Dissecting the Disquels: Beauty and the Beast – Belle’s Magical World

nmw91ph

Plot: Yet another mid-quel taking place sometime after the wolf attack but before the confrontation with Gaston, this movie consists of four short stories about Belle and the Beast and their adventures in the castle.

Breakdown: Oh boy. Just what I always wanted. Another crappy Disquel that isn’t really a movie so much as a bunch of episodes for a TV series that never happened stitched together like some sort of gaping wound….

At the end of my last Beauty and the Beast Disquel review, I noted that I had some hope for Magical World since Enchanted Christmas turned out to be okay.

I should learn never to have hope.

Soon after I finished that review, I started looking up reviews and info on Magical World, and hoo boy it’s much less well-received than Enchanted Christmas.

Not many people have a good word to say about it beyond ‘well, it’s a decent enough thing to entertain your very young kids with for an hour’. You know what else can entertain very young kids for an hour? Making pies out of dirt. An hour-long loop of fart noises. Playing ‘how much crayon can I get on the wall before Mommy or Daddy starts screaming?’

And do I even need to bring up the obvious again? Just as a refresher; this midquel is pointless. Most midquels are pointless, but the ones for Beauty and the Beast are especially pointless because they usually in some way involve mending bridges between Belle and Beast or worrying about if they’ll get together or not and whether they’ll turn back to people or not. We’ve seen the movie. They do. Tension over.

What were they even thinking trying to make this as a TV series? Were they really planning on making a TV series based on the midquel adventures of Belle and Beast? How much time went on during that short interlude between the wolf attack and Gaston? How much material could you possibly justify? It would just end up either being filler crap about the servants or the same arguing to resolution shtick that Belle and Beast go through nearly every time they see each other. That makes some damn good entertaining television.

This is actually one movie where it would really only work as a TV series if they focused on the original couple’s kids. I’m not exactly certain what they’d do with that, but at least it would be fresh material.

Enough stall tactics; let’s break this down.

Segment one – The Perfect Word

BATBBMWSCREEN1

We start off with Belle and Beast having a meal together. Belle is trying to tell Beast about a new book she’s reading, Cinderella (well, that’s kinda meta isn’t it?) while Beast is trying to be civil and kind to impress Belle.

Beast has a hot flash and can’t stand the heat in the room, but he’s advised to not open a window because it’s still winter and the servants and Belle will be very cold. He tries to bear it for a while but ends up demanding to have the window open anyway. He goes on a tirade saying he doesn’t have to be considerate of others because it’s his castle and he’ll do what he wants. He has a huge-ass temper tantrum, smacking away a new character, Webster, in the process.

Webster is a dictionary. Yup.

Belle says he’s being rude and foolish. She storms off and Beast flips the table in anger.

Later, the two refuse to apologize until the other apologizes. They’re so adamant in not being the first to apologize that Webster, LePlume, a fountain pen, and Crane, a stack of papers, decide to forge a note to Belle pretending to be Beast apologizing.

Let me pause for a second and say, why yes, LePlume does indeed literally translate to ‘The pen.’ Between this and Webster, you guys are being so damn creative with your naming today. Only one that is a bit creative is Crane, which, from what I gather, was based on Thomas Crane, the owner of a paper mill that Paul Revere stabled his horses in and became one of the most widely known paper distributors ever.

But really, if you had to become an object, how much would it suck to be a stack of paper? You’re vulnerable to basically everything, except rocks if decision making games have taught me anything, you’re limited in supply and you’re disposable.

They forge the note, and Belle, who has been crying and waiting on baited breath for Beast’s apology (even rushing to the door and fixing her hair when she thinks he’s come to apologize….) accepts it and goes to apologize to Beast as well. Because apparently calling someone rude and foolish when they have a gigantic hissy fit because they’re hot and physically assaulting someone because of aforementioned frustration is something that warrants apology.

BATBBMWSCREEN2
She’s clearly in the wrong.

They make up and Beast tries to listen to Belle reading him a book. However, he’s loudly eating a snack as she reads, so she can’t concentrate enough to continue. Beast decides to control himself and puts aside the snack for later, telling her to continue. Cogsworth praises him for his restraint and says he wouldn’t want to have to write another apology letter.

At this, Beast is both infuriated and confused since he knows no such thing about a letter. Belle shows it to him and Webster, LePlume and Crane admit what they did. Beast chases them throughout the castle, and Belle tries to protect them from his wrath. He spares their lives, but banishes them from the castle and says if anyone tries to offer them comfort, he’ll punish them.

If you think about it, at least two of these guys are as good as dead anyway. Remember, Webster’s a book and Crane is a stack of paper. They’re out in the snow. Crane should’ve been dead shortly after hitting the ground and Webster would surely die in an hour or so.

The three traipse through the woods, hoping to find help at the nearest town. Because yeah, I can see everyone being helpful to talking library items.

Meanwhile, Belle beats herself up for not being the one to apologize to Beast….Girl, you barely had anything to apologize for. You rightfully called him rude and foolish after he blew up, blasted winter winds into the room and bitchslapped Webster. Sure it’s not nice to insult people, but stop acting like you were more in the wrong than he was because that could not be further from the truth. It’s not in the same atmosphere as the truth.

The three get lost and end up back at the castle. They don’t want to enter the castle because they’re afraid of what Beast will do to them, but Belle insists they come inside to get warm and dry. And in the cases of Webster and Crane, to get all wrinkly, weird-feeling and discolored. She says that the Beast may do and say terrible things sometimes, but deep down inside he has a good heart.

