Tag Archives: movies

Neverland2001: Disney Question of the Week for May 30, 2015.

First, the results to last week’s question, “Which is Your Favorite Disney Park?”  We would like thank everyone who voted.

Magic Kingdom       39%

Epcot           28%

Disneyland CA         17%

California Adventure   11%

Hollywood Studios     5%

All others                     0%

***Magic Kingdom is the Winner! ****  I expected this, but I am surprised how close Epcot was.  Epcot held the lead for much of the week.

The question for this week is designed to help us choose topics on which to write.   We hope to be able to inform, entertain, and be a resource for you.  We recently had a request for more information on the DVC.  Your feedback will help us be a better resource.  If I have set the poll up correctly (certainly not a given), then you should be able to choose as many options as you like, and, you should be able to add your own.  More specific comments and suggestions in the comments secton will be greatly appreciated.

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Into The Woods Movie Review

Roly (son)

(Spoiler Warning)

“Into the Woods” is a live-action Disney musical starring Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, and Johnny Depp based on the Grimm fairytales.  If you love musicals, then “Into the Woods” is the movie for you. If you’re like my family, then don’t bother. I however, am different from the rest of my family, I have read the fairytales that this movie is based on. This is a fair movie, and that is at it’s best. “Into the Woods” has near constant Disney/ theater style singing. There is actualy one rap song in this, which I will talk about later. This movie is 3/4 singing with the whole first 15 minutes hardly penetrated by a single non-crooned word.Preview

I will elaborate on what I previously said about liking it because of the fairytales. “Roly, aren’t the cartoons much better than this? Why wouldn’t you just watch the cartoons instead?” Well, the cartoons have very different stories. The cartoons are much better, but they diverge drastically from the Grimm fairytales, from which most of them get their origins. “Into the Woods” sticks very close to the fairytales in the tellings of their origins. First, Cinderella was not originally from Grimm. Grimm is the most famous of the storytellers. So I will judge it on that. There is no Fairy Godmother. There is only a tree, planted over Cinderella’s mother’s grave, which magically gives her a dress and slippers. They don’t go with the fairy godmother story. They stick to the tree, which is much better.

Rapunzel is different as well. In the fairytale, she is locked in a tower because her father stole something out of the witch’s garden. The evil witch pretends to be her mother until she finds out that a prince has been visiting (and more) Rapunzel. She then cuts off Rapunzel’s hair, and pretends to be Rapunzel. When the prince climbs up, the witch pushes him out of the window. He then lands in thorns, which cushion his fall and cut his eyes out. Rapunzel, who was banished by the witch, then finds him and heals his eyes with her tears. The cartoon has not a prince, but a rogue coming to Rapunzel. He gets stabbed, not pushed out a window. “Into the Woods” sticks to the story (minus him getting pushed out a window and making Rapunzel pregnant.) The witch merely makes thorns magically appear in front of the prince, which then cut his eyes out.

Jack, from ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’ and Little Red Riding Hood are also in the film. I will not take the time to go into them. Jack, as far as I know, is not a Grimm character anyway.  The story of Little Red Riding Hood is consistent with the Grimm version.

Oddly, “Into the Woods” is a much better mashup of fairytales than the movie, “The Brothers Grimm.” The first two thirds are straight from the fairytales . The part after that, which I will talk about later, is about what happens after the fairytales.Preview-1

The singing is my big complaint with the movie. It is what kept this movie from being great, to being a mediocre at best movie. The witch sings a song near the beginning which sounds very much like an attempt to rap. Leave the rhymes to Snoop Dogg, Meryl. She rhymes at a slow pace to music that plods along. It sounds much less like a fairytale chant, and more like rap. I can’t cover all the songs, because that would take as long as the movie. The girl playing little Red Riding Hood’s singing, plainly put, sucks harder than a man whose friend was just bit by a rattlesnake. Anna Kendrick (Cinderella) and the boy who played Jack were the best voices in the whole movie. Any time that the evil stepmother or sisters are in the movie, and sing, it becomes unbearable. Johnny Depp’s voice cracked like a 12 year old’s while singing.Into the woods

The people who tie them all together are the baker and his wife; who are not from the Grimm fairytales. They all go into the woods, coincidentally. The witch put a curse on the baker’s family, that they would have no children. To lift the curse, they must bring back several items; all of which one of the other characters has. They get them, and get their “happily ever after;” and so do the other characters. This is a satisfying ending; A classic Grimm style ending. They all live happily ever after.

Then the writers royally screw things up. A giant comes and causes an earthquake, and they must go into the woods to find the giant. The giant somehow made the woods a jumble, so the paths are no longer there. That means, they can’t get out. They turn on each other. The baker’s wife goes away, and meets Cinderella’s prince on the way. The prince is a two-timing cad and seduces the baker’s wife. By the way, the baker’s wife has a little baby. They smooch and tongue, and we find out that the baker’s wife has as many morals as the before mentioned Snoop Dogg. I won’t give any more away, as I believe I have told enough.

