Posts Tagged ‘Lilo and Stitch’

March Madness 1: Disney

April 14, 2018

Bracket

So March has come and gone but March Madness lives in people’s hearts forever, right? The thing about that is that I am not a basketball fan. While I played pickup games in middle school, I was never a fan because Baltimore does not have a team. If Baltimore does not have a team, I quickly lose interest in those sports. What I am a big fan of is Disney animated films and Pixar (before and after acquisition by Disney). I heard about this bracket and how it was driving everyone crazy and I thought it would be fun to fill it out and then explain my choices. Art is subjective and ranking things is absolutely just an exercise in examining your personal tastes. In other words, don’t get mad at me for my choices.

 

Lion King vs. Tarzan

This was an easy one to start of with. Tarzan has an interesting story about discovering one’s place in the world and also the evils of poaching. Lion King tells the story of a son’s love for his father and is basically Hamlet but with lions. While both are adaptations of established stories, Lion King has a lot more to say. Lion King also talks about duty vs. enjoyment and overcoming your fear to do what is right. It is a much more inspiring story. Lion King also has better music as Elton John and Tim Rice beat Phil Collins any day of the week, at least in my opinion. The Lion King also is funnier when it tries to be funny and more touching when it needs to be touching.

The Princess and the Frog vs. Lilo and Stitch

This one was a little harder. I like that Lilo and Stitch does not have a romantic subplot and it depicts Hawaii more as it actually is. It is a movie about sisters and misfits finding a family. It is honestly a really great movie. The Princess and the Frog is a movie about working hard for what you want but also trying to find the fun in life. The work/life balance message is something that is important to me. Also, The Princess and the Frog is a musical which uses great jazz tunes including a song actually sung by Dr. John. That definitely edges it ahead. It also does not hurt that Tiana is the first African American Disney Princess.

Tangled vs. Big Hero 6

It got difficult again. Big Hero 6 was a comic book series I read when it first came out. It was a charming and fun series with a lot of brand new heroes, Silver Samurai, and Sunfire. The movie version was really fun and had a different take on the character Baymax that knocked my socks off. It also did a great job with the theme of dealing with death. I also love superhero movies a lot. However, Tangled is an underrated movie that kind of paved the way for a new wave of Disney Princess. This new take on the Rapunzel story is really strengthened by the undeniable, bouncy energy of Rapunzel and the offbeat, goofy humor of the movie. This movie was a go to for a while when I was depressed to try and get me out of it.

Frozen vs. Moana

This was a totally unfair first round matchup. When I first saw Frozen, it blew me away. It was a total game changer when it came to Disney Princess animated movies. Setting aside that it had Kristen Bell in it, it also was the first of those movies that did not have a real romantic subplot. It was more about the love between sisters than the love between two people who had just met. Moana has even less of a romantic subplot and it is about being true to yourself and following your passion while staying true to your roots. It is a truly beautiful movie both visually and figuratively. It also has songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda who does so well that he ended up defeating the unstoppable catchiness of the songs of Frozen. That alone is saying something.

Aladdin vs. Hercules

Like most people, I love Hercules. It has a lot of snappy humor and is a great adaptation of various Greek myths with a slick modern style to it. The animation style is fun and it has an interestingly complex love story that comes second to a story about believing in yourself and becoming a hero. However, I have a big history with Aladdin. Back then I was a superfan of Robin Williams but the event that really cemented my love for the movie is when I watched it on drugs. To be fair, I watched it as I lay in the ICU after heart surgery in fifth grade. The movie has absolutely beautiful art and awesome voice talents. The story is also about believing in yourself but it is also about seeing people as they are and the power of friendship. The songs by Alan Menken are leagues above most Disney movies as well.

The Little Mermaid vs. Pocahontas

This one was easy. I really dislike Pocahontas. It is the only major release Disney Animated Movie that I dislike and that’s saying something. It is a historically inaccurate portrayal of a woman who was mistreated as a Native American by European colonists. The art style is also kind of off-putting to me for some reason. Also, I never liked the music very much. The Little Mermaid, on the other hand, is a really fun movie and a happier take on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. The music is all so fun to sing along to and the humor is cute and enjoyable. I love the theme of feeling like you are in the wrong place and yearning for a place that just feels right to you. It also has some interesting magic spells and supernatural powers go along way with me.

Mulan vs. Zootopia

This is a weird matchup. Zootopia is a really interesting movie that has a lot to say about racism and affirmative action. It disguises that message behind really well-animated animals living in a big city together. I love the world building involved in that and the story is a great roller coaster that has a lot of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Mulan is a great tale about the clash between following tradition and being who you feel you need to be. It also has the first Disney Princess who could fight. The animation is also really pretty with its own style that clearly illustrates that we are in China. What edges Mulan ahead as the clear winner is the music. Mulan has a lot of great, singable songs. Mostly I am thinking about I’ll Make a Man Out of You which was written by Donny Osmond of all people.

