Top 5: Disney Cars (Who Weren’t in Pixar’s “Cars”)

Heck, I haven’t even seen “Cars”. But heading off to that well is just the EASY way to do this top 5 list, and heaven knows, I never do anything the easy way!

Now… we just need to see if I can actually come up with 5 cars from Disney movies or shows.  Good luck. 😛  On the plus side, while I can’t say for certain this is a topic no one else has done, I CAN say I don’t think it’s been done all that often!

5. Herbie the Love Bug

Herbie actually is the star of his own live action movies. And there are several.  AND he’s at the All-Star Movies Resort in WDW!  …Having said all that, I’m not sure I can really say much more about Herbie that is that positive.  I’ve never felt inclined to watch a single “Herbie” movie, not even the one with Bruce Campbell in it.  But one thing you can say for Herbie, he’s got stage presence.

You weren't expecting me to put up a pic of Lindsay Lohan here, were you?  BRUCE. CAMPBELL.

You weren’t expecting me to put up a pic of Lindsay Lohan here, were you? BRUCE. CAMPBELL.

4. Lightcycles from “Tron”/”Tron Legacy”

Cheating, I know. These are not cars.  There ARE light cars in “Tron Legacy” but frankly I prefer the light cycles.  The cars aren’t cool enough to make this list. 😉 All I can say is, if I could find a bike that left a big tangible trail of light behind me I would ride it EVERYWHERE.  All the time.  I’d ride it around and around people so that I could tie them up in light-ribbons.

Old school...

Old school…

...New school.

…New school.

3. Goofy’s Car

You’ve seen Goofy’s jalopy, right?  Right?!  That jalopy just screams Goofy.  It’s all big and clunky and falling apart, carelessly slapped together and always essentially serving the same purpose as Goofy, to make a mess of things. 😀  If you haven’t seen it anywhere else, I know you have seen it in Mickey’s Trailer.

2. The Motorcars from “the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad”

The “putt-putt-putt” noises that the early motorcars make are so entrancing to Mr. Toad that he can’t stop thinking about them even before he’s driven one.  The cars in this film are completely inanimate, but regardless they serve as an important character in the story, as Mr. Toad’s motivation for a few very bad decisions.  Motor MANIA!

 

 

1. Susie the Little Blue Coupe

This is kind of a forerunner of Cars, in terms of design at least, but it’s a sweet little Disney short that you can’t help but smile over.  If you’re over a certain age, you’ve probably seen it a number of times on the older Disney Channel – you know, back when they showed classic cartoons? 😉  Susie is a peppy little blue coupe who hits hard times when she gets a bit older, but finds a happy ending before it’s too late.  And it’s narrated by Sterling Holloway, so no complaints here!

Got any other cars to add?  I’m always interested in your comments!

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Top 5: Forgotten Disney Princesses

So sometimes I wonder what the criteria is to get into the official line of Disney Princesses.  The main roster is pretty self-evident and makes sense: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Rapunzel, and now Merida.  Okie-dokie!  Less marketed, but still “Official”, are Pocahontas – okay, still with ya there – and… Mulan.  Which is where I stop and say “Wait, what?” because Mulan isn’t a princess.  Like, at all. She’s a rural peasant who saves her nation but she’s still not actually royalty.  Not even by marriage.  Not like nobody else has ever pointed this out, or anything, and I like Mulan so I’m not trying to dis her at all, but she’s just not a princess.  So why is she there, but others aren’t – let’s say, Alice, or Wendy, or… or Mary Poppins?  Well, it’s not really relevant to the rest of this article, so let’s let that one drop. 😀

Anyway, what really is odd to me though is the fact that they brought in Mulan but they leave out a few actual legit princesses.  More than a few really, they have numerous princesses over the years – official princesses – who just haven’t been interesting, main-character-ish, or – let’s go ahead and say it – profitable enough to rate official inclusion in the Princess line.  So with all that said, here’s my Top 5 Forgotten Princesses (plus an Honourable Mention, because I can do that when I want to!).

