Rhythm in the Bow (1934)

Rhythm in the Bow ReviewRhythm in the Bow Review

 Rhythm in the Bow is a 1934 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very forgettable entry.

This is a very dull short. This is famous for being the last black-and-white Merry Melody and that is the only distinction that it has as it is otherwise a very forgettable entry that doesn’t have anything interesting about it. The animation is solid with some good imagery and the score is pretty good, although repetitive and used too often in the movie.

Rhythm in the Bow has its good moments. The dog sequence is the best and I really liked that dog. A very interesting and cute scene. But most of this cartoon is too uneventful and way too typical to be remembered. Even its different than usual protagonist ended up being underdeveloped and tedious.

Rhythm in the Bow is a pretty standard Merry Melody of this period with nothing original to offer.

My Rating – 3.3

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 (2009)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

The fifth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the best seasons with a consistent quality to it and many classic episodes.

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Your mother had to have a c-section because of those hands

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis finds Charlie facing off the lawyer in a hilarious manner, but Mac and Dennis are very good as well and Dee is the highlight here with such a redneck attitude and many hilarious lines. The Gang Hits the Road features a very neat conclusion and it was very entertaining watching the gang leave Philly for the first time. Charlie is naturally the highlight as he has never been out of the city before and has never eaten a pear. That was stupid in the best and funniest way possible.

The Great Recession finds Mac and Dennis in one of their finest pairings, so funny. But Frank is easily the highlight in a very ridiculous and quite brutal subplot. The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention is another Frank classic as this time around he hit his lowest and it is up to the gang to help him out. I found the entire dynamic of the gang superb here with Frank being the most repulsive and memorable here.

The Waitress Is Getting Married is another true classic with its fair share of absolutely hilarious scenes and moments. Naturally Charlie’s date was so amusing, but Dee is the standout one here as watching her try to win the heart of her former classmate was so funny and rewarding in its brutal, if abrupt ending. The World Series Defense is not up to par with the rest of the episodes here, but it is still pretty good as the entire storyline is ridiculous and quite unforgettable and of course the gang being confronted by authorities is always rewarding.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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The Gang Wrestles for the Troops has a very well realized Dee storyline, but to me the highlight this time around were the guys. Watching them turn into birdmen produced some of the funniest and campiest scenes of the season. Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens finds the lawyer at his most cunning, Charlie at his silliest and the rest of the gang ain’t shabby either as all of them got their moment to shine in this fast paced and hysterical outing.

Mac and Dennis Break Up is a much calmer, but quite interesting part. I loved the examination of Mac and Dennis’s relationship, Charlie and Frank also got some great scenes together and Dee was very well utilized too. The D.E.N.N.I.S. System is an absolute classic. It is one of Sunny’s episodes that are consistently great and superbly made all around. Easily one of the series’ best. All of the gang got their funny bits, but naturally Dennis got probably the best episode yet and the one which explains his character in the finest and most detailed way possible.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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Mac and Charlie Write a Movie is most certainly the weakest episode here. Yes, it has its fine moments, but I thought that the entire Hollywood angle was quite poorly used here and the entire episode felt underwhelming in laughs. The Gang Reignites the Rivalry is quite the opposite. It is both funny and well constructed, Dee getting poisoned was funny and brutal, Frank has some great scenes and this is another fine examination of Dennis’s crazy and creepy persona.

In the end, it has a couple of weaker episodes, but most of the others are definitely great with some being some of the series’ best as a whole. Thanks to its great use of supporting characters and excellent, certainly the best character development yet coupled with a high amount of true classics, this fifth season of Sunny is without a doubt one of the best in the show’s history.

 

Worst Episodes: The World Series Defense and Mac and Charlie Write a Movie.

Best Episodes: The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis, The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention,

Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens, The D.E.N.N.I.S. System and The Gang Reignites Their Rivalry.

My Rating – 4.7

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 (2008)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

The fourth season of It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia isn’t the greatest with only a handful of true classics, but at least it doesn’t have any stinkers in it either.

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You gotta pay the troll toll to get into this boy’s hole!

