The Princess and the Frog
Like I just said, I wasn't really interested in most 2-D Disney films mainly because the colors weren't great and the ideas were bizarre. I mean, I give Disney credit for trying new ideas, but they still weren't really my cup of tea. However, The Princess and the Frog returned to its classic roots; finding a fairy tale to be loosely based on, adding musical numbers, and just showering us with Disney nostalgia. Even though this film was only a moderate box- office success, it was critically acclaimed and popular enough to start this era. Not only did I find this film like the Disney Renaissance hits, but I also compared them to The Aristocats and The Rescuers because of the setup, jazz music, and Bayou setting. I like how Disney tried a new twist to the story. It didn't feel like it all had to based on the book, they just kept the important aspects and gave it a good adventure with a good story. Tiana and Naveen's relationship taught me how to have a good balance between work and fun. The musical numbers seem very Disney-Broadway too. I find Almost There a great "I Want" song, Friends on the Other Side a great villain song, and Dig a Little Deeper is very catchy too. Most of the others do well, though Ma Belle Evangeline is kind of forgettable. My favorite character is Louis the alligator. I like alligators and Louis is a real pleasant one. He's funny, he plays jazz very well. Ray is also pretty good too. It's hard to blame him for being in love with a star, since they both shine very brightly. Speaking of which, Ray's death is my one problem with the movie. Comic reliefs' death is not something I like. To be fair, it works well for Ray getting to be with his true love. Dr. Facilier is an awesome Disney Villain too. His design, his voice, and his voodoo magic really make an impression on viewers. Overall, The Princess and the Frog is a wonderful Disney film that brings back what people loved most about Disney. I will watch this film plenty more times in the future.
Even though The Princess and the Frog was critically acclaimed, Disney wanted bigger box-office results. So they decided to adapt another fairy tale Rapunzel, or as Disney renamed it-Tangled, and THIS time it was computer-animated. It was critically acclaimed and made a huge profit during the holiday season of 2010. It was considered a step forward by most people. Me? Eh....I had mixed thoughts about Tangled. I didn't hate it, I just didn't think it was as nostalgic as The Princess and the Frog. I had an uncomfortable feeling that the story was going to be Hunchback all over again, and I was right. It had that same "abusive-guardian uncomfortable environment" and the main characters were not allowed to leave their "homes". I really wish the King and Queen would at least try to search for Rapunzel even if it took 18 years. And I really hate Mother Gothel; I hate her treatment of Rapunzel, I hate her annoying voice, and I even hate the song Mother Knows Best-Its melody is forgettable and the singing is SO annoying! In addition, I didn't like Rapunzel's short brown hair at the end. It looked too shaggy and boy-ish. It works for Rapunzel's safety, I just wish it was slightly longer like Mulan's short hair maybe. I also wished for more side characters. Pascal was decent, Maximus wasn't really an ally until the end, and the pub thugs were funny, but they disappeared time to time. And the climax is unbelievably weak. None of the characters come to help save Rapunzel, and there's no big battle between Eugene and Gothel! Battles are one of the best parts! But Okay, I have complained about the movie enough. You must be wondering, what DO I like about Tangled? Well, Rapunzel is a funny likable character, and her voice actor Mandy Moore makes Rapunzel sound very sweet. Eugene also gets a lot of laughs, especially with his slapstick rivalry with Maximus. Those "I will get you if it's the last thing I do" relationships really make me laugh. The pub thugs get laughs and their song I've Got A Dream" (though kind of forgettable) is very silly. However, my biggest praise for the movie is the song "I See The Light". It has a similar romantic emotional feel that "A Whole New World" and "Beauty and the Beast" (ballroom scene) had, and it also represents how Rapunzel and Eugene see something better than they had before. Anyone could feel that too. Overall, despite the film's problems, Tangled is a good Disney treasure. It's new remarkable twist has made a very special post in Disney history. I may not be its biggest fan, but I am glad it pleased many Disney fans.
Winnie the Pooh
The new 2011 Winnie the Pooh by no means is a bad movie. However, there have been a lot of Winnie the Pooh productions in the past. Even though the Winnie the Pooh franchise is cute and special, I didn't see the point of this sequel. It's nice like every other Winnie the Pooh production, but it still needs work. For example, the title is too plain. If it was called Winnie the Pooh 2011 or something, that would been a bit more unique. Another thing is, the movie is a little too short. What made The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh so great was the fact that there were three stories combined. Here, the movie has only 1 1/2 stories and they keep switching back and forth. The Backson song is not that good compared to Heffalumps and Woozles song which I liked better. Also, this movie came out on the exact same weekend as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I don't even need to say which one sold more tickets. That was definitely not a bright move. I think it should have been released in spring 2011 instead; that would have given it a better box-office chance. Aside from its problems, Winnie the Pooh still offers the charm of our beloved characters and their special traits; Pooh wanting honey, Eeyore being whiny, Tigger always bouncy, and so forth. It may not be the best Winnie the Pooh production, but it still makes decent family entertainment.
