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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 38: The Tigger Movie

The Wonderful Thing about Tigger is he got his own Movie!: Our 38th Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
The Tigger Movie. The movie was released in 2000 and is the highest-grossing film in the Winnie the Pooh franchise. The film was originally slated for a direct-to-video release, until then–Disney CEO Michael Eisner heard the Sherman Brothers' score, and decided to release the film in theaters worldwide. Fun fact: This is also the first film in the series where Tigger is voiced by Jim Cummings, who also voices Pooh. Tigger's original voice actor, Paul Winchell, officially retired from the role in 1999.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I've never seen it before!! This is very exciting!
Alexis: It's been several years. Like most of the Disney sequels we've been watching recently, I owned this one on VHS but nothing else so it's hard to find and watch.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I'd never seen it before so not really any, except for the ones I've already recalled about Winnie the Pooh in general.
Alexis: I really liked this one when I was younger (because all the Winnie the Pooh movies were my favorites), but I remember it made me sad. Even as a little kid I understood how sad it was for Tigger to not have a family, and it made me upset. I did love it though, especially the songs.  

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I really liked it! I think it the basis of the movie- that Tigger is lonely and doesn't have a family (or know his family)- is very sad, but the lengths that everyone goes to to show that they are his family and make him feel better is so sweet. Plus I liked that they used different kinds of musical styles (jazz, blues, etc.) throughout the film.

Alexis: This movie is extremely sentimental, and I love it. I think it says a lot about friendship and different types of families. It's also very classic Winnie the Pooh, as in the tone, style, and characters stay true to the original stories. It's overall really cute; great songs, great story, great message.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie:  I think my favorite part is the end when Tigger realizes that they are his family and gives the locket to Roo- their relationship is so sweet and amazing! I love it!

Alexis: My favorite part is also at the end, when Tigger realizes his friends are his family and they're the ones who wrote the letter. It's so sweet how they all say their part, and show that they care about him. It makes me happy!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Why are all of the spin-off Winnie the Pooh movies so sad and sweet? Why must they all give me such feels?

Alexis: I agree, they're all so emotional and sweet! Also, I enjoy that this whole movie was inspired by one line in Tigger's theme song. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 37: The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

But how old was Ariel when she had Melody?: Our 37th Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea. The film was released in 2000, and starred Jodi Benson reprising her role as Ariel. Fun Fact: the movie is listed among the 50 worst children's movies ever made.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: Yes, I used to watch it a lot when I was younger but haven't in years now.
Alexis: I also used to watch it a lot when I was little but I haven't seen it since VHS's went out of fashion, because I only had it on tape!

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: It used to be on Disney Channel ALL the time, so I remember watching it there, but otherwise nothing specific.
Alexis: My sister and I used to have the best CD-ROM computer game that went with this movie! It had great games on it, like diving for shells and trying to complete a maze to get the trident, I remember them all very vividly because we used to play it all the time!

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I liked it! I think that the music is very fun and the animation is good (not up to their usual but that's okay). The story seems a bit ridiculous at times- literally Melody is pissed so she gives Morgana the Trident even though she knows she shouldn't- but overall a fun little movie!
Alexis: I really liked it, I think it's very good in terms of sequels. The animation doesn't look cheesy, and I think the story is well done. I love finding out what happened after Ariel and Eric's happily ever after!

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I really like the introduction of Tip and Dash, particularly Dash- when I was younger I did a report of Walruses and have loved them ever since- so he's a shoe in for favorite. I think their song, "Titanic Tip and Daring Dash: Adventurers/Explorers" is great. they were very Timon and Pumba (who served as inspiration) and that's fine with me!

Alexis: I also really liked Tip and Dash! They're so sweet and cute, and such good friends to Melody. I remember always laughing at their scenes when I was little. I also really enjoyed all the musical numbers, especially "For a Moment". The music is great for a sequel Disney film!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: I'm very confused by what ocean- sorry SEA (they literally never call it the ocean)- they lived in! Atlantica seems to be a very tropical environment but they also very easily get to the Arctic where Morgana lives- color me confused.


Alexis: I had many questions surrounding this movie, such as why Eric doesn't need a jacket in the arctic weather? Also, if Ariel was 16 in the first movie, how long did they wait to have Melody? Was Ariel technically a teen mother? These are important questions! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Day 36: Fantasia 2000

The One Where Alexis Gets Really Bored: Our 36th Film!

