that he’s such a little psycho.


    There’s obviously a lot to say about Toy Story, but I don’t want to go on forever. Let me just finish by talking briefly about the animation. As I said at the top, this is an experiment that totally paid off. A lot of hard work must have gone into making this film look as spectacular as it does. Obviously when you compare it so some of Pixar’s (and Disney’s) computer animated films from the last ten years or so, you can definitely see improvement, but Toy Story definitely holds up. This is particularly true of the characters. The texture of the toys and the way they move is fantastic, and so much thought and creativity has gone into thinking about how characters like that would move. The backgrounds obviously were amazing for the time, but are noticeably less detailed and organic-looking than what can be achieved these days. Nonetheless the film looks wonderful and for being the first of its kind is a bit of a marvel.


    So yeah, Pixar seems to have crushed it on their first round - I predict big things to come from this plucky young studio. Watch this space!
     
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  8. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Welcome back!

    This will be a long road indeed now that you're peppering in the Pixar stuff.

    Okay, so yeah, Toy Story - what an immense achievement. It was truly revolutionary, setting the standard for computer animation. It's also just a flat-out enjoyable movie. It was never a favorite of mine either, however, that doesn't mean that there's not just everything to like about it. I saw it in theaters of course, but then I didn't actually ever watch it again until very recently - and I had never seen the sequels until this year! There's something about it that makes them not my favorite Pixar movies, though I'm not sure I could explain what that is exactly. I guess sometimes we just have the ones that speak to us more. Toy Story is an absolute masterpiece though and an unquestionable game-changer for the industry. Remember when the audience gasped at the premier of Snow White? Yeah, that's what Toy Story brought to the table, and that doesn't come along that often.
     
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  9. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    And its a double bill to make up for the break :)...!

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)


    Ah the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hunchback, Hunchback, what are we going to do with you, eh? Damn, this movie is frustrating.

    It had the potential to be one of the greats. The music and the visuals mark it out as exceptionally high quality; up there with The Lion King, Sleeping Beauty and Fantasia for sheer artistry...and then they had to go and add those damn gargoyles!

    Hunchback of Notre Dame was another really ballsy move on the part of Disney, and although their adaptation of the book isn’t a faithful one, they chose to go a very interesting direction with it, and I think made mostly very good decisions along the way. I haven’t read the full book so I can’t go into this in detail, but it seems to me that the message of the film is very powerful and its characters are rich and complex, even if that message and those characters are nothing like the source material.

    No, poor adaptation is not my problem with The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It would be disingenuous of me to pretend that it was, as I haven’t read it. My problem is that the movie looked like doing something extremely powerful and unusual for a children’s animated film, and then somebody panicked. Somebody said, ‘Oops, this is too dark for a kids’ movie, we better add some dumb gargoyles.’

    I admire this film so much in spite of the gargoyles (or the problem that the gargoyles represent anyway), that I think I’ll get them out the way first, so I can get on with what is so brilliant about the film. So, yeah, the gargoyles are AWFUL! And you really do get the sense that they were a hasty insertion. Maybe they weren’t, but if so why do they have nothing whatsoever to do with the film? Why do they impact on nothing in the story? And why, most importantly, are they tonally so wrong? This teeth-clenching tone problem is exemplified best, I think, by this line, sung by Hugo (the most irritating one), while Quasimodo is worried Esmerelda may be dead and Frollo is setting the whole city on fire trying to find her: Paris, the city of lovers/ Is glowing this evening./ True, that's because it's on fire/ But still, there's l'amour. The city is on fire, we just watched Frollo nearly murder an entire family and they decide to stick a comedy song in? Ouch. And it’s like that with pretty much every scene the gargoyles are in.

    This, along with some extremely irritating comedy sound effects (seriously, listen out for them, they are so inappropriate), somewhat destroys what could have been a masterpiece.. I think movies should have a direction and a tone and stick to them. The excuse that it’s a children’s film just isn’t good enough. Disney manage to tackle complex and difficult themes in other films, and include songs and lighthearted moments, why could they not do that here? You don’t make a film about hypocrisy, oppression, abuse and marginalisation more ‘a kids’ movie’ (or I guess less not a kids’ movie) by adding in some silly gargoyles. Yes, removing the gargoyles would make this more obviously an older children's film, but Walt pushed those boundaries with Fantasia. Someone was scared of losing money and the genre as a whole is the poorer for it.