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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Mac and Dennis: Manhunters is a very good episode with both of its subplots working really well. I found the ending to be mediocre and truly this show rarely manages to wrap up its episodes in the best way possible, but Mac and Dennis hunting Cricket was hilarious and what was even better was watching Charlie and Dee lust over human meat. The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis unfortunately is much weaker. It has its solid comedic moments, but the premise alone is not the most interesting one and the execution is so-so.

America’s Next Top Paddy’s Billboard Model Contest is a classic, there is no doubt about it. Charlie and Dee trying to make a viral video was a genius idea that paid off in many absolutely hilarious scenes and of course Frank hosting the modeling contest and Dennis participating in it naturally was a great idea that was executed superbly. Mac’s Banging the Waitress interestingly enough doesn’t feature Frank or Dee, but the rest of the gang is great here. Some parts weren’t as great as the others, but the core was terrific and of course the highlights are all the hints to Mac’s sexuality.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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Mac and Charlie Die Part 1 is much better than Part 2 as the conclusion wasn’t as great, but the scenario with them faking their death was so entertaining and the episodes are strong and hilarious even if Dennis’ subplot was never up to par.

Who Pooped the Bed? features such a ridiculous scenario and the episode was definitely overly silly, but it still worked for the most part with Frank being funny and Dee hanging out with Artemis and the Waitress was the highlight – both amusing and cleverly written.

Paddy’s Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia is such a consistently funny, awesome episode! The gang gets extreme here and tortures a reviewer and some parts were just hysterical. This is one of those episodes where the situation is brutal and the gang gets extreme, but the story still wrapped up really well and somewhat realistically.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life is an odd episode. Some weirdness was fine here, but other more trippy elements didn’t quite work in my opinion. Charlie and Dee’s subplot is the better one and they truly are an interesting comedic pair and the show never made full use of it. Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack once again featured Frank in a parody of his movie which was rehashed too much plus Dennis and Dee’s part isn’t that funny, but Mac and Charlie are much better in a weird, yet ultimately satisfying plot.

The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell is a silly episode. They tell the story of how their bar was significant in 1776 and of course it is bizarre and funny. I thought it was overly silly and most of the parts did not work, but those that did such as Dee being a slave and Cricket falling in love with her were terrific.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition is another extreme and quite brutal episode which benefits from a somewhat realistic conclusion and all of those Americanization scenes which were just so funny. The Nightman Cometh is a genuine classic. It is a glorious musical in its silliness and it features Charlie at his most “creative” and some truly hilarious musical numbers. I loved how it was all for the Waitress and I enjoyed mostly those truly hilarious lyrics and that all of the gang got their moment to shine.

In the end, not a great season, but not a bad one either. It is perfectly solid and although lacking in comparison to the previous one, it is on quite par with the first and second season and might be even better. It does have its weaker episodes, but some are genuine classics too and the balance of great and good was solid with no bad episodes this time around.

 

Worst Episodes: The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis, Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life, Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack and The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell.

Best Episodes: America’s Next Top Paddy’s Billboard Model Contest, Mac and Charlie Die Part 1, Paddy’s Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia and The Nightman Cometh.

My Rating – 4.2

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Spellbound (1945)

Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Spellbound Movie Review

Spellbound is a 1945 noir mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. It is a pretty good, interesting Hitchcock experiment.

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Women make the best psychoanalysts until they fall in love.

After that they make the best patients

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Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Now I have read that Hitchcock himself dissed the movie decades later and truly the film isn’t a favorite nowadays. But I disagree with that notion. It is certainly far from his best works and it isn’t a great film, but it is still a pretty good film which is pretty on par with most of his other 40s efforts.

The movie is criticized for being dated, but to me the film is pleasantly old-fashioned in its approach and I loved personally the emphasis on traditional mystery and a strong reliance on psychology. Whether or not the film is scientifically accurate is a non-issue as movies, especially thrillers, aren’t supposed to be scientifically correct. I personally really liked the theme of psychoanalysis here and it was very well explored and even fascinating to hear about.

The film is a bit too cozy and less ambitious and dangerous than his usual fare, but that meant that it was original and different. The mystery is so well established and I loved the path to untangling it. It is a well written, mysterious and atmospheric film that works great as a noir mystery with some good thriller elements.

