Misguided Reviews


I guess you could call this a review, as I’m going to write EXACTLY what I think of today’s film, ‘Pocahontas’ and leave a score at the end, but in reality, this is going to be more of a rather angry rant. So, as a disclaimer, there will be spoilers and probably more bad language than usual.

With that out of the way, I’m really pissed off right now. For some reason, a couple of films ago, I had the somewhat “misguided” notion that the bad days of Disney were in the rear-view mirror and you know what? I even started to recklessly feel emotions such as optimism. Then along came ‘The Lion King’ which served as a timely reminder that with Disney, sheer unbridled misery and the harsh realities of existence are never more than a stone’s throw away. I was hoping that this would be a one off, but then along came ‘Pocahontas’…

There have been plenty of examples of modern day “family” films, most of them in fact, that demonstrate how a light-hearted fictional story is more than adequate to fulfil the entertainment needs of Mum, Dad, Son and Daughter, in which an occasional teary moment is often balanced out with laughter, happiness and an ideal opportunity for everyone to free themselves from the very real worries of bigotry and corruption that they are prone to experiencing in the three-dimensional world (or in the news). By all means, have issues and dangers that our animated hero must overcome, but as I will be discussing today, firstly ensure these issues and dangers aren’t proverbially shitting on your own doorstep, and secondly, don’t pick a real story that backs you into an “unsatisfactory conclusion” corner.

This film carries a big message. Ok two messages as Disney are clearly screaming from the rooftops “Look everyone! We no longer have any connections to racist ideology! Song of the South? Never happened! Black slave unicorns? That doesn’t reflect the beliefs and attitudes of this company! Well… anymore.” To be fair I do genuinely believe that Disney were now trying to deliver a more positive message and have generally set a fantastic example to today’s kids with their more recent films, but back in the mid-nineties I’m sure some exec’s at chez Disney felt the need to demonstrate that their company had indeed progressed with the times.  But I digress. The real big message from this film states loud and clear: “The British are bastards!”

And they are correct. Quite a lot of the time anyway. I should know, as I’m not just British, I am English. The entitled, arrogant icing sugar on the British Victoria sponge. Going back half a millennium, a few European countries decided to compete in a war of douchery, that mostly entailed seeing who could rape, pillage and erect their flagpoles (euphemism and literal) in more of the non-European world. After watching the Spanish leave a not-so-clean-cut mark on the new world, the British responded with “hold my flagon of mead”, and a new era of pastier skinned bastard arrived on American soil. One of the many places they essentially invaded and took over, was Jamestown, Virginia. Lots of historical stuff happened, and then many hundreds of years later, Disney decided that it would be a perfect setting for a family film…

That’s right. Whilst Pixar were preparing to change the animated world with films about children’s toys magically coming to life, animal adventures, monsters and highspeed racing cars, Disney were thrilling kids with a tale of natives fighting seventeenth century colonial repression. I genuinely feel a good bellwether for gauging that you haven’t picked a good theme for a family cartoon, is when the writer and viewer both have to tiptoe around and ignore the reality of rampant racially charged enslavement (there were many African slaves brought over by the British to do the legwork, which of course are nowhere to be seen here) and sexual aggression in order to make a half-arsed love-story. And half-arsed it most definitely is, and thanks to that “being backed into a corner” by the fact that Pocahontas famously married someone else, she never even has a “living happily ever after” with the male hero, John Smith. This means that the equilibrium that the viewer has been patiently waiting for to bring the film to a satisfactory conclusion is in fact merely finding out that the British leave, sparing the lives of the natives in the process. That would be fine, except for the fact we know in reality this probably wasn’t the case, and even if John and co had buggered off, they would be replaced by another fleet of Cockney thieves and rapists before long. Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine all got their man in the end, and whilst I’m a believer that a strong independent woman don’t need no man, this film doesn’t have enough going for it elsewhere to be the first that takes that approach.

Sorry if this seems somewhat cynical, but that’s what happens when we make family entertainment out of the darker moments of human history. Usually Disney covers dark stories that are largely fictitious, mostly because they like to be pretentious and consider themselves the animated version of fine art or high-brow jazz. Just watch ‘Fantasia’ or the behind-the-scenes parts of ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ if you question this. Of course you don’t want slaves, pillaging and far worse included in a family film but at the same time, ignoring it altogether is equally disrespectful for those who have suffered. So for me, when you have to water down the realities of a story this much, just maybe you aren’t the ones that possess the appropriate vehicle to deliver that tale in the first place.

