Disney Movie Marathon Challenge

Discussion in 'Disney Movies, Books, TV and Music' started by RSandRS, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Tangled (2010)

    So we watched Tangled last night, and I thought I might grab a few minutes to write about it this morning, as it’s unlikely to happen during the week. The end is almost in sight with these reviews now, and I don’t want us to run out of steam too much!

    Tangled is a nice film. It’s fine. Erm...that’s kind of it. You need more? OK.

    As far as story goes, it’s very traditional, holding all the familiar beats of a Disney-style coming-of-age story. Rapunzel is the traditional naive Disney heroine (in the style of Ariel or Cinderella or whoever) who wants something ‘more’, sings about it, and then meets up with plot (in the form of a handsome man) in order to be ushered along to her happy ending in the form of love and marriage, defeating the villain along the way. They certainly weren’t trying anything new here, and though they made some interesting choices that make the film very watchable, it’s too by-the-numbers and unambitious to really stand out among Disney’s greats.

    The main three characters of the film are good, but let’s deal with them in a second. The second-tier characters of Tangled are very forgettable indeed. Although the idea of the Snuggly duckling ruffians is a fun one, none of them makes much of an impression - they are just a group of ugly people who are useful to our good-looking heroes. Pascal is maybe the least interesting Disney sidekick yet - he doesn’t even really have a personality. He’s just there to sell accessories. Maximus is a bit better, but he’s not enough. Of course Tangled is a very simple story, and maybe doesn’t need loads of interesting characters, but it does contribute to the overall lack of ambition about this film.

    The three main characters are much better. Rapunzel is cute and certainly isn’t a damsel in distress - she’s very likeable, though that may be it in terms of her personality. Flynn Rider and Mother Gothel are the really good characters in this movie. Flynn is one of the hottest Disney princes (apart from Li Shang because dayummm) and provides the acerbic humour the movie needs to stop it from being too nicey-nicey. Mother Gothel is interesting because she’s an altogether evil, traditional Disney villain, like Ursula or Maleficent, but doesn’t have powers or grand ambitions like them. She doesn’t want to rule the Kingdom or kill anybody, she just wants to stay young and hers is a much more grounded and believable type of evil, based on manipulation of a child. And although the woman who voices her makes her delightfully evil (especially in Mother Knows Best, which is a fantastic song), she also gives her moments of chilling believability that make her really quite scary.

    The animation of the film is probably one of the most bla things about it. Disney seems to have more trouble creating an individual look and feel for computer animated films than it did for its 2D animated ones. When you think about how much character The Princess and the Frog’s artwork has when compared to Tangled, the bland prettiness of it stands out even more. Tangled could easily take place in the same universe as Frozen (and does according to many internet theories) or even How to Train Your Dragon - which isn’t even from the same studio! It’s good animation, and worlds away from what they achieved only a few years before in Meet the Robinsons, but it’s nothing to rave about.

    In terms of the music, this is a pretty good one. Alan is once again in charge and comes up with a clutch of great songs, that move the story along, help us understand the characters, and just feel so...Disney! It’s very satisfying. Again these songs could maybe be accused of being a tiny bit safe, but they suit the tone of the film perfectly and the cast perform them very well. Or am I just allowing my love of musicals to run away with me? The soundtrack music is far better than it needed to be - that sequence where they dance in the town square is absolutely gorgeous!

    Overall Tangled is a nice and very sweet movie. I’ve watched it quite a few times and will probably watch it again. It requires nothing from me, except to enjoy it, to sing along and to go ‘aww’. Definitely a successful Disney film, but not one of their masterpieces.
     
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  2. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    With Toy Story 4 (if they have to do it!) I really hope they go down the route of questioning, what actually is a toy? and when does something become a toy? as suggested by the trailers-Pixar can do the philosophical and make it understandable like nobody else!
     