….He just kicked out three of his servants into the dead of winter and offered them no means of protection. Two of these servants could have easily died or at least suffered serious damage/injury the instant they hit the snow. But yeah, he’s a precious flower.

BATBBMWSCREEN3

Beast overhears this, and as Belle tries to warm up them up, he apologizes to her for his behavior and apologizes to Webster, LePlume and Crane as well. As he leaves he says in a creepily happy tone “That was so easy! I feel happy now! Happier than I can remember!” Uhh….even people who aren’t raging assholes have difficulty admitting they were wrong and apologizing. It’s hardly easy, and considering it took days of pouting and more temper tantrums including him literally screaming “I will NEVERA…POLOGIZE!” I’d say it was pretty hard for you, furball.

And just making up with Belle makes him that happy? Yeah, sure.

Oh yeah and there’s a side plot with Lumiere having an argument with a chandelier and also having trouble apologizing. This is basically filler because it’s just reinforcing the lesson, and the only reason I really bring this up is because the chandelier’s name? Chandelieria. Yeah, that’s what they decided to name her. Chandelieria.

At least when they gave LePlume his name they were using the French word for pen that English speaking countries don’t use. The English word for chandelier IS chandelier. If you’re going to be that lazy, let’s just call Lumiere ‘Candlestick’ and Cogsworth ‘Clock’.

And I’m calling bull on that being her name because almost always is her name being pronounced just ‘Chandelier’ Sometimes it sounds like ‘Chandeliera” but I always figured that the ending ‘a’ was a part of the accent. Never do they ever sound like they’re adding ‘ia’ to the end.

After that subplot is over, they extend the episode even more by them all reflecting upon the lesson of forgiveness.

And we’re still not done because we have to slice in a song break for some stupid reason. Couldn’t have put that in the middle of the episode or something? It’s just so jarring because after the scene on the veranda it, by all means, seems like a ‘fade out to credits’ moment. The music swells, we fade to black and then we get a random song.

BATBBMWSCREEN4

The song is called ‘Listen with our Hearts’…..and it’s still repetitive parroting of the forgiveness lesson. Belle and Beast have lots of trouble communicating properly, they fight a lot because of it, but later when they’ve had time to cool off and take the time out to understand the other, they make up and love and romance and blah blah. The song itself is actually pretty decent, but it is so jarring in its placement and is really just more filler.

Holy crap, what a load of……well, crap. That whole shitstorm happened all because Beast had a massive tantrum over being hot. I get that he probably runs warmer than most people because of the fur and all, but it’s winter and they’re not near a source of heat or anything besides Lumiere and Chandelier, and, no, I’m not adding the ‘ia’.

There’s really nothing that seems to be spurring on his near heat stroke. Really, any normal person would just say ‘Excuse me, Belle, but I feel overheated. I am going to get some fresh air. Would you like to join me?’ If Beast was too perturbed to think of saying that himself, you’d think Cogsworth or Lumiere would suggest that. But no, he demands the window be open and then goes on an asshole spree. Between the massive mood swings and the hot flash, I’d say Beast is just going through menopause.

Then they have to act like friggin’ five year olds and do that stupid ‘I’m not apologizing until he/she apologizes’ crap. Something that probably could’ve been fixed if they reminded Beast or Belle of the rose and their current situation.

But, again, no, they have to make up a lie that was inevitably going to be uncovered and Beast has to completely overreact. His servants have done much worse to him without them being punished too severely yet lying in an effort to fix his relationship to Belle is something banish-worthy? Especially in the middle of winter. Especially when the servants are porous pieces of stationary.

Segment two – Fifi’s Folly

BATBBMWSCREEN5

This one can be summed up rather quickly. It’s the fifth anniversary of Fifi (the feather duster) and Lumiere’s first date. While Fifi is super excited about it, Lumiere just barely remembers. He asks for Belle’s help in not only making the night a replica of their first date, but he also needs help writing his feelings out on a cheat sheet since he has trouble doing it on the fly.

As Belle helps Lumiere in secret, Fifi follows them every step of the way, getting increasingly angry as she believes Lumiere is romancing Belle in the same manner that he romanced her on their first date. Because, yeah, I’m so sure he’d seduce Belle and screw over their chances of being turned back to humans….oh and yeah, Beast would turn him into a pile of melted wax and brass if he ever found out.

When everything’s set up for the date, Fifi explodes in a rage of jealousy and anger, consistently calling Belle terrible names behind her back. She decides if she can’t have her great anniversary date with Lumiere, no one will. So she cuts the strap of the ‘sleigh’ about three quarters of the way to ensure that Belle and Lumiere will crash and friggin’ DIE when they have their sleigh ride.

Oh and just to prove how stupid and angry Fifi is, she doesn’t realize that having a sleigh ride in a modified punch bowl pulled by a small dog-footrest would be a bit on the impossible side for Belle….

Fifi’s about to leave the castle forever when she’s stopped by Lumiere who explains that the date was for their anniversary. She’s slightly embarrassed, but since she did most of her jealous insanity in secret, she goes on the date just fine. She even gets on the sleigh ride, simply hoping the strap won’t break the whole time. Because it’d be way too hard to say ‘Oh my, Lumiere, this strap seems like it’s been frayed! Perhaps we should replace it before our sleigh ride, my love!’ Nope, better risk your neck…or…handle.

BATBBMWSCREEN10
A candlestick doesn’t have to do much work to make himself look hot.

