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Monday, October 10, 2016

Day 48: Brother Bear

 #NotAllBears: Our 48th film!

1. What movie did you watch?
Brother Bear. The film was released in 2003, and was the third and final Disney animated feature produced primarily by the Feature Animation studio at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, FL (the studio was shut down in March 2004, not long after the release of this film in favor of computer animated features). Fun Fact: This movie was technically inspired by the Lion King! After its success Disney CEO at the time Michael Eisner urged for more animal-based animated features, and suggested a North American backdrop, taking inspiration from an original landscape painting by Albert Bierstadt that he bought.

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. I maybe saw it once or twice total.
Alexis: I watched it a lot as a kid because we owned it, but I haven't seen it in many years. Although we do have a family friend who tries to convince us to watch it every time we have a movie night...

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I remembered some of the songs when my roommate pointed out that they were from Disneymania but otherwise it really made me think about Disney California Adventure and the play area that is Brother Bear themed (and now has been changed to Up themed). 

Alexis: For some reason I remembered all the songs really well? Also, watching it made me remember how much my sister and I loved the moose. We would play "I spy" like them and just call out trees for hours on road trips.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: It was only okay to me- I appreciated the ideas behind the film, and like Alexis, I liked Koda but otherwise the pacing was rough. The middle section was very meh.

Alexis: I liked it, but didn't love it. I think the animation is beautiful, and I like the overall story, but it's actually not super exciting. The mythology is cool at the beginning and end, but the rest is just a whole lot of middle. Also, I don't really like Kenai but Koda is definitely my favorite character, look how cute he is! 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I know this is nerdy, but the backgrounds were really what stood out to me! They were so painterly and beautiful. After some research, I found out they were inspired by one of Michael Eisner's favorite painters: Albert Bierstadt. You should go check him out- the similarities are remarkable.

Alexis: As previously mentioned, the two moose playing I Spy gets me every time!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: I just want a little Koda to play with.

Alexis: Even as a kid I thought the oldest brother was hot. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Day 47: Piglet's Big Movie

Small but Fierce: Our 47th movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Piglet's Big Movie. The film was released in 2003. Several of the stories in the movie were taken from the plot of A.A. Milne’s original stories. American singer-songwriter Carly Simon wrote seven new songs exclusively for the film. (Not So)Fun Fact: By this point, John Fiedler was the only original voice actor left of the original cast of characters. He reprised his role of Piglet.  

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: No! This is exciting!
Alexis: Yes, but many years ago when they would show it on Disney Channel.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: Piglet was always the Pooh character I most related to, so I was excited for this and connected with that part of it.
Alexis: Mainly memories of how much I love all the Winnie the Pooh characters! I will watch any story that takes place in the Hundred Acre Woods, no matter which character it's focused on. Also, I remember this movie always made me sad as kid, much like the Tigger Movie, just because I felt so bad for Piglet!

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: It was sad at points but so cute!! Never underestimate people just because they are small! Piglet was so underappreciated. He's so amazing. Ugh- MVP.

Alexis: I think it's a really sweet movie. I enjoy that they went back to the old format of including several short narratives within the movie, like the original and unlike Pooh's Grand Adventure or the Tigger Movie. I'm especially glad they included the House at Pooh Corner.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: The part with Piglet and Kanga when they first met Kanga and Roo! It was so sweet. Also, the part when they remake Piglet's book after ruining it.

Alexis: Definitely the montage of all the characters re-drawing Piglet's book of memories. I love the drawing animation! 

