Dissecting the Disquels: Cinderella III – A Twist in Time

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Plot: Cinderella has gotten her happily ever after, but her stepsister, Anastasia, hasn’t. She wants what Cinderella has and gets a lucky break when she gets her hands on the Fairy Godmother’s wand. The evil stepmother takes it from her and reverses time back to the search of the owner of the glass slipper. When Anastasia gets a turn, she magically makes her foot the right size, allowing her to get engaged to the somewhat confused prince, leaving Cinderella devastated. However, she’s not going to give up her prince without a fight, and she’ll need to hope that Anastasia sees the real meaning behind true love before it’s too late.

Breakdown: I pretty much had the same thought as everyone else when this movie came out. ‘Cinderella’s a TRILOGY now? And there’s time travel? Wat?’ I really wasn’t looking forward to this movie when I reached it on my Disquel list, but is it really as bad as it seems?

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We start off with Cinderella singing about how perfect her life is with her husband The Artist Formerly Known as Prince as she turns around and gives us an expression like she just farted….I’m not really kidding. I know she’s smiling, but…

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Come on….

The Prince comes up to give her her shoes. He tells her that the mice were using her shoes as boats as he dumps some water out of one of them and slips it on her foot. Yeah, don’t dry the damn thing or anything. Just put her wet soggy shoe on her foot.

Mid-song we cut to the evil stepsisters cleaning the house and doing chores since Cinderella’s married into royalty and doesn’t deal with that crap anymore. This song includes a segment about how Anastasia wants to find a prince of her own to marry….Wha, what about the baker?! I know he was apparently so unimportant that he didn’t even get a name, but he was an integral part of Anastasia’s supposed storyline. Was the last movie just so bad that we’re reconning all of it?

What is seriously up with the fascination with Anastasia anyway? Why does she get two stories while the other stepsister, Drizella, gets nothing? Is she just an irredeemable bitch? And, again, why the hell should we care if either one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters gets a happy ending? They tried to do that in the last movie, and I wasn’t anymore rooting for her to get laid by the end of her segment than I was at the beginning.

Anastasia follows Cinderella and the Prince to their anniversary party 

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held by the mice and her fairy godmother. As they continue singing about what a perfect life they have (Something everyone can relate to I’m sure) Anastasia finds out that Cinderella got her perfect life through magic, and, just as if it were written in the script, the fairy godmother clumsily flings her wand into the forest right in front of Anastasia’s face.

She runs back to Drizella and Bitch (Might as well name her that) to show them, but they don’t believe her. The fairy godmother shows up to take the wand back. How she knew Anastasia had it is beyond me. In a scuffle to get the wand, Anastasia accidentally turns the godmother into a statue.

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With wand in hand, Bitch decides to turn back time to the shoe fitting to ensure that Cinderella doesn’t end up being found and marrying the Prince. Magic: Anyone can do it properly because shut up.

When the duke enters to place the glass slipper on the girls’ feet, Bitch uses her wand again to shrink Anastasia’s foot to the right size. Oh nice, Drizella gets no chance? Just give the Prince to Anastasia? Pfft.

As Anastasia and the others are about to leave, Cinderella tries to plead her case but Bitch stops her. Cinderella shows the other glass slipper as proof that she was the one who danced with the prince, but Bitch says it was just a dream and breaks the slipper.

Cinderella watches in despair as they leave and starts singing a somber song about how the ball was supposedly just a dream. It’s a pretty nice song even if the visuals are a tad cheesy.

Jaq consoles Gus about the situation, and he says that the prince would know Cinderella by looking at her if he saw her since they danced together. Good point. That just begs the question as to why the prince never thought to have a mock sketch made up to search for the girl from the ball instead of hoping no one else has her shoe size.

Cinderella overhears their conversation and instantly perks up with determination to go to the palace, see the prince and prove that the other night wasn’t a dream.

As Cinderella sneaks into the castle pretending to be the royal mouse catcher, the prince meets Anastasia. He proves to not be as stupid as I feared since he instantly realizes that Anastasia’s not the girl he danced with at the ball and politely apologizes before sending them home. However, Bitch will have none of that and casts a spell over him that makes him forget Cinderella and have Anastasia replace her in his memories. He turns around and proposes to her and she wildly accepts while sticking the ring on the wrong hand.

Jaq and Gus witness this and go to warn Cinderella who is confronting the prince. Cinderella tries to get the prince to recognize her, but he can’t escape the spell so he doesn’t understand. She’s dragged away for royal mouse catcher business before she can talk further.

Jaq and Gus tell her that Bitch took the wand from the fairy godmother and put a spell over the prince, so Cinderella concocts a plan to get him back.

The king asks for a moment alone with Anastasia where he talks about his wife the, I guess, dead queen who died from Disneyitis. He gives her a sea shell that was the queen’s most prized possession as it was the sea shell that both she and the king were reaching for at the same time, and when their hands touched he knew it was true love…..

Okay, I want to take a time out here for a minute and showcase just how drastically the king changed his stances on marriage in this movie.

From what I remember of the first movie, and from what we’re shown at the very beginning of this one, the king mostly treated marriage as a necessity that all royalty needed, and that love wasn’t really important as long as you just get married especially to someone of great breeding and refinement. He vocalizes this after the time reversal then completely changes his tune after the prince asks him to remember how he fell in love with the queen while looking at a ten foot tall painting of her. He stays in this lovey dovey mood the rest of the movie and keeps looking at various paintings of her…..

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Are you saying he just completely forgot how much he loved and cared for his wife and reduced marriage to something so empty and only remembered that it was about love when his son asked him to remember the wife he seemingly adored so much that he’d have giant paintings of her everywhere? Huh?

Anastasia sings a reprise of the song she was singing before about how she’s found a man who loves her and how her dreams will come true when she marries the prince. I really don’t like how we’re being force-fed this BS with Anastasia. She has no character growth seriously, she’s still a bitchy she-beast, she just acts dreamy and somewhat kind when she’s in love. And I keep finding the idea of ‘marriage to hot guy=all dreams now true’ to be very lame.

For anyone worrying about character growth with Drizella, don’t worry, she’s still a jerk.

Cinderella sees Drizella screwing around with the wand to make jewelry and stuff (without saying the magic words, mind you) while Bitch locks the wand away in a drawer and puts the key in her pocket. What was wrong with keeping it on her? It’s probably safer since no one would ever dream of touching her…

Anastasia returns while still all dreamy and has second thoughts about what they’re doing. She even says the prince could love her without the spell. Yeah, he looked practically disgusted when he saw you and has shown nothing but indifference towards you even with the spell. I’m sure he’d fall head over heels…

In order the get the wand, Cinderella sends Jaq and Gus in to nab it from Bitch’s pocket. They accidentally set Lucifer (the cat) on fire, and, in the ruckus from his freaking out, they nab the key…..Hey you know what else I noticed? That cat from the second movie, Pish-Posh or whatever is nowhere to be seen in this movie so far. Huh. Maybe they did completely retcon it.

They break a dish or vase or something in the commotion and are about to call a housekeeper when one arrives at the door. It’s Cinderella with a bonnet shadowing her face. Why she felt the need to do this is beyond me. Obviously Jaq and Gus got into the room just fine, surely they’d be able to get out with no problem. Jaq and Gus are also about to open the drawer while Bitch and the others are still in the room.

What the hell is she thinking? What a dumb plan. She should’ve just gotten the key, waited for them to leave the room, went in and gotten the wand without them noticing. Bitch didn’t have the wand or the key anymore so unless she wanted to grab an axe and rip apart the dresser, she would be screwed.

Bitch recognizes Cinderella and outs her disguise, but Cinderella says she’ll never get away with her plan as she runs off with Jaq and Gus, guards and Lucifer in tow.

She manages to get the wand back, but can’t complete the reversal spell on the prince and gets taken by the guards while the wand is returned to Bitch. Cinderella tries to convince the prince, touches his hand (a spark when touching hands is a theme of this movie) and he feels something, but doesn’t break free from the spell as she’s dragged away. Drizella yells to her that they won, and the prince wonders what she meant, but she just says it’s nothing while Bitch shoos the prince away.

Bitch tells the guard to banish Cinderella even though I have no clue why everyone’s obeying her like she’s already royalty. I know her daughter’s set to marry the prince but that doesn’t make her a queen-in-law. Even if it did, they’re not married yet.

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The mice drag the prince into a sewing room to talk to him, and they sing about how Cinderella is really the girl that he danced with at the ball and that Bitch put him under a spell to think Anastasia’s the girl he danced with instead. They also say that Cinderella’s been banished by Bitch and it’s up to him to save her.

Prince: “Magic…..That explains everything.” Magic; the deus ex machina of everything. Also, I love how open and willing he is to accept all of this. Talking mice and intelligent birds are telling him through song that his future mother-in-law cast a spell on him to marry her daughter and the real girl that he danced with at the ball is some crazy lady he met earlier. Most people would seek psychiatric help after that but in Disney movies it’s completely believable.

And they even acknowledge how ridiculous this is. Heh, I like this movie.

I love the look he gives the King when he says that the bluebirds weren’t talking. It’s like “Daaaaaaddd, of course the BLUEBIRDS weren’t talking; just the mice!”

The prince manages to escape the castle to find Cinderella even though his father tried repeatedly to get him to stop. When the prince gets beyond the gate, he dreamily says to let him go……What is the king on exactly? He’s flip-flopping between emotions so feverishly.

Cinderella boards the ship out of the kingdom and reprises her song about dreams this time in a sad sense since she now thinks it was all a dream. Truthfully, some good does come out of this scenario; she doesn’t have to deal with Bitch anymore.

The prince is catching up to the ship, but the ship is departing from port so he decides to take one final leap from the top of a lighthouse or whatever that is. However, his horse won’t make the jump so he stops suddenly, throwing the prince into the ship as he slides down the sail with a knife and swings down ropes. Mythbusters pretty much destroyed the thing with the sails and knife so I’m going to dock you for that movi—oh yeah this is a movie with talking mice, magic wands and glass footwear. Carry on.

The prince reunites with Cinderella, and, with a touch of their hands, he knows he’s found the right girl this time. However, there’s still 20 minutes left in the movie so it can’t be that simple.

Bitch won’t stand for this, and she soon escapes with her daughters as Cinderella and the prince escape.

Cinderella gets ready for her wedding when Bitch emerges from the shadows and reveals her newest plan. She’s going to let Cinderella get married to the prince, only the Cinderella that he’ll marry is actually Anastasia under a spell to look like Cinderella. Couldn’t go the extra mile to change her voice to Cinderella’s though.

Bitch uses the wand to send Cinderella away and ironically transports her to the center of a growing gross pumpkin that grows to an evil version of her carriage from the night of the ball and uses thorny vines to force a nearby horse to pull it. In order to ensure that Cinderella stays out of the picture, she sends a humanized Lucifer to drive the carriage.

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We get a pretty suspenseful scene as Cinderella, Jaq and Gus try to stop the carriage as it’s moving. While Jaq and Gus nearly get thrown off several times, Cinderella manages to throw Lucifer off of the carriage where he somehow turns back into a cat again, I dunno. They regain control of the carriage and pull the pin connecting it to the horse, but they’re approaching a cliff so they all jump on the horse’s back just in time.

Cinderella races to the wedding on horseback, and we can only hope the old trope of stopping the wedding either before they say “I do” or after the minister asks if anyone has any objections is still alive.

Back at the wedding, which I can’t believe got arranged so quickly, but okay, Anastasia is still showing signs of unease about the upcoming marriage because she believes the prince doesn’t feel anything for her when they touch hands. This is especially uneasy when he whispers “my one and only Cinderelly” to her during the ceremony, since the first time he heard her name was from Jaq.

So which one will it be? Cinderella stopping the ceremony or Anastasia not going through with it?

Well, surprisingly, it’s Anastasia.

Okay, we get it. She’s a good person now for some reason. I really just wish we had more actual development with her. You can’t just flip a switch between dress-ripping she-demon and romantic fairy tale protagonist.

It is nice most of the time to see a mean character eventually see the error of their ways and turn good, and this is a way better show of that than the second movie’s third section, but still. Oh and let me guess, she’s going to randomly find someone she loves before the end credits, right?

Bitch won’t stand for this either and both she and the royal guards head for Anastasia. Bitch causes havoc in the palace with her dark magic…by the way, the fairy godmother must not have needed a lot of practice for her job. It seems like anyone who grabs ahold of the wand and knows the magic words can do anything they want properly. Look at her. She’s like friggin’ Maleficent without the dragon form and she’s only had the wand for a day.

She’s about to use her magic on Anastasia for disobeying her, but Cinderella stands in front of her to protect her. Oh yeah I’m so sure she’d never do a thing to YOU of all people. She’s always thought of you as a precious little dainty flower.

Obviously, Bitch still wants to attack anyway, but the prince jumps in the way with his sword which reflects the magic back at Bitch and Drizella, sending them to some dungeon or maybe it’s their house’s basement I dunno, and they’ve turned into frogs. Kinda a lame battle, really, but I guess Cinderella’s not a movie meant for battle sequences and dark magic.