If you want to watch a cinematic version of the Grimm fairytales and can tolerate constant crooning, then give this movie a try.Preview-4

Fun facts about classic Cinderella movie

Elaine/mom/Perdita here-374685187_b565c19fc2

Cinderella is the 12th of Walt Disney’s 54 animated full-length feature films. It was released in 1950.  It is based both a fairy tale “Cendrillon” by Charles Perrault and a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It was chosen because of its similarity to Snow White. The films true immediate source though was the Perrault’s French version.

It took six years to make and it was one of the highest grossest films of 1950. Disney re-released it several times to keep its popularity high among new generations of moviegoers (re-released in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981, 1987).

Songs in the film that were popular were “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” (Oscar-nominated), “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes”,” So This Is Love”, “Sing Sweet Nightingale”, and “The Work Song”.

It was the greatest critical and commercial hit for the studio since Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

Brief Synopsis-

Cinderella was the beloved child of a widowed aristocrat who feels his daughter needs a mother’s love. He marries Lady Tremaine and after his sudden death, her true nature is revealed. She overwhelmingly favors her daughters from a previous marriage: Drizella and Anastasia. She abuses Cinderella who is laden with reams of chores until she is reduced to a slave in her own home. Meanwhile there is a king who wants his son, the prince, to have a wife so he can have many grandchildren. The king decides to have a ball and invite every eligible maiden to find a wife for his son.Cinderella-Pumkin

Lady Tremaine receives the invitation and Cinderella overhears. Cinderella has no suitable dress, but her friends the mice (more on them later) and the birds make a nice dress for her. The evil stepsisters can’t stand the competition so they rip the dress to shreds which reduces Cinderella to tears. The fairy godmother makes an appearance and works her magic. She gives Cinderella a beautiful dress, a pumpkin carriage, coachmen, and the infamous glass slippers and the rest is fairytale history.womens-cinderella-cinder-elly-jaq-and-gus-t-shirt-logo

A highlight of the movie for me were the mice: Jac and Gus (known as Gus-Gus). They embody the anthropomorphic transformation that many of Walt Disney’s animals had, especially early on. The role of the mice and the birds are overlooked somewhat in the tale of Cinderella, but that is an oversight in my opinion. What would many of the Disney movies be without the charm and heart that comes from the animals (especially the ones that talk)?Cinderella-disneyscreencaps_com-867

Comparisons of Avengers-Age of Ultron vs. The Avengers movie-

Perdita (mom) here-

Sunday night I went to see the new Avengers movie. I will give a quick comparison of the two movies. Both movies star Marvel superheroes Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk. The whole Marvel enterprise was recently acquired by Disney. Both movies were directed by Joss Whedon. The actors in the movies were the same with Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth playing Thor, Mark Ruffalo playing Bruce Banner (who transforms into the Hulk), Scarlett Johansson playing Black Widow, Jeremy Renner playing Hawkeye, and Chris Evans playing Captain America. In the first Avengers, Loki was played by the talented Tom Hiddleston. In Avengers 2, Ultron was played by James Spader and two other new character were introduced. They were quicksilver and scarlet witch played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen respectively. Both movies are also feature epic battle scenes and have the central theme of good vs. evil with the superheroes fighting to save the planet. The acting is very good in both movies as well. I am really going to concentrate on the differences, instead of just giving a straight-up review of the first or second movie.

I can’t help but compare it to the first Avengers movie. I thought the first movie was quite a bit better than this one for several reasons.

Unknown-2The first (and biggest) reason is that to me Loki is a much better villain than Ultron. Loki is a villain but her is also funny and charismatic. Ultron had no charm or humor. I just wanted to hate him; not hate and love him. Loki is a much more complex character than the A.I. (artificial intelligence) creature Ultron.

Secondly, being a huge Hulk fan, Hulk’s role in this movie wasn’t funny like in theUnknown-1 first Avengers. Both movies didn’t have enough screen time for the Hulk for my taste. The Hulk is also a complex character due to his desire to keep himself under control but being unable to. He can be a force for good or destruction. Both movies show this, but I didn’t like the way he was portrayed nearly as well in this movie.

Third, the character development was mainly done in the first Avengers movie and in all of the Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America movies, so this movie was almost all action. For my taste there was too much action with not enough back-story.
Let me also add, I liked the movie. I just liked the first Avengers quite a bit better.