Beauty and the Beast vs. Nightmare Before Christmas

This one is not even fair. Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful movie. The art is a shining example of what 2D animation can be and the art style was so unique. It also introduced us to a heroine who was smart, brave, and who would not back down. It also introduced a romantic couple who believably wanted nothing to do with each other who were also both questionable individuals. The story does a good job of showing two parallel character arcs with a satisfying conclusion. The songs are also among the best in Disney. Nightmare Before Christmas is a movie that I watch every year at some point between Halloween and Christmas. It is yet another movie that I have used to battle depression because the movie itself is about battling depression. It is also the only movie on this list that uses stop-motion animation which is done so well I sometimes thought of it as live action. On top of all of that, it has music from Danny Elfman at the peak of his abilities. Every song is awesome and portrays so much emotion that I cannot ever let this movie go.

Alright, this one is getting a bit too long so I will have to continue it at another time. Of course, part 2 will have to wait until sometime after April but I am excited to get back to it! In the meantime, feel free to offer your own opinions. As I said, art is subjective and I am not “right” and you are not “wrong”.

Media Update 11/26/2015

November 26, 2015


AKA Jessica Jones

I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic/Television universe and the direction Disney is taking all of their properties. There are a few outliers at Fox and Columbia Pictures but those characters are mostly fine where they are. As part of the Netflix Initiative (separate from the celebrated “Phases”) there was supposed to be at least five shows. Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would each get an order of episodes. Daredevil was successful and already received a second season. The four shows would be followed by Marve’s The Defenders mini-series where all four heroes will team up. AKA Jessica Jones really got me even more excited for what’s to come. I’m not too far in but it’s really, really good. It’s hard to do the imperfect hero. This show takes an alcoholic, anti-social and pessimistic character and makes her inspiring. Krysten Ritter (an actress I already adored) is really believable and doesn’t falter a single step in her acting. In fact, everyone is spot on. The only warning I have is that the show is very, very dark which seems par for the course for Marvel’s Netflix projects. I’m so excited to watch the rest of this and see the future projects.

 


Puella Magi Madoka Magica

I’m pretty sure I’ve stated how much I love magical girl stuff on this blog. If not, I really do love that stuff a lot. I have a lot of memories of ditching Dragonball Z and being really excited to watch Sailor Moon everyday instead. I moved on to Card Captor Sakura later as I was pretty sold on the concept. It even works for magical boys too like Ronin Warriors and Saint Seiya. So I instantly put Madoka on my Netflix list as soon as it was available. I didn’t check it out until this week and I was pleasantly surprised. Forgive me as there is no other way to put it but this show is really fucked up. I don’t remember the last time I watched the first episode of the show and yelled “What the fuck!?” at my television with a big smile on my face. The show follows magical girls (aka transforming pre-teen superheroes) who battle witches. However, this show takes a hard look at the realities of using such young soldiers in a dangerous battle against evil. The stakes are high and death is their final reward. It’s pretty chilling and a refreshing look at the genre. I also like that the witches are portrayed by mixed media in the form of fabric arts and western-looking animation. The heroes are portrayed in clean anime style and it makes the situation even more weird and terrifying. I want to watch the second half of this series to see what happens to these girls. I have a bad feeling though.

 


Lilo and Stitch

I really needed something more light-hearted after the above picks so I decided to finally watch Lilo and Stitch. Missing Disney movies when they come out can be a pain in the butt as Disney has a tendency to lock them in a vault. I have legitimately become enamored of Hawaiian and Island culture ever since reading about it as described by Dwayne Johnson. From what I can tell online, the movie is a fair look at modern day rural Hawaii. The movie is very touching and sweet and funny. I’m no longer sorry I missed this one because that means I got to watch this now and not then. Much of the humor, at least for me, came from the older sister who I’m sure I wouldn’t gave identified with when this originally came out. She’s trying her best to manage an unruly little sister and the new addition of a space alien posing as a dog. Lilo and her sister Nani are some of the most accurate portrayals of modern human beings that I’ve ever seen. The alien stuff is merely fun background to three lonely and hopeless characters finding their place in a family unit. Also, the Disney record of making me at least tear up is intact.

Kaizo Trap

Day One

Pigeon Music Party!

Sweet Potato vs. Yam

Trains, Planes and Automobiles – Car Rental

Updates

– I’m really excited for Felicia and Jonah and MST3K
– I still wish that Mike and Kevin were involved
– I got my first Pro-Wrestling Crate and it’s awesome
– I have a few more Disney movies to check out
– Loaded this post on Monday because of holidays
– Happy Thanksgiving!


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