YEAH princess!  She's got it down.

YEAH princess! She’s got it down.

Honourable Mention: Charlotte LaBouf (Princess and the Frog).

Yes, Tiana is the ACTUAL Princess by the end of the movie, and as I always like to point out, she has the best princess dress design EVER (lily pads!!); but let’s not forget that her friend Charlotte is a princess, in more than one way, quite before Tiana.  Enough so that she even fulfills the “Kiss A Princess” rule, albeit temporarily!  Okay, Charlotte is really a princess wannabe, but she lands the role for 24 hours anyway, and she’s been living the lifestyle for pretty much her whole life.  This one doesn’t really rank, b/c she’s a backup in a movie that HAS a “legit” Princess, but hey. I love Charlotte almost as much as I love Tiana, and I’d like to see her more.  So there! 😀

Now on to the real list!

#5: Tiger Lilly, Peter Pan

Damsel in distress?

Damsel in distress?

Indian Princess Tiger Lilly is really a background character with no actual lines (except half of a word), and she’s really not “glamourous” the way the official Princesses have to be. Plus I suppose they’ve already got Pocahontas filling out the “Native American” requirement.  But let’s be fair, if Poca counts then Tiger counts too!  She fills all the typical requirements of her time: rescued by the hero, remains noble, even gets a little kiss in by the end. 😉  Despite my jab at first about her lacking the glamour factor, I think it would be kind of nice to have a young princess get some attention in this line.  Without being glittered up like they tried to do with Merida.  Never happen, but it would be a message I’d like to see from the Princess line, which I find a little – um, questionable in certain aspects.  You can be a Princess, hold yourself in high esteem, be valued and respected, and be YOURSELF. (Okay… I confess I’m glossing over the less-PC aspects of the portrayal of the Indian tribe in Peter Pan.  I don’t care to go into it with this particular Top 5 list, but it’s a legit complaint in terms of example being promoted, and we’ll leave it at that.)

#4: Eilonwy, The Black Cauldron

C'mon! She totally looks the part!

C’mon! She totally looks the part!

There is actually a good chance you have no idea who this is. 😀  That is, if you haven’t seen “The Black Cauldron”, the – well, the animated flop from the mid-80s.  It’s based on a rather good series of books fantasy books, but they didn’t do the best adaptation of all-time.  A bit on the boring side as I recall.  Eilonwy is a fun character – more so in the books, they kind of defanged her a little in the movie – but she is indeed a princess, and a bit of an enchantress, too.  And she’s cute as a little firecracker button, she is!  She’s got a temper and a giant stubborn streak in the books, as I recall, though she mellows over the course of them; in the movie, she’s just a bit feisty, if I’m remembering right.  I’d like to see her again, regardless.  I like her name, her design, and her general Eilonwyness.

#3: Megara, Hercules

The only potential "princess" to wear a glower half the time. And look really good with it on, too.

The only potential “princess” to wear a glower half the time. And look really good with it on, too.

C’mon. Megara. Megara, guys.  She’s got one of the best songs of any Disney film out of the later half of the 1990s, she’s a great conflicted character, and really now… wife of the son of the king of the gods?  You’re going to tell me that doesn’t count as a princess?  FEH.  Megara ought to be represented here. You know why she isn’t – because she doesn’t have a big poofy dress.  THAT’S WHY.  Well, maybe it’s also because she spends half the movie working for the bad guy, or because she’s quick with a sarcastic quip, and maybe Disney decided that wasn’t the “image” they were promoting with their Princess line.  That makes more sense than the dress thing, I guess.  If you ask me, that’s WHY she should be included in the Princess line.  DIVERSITY, Disney!  Not all princesses have to have good attitudes all the time!

