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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!