The strap breaks and they go out of control, resulting in them flying off the side of the mountain and barely hanging on by a branch. Also, Lumiere needs to make up his mind on how he sweats. Several times before this he sweats by having the candlewax on his head melt. Later, he sweats regularly.

As Belle and the other household items try to reach them, Lumiere admits his love for Fifi and he and Fifi are saved.

So yeah….that was pretty dumb too, wasn’t it? I mean, a story about Lumiere and Fifi, fine. But we know that Lumiere’s not trying to date Belle so half the episode with Fifi seeing more and more evidence to the contrary is completely pointless and wouldn’t even make sense if we didn’t know by seeing them preparing for the date.

Fifi’s a goddamn psycho. Why should we feel happy that a bitch who tried to kill Belle and Lumiere out of jealousy got her man? I wanted nothing more than to pluck her feathers by the end. I also wasn’t aware that Lumiere and Fifi were a legit couple. He flirts with so many women, it’s hard to believe he’s in a relationship.

Oh and Beast was not in a single frame of this episode. Some Beauty and the BEAST series they were making.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Dissecting the Disquels: The Lion King 1 1/2

azsw150

Rating: 7/10

Plot: Let’s go back to the beginning of The Lion King….or moreso before the beginning. To the origins of Timon and Pumbaa and a retelling of the movie through their eyes.

Breakdown: I didn’t mind Timon and Pumbaa much in TLK, one of my favorite movies ever. I will admit that it was a drastic tone change when they were introduced, but Disney has a habit of doing that when something particularly heavy happens (think Bambi’s mom → Oooh look at the birdies!). They had some funny moments and they were okay in TLK2. They are some of the more tolerable comic relief sidekicks, but…I still never really liked them much.

I guess I just get tired of Timon’s snarkiness and Pumbaa’s constant fart/bad smell jokes. Moreso Pumbaa to be honest. His only bits are farting/bad smell/gross out gags and the fact that he’s fat. While he has decent banter with Timon, he’s a one/two trick pony with jokes that aren’t even funny. However, I can’t imagine I’d want to watch them in a TV series or watch a movie about them.

Luckily, both things were created. TLK 1 ½ is a movie that answers the burning questions of Timon and Pumbaa’s story before and during TLK. And, hey, at least this one’s honest about being a midquel…or mid-prequel instead of a sequel….BUT….they kinda messed that up because it should really be TLK ½ because 1 ½ kinda sounds like it overflows in TLK2, but whatever.

Here’s the thing, this movie isn’t like other Disney ‘sequels’ in that it’s actually Timon and Pumbaa watching a movie version of Timon’s backstory, how he met Pumbaa, them raising Simba and their part in the climax. They watch the movie in silhouette in much the same fashion as MST3K, but the thing that falls apart in that concept is that they don’t riff the movie or anything, they just pop up at certain segments to make a hindsight joke or reference about the situation.

And I do have to say, these are just completely pointless and non-funny moments. Rarely is there a legit funny joke in these cutaways.

You may be wondering why this format is being used at all. Well, like TLK used Hamlet as a template and TLK2 used Romeo and Juliet, this movie is using Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead, a retelling of Hamlet through the eyes of two dead characters, as its template.

I’m also not very keen on reviewing this step by step since the format is so different plus it’s retelling the movie just with jokes and more focus on Timon and Pumbaa. So I’ll just break down the major features.

———————————————————-

This movie counts as a prequel and midquel because it also focuses on Timon’s origins, which occur before Simba is born. Timon was born in a wasteland far away from Pride Rock; so far that you can only barely see it on the horizon. Timon lives with a group of other meerkats who are obsessed with digging and hiding from hyenas. We get that from their song “Digga Tunnuh” which, while being an earworm, is one of those incredibly useless songs. It really only serves the purpose of establishing that meerkats as about as set in their worker/paranoid ways as the ants from Antz.

Timon is, as predicted, the one who causes all the trouble in the group and is different from the other meerkats who just want to work. He wants a better life in a better home where he doesn’t have to worry about hiding from hyenas and where his life has purpose.

TLK112 SCREEN1

He has a slightly overbearing mother named ‘Ma’ (A single mother in a Disney movie? Wow.) voiced by Julie Cavner IE Marge Simpson and a great uncle named Uncle Max who is Jerry Stiller being every Jerry Stiller role. They actually parody the scene where Mufasa shows Simba the Pride Lands by giving the speech and ending it by saying everything the light touches belongs to someone else.

We also get jokes about the circle of life by implying that they don’t fit into it well because, despite the fact that they’re so low on the chain, they don’t eat the grass that their predators become. However, if they’re insectivores, then that joke doesn’t work entirely because the bugs eat the grass and they eat the bugs. There are still living beings lower than them on the food chain.

His mother tells him that, despite his dreams of a better home, it’s their place in life as meerkats to merely do what they do; dig and hide. After a mishap with Timon causes their tunnels to collapse, Timon’s mother decides he might be better suited for sentry duty.

It’s an easy enough job, but Timon screws it up by taking the mantra that sentries are supposed to follow (Scurry, sniff, flinch) and turning into a song, “That’s All I Need.” It’s okay-ish, but it really gets lost in the middle and even the movie decides to cut it off early by having the hyenas interrupt it.

TLK112 SCREEN8.png

After the attack, he’s shunned even worse by the group and decides that he has to leave and explore to find his place in the world. He departs from his mother in what is actually a pretty touching scene and heads on his way.

He meets Rafiki after he gets lost, which may or may not cause plot holes. I do remember Timon asking ‘Who’s the monkey?’ after Simba decided to go back to Pride Rock in the first movie, but whatever. We learn that Rafiki is actually the one who taught him about Hakuna Matata. His advice leads him to ‘look beyond what (he) see(s)’ and decides that he has to go to Pride Rock to find his paradise.