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Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

There are three highlights here. One is the dream sequence done by Salvador Dali. That was of course authentic and unforgettable visually. Another is of course the childhood flashback which is beautiful and such a great, important moment. And the third is that ending with the gunshot being fired at the audience being very inventive.

Gregory Peck is very good in Spellbound, but Ingrid Bergman is the standout here. She gave such a strong, subtle performance and she should have been nominated for her work here. She plays such a strong female character who is a doctor and who eventually saves her man. That is why the film is not sexist as some remarked, but rather opposite than that and modern.

Spellbound has some evident problems. One is the pacing which is at times slow. The entire first half should have been trimmed down a bit and some scenes are too slow and even dull. I also didn’t quite follow the murder storyline quite as well as the childhood drama one. It was a bit too convoluted.

But other than that, it is a very good film. One of the character highlights is Alex Brulov played so well by Michael Chekhov. His somewhat sexist and full of himself character was a lot of fun and he made me laugh a couple of times.

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Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The film features very strong dialogue. Some of it wasn’t as great, but most of the conversations and discussions were very interesting and even fascinating in subject. The film has such an interesting psychological, dreamlike quality to it emphasized by gorgeous cinematography and many excellent shots and beautifully constructed sequences. Hitch’s direction is very strong here. The film isn’t as good as ‘Lifeboat’ or ‘Shadow of a Doubt‘, but it is better than overrated ‘Foreign Correspondent’ and it is a very underrated 40s effort from the director.

Spellbound is sometimes too convoluted and it drags in some scenes, but it is mostly a very intriguing, different kind of noir mystery with a strong emphasis on psychology. Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman are an excellent pair here with her in particular delivering a very strong performance. The film is intriguingly dreamlike in quality fueled by gorgeous cinematography and a couple of unforgettable sequences such as the gunshot ending, the childhood flashback and a weird dream scene done by Salvador Dali. It is a pretty underrated Hitchcock film.

My Rating – 4

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Top Ten Peanuts Specials

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Top Ten Peanuts Specials

Peanuts specials have been a television staple for half a century with 45 of them being released up to this point. I personally disliked quite a couple of them and at least half are not great, but those that are good are really worth seeing and there are enough truly great specials to fill one list with honorable mentions. So without further ado, here are the ten best Peanuts specials in my opinion.

10. You’re in Love, Charlie Brown

This 1967 Peanuts special has been adapted for ‘The Peanuts Movie’ in 2015 and is a quintessential Little Red-Haired girl episode. I loved how it ended on such a sweet note and Charlie Brown is so endearing here. But the special also benefits from a couple of terrific scenes with Lucy and Sally and both are very funny here. It isn’t the most polished special, but it is good enough that it deserves the tenth spot.

9. Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

I just really enjoyed this one which is the newest and so far the last Peanuts entry, being released in 2011. It surely is overstuffed with too many plot points and uneven, but it works more often than not with a good couple of subplots. Naturally the standout aspect is the major storyline with Linus losing his security blanket and trying to get it back. This is his defining moment and it features him giving a heartwarming speech about insecurities.

8. A Charlie Brown Valentine

Another Little-Red Haired girl entry on the list, Charlie Brown accidentally invites both Peppermint Patty and Marcie to his party where he wants to talks to his crush. This special is convoluted, but frequently very funny and works great as a Valentine Peanuts story. I also found its ending to be wonderfully ambiguous and certainly one of the most memorable in the series.

7. Why, Charlie Brown, Why?

This is probably the most depressing that the series ever got. And although it was too dark at times, its honest treatment of cancer was groundbreaking at the time for the animation medium and certainly admirable. Linus is an excellent protagonist here as he falls in love with Janice, who suffers from cancer. The final moment where she throws her hat away and it turns out that she has hair meaning that she is treated was just beautiful to witness and so powerful.

6. Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!

Charlie Brown has to read a book for homework while all of the other kids celebrate the holiday. I found this story to be overly cruel to good old Chuck, but it was mostly very funny in this scenario and it features a great use of Sally, Linus and of course Charlie himself. They made use of this particular holiday really well here while also presenting a solid, relatable homework subplot.

5. Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?

Linus and Lucy are moving away and that naturally led to some poignant drama. However, it also led to a couple of important moments that we had never seen before it. The scene where Schroeder realizes that he cares for Lucy is just amazing and heartwarming. Sally is also hilarious with her Sweet Baboo obsession and the entire story ended in a typical manner, but was mostly very moving and wonderful.

4. It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

This 1974 special features a terrific Easter theme and a great arc for Linus in one of his best storylines. He and Sally are so cute together and his obsession with the titular character was so well explored. But Peppermint Patty and Marcie also got a great subplot and it was funny watching their always infectious dynamic. This special only lacks in Charlie Brown himself, but all of the others are so great and memorable.

3. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Everything I said above also applies here as this one is also uneven with too little Charlie Brown and too many subplots, but it is great and better than the above entry because it features once again terrific Linus and a very good use of Snoopy who is here a World War I flying ace. His silent scenes were quite amusing and the overall special is overcrowded, but succeeds in most of its parts.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Everyone loves this special and certainly it is very good. However, I myself do not find it to be the best Peanuts special and this second place indicates that. It was a bit too slow for me. But there is no denying the greatness in its plot which feels simplistic, but is an essential Christmas tale with a great holiday spirit to it. As the first entry, it also succeeds in getting us introduced with each and every character as all are very well utilized here.

1. Charlie Brown’s All Stars

Charlie Brown is a manager of a baseball team and is offered a help from the sponsor. He would get free uniforms, but if he gets rid of the girls and Snoopy because no girls or dogs are allowed to play in the team. He rejects that because he does not want to betray his friends and after the girls mock him for losing, they find out what he did for them and they make him a uniform out of Linus’s blanket. Needless to say, this storyline is just fantastic as it makes use of the sport and the protagonist’s losing nature really well. It also features such a wonderful ending, but is frequently hilarious and possibly the funniest the gang has ever been. Aggressive, funny and ultimately emotionally rewarding, this second Peanuts special has it all which is why it is without a doubt the best that the series has to offer.

Honorable Mentions:

Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown – A newer entry, but with a classic sports premise, it features such great Lucy while also being a funny vehicle for Marcie.

You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown – This one is certainly uneven in terms of the quality, but is overall quite eventful, also very funny and Snoopy is very memorable here.

She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown – In this peculiar special, Peppermint Patty is a great protagonist, but Woodstock and Snoopy have rarely been funnier than in here.

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Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

Island of Lost Souls Movie Review

Island of Lost Souls is a 1932 Pre-Code science fiction horror film starring Charles Laughton. It is a very intriguing film that isn’t as great as it should have been.

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Mr. Parker, do you know what it means to feel like God?

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

Based on the famous H. G. Wells novel, it is about an obsessed scientist who is secretly conducting experiments on animals on a remote island. He imagines that he is God as he makes humans out of animals with mixed results. I agree with Wells in that the film relied too much on horror thrills and not enough on science fiction themes and message. Those are still there, but not emphasized as much. The story is so fascinating and dark that it’s a shame that the movie never quite reached its fullest potential.

So this is obviously a Pre-Code movie and it just might be the sickest and most perverse Hollywood film of the thirties. And that is not just because it’s a horror film and as it features half-human, half-animal creatures, but because it also has a lot of nudity and it deals with the subject of bestiality. It is one hell of a crazy movie and that is why it sticks with you. It’s original and different.

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review

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So Island of Lost Souls has its thrills and the element of surprise and it is almost a sensational picture as you cannot believe what you’re seeing even after 80 years. It certainly benefits from having this famous and risqué source material as a script. But the film is never as horrifying as it should have been, at least it wasn’t to me. Do not get me wrong, it is very atmospheric and well made, but just not as scary as ‘Freaks’ was from the same year.

The biggest problem are its characters and acting. Charles Laughton is a great actor but this just isn’t one of his best performances. I don’t know if it was him or the director, but some of the choices were weird and he was at times great, but at times too campy and that same sentiment can be applied to the whole movie which is at times too silly and campy with its costumes. Some costumes are great for its time, but others are not and you can definitely see that it’s a man in a costume.