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  4. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    I'm a little taken aback by your review of Tangled here? "Bla?" "Unambitious?" I can't even believe we're talking about the same movie. Yes, the Disney formula is in full swing, but that's a good thing after the recent slate. The movie looks absolutely beautiful, with it's watercolor palette and soft edges. The fact that they took the plot and "tangled" it into more of a crowd-pleaser, and that it came out so strong, is a testament to the heart that went into the movie. Of course, the return of Alan Menkin brings the strongest suite of songs in a while (in fact quite brilliant ones), and they help the movie move along with a verve and energy rarely seen in animation at that point. Tangled is a revolutionary film for both Disney and animation in general. If Princess and the Frog was the official start to the "Second Disney Renaissance" then Tangled is solid proof of that continued resurgence.

    In a side note, Tangled: The Series is absolutely fabulous. If you don't watch it, you should.
     
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  5. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    That's sort of my feeling too, I have the disc and kind of half watched it a couple of times, I wasn't enamored with it.
    Well I'm going to watch it again with fresh eyes:)
     
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  6. TheStarscream759

    TheStarscream759 Mouseketeer

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    Tangled is a great film, beautiful animation, Rapunzel is adorable, Flynn Rider is one of my favourite Disney characters, and it's a film I wish I saw in cinemas because I ended up seeing it on rented DVD in my own home and it was so good I even got my own copy of it.
     
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  7. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    I missed this in theaters too. I wasn't quite the Disney Maniac I am today. In fact, I credit this movie with helping to reignite that spark. A friend had told me it was a great movie. I ended up with a rare weekend evening with no friends wanting to hang out. I rented the movie (blu-ray at least) and watched it. I was blown away! I had been unsure about the CG, and after Disney's previous attempts who can blame me? This is the movie where they surpassed Dreamworks and even Pixar, and they haven't looked back!
     
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  8. TheStarscream759

    TheStarscream759 Mouseketeer

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    The funny thing is I was still into Disney movies I went to see Tron Legacy and that trailer where it just featured Flynn and Maximus for the most part was actually shown before the film. And it was in the same year that both films came out.
     
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  9. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Tangled is really good. I guess it's just not special for me. Its got a lot of good ingredients and nice characters, but I guess it doesn't wow me like I know Disney can wow me!
     
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  10. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Never watched this! I think I heard the theme song once and thought it was great so will have to give it a shot! I know its on DisneyLife.
     
  11. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Cars 2 (2011)

    Clearly Tangled split opinion between nice/good and excellent! Lets see where we are with Pixar's latest!

    Cars 2 is not that great. Not that I was expecting much from a Cars sequel, as Cars itself is so average, but any film that is so underwhelming and ill-thought out from such a brilliant studio as Pixar is extremely disappointing.

    In terms of positives, there’s really only one that I can think of: the movie looks spectacular. The backgrounds are gorgeous, and setting the film in various visually-exciting cities is a great opportunity for Pixar to really show off what they can do. There’s lots of big wide shots that linger just a moment or two too long, as if to say, ‘Look how clever we are!’ And they are very very clever, so thats all good! Love the allusion to Ratatouille!

    Not so much in terms of story or character for this movie, however. Cars 2 definitely bucks the Pixar trend of creating a grounded, realistic dilemma that people can identify with and then making it about fish or something, and not in a good way. One of the biggest crimes of Cars 2 is that you could replace the cars with literally anything else and the film would be exactly the same. Cars 1 used the metaphor of Route 66 to discuss themes like the decline of small-town living and dealing with the pace of change.

    We also certainly didn’t need to involve any of the characters from the first film. Or motor racing. Honestly Cars 2 has nothing to do with Cars. It doesn’t develop the themes of the first one, it doesn’t take the characters on new journeys and challenge their views...in fact it’s quite difficult to put your finger on what Cars 2 is about at all. A massive amount happens, but none of it seems to be in service of any particular message. Someone wanted to make a spy caper. That’s it. In itself this is not a problem, but its not always a fun caper!

    Another big mistake of the film is to base it around Mater. Mater is a bit irritating in the first movie, but not overly, he actually proves to be cannier than he appears. This is not the case in Cars 2. Not only is he even more prone to mishap than in Cars throughout the whole movie (meaning that the joke really wears thin), but he lucks into a lot of solutions to problems, and the other characters are constantly telling him how brilliant he is. The movie really wants us to think he’s great, and that Lightning McQueen is a d-bag for trying to get rid of him, but the truth is that he’s just very annoying, and if he were your friend you’d want to get rid of him too.