#2: Kida, Atlantis

Kida is as upset as I am that it is really, REALLY hard to find good screencaps of her on the internet. :(

Kida is as upset as I am that it is really, REALLY hard to find good screencaps of her on the internet. 😦

I haven’t seen this movie since it came out. I’m not even joking.  I haven’t seen it since 1999 or whenever it was released. 1998? I don’t know. I was looking forward to Atlantis and I was more than a little let down by it, though I enjoyed it, I guess. I don’t remember it that well since I haven’t seen it since. 🙂 But I still think Kida honestly should be recognized here, even if it’s just as a “backup” the way Pocahontas is.  She’s got an interesting design, she’s powerful, independent, smart, and maybe kind of dangerous.  But kind.  She’s a very different kind of princess, one with experience and wisdom, and I bet she’d be the oldest member of the Princess line if she made it on there.  I’m not just saying that because she has white hair, I know that’s just cosmetic. 😉  But weren’t the inhabitants of Atlantis all, like, hundreds of years old?  Oh well.  Bring out Kida.  Her movie should be given another fair shake, and I’ll tell you why: Because the guy who plays Father Guido Sarducci is in it, and I could listen to him read the phone book and still laugh.

#1: Giselle, Enchanted

The only real-life gal on our list! She wins for singing in the middle of a park.  That is my FAVOURITE THING.

The only real-life gal on our list! She wins for singing in the middle of a park. That is my FAVOURITE THING.

Okay, if I’m honest, Giselle doesn’t meet the standards for Princess-hood either (see my complaint about Mulan).  But she SHOULD.  Sure, she isn’t actually a princess at the start of the movie, but really, all that’s missing is the formal title! She talks to animals, wears floofy dresses, has flowers in her hair, and breaks into spontaneous song in public parks.  And manages to get others doing the same.  Everyone else on this list is debatable, but Giselle IS a Disney Princess, and Disney knows it.  She was a walkaround character for a while and nearly was added to the permanent pantheon.  However, what I’ve read (might not be true, this is the internet) is that, because she was portrayed by a living person, Disney did not own the intellectual copyright on her appearance and would have to pay royalties to Amy Adams, the actress who portrayed her, if they wanted to use her image.  Since this is a unique case among their princesses, they removed her from the lineup instead. 😦

So!  Share your thoughts in the comments!  Please don’t pick any PC arguments though. It’s not a matter of whether or not I think they’re valid, I’m just not going after that right now. 🙂  I’ve mentioned before that I like to keep this blog mainly positive, and if I’m going to debate things like Disney and PC, I’m going to do it in a different post.  Thanks for being respectful! 🙂

Top 5: Really Controversial Top 5 Topics

So, my first “Top 5” list was “Best Disney Princesses”.  That being such a matter of personal opinion, it got me thinking about how many controversial “Top 5” lists there are out there and how choosing the wrong topic could be playing with fire.  And THAT made me want to do another Top 5 list! XD  So these are my best choices for “too controversial for a Top 5 list” topics… got any to add?

#5: Worst Disney Princesses

I have to say Cinderella looks kind of confused. It's not raining, Cindy!  You're inside!

I have to say Cinderella looks kind of confused. It’s not raining, Cindy! You’re inside!

Actually, in retrospect, I’m almost surprised that “Best Princesses” wasn’t too controversial. LOL! Every princess has at least one fan and at least one hater.  But *I* love my picks and that’s all that matters! 😉  No, but there are certainly plenty of blogs that could get away with a “Worst Disney Princesses” list and either not offend its readers, or just not care… I’m not going to go there.  Would it surprise you to know that I probably could find 5 princesses to put on the list? I’m not 100% sure I could do 5 but I know I could do 3.  No, I’m not going to say who. 😉

#4: Politicians Who Are Like Disney Characters

I figured this was kind of a safe one. *lol*

I figured this was kind of a safe one. *lol*

I mean this is just asking for trouble. 😉 I actually can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, I was just fishing for some topics likely to offend someone. XD

