Tangled (2010)

Tangled Movie Review

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Tangled Movie Review

Tangled is a 2010 animated musical fantasy film directed by Byron Howard. It is Disney’s 50th feature film and probably their finest modern effort.

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Go. Live your dream.

I will.

Your dream stinks. I was talking to her

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Tangled Movie Review

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This is the story about Rapunzel, but it of course differs from the original fairy tale as is usual for Disney. The storytelling here is excellent, the film felt like a fairy tale, much more so than most modern fairy tale films, and most importantly, it was very charming and incredibly entertaining to watch. It is engaging from the first to the last moment and it just flies by how fun and wonderful it is.

Tangled is the kind of Disney film that I like and I want. This is the movie that Disney would not make anymore as they unfortunately moved to more modern flicks which are not as great as this one because they are not as warm or as timeless. Tangled mixes the old with the new even better than what ‘The Princess and the Frog’ did.

I will later talk about the diverse animation, but in terms of pure storytelling, this is classic Disney 101 and something that we did not get after this movie unfortunately. You have a fantasy and you have modern action set pieces and more modern humor, but you also got a wonderful romance at the center of it and most importantly – magic. It is an enchanting, gorgeous film above anything else.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Let’s talk about each of its great characters and yes, they are excellent and the characterization here is truly phenomenal. First off, Rapunzel. Wow, I adore her! Honestly, she is my favorite Disney Princess after ‘The Little Mermaid’s Ariel and I adore Ariel. What a wonderful character and a textbook example of why this movie is better than overrated ‘Frozen’ or ‘Moana’.

Rapunzel is never a feminist character who doesn’t need a man. She gets her man and she gets her romance, but she remains incredibly strong and a positive role model nonetheless. She is bright and energetic, spunky at times and immensely charismatic and charming. I love her and she is the heart and soul of this film. She represents the greatness of the concept of a Disney Princess.

Flynn Rider isn’t as great, I have to say. He reminded me too much of Aladdin. However, he is still very funny, very charismatic and ultimately a very memorable, competent Disney Prince. His change in heart is typical, but done really well. The romance between the two is honestly probably my favorite Disney romance ever, they are quite possibly the best couple out of them all. They dislike each other at first, but eventually become friends and then partners. This all sounds familiar, but the execution is so good that it doesn’t matter. The interactions between them are top-notch and very modern. Again the mix between modern and old-fashioned is put to great use in their relationship.

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Tangled Movie Review

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This film doesn’t have that too many characters which is great as those that we do get are so well developed. The entire Snuggly Duckling pub bunch was a lot of fun and they were very endearing. As for Maximus, he is honestly a bit overrated and your typical over-the-top Disney sidekick that was meant to bring in the vast audiences. He is still good and at times quite hilarious with his humor, but he behaved too much and too obviously like a dog. Pascal was honestly the better of the two as this wonderful chameleon pet of Rapunzel’s. His facial expressions were priceless and I like that both of them are mute.

Now, Mother Gothel. Oh, where do I even start with her. She is one incredibly manipulative and extremely intelligent woman. How she tricked Rapunzel was brilliant and every plan she orchestrated fully worked and she never, ever made a single mistake. She is a big presence in the movie and a force to be reckoned with. The exploration of domestic abuse is actually quite strong here and brave to do for Disney. Without any doubt, she is one of the best Disney villains of all time and one of the most underrated ones.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Tangled features such a unique, different and ultimately refreshing type of animation. Yes, this is computer animation and the characters are your typical CGI characters. However, the film also includes hand-drawn animation into its mix and the results are more than stellar. Probably because it is too difficult to do and thus they did not do this again, but this proved how potent the mix of these two mediums could be as they complimented each other so well with both of their strengths. The backgrounds were particularly effective in recreating the fairy tale, historical feel to it with the influence being the wonderful paintings from Jean-Honore Fragonard. The film is rich in detail, fluid in execution and enchanting and unique in its style.

Tangled is a fantasy romance, but also a musical. It has only five songs, but I have to say that this soundtrack is very underrated and actually better than ‘Frozen’s soundtrack as it doesn’t rely on just one musical number. So let me comment upon each of the numbers.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Healing Incantation is short, but enchanting and it works in the context of the story so well. I loved that for once Disney utilized singing actually as a power which was interesting and smartly convenient. I loved all of the hair’s properties and how it looked. I forgot to mention above, but her hair was so difficult to pull off that they employed a new program for it and thus the film became the biggest budgeted animated film in history which is quite interesting.

When Will My Life Begin? is easily the weakest song in this soundtrack, I have to say. It does work as the “I wonder” princess song, but it is still too forgettable, too much like a modern pop song and although the sequence showcases her hobbies and talents extensively, the song itself is bland.