Anastasia grabs the wand since it fell on the floor after Bitch and Drizella disappeared and turns herself back to normal again. She tries to return the shell that the king gave her as a wedding gift stating she doesn’t deserve it, but the king lets her keep it and tells her that everyone deserves true love.

They return the fairy godmother to her non-stone state, Cinderella reunites with the prince again and they get married. The fairy godmother asks if she wants them to return to their old lives where they were already married for over a year and none of this mess ever happened, but they seemingly don’t need to since they don’t even remember that life. Hope nothing important happened in that year.

And then we zoom out as they kiss, we see the castle one last time and that’s the end.

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Well, we do see in a final shot that Bitch and Drizella turn back to normal only they’re now tasked with being housekeepers.

The en–….Wait, Anastasia didn’t randomly find her true love? *fast forwards through end credits*…..HONESTLY? They didn’t follow that huge cliché? Wow. I’m blown away.

Now, I’m about to get so much crap for this, I know it…..but……this movie…..I liked this movie.

In fact, I’d say it’s very much on the same level as the original.

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Maybe even better…..

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Hold back the firing squad, let me explain. Looking back on it, the first Cinderella isn’t all that fantastic to me. Sad but true. As a kid, I never was much interested in movies like that. I was more interested in The Lion King and Aladdin and movies with huge battles and cool fantasy worlds.

When I really think about it, I don’t see the big fuss around the original movie anyway. A girl has a life that is terrible, true. Some bitch married her dad, her dad died, her original mom’s probably also dead from the Disneyitis epidemic and she’s forced to basically be a slave in her own house under the command of said bitch and her two slag-sisters.

She dreams of a better life beyond this, but does nothing about it. A fairy godmother takes pity on her situation and uses her magic to get her to a big ball being held by the king to find a suitable bride for his son, the prince who is never named. (And I know he’s probably Prince Charming, but he is literally never named. Even in the credits of this movie he’s credited as The Prince.) Heck, the mice are the ones who even make her first dress for her, and they also are the ones to get her out of the attic in the end.

She goes to the ball, dances, falls in love as fast as, well, a Disney Princess, runs off while leaving her confusing footwear choice behind and returns to her daily life.

She partakes in a shoe fitting and gets married. The end. That’s all there is to that movie. And you know what I get from it? Everyone around her is being much more proactive in Cinderella’s life than Cinderella is. She’s basically a completely reactive character in the first movie.

Cinderella could easily decide to leave and start a life on her own. I mean, her Wiki even says she’s not 16, not even 18 but 19 years old. Plenty old enough to tell her step-mother to shove a broom up her ass and go live a life of her own. What’s she going to do about it? I doubt she’d do much. The only real method of force that she has outside of emotional torment is a fat sadistic cat. And her father had to have left her something in his will, unless he was an ass too.

Instead she waited around and acted like a doormat until something magical fell into her lap. Even when this happened, she still returned to her awful life with no intentions of leaving until the prince decided he liked the dance so much that he wanted to marry the girl he danced with and sent people off to fetch her.

I’m not victim blaming, her situation is still awful, but really the only reason she found the will to escape it was because she finally found a boyfriend. Cinderella seems like a really strong person otherwise. It’s like she didn’t have a purpose to leave until she met the prince.

She gets whisked away, there are no repercussions for the villains, there’s no real depth to the prince and Cinderella’s relationship, there’s no real depth to the prince barring that he’s difficult to marry off without a dance party.

It’s a good dose of fantasy for young girls, and it is always nice to have that light in your heart that says one day your dreams could all come true at the drop of a hat, but that’s about it.

This movie has action, suspense, adds depth to Cinderella (makes her pretty damn proactive and a little badass to be honest), the prince and their relationship as a whole even if it’s not a whole lot to go on barring the hand thing.

I will admit, the stuff with Anastasia becoming somewhat nice and basically being turned into not just a protagonist but also kinda the protagonist of this movie is very jarring and a little off-putting. However, it’s huge character development that is not outside of the realms of realism. Maybe they didn’t completely retcon the second movie and that was supposed to be somewhat of a buffer to how she is here and she and the Baker just didn’t work out.

The truly evil ones of the movie actually get some comeuppance, becoming frogs then housekeepers. Cinderella and the prince actually do stuff to fight for their love. It doesn’t fall into the same cliché pitfalls like giving Anastasia a love interest out of nowhere just to ensure that everyone good has someone to bang or Cinderella stopping the wedding before the “I do”’s.

It also has pretty good art and animation, and good music, surprising for a Disney sequel let alone the third in a trilogy. Never cringed to any of the songs, in fact most were pretty memorable and well-made. Only exception might be the song that Jaq and Gus sing, which is still pretty good but bordering on lame during the chorus and reprise. Good voice acting, good pacing, a pretty good story, good dialogue, and the time travel thing didn’t feel that forced or contrived.

Bottom Line: Is it a masterpiece? Definitely not. Is it an enjoyable movie? Yes. Cinderella purists or even Disney purists as a whole may not enjoy this movie because it literally rewrites the entire first movie’s ending and even retcons the second movie. If you have the same opinion on the first movie that I did, you’d have a decent chance of enjoying this all the more as well. If the original is very near and dear to your heart, but you’re open for continuing the story and giving a Disquel a chance, this is the one to see (not the second one. Please don’t watch that)

Recommended Audience: Glass footwear is a dangerous option. You have to put them in the dishwasher and the slightest trip could make you slit open an artery, but nothing offensive beyond that. E for everyone!

Final Notes: That tagline in the poster makes no sense. The slipper DID still fit her feet, it’s just that Bitch used a spell to make the slipper also fit Anastasia’s foot without letting Cinderella even try. Come on poster guys, pay attention.


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Dissecting the Disquels: Pocahontas 2 – Journey to a New World

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Plot: Due to Ratcliffe’s lies about what happened in the previous movie, the king has decided to send out an armada and declare war on the natives. Ratcliffe has supposedly killed John Smith to keep him from talking, and now it’s up to John Rolfe to try and mend bridges by bringing the chief of Pocahontas’s tribe to England as an ambassador.

Pocahontas goes in his place, but London is a much stranger world than what she’s used to. She’ll have to learn to dress and act accordingly or else she’ll have no chance of stopping the attack. Meanwhile, she develops a closer relationship with John Rolfe.

Breakdown: The original Pocahontas movie was both greatly loved and greatly ridiculed for being so far off from the original story of Pocahontas. Pocahontas was around 11 or 12 years old in the actual story, and John Smith was merely a friend. There’s nothing implying any sort of romantic entanglement between him and Pocahontas. That as well as various other aspects, like John Smith wasn’t nearly that attractive in real life, were badly historically inaccurate. Oh and magic leaves/trees/wind.

This movie, shockingly enough, is closer to the original story. However, there are still numerous changes in order to fuse properly with the first movie.

Though it is mentioned that “several” years have passed since the events of the first movie, no actual number of years is given. However, the original story states she was about 21 when she went to England. Since Pocahontas was 16 in the original movie and about 11 in the actual story, she’s probably around 26 in this movie, which is actually supposed to be a few years after her death.

John Rolfe goes to Jamestown to talk to Pocahontas and her tribe. She decides to go with him as an ambassador to stop war on her people and to take the place of her father since he refused to go. In the actual story, she was already married to John Rolfe and had a kid with him before going to England.

Also, I believe she just went to England simply to live there. There was no great mission, though her marriage to Rolfe did create a nice period of peace between the settlers and her tribe. She also changed her name to Rebecca somewhere between Smith and Rolfe.

The thing about John Smith faking his death and not contacting Pocahontas is accurate. The circumstances behind it may be different, but it did happen.

Okay, so “closer to the original story” does not mean “entirely accurate.” This is Disney; you have to give them quite a bit of elbow room.

Now onto the movie. I wasn’t in love with original movie, but I watched it several times as kid. I liked the songs and art more than anything. The actual story and characters were mostly okay to me. Really preachy and cheesy, though.

And this sequel……is surprisingly decent. It’s nothing amazing, but it seems like a decent sequel to the original movie at least for a direct-to-video sequel. And it’s a decent closing to Pocahontas’s story……….beyond all the genocide and dying at age 22 and whatnot. People who really shipped Pocasmith © were pretty damn pissed at this movie, though. But let’s get to that later.

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The movie starts out in London where we see John Smith running away from a bunch of soldiers on the rooftops. He eventually slips, and Ratcliffe appears and slams his foot down on Smith’s hand sending him into the waters below. Oh no! John Smith died by falling into the water and we never see him surface nor do we see his body. That must mean he is dead! There is absolutely no chance that they are screwing with us. This is 100% true events.

I should mention that the only voice change in the entire movie is with John Smith. I actually thought the VA for Pocahontas had changed since she sounds younger here, but it’s the same one. Mel Gibson decided not to return to this movie. Maybe he was too busy being a crazy anti-semite. But they did hire his brother, Donal, to do the voice work instead. To his credit, he does sound very similar to Mel, but not quite similar enough to go unnoticed.

Ratcliffe appears in front of the king and basically tells a bunch of lies about what happened in the original movie. He says John Smith was a traitor plotting with the Powhatan tribe to start a war and save his own skin. In order to prevent an attack from the tribe, King James sends out John Rolfe to speak with the chief and bring him back for negotiations.

We then cut to Jamestown where it’s winter, which means the animators really didn’t want to even try to match the landscapes and great art of the original movie. They just splashed white all over everything, put a few bare trees around and boom, Carnation instant landscape. Now with 95% less creativity.

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We discover that it has been “several” years since the events of the last movie and at least a few years since John Smith’s “death.” In the meantime, many new colonists have settled in.

Pocahontas’ best friend whose name escapes me as she was only in two minutes of this movie and had about as many lines as Meeko tells her that she needs to move on. And, after a song break, she does. Yay! She buries his compass in the snow (because snow never melts, right?) and moves on.

I must say that, while the songs aren’t that good, they’re at least several degrees better than the drek I’ve been listening to with Cinderella 2 and Hunchback 2. ‘Where do I go from Here?’ Is actually pretty good and memorable as well.

A new ship has arrived at the dock and Pocahontas goes to investigate. She has a run-in with a racist merchant which prompts an attack by the warriors of her tribe and a retaliation from the guards on the boat. However, she steps in before anyone starts attacking.

John Rolfe then steps in and says basically the same thing that Pocahontas says, which causes them to stand down. While John Rolfe is pleased with himself for stopping the attack, Pocahontas is enraged that John Rolfe butted in. DAMN YOU PALE SKINS AND YOUR NEED TO INTERRUPT PEACEMAKING WITH MORE PEACEMAKING!

He overhears some women talking about Pocahontas preventing war, and he believes Pocahontas is the name of the tribe leader. When he meets the tribe leader and offers a horse as a gift for him, the chief reveals that Pocahontas is the name of his daughter, and Rolfe is shocked to see that it’s the same girl from before. He begrudgingly gives the horse to Pocahontas and starts speaking with the chief.

He asks the chief to go back to England with him to negotiate with the king, but the chief refuses to go with him due to distrust of his people. Pocahontas decides to go in his place. Though John Rolfe doesn’t like the idea, he decides that it’s the only way to prevent war and that it is a viable option since she is royalty.

They embark on their journey with her bodyguard Uttamatomakkin, also known as Uti, who is arguably the funniest new character. His stone face and deadpan responses are just great. Uti is voiced by Brad Garret of Everybody Loves Raymond, which is odd because Uti barely says one line in this movie. Must’ve been the easiest paycheck he ever got. Also, what is up with Brad Garret and Disquels? He was in Tarzan 2 as well.

He is based on a real person of the same name who was also Pocahontas’ actual bodyguard. In real life, he was told by the chief to put a notch in a stick for every pale face that he saw in England to understand their numbers and strength, but eventually he gave up since there were simply too many people. He does the same exact thing in the movie, throwing away a tiny toothpick sized stick in the middle of a song about London as he was making notches during the entire song.

Flit, Meeko and Ratcliffe’s dog, Percy, who stayed behind with Pocahontas in the last movie, stowaway on the ship.

Percy actually gets drunk from drinking rum on the ship, which shocked the living crap out of me. They even put RUM in giant words on the barrels.

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Well, now we know why the rum’s always gone.

They arrive in London, and aforementioned London song happens since Pocahontas is so fascinated by how different London is to her home. I’m surprised she isn’t flabbergasted at the complete lack of any nature there.

They arrive at John Rolfe’s home where we’re introduced to another funny character, Mrs. Jenkins. She is very nice, nearly to a fault, and is blind as a bat without her glasses. She also constantly makes tea. Despite her lame blindness gags, she’s a very likable grandmother-like character. She’s voiced by Jean Stapleton, whom you may remember as Edith from All in the Family.

John Rolfe goes off to meet with the king, and King James tells him that, unless he’s impressed by Pocahontas as a civilized princess, he will let the armada sail and war will erupt. Ratcliffe suggests that he invite her to an upcoming ball to get a good understanding of her. The king agrees and sends Rolfe off.