But of course with this being Disney, when stubbornly trying to deliver a largely depressing scenario in a way that will be entertaining for the little ones, what do you do? Well unsurprisingly, the writers have their perfect solution…

 A fun frolicking animal sidekick! But can an animal sidekick alone compensate for a dark story such as this you say? No? Well then…

Two fun frolicking animal sidekicks!!! I don’t know about you, but I feel this is a jovial treat in waiting now! What you’re still not convinced?

Fuck it, many many fun frolicking animals, there, and we’ve even stuck them on a tree with a face that vaguely resembles an upturned vagina. Don’t believe me?

See? We’ve made a film that is both high-brow and fun and playful at the same time! Are you happy now?

Well actually no, I feel fed-up, and a little sad. But I shall cheer myself up knowing that the next film will involve the good people at Pixar, who feel that it is perfectly acceptable to make a family film about a fiction box of children’s toys. It may not be based on a literary classic or tackling the moral impurities of human history, but you know what, I think both myself, and the rest of my family for that matter, will manage just fine.


Ben 🙄

Great. How do I follow that?! I think that Ben has a lot of good points and I can’t really argue with any of them.

However, the songs are amazing. Ok, ‘Colors of the Wind’ is amazing. ‘Just Around the Riverbend’ is good. The rest are mediocre at, best.

I think this is another one of those Disney films that is great when you’re a child and are yet to discover the cruel, harsh realities of the world, but as an adult, it’s kinda… just… wrong!

However, what I will say is that it has some good characters, an iconic song that gives me ‘the feels’ and adorable animal sidekicks (yeah, that’s right Ben. I like the animal sidekicks! You wait for Mushu!).

Initially, we weren’t going to review the Disney Pixar films until we’d finished all the WDAS ones, but after watching The Lion King and Pocahontas (and the film after is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I think he will also find bleak) , I think Ben needs a bit of light, comedy relief. So I’ve decided the bring the Pixar films into the mix.

Watch this space. I think he’ll love Toy Story (hope I’m right!).


Kerry 😁

Misguided Reviews

The Lion King

*knock at the door*

“Come in”

“Hi boss!”

“Ah George, come in. I’m glad you’re here, I wanted a word. Obviously, you’ve seen the success our other team of writers had with Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin… Impressive films, weren’t they?”

“I guess so. I mean, if it were me, Beast would have been turned into a donkey-slave-child and the flying carpet in Aladdin would have been used by Donald Duck to chase barely legal Latinas on a beach, but we all have our own ways I guess…”

“Ok, Whatever. Now our new team have been really busy with their new project ‘The Lion King’. It sounds very exciting, and they’ve even got Elton John singing some deep stuff about… you know circles, life and shit. But then I got thinking how you’ve been awfully quiet recently, so what have you and your team been doing lately?”

“Well boss, hold onto your hat because we’re about to break new ground and revolutionise animated film! We have a new film ready to roll…. The Rescuers PART THREE!”

“Get out.”

Whoever at Chez Disney decided to cancel the second sequel to ‘The Rescuers’ and focus on films like ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’ should be commended for making a move so financially and creatively shrewd. I reckon there’s probably an alternative reality somewhere in which Disney never changed up their team, and the mid-nineties were a time where Disney tried to turn around its continual descent into irrelevance with ‘The Rescuers 3: Child-slave-farm-on-Mars’ followed by an animated adaptation of a Shakespeare play featuring the lead characters as beavers, complete with timeless songs influenced by ‘Kris Kross’ or ‘Madonna’s’ ‘Erotica’ album. It’s a scary, yet not completely unlikely possibility, with the most remarkable thing being that those hideous prospects would still have probably been better than ‘The Black Cauldron’…

But today in this universe, I’m reviewing ‘The Lion King’… and despite being glad I’m covering this film over yet more shenanigans featuring Bernard and Miss Bianca, I’m about to make myself unpopular, I think. In the early days of my Disney reviews, I would find myself slagging off much loved classics such as Pinocchio, Bambi and Dumbo whilst feeling slightly guilty for doing so, but mostly angry for having to sit through them. Then the films turned to proverbial shit and whilst I still slagged the films off, I felt at least a little less like a complete bastard knowing that most hardened Disney obsessives felt the same way and that we were, in that moment, of accord. Then along came the likes of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and I shared the love that many others felt for these movies and for a short while at least, we were all still united. But alas with the much loved, critically acclaimed, multi-award winning ‘The Lion King’, I feel alienated once again from popular opinion.