He meets Pumbaa completely by chance by just bumping into him (Yeah there is really nothing more to that meeting) and Timon ‘hires’ him to keep predators away on his journey.

TLK112 SCREEN3

Now we’re at the actual beginning of TLK and Simba’s presentation ceremony. Timon’s unhappy with the crowded Pride Rock, so he decides to check out a little spot ‘beyond’ it. It’s here where we get the one joke that is just plain horrid.

Not only is it a massive fart joke, it also tarnishes the original presentation scene. Pumbaa doesn’t do well in crowds and you probably already figured out where this is going from that, but let’s continue anyway.

He tries to ‘hold it in’ as he makes his way through the crowd, but can’t and ends up tooting his ass horn in such a massive way that a ton of the animals at the ceremony fall over and that’s shown as the real reason why the animals bowed to Simba…….I have to tolerate Pumbaa’s fart jokes enough as it is, but when it sets out to ruin iconic scenes it just pisses me off.

TLK112 SCREEN4

We get more clashes with TLK as Timon and Pumbaa wake up in their new home to the part of the movie where Simba and Nala sing “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” I get that this happened shortly after the presentation scene in the original movie, but we’re also lead to assume that some time passed between the ceremony and the song seeing as how Simba is somewhat older. This movie basically says he grew up that much overnight. Unless there was a time skip in this movie too, but there’s no indication of that.

Their new home gets ruined and their journey to find their new new home leads them through several parts of the first movie such as the hyena attack, “Be Prepared” (at least the very first part anyway) and the stampede scene (kinda morbid how they’re playing up the scene in which Mufasa dies for laughs. He obviously isn’t seen in this movie dying, but you still know that’s what happening.) but they eventually stumble upon the perfect place seen in the original movie that they actually call Hakuna Matata.

TLK112 SCREEN5

They then sing a remixed version of Hakuna Matata that I don’t like as much, but if it matters to you they added sing-a-long lyrics to the bottom of the screen in this one.

Timon’s mom, finding out from Rafiki that he’s ‘chasing metaphors’ decides to go off to find Timon, but not before smacking Rafiki in the head and smashing his foot. I love Rafiki and everything but it is kinda funny to see him get smacked for a change.

We’re finally at the point in the movie where Timon and Pumbaa rescue Simba. This is my favorite part of the movie because it actually showcases what we really wanted to see; what Simba, Timon and Pumbaa were doing during Simba’s time growing up.

The answer is; not much.

To be completely honest, it’s not like we’re meant to expect much anyway. Simba’s time with Timon and Pumbaa was portrayed as him just screwing around for months/years and that’s pretty much what they do. The point of these segments, however, is to show Timon and Pumbaa bonding with Simba as surrogate parents.

While much of it is comedic moments, there is a scene or two of genuine bonding. And we do see how much Timon and Pumbaa care about Simba, which was actually fairly lacking from the original movie as much of their bonding was held in Hakuna Matata before we quickly transitioned to Nala coming back and Simba going back home. While it may not seem important, it does add to their relationship more and gives some emotional standing to the scene where Simba decides to go back home, even if they do end up living with him afterward.

We also get to see more of Simba as a ‘teenager’ which is kinda cool.

TLK112 SCREEN6

Sadly, this part is really short. The scenes with Simba growing up don’t even take up ten minutes and that seriously sucks.

Now for my least favorite part of the movie (barring the presentation fart joke); Timon and Pumbaa (mostly Timon) purposely trying to break up Nala and Simba for the sake of keeping their buddy around.

I dislike this scene because 1) it cuts away from Timon and Pumbaa really caring about Simba to selfishly not giving a crap about his happiness for the sake of their own. 2) It contradicts again with the original movie as Timon and Pumbaa don’t start singing Can You Feel The Love Tonight? (they do finish it, though) 3) It’s a Mushu-in-Mulan-2-esque mindset of random accidents meaning two people will break up and 4) It, again, really tarnishes a pretty good scene in the original movie.

I just liked it a lot better when they just accepted that Simba was going to be romantically involved with Nala. They were really sad about it, yeah, but they accepted it and seemingly decided to respect Simba’s desires. As the saying goes, if you really love someone, you’ll let them go. It just makes Timon and Pumbaa look like selfish assholes now.

TLK112 SCREEN9.png

The scene after, when Simba goes back to Pride Rock, also creates an inconsistency because Timon initially said in the original movie that he thought Simba was with Nala when the preceding scene in this movie shows Timon and Pumbaa watching Simba and Nala have a fight and him running away from her. I know some liberties can be taken since this is a comedy movie, but this is still meant to be taken as canon. Plus if you give me a midquel on a movie I love, I’m going to nitpick you, it’s just law.

Timon’s mom and Uncle Max arrive and….Wait, what?! They just now found Timon?! Have they been looking for him for months/years? What the hell?

The actual climax, the battle with the hyenas and Scar, is completely different. They show none of the Timon and Pumbaa scenes that actually happened….well except the luau, and make up their own triumphant climax with the hyenas.

I’m perfectly fine with the latter because the hyenas are gone for most of this scene in their huge battle (however, this scene does essentially mean that Shenzi, Ed and Banzai never heard Scar framing the hyenas.), but I don’t understand the former at all. I get that it would’ve been slightly repetitive, but it’s a retelling; it’s supposed to be somewhat repetitive from its original version, especially when you’re focusing on the scenes that the main characters of this movie were originally in.