Rolfe is stressed out because of this sudden turn of events. Acting accordingly at a ball and not crossing any of the numerous boundaries that are set in royal surroundings is incredibly difficult even for people who live there, let alone a person who doesn’t even know the slightest about their culture. However, Pocahontas agrees to try her best to be presentable and proper during the ball for the sake of her tribe.

We get a scene of Pocahontas in her underwear entering Rolfe’s room. Get your mind out of the gutter. The only reason I’m even bringing this up is because Rolfe gets very embarrassed at her clothes and I found this very odd.

I get that it’s “underwear”, but it’s oldtimey underwear. Ya know, that stuff that’s like a damn jumpsuit? I know, being a gentleman and given the time period, it’s still not out of the question that he’d be embarrassed, but it just seems so weird because it’s actually covering way more than her original clothes were.

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Pictured Left: A streaker – Pictured Right: Modesty in the 17th century

We get a musical montage which I guess is supposed to be a mix between a love song and a makeover song. Oh well, it’s much less painful than the one in Cinderella 2.

She comes out looking great, even has white powder on her face. I know that massive amounts of makeup were quite common in 17th century England, but is this kinda….white face? Is that a thing? Are they trying to make her look more white so she’ll be more easily accepted. If so, yikes….

She and Rolfe have a slight ‘moment’ when he gives her a necklace to wear, and she removes the one that her mother gave her.

They go to the ball, and, despite some initial awkwardness, the king seems to like her just fine, and the more likable queen also enjoys her presence.

During this ball we see a drunk man. Well, I just don’t know. Is Disney trying to throw off their new rep or something and get back to their old one?

We get to dinner and a show where Ratcliffe squeezes in what I guess is his villain song, but is basically “Pocahontas can’t be trusted, but I’m not gonna outright say that” Then we get to a bear-baiting scene, which is where a couple of guys poke at a trapped bear with spears and that’s supposed to be hilarious.

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Pocahontas is obviously appalled by this and stops the show to protect the bear. As the king shrugs off the bear as a mere animal and nothing more, Pocahontas calls them the real savages. As a result, the king has her and Uti imprisoned. Would it be redundant to say that this movie makes English people look really bad? It does. Later Ratcliffe even slashes up the flag of England with his sword.

John Rolfe paces in his courtyard trying to decide what to do when a cloaked man approaches him. Gee I wonder who that could be. John Smith’s totes dead, so I guess it’s a mystery.

John Rolfe and mystery man enter the tower with the mystery man acting as Rolfe’s prisoner. The mystery man distracts the guards by running away while Rolfe rescues Pocahontas and Uti.

They share a hug when the mystery man reappears and shows himself to be JOHN SMITH!?

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They escape the tower and we head back to Rolfe’s place because….they’d never look there? Pocahontas and John Smith have a less-than-touching reunion. They hug and say that they missed each other. John Smith explains that Ratcliffe lied about his death, but he used that to his advantage. Pocahontas asked why he never wrote to her, and he basically says “I started a bunch of letters, but I never sent any because…well, no reason really. Just felt like being a prick.”

Pocahontas decides that she must go off to save her people from the impending attack. John Smith wants her to go into hiding and let the war happen while John Rolfe wants her to stand up for herself and her people by going.

Boy, Smith turned into a bit of a jerk since he left didn’t he? Yeah, let all of your people die and protect yourself. After all, I maybe still care about you a bit. This is probably to simplify the love triangle….angle as much as humanly possible. Wouldn’t want any question as to who she’s going to end up with. Then she runs off into the forest.

Pocahontas reprises her ‘Where Do I Go from Here?’ song, wipes the white powder from her face and returns to the boys after Smith and Rolfe determine that Rolfe’s in love with her.

Rolfe, Smith and Pocahontas have a weird dynamic. Rolfe and Smith play off of each other well, acting like only slight romantic rivals and more like buddies. John Smith’s acting like a bit of a jerk in this movie, so I can’t much root for Pocahontas and him here, though I guess that’s the point.

I will admit that Pocahontas and Rolfe have an interesting relationship just in terms of how it came to be. Initially they hated each other, albeit for a dumb reason, but they did. This is very uncommon in Disney movies in general. Most Disney romances involve love at first or second sight. This one actually took a bit of time.

This romance is also weird because I believe it’s Disney’s first ever rebound romance. I can’t think of any other instance in a Disney movie where the main character had a love triangle or even another romantic interest….Maybe Pirates of the Caribbean, but you always knew she’d go with Will.

However, there’s not much romance involved here. They only sing a duet at the end of the movie as a credits song, and it’s more of an “our romance will unite our worlds” song instead of an outright love song. They never really share a big romantic moment. I guess I should say they have a very subtle love, but maybe it’s too subtle?

Pocahontas announces that she’s going to stop the armada, and the boys follow her. As the king is having a meeting, Pocahontas intrudes and tells him that everything Ratcliffe told him was a lie. This is proven when John Smith reveals himself to the king and claims that Ratcliffe lied about his death along with everything else.

As a big stir starts in the crowd, Pocahontas tells the king to listen to his heart, and his wife gives him a smile and a nod before he gives in. However, he states that Ratcliffe has already left with the armada, so Pocahontas, Smith and Rolfe go off to stop him.

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They manage to catch them just as they’re about to leave. They have a pretty nicely animated battle that leads to a sword battle between Ratcliffe and Smith. Smith wins out and stupidly gives Ratcliffe his sword back telling him to sheathe it. Boy, I hope that doesn’t bite him in the ass.

So it bites him in the ass as Ratcliffe uses the motion of him sheathing his sword to cover up his grabbing his gun. But Rolfe saves the day by knocking Ratcliffe overboard with the sail. He’s arrested and we cut to later on.

Pocahontas and Rolfe have a moment. Rolfe has been assigned to the king’s royal court or something, and they skirt around what they want to say. They’re about to say it when Smith comes back and picks up Pocahontas saying that he’s been given a boat.

Then he tells Pocahontas that they can sail the world and whatnot, but Pocahontas explains that she doesn’t want that. She tells him that they used to walk the same path, but now she’s found a different one. He quickly understands and they part ways. Pocahontas turns around and notices that Rolfe left as well.

Cut to her departure back home and she notices Rolfe is still gone, but says goodbye to Mrs. Jenkins. Uti also stays behind in London with Mrs. Jenkins and the bear from the show….Why? I don’t know. Maybe he liked her sandwiches so much he decided to stay.

The boat departs, and she sees Rolfe on the ship. He’s decided to give up the cushy job and head to her homeland where he’ll be shunned by the tribe and everyone will wonder what the hell is up with Pocahontas and white people.

They kiss and sail off into the sunset. This also didn’t happen. She stayed in England until she died, which was only about a year after she arrived. Also the stuff about changing her name to Rebecca. But I guess Disney wanted a happier ending.

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The art and animation are surprisingly pretty good for a Disney sequel, but there are some things that bug me.

First, even though everyone is kinda off-model from the original movie, John Smith looks terribly off for some reason. Something about him is very wrong. Like his head is too thin or he’s malnourished or something.

Second, all of the shots with the boats are CGI, which don’t look too bad, but it’s distracting a lot of the time.

Finally, the background art is not nearly as vast and epic as the original movie. The king’s meeting room or whatever that was was beautiful, but not much else.

The movie is actually fairly funny as well. Uti and Mrs. Jenkins made me chuckle several times.

Bottom Line: All in all, this is actually one of the better Disney sequels, and I applaud Disney for trying to be more historically accurate, to a degree anyway. I noticed that this movie does tend to get quite a bit of flak, even for a Disquel, and, not surprisingly, most of the complaints are about the fact that Pocahontas ended up with John Rolfe instead of John Smith, even though, like I said, that is what happened in real life.

Some people were even calling her a slut in reviews and comments because she decided to go with him over Smith. Because, ya know, if you don’t end up with your first love, you’re a big ol’ whore. And ya know what, even if the real story did have her ending up with Smith, once she reached an appropriate age anyway, this story would still be just fine.

If you look at the ending of Pocahontas in a different light, you can actually take it as Pocahontas and Smith basically cutting off their romance since they know they’ll be apart for at least several months or even years. I guess a lot of people take the last shot of the movie as a kind of promise to wait for Smith to return to her, but you could interpret it as her saying goodbye to him too.

Hell, for all we knew, Smith was never coming back. He never said such a thing. The chief just said he was always welcome in their tribe, and Pocahontas said she’d always be with him (in his heart/spirit).

They agreed to part ways. She didn’t want to leave her tribe to be with him (even though, that’s actually kinda cold considering he’s seriously wounded as he leaves. A festering gunshot wound and a several month boat trip; it’s a miracle he lived) and he couldn’t stay because they didn’t have the resources to treat Smith’s gunshot wound.

The fact that Smith didn’t write her or visit her after he got better is actually somewhat understandable. When you have a fleeting romance with someone and it ends up with you basically having to part ways, it can be really difficult to be the one who feels compelled to start the first lines of communication after that, especially if the ending truly was a goodbye. Pocahontas moving on to someone else that she’s grown to care for is healthy and completely understandable as well, especially considering how much time has supposedly gone by since Smith’s departure.

Even seeing him alive and well and finally reuniting after all that time, it makes perfect sense that their feelings changed. And let me remind everyone who thought or wrote ‘slut’ or the like in response to this; Pocahontas only ever pursued Rolfe romantically after properly breaking it off with Smith after finding out he was alive.

I actually felt kinda awkward when Smith basically expected Pocahontas to drop everything and sail around with him. Their romance didn’t blossom again after they reunited, outside of being happy to see him and knowing he’s alive; another thing that makes sense considering how long it’s been since they have spoken or were romantically involved. Kinda felt like he either had delusions of picking up where he left off with her after years of never saying a word to her or he felt entitled to their relationship or something.

The choice to have her go with Rolfe back to her tribe and live happily ever after was also a good one. Despite being nothing like the actual ending outside of her ending up with Rolfe, from a storytelling perspective, and knowing this Pocahontas like we know her, it wouldn’t be a good choice to have her stay in London with Rolfe or sailing around for who knows how long with Smith. This Pocahontas belongs back with her tribe enjoying the colors of the wind.

The other thing was that people actually seemed to seriously DISlike that Disney wanted to go down a more historically accurate route. Go to IMDB’s review page on this movie. You’ll see a bunch of comments like these:

“Yes, in reality she ended up with John Rolfe, but -bleep- reality. I don’t want reality. When I sit down to watch a Disney movie I want to get lost in a world where every princess gets her (ORIGINAL) Disney hero. I REALLY don’t like new dudes with ZERO personality coming in and nabbing the princess just because “that’s how it REALLY happened”.”

“So here is what I can tell you Disney: I do not CARE how it was in reality. I wanted to see how John Smith and Pocahontas get together again.”

“I understand that Disney felt it had to keep the story as historically correct as possible but Disney films are aimed at children and as a child i couldn’t care less about historical accuracy, i just wanted the love and magic between Pocahontas and Smith to finally be restored. If Disney are so worried about historical accuracy than why didn’t they end the Little Mermaid in Ariels suicide because thats more accurate to the original story isn’t it?”

In response to that last part, you’re confusing historical accuracy (something that actually happened) with fictional accuracy (the events of The Little Mermaid never happened). People get more pissed off when historical events are changed in movies and other media because it seems like you’re disrespecting real people and real events.

People get pissed off when fictional accuracy is being played with since people have a great attachment and respect for artistic works, but considering it’s merely fictional it’s hard to feel as offended when Hollywood screws up these works as opposed to real stories of real people.

Is it a fantastic sequel? No. But I do believe it’s one of the stronger entries in the Disquel universe. If this movie really is just getting so much severe backlash for Pocahontas’ love life and for the fact that it was trying to be more historically accurate after being so ‘magic leaves’ in the first movie…..My God, people, get the hell over it.

Disney movies, especially ones with Disney princesses, get so much crap for the typical ‘Disney romances’ that are always unrealistic and happily ever after. Yet no one’s happy when a more realistic ending is presented to them.

I’m not denying that there is a lot of legitimate criticism for this movie, but the romance stuff is the main focus of a lot of reviewers and commenters.

If I can compare this to another Disney classic and Disquel for a second, let’s take The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In that movie, Quasimodo doesn’t get the girl no matter how much a majority of the audience wanted it to happen, and instead Esmeralda marries Phoebos. They also didn’t end up together in the original novel, but at least the movie was kind enough to not have Esmeralda hanged and Quasimodo die in a tomb of starvation as he wept near her body.

In the Disquel we all wish never happened, they don’t try to shove the two together through Disney magic because everyone wanted it; they make him best friends with her and Phoebos’ son, Zephyr, and give him a bland-as-stale-unsalted-crackers love interest.

Not to say HND2 is any decent at all. In fact this comparison was really only brought up because Pocahontas 2 and Hunchback 2 are seriously just 1% away from each other in their Rotten Tomatoes ratings and .1 away in their IMDB ratings.