The thing is, I can recognize why people love this film. I can see how the soundtrack, animation, characters and story fuse into a magical trip to the movies for so many families. But for anyone who has read through my reviews to this point can probably see how so many of the ingredients of this film would combine to make this a hard watch, or as an unprofessional psychiatrist might say, fuck me right up…

But before you cast me off to Pleasure Island for my CAD (Crimes Against Disney), let me explain why ‘The Lion King’ was for me, so disappointing, following ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Aladdin’.

First and foremost, I think if you’re a ten-year-old kid going to the Cinema and watching this film without preconditions, you would probably have a cracking time. If you quite like that sort of film and you had watched one or two other Disney films prior, you would also come away feeling pretty content with how you just spent the last ninety minutes. If you’re a Disney fanatic, there are obviously many boxes ticked here for you as well. I’m neither of those things. I’m a thirty-something dude with quite an aversion to many Disney tropes, of which this film contains many. I’ve also had the “pleasure” of watching all the Disney films up to 1994 in order for the first time, which as I’ve mentioned previously, gives me a somewhat unique viewpoint on the films.

So, controversial statement number one: This film is far too safe. Why? Because although I’m not expecting Disney to reinvent the wheel with every film, I at least want to see it turn a little bit. I’ve watched thirty Disney films prior to this, and I feel like I’ve seen it all before, multiple times. Yes, this is one of the better stories (thank you Hamlet) and it comes kitted out with computerized animation and Elton John to boot, but I still felt a sense of “been there, seen this, not for me”.

Speaking of “not for me”, there is one film in particular that sprang to mind whilst watching Simba and co. Bambi. Oh Bambi. You came and you gave me… trauma actually. Twenty-five films later and I still haven’t recovered. A lot of people really liked that film. I really didn’t (see review for more life-scarring details). But there are plenty of similarities between these two films. In order to be a hero, a once cute, now grown-up, animal must get over the harrowing death of their parent. What I find impressive though, is that while “Bambi’s mom” is down in cinema folklore for breaking hearts, Mufasa’s death is distressing but also more explicit. Not only to we get more character development of the soon to be deceased, but we also get a good long look at the cub weeping over the corpse. I don’t approach a film on a Saturday night looking for a metaphorical “bunny slope” for dealing with grief.

Controversial statement number two: I don’t like the soundtrack. It’s really not my cup of tea. I quite like Elton John. ‘Step into Christmas’ is one of my favourite seasonal songs and I love a bit of ‘Crocodile Rock’. But there’s plenty of stuff he did that I’m not fond of and this soundtrack falls into that category. I can respect it from a musical standpoint, but I would be more than happy never to listen to any of those songs ever again. That last sentence is a hint to my wife.

I also found I laughed less during this film than I did during films like ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ for example.  Aside from Timon and Pumbaa, this film also reals a little more…  I suppose, serious. I personally want humour to play a more central role in what is essentially a family cartoon. Basically, more laughs and less parents dying, characters being eaten and in the case of Scar and Sarabi, less domestic violence. So as much as I should be scoring this film a solid eight out of ten, I have to score this as a non-Disney fan, reviewing as a guide for other non-Disney fans, which brings me to controversial statement number four:


Ben 🙄

I can’t believe he didn’t like The Lion King. I mean, if I’m honest, I had my suspicions that it might not be his cup of tea. It’s one of only two Disney films he admitted to seeing before. Apparently, I subjected him to it when we first got together (clearly, I don’t remember it, so it must’ve been when I was in the haze of new love… awwww!🤢), but that was over a decade ago AND he previously had an annoying habit of deliberately not paying the blindest bit of attention when I put a film on anyway! He says that he didn’t remember the film, only that I put it on once (see!!!). Clearly now that he’d watched it properly, he was obviously gonna love it. Sadly, no.