Mother Knows Best is a Broadway number in style, the one that uses that style the most here. It isn’t catchy and it isn’t great, but it works for Mother Gothel and is a very good vehicle for her manipulations and her deceiving character. It is in the end one of the better Disney villain songs.

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Tangled Movie Review

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I’ve Got a Dream is so entertaining! It is the kind of song that we haven’t seen a long time from the studio, the one in which sidekicks sing and it is meant to be one giant, fun, endearing affair. It showcases the heart and quirks of each of its characters and is one of the most purely enjoyable and lovable scenes in the flick. The lyrics are excellent and the song is funny and catchy.

I See the Light is naturally the standout song here. It is too modern, yes. But it does have very good, fitting lyrics for the characters and story. It is beautifully song, it is a grand romantic duet the likes of which we haven’t seen since ‘Aladdin’ and it is both catchy and sweet. It was accompanied by the movie’s most romantic and visually gorgeous sequence which just transfixed me in the state of awe just like some of the company’s best movies have a tendency to do.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Some of the problems of the movie include an overreliance on humor and sometimes a tendency to replicate ‘Shrek’ a bit too much in its style. Actually the humor is frequently excellent and sometimes laugh out loud funny (“Oh look, you’re here too” and “Your Dream stinks. I was talking to her” instantly come to mind), but the movie was the best when it was less funny and less contemporary. And its beginning and ending offered a somewhat annoying voice over narration.

So I stated that the lanterns sequence is one of the best as is the pub one. My other favorites include the cave scene and that action set piece in the canyon. The film has too much action at times, but this one set piece was absolutely magnificent and so well thought out. And of course I loved the ending which was beautifully made and incredibly touching and timeless in its silent approach. Watching her reunite with her parents was heartfelt.

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Tangled Movie Review

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The voice acting is very good with both Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi being excellent while Donna Murphy was suitably menacing and dark. The pacing and direction are both pretty good as is the dialogue with a lot of funny lines. All in all, it is the best Disney Revival film for me.

With gorgeous and very unique animation that mixes traditional and computer animation with the style of Jean-Honore Fragonard’s paintings, a very good soundtrack with a couple of terrific songs such as I See the Light and I’ve Got a Dream and many memorable, heartfelt moments, Tangled truly is a modern Disney classic. It is touching, it is also very funny and highly romantic and enchanting. But the reason why it works so well lies in its characters: Rapunzel is so wonderful and one of my favorite Disney Princesses, Flynn Rider is a lot of fun and Mother Gothel is so menacing, manipulative and smart that she’s one of Disney’s finest villains. It is ultimately the best Disney movie of the 21st century so far and so much better than either ‘Zootopia’ or ‘Frozen’.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Princess and the Frog (2009)

The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

The Princess and the Frog is a 2009 animated musical film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. It is Disney’s 49th animated feature and one of their most pleasant outings.

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Like I told y’all, kissing a princess breaks the spell.

Once you became my wife, that made you…

A princess. You just kissed yourself a princess.

And… I’m about to do it again

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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This is it. This is the movie that signaled the arrival of the Disney Revival era. From here on, the films were much better in quality and major improvements over Disney Second Dark Age flicks. The Princess and the Frog ushered in this new era which is interesting as it contains both the modern and the old-fashioned elements to it and that mix did not hold it back, but it actually strengthened the movie and made it incredibly appealing.

So the modern is the princess herself who is the only Disney princess who works as she has a dream to open her own restaurant. That was great and important. Of course you have African Americans for the first time ever prominently in a Disney movie as the prince, princess and villain are all black. But you also have a very strong relationship at the center of the movie, the setting of New Orleans, the 1920s era and those are all unique things present just in this movie. And the greatest thing about it is that these things are just presented to us and the movie never gets preachy with them which was excellent.

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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As for the traditional aspects to it, there are a lot of those as well honestly. So firstly, the technical aspects from the animation to the action to the humor are all very much done in that wonderful classic Disney style of yesteryear. The film looks and sounds like a Disney classic and the fact that we got it this late in the game, 2009, was just awesome. And the most important thing is that this is a princess movie and a musical. Disney went back to their roots here and created a wondrous film in the process.

So yes, The Princess and the Frog is historically very important on multiple fronts, but let’s talk about the story itself. I honestly found the first act a bit rushed for my taste and the movie has way too many characters in it. It is a testament to how strong the character development here is that most of them are memorable and great, but still I could have done with less characters. Those are some of the problems of the movie and why it is not great, but still very good.