Are you people serious? Pocahontas 2 is far from a great movie, but to put it on the exact same shelf made of crap that Hunchback 2 is? Are you nuts? There’s much more to legitimately like about this movie than in Hunchback 2. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but in as much of an objective light as I can muster, the differences in quality in practically every regard are blindingly apparent. I’m really surprised at how much just fan response is making me defend this movie.

Let’s wrap it up, though. Unless you’re a hardcore Smith purist and/or don’t want any real world accuracy damaging your views on a movie in which a real life 27-year-old man and a real life 11-year-old girl are rewritten to be of-age lovers, I see no harm in giving this a watch.

There are several funny moments, the story’s decent enough, and it has a continuation with an actual story instead of just Adventures of Random Things that Happened After (movie).

I will agree with some reviewers and say that the romance is quite shaky. They don’t build it up enough before they decide to send Rolfe and Pocahontas off to live together in her tribe, and they, admittedly, do make Smith out to be a bit of an asshole in order to nudge the love triangle away. While I definitely sympathize with the feeling of a beloved classic being ruined by a Disquel, this one, in my opinion, doesn’t do nearly as much damage as a lot of other Disquels.

Recommended Audience: You see a dog and a person get drunk and Pocahontas in underwear that covers more than her actual clothes do. Also a bear gets tortured, but you don’t really see anything happen to him. They rear up and then the bear reacts. 7+


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Dissecting the Disquels: Bambi 2

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Plot: What exactly happened in the time after Bambi’s mother’s death yet before he became a buck? Bambi’s father, The Great Prince of the Forest, has difficulties in raising a child on his own and searches for a doe to take over parenting him. However, while bonding with his son, he struggles with the concept of giving him up.

Breakdown: I know this is going to be a surprise….but I really like this movie. I mean, it’s no masterpiece, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie to me. This movie is a midquel set after Bambi’s mom dies but before he grows up any. It chronicles the time Bambi spent with his father. Now, see, this is actually something that the original movie never delved much into and is a pretty interesting concept.

Sadly, not much happens in the movie. I actually started making a scene by scene review of this movie like I have for practically every other Disney sequel, but I saw little point because I didn’t really have much to say about the scenes at hand. It’s a pretty tame flick, though I have to say that it’s one of the few Disney sequels that actually delves into death both with Bambi’s mom and a couple of the dogs that chase Bambi at the end of the movie. I mean, they don’t outright say that they’re dead, but they fall off of a cliffside and are no longer a threat so yeah.

It actually does have pretty good emotional impact too. Though Bambi gets over his mom’s death fairly quickly, you can definitely feel grief in him and his father, and you can feel the emotional attachment between The Great Prince and Bambi. They really seem like a believable father and son.

The story has good pacing, great atmosphere and nice dialogue.

However, it’s not without some flaws.

The story, while good, is predictable no matter if it’s a midquel or not. We all know he’s going to change his mind about giving Bambi away to a new doe, we all know he’s going to grow attached to him, and we know Bambi will learn and grow from his father.

If you’re going to do a death fake out, like every emotional family film, do it when the dogs are actually attacking him, not when he’s just standing on the cliff after he’s already defeated them. That’d be so lame if he died from that. “Oh hey, my small fawn of a son just defeated several dogs that were chasing h—and he died from standing on an unstable rock. Lovely.”

Ronno, the mean deer from the first movie, also makes an appearance here. If it wasn’t glaringly obvious by seeing him for two seconds on screen, he’s our movie’s antagonist. And holy freakin’ crap they overdid the hell out of his personality.

There are no likable factors about him, but he’s also a cliché bully. He’s mean, violent, rude even to his mom, mocking about matters of death and child abandonment, a liar and a complete coward. Yeah, he’s the typical bully that talks big game and likes to fight, but when he actually gets hurt or senses danger he runs to his mother like a baby. That is practically every scene he’s in. Acts like a big shot, insults or mocks Bambi, something comedic happens to him like he gets hit by a branch or slips and falls, the end. I mean, I know he’s a big asshole in the first movie too, but wow.

He’s mostly meant to serve as a measuring stick to show Bambi’s progress in growing up. At the beginning of the film, he has little confidence and not much skill as a deer, meaning Ronno can easily best him in nearly every area. Near the end, he matches and beats Ronno in several areas. However, Ronno doesn’t get any real comeuppance in this movie. He doesn’t get beaten by Bambi in a fight, and his final scene is of him slipping on a rock and falling into the stream. Then again, I guess considering that he beats him in the sequel, we don’t really need to see that.

Faline, the doe who eventually becomes Bambi’s mate, also makes an appearance here, and she’s incredibly likable. Her relationship with Bambi is very cute and she’s a very nice young doe.

Thumper and Flower are as cute and funny as ever as well.

If there’s one character I feel bad for, though, it’s Mina. She was supposedly Bambi’s mother’s close friend and she was the doe chosen to be Bambi’s new mother, but after The Great Prince decides to take care of Bambi himself, she just smiles and walks away. Poor Mina….Also, she wasn’t very fleshed out as a character. Maybe that’s a good thing though to avoid getting too attached to a small part character.

The art and animation are actually very well done. Hell, this movie could’ve been released in theaters instead of straight to DVD. It’s so different considering the average quality of most Disney sequels.

The music is…..good-ish. It’s not winning any awards with me, but there are some memorable songs that are pretty good – better than some of the other songs in Disney Sequels.

The acting and the voices were both very well done. Everyone seemed very fitting in their roles, and they all did a great job. Patrick Stewart voices The Great Prince, and he’s awesome at it, so you can wet your pants now. Also, according to the Wiki, he’s apparently been asked to do several Disney roles before deciding on the Great Prince such as Jafar, King Triton, Zazu, of all things, and Zeus. Though the Great Prince does fit him best out of all of these, it is weird that when he finally decided on a role for his awesome voice to grace and it’s in a direct-to-DVD Disney sequel.

Bottom Line: I’d rank this number two behind TLK 2 as my favorite Disney sequels….though that might not be saying much considering the competition. It’s not a must see, but it’s still an enjoyable feel-good movie for Disney fans.

Recommended Audience: Only things that might be questionable are slight mentions of death, ‘scary themes’ with the hunting dogs, two of them might’ve actually died, fake-out death of the main character that is a huge fake-out seeing as how we know he lives to be an adult. 5+


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Dissecting the Disquels: Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

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Plot: Taking place somewhere after the wolf attack, it’s Christmastime, and Belle and the others want to celebrate. However, Beast hates Christmas since that was the day he was turned into the beast. Belle and the others are determined to make Christmas anyway to try to make him happier, but the court composer turned pipe organ, Forte, doesn’t want the Beast to become happy as that means his somber emo music will have no place in the castle.

Breakdown: I really liked the first Beauty and the Beast. I was never a huge fan of it and it’s been ages since I’ve sat down and watched it all the way through, but I liked it. Christmas in July is going down and whatnot, so why not give this a nice review? Is this a nice late Christmas surprise or a big glass of eggnog that’s been sitting in the open since Christmas of 1997?

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Our movie starts out on Christmas Eve set after the events of BatB, so everyone’s back to their human forms that no one wants to see them in. As Chip opens a present early, Cogsworth and Lumiere argue over who saved Christmas last year. In order the settle the dispute, Mrs. Potts says she has to tell the story all over again, and Chip acts like he’s never heard it before even though it sounds like she’s told this story several times and he was, ya know, there at the time. Exactly the same problem as Cinderella 2, that’s a great start.

Before I get down to the nitty gritty, I don’t remember enough about the first movie to point out every inconsistency between what I’m about to watch and what actually occurred.

I will, however, point out the glaringly obvious. No matter what happens in this story, it’s pointless. This story happens after Belle gets attacked by wolves in the forest but before any scene that follows that. I guess it’s during that montage where they’re getting along. The events of this story obviously had no impact on anything or else they would’ve showed them in the original movie. Gee, will Belle break the spell? Will they defeat the villain? Obviously they do or else the second half of the original movie would be drastically different.

Midquels can work even with this problem, like Bambi 2, but at least that movie had something interesting we wanted to see. This is just one more thing they did during the montage that made them closer.

The story starts out with really sloppy animation as Mrs. Potts’ words clearly don’t match her lips in the first scene. The group is still hell-bent on getting Belle and the Beast together so they try to get them to go on a walk.

We get some painful slapstick and some awkwardness as Beast meets Belle on the ice out front. Belle then tries to ice skate with Beast….despite the fact that he has no ice skates. Take it from my dog, paws are not ice skate material. They’re slip and fall on your ass material.

We zoom out from the ice skating scene to see our main villain of the movie, Forte, voiced by Tim Curry because he never plays anything but villains….and Nigel Thornberry. Forte is a giant pipe organ. He’s also entirely CGI which contrasts greatly with everything else being traditionally drawn and cel shaded. He’s playing a song for his ‘friend’ or lacky, a piccolo named Fife played by Paul Reubens.

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Fife says he sees Beast outside skating with Belle and gets excited because he believes he may fall in love with Belle and break the spell. This sends Forte into a hissy fit, though, as he actually wants to stay as a pipe organ despite the fact that not but 30 seconds ago he raged at being chained to the wall and being unable to move.

He wants to stay in that state because he has a crush on the Beast……..Okay, not really but he might as well. He thought his position was pointless and unappreciated when he was human but now that he IS the pipe organ, the beast is apparently always going to him to listen to sad music when he’s emo because My Chemical Romance hadn’t gotten together at that point yet.

He feels he’s Beast’s best friend and confidant despite the fact that he’s never mentioned before or after this in the original movie, nor is Fife, and he’s jealous of Belle spending time with him. Thus he sends Fife to split them up before Beast falls in love.

Belle and Beast are hitting it off and Beast is even inexplicably getting better at ice skating. Fife tries to stop their romantic shenanigans, but just makes them crash into a snowbanking which doesn’t really bother them.

Belle: “Look, a Christmas angel!” No, that’s a snow angel. Just because you make a snow angel on Christmas doesn’t make it a Christmas angel. It’s not even Christmas, it’s Christmas Eve.

Beast shows his imprint in the snow, which is just a snowy mess and it causes him to have a hissy fit.

Beast: (in front of the rose) “I hate Christmas…” You’re a mean one, nanana, Mr. Grinch.

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I really shouldn’t mix those two movies together or else I might cause a tear in the delicate balance of the universe.

So obviously Beast mopes by the fire while Forte serenades his emoness.

Cut to Belle talking with Chip about what a crankypants Beast is and then talks about Christmas. However, Chip doesn’t know what Christmas is, which blows my mind. Mrs. Potts never tried to make Christmas for him? I can’t imagine that’s true.

Chip asks Belle what she’d get Beast for Christmas, and Chip suggests she should make Beast a story.

She thinks that’s a great idea and starts making him one during our first song of the movie. Now I distinctly remember Nchick talking about this song with annoyance in her review because she felt like the movie shifted gears between the Beast needing to learn to be a better person in order to be with Belle properly to Belle thinking Beast just needed to cheered up or ‘fixed’ and he was becoming her little project. And I do have to say, I think she has a point.

I remember a lot of Belle arguing with and yelling at Beast in the original movie, and he was the one who had to work through his own crap to earn Belle’s affection. It wasn’t a matter of cheering him up or making him get over being a beast. He was a jackass before he became the Beast and he had to change on his own….that’s kinda…the plot of the original movie.

However, I don’t really know why she was singling out this song in particular. I guess for the opening few lines where she talks about the Beast needing someone and blah blah. Yeah, that’s there, but the rest of the song is really about how great books are and how getting lost in a book world could make Beast happier. The song’s fairly good, and the background animation is really interesting and creative too. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s fine.

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Cogsworth says they can’t have Christmas because the Beast hates Christmas. It reminds him of his past and makes him even more of a bummer than usual.

I love when they’re talking about preparing a big Christmas feast. They can’t eat any of the things they’re listing, and all of that stuff would be served on their faces.

Is every single item in the Beast’s castle a person? Serious question. Because I almost feel like he’d have nothing in his castle but people if the spell were ever reversed.

Belle and Lumiere go see Angelique who was the castle decorator. She’s apparently an angel tree topper, which explains why she’s rotting away in the attic with her ornament friends. They want her to help them make Christmas, but she refuses because she doesn’t have time, so they decorate without her. Glad that character was so necessary.

It’s here where we get our second song about how awesome Christmas is. It’s also a fairly good song that I have nothing really to note about.

Forte tells Beast that Belle’s planning Christmas, so of course he flips out. Then we get a flashback to an animated version of the story of the prince becoming the beast. In the original movie, we’re not given any indication that this occurred on Christmas. It does occur in winter, but that’s all we’re told. Also, from what the stained glass in the original shows, it was a thunderstorm outside not a blizzard….So I decided to look back and nitpick a bit. So what?

Also, uh, Chip had to have been there on Christmas seeing as how that’s when he turned into a cup so how does he not know what Christmas is?

It still bugs me to this day that the witch decided to curse everyone in his castle too. What the hell did they ever do to her?

