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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 7: Alice in Wonderland

Inception in Wonderland: It was all a dream!

1. What movie did you watch?
Alice in Wonderland.  Released in 1951, it was based primarily on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the sequel Through the Looking-Glass.  Disney himself had read and loved the stories as a boy, and had the goal of making them into a feature film since his early years in film making.  When the film was finally released, many literary critics and fans of the original books accused Disney of "Americanizing" the story.  Fun fact about the movie: There were several scenes that were deleted from the final script, including one that featured the White Knight (who was meant to be somewhat of a caricature of Walt himself) helping Alice in the Tulgey Woods, but Disney decided that Alice needed to learn the lesson herself, which led to the song Very Good Advice.  
2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I haven't seen this one in a long time! I go on the ride (not the teacups, but the dark one) every time I go to Disneyland, but it was never one of my favorites.
Alexis: I have seen this one quite recently, I believe I watched it on ABC family within the past couple years. 
3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: Largely it recalled memories of the other Alice interpretations. I've noticed over the eyars that I prefer the darker adaptations of Alice, because I find the idea of her being mentally unstable much more compelling.
Also, just memories of Disneyland.

Alexis: This is one of my favorite Disney movies.  I love all the different characters, animals, and places, and as a kid I always wanted to go to Wonderland.  I thought it was just so cool!  I also remember wanting to eat all of the things that Alice does, not because they would make me smaller or larger, I just thought they looked good! 

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I enjoyed it, but admittedly I was so tired that I fell asleep while we were watching, oops! It really was entertaining though (for the parts that I saw while awake).

Alexis: I loved it, just as I always have.  The characters and songs are just so entertaining!  Alice goes to so many different places that it keeps my attention the entire movie, there are no really dull moments as there in other Disney movies. The songs are great as well, I had most of them on a Disney CD as a kid.  I honestly just love the nonsense.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I love the dark moments when Alice questions herself. Ugh, I sound so creepy, but its the only moments of real character development!

Alexis: Yes Maddie, it does make you sound creepy! For me, oh gosh this is actually pretty hard!  I'll have to say either the Mad Hatter's tea party scene or any part with the Cheshire Cat.  The Tea Party is just so entertaining, and it's a classic scene attributed to the movie.  And then the Cheshire is my favorite character; he's not good or bad, he's just plain crazy, and I love it.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Alexis: There are too many answers to that question.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 6: Cinderella

  Bibidi, Bobidi, NEW Movie! Our sixth movie!

Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella in a Disney Dream Portrait
1. What movie did you watch?
 CinderellaThis film was released in 1950 and was the first full feature since Bambi, following a series of anthology films that were less expensive to make.  Cinderella was the biggest hit since the original Disney picture, Snow WhiteThe profits from the film's release, with the additional profits from record sales and other merchandise, gave Disney the cash flow to finance a slate of productions, establish his own distribution company, enter television production and begin building Disneyland during the decade.  Fun fact about the tale of Cinderella: One of the most popular versions of Cinderella is the version by the Brothers Grimm, however the story has actually been around much longer (going all the way back to Greek and Chinese myths!).  

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I think I watched it a year ago, it's one of my favorites of the princess movies. It's just really magical.
Alexis: It was probably a few years ago.  I know I watched it with my friends when I was in high school at some point! 
3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I guess you could say I'm a connoisseur of Cinderella interpretations. I LOVE Rodger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella and Into the Woods. (see below)

In addition, this was a movie that I would often watch when I was stressed, it just got rid of the anxiety really well. Also, the music in this movie happens to be pretty exceptional.

Alexis: It definitely brought back childhood memories.  My sister and I loved the mice, Gus Gus is the best!  Also, I remember always being mad that they made the cat evil, because I liked cats and I wanted him to be good. 

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I LOVED it! Surprised?? In case you couldn't tell already, I really have an affinity for this movie. The animation is beautiful, and very different from the past movies. here are so many amazing characters in the movie: Gus and Jacques, the King and Duke, the Fairy Godmother, the list goes on and on. 