1. What movie did you watch?
Fantasia 2000. Released on the cusp of 1999/2000, the movie is a follow up to Disney’s Fantasia. A follow-up had been in the works for many years, but it wasn’t until the successful home video release of Fantasia came out that the decision went through. The movie is made up of 7 new segments, as well as the famous “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequence featuring Mickey, from the first Fantasia. Various celebrities introduce each segment, including Steve Martin and Angela Lansbury. Fun fact: Rhapsody in Blue is the first Fantasia segment with music from an American composer.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I have seen it before but it's been a couple years.
Alexis: I've never seen it all the way through, but I've seen a couple of the scenes before.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I remember going to see this in IMAX theaters with a group of friends. I liked it, but I don't think everyone did. This is one of the ones I had on DVD because my parents also really liked to watch it.
Alexis: None?

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I know this opinion is sadly unpopular but I really love this one. I thought the pieces they picked for this Fantasia were much better than the original and the animation to go along with it was very entertaining. In addition, I appreciate that they didn't only use traditional classical music and brought back iconic pieces along with the new. The animation in this film overall is very beautiful.

Alexis: I thought it was very beautifully done, but it's not one of my favorites. One thing that really stuck out to me compared to the first one was the segments in between each number. Steve Martin spoke during one, two magicians spoke during another, and several orchestra members and animators popped up as well. Most of the segments were lighthearted and funny, with the speakers making jokes, and it set a very different tone than the first one. This Fantasia is definitely geared more towards kids and families.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: By far my favorite piece from this movie is Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin which is animated in the style of famous cartoonist Al Hirschfeld. Not only is it a whole lot of fun, but I love the piece of music and the stories of the four strangers are really great.

Alexis: The Rhapsody in Blue one was my favorite also! The animation works so well with the music!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: You can hate on it all you want but I think this movie is great!
Alexis: It's a good movie, just not my jam!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 35: Tarzan

Goodbye Disney Renaissance: Our 35th Movie!!

1. What movie did you watch?
Tarzan. The movie, released in 1999, was based on the story Tarzan of the Apes. The production team traveled to Uganda and Kenya to study gorillas for the film. At the time of its release it was the most expensive animated film ever made, with a production budget of $130 million. It received box office success and critical acclaim, and inspired a prequel, a sequel, a tv series, and a Broadway musical. Fun fact: Phil Collins was asked to provide the music for the movie, because the directors wanted a "contemporary but powerful" soundtrack that didn't involve any of the characters singing. Director Kevin Lima stated "I just couldn't see this half-naked man sitting on a branch breaking out in song. I thought it would be ridiculous."  

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: Yes, I used to love it, and the soundtrack is one of my favorites (Bless Phil Collins), but not in a while.
Alexis: I watched it right at the end of the summer, it's a convenient one to pop on since it's still on Netflix!

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: At Disneyland the Swiss family Robinson Treehouse became Tarzan's Treehouse after the movie's popularity. When you are in line for Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones you can ALWAYS hear Sabor (the leopard) roaring from the boat part of the house.
Alexis: No real specific memories with this one, aside from reminding me of being little. The music reminds me of listening to the soundtrack when driving around in the car.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: It was great- such a touching story and the music enhances it greatly. The opening is so vivid and action packed (but sad)- they jump right in and its great!

Alexis: I think this is another beautiful movie in terms of the animation. The shots of the jungle scenery and animals are amazingly done. Like the Lion King, the animators did an amazing job integrating realistic nature into the story. Also, the Phil Collins soundtrack is just so perfect.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I think his first introduction moment with Jane is so great (is a bit typical for everyone to choose) and the music is also so key throughout the movie.
They are such a sweet couple, honestly I ship it.

Alexis: All of the songs! Trashing the Camp, Two Worlds, Strangers Like Me, they're all such great scenes and it's impossible not to sing along! All of the scenes with Kala and Tarzan are great too, I love their scenes. I think they're so sweet, and their relationship is a very important part of the story. I think it's really well done.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Can we talk about how Terk is a girl and we barely noticed it all along???

Alexis: There's no way Tarzan's parents could have built that treehouse all by themselves with the meager supplies that they had. No way.