The thing is, when someone watches a film with you that you know and they don’t, and they don’t like it as much as you do, it tends to remove the rose-tinted specs a bit. I loved The Lion King, but he’s tainted it now. I can see his point on a few bits and I’m not quite feeling as enamoured as I once was. I am so easily swayed by my husband’s opinions. For shame!!!!

If you want to see Ben’s real-time reaction to The Lion King, I filmed it and stuck on the @disneygftm Instastories, saving it as highlighted stories (because I’m weird nice like that). So, you are welcome to check it out (and see that he does actually exist in case you were strangely debating it).

Onto Pocahontas next. I can assure you that he has definitely not seen that one and I’m quietly confident (“quietly” yet saying it on the internet for all to see!) on this one. We will have to see. I will, again, film his real-time reactions and put it on the ‘Stories’ for all to see (because it amuses me).


Kerry 😁

Top Tens

Top 30 of the first 30 (according to Ben)

To celebrate watching 30 Disney films, I’m doing something a little different today! All good films need a catchy zingy catchphrase to accompany them (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”, “In space no-one can hear you scream” etc…) and I felt most of the Disney ones could be improved and made a little more accurate. I will also rank the films from worst to best as I like to celebrate my geekery with as many lists as possible.

30. Bambi (1942)

“In a woodland where seemingly NOTHING ever happens, a cute fawn is callously orphaned.”

29. The Black Cauldron (1985)

“When a Divination-blessed Pig is kidnapped, a really shit film occurs.”

28. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

“Disney’s latest epic will transport you to a magical new world! Full of misery. And no magic.”

27. The Three Caballeros (1945)

“Learn what a Bahia-boner is and how to molest Latin teenagers from a flying carpet!”

26. The Adventures of Ichabod and Toad (1949)

“Not one but TWO classic tales to nap through!”

25. The Rescuers (1977)

“An epic adventure involving two mice you couldn’t give a crap about.”

24. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

“Be nice about Disney or we’ll make a third one.”

23. Saludos Amigos (1943)

“All the crazy fun, frolics and hijinks of Latin-American wartime propaganda!”

22. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

“Addict bear? Check. Bastard Bunny? Check. Annoying tiger? Check. Submissive pig? Check. Suicidal donkey? Check. What the fuck else do you want?! Particularly fun for young children…”

21. 101 Dalmatians (1961)

“Prepare to visualise in your mind a scenario where a crazy lady rips the skin off of cute puppies. You’re welcome.”

20. Peter Pan (1953)

“Peter Pan may never grow up, but you’ll be amazed how much older you’ll feel after watching him for eighty sodding minutes.”

19. Pinocchio (1940)

“When an old man prays for a young boy, will a middle-aged fairy ignore the creepiness of the wish as well as more beneficial uses of her powers such as solving war, world hunger and inequality and deliver?”

18. Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

“Two more fun-filled Disney tales that are sure to delight children of all ages, assuming the creepy-ass ventriloquist dummies don’t haunt their dreams deep into adulthood…”

17. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

“Do you love investigative mice? Because we love investigative mice, so here’s some investigative mice!”

16. Sword in the Stone (1963)

“Can a crazy old dude and his bastard owl help a boy become king by inexplicably making him fly, have him be chased as a fish and tormenting lovesick squirrels?”

15. Oliver and Company (1988)

“The story of Oliver Twist entwines with the modern trends of MC Hammer and Paula Abdul to form a classic that will never awkwardly age!”

14. Dumbo (1941)

“After being teased about his big ears by bellend children and elephant bitches, can Dumbo use his affliction to his advantage with the assistance of racially-stereotyped-crows and an alcohol induced trip-out?”

13. Fantasia (1940)

“As requested by young children the world over: eight pieces of classical music complete with symbolic and sometimes metaphoric animation, all presented by the wild and untameable Deems Taylor!”

12. The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

“Will an unsolicited and totally random tour of Walt Disney Studios and a blossoming romance with a sound effects lady cost Mr Benchley the opportunity of a lifetime?”

11. The Jungle Book (1967)

“When an abandoned child is raised by frolicking animals, a film that is extraordinarily Disney occurs.”

10. Alice In Wonderland (1951)

“Take a magical trip into a world where nothing makes sense, most of the characters are annoying, character development is non-existent and yet we promise this is still a hundred times more watchable and enjoyable than The Three Caballeros.”

9. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

“When Maleficent fails to receive a party invitation, suffice to say she does not take the news particularly well…”

8. The Aristocats (1970)

“Lady and the Tramp but with felines and Frenchman”

7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

“Our first Animation Studios film, and remarkably not the only one to feature a grown man making out with an unconscious teenage girl…”

6. Cinderella (1950)

“Ugly = Bad”

5. Robin Hood (1973)

“In a world full of unpredictability and chaos, the only certainty is that the whistled theme tune will be in your head when you do the shopping, the household chores, have sex, everything you attempt to do for the rest of your existence until the day you keel over begging for escape…”

4. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

“Will Belle fall in love with the douchebag who imprisoned her just because her elderly father got lost and needed shelter from the cold?”

3. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

“When a spoilt dog is no longer the centre of her owners’ worlds, she finds a bit of rough to fool around with and then eats spaghetti.”

2. The Little Mermaid (1989)

“Just how far will young Ariel go to obtain a vagina?”

1. Aladdin (1992)

“Other films may win more awards but this is endorsed by Ben and his hard-to-please-academy so it must be doing something right.”

I’ve recently been looking at many different lists ranking the Disney films from worst to best, and it’s remarkable how different the lists are. One list has ‘Beauty and the Beast’ taking top spot while another has ‘Pinocchio’ narrowly beating ‘Sleeping Beauty for first. The films in the lower half can be all over the place, so ultimately it seems that the Disney series are some of the most subjective and debated films out there. Obviously, that’s why I needed to compile lists like this, so people know what the actual correct order is. I’m joking, I promise. I know there are a few films most people seem to rank higher than I do (Bambi and Pinocchio for example), not many people would have put Aladdin at number one out of these films and some films I seem to be in the minority of favouring so highly (Lady and the Tramp and Robin Hood), but I prefer to focus on the things that bring us all together. Namely, that The Black Cauldron is shit.

As always thank you to everyone who is reading these reviews and I shall continue plugging on, next stop ‘The Lion King’!

Misguided Reviews


We’ve reached 1992 and I’m experiencing something peculiar. We’re about to sit down and watch another Disney classic and I’m feeling… is it optimism? I’m certainly not feeling a strong resistance or the overwhelming dread that I have become accustomed to throughout many of the previous twenty-nine films (this will be film number THIRTY! My, how time flies. Or in this case, drags like a painful death). The truth is that I’ve really enjoyed two of the last three films. Those films were ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Rescuers Down Under’ so guess which two I thoroughly enjoyed, and which was a ninety-minute slog of dull misery… Correct! So, it feels like we’ve reached a point where Disney has woken up and righted many of the wrongs that had even left some hardcore Disney fans alienated through the eighties, let alone cynical me. On top of that, they finally seem to have realised that a sense of fun is as important as drawing beautifully and stopped taking themselves quite so seriously. They have even started including humour beyond frolicking fauna. Don’t get me wrong, we still have clumsy escapades involving squirrels, birds and crustaceans but they are accompanied by actual jokes! Finally, they have included soundtracks that from both a musical and entertainment standpoint, have blown away all before.

Aladdin itself fills me with this optimism, mainly because it’s a Disney-Princess film. Ok, so it’s not just a Princess film per se, but it does prominently feature one, and just maybe, by having the male love-interest as the title character, for the first time in a Disney film there may actually be a Prince with a personality! Crazy. So, as I was saying, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m very much a Disney-Princess guy. On average I score a non-Disney-Princess film roughly four out of ten. On average I’ve scored the Princess-films around eight out of ten. That’s pretty conclusive. Is this a common opinion? I’d be interested to know other people’s views on this.

After a bit of backstory from a funny market-stall owner, we meet a bad dude named Jafar. Because this is Disney, Jafar has an animal friend, in this case a parrot named Iago. Jafar wants a treasure from a weird feline-cave-type-thing. Is it a Cave? Is it a Tiger? But that’s the beauty of Disney I guess, in that utterly batshit weird stuff can happen and we just don’t ask too many questions (What were the odds of Pinocchio meeting the world’s only fully dressed fox and cat couple? Don’t ask. Why did Maleficent dedicate sixteen years of her life seeking revenge for not getting a party invite? Shhhh. Why did fourteen-year-old Snow White sound like a strangled sixty-year-old on a trampoline when she sang? You get the picture….). Anyway, the cave is magical as well. It also transpires that this is a particularly discerning feline-cave who only thinks that one person in the whole universe who is the, so-called ”Diamond in the Rough”, and whose “worth lies far within”, and therefore is worthy of entering. Just a hunch, but my money is on Aladdin. Why is he the one-in-seven billion that is so special? Fuck knows. But sorry Gandhi, you are not worthy. Florence Nightingale, in the eyes of this cavity-cum-wildcat, you simply didn’t try hard enough. Aladdin is the chosen one.