I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but there is a turn of events later in the movie that I was a bit sad about. The direction for the next movie seems clear. I will still see the next Avengers. Who knows? It may be better than this one. Even if it isn’t, it will still probably be pretty good.avengers_age_of_ultron_2015_movie-wide

“Song of the South” Future

Pongo here. We recently watched Disney’s “Song of the South” and our son, Roly, gave his review of the film earlier this week. I felt that a follow up was in order.

The setting of the movie is the post Civil War, reconstruction period in the US deep South. The story is of a young boy being helped through the separation of his parents by a nice, grandfatherly man. In my opinion the setting is not really important. The plot is strong on it’s own. With Disney now in the throws of redoing seemingly every movie from the past, I think that “Song of the South” would be a perfect movie for a re-make. I would change the setting, though, taking out the elements of contention.

SplashMountain1

In my re-imagining of “Song of the South,” I would set it in modern Texas. This would at least help “Brer Roadrunner” from Splash Mountain make sense as roadrunners are not native to Georgia. I would cast Cheech Marin as Uncle Remus and possibly Felicia Rashad as the grandmother. A cultural potpourri would hopefully make the story agreeable to everyone. Again, the race of the characters is not what makes the film work, it is the story and the characters. I would touch up the animation of the Brer Rabbit scenes but keep the voices, the songs, and the animation the same.  Again, this would keep Splash Mountain from needing changed. Give royalties to the families of the voice actors of the animated characters, who if I am not mistaken, also did the voices of the crows in “Dumbo.”

Cheech+Marin+Premiere+Walt+Disney+Pictures+HCX7SxeLEz7l

Anyway, I recommend that if you get a chance, watch the movie. It is entertaining, and I hope that Disney will take my advice and do a worthy remake that opens this story to the modern public.

Robin Hood Book to Movie Comparison

robin hood 3

I have recently read what is now my favorite book.  It has even surpassed The Hobbit, which I have for years thought nothing could compare to. You may be thinking, “But Roly, this book is not Disney.  It’s just a book Disney made a movie after.” Yes, I know that is true; but if you read the book you could see how Disney could make a movie after this without even trying. Some Disney movies are based after books with very un-Disneyish things in them (Pinnochio with Jiminy Cricket dying, Cinderella with the sisters eyes getting pecked out[hey, they deserved it.]) This book though, has the same upbeat, carefree tone as the movie. It’s no wonder why it’s called The (Merry) Adventures of Robin Hood.

Each chapter centers around some adventure that Robin Hood goes on, which involves either him being foolish and getting himself in trouble, or him making an utter fool of someone. It has the same feel as the movie, with different adventures that are not exactly connected to one another, but doesn’t include the storyline with Prince John in it. The main villain in the book is the Sheriff of Nottingham.robin1

Now you may not feel the same way I do, since this is not a “masterpiece,” but it is a very fun book and is definitely worth reading.  I will go more deeply into this book at a later time, telling about my favorite parts of it and why.  First I will give you a warning. If you are really into the book and really love the characters or are just determined to read every word (like I was,) don’t read the epilogue. I won’t give the ending away, but the ending is very sad. The book itself still has a satisfying ending. Personally, I don’t like endings.  Even though there never was a second book, I wish it would have been left open. In the movie however, he goes away to who knows where, and could easily continue his adventures. That ending suits me better. There is also no Oo-de-lally, or bunnies in the book. Sad.robin2

I will give my thoughts on the movie at a later time, as this blog was mostly about the book. I will probably get it posted this week, but don’t count on it. I will also give my thoughts on Song of the South, which I managed to watch (despite the very best efforts of protesters all around america) next week. See ya real soon.

Roly

Disney doing Live-Action movies of former animated classics-

lar3Recently there has been a plethora of announcements about Disney doing live- action movies based on many animated classics like Dumbo, Bambi, and even Winnie-the-Pooh! These are three of my favorites and I love Disney, but I am perplexed by these choices for movie making. I fail to see how you can make a live-action movie based on a previous animated movie with animals. Are they going to do CGI, or people in animal costumes?

Disney has announced that Tim Burton is going to do Dumbo. This is a tenuous choice at best. My imagination is going wild with what this could yield. For someone who loves the tender scene in Dumbo where Mrs. Jumbo is cradling and swinging Dumbo in her trunk while “Baby of Mine” plays (after the two have been separated with Mrs. Jumbo in quarantine) I don’t see anyone doing this justice in a remake.

lar2larBambi with people? How do they do that? Winnie-the-Pooh? Reports are that the movie will be a depiction as Christopher Robin as a grown man. Obviously Christopher Robin could easily be played by a person, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how they do Pooh bear and friends.

I love Disney and always have. A big reason is from great memories of all of their wonderful movies. (This was before I even went to Walt Disney World.) My hope is that they continue to create other great movies and memories; not bad ones. I hope my pre-judgement proves me wrong.