The movie has a lot of the elements from other Disney films such as ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Cinderella‘ and especially ‘Snow White’ in its mix of dangerous and lightweight. It doesn’t do that shift as greatly as that classic does, but still I loved how innocent and carefree the movie felt and still it gave us one major death and a funeral which was great. The film has a very good plot overall, very detailed and filled with a lot of plot points which I really liked and it honestly flies by how engaging and lovable it is. And that prolonged ending is beautiful with its two weddings.

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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Tiana is truly a phenomenal Disney princess, probably one of my favorites after seeing the movie for the second time and so incredibly underrated. I loved her dream of owning a restaurant, but I liked how she had to learn how to live her life and be fun as well. She is very sweet and charming, so beautiful and just a wonderful princess overall.

Prince Naveen is an excellent Disney prince as well. He is spoiled and rich, but gets better and learns the benefits of work in the end. The clashes of their personalities and how each had to complement each other was a really clever choice that paid off tremendously as their relationship was truly terrific and so well established. They are a wonderful couple.

The movie has some charming sidekicks in it. Louis the alligator plays a trumpet and is just such a fun, lovable dude. I really liked him and he was sweet and caring. But of course Ray the firefly is probably the standout supporting character as he is the most heartwarming creature here. His death was tragic, but also simply beautiful and the entire Evangeline the star subplot was honestly poetic in quality. Some really moving stuff to be had here.

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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Mama Odie is a hilarious take on a Fairy Godmother persona. This old woman is blind and lives in a boat on a cottage with her pet snake. How fun is that?! Lawrence is the forgettable henchman, but Dr. Facilier is solid. His design, his song and his voodoo shtick are all great and unique. However, he was too silly, he rarely posed real threat and was disposed of pretty quickly by Tiana. He had the potential for greatness, but was ultimately a missed opportunity.

And the final character I want to talk about is Charlotte. She is a stereotypical Southern girl in search of a wealthy husband and she surprised me. At first I thought she was going to be just that stereotype, but turned out to not only be funny, but also a great, truly admirable friend to her Tia and the lack of any malice toward Tiana’s eventual marriage to Naveen just made me love her all the more. So the film has too many characters (those henchmen were forgettable and that entire frog hunting sequence was a fun detour, but detour nonetheless), but those that work are great and surprisingly well developed.

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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The Princess and the Frog has gorgeous animation. This is the penultimate Disney hand-drawn feature which makes me so sad as here they showed how powerful that animation is. The mix of CGI in it with the lights mostly added that modern polish to it, but the animation overall is so wonderfully traditional with some beautiful painterly backgrounds and a truly accomplished character design. I loved how this film looked and although the frogs themselves were too simplistic, Ray, Facilier and the humans all looked fantastic and the attention to detail is overwhelming here. They recreated this decade and town so vividly and I loved the swamp setting as well.

Finally, let’s talk about the soundtrack. It is in my opinion one of the finest Disney soundtracks of all time. It doesn’t have the best Disney songs, but it has a lot of very good songs and thus is becomes a terrific soundtrack. And I loved that it is a jazz score and we’ve never really had jazz songs in a Disney flick at this capacity before. That made it unique.

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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Down in New Orleans is a fun tune, the kind of tune that introduces you to the movie’s setting and time period and it does that really well. I was not a fan of it before, but now I like it much more as it is catchy, fitting in style to the film and overall successful, if too short. When We’re Human is the weakest of the bunch as it is very forgettable and to me unnecessary even.

Ma Belle Evangeline isn’t something I would sing, but it works well in the context of Ray’s character. Friends on the Other Side is awesome! It is in fact one of the finest Disney villain songs ever as the imagery is superb here, it reminded me so wonderfully of Ursula’s scene and song in ‘The Little Mermaid’ and it is the finest moment for Doctor Facilier for sure. It has such a catchy, terrific finale.

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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Gonna Take You There is the most entertaining song here for sure! It is a fun scene and the tune is endlessly catchy and you just can’t help but sing along with it. Dig a Little Deeper is a great moment for Mama Odie, again the descriptions and the message/motifs are so well incorporated into its lyrics and the song is not only so catchy and fun but also accompanied by gorgeous imagery.

And of course my favorite has to be Almost There. This jazz number is the perfect kind of “I wish” princess song but with the added twist of the wish being a job and not a prince. The entire scene is so well animated and I loved its different, simplistic style incorporated there, it has a great use of the mother’s character and the lyrics are great. It explains Tiana’s character superbly and is just all around incredibly well sung, immensely catchy and one of the most memorable parts of the movie.

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The Princess and the Frog Movie Review

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So it isn’t all that well paced, but the score is great, the film is fun and innocent but also dark at times and it has some great imagery, details and animation style. The voice acting is also top-notch across the board and the humor is quite solid. I really enjoyed this film despite some of its problems. It was a great start of a new era for the company and it truly is one of the most underrated Disney films recently.