#3: Disney Attractions That Should Be Replaced

This is actually a fun topic, and a lot of blogs have covered it – podcasts, too.  It’s a topic I don’t find offensive at all, because it’s all in fun, and even when one of my favourites is mentioned I usually react with “LOL nooooo!” 😉 However, like I said in #5, I like to keep it positive.  It’s just not the direction I want my blog to take, but that doesn’t mean I don’t *have* opinions, I  just end up not – OH OKAY GET RID OF STITCH’S GREAT ESCAPE already.  There. I said it. I regret nothing. 😉

#2: Disney Films I’d Like to Forget About

*cough* I didn't say anything. (OK, OK, I haven't seen this movie. It's just the one that most people agree on, is all.)

*cough* I didn’t say anything. (OK, OK, I haven’t seen this movie. It’s just the one that most people agree on, is all.)

Guaranteed to offend SOMEONE.  Every single one of my least favourite Disney films has at least one hugely die-hard fan. So I tend not to speak out about the ones I dislike. *g*

#1: Reasons Why “Song of the South” Should/Should Not Be Released

I still haven't seen this. Guess there's a good chance I never will.

I still haven’t seen this. Guess there’s a good chance I never will.

I just… ’nuff said. XD

Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

It’s not that often that I get to see new movies. 🙂  The reasons are lengthy but boil down to: I only see 1-2 movies in a theatre per year and at least one is a child’s movie, I don’t have cable, and I only have streaming Netflix and not the discs so basically, if it ain’t on Netflix, the chances are not that great that I’m going to see it. Plus I split the kids-movie detail with my husband, so I see about half of the main releases. (This means that to date I STILL have not seen Wreck-It Ralph. I know.  No, really, I know. ^_~)

Anyway!  When I recently took a long work trip to San Francisco, I had a six-hour flight both ways.  Lucky me. 🙂 On the return flight the DirecTV option was free for some reason!  So I took advantage, and although “Wreck-It Ralph” was available, I (for reasons that are valid but I won’t go into) opted to save that for later and selected “Oz The Great and Powerful”.

I'm sure if you actually see it in 3D, it's like being inside this poster.

I’m sure if you actually see it in 3D, it’s like being inside this poster.

When I heard of the movie’s upcoming release, about a year or so ago, I wasn’t sure what I thought about it.  I am well-used to Disney doing really awful live action movies.  Even the recent ones that I’ve enjoyed (“Tron Legacy” for instance) have been more like… “I’m not sure why I’m enjoying this, because I can see EVERY SINGLE TURN this script is going to take, but I like it anyway!”  On the other hand, Sam Raimi and I are old friends who go way back.  Yep.  We are buds.  I won’t take this line of thinking so far as to let anyone think I’ve actually met him, oh no, but like… I saw “Army of Darkness” when I was in college, so… 😉  No, but seriously, I did discover the whole Evil Dead thing when I was the appropriate age, and I have a fierce love of Bruce Campbell – as everyone should – and you can’t really separate Bruce from Sam. I mean, if you love Bruce you have to at least like Sam because Bruce is in nearly every movie Sam makes; conversely, if you love Sam, you have to at least like Bruce, for the same reason. *G*  It doesn’t hurt that I adore Bruce, who comes across as the most incredibly snarky yet still honestly NICE guy ever, and Sam is a really INTERESTING and inventive director.  I – um… this is really turning into an unnecessary digression, isn’t it. 😦  *Ahem*

So the thing I like about Sam Raimi is that he’s got a very recognizable style. I really appreciate and like directors where you can look at a movie and say “Yep, that’s Sam Raimi!” or substitute, say, “Wes Anderson”, “Tim Burton”, etc.  So my hopes were mixed for this film, because Sam Raimi is a great director, but Disney has – pardon me but it’s true – ruined films by good directors before this.  I also dislike prequels as a rule, but that is not a subject I’ll go into here. 🙂  SO – I was wary.  I heard good reviews but I was still wary, because a lot of times I and the general movie-going public disagree. *G*

Well, here’s the spoiler-free Teal Dear (TL;DR = Too Long; Didn’t Read) summed up version: I liked it.  I had issues with a few things, but I liked it over all and I call it a solid film from Sam and a successful live action film from Disney. Yay!