Speaking of Aladdin, we are now introduced to him. He’s a “street rat”, which basically is a homeless man who is often involved in nefarious shit. A remarkably clean-cut street rat he is too. Seriously, there’s not a speck of dirt on him or his outfit, which begs the question, how? But after doing the usual cheeky street rat things (like sneaking out of the shadows, stealing bread, singing a song, etc), he shows what a good dude he is by giving it to some hungry orphan kids. What a guy. Because this is Disney, Aladdin has an animal friend, in this case a monkey named Abu. He’s a bit of a bellend.

Finally, we meet Jasmine, who is the princess daughter of The Sultan. By some fucked up law she has less than a week to be wed, but it has to be a to a prince. Unfortunately, all the princes don’t exactly tickle her pickle, so she is rejecting them all, much to her father’s despair. Because this is Disney, Jasmine has an animal friend, in this case a bloody-great tiger named Raja. Also, because this is Disney, Jasmine’s mother is long since deceased. Speaking of which, there’s a very nice line in which The Sultan comments on Jasmine’s constant rejections of potential suitors by claiming “Your Mother wasn’t nearly as fussy!”. Beautiful.

It turns out Jafar is the Sultans assistant. He has a penchant for hypnotising The Sultan with his enchanted snake staff. Fun fact: Offering to hypnotise someone with your enchanted snake staff is also a remarkably ineffective chat-up line. I expect. The power to hypnotise though, is a very powerful tool. So powerful, I wonder why the hell he doesn’t just use it all the time. For example, why doesn’t he just use the snake staff to manipulate Aladdin into the going into the feline-cave instead of the long-winded way he goes about things instead?

I’m not going to proceed into a blow-by-blow account of everything that happens in the film as if you have been cohabiting with me under the rather sizable Disney-free rock I don’t want to spoil every detail of a film, which I would absolutely recommend to all. Instead, I shall share a few musings that I noted during the film:

Firstly, how convenient that Jafar possesses a contraption that can tell him exactly who the ‘Diamond in the Rough’ is! Isn’t that just so fortunate?! I mean, what are the odds that he would be the person to possess such a device? It’s like when in Harry Potter, Harry, Ron and/or Hermione are always the students that happen to be in the right place at the right time to hear vital information from grown-ups that help them solve whatever is puzzling them. It’s the sort of statistically improbable luck that forces you to suspend considerable amounts of disbelief. Furthermore, the device works by turning a cog which turns another cog which turns… basically it ends up shooting lightning into a diamond which shows the relevant information in an hourglass. I think this is not supposed to be questioned any further.

A carpet that walks and is capable of independent thought. Ok then.

Iago calls Jafar “Almighty Evil One”. I feel like a rant about this every few films, but usually bad dudes don’t believe they’re evil. They usually have preconditioned ideals either regarding their own entitlement or their perceived view that a particular person or group of people are less entitled, that then justifies their behaviours. The ‘taking pleasures in being evil’ thing is a bit of a copout, and often is used as a lazy alternative to character depth. I just watched X-Men as research towards a new feature which will be reviewing the Disney Marvel films and was shook to see an antagonist with shades of grey and beliefs that in his mind, justify his actions. This surprise rather beautifully demonstrates what happens when you start living in a Disney-bubble…

Robin Williams is amazing. Robin Williams as the Genie is amazing. The genie is so Robin Williams, that I wouldn’t be surprised if they just said “Robin, just talk and be you, and we’ll draw the animation and write the whole script around whatever pours out of your head”. And let’s be honest, that would probably be the correct thing to do. I’m supposed to watch ‘The Lion King’ next but I think I’m going to have to detour and watch ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ first. And maybe an episode or two of ‘Mork and Mindy’. But not ‘Flubber’ though. ‘Flubber’ can fuck right off.