But I still loved Laughton’s Dr. Moreau as he’s such a fascinating, powerful villain. The main character is boring and Richard Arlen is so bad in the main role. Really his performance is very off-putting here. But Lota is a memorable and tragic character and I really liked her story and I wished to have seen more from her.

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

The film is too fast paced with the transitions not being smooth. It is certainly too short. But that also may be its advantage as it thus felt quick, precise and even urgent in its tone. The short running time is a two-way street here. Overall, Island of Lost Souls fascinated me and it truly is a bizarre, unforgettable experience, but it ended up being just good and never as great as the material demanded.

Island of Lost Souls is a truly bizarre, very risqué Pre-Code horror film that deals with themes such as bestiality and the entire storyline is crazy and it provides an unforgettable experience. The acting is troublesome as Charles Laughton isn’t as great as he usually was here and Richard Arlen is quire mediocre, but Laughton’s villain is still great and the film is very entertaining and though too short, it also felt urgent in its tone and dangerous in its atmosphere. It is a fascinating film, but just not as great as it should have been.

My Rating – 4

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The Cat’s Out (1931)

The Cat's Out Review

The Cat’s Out Review

The Cat’s Out is a 1931 Disney animated short film from the Silly Symphonies series. It is a solid early entry in the series.

The premise isn’t executed as well as it should have been, but it still provides some great moments. I loved the beginning and especially ending. The highlight was the cat chasing the bird, that was funny. Watching what happens to a cat when it’s outside during night was a lot of fun.

I really liked the animation despite the character design of the cat being as unfortunately unrealistic and unappealing as usual for these early entries. I thought that the sound design wasn’t the greatest as the meows did not sound right. The plot is basic, but mostly well utilized. The only big problem is the second half as it is filled with too many imagination and dancing sequences which were subpar when compared to the first half.

The Cat’s Out has a weaker second half, but the premise is solid and the film is quite amusing and interesting.

My Rating – 3.5

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Bugs in Love (1932)

Bugs in Love Review   Bugs in Love Review

Bugs in Love is a 1932 Silly Symphony animated short film by Disney. It is s a very entertaining, hilariously brutal film.

As the last black-and-white Silly Symphony, Bugs in Love is certainly well animated and polished. Again the designs of the bugs themselves are weak, but the crow looks great and sounds good. To me this premise where the crow torments the two bugs who are in love is archaic and the first half is somewhat dull, but the second half is so good that it elevated the material quite a bit.

Yes, watching the bugs torment and absolutely destroy the crow was so much fun. Both the score and sound design are great here, but the highlight is watching the various tools and machinery they used to fight the evil bird. It was brutal, but amusingly so and it even reminded me of Looney Tunes in some moments. I liked the ending, but the second half was really good as a whole.

Bugs in Love is typical in plot, but great in its action which is amusingly quite brutal and inventive.

My Rating – 3.6

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Ranking Disney Renaissance Films

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Ranking Disney Renaissance Films

The Disney Renaissance is the second best period for Disney after their Golden Age so naturally all nine of these movies are at least good and most are great. So because the critical/audience rankings are all very similar, I went with a personal opinion. All of these films are very good, but I ranked them by my own personal preferences and how I see them. So here is my ranking of all nine Disney Renaissance films.

9. Hercules

Yes, Hercules unfortunately takes the last spot on this list but that just goes to show how incredible this period was when a film as good as Herc wound up last. It certainly isn’t a great film as it is too irreverent and frenetic in pacing, but it’s such a fun, underrated film filled with likable characters (Megara ended up very high on my best Renaissance characters list), very authentic animation and a couple of entertaining musical numbers.

8. Pocahontas

Pocahontas did not deserve to have a 50s rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is by no means a bad movie as it has such an important message, it deals with a great story and its animation is gorgeous. Its score is the standout as it’s powerful, moving and filled with a couple of great songs (Colors of the Wind is the second best Disney Renaissance song). But the reason why it ended up this low on my list lies in its messy tone as it doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be at times plus most characters are a bit bland.