Alexis: Big shocker: I loved it too!  It's just such a feel good movie!  Cinderella is a great, kind character who deserves her happy ending, and all the side characters are super fun too!  The Duke and the King are hilarious, and I love the Fairy Godmother.  Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo is one of my favorite Disney songs!

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: This is a really obvious one, but the transformation scene never gets old!

Alexis: I just love the scene at the end when Cinderella comes down the stairs just in time, and foils the Evil Stepmother's plan.  The moment when they think the slipper is broken and she just goes "but you see, I have the other slipper!", it's like BAM, YES, CINDERELLA 1 STEPMOTHER 0, GOOD WILL ALWAYS TRIUMPH!  I just really like that quote too. 

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: This movie interestingly enough really has two villains. The Evil Step-Mother:
And Lucifer, who in total probably makes more dick-moves than anyone else in the movie and is named after the devil:
 This is hilarious to think, considering he's a cat! No wonder I'm not a cat person!

Alexis: Moral of the story: be kind to animals because someday they may make you a dress and rescue you from a tower so that you can live happily ever after!
PS. Feel free to leave a comment!  And Gus says Have a nice day!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 5: Bambi

  "This movie sure feels long"! Our fifth movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
 Bambi.  This film was originally released in 1942, which was years after it was originally planned.  The problems arose with the animation of the deer.  Disney wanted the animals in Bambi to be more realistic than those in Snow White.  The animators actually visited a zoo to study real life forest animals.  It received mixed reviews when first released; children were upset over the death of Bambi's mother, while Hunters believed that it sent the wrong message.  It did not receive its critical acclaim until one of its re-releases.  

2. Have you seen it before/how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I have seen it before, but not in years, largely because I don't want to cry on a daily basis.
Alexis: I honestly can't remember the last time I've seen it, probably 10 years or so.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: Bambi is really just known for being incredibly sad when his mother gets shot by hunters. It's pretty heartbreaking, so I really only remember that. Re-watching it now, I forgot what the rest of the movie was about, to be honest!
Alexis: Very sad memories; I believe the reason I didn't watch it much as a kid is because it made me sad and I didn't like that.  Although it also made me think of the really cute Thumper pin that I got at Disney World.  Is Pin Trading still a thing?  I loved that, I thought it was the coolest idea. (For the record, pin trading is still a thing! -Maddie)

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: It was absolutely beautiful and heartrendingly sad, but man, it feels like it just went on with nothing happening for a long time. It seemed to be more of a portrait of life than what we see as a typical movie nowadays. But, boy, was it beautiful! 

Alexis: I liked it, but I agree that there was not a large amount of plot.  There were interesting characters, and beautiful scenery, but the actual story line became a little boring at times.  All of the animals were super adorable though! This is definitely a movie where you see the "cute Disney stereotype" with all the happy animals running around to a happy song.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: This:
Also, the owl gives a sex talk, I can't even!

Alexis: The scene where Bambi and Thumper are ice skating is super cute, I love how Thumper tries to teach Bambi!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: The passage of time in this movie makes no sense. None. I was very confused the whole time.
Alexis: Literally fall is shown by one passing scene of leaves, then it's winter for a long time.  Also, Bambi and his friends are young still in winter, yet by spring they are suddenly fully grown adults.  What.  Like a month passed.  How did that happen? 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 4: Dumbo

Baby, mine, my oh my-the tears! Our fourth movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Dumbo.  The film was released in 1941 and is the fourth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series.  It is based upon a children's story written by Helen Aberson.  Dumbo was the most financially successful Disney film of the 1940s; both Pinocchio and Fantasia did not turn a profit.
2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I had watched it a couple times when I was younger, but only remembered the sad or scary parts, so never went back and watched it again.
Alexis: I have seen it before but it's been at least eight years!

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: Largely it brought back memories of the scary parts, blocking out any good, which there are many. It also brought back two other groups: memories about middle school and memories of Disneyland. Dumbo plays a big part in Disney parks:
His ride was one of my favorites when I was younger, and even though I haven't gone on it since I was little, it is a fixture at the parks. It brought back memories of middle school because the movie had themes of being who you are and accepting it, and middle school was the time when I went through that.