And if we’re going to be flashbacking here, where are Beast’s parents?

I would say that the prince pre-beast was way over-doing it on the whole spoiled jackass prince thing, but considering the way Beast acts on a regular basis, it’s probably fairly accurate.

Beast then decides to confront Belle who is in the boiler room trying to find a yule log. I always wondered what a yule log was for and now that I know….I find it pretty stupid. You find a log, everyone touches it makes a wish? Oh well, I guess it’s not any stupider than the thing with the wishbone.

Beast flips out at her in emo mode some more and says no Christmas, but she says she won’t stop trying.

Why exactly is Beast given a free pass to be a jerk on Christmas? I mean, yeah, boo hoo that’s when he turned into a beast, but that’s also when everyone else in the castle was turned into FURNITURE. And I have to say, if I had the choice to either be some weird werewolf chimera thing or a candlestick, I’d choose the damn werewolf chimera thing.

Belle and Chip go off into the woods to cut down a Christmas tree while Beast finds the present Belle made for him and says he’ll get her something too.

Beast asks Forte to compose happy music for Belle as her Christmas gift, which makes Forte ornery, so he decides to get rid of Belle so Beast will go back to his mopey self and he’ll hear no more of that ‘love’ garbage.

You know, this villain’s pretty damn lame. Tim Curry’s trying his best, but Forte is just a Sailor Moon villain plain and simple. He hates love and happiness and practically feeds off of negativity. In addition to that, what kind of threat can he really pose when he’s a pipe organ chained to the wall? All he can move is his face.

Forte lures Belle into his chambers by using Fife to call the little dog ottoman thing. He plays nice and says he’s all for Christmas to cheer up Beast. However, Belle and Chip failed to find a tree, so Forte suggests that she go into the Black Forest to find one. Belle promised Beast she wouldn’t leave, but Forte convinces her that that the tree is so integral that she has no choice but to go get one there. She says it looks dangerous and, like, no freakin’ shit. She got attacked by wolves in there not but a couple of days ago. Once she leaves, he tells Fife to follow them and ensure they never come back.

Beast wants to meet with Belle to let her listen to the song he had Forte make for her, but she’s off to the Black Forest, so Lumiere and Cogsworth go off to find her.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Potts is trying to distract Beast from realizing that Belle’s gone, and we hear the song Forte made for Belle. It’s just ‘Deck the Halls’…Played awfully since Forte’s a pipe organ and he’s not putting any effort into singing because he hates happy songs.

Beast finds out that Belle is gone and wants to bring her back, but Forte tries to stop him with our third song which I don’t care much for, but it’s alright. I will however note one line in which Forte yells out the word ‘hell’. I did not see that coming. I was blindsided. ‘Hell”s not the grandpappy of all swears or anything, but it’s still a word that typically doesn’t get heard in children’s movies, especially not Christmas specials. It’s just used to emphasize how awful it is to be in love. And yes, that’s what the entire song is about – how awful it is to be in love. The visuals are pretty damn nice, but the song is just meh.

Forte also says “If you’re turned on, just turn off!” during the song. Wow, Disney was really feeling naughty that day, eh?

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The song works, and Beast tears up all of the Christmas decorations that everyone put up. Angelique is still there by the way. Her part is basically to stand there and be a bitch.

Belle and Chip are going way too friggin’ far into the forest to find….a TREE. For the love of God, you can see all sorts of pine trees from the damn window of the castle right there on the treeline.

And they’re using an axe whose shtick is to be a stereotypical Jewish person. I don’t know how to respond to that, really.

They get the tree down, and Fife tries to sabotage them, but they discover him as he tries to catch up to the sleigh. I guess he starts having involuntary spasms where he whistles, and this scares the horse, breaking the ice over the lake. Chip falls into the water and Belle saves him, but she’s dragged underwater by the tree. The Beast still goes after her for some reason and saves her life complete with slow-mo immersion from the ice.

Beast locks her away in the dungeon for going back on her word to never leave, and Belle’s handling hypothermia in that cold dungeon very well.

Everyone’s sad for one reason or another besides Forte who’s all happy because Beast is mopey and has given up on Belle. The group decides to visit Belle by entering the dungeon through a doggy door that was installed in the dungeon door for some reason. Angelique, that character who has barely had a part and has been nothing but a whiny Negative Nancy says she’s changed her mind about Christmas since the nice decorations were ruined by the Beast. Then she reprises the song about Christmas from earlier with Belle, and it’s actually pretty nice.

Beast broods some more, and Forte tries to tempt Beast into smashing the rose to end his naïve notions of ever falling in love and breaking the curse once and for all. This scene is meant to have tension, but there is none seeing as how there’s no way he’d ever do it. If he did, the first movie would’ve ended in the middle.

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As he’s about to smash it, a single rose petal falls on Belle’s gift to Beast. Forte tries to make fun of it, but Beast chooses to read it…..I’m just now realizing that Belle wrote a fairly long book in the time frame of a few hours. I knew she could read like crazy, but that’s insane.

The visuals while reading the book are also fairly nice, and I commend Disney for remembering to put the text in French.

We interrupt this movie for a pointless song sequence by Lumiere and Cogsworth.

God, it’s like the movie suddenly remembered an hour in that this movie was supposed to be a dick measuring contest between Cogsworth and Lumiere and decided to just up and throw in a random song immediately after Beast’s revelation scene to have Cogsworth and Lumiere basically go back and forth saying “I’m better than you.” It is one of the most jarring transitions I’ve ever seen. The song is probably the lowest of the bunch with several lame lyrics and, again, it has no point. It’s also very short.

Beast and Belle make up, and Beast wants to make the best Christmas ever for Belle. Obviously, Forte will have none of that, but what’s he going to do? He’s a pipe organ chained to the wall…..

Oh yeah, he has magic music powers for no reason whatsoever and we’re never told how he got them. Yeah, apparently Forte can make music so loud that it not only causes the castle to start BREAKING APART and CRUMBLING BENEATH THEIR FEET, but he also controls weird green music notes that attack anyone near him….Those things also appeared in Forte’s song but I just thought they were for the musical section. The visuals in musical sections never make sense logically, especially in Disney movies, but whatever.

Beast defeats him by ripping out his keyboard and throwing it into the pipes, which, considering he’s just a transformed person, is basically the equivalent to someone tearing off your arms and impaling you in the gut with them, causing him to break free from the wall and fall over dead.

You just witnessed a gruesome murder. Merry Christmas! 😀

Oh and yeah, the reason both Cogsworth and Lumiere thought they each saved Christmas was because they saved the rose from falling on the ground. That was also a complete after-thought scene I think.

We see Belle and the Beast enter the room to celebrate Christmas while the audience wonders how the hell the castle got fixed and decorated in only a few hours.

Cut back to present day, Mrs. Potts says, if anyone saved Christmas, it’s Belle. And speak of the devil, here comes Belle and the be—Guy with no name now….This is bugging me. I really need to look this up….Hm, his real name is Adam apparently. Okie dokie.

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They give Chip a storybook as a present and ask Fife, now the new court composer, to start playing music.

Belle and…Adam, I feel awkward saying that, walk off onto the balcony where he gives her a rose as his gift. I’d say he’s being cheap for a super-rich prince, but it’s symbolic and romantic and whatnot.

And that’s the end.

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My opinion? It’s a perfectly fine movie, and it’s also a perfectly enjoyable Christmas movie. Is it perfect? Hell no. Are there numerous continuity errors/plot holes? Yes. Are there cheesy/lame parts? Yes. But it’s not as bad as I was fearing, in fact I’d rank it rather high on the list of Disney sequels. Many of the visuals are wonderful, and it was well-directed. It’s not as nice to look at as the first movie, especially with CGI Forte being a sore thumb, but it’s not TV series quality and it’s pretty nice to look at.

The music is also really good for a Disney sequel, and I commend them for coming up with a new Christmas song that wasn’t cheesy as hell. There’s actually three versions of the song in this movie. The first, the reprise and the credits version. I find the credits version the best.

The other songs are also fairly good. The only one I want to complain about is the ‘I’m better than you’ song, and even that wasn’t that awful. Just jarringly placed, out of tone of the rest of the surrounding scenes and lame lyrically.

The story has its problems, I won’t deny, and there are plenty of little details that nitpickers like me will want to gnaw at, but it’s nothing major.

I also found that most of the reviews on IMDB for this movie were fairly positive, and most of the complaints about the movie were just comparing it to the original. I can understand how certain aspects like Belle seeming too chipper or hanging around too much with Chip or making Beast seem too broody would get on a fan’s nerves, but it’s not that bad.

Forte as a villain, despite Tim Curry’s best efforts, and I give him credit for that, is just….lame. While you can tell that he’s partially motivated by not wanting to feel useless or abandoned, he’s mostly just hating on love and happiness for a good bulk of the movie and wants nothing more than for Beast to perpetually be a little emo git so he can serenade him all day. He does have energy and character, however, but that’s really just contributed to Mr. Curry’s performance.

Fife is your typically timid lackey who was obviously going to turn on Forte in the end. He wasn’t too annoying though.

Angelique was just kinda there, but her reprise of the Christmas song made up for a good chunk of that.

Bottom Line: All in all, I’d say I recommend this movie. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s far from being one of the rotten apples on the Disney Sequel tree……..However……there is another sequel….Belle’s Magical World…..I don’t even know what that movie’s about, but I’ll give it some hope considering this movie’s quality.

Recommended Audience: Despite the ‘hell’ thing and the incredibly minor sexual overtone-ish line, there’s nothing really offensive in this movie. 5+


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Dissecting the Disquels: Tarzan and Jane

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Plot: Jane tries to plan something for her and Tarzan’s first wedding anniversary. A full-episode clip show ensues.

Breakdown: I mentioned in my Tarzan 2 review that Tarzan actually did get its own series; The Legend of Tarzan. It’s a series I didn’t remember at all, in the slightest, even through promos, and I kinda understand why. It only had 39 episodes and two technical seasons. Though, I don’t quite get why it was canceled. According to the Wiki page, the show was actually received fairly well, critically, and it was even nominated for a Daytime Emmy award and two Golden Reel awards.

I only found that the reason the reruns stopped were because Disney replaced them, along with reruns of Fillmore! And Buzz Lightyear, with a block of Recess.

This movie is sorta a reverse Atlantis 2 or Cinderella 2. Whereas those movies were three episode long pilots to TV series that would never be, this is a three episode long series finale chimera of sorts. It’s made of the final three episodes of The Legend of Tarzan. The segments are mended together through Jane talking to Terk and Tantor about what she should do for Tarzan and her first wedding anniversary.

I will never understand these types of stories . When you think about it, it is literally just the main characters sitting down for a half hour per segment explaining an event in detail when they were all there for it. This whole movie could be finished in a few lines.

“I was thinking of throwing a party.”

“That might make Tarzan uncomfortable. Remember the last time you tried to introduce him to English culture?”

“Oh yeah. That didn’t go well. Well, maybe we can exchange gifts.”

“Gifts? Like diamonds!? Remember the last time Tarzan got you a diamond?”

“Oh yeah. That was a disaster. What about a nice dance?”

“I don’t think so. Remember the last time Tarzan danced?”

“Err, right, I guess. Well, I guess we’ll do nothing. Thanks for destroying my marriage, Terk!”

END.

What’s even weirder is that they’re also explaining events they could have no knowledge of because they weren’t there. Like how does Terk know in detail things that happened in scenes with only Tarzan and the professor? Did they write a transcription of the conversation?

What’s particularly strange about this is that these episodes aren’t lost or anything, nor was the movie released as the finale and then separated into episodes like Kim Possible’s finale…the first finale anyway…..it is merely the final three episodes of the TV series, released prior to the movie, made into flashbacks with some new footage put between them as a framing device.

So, essentially, this movie is trying to rip kids off. If the kid was a fan of the show and wanted to see the new movie, they’d feel really screwed because they’d merely be watching a full episode clip show of the end of the series instead of an actual movie.

I’d almost say that The Legend of Tarzan was just not a profitable series at all, so they decided to release this ‘movie’ to milk a little more cash out of it. They already have 95% of the animation in their archive, just make the framing device and cash in.

————————————————–

The movie starts off with Jane and Tarzan playing around in the trees when she suddenly decides to leave. She tells Terk, who sounds pretty bad, by the way, and Tantor that she plans to make a nice party for their first anniversary. Terk and Tantor say that might not be a good idea and use a previous run-in with British customs to assert their claim. Thus they relay the entire story to Jane; a story she was entirely present for while Terk and Tantor were barely in it.

Then our first segment begins. Our first segment or episode is one titled in the series as Tarzan and the British Invasion. Jane’s three prim and proper friends from finishing school come to the island to ‘save’ Jane from the ‘wild man’ they had somewhat misheard about. They’re weirded out yet understanding about Jane’s decision to live in the jungle with her new husband the ‘wild man’.