She is never not adorable. Seriously.

She is never not adorable. Seriously.

Here’s the spoiler-free longer, but still not too long, version: I really liked it as a standalone movie.  I went into it without any spoilers so other than most of the cast I didn’t know what to expect.  I did have some issues with a little bit of the casting but most of it was excellent, particularly Rachel Weisz.  The film was a little bit pat in spots, but one of my favourite things was the China Girl – not for how cute she was, though she is adorable, but for the way that she links back to the opening sequence.  Also, an issue that I have with 3D movies is that I normally don’t see them in 3D (remember what I said early on about not seeing them in theatres often, and even when I do I usually opt for the cheaper 2D), and when you view a film in 2D that was created for 3D, the sequences with the 3D effects usually stand out. Painfully, sometimes (like “Hugo”).  But Sam Raimi’s visual style lends itself extremely well to 3D, and as a result, there are very few moments where the scene’s effects fall flat without the 3D aspect present.  In particular the twister scene is excellent; I can see how it would be enhanced with 3D, but it’s really well-composed even without it and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

I was less impressed with the hat flying out at you, since that was more obvious, but ya know.  Raimi likes flying objects. 😉

I wasn’t able to view this film as a prequel, or as related to the Oz books by Baum.  Why?  Well, although Disney had to avoid all direct references to the MGM movie from 1939, they still seemed to follow that film’s continuity rather than the books’.  Having read the books a lot throughout my youth and now going back to them with my kids, the movie bears very little similarity to the books.  The Wicked Witch is not green in those books, Glinda is not the witch of the North, lots of other things.  They DO pick up extra details from the books: the Quadlings, the China Dolls, some of the beasts that the Wicked Witch commands.  There are also direct visual cues that clearly are inspired by the MGM film even though they’re not replicas of them: Glinda travelling by bubble, etc.  So – this movie feels like it’s intended to be a prequel to the MGM movie even though, by legal rights, it can’t be.  It isn’t based on any existing Oz stories and it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be linked to that world.

The Wizard himself... duh. :)

The Wizard himself… duh. 🙂

Having said that, it does not work for me as a prequel either, and here’s why: James Franco.  I think he gives an excellent performance and is a real natural; but if you look at his performance in this movie, and then you look at Frank Morgan at the end of “The Wizard of Oz” and how he presents the character, it’s night and day. I cannot see James Franco developing into that man, pure and simple. 🙂  I mean, it would be nice for Franco’s Oz to say, in his old age, “No my dear, I’m a very good man, I’m just a very bad wizard”, but that’s not who this character is.  There are also aspects of the Oz and Glinda relationship that make me want, on a personal level, to keep this movie separate from the MGM film.  And I’m not talking about a romantic relationship, but if I go into it, I’ll be giving spoilers. I’m trying to avoid the spoilers.

My casting issues are mainly with the Wicked Witch of the West.  I just don’t buy her.  I actually love her origin but I don’t buy her performance, I’m afraid.  Not her fault, I think she was just miscast.  If you don’t know who plays her… DON’T look it up.  It’s worth not knowing for the scene when you find out. 😀  That was one area where I was kept guessing for a little while, and I enjoyed that.  I liked Glinda, but I thought the interpretation of her character was a little one-note.  She’s smart and strong, and that’s great, but she also ends up boring.  There are ways to have a female character be strong and inspiring and GOOD without having her be dull.  I felt the women characters in this didn’t quite make the grade; the most interesting ones are evil, and the good ones are uninteresting. 😛

The Oz Ladies. There are differing reasons why I feel like each of them is kind of an incomplete character, but they're also all kind of awesome in their own way.