After that’s said and done and Simba takes his place as king, Timon and Pumbaa return to Hakuna Matata (I’m just going to have to assume that’s what the place is really named) with Timon’s mom, Uncle Max and the rest of the meerkats where they can live in relaxation.

This may or may not be the one inconsistency between this movie and TLK2 because it shows that Timon and everyone else are living in Hakuna Matata now when it’s shown in TLK2 that Timon and Pumbaa live at Pride Rock being Kiara’s babysitters/bodyguards and Timon’s family is nowhere to be seen. However, there’s some time gap between this and TLK2 so it’s possible that Timon and Pumbaa moved back between movies to help Simba out.

TLK112 SCREEN7

Bottomline: And that’s TLK 1 ½. Despite the various inconsistencies with the original movie, not-that-entertaining every-once-in-a-while commentary and the stupid fart jokes, it actually stands as one of the more competent Disney seque—mid—pre—Somethingquel in the bunch, especially where the art is concerned.

It’s also attributed to the fact that it’s a comedy and not trying to copy or cash in on the original movie. It’s just trying to have fun while paying homage to the original movie, and I’m all for that. I may not be the biggest fan of Timon and Pumbaa, but they held the movie well and many of the jokes legitimately worked, even if I still find the gross out gags to be dumb instead of funny.

Disney seems to be really good about taking care of TLK because, as I’ve stated before, TLK2 is also one of my favorite movies. The tender moments felt real, and unless you’re incredibly nitpicky like yours truly, you probably would pay no mind to the inconsistencies.

The music’s alright. There’s only two real original songs here; one’s not that good and gets interrupted and the other’s just an earworm.

I’d gladly recommend at least one watch if you’re a fan of TLK, but if you can’t stand Timon and Pumbaa (or fart jokes), you can skip it. You’re really not gaining any massive insight into the original movie.

Recommended Audience: There’s gross out humor, mostly fart jokes, but some boogers, the average bug eating, etc. Other than that, nothing. Also, I can’t really call fart jokes and boogers ‘mature content’ so E for everyone.

Dissecting the Disquels: The Fox and the Hound 2 Review

robffpu

Rating: 1.5/10

Plot: After Tod and Copper meet, but before they grow up, they go to a festival where Copper joins a band….That’s about it.

Breakdown: If there was one Disney sequel I was really dreading, it was this one. This is a midquel. Yes, not sequel; midquel. Disney, please, learn the difference. This takes place somewhere between when Copper befriended Tod and when Copper went off on his hunting trip.

Now, for those who never saw The Fox and the Hound, let me give you the low down.

Start of recap – Skip for Midquel review

An older woman finds a fox cub near her house. The fox’s mother was apparently killed, so she adopts him as her own. She names him Tod because he acts just like a toddler. In a neighboring house lives a grumpy old man and his old hunting dog, Chief. He recently got a new puppy to train as a hunting dog called Copper.

Copper and Tod soon meet and become friends, but due to the anger between their two owners and the fact that Tod is a fox and Copper’s a hunting dog living with a veteran hunting dog and a hunter, they find their friendship complicated. It’s made even worse by the fact that the hunter, Amos, is more than willing to kill Tod if he ever causes him trouble.

Copper and Tod try to remain friends, but find it incredibly difficult. Eventually, Copper is taken on a hunting trip to be properly trained to be a hunting dog and he won’t come back until the next spring.

Both Copper and Tod grow up in the meantime and Copper eventually comes home. Tod wishes to continue their friendship, but Copper is very hesitant because he knows what the Chief and Amos would do to Tod if they ever caught him on his property.

Tod eventually does cause trouble at Amos’ house, which causes Amos, the Chief and a reluctant Copper to chase after him into the woods. This leads to the Chief getting injured. Copper blames Tod for Chief’s injury and basically cuts off the friendship with a hint at wanting revenge.

The woman, Widow Tweed, eventually concedes to the fact that having a fox as a pet, especially with a hunter and hunting dogs living next door, isn’t a good idea. So she takes Tod out into the woods and leaves him there to become a wild fox again, which would actually be a pretty bad idea, wouldn’t it? He may have instincts, but he’s been raised his entire life to be a domestic pet. He doesn’t know a damn thing about living in the woods.

Anyway, as fate would have it, he’s set up with a girl fox named Vixxy by an owl named Big Mama who has been watching over him since he was left at the house. Big Mama, by the way, is no where in the midquel. That’s both saddening and a bit of a relief. Despite some initial negative feelings, a quick yet great song and some nudging by Big Mama makes them quickly fall in love.

They live in peace together until Copper and Tod meet again as Copper’s on a hunting trip. Copper and Amos chase Vixxy and Tod and try numerous ways to finally take them down. The chase eventually leads to Tod getting thrown into the river and getting hurt. As Amos is about to take the kill shot, Copper steps up and stands in his way to protect his friend. Amos concedes and takes Copper home and Copper and Tod both realize that they can never be together as friends in the world that they live in, but their friendship still stands.

End of recap, for those who wish to skip.

It’s a rather depressing-ish story for a Disney movie, to be honest. Such great friends can’t be friends based solely on the basis of their species no matter how hard that they try. And this was Disney in the thick of the Disney Princess/Fairy Tale period.

For The Fox and the Hound 2, I guess they wanted to lighten the mood because it’s mostly all zany antics and Copper joining a band of singing dogs…..Yeaaaaahhhhhh….