Also, I was traumatized when my roommate Amy told me that Tarzan was voiced by the guy who plays Fitz (the president) on the tv show Scandal. I despise his character on that show and now I can't listen to Tarzan speak in the same way again.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 34: Lion King 2

We Are Not One, We're Two! (And we're not lion): Our 34th Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride. Although it was released in 1998, talks of the possibility of a sequel to the Lion King began before the first film even hit theaters. The film is very loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, although elements of the plot are not taken as directly from the play as it’s predecessor took from Hamlet. Fun fact: Kovu was originally supposed to be Scar’s son, but this was changed in the movie because it would have meant that he and Kiara were first cousins once removed. 

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 a LONG time- I remember I would watch it on Disney Channel every now and then.
Alexis: I also haven't seen it in a very long time. We used to own it on VHS, but I don't think I've seen it since watching it on tape!

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: The song He lives in you is amazing and my roommates and I used to sing along to it freshman year (really just me, Alexis, and our roommate Kathryn). It was in the Broadway show as well.

Alexis: Just seeing it reminds me of my sister flushing her Kovu figurine down the toilet (which I believe I mentioned when we did the Lion King post). She was very little, and the thing I remember most from the incident was her distraught shout of "KOVUUUUUU".

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I liked it- its not one of my favorites but its enjoyable overall.
Alexis: I enjoyed it, but mostly because I really like the characters of the Lion King and I like seeing them in other stories. It's also nostalgic for me because I used to watch it a lot when I was little.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I think my favorite moment was when Kovu gets exiled solely for the fact that it is so completely over dramatic! It's something out of a soap opera!

Alexis: I think my favorite part is the song that Simba and Kiara sing towards the beginning of the movie, "We Are One". I just really like the song, and it's a nice moment.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: All I can think about is how poor Simba is suffering from PTSD as manifested in his dreams. As my roommate Erin would say: "I just want him to find his peace."
Alexis: Instead of being exiled to the Outlands, Kovu was exiled to the sewer in my house.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 33: Mulan

A Movie Worth Fighting For: Our 33rd Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Mulan. The film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a female warrior, and released in theaters in 1998. Development began in 1994, when the director and a team of writers went to China for several weeks to perform research and interviews. Animators based the visual design on the Ming and Qing dynasties, since there’s no general consensus as to when Mulan existed. Fun fact: Roy E. Disney, nephew to Walt Disney, was the one to suggest the character of Mushu. Bonus fun fact: Veteran story artist Joe Grant created the cricket character, Cri-Kee, but most of the directors “didn't want him in the movie, the story department didn't want him in the movie. The only people who truly wanted him in the movie were Michael Eisner and Joe Grant.” According to animator Barry Temple, other writers and animators in meetings would say “'Oh, to hell with the cricket.' They felt Cri-Kee was a character who wasn't necessary to tell the story, which is true." Throughout development on the film, Grant would slip sketches of Cri-Kee under the directors' door.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I haven't seen it in a very long time! I used to watch it frequently when I was younger, though.
Alexis: I watch this one a lot! Most recently I saw it at the end of the summer, we watched it the night before my sister left for a study abroad semester in Europe.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: One of the first Disney songs that I truly loved to sing along to was reflection- it still is one of my favorites- so I love singing along to it.
Alexis: This is another one that my family and I quote a lot. My dad is extremely good at doing the lines. It reminds me of when my sister and I would be playing with our Mulan figurines and he would do the voices from the movie for us!

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: It was great! I remember my favorite parts were those with Mushu and the ancestors- I always thought they were hilarious. Really, I loved every animal in this movie- especially little brother! He's so cute! That partnered with the feminist message that Mulan only ever had to be herself to be accepted and to save her country makes this a special one.

Alexis: Loved it as always! The story is great and I love the music. I always find myself singing along to this soundtrack! Maddie, I agree with you that Little Brother is cute, but I prefer Mulan's loyal horse Khan. But obviously Mushu is great as the comic relief! Mulan is also a great female role model for girls, and the message is awesome in the end. 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I think me favorite part is always Reflection- not only because of how great the song is melodically, but the subject is so important. The fact that Disney is actually addressing the idea of being yourself v. fulfilling expectations is very important.