Tarzan obviously makes the girls uncomfortable with his less than proper manners and actions, but both parties remain civil. When Tarzan leaves to get some food, the girls claim that Jane has changed and don’t show much appreciation for the life she has in the jungle. In an effort to prove to her friends that she hasn’t changed, she prepares a fancy picnic for them the following day.

Jane invites Tarzan along, but he feels like she’s embarrassed by him, especially when she tries to get him to wear his father’s old suit. He refuses to go, and Jane goes to the picnic without him.

Jane starts her picnic with her friends when the panthers, Nuru and Sheeta, attack. They manage to escape, but find themselves lost in the jungle.

Meanwhile, Tarzan has a conversation with Jane’s father about the situation. He tells Tarzan that Jane has done everything to adapt to his life, ways and customs, so doing the same for her for one day shouldn’t be that big of a deal. He agrees and goes off to change into his suit for the picnic. However, when he arrives at the spot, he finds the picnic ruined and determines that Nuru and Sheeta attacked, chasing the women into the jungle.

Back with Jane, she starts getting back into her jungle groove as she tries to do everything in her power to navigate her friends back while also trying to keep them safe. When the panthers arrive again, Tarzan shows up to fight them off. Eventually, the panthers are beaten, Jane is reunited with Tarzan, and all of the women get the hots for him.

Jane’s friends bid her goodbye having now accepted and fully understood why she lives the life that she lives. Tarzan asks if she ever gets homesick and while she admits that she does miss London sometimes, she’s become a different person in the jungle, and she likes it.

This episode is actually pretty good. Tarzan in particular got some surprisingly funny lines. I put that mostly on his voice actor, Michael T. Weiss, as his delivery for some of the lines was really hilarious.

“Actually, I never knew my parents. They were murdered by the leopard, Sabor.”

*gasp*

“In this room.”

*gasp!*

“Right there!”

And simply;

“I GOT FRUIT!” If that could be applied anywhere as a meme, I’d really want that to happen.

The story was predictable but also pretty well done. I’m glad that while Jane’s friends were believable prim and proper ‘ladies’ they weren’t bitches like I expected them to be. They’re legitimately Jane’s friends, and while they may get a bit fed up with the jungle world sometimes, they try to bite their lip for Jane’s sake.

Jane was also alright, and I understand where she’s coming from. Even if you like what you’ve become, it’s difficult to have someone say to you, in a negative way, that you’ve changed, especially when the people saying it are good friends. She didn’t get into an argument with Tarzan over the suit thing nor is she really ashamed of her husband, she was just trying to get Tarzan to play along in order to prove herself to her friends.

Since Terk and Tantor dash the party idea, Jane suggests that they merely exchange gifts instead. Tantor asks what kinds of gifts men give women in England, and Jane lists off some examples while Terk deduces that one of these gifts is diamonds. Terk then reminds Jane of the last time Tarzan tried to get Jane a diamond, and we get our second segment titled, creatively enough, Volcanic Diamond Mine.

Two crooked diamond hunters enlist Tarzan’s help in getting diamonds from a volcano. Tarzan agrees to help despite his distrust of the men as long as he gets a diamond to give to Jane since he believes she’d want one like the women in England get.

Jane notices Tarzan acting suspicious so she starts tracking him down with her father and Terk—and holy crap, I just now realized that Jane and her father are speaking with the animals…..

My embarrassing obliviousness aside, I’ve never seen the series, but is this ever explained at all? Her Disney Wiki page says nothing about how she and her father acquired this skill. I mean, I suppose Tarzan may have taught her, but she really learned fluent gorilla and elephant in less than a year? That’s even more unbelievable than her learning it period. I guess she and her father must’ve been visited by the shaman from The Wild Thornberrys.

Tarzan and the two diamond hunters arrive at the volcano and start mining diamonds. When Tarzan starts deciding which diamond to keep for Jane, one of the pair claims he’s not getting any diamonds and that they’re going to kill him to protect their diamonds since they don’t trust him. Jane and her father arrive right as Tarzan is being attacked.

The two diamond hunters exit the cave but not before blowing the place up to kill Tarzan. While their plan failed miserably as they now have no way of retrieving the diamonds either, Tarzan, Jane and the professor survive. However, the explosion triggered a volcanic eruption.

Using a pick and some rope left behind, Tarzan and the others make it out of the cave and through the top, but the magma continues to rise. Then we get something completely stupid. Tarzan breaks off a piece of stone from the side of the volcano and surfs the magma wave. This is so nonsensical even the characters are questioning it.

Jane: “Is this…possible?”

Professor: “Who cares as long as it’s working!?”

I can give them being so close to all this magma without burning up, but riding it on a stone like a wave of water is just silly.

The diamond hunters are cornered up a tree by crocodiles as the lava makes it way towards them, but Tarzan swings by on a vine that I suppose is just held up by the clouds and saves them.

They’re later arrested, I supposed for attempted murder, and the segment ends.

Jane asks what the story has to do with her present idea, something I was also wondering as one bad experience with a diamond shouldn’t give you diamond PTSD. Terk and Tantor then explain that Tarzan felt really bad when he couldn’t get her a gift he thought she should have for their wedding. The same will happen if he finds out he has nothing to give her for their anniversary.

Well….uh, tell him about it so he actually has a chance to get a present? This is different from the diamond because he had already been married to Jane for some time and felt bad that she missed all the English wedding stuff, especially the diamond ring. He has plenty of time to make a gift, doesn’t he? Or to find one? Maybe his mother had some jewelry, I dunno. He doesn’t have a chance to feel bad about not getting a gift for their anniversary if he knows about it and gets a gift in time.

….And again, why did this story start as an anti-diamond point? She just gave precious stones such as diamonds as an example of a gift a man would give a woman as an anniversary present. She didn’t say the diamond thing was tradition, unlike the wedding ring.

This segment was pretty bad. John O’Hurley voices one of the diamond hunters. That’s about as notable as it gets.

Otherwise, Tarzan got no funny lines, the story made little sense, the professor was an idiot, and the ending was just silly. It would’ve been nice to see Jane speak with Tarzan about this afterward like saying she doesn’t need a diamond, she’s perfectly happy the way she is, but she appreciates the thought or something. No lesson was had. Hell, we don’t even see Tarzan look disappointed or saddened that he lost his diamond. It just cuts to the hunters being arrested and the segment ends.

Tarzan leading the men to the cave was also out of character. He clearly didn’t trust the two from the start and knew the diamonds were in the volcano. He could’ve somehow gotten one himself without endangering his jungle.

After that, Jane suggests they merely dance under the moonlight. However, her father pops up and says that might be a bad idea. Remember the last time Tarzan danced?

*flashback ripple*

The third segment is called Flying Ace. It starts with Jane’s father making a radio and her and Tarzan dancing to the music when a plane makes an emergency landing nearby. The pilot is Jane’s oldest friend, Robert, and Tarzan immediately doesn’t trust him, claiming he reminds him of the leopard, Sabor. Jane brushes him off saying he’s being irrational, and Terk says he’s just jealous. Jane invites Robert back to the treehouse to catch up while Tarzan stews in the jungle.

As they’re having a nice time, Robert noticeably snoops for something. He tells Jane that he’s looking for a music box he gave her right before he left for Africa. He’d like it back to give to someone else back home. She finds it, opens it up to check if it works and they decide to relive their old days in dance class by having a dance to the music.

Tarzan walks in on them and gets very jealous before storming out. Robert says it might be best if he took the music box and left, and Jane sadly agrees. A tiny monkey runs past her feet, causing her to drop the music box, which makes it crack open revealing a code machine.

Robert reveals himself to be a double agent and the music box contains codes from the English military that he’s selling to the non-descript ‘other side’. Jane tries to get away with the music box, but she ultimately gets captured by Robert and they leave on his plane.

Meanwhile, Tarzan saves a British Airman who has been tailing Robert but was shot down by him in the start of the episode. Now realizing that Robert is indeed a bad man and it wasn’t merely him being jealous, Tarzan pursues the airplane. He somehow manages to spear the plane in mid air and climbs up the attached vine to take out Robert. Jane is forced to try to fly the plane with radioed assistance by her father.

She manages to keep it steady for a while, but loses control as it reaches a waterfall. Tarzan somehow manages to keep the plane from falling by spearing a nearby tree and wrapping a vine around the tail. Robert escapes with the music box, threatening to cut the vine if they pursue him, though he’d be too far away to do it if they just waited a few seconds for him to run.

Tarzan tries to keep the plane from falling as the vine starts to snap, and Jane hangs above the propellers, nearly getting sliced up. Robert hears her screams and decides his old friend is more important than selling the information, so he returns to the plane and saves her.

Tarzan is knocked off of the vine by a log, and the plane falls. However, Robert is able to pilot it safely back to shore. Robert is arrested by the agent, and we cut back to present time where the professor points out how hurt Tarzan was when he saw Jane and Robert dancing together, so them dancing together would just open old wounds.

Really? You had to tell the entire story from start to finish for that flimsy excuse? You could’ve just said ‘Remember when Tarzan saw you dancing with your old friend, Robert? He was very hurt, and dancing with you again might open those wounds.’ And honestly, what the hell is all this? This entire movie is ‘Tarzan can’t do this thing that was mildly connected to this 20 minute long story I’m about to tell because Tarzan kinda felt bad about it somewhere I think.’

Tarzan can’t throw a party, not even a non-traditional English one, because he didn’t fit in with Jane’s friends that one time. Completely ignore that he came to understand that he should try to do things from Jane’s culture just as she lives in his culture. Also ignore that the end of the story was a good one, and her friends came to respect and understand Tarzan.

Tarzan can’t give any presents because he felt bad that he wasn’t able to get Jane a diamond that one time.

Tarzan can’t dance because, despite the fact that he clearly had a lot of fun with Jane the last time he danced with her, he saw her innocently dancing with an old friend and had a drama fit.

Hey, let’s make the movie longer.

Jane: “Okay, what about a nice romantic dinner?”

Terk: “Dinner!? Remember the last time Tarzan ate food?”

*20 minute long story*

Terk: “That tummy ache he got made him slightly uncomfortable for a few hours! If he eats again, it could bring up bad memories.”

*cut to dead Tarzan*

Anyway, the movie’s not over. Jane laments that she can’t seem to do anything for her anniversary and now it’s night time. You guys seriously bored her with these overly long stories that she was present for…all day? Wow.

She continues to mope as she reaches the treehouse when she’s surprised by all of the gorillas throwing a party for her. Tarzan walks up to her in his father’s suit wishing her a happy anniversary. Jane deduces that Terk, Tantor and the professor knew what they were up to all along, and I guess they were meant to keep her busy while they prepared the party.

Nope, it still doesn’t change the fact that the rest of the movie has been dumb because Jane found all of the excuses perfectly logical.

Not only that, but Tarzan has a gift for her; a diamond ring, made with a diamond from the volcano cave…..one he shouldn’t have since all of the diamonds melted in the volcano, and the cave was destroyed in the eruption. Also, that’s quite the perfectly cut diamond you ‘found’. Where did he get the ring to go with it? The trading post?

And finally, they dance as the party goes on. And Kala’s there. She has no lines, and the art makes her nearly impossible to point out, but there ya go.

The party concludes with some random out of place pop song, Tarzan and Jane kiss. The end.

———————————————————

This movie…I don’t even want to call this a movie. It’s three random episodes of The Legend of Tarzan taped together with a framing device that doesn’t even make sense most of the time. I will admit that the ending does kinda make up for the stupidity of the framing device up until that point, but not very much considering Jane found so much logic in those excuses that she ended up doing nothing for her anniversary.

If I just want to take all of the new footage as a movie, making this a very short movie out of a very short movie (1 hour, 12 minutes with credits.), then it’s just….boring. You know the movie won’t end with them doing nothing for their anniversary. Tarzan cares too much about Jane to leave her hanging in the wind.

He’d obviously do something to make her happy in his own way. Was him getting dressed up, throwing a party, getting a diamond and dancing with her showing that he’s gotten over his problems with these things to make Jane happy or was it a bunch of lies to stall Jane? If it’s the latter, that makes the rest of the movie even more pointless. It’s almost like they were stalling the audience too until they wrapped it up.

This isn’t a horrible watch for someone who’s never watched the TV series because the stories themselves weren’t that bad. In fact, they were fairly entertaining. I’d definitely say the first segment is the best, the third is second place and the second is the worst.

It’s how they poorly melded the segments with the framing that made them seem bad. But, in the end, the only audience who would really watch this are mostly people who have seen the series. And those people would feel ripped off for getting about 10 minutes of movie and 55 minutes of show they’ve already watched.

The art and animation are definitely not up to the movie standards. Hell, not even Tarzan 2 standards. It’s got that TV series ick to it, but it’s not as bad as it could be. Some of the scenes with falling CGI objects were pretty bad, though.

The voice acting is also fine for the most part. Tarzan doesn’t get any more fun line reads after segment one, Jane’s fine, Tantor sounds exactly as he did in the first movie, and Terk can choke on a porcupine. I not only don’t like Terk as a character, but they somehow found someone more annoying than Rosie O’donnell to voice her.