With a terrific mix of traditional and modern in its storytelling and presentation, gorgeous hand-drawn animation, a plethora of lovable, charming characters and one of Disney’s greatest soundtracks with wonderful songs like Almost There, Friends on the Other Side, Gonna Take You There and Dig a Little Deeper, The Princess and the Frog has its pacing issues and a weaker villain, but it is the movie that signaled the arrival of Disney Revival period with an abundance of style, a standout princess and many beautiful scenes.

My Rating – 4

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Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

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Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

Jailhouse Rock is a 1957 musical film starring Elvis Presley. It is a memorable, but deeply flawed and typical film.

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How dare you think such cheap tactics would work with me!

That ain’t tactics, honey. It’s just the beast in me

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Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

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The problem with Jailhouse Rock is mostly the plot which is so boring, typical and endlessly cliched that I really did not care for it. Everything presented here was been there, done that and not even the music could save that. Most of the scenes such as the ending and the relationship at the center of it felt obvious.

The characters are not great either. The protagonist is your typical 50s angsty guy and the girlfriend is quite bland. I liked his cellmate but he was underutilized and all of the others were quite forgettable. The characterization should have been better as only the protagonist is well developed, but typical in conception.

The acting, on the other hand, is pretty good even if the cast is not an A-list one. Mickey Shaughnessy is pretty solid and likable in his role and Judy Tyler is quite good for an unknown actress and it is such a shame that she got to go at such a young age. The tragedy behind this movie is truly horrible.

As for Elvis himself, he is solid. He is pretty good for a musician and he sold his role for the most part, but it is mostly an easy role that required not a lot of nuance in his performance. He is definitely not great as actors go, but for a singer, he is pretty solid.

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Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the soundtrack which is the saving grace of Jailhouse Rock. One More Day is sweet and memorable, Young and Beautiful is quite solid and Don’t Leave Me Now is the best of these three. Others are forgettable. Of course the titular song is the greatest and it is the scene that transcended the movie itself. It is unforgettable in its imagery, it works great as a precursor to modern music videos, Elvis killed it with his dance movies here and the song itself is a classic – catchy and a lot of fun.

It is a shame then that the movie never caught up with that song as the rest aren’t all that memorable or well filmed and executed. The pacing is solid here, but the movie is still frankly boring and the direction is lackluster.

Jailhouse Rock is memorable for its titular song which is a classic and that entire scene is so great that it is worth a watch, but the movie is otherwise mostly boring and slight with solid acting, but bland characters and a story that is so cliched and obvious in its every plot point.

My Rating – 4

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Home on the Range (2004)

Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range Movie Review

Home on the Range is a 2004 animated musical western comedy film which is the 45th Disney animated feature film and one of their weakest.

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Call me crazy, but I think these cows got it in for me!

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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This is one of those films that are perfect for kids and I could see myself loving it as a child. I do think that kids should see it regardless what adults think and yes, adults are harsh to it. A bit too harsh if you ask me. Yes, it is one of the worst films to come from Disney Animation Studios, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad as even the weakest Disney flicks are passable and okay as is the case with this one too.

The film is a comedy for sure and it is a musical owing to an abundance of songs, but more importantly it is a western film and that is rare for animation which is why I loved those elements here. ‘Spirit’ from DreamWorks is certainly an infinitely better western film, but this one manages to recreate the 1890s period really well thanks to solid imagery and good southern accents.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The plot itself certainly takes the backseat to all of the action which is a big problem but it has its moments such as a memorable villain, somewhat well executed last chase and a wonderful ending that is emotionally resonant and sweet. But yes, the film is way too short in its running time to be having this much action in it.

Home on the Range features solid characters in my opinion. Not the greatest, but not bad either. I really liked the dynamic between the three cows and they serve as solid protagonists. Grace is somewhat typical, but Mrs. Caloway is charming and Maggie is quite good, though over-the-top at times. The relationship between the two is the strongest in the film and the casting of Judi Dench and Roseanne Barr certainly helped the movie a lot as they’re great.

Buck is annoying, I have to say. He is one of those sidekicks that only kids could like and to the rest of us, he is actually a waste of time here. Lucky Jack also wasn’t all that memorable and those two henchmen had some good moments, but were ultimately 101 Disney henchmen a bit too much. But I have to say that I really like Alameda Slim. He is a good mix of competent and goofy villain and I loved his singing and that it was used as a weapon. That needed to happen at some point in all these Disney musicals.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range has one of the worst animations ever for Disney. I really did not care for it and it brought the whole movie down significantly. It does have some good details and, as I said, the period is recreated rather well, but the only standout scene is the villain song and the rest are forgettable and actually kind of cheap. Not only does the whole movie look too garish in its colors, but also quite unappealing in its characters as their angular designs are rather off-putting. That is something that ‘Hercules’ did well, but this one fails in my opinion.