The Oz Ladies. There are differing reasons why I feel like each of them is kind of an incomplete character, but they’re also all kind of awesome in their own way.

So!  I recommend this movie, I think it’s appropriate for kids ages… let’s say, ages 8 and up?  I think anyway… And I’d like to see it again.  I’m really looking for someone I can discuss it with, but nobody I know has seen it yet, so if you want to have an in-depth discussion in the comments I am ALL for that! 😀

 

I actually like how they "updated" the whole travel-by-bubble effect from the MGM movie.

I actually like how they “updated” the whole travel-by-bubble effect from the MGM movie.

 

I do hope that Disney does something else with the Oz rights, though.  The books are SO good, and I love that they tried to adapt “Ozma of Oz” before – back in the 1980s with “Return to Oz”  – but it’s too bad that film turned out the way it did.  I love it, and I loved it when I saw it in 1985, but it really is messed up.  They took what was already a story with a few slightly weird/frightening elements and made parts of it downright sinister – changing the gnomes from funny little elf-like guys into giant creepy rock faces, having Mombi take over Oz, and LORD ABOVE, committing Dorothy to an asylum at the beginning for electro-shock therapy…!  WHO MADE THESE CHANGES? 😀  There’s so much whimsy in the Oz books, and some of it is dancing the edge of creepy, but it’s never sinister.  I hope Disney knows enough to blame the creative changes and NOT the original content for the failure of Return to Oz, because they have huge amounts of material to mine in order to make another Oz movie and I’d hate to see that wasted. Especially since they’re basically holding those stories hostage so that no one else can do them, either. 😛

Disney Top 5: Live Action Films

Okay, we started our Top 5 feature with an easy one but now we’re going to jump into a less-travelled path. I’m going to count mixed-media films in here, not strictly live-action only, but something like “The Three Caballeros” is out even though I love it because it’s mostly animation with a bit of live action. On the other hand, something like “Mary Poppins” is mainly live action with a bit of animation, and that’s okay.So without further ado, here we go: my top 5 picks!

Isn't this how you were with your sister growing up?

Isn’t this how you were with your sister growing up?

#5: The Parent Trap. I’m referring to the original, starring Hayley Mills, although I have to give some props to the remake with Lindsay Lohan. I watched that while I was working at a video store while in college and I was sort of surprised by how charming it was and it still kills me how cute that poor girl used to be. Wow. But I digress! The original is goofy, and dated, but it’s honestly a fun movie. And I wanted to have some classic films represented on here, not just the more recent fare. I can do without the silly duets with herself, but Hayley’s two different characters are pretty well-played and it’s fun to see them “swap”. Plus of course you want to see them succeed and repair their parents’ marriage. The likelihood of this setup, really, seems pretty farfetched but that’s what movies are for. 😉

Kirk Douglas, the Singing Tough Guy

Kirk Douglas, the Singing Tough Guy

Honorable mention to: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which would’ve been my other choice for an earlier live action movie if I had more room. The difference is because I like family comedies more than adventure films and although I enjoyed this one, it went a little slow for me. But it has Kirk Douglas singing in it, and the song is great, so see it just for that if you haven’t yet. 😀

The poster makes it look all wholesome and non-disturbing.  Don't be fooled.

The poster makes it look all wholesome and non-disturbing. Don’t be fooled.

#4: Return to Oz. I think everyone and their mother thought this was a weird and not great movie but I love it. It’s actually relatively faithful to the two books it’s based on, “The Marvelous World of Oz” and “Ozma of Oz”, although liberties are taken. The effects are marvelous. The downside, and this is a valid complaint, is that it is an intense and freaky movie. Even before the Wheelers, the many heads of Mombi the Witch, and the Gnome King we start out with Dorothy being commited to a Sanitorium for shock therapy! This went over my head as a child but I loved the sort of creepy feel to it regardless. And as I said, many of the creepiest elements are straight out of the books (which is what makes Ozma of Oz one of my daughter’s least favourite Oz books right now). I still recommend it, just know what you’re getting into before you show your kids – some of the Gnome scenes are pretty heavy.