The movie starts out with zany antics that go on for a full ten minutes in a 70 minute long movie. Copper and Tod, both back to puppy and kit form, are out playing and chasing a cricket. Copper messes up and falls on a fence and the cricket gets away. He mopes and says he’s useless.

Then they see a bunch of cars carrying stuff for a local fair. Distracted by a car containing singing dogs, Copper falls into the road, almost gets run over and mopes about how he’s useless. Can someone please get this puppy some medication or something?

Amos calls Copper over for a hunting lesson, which makes Copper happy because he thinks this will be the one thing that he’s good at.

Did someone say zany antics? 😀

Amos tries to teach Copper how to hunt down a rabbit for a hunting dog competition at the fair. He does this by tying a sack of sand or something in the shape of something not resembling a rabbit to the Chief’s tail and making him run. Copper tries to follow the scent but gets turned around and finds Tod instead. Frustrated at getting turned around, Copper loses his grain of self-esteem again. Tod tries to explain what to do by telling him to

toucan

and howl when he finds the target. Copper tries to practice howling, which leads Amos and the Chief to find Tod.

Tod runs away and cue zany antics in Widow Tweed’s barn as she’s trying to milk the cow. Something weird happens during it though. The Chief actually sits right next to Tod as they watch Amos flail around. Why isn’t the Chief chasing Tod? He’s not friends with Tod at all.

Because of one failed training session, Copper loses his fair privileges and gets tied to his barrel/dog house even though I don’t know why he can’t just go to the fair. Why does he need to be in the competition to go to the fair?

Copper thinks he’s a failure again and Tod tries to cheer him up be freeing him and taking him to the fair.

This is going to become a running gag. Whenever Copper and Tod agree upon something, they say “shake on it” and shake like ya know, canines do. Whenever Tod does this, his fur gets all puffy for a second.

At the fair, Copper hears the singing dogs again and goes over to a nearby building to listen. A female dog who seems to be the frontrunner of the group, Dixie, voiced by Reba McEntire, trips on a loose board while rehearsing causing her to get into a fight with her singing partner/boyfriendIdunno and she walks off before the big show, leaving him and the other two singers to find a replacement before show time.

The boyfriend….dog thing, Cash, voiced by PATRICK SWAYZE? Aw, this means this was one of his last roles before he died! No one deserves that… Well, to his credit, he seems to do a very good job. Anyway, he decides that an old dog named Granny Rose will replace Dixie.

Wait, why doesn’t the human that plays banjo for them as they sing and I suppose owns them think anything of this? He doesn’t notice that one of his show dogs is missing?

Anyway, the show goes on and if you like the song where dogs bark Jingle Bells, you’ll love this segment because they’ve really just been howling their songs this whole time.

But I guess that’s not how it’s perceived in Copper’s ears, despite it being that way the last two times he’s heard them, because the song is quickly ‘translated’ for us in Copper’s head.

The song’s….ehhh not god-awful, but not good. Granny Rose sounds awful, though, to the point where the other dogs actually stop singing and their human stops playing because she sounds so terrible. Because of this, they hear Copper singing/howling along. He also sounds awful both howling and ‘translated’, but I guess he sounds less awful than Granny because Cash quickly nabs him up and prompts him to sing with them.

After the song ends, the crowd goes nuts. Cash actually whispers to Granny that the song was ‘hokey’, but the crowd loves him because he’s cute. Wow, nice bit of bitter reality there, Disney. Kinda reflects on the whole ‘Disney pop star’ craze, huh?

The dogs all praise him for his singing, which doesn’t really mesh with the previous scene, but I’m guessing they’re all buttering him up, including Tod. I know these aren’t trained hunting dogs like Chief, but I’m surprised they were just nonchalantly walking with a fox without even thinking twice about it…..Also, why is Widow Tweed not wondering where Tod is? You’d think, everything considered, that she’d make a better effort to keep a good eye on him.

They leave as they say that he has a real future in show business once he grows up a couple of years. Tod and Copper cheer as Copper has finally found something that he’s good at.

Cash and the others meet back up with Dixie who is not happy that she was replaced by a puppy and gets even angrier when Cash decides to mock her by essentially saying Copper was so great that he could replace her fully. Dixie explodes with anger and quits the group, which makes the others freak out, bringing us another running gag which is the other dogs in the group panicking, Cash yelling SIT and them immediately doing it and shutting up. Haha. This is especially nerve wracking because a cliché plot point otherwise known as the talent scout from the Grand Ole Opry is coming in to watch them perform today.

It’s at this point where I realize that this movie could literally be made with any generic dog and other animal team and it would be the same movie. There’s no friggin’ reason why this has to be a Fox and the Hound movie other than cashing in on the original.

Say what you will about the other Disney sequels, god knows I have, but at least you could tell that they were part of the original movie’s universe. Even Hunchback 2 is easily identifiable as such. This is just bland and generic and nowhere near the atmosphere or feeling of the original.

That’s another thing. To the best of my knowledge, the original Fox and the Hound wasn’t really a successful movie critic-wise. It was mostly received as average, but decent. And it’s not really one of the more well-known old Disney movies for the most part. Why try to cash in on that? For the people who actually do hold it near and dear to their hearts just to rip them open with Disney brand box cutters?

Cash tries to make up with Dixie, but fails, so he goes to recruit Copper.

Copper and Tod….are not only allowed to ride the Merry-Go-Round, but they’re the only ones on it. Not only is it improbable that a ride at a pretty popular town fair is completely empty in the middle of the day, but rides are usually turned off when no human is riding them. The operators could’ve put Copper and Tod on the ride and turned it on, but that seems kinda mean, actually.