Easily the standout aspect of the entire film is its soundtrack and the only truly good thing about it. I really liked it and these songs are very underrated in my opinion as they are not only a lot of fun, but refreshingly different in their country genre and fitting to the tone and setting of the film.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The titular opening number is actually incredibly entertaining and a good opening for a western film, very fitting to its style and I always say that I love when these films pay attention to its time period and setting which this one did tremendously. Will the Sun Ever Shine Again is very much the same case as with No Way Out from ‘Brother Bear’. It is just not needed as we can see the emotions ourselves and we don’t need the song to spell it out for us. Certainly the weakest song here.

Little Patch of Heaven is so good. Again very fitting in style, so well sung and with fine and charming descriptive lyrics, it succeeds as a very endearing and catchy country song and a very good theme for the entire film. Of course the highlight is Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo. I love this song so much and it is one of the best from Disney’s Second Dark Age. As I said above, it is a very effective scene for our villain and the greatest moment in the entire film, but I just love yodeling so I naturally loved this song as well. Again fitting to the film, it has good lyrics and the tune is just so damn catchy and the visuals are so psychedelic that you gotta love it.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range is definitely too short and actually not all that engaging for that short a running time which is a big problem. The direction is quite weak but at least the performances are good. The dialogue is nothing to write home about too. In the end, it is in my opinion the ‘Oliver & Company’ from the 2000s – a Disney flick which is fun and with a great soundtrack, but so weak in almost every other way that it’s one of the company’s worst movies.

Home on the Range is definitely one of Disney’s weakest films owing to a standard plot, way too much action for its short running time, forgettable supporting characters and garish animation with unappealing character designs. But it is still not a bad movie as it is very good for kids owing to its cartoony and goofy approach, it has good performances and fine protagonists plus its country soundtrack is a lot of fun and quite underrated in its own right.

My Rating – 3

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is a 1977 animated musical fantasy film directed by Richard Williams. It is a pretty trippy movie.

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Is this endless eating all there is to be? Or not to be?

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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This is one of the weirdest animated films that I have ever seen, there is no doubt about it. It is definitely influenced too much by Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and it is infinitely inferior to it in terms of quality, but it is still a pretty good, in my opinion even an underrated flick which surprised me pleasantly.
I could have gone without those live-action sequences and I found the first half to be overly slow and sometimes even dull to be frank. And when it suddenly goes into crazy territory, the shift is abrupt, not subtle at all and it makes you question its direction, pacing and structure which are all rather problematic.
But that second half is so good that it is worth the watch for sure. It has an abundance of either weird or creepy or downright loony characters and that I liked a lot. Yes, it definitely is similar at times to the aforementioned Disney classic, but that movie is obviously the archetype of such stories so that was to be expected. And having in mind that animated films like this are very rare, this one should be appreciated more.

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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The voice acting is good and I really liked those weird characters such as the Camel and King Koo Koo. And of course the Greedy is quite memorable. Each and every one of those imaginative characters was very interesting and a lot of fun. But the main characters Ann and Andy are flat in comparison and immensely boring.
Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is obviously a musical as its title says. And I have mixed feelings about this soundtrack. On the one hand, I liked its Broadway feel a lot, but on the other hand, most songs blend into each other as they are mostly too bland and similar.
I’m No Girl’s Toy is catchy, but somewhat annoying. Rag Dolly is also fine, but way too long as most songs are in this film. Camel’s Mirage has good imagery, but that’s about it. The same goes for I Never Get Enough. Two weak songs, but two great scenes. And all of the other songs are very forgettable and overly abundant. But there is no denying the power of Candy Hearts which is a wonderful song and the only song here that reached Disney quality even though its second half is weaker. I loved its lyrics, it is such a catchy tune and the song is sweet and accompanied by charming imagery.

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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The animation here is phenomenal and one of its highlights for sure. I loved its weird imagery and there are many memorable scenes such as the two aforementioned scenes in the passage above. The character designs are actually rather impressive and the overall animation is quite fluid, inspired and mostly fueling its imaginative action so well.

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure has a very frustrating lack of structure, the first half is too slow and dull and the main characters are bland, but the other characters are quite memorable and the entire second half is so great in its trippy and weird imagery. Some songs are bland, but some such as Candy Hearts are very good. The animation is simply fantastic and that coupled with its weirdness is a good enough reason to see this crazy, underrated flick.

My Rating – 3.5

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Ballerina (2016)

Ballerina Movie Review

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Ballerina Movie Review

Ballerina is a 2016 animated musical film. It is a solid, but deeply flawed and ultimately quite disappointing film.

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I will take you to this dance school

and you will become the greatest dancer ever!