Honourable mention to: Flight of the Navigator, another 80s Disney movie I loved as a kid. We used to watch it over and over and OVER on the Disney Channel. Honestly this is an overlooked gem, IMO. 🙂

This is more like "TROOOOON!" which would rhyme with "KHAAAAN!" so there you go.

This is more like “TROOOOON!” which would rhyme with “KHAAAAN!” so there you go.

#3: Tron. I didn’t really care for it so much as a kid but somehow now that I’m older… maybe it’s because of my growing love for Jeff Bridges, maybe because I just appreciate the subtler aspects or the nostalgia of it, I’m not sure. But in any case I have a growing love for this movie, the idea behind it, the look and feel of it – everything! Even the music! I can’t in good conscience put Tron Legacy on here even though I honestly loved it. The thing is, it’s not actually a GOOD movie, it’s just a really fun and entertaining one. I had so many moments of “HAHA WHAT” while watching it but loved it all through. Especially ol’ hippie Jeff. 😀 But well. “Tron” falls short of its Legacy in a few ways but totally wins over it in many others. It’s exciting and well-acted, and oh David Warner. It transcends its rather goofy start to be really great in spite of a somewhat silly concept, in my opinion. 🙂

Pirates and guns and skulls.  Seems legit.

Pirates and guns and skulls. Seems legit.

#2: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. So first of all, this movie is responsible for igniting my love of Walt Disney World about 8 years ago. Secondly though, it was just SO MUCH BETTER than I thought it would be. Johnny Depp is… he’s unexpected. He’s hilarious and poetic in his role. Orlando Bloom is less than that, the show is definitely all Jack Sparrow’s, but both Bloom and Keira Knightley (who, I must admit, I am not a big fan of most of the time) are really great in spite of all that. And the backup cast! And OH Geoffrey Rush! Everyone. Just everyone! Come on, this is Pirates, I don’t have to explain any of this to you. 😀

Honourable Mention to: Enchanted, with Amy Adams. Pirates Vs. Princesses, eh? 😉 Fact is, though, I really enjoyed this movie… but not enough. It felt to me like Disney wasn’t quite sure how to poke a little fun at itself and its conventions without skewering them, so to avoid skewering them they went too far and honoured them a bit too much. There’s a little too much “Aren’t we being funny? Look how we’re making you notice that this is a thing we always do!” but it’s done with SO MUCH LOVE that it kind of… I don’t know, it felt wrong somehow. Don’t get me wrong, the parts of the movie that are NOT being self-referential are actually wonderful. The music is great. Amy Adams is great. The love story is great. EVERYTHING is great except that the whole “We are Disney and you know you love us” attitude hurts me a little. Even though I do love them. 😉 I would love to see more Giselle love in and around Disney parks though. 😀

Practically Perfect in every way!

Practically Perfect in every way!

#1: Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins. This film seems to me to capture everything that Disney is about. The message is subtle, the music is marvelous, Julie Andrews is shiningly gilded with sweetness and a tiny bit of snark you’ll miss if you blink. It’s funny, it doesn’t talk down, it’s deeply layered with things I didn’t get until I was a parent. The animated sequence is a standout but some of the best moments are with Mr. Banks and are quiet. Also, if you haven’t read the books you won’t feel like you’re missing a thing, but if you HAVE, you’ll catch a few little nods that they tucked in. Very few of the actual Mary Poppins stories are precisely followed, but several are referenced rather slyly. It’s fun. 😀

Honourable Mention to: Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This film is NOT on the level of Mary Poppins, however, it’s still really fun and holds a nice place in my heart. My kids watched it recently and really enjoyed it, the Sherman Bros music is great as always, but I also was watching it when I got some very good news and now I associate it with that. Haha. So there you are. 😉