Alexis: Watching the movie brought back memories of the very large collection of Disney stuffed toys that I had, one of which was Timothy the mouse.  He was always one of my favorites, and he's just too cute.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I remembered not liking it, but rewatching it, I really enjoyed it! While the movie definitely had some more adult parts (they get drunk and hallucinate):
And a tad racist (see the crows), it was so short and sweet. I may have teared up.

Alexis: Maddie definitely teared up!  Overall I have to say that I really liked it; it was shorter than I expected, but the story was very fun.  The circus scenes were great, especially the ones with the clowns.  Yes some scenes were harsh, but overall it was entertaining to watch.  Also, I think Dumbo's ears just made him even more adorable! 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: Definitely when he learns to fly and also Baby, Mine: Dumbo's lullaby from his mother.

Alexis: Any time that Dumbo held on to Timothy's tail!  The elephants all traveled around while holding each others tails in a line, and when Dumbo's mother was locked up, the others ignored him.  Timothy led him around and let him hold on to his tail as a replacement, and it was precious. 

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: I just loved it! I would definitely watch it again!
Alexis: Dumbo is adorable and everyone else is a jerk for making fun of the baby.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 3: Fantasia

Bach to the movies! A Disney adventure into classical music!

1. What movie did you watch? 

Fantasia. Originally it was released in 1940 at a limited number of theaters in 13 U.S. cities before being released worldwide.  The film was actually not very successful in its original run, which is attributed in part to the events of WWII and the loss of the European market.  The film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski.  Fun fact: Fantasia the first commercial film shown in stereophonic sound.
2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: Yes, but not in a very long time, and now I understand why.

Alexis: I have actually never seen the entire movie.  I recognized certain parts that I've seen by themselves, but no I had never seen the whole thing until now.  

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I really just remembered sorcerer Mickey (pictured above, isn't he adorable?!?) and being scared of certain parts. Namely, he dinosaurs, and the final number and Chernabog (pictured below).

Alexis: As previously mentioned, I had never scene it before therefore I don't have any memories about the movie itself.  However one of the scenes from the Nutcracker suite number, the one where the faeries are skating on ice, reminded me of the Disney Christmas sing along movie that I used to watch, because they use that scene in one of the songs. So that was nice.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I may be a bad Disney fan or animation buff for saying this, but I found it to be incredibly boring. It was beautiful:
but man, I almost fell asleep multiple times. I wish I could have enjoyed it more than I did. I still appreciate it for what it is and what it did for Disney animation, though. And you can really see influences in later movies. I also believe this was the first time that live action was incorporated with animation, so kudos for that! Mainly, it just felt overlong, I don't know how kids sat through it, I would say that I much prefer Fantasia 2000 but that might just be because it is more upbeat, and I remember it more vividly from my childhood.

Alexis: I agree with much of what Maddie said.  It may be because of my small attention span, but there were numerous times that I stopped paying attention because the songs were all super long.  The animation was great, and the premise was very cool.  Songs are usually made to fit the animation, not the other way around, which makes Fantasia a really cool concept.  I just wish that it was more exciting... 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: My favorite part was definitely the nutcracker suite, mainly because it comes from connotations with the ballet. It was nice to see the music with different images than we usually do.

Alexis: My favorite part was the Sorcerer's Apprentice number.  That scene is just so engrained into Disney culture now; for example, the sorcerer's hat is scene everywhere at the Disney parks.  Also, I'm a big fan of the Epic Mickey video games, and the Sorcerer and his workshop are seen and play a part in both. It was fun to see the original piece that inspired it all. 
6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Not really, i just can't get over how beautiful and ADULT this movie was. I'm glad we re watched it, even if it wasn't my favorite.

Alexis: I agree, I'm glad that I can say I have seen it at least once now.  But yeah there were some not so kid friendly scenes in there.  Such as all the dinosaurs dying of starvation in the heat, oh my that was horrifying!!  And the ending number, that was just plain scary. 

Maddie: Also, boobs. (Sorry mom and dad for that one! -Maddie)