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Ballerina Movie Review

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A poor orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina and eventually achieves her dream and beats the other girl and dances in front of the crowd. Very clichéd stuff and actually this is one of the most clichéd animated films in recent memory. And also the most predictable as I knew everything that would happen in each and every one of its plot points. This story is well told, but in an overly familiar manner and thus ruining the potential to become truly meaningful and touching.

The characters are also pretty typical. Felicie is such an annoying protagonist and I just did not care for her. Odette is much better and much more likable. Victor I disliked at first, but he grew on me later on. His sidekick friend can be pretty funny here. Of course Camille is typical and especially her mother is awfully clichéd as this over-the-top villain.

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Ballerina Movie Review

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The voice acting is one of the worst things about Ballerina, quite mediocre. I guess some are fine here such as Dane DeHaan, but others such as Elle Fanning are very weak, uninspired and just the voices themselves were overly modern. The entire movie suffers from being too hip where it should have been more traditional to go in line with its time period.

Ballerina is definitely very well animated and its animation is certainly the best aspect here. I liked the characters, but the interiors and especially the nature and the city were all gorgeously animated. The dance movements are also fine and of course I loved those aerial scenes. The film does look really great.

I also liked its score. It is too modern, but still pretty solid. It does sound and look good, but I just wish that the dialogue wasn’t as uninspired and as simplistic as it turned out to be. Some of the lines spoken here were awfully corny. But the humor is actually pretty solid as the second half has its funny moments.

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Ballerina Movie Review

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This is a Canadian-French co-production and, just like ‘The Little Prince’ from the year prior, it was done in English with their voice talent. I disliked that so much here as the film revolves around Paris and thus French would have suited it much better and the film would have been infinitely better had it been in French. But besides from that, it is a solid film. I gave it a hard time for its immense clichés and somewhat typical characters, but still some of those characters are very likable and the film is very entertaining and it definitely won me over near the end. It could be quite charming when it wanted to be and some scenes are just very beautiful, not to mention gorgeously animated. Had the script been better, it easily could have been great, but this way, it ended up being just solid.

Ballerina has some likable characters, but others are overly typical. The plot is beyond clichéd and predictable, but the film is entertaining and charming to watch. The voice acting is pretty mediocre, but the score is good and the animation is frequently gorgeous. In the end, it is a film that is perfectly solid, but just never as good as it could have been.

My Rating – 3

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Sister Act (1992)

Sister Act Movie Review

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Sister Act Movie Review

Sister Act is a 1992 comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg. It is such a a charming, fun movie.

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What am I gonna do here?

I’m gonna go crazy!

There’s nothing but a lot of white women

dressed as nuns! What am I gonna do here?

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Sister Act Movie Review

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It follows a woman who accidentally witnesses a murder and has to be put in a convent in order to be safe. There she pretends to be a nun and befriends other nuns, eventually teaching them how to sing and renewing interest in their church.
Yes, the story does sound clichéd in a typical 90s fashion. It is definitely a product of its time – naive and saccharine. However, I still liked it quite a bit despite those odds as it has a certain charm to it and mostly because the characters are so memorable.
Deloris is such an unforgettable protagonist and Reverend Mother is typical, yet very well developed. The two have such a great progressive relationship. And of course Sister Mary Patrick and Sister Mary Robert are such likable comic reliefs. Their group is so much fun.

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Sister Act Movie Review

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Harvey Keitel plays such a tired gangster as he always does and he is certainly boring here. But the nuns are solidly acted and naturally Maggie Smith killed it in a role best suited for her. She is always superb in the role of cold women who eventually show their softer side. As for Whoopi Goldberg, she definitely is a hugely underrated comedic actress and one of the best, especially of its time. She is immensely likable, she gave such a strong performance and her charisma and comic delivery are remarkable.
Sister Act is also a musical in a way as it definitely has a strong emphasis on songs and I liked all of them, especially the entire performances which were a lot of fun. But I would still classify it as a comedy above all else. Of course I did not care for those gangster elements and they certainly were too mild which was expected of this type of movie.
The film is definitely great for kids. But the humor is so good. I loved some of Deloris’s lines which cracked me up and Whoopi is just wonderful here. It is a shame that she only got this movie and ‘Ghost’ when she should have gotten the chance to play in at least one more big movie during the nineties.

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Sister Act Movie Review

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It is well edited and flies by as it is hugely entertaining. Some scenes worked better than the others, but most were either charming or funny. The film is emotional, but rarely overly sentimental. Despite its flaws, it has such an apparent charm to it that I fell victim to it. It reminded me of all those 90s family flicks I grew up with and although I would usually loathe that as I am not a nostalgic person, here I liked it mostly because of the characters.