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Not a huge fan of all of the Carly Simon music, but it all had nice sentiments. The lyrics are just so literal.
Alexis: Agreed, the Carly Simon music was just not good.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Day 46: The Jungle Book 2

Jungle Book 2 Much 2 Handle: Our 46th Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
The Jungle Book 2. The movie, released in 2003, is a sequel to Disney’s The Jungle Book, but is not based on the book The Second Jungle Book. Plans for the movie began in 1990, but they were shelved in favor of original ideas during the Disney Renaissance. Almost all of the characters from the first movie returned, except for King Louie because of a legal dispute with Louis Prima’s estate. Fun Fact: At one point in the film, two prickly pears fall and stick to Kaa’s head, giving him the appearance of Mickey Mouse. This counts as one of many Hidden Mickeys scattered through Disney films.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: Yes- when they used to air it on Disney channel- but not since then.
Alexis: We used to have it on DVD so I know I've seen it multiple times, but I can't remember when the last time was.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: As we know, The Jungle Book is in my top 5 of Disney movies- so it really made me think more of that, and made me very emotionally connected.
Alexis: We used to have a McDonald's happy meal toy of Shanti. I've come to the realization that for a lot of these "in between", forgettable Disney movies, the only clear memory I have attached to them is playing with happy meal figurines in our basement with my sister. I swear we didn't go to McDonald's that much.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I had a lot of problems with it- but also loved getting to see my favorite characters again.
Alexis: It's pretty meh. As far as Disney sequels goes, it's definitely toward the bottom in my opinion. The plot seems intriguing at first, with Mowgli having to deal with missing the jungle and living among humans, but it never really goes anywhere and we end up seeing the same villain/climax as the first movie which makes it unexciting. Also the new kids are annoying.

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I love Bagheera- so his relationship with Ranjan is my favorite part. It's so sweet. 

Alexis: Any scene with Bagheera, he's also my favorite.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: What did Shanti think she was going to do when she found Mowgli??? She can't fight the jungle animals...Stupid.
Alexis: John Goodman sounds nothing like Phil Harris.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Day 45: Treasure Planet

Go Doppler, Go Doppler!: We watch our 45th movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Treasure Planet. Released in 2003, the movie is loosely based on the novel Treasure Planet. The film employs the technique of hand-drawn 2D traditional animation set atop 3D computer animation, and took roughly four and a half years to complete. Although it was a pet-project by several animators at the company, the movie was a box-office bomb. Fun Fact: The name of the ship, "R.L.S. Legacy" is a reference to the book's ("Treasure Island") author, Robert Louis Stevenson.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: Yes, but not in years.
Alexis: This is actually one I've never seen before!

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: Really not many- but I heard a lot of cool stories from my Disney Animation professor recently about how the film was so close to getting a sequel until it bombed at the box office. So it more made me think of that.
Alexis: Not many because I've never seen it. Although it did remind me of the B.E.N. happy meal toy that my sister and I got as kids, which we played with even though we'd never seen the movie!

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I thought that the art style was really really great- the steampunk elements are so cool. But, the story just wasn't very well executed. And on top of that, it's hard (especially when I was younger) to relate to an angsty 15 year old boy- so it was never really my thing.

Alexis: It was okay. There were many scenes that I liked, and I thought all the characters were really interesting or funny, but the overall plot wasn't paced very well. I wasn't totally invested in the main plotline, it just wasn't developed enough for me to care about the hunt for the treasure. I was more invested in Silver's and Jim's adorable father-son relationship! 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: If I had to pick one it would be the opening sequence- the execution of that was cool.

Alexis: Morph was my favorite character, so any scene where he is being adorable and fun is a scene I liked!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Not great but not horrible. Just meh. Also, did you know that originally there were lines at the end of the film about how Dr. Doppler carried the babies you see him and the Captain with at the end? Glad those were cut.
Alexis: I can see why this film didn't break even at the box office.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day 44: Lilo and Stitch

"Does this look infected?": We watch our 44th movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Lilo and Stitch. The movie was released in 2002 to positive reviews and was nominated for the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The movie was created as a smaller and less expensive film following the Disney Renaissance, modeled after the production of Dumbo, another economically-sensible film produced in the wake of the more expensive Pinocchio and Fantasia. Chris Sanders, a head storyboard artist, had created the character of Stitch in 1985 for an unsuccessful children's book pitch, and developed it for an animated feature featuring the character. The animation team visited Kauaʻi to research the locale during production, and their tour guide explained the meaning of ʻohana as it applies to extended families, which become an important theme to the plot. Fun fact: No other animated feature had ever taken place on any of the Hawaiian islands before Lilo and Stitch.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: This is one of my favorites and another one that I watch pretty frequently to chill out at the end of the day- so I probably saw it about two months ago.
Alexis: I watched it early last Fall, so it hasn't been too long.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I used to LOVE the TV show spin off of this- so it makes me think back to that.  What a great show- they really filled out all of the characters on it (especially Pleakly who cross-dressed at the drop of a hat).