Wreck it Ralph
When Wreck-it-Ralph was coming out, I didn't know what to think. The idea of experiencing arcade characters' lives sounded creative, but I thought it seemed more like a Pixar or Dreamworks film. But despite that distraction, Wreck-It-Ralph was a very worthy work of art. I liked how the arcade characters were putting on shows for their players and the settings looked good, and the wires having subway systems worked well. However, I didn't understand why Ralph was rejected if he was only pretending to be bad so the game wouldn't be unplugged. I will admit, much like Toy Story 3, the movie seemed dark at times. The idea of the arcade characters dying if unplugged seemed scary, especially when King Candy was describing what could happen to Vanellope. And speaking of that, the scene where Ralph destroys Vanellope's kart almost made me cry in the theater. It was a heart-breaking scene after Ralph and Vanellope bonded and gave her hope. The cy-bug climax is intense as well, but it also very heroically emotional But the film has plenty of great elements too. King Candy is a funny villain and he has a great backstory. It makes him sound like an infamous legend, which technically, he is. King Candy's voice actor Alan Tudyk really does a good job with his lisp. Fix-it-Felix is bashfully likable, Vanellope is sweet and sassy, Ralph himself has a very good heart. The movie also takes advantage of Sugar Rush's sugary environment with all those sugar jokes; candy with nuts, oreo guards, nesquik sand, devil dogs, and so forth. My biggest highlight is Ralph and Vanellope's relationship. They have suffered from rejection so much and they want to help each other out, and it feels like a sweet loving sibling relationship. That's where the film's real heart is. All in all, Wreck-it-Ralph is smart, delightful, and emotional. Some parts feel scary, but when it doesn't, it's fun. A creative environment, jokes, and heart definitely makes it a masterpiece.
OMG, when Frozen came out, moviegoers went nuts! They fell in love with this movie! People were singing all the songs- especially Let It Go, talking about all the characters, and it was the highest grossing animated film at the time! And you know what? I fell in love with this movie too! This is so far my favorite film of the Disney Revival! The songs are great, the characters are great, the colors are great, it's just awesome! The story has real sisterly heart, something not often seen in a Disney film. Elsa is constantly trying to distance herself from Anna, but she means to protect her. Despite her constant actions, I find Elsa a likable character. She reminds me a lot of Raven from the 2003-2006 Teen Titans, my favorite animated show. Elsa feels like she has to keep herself away and has little confidence, but she makes everything right in the end. Kristoff is funny too, especially when he voices over Sven, who is a cute reindeer with the heart of a dog. Olaf is awesome! It's so ironic how Olaf want summer, the worst season for a snowman. I really love Anna! She's beautiful, she's cheerful, she's clumsy, loveable, and most of all has a big heart! I loved every second Anna was on screen. I think she's one of the greatest animated heroines ever! Hans is also a cool villain. He's really good at pretending to be a good guy. His dark revelation made me think of Stromboli's evil revelation. The songs are memorable and fun in their own ways. Fixer Upper and In Summer are very funny. I, like most people, think Let It Go is a great song. However, I like For The First Time In Forever the best. It is sung by Anna, representing her optimism. The film is great too in using the form of true love in a different way. Most Disney films like Sleeping Beauty or Little Mermaid use true love's kiss, but here Anna shows she loves Elsa not matter what when she saves her from Hans. If I had to pick one problem with the movie, it would be when Elsa creates Marshmallow to throw Anna out. I know Elsa meant to protect Anna, but that just seemed a little too far. There is also controversy that the movie's excitement is wearing out for a lot of people, but since I've learned to keep my excitements to moderation, it's not wearing out for me. On the whole, I love Frozen. It's one of the Disney Revival's best films ever! I plan on watching it more times in the future!
Big Hero 6
All right, I will be honest here. I was not entirely excited when I heard about Big Hero 6 coming. Not because it wasn't a fairy tale adaptation or a musical, quite the contrary. Disney has made plenty of great non-fairy tale films like The Lion King or great non-musicals like Wreck-It-Ralph. But...this was a MARVEL adaptation! I thought that was Universal Studio's job to adapt Marvel comics. And the fact that this movie was made by the same studio that brought people the magic of Snow White sort of baffled me! And to think, after the giant hit of Frozen, I finally had something to connect with the general public! Also, I am not a huge fan of Marvel comic books. But I decided to give Big Hero 6 a chance before making a decision. And well, it wasn't really as bad as I thought. It still had plenty of action like any other superhero media, and it had plenty of heart. It also helped that the main characters were set up in a traditional team formula. For example, there's the brave leader (Hiro), the excitable girl (Honey Lemon), the cool dude (Wasabi), the sarcastic stick-in-the mud (GoGo), the goof-off (Fred), and even the cute mascot (Baymax). Their powers aren't classic, but eh, they are pretty cool for what they are. If I had to pick a favorite character or two, it would be a tie between Honey Lemon and Fred. They are both very goofy, and provide a lot of comfort for Hiro after his brother, um well...disappears forever. Baymax I have to admit is pretty cute. He sounds like a programmed machine initially, but as the movie goes on, Baymax develops more of a personality. He and Hiro develop a pretty good friendship. However, that seems to take up most of the movie, and if I had to pick one problem, that would be it. I mean, the movie is called Big Hero 6, and I think it could put a little more focus on the other members of the team. But then again, I am probably knitpicking. The villain is...okay. He is pretty cool and dark, but in terms of personality, I don't think he's quite on par with Hans, King Candy, or Dr. Facilier. The climax is pretty huge too. I won't give too much away, but since this is a superhero movie, it does have a lot of action that will keep viewers' attention. And I will say this--Hiro and Baymax do have a very emotional moment that reminds me of The Iron Giant. So overall, I think Big Hero 6 is...decent. As superheroes go, I don't think this movie has the same charm as The Incredibles or even Teen Titans, but it certainly has its strengths. I don't LOVE Big Hero 6, but I do like it okay, and I am pretty glad I saw it. I'd still personally prefer to go back to Frozen, but that doesn't mean I don't think Big Hero 6 isn't worth checking out. It is. If you like superheroes or Marvel comics, see for yourself. I am sure it's worth 1 hour and 35 minutes of your time.