Sister Act is childish, naive and definitely clichéd, but also quite charming and a lot of fun. It can be quite funny at times so it succeeds as a memorable comedy. The musical performances are also very entertaining and Whoopi Goldberg is just so fantastic here – hugely charismatic and hilarious. The movie is a product of its time, but a sweet one nevertheless.

My Rating – 4

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Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain Movie Review

Singin’ in the Rain is a 1952 musical comedy film directed by and starring Gene Kelly along with Debbie Reynolds. It is one of the best musical as well as comedy films ever made.

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“What’s wrong with the way I talk?

What’s the big idea?

Am I dumb or something?”

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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It offers a satire on the late 1920s film industry and how the arrival of sound changed the Hollywood landscape. I love this story. It was such an important transitional period for the film industry and here it was showcased beautifully. I loved its various homages to the classic musicals of the late 1920s and 1930s and the whole film serves wonderfully as a film history lesson, but done in a comedic manner which was great and such an approach fits this material so well.

The characters are so likable. Both Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden are heartwarming and sympathetic and I loved their romance. Cosmo was to me the only a bit annoying character here, but even he got some fun and charming moments. But of course Lina Lamont takes the cake for being the most memorable character and the overall finest aspect of the film. Jean Hagen is over-the-top and theatrical, but that fits this role like a glove and she turned out to be incredibly funny. Debbie Reynolds is very charming and of course Gene Kelly is great not only in his dancing and singing, but in his performance as well as he is so inherently likable and charismatic. And the fact that he directed the film as well just goes to show how much talent he possessed.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain is a glorious musical filled with unforgettable technical aspects from the costumes which are actually some of the best ever put on film to the imagery which is highly memorable and sometimes even unforgettable. That titular sequence is one for the ages, original and charming. But the entire musical piece near the end when they filmed the film is so well done and actually sometimes incredibly authentic and beautiful. The colors are vivid and the musical sequences are perfectly constructed with of course very professional dancing in it.

Let’s talk about the songs. All I Do Is Dream of You is sweetly romantic and Make ’em Laugh isn’t the best scene, but it serves its purpose and the song itself is quite catchy. Should I? and Beautiful Girl are solid, but Moses Supposes was a bit too goofy and childish in my opinion. Good Morning is so inherently catchy with infectious energy in it and the entire scene is so charming.  Would You is also quite sweet and a great scene. But of course Singin’ in the Rain is a classic song. The entire sequence is beautiful and authentic, featuring probably the best and most romantic use of rain ever, but the lyrics are sweet, Gene Kelly is absolutely superb here and the song is both beautiful and romantic.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Obviously Singin’ in the Rain is a great musical. However, I do think that the film should be remembered and cherished more for its laughs than the songs. Do not get me wrong, it surely is one of the best musicals ever made, but it is to me just as much one of the best comedies of all time as the film is just so funny throughout its whole running time.

Lina is hilarious and the highlight is the microphone sequence. Perfectly constructed, this scene is consistently entertaining and hysterical from beginning to end. Really, this is comedy gold and a great proof of how some comedies from this period are funny to this day. It is one of the funniest films I’ve seen recently for sure. Another classic was the theater scene when they played their finished product for the test audience and to me it was a perfect parody of the poor sound quality of early sound films, so truthful.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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The film is great because it doesn’t sacrifice one for the other as it succeeds both in the musical and in the humor department. The tone is consistent and the transitions are swift and professional. The movie is also deftly edited and never prolonged or rushed. It lasts for just the right amount of running time and is always riveting to watch. Such a classic.

Funny and romantic, grand and smart, Singin’ in the Rain has it all and it is not only one of the best musicals ever made with many classic and unforgettable songs accompanied by great imagery and all around superb scenes, but it’s also one of the best comedies as it is consistently funny with a couple of scenes that are comedy gold, so perfectly constructed and absolutely hilarious. It is such a great satire on early sound films and it serves as a great and funny film history lesson. The film is also a visual marvel to behold leading to an undisputed classic for the ages.

My Rating – 5

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Funny Face (1957)

Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Funny Face Movie Review

Funny Face is a 1957 musical romantic comedy film directed by Stanely Donen and starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. It is not the greatest movie.

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Let’s give ’em the old pizazz!

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The plot is so predictable and familiar. Astaire’s character provides a modeling career for Audrey’ character who is a highly intellectual bookworm. She turns into a star and the two end up together. Standard stuff. But what is even more frustrating is the 30-year age gap between these two stars and that was quite uncomfortable to watch.