7. Mulan

This is the Disney movie that has all of the ingredients of a classic film – the protagonist is a kickass, admirable female character, Reflection and I’ll Make a Man Out of You are amazing songs and the story is impressively mature and dealing with some interesting themes. But something just doesn’t click with me here and I guess that’s mostly the fact that the film is never as dark and as serious as the material needs and the humor and its supporting characters are admittedly weaker. It’s a good, at times even impressive film, but just not great.

6. Aladdin

This is the point on the list where we get from good to really good movies and sure enough, Aladdin is a 4.5 rated movie for me. Yes, the Genie is overrated and the humor here is very dated at times, but its Middle Eastern setting is put to great use here, the film is hugely entertaining and it has a bunch of memorable characters in it. The action is so good and the soundtrack is of course excellent. It is probably the best fun and irreverent Disney film ever.

5. The Lion King

The Lion King’s quality is undisputed. Its soundtrack is quite possibly the best ever for Disney as it has no fluke in it (Hakuna Matata gets the closest to being a failure), the animation is great, the characters are very well developed and its score is majestic and it makes such great, original use of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. And of course do not get me started on its opening as it is such a grand, truly monumental piece of filmmaking and the best ever opening scene in any film. But the film never quite recaptured the glory from that beginning and Scar is sometimes too careless and Timon and Pumbaa are too over-the-top. That’s why the film is a tad bit overrated to me and why it lands on the middle of my list and far from the top.

4. Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast isn’t as perfect as most would think, but it truly is the most romantic and elegant Disney has ever been. The animation is gorgeous and the ballroom sequence is one of the greats in film history. The film features a plethora of well developed characters, a timeless story and a couple of great songs with Beauty and the Beast, Belle Reprise and Be Our Guest being the highlights.

3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This is a shamefully underrated film and the darkest that Disney has ever produced in my opinion, even rivaling ‘The Black Cauldron’ in that respect. Hellfire is not only a powerful musical number, but also one hell of a scene – dark and fascinating. Frollo is one of the best and most realistic villains from the studio, the story is for once dramatic and containing no fantasy elements whatsoever and it deals with very mature themes such as discrimination and lust. This is easily the most mature and adult film on this list.

2. Tarzan

Another unfortunately underrated film here and one of my personal favorites, Tarzan is not only a lot of fun as this adventurous and funny film, but it’s also emotionally engaging and very well told in terms of storytelling. Jane is such a great character and Terk is a great sidekick. The animation is excellent and the action is very exciting. The songs from Phil Collins are great in their own right. This film has it all and it’s an almost perfect Disney adaptation of this novel.

1. The Little Mermaid

I adore this movie to pieces and it topped all three of my Renaissance lists for many great reasons. First, the soundtrack. Part of Your World, Kiss the Girl and Under the Sea are undisputed classics. Secondly, the animation. It is the first truly great animation in a long time for Disney and it signaled the start of a great period for the studio. And of course you have the characters. Ursula is a superb and competent villain, Sebastian is the best sidekick ever, King Triton is a wonderful dad and Ariel is the heart and soul of the film. Whether it is her desire to become human or Triton’s fatherhood issues, the film is deep and meaningful while being consistently engaging and entertaining as well. It is the best Disney Renaissance film and the third best overall for the studio. A timeless classic.

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Pearl (2016)

Pearl ReviewPearl Review

 Pearl is a 2016 animated short film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

The film follows a man and his younger daughter as she grows up. The film is an interesting experiment as we follow her growing up from the front seat of a car, that is where we watch all of the action from. The animation is solid and the highlight for me was the score. The song that accompanied it was beautiful and heartwarming and it certainly fitted this story like a glove.

However, Pearl is an interesting, but not successful experiment. The idea behind it is great, but it wasn’t executed properly. I thought that it wasn’t that engaging or comprehensible to follow and it should have been much more emotional as it left me cold personally. But the biggest problem is that the film is the first Oscar nominated VR film and I do not have that technology so I couldn’t watch it as it should be watched. So the movie is made for just a handful of people who have that technology and that is troublesome.

Pearl is definitely a unique experiment which unfortunately isn’t fully successful as it needed more characterization and emotion in it.

My Rating – 3.8

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