Alexis: It recalled a lot of fun memories from childhood, but specifically it reminded me of the Stitch's Great Escape ride at Disney World. The second time my family went to Disney World the ride was new, and I was excited to see Stitch and the other aliens, but my sister and I ended up being pretty scared by it!

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I loved it! The story is so funny but touching and has great little quirks (like the Elvis obsession). Plus, even though it was done to save money, the use of watercolor is beautiful. This film in so many ways isn't a typical Disney film and that's what makes it amazing.

Alexis: I love this movie, it's so sweet! I love all the elements of Hawaiian and island culture that they included. It feels really genuine, especially with the scenes with the songs. The movie also has the perfect balance of funny and meaningful. Stich's antics are hilarious, and many of the characters have really funny lines, but it also finds the time to portray an important message of finding your own family and accepting others. And I agree with Maddie, the backgrounds and designs are so pretty, overall it's a beautiful movie!

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: Like most people who love this film, I love Stitch (with Pleakly coming in at a close second)! My favorite Stitch moment would have to be when he gives his classic Ohana speech:

Alexis: My favorite scene is the Hawaiian Roller Coaster ride montage. It's beautifully made, and really fun. Plus I love the song!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: Sometimes Lilo is my spirit animal:

Alexis: My favorite part of the ending montage: 

Parting thoughts: When will Lilo and Stitch appear on Once Upon a Time?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Day 43: Return to Neverland

Faith, Trust, and Pixie-Dust: Our 43rd Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Return to Neverland. The film was released in 2002, and is loosely based on J. M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy. It did well at the box office, but critics had mixed reviews of the movie, with several saying that it was unoriginal and simple, and that it lacked the adult-friendly elements that other Disney movies were known for. Fun fact: Kathryn Beaumont, who voiced Wendy in the original Peter Pan, recorded all of Wendy's dialogue for the sequel, but Kath Soucie replaced her in the end.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I LOVED this movie as a kid, but I haven't' seen it in years.
Alexis: I haven't seen this one in many years, but I do remember renting it from Blockbuster a few times when I was a kid.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I remember watching this all the time as a kid. When I was little as I've mentioned before I had a Peter Pan obsession and this fell right into it- I associated with Jane so strongly, I wanted to be a lost boy! Not their mother! I loved that Jane wasn't a withering girl who needed to be saved, she would save herself (with the help of her friends). I would run around the living room singing "So to be one of us..."!
Alexis: It's a silly memory, but the movie reminded me of the happy meal toys that came along with the release of this movie. My sister and I collected several different figurines during the promotion, including a Jane, Peter, and Cubby.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I really liked it. I felt for a sequel they took some broad strokes, especially with the metaphor for lost innocence in WWII, I may not have totally understood it as a kid, but I must have gotten it on some level. I also liked that Jane wasn't necessarily the most like-able but she was fairly realistic.
Alexis: I agree, I think it's very good in terms of Disney sequels. The story is strong, all the best characters are back, and they didn't over do it in terms of length (it's only an hour). I liked the contrast between Wendy and Jane, and the fact that Wendy met Peter because she didn't want to grow up while Jane met him because she was growing up too fast. It's a nice parallel and it works well with the backdrop of WWII.
5. Favorite moment: 
Maddie:I know this is dark, but I really loved (and still do love) the song I'll Try- it has a "When She Loved Me" vibe in that it's sad but has something pretty profound to say about growing up and figuring out a path to take while still retaining some joy.

Alexis: I think my favorite moment is when Jane saves Tinkerbell, because it's the turning point of the movie and it's very sweet.