They both gave good performances. Fred Astaire is solid in the role, but to me Audrey Hepburn totally trumped him here and actually gave one of her career best performances. And it is a shame that the movie cannot match her talent whatsoever. The other characters are rare, but somewhat memorable. Maggie is really funny.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So Funny Face fails as a romantic comedy because these two do not have good chemistry and their age gap is creepy. I never bought them as a couple and I actually hated them as a couple. And that is never a good sign. I guess it has some romantic scenes and some funny scenes, but they are not enough to compensate for the overall lack of bigger laughs and more genuine, better written romance.
Funny Face is also a musical and it fails in that department as well. Think Pink! is a lot of fun, Bonjour Paris! is so typical, but it looks great and Funny Face is solid. All of the other songs are either forgettable, typical or bland. But the biggest problem here is that the songs just do not have anything to do with the plot itself. Some do, but most act as unfortunate, overlong and even boring detours and they needlessly occupy a very high amoung of screen time.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So I do not hate this movie as it has its genuinely good scenes, but most of it is so predictable and typical that it wasn’t a very entertaining experience. The dancing is great, the choreography is excellent and the film is well made, but that just wasn’t enough to overcome such dull plot and characters. The Technicolor here is absolutely gorgeous and one of the finest that I have ever seen. The costumes are amazing, the use of color is brilliant and the film looks so spectacular that it’s a shame that the material is so weak.
It is a total shame that such gorgeous Technicolor, costumes and great effort went to the production of Funny Face, a movie that is so dull and weak in characters and plot. Audrey Hepburn is beautiful and so good in the lead role, but the age gap between her and Fred Astaire is too enormous and frankly uncomfortable and I never bought their romance. The movie fails as a romantic comedy because it is so clichéd and rarely truly romantic and funny plus it also fails as a musical for the songs for the most part do not have anything to do with the plot and are basically detours and filler material.

My Rating – 3

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Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

Saturday Night Fever Movie Review

Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 musical drama film directed by John Badham and starring John Travolta. It is one of the year’s finest films.

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There’s ways of killing yourself without killing yourself.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

What surprised me about this film is the script. Yes, it does revolve a lot around the disco club and it follows preparations for and the eventual disco competition, but it is also so much more than that. It is at its core a drama film much more so than a musical.

Tony Manero is such a great protagonist, a realistic man from this period. His frustrations with his family as well as friends are so well explored and you definitely feel sorry for him. The film is very emotional and some of his scenes are great such as the penultimate and very moving scene when he drives around the city.

The parent’s favoritism of one child is so well explored and in his brother’s story, you also witness the mother’s refusal to accept his decision to leave priesthood. It is a raw, honest and still relevant portrayal of the parents’ unwillingness to accept their children for who they are and to accept their different life decisions.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

In Stephanie, you’ve got an exploration of pretentiousness and I really liked the relationship between the two plus it ended on a very heartwarming note. Annette as this deeply insecure girl is another strong character. And of course Bobby is a tragic character and especially evocative of this time period when abortion and promiscuity was at the highest level.

John Travolta gave quite possibly his career best performance here and certainly deserved his Oscar nomination. He surprised me with his performance here as he is charismatic and he sold both his dancing as well as his emotional scenes. John Badham’s direction is very good and the film is so well shot with the disco sequences being the immersive highlights. It is also well paced, but I myself didn’t like the first half as much as the second one as it definitely was inferior and more familiar in story. And the protagonist was fairly annoying and typical at first.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

Saturday Night Fever also succeeds as a strong musical owing mostly to its killer soundtrack. This soundtrack is so great that it is in my opinion one of the finest in film history despite it being not original as all of the songs were released prior to the film’s release. But it uses some of the best disco songs and thus it becomes essential for every fan of this genre.

Most of the major hits from Bee Gees are used here. Stayin’ Alive was a perfect choice to open the movie and that opening sequence is highly memorable and it instantly hooks you in the story and its main character. How Deep Is Your Love is also great, If I Can’t Have You is used at just the right time in the story and matching its scene fittingly and the major highlight is Night Fever as it provides the most eclectic and fun scenes in the movie.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

The soundtrack is great, but the songs are utilized superbly within the story and the cinematography is so good that it transports you wonderfully to its time period and setting. The disco scenes are so beautifully shot with some gorgeous shots and imagery. It has a great attention to detail from the songs to the clothes and it is a quintessential seventies movie when it comes to it being representative of its period and I loved it for that.

Saturday Night Fever is a stupendous movie. Thanks to its terrific attention to detail, great cinematography and a killer soundtrack filled with great disco hits, it succeeds as a strong musical. However, it is in the drama department where the film shines through as its characters are very strong and their issues are so well explored. From promiscuity and abortion to frustration with your current life to the parents’ selfish expectations for their children, this is one surprisingly thoughtful and clever script. Couple that with its many highly emotional scenes and you’ve got one of the best films from this period.

My Rating – 4.5

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