Cash asks Copper if he’ll be willing to join the group full-time, but Copper says he’ll only do it if Tod’s allowed to join too since he’s his best friend. Cash asks Tod to sing and he proves that he’s insanely awful, so Cash says he can be the entourage, which he basically explains as being an equipment manager/lackey for Copper and the others while they sing. Tod doesn’t really want to, but since Copper really wants to join the band, he agrees.

So, let me guess, Tod gets treated like crap due to his position in the band, Copper gets so caught up in the life of a ‘star’ that he doesn’t care, Tod gets mad and leaves, something happens where Copper realizes that the band isn’t worth losing his friendship with Tod and they make up. Dixie realizes that she was being a diva, Cash realizes he was being an ass and she and Cash make up. The talent scout loves them and signs them on for the Grand Ole Opry (I don’t see how this part won’t happen since they establish that the Grand Ole Opry is the groups’ dream and the talent scout actually seems like a very nice man.) The end.

Taking all bets that this is how it goes, because I’ve seen this in so many sitcoms…

In fact, screw it, I’m gonna read the Wiki synopsis and see if that’s what happens.

*some minutes later*

Yup, barring some minor details, that’s basically what happens. Oh and they make it even more cliché by making Cash and Dixie make up by making them both believe that the other is in trouble so they forget their petty squabbling and make up. How utterly bland.

Oh well, I won’t bother writing note for note what happens the rest of the way, but let’s grab some notes for nitpicking purposes.

– Why exactly is it so vital that Copper be a stray to be in the band? I mean, I know the band is called The Singing Strays, but they all technically have an owner with whoever that banjo player is. They all have collars, except Cash who seems to sport a bandana and Granny with her shawl. It’s not like in The Lady and the Tramp 2 where the dogs hate humans for mistreating them as pets in one way or another and ARE all strays who live in a junkyard. These dogs love humans because they pamper them and cheer them on. Why is it such a sin to not be a stray?

– Why is their human not wondering where Copper came from or why there’s a fox running around? Why is no human in this movie wondering why there’s a fox walking around? I mean, he’s feeding both of them like they’ve just always been there.

– So the two main couplings of this movie are Tweed and Amos, who are at each other’s throats 99% of the time and Cash and Dixie who are at each other’s throats 99% of the time. I know these movies aren’t really romance movies, but why should we cheer for either of these pairings (even if the former doesn’t ….realllllllyyyyy happen.) when they’re so unlikable when they share screentime? And considering Amos is an asshole and Dixie’s a bitchy diva, it makes it even worse.

– The next song is sung by Cash with the others as backup called Hound…I’m guessing Dude. This song….just sounds wrong. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the song as a whole, but the singing just sounds bad, which means sorry Mr. Swayze…I mean, the regular verses are just fine, in fact they’re pretty good, but the chorus is just a pain to listen to for some reason. Also, like 99% of all Disney sequel songs, this song has no point. It’s basically just telling Copper how exciting it will be to be famous.

– Wow, it took nothing at all to get Copper to ditch Tod. He basically says “Oh Cash, I need to watch the fireworks with Tod” “Aw forget that, let’s go watch them together!” “OKAY! :D” Geez, way to be loyal to your friend you hound douche. Also, to make matters worse, Tod is watching them as he says this. Ouch.

– Copper tells Tod that he forgot about the fireworks because he was so busy with Cash. WOW. A lying hound douche, too! Impressive.

– Our next song is by Dixie and it’s basically a blues-ish country song to Tod about how being in show business actually kinda sucks. It starts out pretty good actually, but as the song gets bigger and bigger and then the farm animals sing and…..*cough* This song has a couple of lines that can be taken the wrong way. Like “He never howls your name” and the chorus which states “Good doggy, no bone” Am I being sick or does that just sound wrong?

– I’m 100% sure there’s no way to accidentally trigger it so that a Ferris wheel goes so fast that it falls from the supports. Also, if that happened, that would be friggin’ tragic, like the first mission from Hitman: Blood Money, not comedic.

– I’m also 100% sure that any elephant would be too heavy to ride on a tilt-a-whirl. If it wouldn’t break into pieces, it’d surely stop spinning or have insane difficulty spinning.

– I’m also also 100% sure that you’re thinking there’s no way this insane BS is in a Fox and the Hound movie. Well, it is.

– I’m….fairly certain that if a Ferris wheel ever did, for some reason, come free from it supports, it’s highly unlikely that it would easily roll around the fairgrounds. The cars would likely cause it to topple quickly. Also, Dixie would be dead ten times over if she was riding in one of those cars while it was doing that.

– So the antics of a kit and a dog destroyed the entire fair? Wow. Just wow.

– The next song is actually pretty good and surprisingly no one is ‘singing’ it, it’s just a background vocal song. It’s called “Into the Blue Beyond.” Hm, it’s actually so good it almost doesn’t belong in this movie. However, I do have to say that song is sorta ruined-ish because the scene behind it is so cliché. After all of the hullabaloo, the fair being destroyed and the group’s chances of getting picked up for the Grand Ole Opry dashed, Dixie feels regret for what she has done as does Tod. And cliche number….

  1. It starts raining.
  2. It gets dark.
  3. Dixie sees the group getting sadly petted by their human as they bask in failure.
  4. The sign for their group ends up falling in the mud.
  5. Widow Tweed looks at Tod as he curls up in a ball in the car knowing he’s sad about something.
  6. Tod sees Copper sitting out in the rain (odd, he could be in his barrel house thing staying dry, but this is emo-er.) Copper sees him, gets an angry expression and makes a point to turn his back towards him and sit down.