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: This moment was so sweet:

Alexis: What happened to the Crocodile?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Day 42: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

DIVE DIVE DIVE (into Atlantis): Our 42nd Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The movie was released in 2001, and made greater use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) than any of Disney's previous traditionally animated features. The movie is notable for adopting the distinctive visual style of comic book creator Mike Mignola, one of four production designers on the film. The production team was inspired by Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and visited museums and old army installations to study the technology of the early 20th century (the film's time period), and traveled 800 feet underground in New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns to view the subterranean trails. Fun Fact: The final pull-out scene of the movie, immediately before the end-title card, was described by the directors as the most difficult scene in the history of Disney animation. The scene begins with one 16-inch piece of paper showing a close-up of Milo and Kida. As the camera pulls away from them to reveal the newly restored Atlantis, it reaches the equivalent of an 18,000-inch piece of paper composed of many individual pieces of paper (24 inches or smaller). Each piece was carefully drawn and combined with animated vehicles simultaneously flying across the scene to make the viewer see a complete, integrated image.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I have, but it was three years ago. I liked it as a kid but as an adult I've realized it's definitely not near the top of my list.
Alexis: I haven't seen this movie in probably 12 years. I remember seeing it as a kid but we never owned it, and it's not a movie that any of Disney's TV channels play anymore (and I can see why).

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: I named my fish as a kid after Milo: he was my favorite.
Alexis: No memories of this movie in particular came back to me, but the movie itself did remind me of Indiana Jones!

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I liked it! I think the world building is really cool, and it's a great take-off on different genres but not the best overall.
Alexis: It was okay, it definitely wasn't one of my favorites. I liked a lot of the characters, but I never became invested in the plot. Like I never found myself caring about why Atlantis was underwater or what the crystals really did. To me the best parts were the diverse and funny characters. I also liked the steampunk elements. 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: Milo is bae- probably one of my top Disney men. Just look at him giving his presentation:
I think my favorite moment of his is when Kida is showing him around the city- they have great chemistry (for animated characters):
Alexis: I didn't have a favorite moment. A few scenes I liked in particular were the introductions to the crew members, and the stories they told Milo. 

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: I think the movie also has such a great group dynamic:

Alexis: Milo is Dr. Henry Jones if he never took on the more daring/charismatic persona of Indiana Jones.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Day 41: The Emperor's New Groove

Boom Baby: Our 41st Movie!

1. What movie did you watch?
The Emperor's New Groove. Released in 2000, the movie was a mild success both critically and at the box office. It is loosly based on the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes. The movie originally started as a screenplay called The Kingdom of the Sun, before being completely re-written into a new film. Fun Fact: This is the first Disney animated feature to show a pregnant woman: Pacha's wife, Chicha.

2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I saw it maybe three or four weeks ago. It's one of my favorites to watch before I go to bed because it always makes me think happy thoughts.
Alexis: I watched it over the summer when it was on TV.

3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: No specific memories because it's not one I really connected with and appreciated until I was older, but I do remember watching the spin-off show: Emperor's New School.
Alexis: This was another one that my sister and I used to watch on road trips a lot, so it reminds me of driving in the car and going on trips.

4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: I loved it!! It's one of my favorite Disney films. It has such great humor- there are all sorts of jokes that work for adults and young children: 

Alexis: I really liked it, this movie is hilarious! The sense of humor is very different from most other Disney movies, and I like that it's unique. I think with this movie in particular you can tell that the Disney renaissance is over, not because this movie is bad (I love it) but because it leaves the formula of that era behind. It's not a princess/prince movie, and it has more humor and less song. 

5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: Anything with Kronk, I just relate to him in a lot of ways, our love of cooking especially.  He also bucks so many norms around masculinity and it's great.

But if I had to pick one moment it would be Kronk doing squirrel speak- I love it!!

Alexis: I really can't pick a favorite either! I also love all the Kronk moments, such as his little angel and devil companions or when he's sneaking through the palace with Kuzco in the bag. I also love the scene at the diner. The whole movie is made up of great lines and moments!

6. Any other comments:
Maddie: This is definitely one of the most quotable movies- there are so many line I remember I used to repeat as a child (honestly I still do).

Alexis: I also loved the TV show on Disney Channel, Emperor's New School, Maddie and I watched the Christmas episode of it this year!