The music is also…fine. The male/female redo of ‘Two Worlds’ was a little pop-ish for my tastes, and I just couldn’t get into the final pop song thing, even with Terk and the gorillas kinda making a callback to ‘Trashin’ the Camp.’

Bottom Line: If you haven’t seen the series and like Tarzan, give a quick watch I guess as the individual stories are pretty okay. Don’t expect much of the movie itself, though.

As for those who have seen the series, really don’t bother at all.

Recommended Audience: There are numerous guns, but no one gets shot. Nothing else beyond that, really. 6+


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Dissecting the Disquels: Tarzan 2

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Plot: Taking place in the middle of the original Tarzan (Mid song, actually, since this supposedly takes place during ‘Son of Man’), Tarzan’s on a mission to find out what he really is. While he’s doing so, he runs into the mysterious frightening creature, the Zugor.

Breakdown: I liked Tarzan. It’s no masterpiece, but it certainly holds its own. It has likable characters, some touching moments, great music, nice visuals and a decent villain.

Tarzan 2…..is boring as hell.

First of all, let me tell you that this movie has no place being called Tarzan 2 since it’s a midquel not a sequel.

Second, I have no idea where this movie is supposed to take place. I wanted to say that it takes place during the montage where Tarzan’s coming into his own and growing up like in The Lion King 1 ½, and that seems to be the general consensus, but it can’t. In fact, this movie can’t possibly take place and fit in any part in the original movie that I can see. But let’s get to that later.

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The movie starts off by showing Tarzan getting chased by Terk who’s pretending to be some infamous monster called the Zugor. While he’s playing, he causes all sorts of chaos and nearly hurts some baby gorillas. This causes all of the adult apes to yell at him and tell their kids not to play with Tarzan anymore because he’s a menace.

Later, Tarzan sulks because he’s seen as a freak. He causes trouble and is slow compared to the other gorillas, making him an accident waiting to happen. Kala decides to take him to some huge tree that has tons of trunks and says that all of the trunks work together to support the tree just like all of the parts of their family work together, and this cheers Tarzan up.

Kala is easily the best thing in this movie. I loved her in the first movie, and I love her here. She’s just such a perfect mother figure; just enough to be believable and real. It’s disheartening that she gets so little screen time.

The next day, the family is walking across a giant tree bridge when the tree starts to fall. Tarzan’s too slow to make it across in time and tries to hang on while Kala tries to reach him. However, she’s flung back by a branch and the tree falls. He manages to hang on to a vine and fling across to land, but Kala believes him to be dead. Damn, first her actual kid who never gets named now this.

Tarzan manages to find his way back but is horrified when he sees his mother lying on the ground telling Kerchak (who’s only in this film for about three minutes and gets all of two lines) that she would’ve given her life for his. Following that, he overhears a bunch of bitches saying that Kala’s probably better off without him. Wow! I know he survived, but what heartless whores. He’s barely cold, and they’re saying she’s better off without him just because he’s an energetic and slow kid. Go to gorilla hell!

Tarzan decides to run away to avoid causing her mother any pain. He somehow enters Dark Mountain which is where the Zugor supposedly lives. He’s found by a large and dumb gorilla voiced by Brad Garret. He’s basically playing the same character as he plays on Everybody Loves Raymond right down to the fighting with his brother and the controlling mother.

He, his violent brother, whose shtick is getting the hiccups, and Marie (she might as well be that) live in the mountain because they’re too afraid of Zugor, a creature that is never seen by them, to leave. Well, I’d say they’re that stupid.

……Uhh, I honestly can’t fill in the gaps here but Tarzan runs away from something and runs into an old gorilla voiced by George Carlin. Yes, that George Carlin. The gorilla runs into his tree and refuses to let Tarzan in to hide.

The next day, he spots the gorilla scaring other animals by yelling ZUGOR into hollow trees and caves. He calls him out on it and makes him a deal; he’ll keep his Zugor secret if he lets him stay with him and help him figure out what he is if he’s not an ape. Okay, I don’t get how everyone’s afraid of a voice. No one’s been attacked by him, he’s just yelling into hollow things and that scares everyone enough to run off in fear? Wimps.

Terk, who’s not voiced by Rosie O’Donnell here, but who cares (the VA they got for her is pretty good at emulating her voice) and Tantor go off looking for Tarzan after Tantor hears Tarzan yelling through an echo.

Zugor tries to find out what Tarzan is by putting him with a bunch of different animals, but finds that he matches none of them. However, he discovers that he makes neat lassos with vines to do stuff like grabbing things and…grabbing things.

Tarzan makes him a hammock out of leaves and vines like Zugor’s mom used to as a gift. Aw.

Zugor states that he was never as fast or strong as the other gorillas for whatever reason and that’s why he ran off to be Zugor. Kindred spirits. Yay.

The baby gorillas from before tell Kala that Tarzan’s still alive so she goes to Dark Mountain to find him.

Terk gets captured by Brad Garret, and he and his brother and mother basically force her to tell them where their home is.

Zugor says that if Tarzan can’t figure out what he is, he can be a Zugor and Tarzan’s happy about that.

Tarzan bumps into Terk and Tantor who explain that they’re being followed by Brad Garret and the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond so Tarzan runs off to hide them in Zugor’s house. Along the way, he basically yells out that he’s a Zugor now, and he knows the actual Zugor and he’s not a monster.

Dammit Tarzan, you had ONE JOB. Both Marie and Zugor overhear this, and Marie’s pissed that she was stuck in an awful mountain for all of this time by an old gorilla (Again, all she heard was a voice, they could’ve easily left. In fact, it would’ve been more intelligent to leave either way. I doubt if anyone hears a bear roar or a wolf howl their first thought is ‘We should totally stay here the rest of our lives.’) and Zugor’s pissed that Tarzan’s a loud dumbass. Marie’s sons destroy Zugor’s home in revenge and go off to take over Tarzan’s family’s home.

Zugor turns him away for help to get away from the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond. Gee, I wonder where this is headed.

Kala runs into Brad Garret and his family. After Brad Garret grabs one of the babies, he’s threatened by Kala. In defense of her son, Marie knocks Kala and the babies off of the cliff, but luckily there’s an insanely convenient ledge directly below it to perch on.

Zugor returns to save Tarzan, because clichés.

He then tells him that he knows exactly what he is. He can swing on vines and make lassos and stuff that gorillas could easily do, I mean can’t do apparently, that’s what makes him unique so he’s….a TARZAN. Yeah…Okay.

So Tarzan takes this oldfound newfound knowledge to swing on vines and save Kala while simultaneously creating complicated traps and stuff to fight off Brad Garret and his brother. It’s like Home Alone if the traps were made in milliseconds.

Meanwhile, Zugor fights Marie, for some reason shouts out that she has beautiful eyes and, boom, romantic relationship established. Because we really wanted this psychotic bitch to get a happy ending, right?

Tarzan’s reunited with Kala, and they go back home.

Zugor returns to say goodbye to Tarzan because he’s apparently going to go off somewhere with Marie and her sons because they need him and these guys out of the movie because he’s not in the original movie and that would create even more continuity errors.

Tarzan plays with Terk and Tantor and is now able to keep up, if not go faster, because he can swing on vines and tree surf.

End on Tarzan’s yell which is child-ish.

——————————–

So, yeah, boring. I can’t even rage about this movie, it’s just boring. Oh and that stuff I was saying about this not fitting in anywhere in the original movie; it doesn’t.

If it happened before Kala gave Tarzan that great epiphany about himself then, well, he wouldn’t need an epiphany because he had that in this movie. Unless he’s like Shinji from Evangelion and has epiphanies just to forget them and get worse. If it happened during the growing up montage, then that negates what Kala told him and basically replaced it with an entirely new story that wasn’t mirrored in the original movie. It just doesn’t work.

And even if it did fit, we didn’t need to see this. This is nothing but a lame rehash of a plotline that already existed in the actual movie. TLK 1 ½ was also a retelling, but it was from a different perspective, Timon and Pumbaa’s (mostly Timon) and it gave us new insight and backstory, even if that still didn’t make much sense.

This movie simply didn’t need to be made. The story’s boring and rehashed from the original, the new characters are dumb, and you know they don’t have a big bearing on his life because we see him as an adult in the original and they’re nowhere to be found. It’s just completely dull.

On a better note, Phil Collins reprises his role in the music section of this movie. However, other than ‘Who am I?’ The songs aren’t very memorable. They recycle ‘Son of Man’ (edited to make it sound awkward and piss you off.) and I mean ‘recycle’ as in they didn’t even re-record it. They used the same copy from the first movie. And they give us some BG music style of ‘You’ll be in my Heart’ for one small scene. ‘Who am I’ was redone for the ending credits by some Disney pop girl everyone’s already forgotten.

Art-wise, this movie holds up well. The environments aren’t as dark as they originally were due to the lighter tone, but the art itself seems pretty damn close to the original. The animation is also good.

This movie does give some cute little pokes to the original movie. For instance, it basically shows how Tarzan learns how to Tree Surf (by sliding down a tunnel, because that’s the same thing, right? Also, Tree Surfing always bothered me. It looks like that would really hurt and completely obliterate his feet.) and Tarzan makes the same pose as he does when ‘Son of Man’ ends when he finishes fighting the brothers.

Bottom Line: This movie isn’t as bad as many other Disney Sequels. At least it doesn’t piss me off much, but there’s absolutely no reason to watch it. It gives no new insights on the characters, explores nothing new and what story is there is boring as hell.

Recommended Audience: Seriously? Fetus+


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Dissecting the Disquels: Lady and the Tramp 2 – Scamp’s Adventure

Plot: Scamp is the runt of the litter of puppies that were born of Lady and Tramp, as well as the only male and the only one who takes on the appearance of Tramp instead of Lady. Scamp is sick and tired of being a house pet and longs for the adventure of being a ‘real dog’ out and about on the streets. He meets a junkyard gang of strays and wants to be with them, but the firm paw of his father’s rules are keeping him leashed to his house pet life.

Breakdown: I don’t have much of an opinion on Lady and the Tramp. I never watched it much as a kid, but it’s a pretty decent little flick. Plus it made everyone want to have at least one date where you shared a plate of spaghetti in hopes of getting that cute little kiss when in reality it’s just awkward and usually messy.

Lady and the Tramp 2, sadly, is another of those Disquels that is the original movie in reverse with the child taking the place of the parent. In the original, Tramp longed for a life as a house pet and eventually got his wish when he fell in love with Lady and was adopted by her caretakers. In this movie, Scamp hates his life as a house pet and wishes for a life as a street dog.

This is a Disquel I’ve actually seen several times because it would play constantly on the Disney channel for some reason. I remember enjoying it alright, but after a serious viewing, does that enjoyment still stand up?

Eh, pretty much. It’s a fairly harmless movie. While it may be called Lady and the Tramp 2, there’s a noticeable lack of Lady doing anything, and I mean anything. Tramp’s become an old stick in the mud because apparently everyone does that when they become parents…except Wendy from Peter Pan. He likes his nice quiet life at home with his mate and kids, the three (incredibly obnoxious) girls who look like Lady and the rambunctious Scamp who constantly causes trouble due to his desire to be a wild dog.

Scamp is pretty hard to like. He’s a kid so I can’t be too picky here in terms of his immature behavior, but that doesn’t mean it’s entertaining to watch. He’s one of those kids who acts like a hotshot then always falls on his ass, then he still acts like a hotshot after the fact.

He’s constantly whining about his life back home to the point where it’s just stupid. He actually complains about being told to eat all his food, sleep in a bed and to come in when it’s raining. And for even more confusion, during the song ‘Family’ he says with a happy expression that family’s always there with shelter from the rain.

Our romance angle with him is with the junkyard dog, Angel, who is a little too forward and flirty for a puppy (Keep in mind, we’re supposed to be taking these animal characters more or less like humans, being a Disney movie, so technically she’s the equivalent of a human child. To add to the creepiness, Buster, an adult dog the same age as Tramp, keeps treating Angel like his girlfriend, and Ruby, an even older dog, expresses sexual attraction towards Scamp…so yeah.)

Angel’s the exact opposite of Scamp in that she wants nothing more than to have a family and is appalled that Scamp is willing to give up his loving home for a cold life on the street. She’s a pretty good character, but she does come on too strong.

The romance angle is really a side story here anyway. For those wondering, they do revisit the whole spaghetti thing, but they change it up a bit to reflect the more child-like wild dogness of the two. However, the story here is really about family and Scamp learning a lesson about appreciating what he has instead of glorifying something bad.

Our antagonist in this movie is the aforementioned Buster, leader of the junkyard dogs and pretty much the biggest problem in the movie. Buster was supposedly Tramp’s best friend whom he ‘betrayed’ when he met Lady, fell in love and started a new life as a house dog.

Don’t remember Buster even though he seems like such an integral character to the first movie? That’s because he wasn’t in the first movie. He was completely made up for this movie alone. And given Buster’s intense hatred of Tramp, this is a big problem because they’re constantly drawing attention to the fact that he wasn’t in the first movie.

