Posts Tagged ‘fairy tales’

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#66: The Princess and the Frog

December 20, 2009

2004: A little movie called Home on the Range was released and managed to not only flop at the box office but end all traditional 2D animation coming from Disney’s doors… until now!

So what’s it about?: A New Orleans girl is working hard to start her own restaurant when she meets a talking frog.  Cue ensuing chaos!

The Good: Oh Disney, it’s good to have you back!  For years we’ve had to be content with the Meet the Robinsons and Bolts of the past five years, and even went so far as just relying on Pixar for our yearly Disney, but no more!  This film is every bit as charming and smart and fun-filled as the 90s were.  Yeah, okay, it’s no Beauty and the Beast (despite many similarities, especially between Belle and Tiana) or The Lion King, but it’s right up there with Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid.  It’s just an outrageously fun ride that the whole family can go on and hopefully will lead to more films just like it.

The Bad: Okay, there are a couple bothering plot holes in it (though maybe I was just so overjoyed with seeing a classic traditional animated film I missed something).  And the music is more 70s Disney memorable than 90s Disney magical, though undeniably New Orleans.

The Verdict: Go see it.  Please.  So that it may make lots of money and Disney can realize they need to make more movies like this in the future.

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#23: Sleeping Beauty

October 16, 2009

sleepingbeautySo recently I moved to LA and maybe it was due to the close proximity of Disneyland, but all of a sudden I got a itch to watch some classic Disney films!  And decided to start with the film that I’ve probably only seen once, Sleeping Beauty.

So what’s it about?: A mean ol’ witch curses a baby princess with everlasting sleep on her 16th birthday via a finger prick.  Some fairies manage to soften the curse to allow true love to prevail and decide to take raise the princess.  As the big day approaches, chaos ensues.

The Good: You gotta miss the classic 2-D animation.  It’s just stunning!  And this story has everything: action scenes, musical numbers, your classic case of mistaken identity comedy, dragons, and a happily ever after ending.

The Bad: Sleeping Beauty is not a bad film yet it flopped at the box office.  Why?  There’s too much in it!  It really does have everything and that is just too much for a short little animated film.  And when it takes longer to decide what color to make a dress than it does to kill a dragon, you know something’s wrong.  And character development?  Yeah, not in this film!

The Verdict: Sure it’s beautiful, and it has Disney written all over it, but there’s a reason Aurora is the least memorable Disney princess.

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#3: Ponyo

August 21, 2009

ponyoFinally, to finish off today’s triple feature, I saw the brand new Miyazaki film Ponyo.  And first off, I would like to say that this film was nothing like what I expected because frankly I had no idea Noah Cyrus was a girl!  Seriously, though, who names their daughter Noah?

So what’s it about?: Basically it’s a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid with a Disney ending… in anime.

The Good: Well, it’s a Miyazaki film so naturally it’s beautiful with a touch of fantasy.  And overall it’s a nice retelling of a classic fairytale without being too morbid or super sweet.  And it had some genuine laughs and pretty much kept me entertained, which is always a plus.

The Bad: There are a lot of problems I have with the films produced by Studio Ghibli and that is their take on love.  I had this in Spirited Away and I have this problem with Ponyo especially as it’s gotten worse.  5 year old children can not, nor should they be expected to, fall in love with each other.  Seriously.  Maybe this is just a case of translation problems, or maybe culture differences, I don’t know.  Also, Liam Neeson’s voice did not fit his character and was really distracting.  And what’s with girls in Miyazaki films SCREAMING ALL THE TIME.  And don’t stay for the end credits because that song is annoying.

The Verdict: If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli, it’s worth seeing, but if you’ve already waited a year to see it dubbed in English, I recommend wait another 6 months until you can rent the DVD.