About the only thing not cliché about that scene was Widow Tweed accidentally running the talent agent off the road, his hat falling on Tod’s head and then continuing to drive away. Hit and run much?

– I don’t really understand how the talent agent is interpreting the final song. If I try really hard to imagine all the lyrics as barks and the howls as harmonizing….it’d sound pretty bad. The only reason I could see him dancing to it is if he could actually hear the lyrics….

Barking Jingle Bells. Dance to that. Dare you. Also, where the hell did the banjo music come from? Their human was left back at the fair.

– I know I already said the ending of the whole Cash/Dixie plotline was gonna be cliché, but it’s as cliché as humanly friggin’ possible. I was mind-blown by it.

– Wait, did Cash propose to Dixie? What? Oh sure, Disney, let’s get right on that dog marriage right after that bear marri–

bb2wedding

…..Lion mar–

TLK2WEDDING.png

….mermaid mar–

little-mermaid-wedding

…..You win this round, Disney….

– What? Are you telling me that they’re honestly putting a bunch of howling dogs on the RADIO!? Okay, the Grand Ole Opry I could somewhat, tiny itty bit believe because it probably would hook in an audience of some kind, but the radio!? You’re seriously going to put howling and barking dogs on the radio? Yeah, that would happen in real lif—The Jingle Bells barking song plays on the radio sometimes in winter doesn’t it? You win this round also I guess, Disney.

– Why are Amos and Widow Tweed eating pie together happily at the end of this movie? Widow Tweed tolerates Amos at most and took pity on him when he was injured in the first movie. They’re not friends. Did these people even watch the first movie?

– Jeff Foxworthy was apparently in this movie I’m guessing as the banjo player? Wow, talk about reaching for a big name just for the sake of having a big name. His part is so minor and you can’t even tell that’s him. I never even knew his name was Lyle.

– Guess what we end on? Go on, guess. Give up? TEN MINUTES OF CREDITS…..IN A 70 MINUTE LONG MOVIE. What….the hell…..Oh and three of those minutes are a recreation of the slapstick shenanigans from the beginning of the movie where we wasted another 10 minutes on pointless shenanigans. Haha happy days! You’d almost forget that in the end these two are torn apart by the laws of nature and the norms of society.

—————————————————-

Dear God, this movie is a slap to the face in light of the original. It really is. It could’ve been worse. I mean, at least most of the songs were fairly decent, but it is a midquel that 1) didn’t need to exist at all because the original movie portrayed the message that this movie was trying to give just fine, just like Tarzan 2, 2) Seems to have no idea why the first was good because they try to match really nothing from it and 3) is a cliché on top of a cliché wrapped in a cliché and gently toasted with a side of cliché.

When you can read the plot of a movie and give a detailed explanation as to what will happen in it without ever seeing a frame of the actual movie and be almost 100% right, you are doing it wrong. And I must reiterate that this movie could’ve been done without the original characters and nothing would’ve changed. Replace Tod with a cat, Copper with just a regular dog and boom, same movie.

It’s like…..you know Super Mario Bros. 2? How it was a completely different game at first, but had Mario sprites coded onto it to make a Mario game? That’s this movie. This movie is Super Mario Bros. 2 except not fun.

The only fairly memorable part of this movie was the little girl who I guess had the job of chaperoning the talent scout around the fair. She kept getting him into all sorts of dangerous and stressful situations as a result of attractions in the fair and she just kept on like nothing was happening with a big smile on her face and a spring in her step. In the end, the talent scout is actually afraid of this girl. Why wasn’t this movie about her? Her small bits were the most original and entertaining of them all by a long shot.

Art and animation wise, the movie fares okay. The art is better than Hunchback 2 or the Aladdin sequels, but not really on par with Pocahontas 2 or Brother Bear 2.

Music wise, this movie fares better than most of the others I’ve seen. Reba McEntire does a good job singing when she’s not overdoing it, but some would probably be put off by the fact that most of the songs are country and banjo songs. I know I got annoyed by it after a while and my dad listens to practically nothing but country music. Patrick Swayze is the same, he’s fine when he’s doing verses, but when he gets to big choruses it just sounds wrong.

Story wise, no….I’ve already given my take on how lame, stupid, predictable and almost insultingly bad this story is. If I say it again, that’s going to become a cliché.

The voice acting was actually pretty good. They got the voices of all of the original characters pretty well and the new characters are also fairly well done.

Bottomline: Don’t watch this movie. Don’t give Disney that pleasure. Watch the clock as the time changes. I guarantee you it will be less predictable. Score-wise, I’m giving the good fellows in the music department, Reba and Mr. Swayze a point for making this movie slightly more bearable. Even if the other songs were meh, the Into the Blue Beyond song was at least worth the extra point. The scenes with the little girl get the .5 points.)

Recommended Audience: I’m probably reading too much into those lyrics I mentioned before, but there’s that. Other than that, nothing. E for everyone.

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

7wphusx

Rating: 6.5/10

Plot: Taking place somewhere after the wolf attack, it’s Christmas time 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?

—————————-

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 them to be 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.

9f0dxdc

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.

21x9iwx

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? What a bitch. I bet his father would’ve made Christmas for him, but Mrs. Potts probably killed him with a teapot in a fit of irony.

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.

jzfokdy

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 the hell 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’ crap. 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?

oox1iud

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.

ftg8d8d

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.” And 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.

pzu7jkn

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.

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 lyrics.

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.

Bottomline: 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+