This can sometimes work. Take Zira from The Lion King 2 for example. She wasn’t seen in The Lion King, but she has an intense hatred of Simba and vice versa. While Simba’s hatred for her and the outlanders, barring their devotion to his evil uncle, isn’t explored very much, you can still believe to a degree that some lioness was a Scar fangirl, despite his suckiness as king, who basically had Stockholm syndrome and grew to hate Simba for killing Scar.

Hell, even in The Little Mermaid 2, despite never seeing or hearing about ‘Ursula’s crazy sister’ it was still a better situation because she wanted revenge for her sister…..the one she hated…Okay bad example. The point is, having a completely unknown character have a grudge based on something from a previous movie really only works if they’re somehow connected to something awful that happened to a character with prevalence in the original movie.

This, however, doesn’t work because the hatred is directly based on something Tramp did to Buster, and Buster never appeared in the first movie making it very apparent that this is a sloppy way to introduce a bad guy. And you know, they could’ve just said that Buster had a bad experience with a family when he was younger and now he hates house dogs, even former ones, with a passion, thus he by default harbors a hatred for Scamp, Tramp and even Angel when her secret gets revealed.

Buster isn’t even a really good villain. He reminds me of the slimy antagonists from old 1950s after school specials, right down to constantly calling the love interest his ‘girl’ only to have her constantly come back with her saying she’s not his girl.

There’s also a very noticeable lack of Buster and Tramp confrontation. They only see each other twice, and one of the those times Tramp barely says a word as Scamp has the reigns for most of that scene. If the main issue with Scamp, outside of being a (former) house dog is the fact that he’s Tramp’s kid, why are there not more of these scenes? Why isn’t the big battle against Buster? Why choose a big bulldog who doesn’t even say anything and has barely been a part of the plot to be the big finale villain?

Bottom Line: Despite the problems, it’s still a perfectly fine movie. It has some pretty good music, with the incredibly sappy ‘Family’ being my only complaint in that regard. The story’s not groundbreaking, and you can definitely lay out everything that will happen from basically the first scene, but that doesn’t mean that the ride’s not enjoyable. The art and animation are pretty good. The colors still have that Disquel overly-brightness to them, but that’s okay. Scamp’s not terribly annoying and the story’s fine.

Maybe I’d feel different if I had a deeper connection with the original movie, but as it stands, it’s one of the more tolerable Disquels that you’d probably have no issue sitting through at least once.

Recommended Audience: There’s some mild violence, and maybe I’m looking too much into the pedo angle, but eh. 6+


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Dissecting the Disquels: Hunchback of Notre Dame 2

Plot: Quasimodo gets a girlfriend, and the villain is after one of the bells in the bell tower. That’s about it.

Breakdown: I’m going to guess how the meeting went for the pitch of this movie.

– Hey, do you guys remember how the original Hunchback movie was all dark and impacting; full of religious connotations, murder, mentions of hell, and our first direct plotline involving such a mature theme as lust?

= Yeah, it was an awesome movie! How can we top that in the sequel?

– By having the movie be about Quasimodo falling in love and getting a girlfriend with no mature themes whatsoever beyond theft!

= …..That, uh……I guess that can work if we do it right.

– Wait, wait, I’m not done! Remember how we had AMAZING songs in the original movie that were epic, deep and impacting?

= Yes! They were some of the best songs in Disney history! We’ll need to get a great orches–

– I was thinking we could have songs….that SUCK! 😀

=…….That….sounds awful.

– Oh and remember the gorgeous scenery and wide open feeling of the city?

=….Yeah.

– Hardly any scenery, what is there isn’t great and small town feeling.

= ……..

– Oh and the villain is very important!

= Of course! Frollo was one of the most complex, dark, influential and controversial Disney villains ever made! How can we top that?!

– Laughably non-threatening villain that is quite literally in love with himself and has no motivation beyond stealing a valuable bell that would be nearly impossible to sell on the black market.

= Who hired you?

– Oh oh! And we’ll have awful dialogue, a terrible new lead girl and art and animation that pales in comparison to the original so much that it makes viewers cry!

= That is one of the worst ideas ever.

– Too bad, I’ve already written the script. Bye! Oh and Quasimodo’s new best friend is Esmeralda and Phoebus’s five year old son. His name is Zephyr! And he’s annoying as sin! See you in the pile of money we’ll make!

——————————————–

Seriously, that is basically all that you need to know about this movie, but let’s delve slightly deeper shall we?

The new lead girl, Madeline, is a klutz. She works for a traveling circus because she’s paying off a debt to the main villain for stealing food from him when she was a starving six year old. Was she stealing gold plated caviar? Just run away! Not like he’d seriously pursue you. She’s much like practically any girl in a romantic comedy. She has the depth of a piece of paper and her only trait is being a klutz with bad self esteem.

She finds her way into the tower because the villain demanded she go in there to case the bell tower so that they could steal the precious bell that is plain on the outside but beautiful ON THE INSIDE…..Get it?….Get it?…..Like Quasimodo!…Get it? Hm? Hm? Hm?

He immediately falls in love with her after a shocking five lines of dialogue (Taking the relationship slow by Disney standards), but she initially finds his appearance so disturbing that she runs out of the bell tower and then claims he’s too ugly to confront again to the villain Sarousch. Until, however, Quasi and Zephyr sing a song about being best friends forever (not kidding) and that suddenly wins her heart.

Sarousch is the new villain, and how they ever thought that he could even breathe the same air that Frollo did is beyond me. He is a joke. Plain and simple. Frollo was fueled by lust, hatred and self-righteousness. Sarousch is fueled by laughable egotism, vanity and a desire to steal a bell for no reason beyond ‘it’s valuable’.

Yes. It is. But it’s also incredibly recognizable and would be impossible to sell on the black market without being caught. I know it looks like a crappy bell on the outside, but if someone was trying to sell it, they’d want to display the inside. That’s the hook of the whole thing.

He’s even willing to kill Quasi for the bell, because why not make yourself even more of a target for investigation?

The songs are awful. Not being up to par with the original is one thing. It’s hard as hell to match the fantastic quality of the original movie’s songs. But these are horrible even for direct-to-video sequels. Being direct-to-video is no excuse. There’s no excuse for this level of garbage. That best friend song is so terrible and corny I was just dumbstruck all the way through it, and our love song is actually called ‘Fa-la-la-la Falling in Love’ or ‘Quasimodo’s Falling in Love’ take your pick.

One last thing to note; this festival is really stupid. Now, don’t get me wrong, festivals of love are great, but the main attraction is each couple going up on an altar and literally screaming I LOVE (ENTER NAME OF ROMANTIC PARTNER!) while the other person does the same thing. Not only does this seem stupid, but it has to be 100x more irritating to be single on this day. Valentine’s Day is bad enough. You have to listen to that BS all day.

The dialogue is horrible. The acting is flat and lazy, though I’m not sure if I blame the director or the cast on that.

The art is fairly low quality, and the animation is saddening.

This movie also clocks in at an hour and three minutes, including credits. That is appalling. I thought an hour and ten minutes was bad.

You wanna know a sad fact? This movie supposedly took five years to release. Five….friggin’….years….I have no idea why it took so long especially when the production values are so poor. I don’t even think the original movie took that long to be released, and there was all sorts of complications with releasing that movie.

Bottom Line: I can’t recommend this to anyone except maybe easily entertained very small children who haven’t seen the first movie. It’s probably the most obvious cash-grab of the Disquels, at least so far, and it’s borderline insulting to fans of the first movie. Unless the aspect of Quasi not getting a girlfriend in the first movie particularly upset you and you really are desperate to see him finally get a love life, this is definitely not for anyone who is a fan of the first movie.

Recommended Audience: Really nothing questionable here. Esmeralda’s not a dancer anymore so not even the slightest tinge of sexual vibes. Frollo’s gone, so any controversial theme with him is gone. No one dies. E for everyone….


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Dissecting the Disquels: The Return of Jafar

Plot: Iago has escaped from Jafar’s lamp, and with a new life free of Jafar, he has decided to live it up in Agrabah. After Iago suddenly befriends Aladdin, the Genie makes his return to the palace to stay with his friends. Meanwhile, Jafar’s lamp is found by the petty thief, Abis Mal, who becomes his new master. However, Jafar has other plans for him, and they involve taking over Agrabah and getting revenge on Aladdin and his friends.

Breakdown: I think I’m treading into dangerous territory here. Return of Jafar was, I believe, one of the first Disney sequels ever made. It was certainly the first one that I remember seeing. Hell, I still have the VHS tape of it. However, it was certainly a sign of what was to come.

I….think this movie…is…..okay. It certainly has more substance than most Disney sequels, but I still wouldn’t call it ‘good’.

First off, the art and animation look no different, if not worse, than the TV series. That is to say, it’s nowhere near the original, fairly bad at certain areas, but not cringe worthy.

Second, Robin Williams doesn’t reprise his role as Genie in this movie. He is now voiced by Dan Castellaneta here, who is most famous for his role as Homer on The Simpsons. And, I gotta tell ya, it really does sound like Homer doing an impression of the Genie. He just doesn’t sound right.

Next, the music. They do a reprisal of ‘Arabian Nights,’ which is….nice. I mean, I really like ‘Arabian Nights,’ but they couldn’t have some up with anything new for this movie? Also, this version sounds less epic and slightly faster than the first one.

The next song is called ‘I’m Lookin’ Out for Me,’ sung by Iago, which means yay Gilbert Gottfried singing….Granted, it’s actually a fairly memorable song, which, again, is more than I can say for other Disney sequels, but it’s not really that great of a song, and it has little point. I mean, did we really need musical accompaniment to learn that Iago’s selfish? Also, the song has “written for a direct-to-video movie” written all over it. Which can be said of all of the other songs, to be honest.

The next song is…..*sigh* ‘Nothing in the World Like a Friend’….This song is painful to me. The other songs may have a degree of lameness to them, but this one’s ultra-lame. This one is sung by Genie, and while he’s a better singer than Iago, the lyrics are still lame and cheesy. The song is a little memorable, but not really. Also, this is yet another song with no point. We know Genie treasures his friendship with Aladdin and the others. Of course he missed them while he was away.

After that, we have a song called ‘Forget about Love’ which is, again, sung by Iago, but later by Aladdin and Jasmine. This song’s the best of the movie, in my opinion, but it also serves little purpose. Aladdin and Jasmine have a fight about Aladdin lying about Iago being in the palace and him now being a friend. Even though it wasn’t Iago’s fault, really, Genie pushes him into getting them to make up through this reverse psychology song where Iago convinces Jasmine that love sucks, which prompts her to make a case against that opinion. This song is relatively pointless because it’s not like they were gonna break up just because of that. They had a small tiff and made up. Whoopdeedoo.

The final song is the ‘villain’ song, I guess. It’s called ‘You’re Only Second Rate’ and it’s sung by Jafar. This song is the second best IMO, and it does serve a point, in a way. It’s meant to show that Genie’s lost a good chunk of his mojo since he was freed, and Jafar has all the power in the world because he’s still imprisoned in the lamp (I’ll get to this later.) It’s basically him showing off his immense powers while the Genie can do nothing about it.

While this would make for a cool villain song, it’s ruined by the sheer comedic tone. We actually see Jafar as a granny and Genie in his underwear during this song. Only one point in the song is really dramatic and, of course, that’s the best part of the song.

Now for the story. I guess Iago was such a fan favorite that they really wanted him to be on the side of good during the upcoming Aladdin TV series. Even though Iago has shown himself to be nothing but selfish and evil in the past, he’s good now. Yeah, of course they have that moment where it seems like Iago has betrayed the good guys to go back to the side of bad, but he redeems himself in the end.

Jafar’s plot doesn’t really make sense if you ask me. First of all, it’s never adequately explained how Abis Mal and his cronies got into the Cave of Wonders. I seriously doubt HE’S a diamond in the rough. They also don’t explain how they found Jafar’s lamp and made it out alive seeing as how Aladdin barely managed that in the first movie. They could have refrained from stealing anything, but really I doubt these idiot thieves have more restraint than a klepto monkey.

Second, Jafar is constantly touting that he’s more powerful than Genie because Genie was freed. Freed genies have less power because they’re no longer tethered to their lamp, which must somehow grant them more power. However, one of his drives during this movie is freeing himself from the lamp in order to be unrestricted by its rules….well, wouldn’t that make him….less powerful? Like Genie?

Nothing really interesting happens until the final 20 minutes of the movie. Other than that, it’s mostly filler. The last 20 minutes are a fairly decent continuation of the first movie, but it’s nothing particularly epic. In fact, it’s fairly predictable.

Oh and Aladdin and Jasmine haven’t gotten married yet in this movie. Yeah, it seemed like they were going to get married soon after the end of the first movie, but the writers were like ‘booooo married people are boring, we can’t have that in the TV series’ and kept them as fiancés until the end of movie three.

All in all, this movie was just meh. Not a horrible Disney sequel, but not a particularly good one either.

Recommended Audience: 0+


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