    And not to keep going on and on about the Mater problem, but the two main additional characters that have been added for this movie, the two British spies, unfortunately only end up making him even more irritating. They infuriatingly keep thinking he’s lying when he says he’s just a tow-truck, and not a spy, just because the plot requires it, and of course his simple wisdom ends up saving the day, because Mater can apparently do things that British Intelligence isn’t capable of. It means that the film ends up becoming one of those annoying narratives where a free-spirited American comes and rescues the Brits from our stiff upper lips and teaches us all how to see the world in a way that had never occurred to us before. This is a common theme in movies! We are either the genius bad guys (bad guys is totally true-although we are not so genius!) or need to be taught to loosen up! This is not actually an issue Brits have we are all completely bonkers, its just a different sense of humour!

    So yeah, Cars 2: not amazing. Pixar, we expect better. See me after class.
     
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  12. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Alan Menkin did the theme song and several other songs that crop up throughout the run of the series. It is really well done.
     
  13. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    I can agree somewhat. Cars 2 does have a theme though, and that is about friendship. Mater feels slighted by Lightning, though he deals with it in a pretty immature manner. That said, the general antics of Mater wear thin. He's great in small doses, but he can't carry an entire movie. The world they created is cool. I love the "James Bond" car and such, but the story doesn't really come together all that well. I think it's an okay movie, especially for kids, but it doesn't even raise to the heights of Cars 1, which isn't really all that special either. It's pretty mediocre.
     
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  14. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    In keeping with my policy of "no sequels" I haven't seen Cars 2 or 3. I think the motivation for these films was "move more merch" which I'm sure paid-off handsomely. :)
     
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  15. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

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    Cars 3 is actually much better than 2. It has more heart and is more like the first one. I don't think sequels are automatically a bad thing, but in the case of Cars 2, it wasn't the best. It feels a bit like one of the direct-to-video efforts from a story perspective. It's okay, just not great.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  16. TheStarscream759

    TheStarscream759 Mouseketeer

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    Cars 2,the black sheep of Pixar movies, and the one that put Pixar on a bit of low streak for a time. Well...not low but the following films were definitely not as good as the previous ones. Why did they make this a spy flick? It has no reason to be here, intrusive and just feels nothing like Cars. I don't like Mater as a character and in this movie he's at his worst here. It's a good thing the third move doesn't even acknowledge this because this angle of Mater being a super spy does not work with the idea of Cars.

    When I saw teasers for this I was like: "They can't be serious with this premise, this has got to be a joke." It's just not worth seeing.
     
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  17. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Just rechecking, does this also apply to Toy Story? Those are the only sequels where you could argue the sequels were better, I would think. Although I do have a soft spot for Rescuers Down Under and thats a fav. Not sure that there are others though which beat the original. Cannot think of any off the top of my head.
     
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  18. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Agree Cars 3 is more fun and has more heart. That one (whenever we get to it) will be a good watch.
     
  19. RSandRS

    RSandRS Mouseketeer

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    Will have to get round to watching more this weekend...No idea whats next...
     
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  20. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

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    Well, no it doesn't :o I guess when I think sequels I'm thinking more of the direct-to-video things and sequels that come decades after the original (lookin' at you Bambi II) But I haven't seen Wreck It Ralph 2 because I thought I'd get around to watching the first one at some point. I haven't seen Incredibles 2 but I loved the first one. I'm guess my policy is inconsistent.;)
     
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  21. TheStarscream759

    TheStarscream759 Mouseketeer

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    If your talking about Direct to Disney sequels, I'd say Aladdin and the King of Thieves is pretty good. Animation is almost on level with the original, they got Robin Williams to voice the Genie again, Sa'luk is a pretty threatening opponent for Aladdin and Co and the plot involving Cassim and the Hand of Midas is very interesting and develops Aladdin as a character for me.
     
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