Alexis: My favorite part is the climax of the movie. I love how Mulan puts together the whole plan, and how they use "Be a Man" again when they all dress up in the dresses. And I love when Mulan faces Shan Yu, and wins, and they all bow to her in thanks. What a great, powerful female moment!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: All of the music in this movie is so great- I'll make a man out of you is the jam!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 32: Pooh's Grand Adventure


 We are More Nostalgic Than we Think: Our 32nd Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Winnie the Pooh's Grand Adventure. The film was released in 1997, and was a direct-to-video release due to its “its dark themes and imagery”. Unlike the preceding Winnie the Pooh films by Disney, the movie is an entirely original story, and doesn’t take from the books of author A.A. Milne. Fun fact: It is the first Winnie the Pooh film ever to have its own special edition.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I used to watch it fairly frequently when I was little- we had a recording but I also remember it being on Disney Channel/Disney Jr. a lot. I haven't seen it in a couple years, though.
Alexis: We used to own it on VHS so I watched it a lot as a kid. Basically if it had Winnie the Pooh in it, it was one of my favs!

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I just remember watching it a lot. It gave the Disney universe one of the most iconic Pooh quotes that I still frequently think about.
Alexis: When I was little, I used to like to believe that my stuffed animals went on adventures while I was at school too. I remember getting ready to go to kindergarten and telling some of my toys (including my own stuffed Pooh) to be good and have a safe trip. I really related to Christopher Robin!

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I'm sure this isn't shocking anyone but I LOVED it! I think this movie has so many clever things in it and made me feel the warm fuzzies.
Alexis: This movie is so great, but gosh it's so sad! The beginning song makes me tear up every single time! I really do like this movie though, I think it's a really fun adventure movie. 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I had two things that I was obsessed with (still am obsessed with) when I was younger: the map and one of my favorite quotes of all time. The map I thought was so cool and when I finally started getting the skull/school joke it made it even better:
These fonts still give me feels all the time:

Alexis: I agree, Maddie! I have that quote on my wall in my room at home, it's very inspirational! I love a lot of the lines and little moments throughout the movie, but I think my favorite overall moment is the ending song, when they're all making their way back together and the scary places turn out to not be scary at all.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Owl is such an ass in the beginning of this movie: he scares them about the adventure they are about to go on but won't actually with them! What a jerk!
Alexis: I agree with that statement!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 31: Hercules

That's the Gospel Truth: Our 31st movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Hercules. Released in 1997, the film is based on the stories of Heracles from Greek mythology. The movie was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe was recruited as production designer where over seven hundred visualization designs of the characters were produced, and research trips to Greece and Turkey provided inspiration for the background designs. Fun fact: James Woods did a lot of ad-libbing in his recordings, especially in Hades's dialogues with Megara. The supervising animators then based Hades's movements off of this, and the character became "a Hollywood agent, a car salesman type".

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I would say I watched it a couple months ago- sometime over the summer.
Alexis: I've seen it many times, it's another favorite of mine, I watched it last over the summer.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: SO MANY! This movie is in my top five favorites and is very special to me. The main memory I have is of my Meg (and kinda Hercules) birthday party when I was little- she was my absolute favorite. 
Alexis: My sister and some friends of ours went through a huge Hercules phase circa 2009. I'm not sure why we singled out this Disney movie in particular, but we loved it. We watched it so many times, and I always think of them when I watch the movie and hear the music.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I LOVED IT!!! There are so many poignant moments and beautiful songs in this film. I am also a Greek mythology nerd (I also love the Percy Jackson series) so this movie was the beginnings of that love.

Alexis: Love it! I think it's a very inspiring story, and it's a great way to introduce creatures and characters of Greek mythology to kids (even if the story itself is inaccurate). I also think that all the characters are extremely strong. You have the comedy from Phil, the positivity of Hercules, the awesomeness of Meg, and the sarcasm of Hades. It's a great ensemble of characters and it makes the movie extremely fun to watch and quote. 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: While "Go the Distance" is always so uplifting and a jam- the ultimate jam and one of my favorite Disney songs of all time, and definitely my favorite part of the movie is "Won't say I'm in love."

Alexis: I can't choose just one favorite moment! The musical numbers are my favorite parts, they're all so good! "Wont Say I'm in Love" is amazing, and I can do every word of "Zero to Hero". My favorite character is Hades, (I find we share that sarcastic humor), so I love his scenes too.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Hades is also one of my favorite Disney villains; sometimes he just gets me:

Alexis: I have a question; who put the glad in gladiator?