Along with the legend that is (was *sobs*) Robin Williams, two other things particularly impressed me. Firstly, in the continuation of ‘Operation Disney pulling its proverbial head out of its own backside’, the use of in jokes and nods to its own history is finally taken advantage of, with Easter Eggs littered throughout. I very much appreciate this, as not only does it offer additional chuckles for the observant viewer, it also goes someway to justifying sitting through TWENTY-NINE of their previous sodding full length animated features. Secondly, although I thought Jafar was a decent antagonist and the supporting cast were solid, both Aladdin and Jasmine were outstanding as a Hero and Princess respectively. Its impossible not to fully get behind Aladdin and even his occasionally dickhead-ish simian friend. Jasmine takes the ‘strong-independent-princess-who-don’t-need-no-prince’ traits that were being displayed by first Ariel, and then Belle and turns them up to ten. Not quite eleven, but I’m sure we’ll get there in the future. As great as the two leads were, the Genie is still my favourite character though, not just in Aladdin, but in any Disney film I’ve seen so far. My previous favourite was of course the hilarious and raucous Deems Taylor from Fantasia. No, in seriousness my previous favourite was Tramp, but an honourable mention given here to Baloo, and therefore, by default, Little John who was EXACTLY the same character except brown.

I genuinely loved this film and it’s definitely my favourite Disney animation so far. Not only that, but it means I’ve really enjoyed three of the last four films, which even a few months ago I would have thought unthinkable. The soundtrack was my favourite so far as I loved the Arabian melodies far more than the usual Western ‘Majorist-of-the-Major-Key’ cheese. The story was absorbing, and I never found my attention wavering. If you want to convince your cynical friend or loved-one about the greatness of Disney, I can think of many, MANY worse places to start than this!

9.5/10 – Ben 🙄

Ps. One final thing and this is a spoiler: At the end of the film, The Sultan realises that as he is the Sultan, he makes the laws, and casually mentions that therefore he probably could have changed the law about Princesses having to marry Princes ages ago and, in the process, could have saved a fuck load of hassle. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. What a twat!

I feel Ben felt very strongly about the Sultan changing the law at the end, didn’t he.

Anyway, oh my god I am elated about how much he enjoyed Aladdin, as the film is unbelievably epic! Yeay! I can’t wait for him to see the live-action now!

Needless to say, I absolutely love this film and it is easily up there in my top five.


Kerry 😁

Misguided Reviews

Beauty and the Beast

Ah yes, it’s the film in which Disney fans are seemingly overwhelmed with the need to either sing the title or at least follow it up by humming the same five note melody (for the musicians: G, G#, F, G, D#). I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually heard the phrase “Beauty and the Beast” spoken in monotone before. What I am sure of though, is that this film is supposed to be rather good. Some say it’s the best in the whole Disney library. As I’m only now sitting down to watch it for the first time, I’m not yet in a position to offer an opinion if it’s the best or not, but I can say with absolute certainty, even without seeing it, that it’s a lot better than the last film, ‘The Rescuers Down Under’.

The film begins in France and we learn that, once upon a time, there was a Prince who was massive prick. An enchantress decided to turn herself into an old beggar woman and offer him a gift of a rose in exchange for a night’s shelter from the cold, in order to see just how high he ranked on the douchebag scale. I’m not sure why the enchantress decided to do this, but one assumes that she either was an employee in the French Governments department for the regulation and re-education of complete bell-ends, or if the bell-end re-education sector had been privatised, she no doubt worked for a multinational corporation that specialises in door-to-door dickhead training. Fortunately, it appears that she can report back to the bosses at Nevertwat inc. headquarters, with news of a successful night’s work. The prince turns the hag away for being a bit of a minger. As a result, he earns himself the fixed penalty for such douchery, which is being turned into a giant ugly bear-cum-buffalo, which will be a life sentence unless he can love, and be loved, before his 21st birthday. In a random and completely unnecessary additional punishment, all of his servants are also turned into various household items. That seems rather unfair to me. If the penalty for having a wanker for a boss, is being turned into a teapot, then crockery should now outnumber humans 50 to 1.  Anyway, I’m now going to make a prediction: The beast will find love. I’m confident of this because the film’s called ‘Beauty and the Beast’. They’ve sort of given the game away there. It’s like calling Cinderella “Cinderella and the Dull Prince She Ends Up Marrying”. Or Bambi “Bambi and his Soon-To-Be Dead Mom.”