    However!!! I really really do like this film. It has so much about it that is beautiful and unique and dark and brave. I don’t want this review to end up being way too long, and I think I could go on and on about everything that makes Hunchback so awesome, so I’ll try and put a few points here to sum it up:
    • The music, overall, may be the finest soundtrack to a Disney film. May be. I know it’s a helluva claim, but Alan and Stephen really did amazing work here. Out There must be the best song for a male soloist in a Disney film, though it faces serious competition from Hellfire. The religious and spiritual themes of the music and lyrics are just perfect and manage to create extremely dramatic moments, both dark and light.
    • The artwork is soooo gorgeous. We actually went to Notre Dame over the weekend and the Disney artists really do an incredible job of recreating the atmosphere and the beauty, ah the Rose window! (and yes I did sing a bit of Disney very very quietly as I sashayed under the gargoyles, whats a woman to do!?). The cathedral really becomes a character in the story.
    • The four central characters are superb. They are so rich and complex. Quasimodo is presented as almost like a Disney Princess at the beginning of the film - he’s sweet and good and talks to birds and sings like an angel. But the way they go into his abusive relationship with Frollo makes his journey so much more interesting, and the emotional payoff when he finally realises how cruel his master is all the more powerful. Frollo is...well he’s an amazing villain, but a Disney movie about sexual obsession? Also, though he’s not a priest, he is associated very strongly with religion and the church throughout the film and yet is one of the most evil Disney villains there is. He starts the movie by nearly killing a baby. This was extremely daring for Disney! The romantic couple are also pretty fantastic. Esmerelda is very sexy for a Disney heroine, but also good, wise and brave. She saves herself and others as much as she is saved and it’s nice to see a heroine who is a grown up, who very much knows her own mind. Phoebus is just very cute. He’s a traditional handsome hero sure, but he’s a very self-effacing one and he has some of the best and appropriate comedy lines in the film.

    Hunchback of Notre Dame is definitely a more grown up film than some of its neighbours, which might explain why it wasn’t among my favourites when I was a kid. As an adult there are moments when it’s so good, when the music, the themes and the dark beauty all come together, that I get honest-to-God chills. These are then ruined by a moment of ill-judged ‘humour’, leaving me frustrated and unsatisfied. But I still think this is a truly remarkable film.
     
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  10. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Will check out Pocahontas II...its strange some of the sequals seem to be on 'the list' and others not!

    Incidentally, my sister flat out refused to believe Pete was a cat :tongue:
     
  11. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    It is one of the better sequels I would say and is interesting to an extent. They actually introduce the man that Pocahontas married in real-life, so that's a little odd for a Disney PRincess asn she and John Smith don't get a "Happily Ever After" though it is all very amicable.

    Pete was originally a bear, then he became a cat when he became Mickey's nemesis. I actually never realized that in Goof Troop, his wife is named Peg, as in "Peg-Leg Pete!"
     
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  12. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    So, Hunchback certianly has its problems, and it was something I appreciated less then than I do now. I actually think The Bells of Notre Dame is a tour-de-force of a song and a great and haunting introduction to the movie. This movie is dark though, and honestly, I think that without the Gargoyles might have been too dark. There isn't much to laugh at and lots of people die. I mean, in the siege of the church they dump boiling oil on the attackers! I don't really mind that they make some levity of the darkness, but I have a sense of humor that can be dark like that. I also love George Costanza, so, there we go. Frollo is a super interesting villain though and so conflicted and complex. I appreciate that he's having difficulties with the human condition. This may have been a diamond in the rough, but it really is a good film.
     
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  13. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    Catching up after my WDW trip :earsboy: Toy Story: Very strong movie, some of the best ever voice acting in an animated film. Agree that the technology wasn't quite there when the film was produced but it holds up very well. I hope I'm not jumping the gun by saying the second TS movie is my favorite and I hope they aren't spreading themselves too thin on TS4.

    Hunchback: It's good, it's pretty dark and yeah the gargoyles are problematic. The music is very good and what Brian said about "Bells Of Notre Dame" is spot on.
    Did either of you ever see the live Hunchback production at DHS? It was phenomenal, I'm told that CMs still regard it as the best live production ever at the park.
    I first saw it with a regular Broadway theater goer from NYC who was shocked at the quality of performance, it was that good.
     