Well, I finally managed to see Zootopia, and the use of animals is pretty much how I initially expected it to be:...Okay. Not great, not awful, just okay. I love animals, but it always depends on how the movie itself turns out to be. Also having some of my personal favorite animals as one of the stars is a huge bonus for me. But the story involving stereotypes and discrimination- Now THAT's more like it. I'll talk about the good stuff first. I'd say the best thing about this movie is its society set up and box of jokes. There's the sahara square, tundra part of town, and so forth. Also, the idea that they are trying to make the world a better place by having prey and predator live in the same city is impressive, which matches with how our societies consider people in classes...er, despite some hypocritical meaness, but I'll get to that later. And having some animal jokes here and there works as well, like having a lion has a mayor and a lamb for an assistant (especially because the movie's release was in spring), and a ton of animal puns like Duke Weaselton's DVDs, various products, and stores, kinda like Shrek 2. Judy is different from most different from most of the characters, wanting to get past those cruel stereotypes to follow her own dreams regardless of being looked down on (literally). Nick Wilde is also a charming character. He gets some snarky laughs here and there. Also, I liked that cheetah cop, he was pretty funny. Now I'll discuss what doesn't work in this movie. There's that hypocritical mean-spirited judgment which was a similar problem in Monsters University. Zootopia says the animals can be whatever they want, yet citizens treat them like they can't-like Judy's experience with the fox bully, or Nick's flashback with the boy scouts. Sometimes I wonder if people really mean we can be ourselves in our lives. Even Judy's parents weren't very supportive. Dude, that's just wrong. In addition, I found the "torn apart conflict" between Judy and Nick, ( to clarify, I mean the scene where Nick felt betrayed by Judy's speech) er not weak, more like not much emotion shown into it as much as some other movies like oh say, Wreck-It-Ralph. I know what the point was, I just wish Nick sounded more hurt is all. There could have also been some primates, birds, and reptiles, but it's a nitpick. So for the most part, I'd say Zootopia is realisticly emotional. As an animal film it's well done but I didn't have as much fun with it as much as other anthropomorphic animal medias such as Robin Hood, Kung Fu Panda, or the Sly Cooper games. But like I said-it's the story of discrimation within the animal species that make it worthwhile. Discrimation and prejudice is very hurtful for many including myself, but we must learn to look past all those if we want to make the world a happier place. If you are looking for a story about society, and prejudice and like mammals, Zootopia might be up your alley.I actually enjoyed it I am glad I checked it out and I will most likely see it again in the future. Some good themes and jokes makes it worth viewing at least once.
Okey dokey, I just saw Moana. I would say for the most part it was pretty good. It wasn't terrific, but it definitely wasn't disappointing like Brave or The Good Dinosaur...well, except for the fact that Pua the pig wasn't in it that much. I thought he was really cute and that he was going to accompany Moana on her quest like he was advertised to, but no. We get stuck with the rooster who makes lousy comic relief. But enough about that-let's talk about the good stuff. The Polynesian culture is pretty cool-the choruses, the tattoos, and of course Moana herself. She's interesting enough as Disney heroines go. Definitely has that adventurous desire that Ariel or Pocahontas had. It's another "overprotective father vs daughter" issue, but it doesn't show up that much. Maui himself...he's okay. His relationship with Moana was also okay, but not as engaging as some of the others of the Disney Revival, especially during the "torn apart conflict" part. I don't even know why he came back, there was no scene of thinking and mind changing. The songs I am not sure if I would consider memorable yet, but Moana's "I Want" song (I forget the title) was pretty well. Maui's moving tattoo buddy got a few laughs. But I'd say my biggest praise is that giant crab monster. He was funny, he had a devious voice that sounded like Tim Curry, and had a great design. He was the closest thing the film had to an evil villain. And speaking of which, I don't want to give anything away for the climax, but I will say the ending is very heartwarming thanks to Moana's heart. So overall, I'd say the film is pretty well. I'm not sure if I would consider it a classic, but it's cultural and nice. If a cultural Polynesian adventure film sounds good to you, check it out. You might enjoy yourself.