This is one of those reviews where I don’t feel a need to go through the film chronologically. Usually I change it up when a film is so dull, I can’t bear to talk about it or because a film is so good, it’s hard to take the piss out of it. Happily, this falls into the latter category. It also allows me time to discuss the big question: What does a teapot have to have sexy time with, to end up with a litter of teacups? But before I go down that rabbit hole, I have to touch upon another issue that is apparently much discussed among Disney fans, which is how time passes (or doesn’t) for the Prince and his servants who are under the spell. Does time freeze so that the servants are the same age when they are turned into candles, etc… and that the children teacups were already existing when the spell was cast? But then if that were the case, how does the Prince age up to 21?  Ultimately, it fried my mind trying to understand the complexities and logic of it whilst the story unfolded (until I concluded it was just plain inconsistent), so I’m going to ignore the explanation the remake apparently included and use the fact that some form of aging must occur in order for the Prince to reach his 21st birthday whilst under the spell, in order to justify the exploration of the curious world of crockery-fucking…. So, is it when two teapots love each very much, the male teapot tips his magic man-tea into the lady teapot? And then a few weeks / months later does the teapot squeeze the teacups out of her spout? And what does that make teabags? Rudimentary placentas? And how cute would the tiny new-born teacups be?! Completely useless, but cute. Or is the father the kettle? Would that be cross-breeding? The mind boggles at the possibilities.

Another thing: Was there not a point where having imprisoned a barely adult girl because she traded herself for her father, who merely wanted shelter after becoming lost in a terrible storm, that the Beast thought “hmmm, just maybe this has got ever so slightly out of hand?!”. Or perhaps it may have crossed his mind “what the fuck am I actually trying to achieve here?!”.

The point is that, regardless of time inconsistencies, randy kitchen utensils and tenuously punished daughters, as I said before, this film is very good. In the previous few reviews, I’ve discussed how Disney occasionally decides that the antagonist can’t be merely a dickhead that you want to be on the receiving end of a rich slice of justice. They have to be cruel enough to mistreat animals and children to make sure the viewer is reminded of the most harrowing aspects of real life.

The added issue of this is that unless you’ve been rather unfortunate, you are unlikely to have met too many puppy-skinners in day-to-day life, and even if you have, you probably would rather not be reminded about it during ninety minutes of escapism.  To that end, Gaston is breath of fresh air. He’s enough of a dick that it’s still satisfying to see him get his comeuppance (and a satisfying one it is too), but not so much so that he’s psychopathically cruel. Furthermore, as we’ve all encountered an arrogant, spoilt, musclebound, Alpha at some point in our lives, he’s more relatable than a witch or an octopus drag queen.

The thing that stands out most to me though, is the superb choreography during the musical numbers. There are so many different voices and the interplay between them, and the animation that accompanies them, is so clever. There’s a definite “wow” factor. Again, their style is not really my cup of tea, but they’re so well written, it’s hard not to enjoy them on at least some level. Actually, the quality of the musical numbers highlights how mediocre the musical side of Disney had become prior. Thinking about it, with a few exceptions (‘Bear Necessities’ springs to mind), there were barely any songs post-war that really impressed me, (at least until ‘The Little Mermaid’ came along) by the genius of their composition that Disney is often regarded for possessing.

The story is great, the conclusion is satisfying, and at no point did it feel like a chore to watch during its ninety-minute runtime. I can appreciate why it’s often at the top of Disney lists. Personally, I slightly preferred ‘The Little Mermaid’, but I would watch both again. And when you watch through Disney in chronological order, you fully appreciate that ‘The Rescuers Down Under’ sits between the two like the worlds most disappointing middle child. Next time out is ‘Aladdin’, so I’m cautiously optimistic that at least this time Disney won’t follow up with another ‘Rescuers Down Under’-style debacle.


Ben 🙄🙂

It’s getting to the point where I’m finding that I have nothing else to add to Ben’s reviews. He’s not dissing my beloved Disney so much and actually enjoying some of my absolute favourite films of all time. However, at some point we’ll hit the films of the new millennium and he’ll probably change his tune again (although, I imagine, so will I).

Aladdin next! I wonder if he’ll change his opinion on ‘A Whole New World’ when he hears it in context to the rest of the film. Let’s hope so!


Kerry xxx 😁