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  14. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    I never saw the in-park production, but I am not surprised. They are very capable of doing great shows. The Aladdin at DCA and now Frozen there are top-notch, Broadwya-esque productions.
     
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  15. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    I didn't see that production, that would have been great! I do think the off-Broadway production of Hunchback from a few years ago has a fantastic score (slightly adapted), though obviously I never did see it in person. I assume it never made it actually onto Broadway b/c of the themes. Out There still does not beat the original though. Tom Hulce sings like an angel!
     
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  16. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    I really hate that I never got to see the Aladdin show. FWIW the Frozen Singalong at DHS is not of the same caliber but it's very funny and well worth catching.
     
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  17. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Oh yes. It's a simpler show, but the Historians are great! The Aladdin show was amazing! The Genie and the carpet stole the show. When I went to it, I had no idea what an elaborate production it was! We were blown away. The Frozen one is pretty great too. I think the closest at WDW is probably Finding Nemo, which is also pretty good, if not quite on that level.
     
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  18. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    I do love Finding Nemo The Musical, its amazing that they even came up with a unique score for it!
     
  19. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Hercules (1997)

    Hercules is another movie I remember very vividly from my childhood. Me and my friends used to quote it at each other (particularly Meg’s and Hades’ lines) constantly. It was never my favourite of the 90s Disneys, but I accepted it as the latest in a long line of completely awesome films for which we owned all the merchandise, sang all the songs and which became the basis for many imaginative games and stories. Hercules was as expected. It was good. I’m not going to say bad things about it because it doesn’t deserve them.

    Hercules is far more successful as a whole movie than Hunchback of Notre Dame is, in that it picks a tone and style and sticks to it. However, if you asked me to choose I would say I prefer Hunchback. Hercules is fine. It’s good even. It just doesn’t reach the daring, glorious heights of Hunchback or Toy Story or The Lion King.

    For me the two greatest strengths of this movie, the things that are most memorable and exciting, are Meg and Hades. Hades is really very very funny. He’s a bit like a less sinister version of Scar, skipping over the brother-killing and gaslighting of small children and sticking to the scheming, quipping and intensely likeable sides of that character. He’s another villain who you kind of want to win in the end (or at least nothing too bad to happen to him) because he’s super fun and cuts through the naivete and sweetness of the movie’s main character. This is all because of Hades’ personality though, not because we’re really invested in his evil plan. The plan is a bit ill-formed - we’re told he’s going to take over the cosmos and this is a bad thing, but mostly Hades just jokes about it, so it’s hard to form any opinions about it. Maybe he’s not evil enough. Who cares though, when he’s this much fun?

    In many films, the female character takes the moral high ground in the relationship, shaking her head over the male character’s failings, and gradually coaching him into reaching his full potential. The male character in these scenarios is usually allowed to be a lot more morally grey and sarcastic, plus gets all the best lines, and is usually a lot more interesting and likeable for these reasons. (If you need examples here’s a few from the Disney animated films that we’ve watched so far in the marathon - but trust me this trope exists in many many films - Wendy, Lady, Duchess, Rita, Sally, Nala and Pocahontas). In Hercules, this dynamic is turned on its head, with the woman taking the wise-cracking, amoral role in the relationship and is ultimately saved by the love of a good man as male characters are usually saved by the love of a good woman. She’s extremely witty and funny, but also fragile, emotional and complex, in fact completely the opposite of most traditional Disney heroines, making her an extremely engaging character.

    All in all the rest of the movie succeeds too. There’s some fantastic design (I particularly like the evil characters like Hades and the Fates and their environments), the music is fabulous and the jokes for the most part land really well. The movie is really really good. There may be one or two underdeveloped themes and ideas in it that lead to it not being excellent in the way that The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast are excellent, but it’s still a brilliant kids’ movie.
     
    BrianL likes this.
  20. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Yeah, Hercules is pretty good, though never quite reaches the heights of greatness. I agree that Hades and Meg are great, and Meg's song I Won't Say I'm In Love is the highlight of the film. There kinda isn't that much else to be said about this one. Like you say, it's good, perfectly fine in all regards, generally fun, but also a bit forgettable. It doesn't maintain that status as one of the big-time classics, especially when considering the string that came just before it.
     
    RSandRS likes this.
  21. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Ah forgot to mention, I Won't Say I'm In Love, yep I love it! It's a reverse Disney Princess "I want' song!
     

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