New Releases

Mulan – Live Action

I know I know. I’m about three months out of date with this one, but I decided to create some random principle where I wasn’t going to pay any money, other than the subscription, to Disney+. Even though it’s Disney and I love them almost as much as I love my family. Then I pissed about during the beginning of December (ok, pissed about = watched Christmas films), rather than watching Mulan on 3rd December when it became available for free.

Alas, I have now watched it and am about to divulge my thoughts to you.

When they initially announced that Disney were remaking Mulan as a Live Action, my daughter and I were super excited. We could not wait to see what they were going to do with ‘Reflection’ and ‘I’ll Make A Man Out of You’, as they are two of our favourite Disney songs (the latter in particular). However, it became apparent by about 20 minutes in, and a lack of ‘Honor To Us All’, that this was a non-musical remake. Heartbroken! It has always been my opinion that the 1998 version has the most underrated songs of the Disney films and I could not believe that they had removed them all!

So that was the first down point for me. The second? There is no Mushu! He has essentially been replaced by a phoenix, that occasionally crops up to give Mulan a bit of confidence and general direction.

Third down point. No ‘Mulan’s Grandmother’ and the ‘lucky’ cricket. Instead, we have Mulan’s sister (who doesn’t really add much, to be honest).  

If you were expecting a remake of the animated Mulan, this is not what you will get. Instead, more of a film adaptation of the Chinese folk tale of the same name. It’s a lot more ‘straight’ than the original (which I would certainly say was a comedy). Rather than the guidance of her ancestors, through Mushu, Mulan seems to have magical powers, referred to as Chi (which I always thought was what the Chinese called ‘energy force’… I could be wrong… I’m probably wrong). There is a lot of combat in this film, of which a large amount seems to be strongly aided by CGI and other special effects. We also get a sorceress, who is assisting the antagonist at the start, but is on Mulan’s side by the second half.

I appreciate that I seem to be focussing on the negative, but I did enjoy this film, as did my daughter and, when he had decided to join us on the sofa during the second half, my son (and he doesn’t like films… except for Moana). So, it does the job with entertaining various age groups. It has some lovely cinematography, stunning scenery and, based on songs from the original 1998 version, a beautiful score (even if it doesn’t have that awesome bit of music when she takes her fathers sword and chops her hair off in the original).

Give it watch. You can’t sing along and you’re unlikely to laugh, but I’d recommend it otherwise.


Happy New Year! We send you all our best wishes for a much better 2021, to you and your families and remember:

“Stay Safe, Stay Home. Stay Disney”.


Kerry 😁

New Releases

Artemis Fowl

Happy Monday to you all! As I am still furloughed and my six-year-old is back at school four days a week, what better way to spend my time than by watching Disney’s most recent offering, Artemis Fowl. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t even aware of the book series existence, let alone read any of them, so I had no idea what to expect from the film. When I first saw the title advertised, my instant thought was that it was another Star Wars spinoff. I was pleasantly surprised when I realised that it wasn’t. Not that I have anything against Star Wars films, I just don’t intend to review or even watch the new ones when they are realeased. I think the last offering from that franchise that I watched in full, was Episode 1: Phantom Menace, about a year after it came out. So, *checks IMDB*… Fuck! 2000?! 20 years ago, then. Suffice to say, if anyone wants to discuss the latest offerings, I tend to refer them to my brother or my dad. As always, I just heinously digressed. Back to Artemis Fowl.

image 1Based on the book by Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl is the story of… Artemis Fowl (Jr, to be precise). A twelve-year genius/prodigy who’s father (Artemis Fowl Sr) gets kidnapped by a fairy (I mean various synopsises say it’s a fairy, although their voice and demeanour didn’t seem overly fairy-like). Artemis has to devise a plan, requiring other creatures from the fairy realm, to help get his Dad back. That’s the story in a nutshell.

Now, as I said, I haven’t read the books. However, looking at the reviews for the film IMDB, I’m quite glad that I haven’t. Those that are lovers of the series seem to hate the film as it is so far from the story in the first book. I think that this is similar to how Harry Potter fans felt after those films came out (although not quite as hateful). I hadn’t read the Harry Potter books until, I think, Order of the Phoenix was released in the cinemas and, as I had nothing to compare them to, I loved the Harry Potter films and thoroughly enjoyed Artemis Fowl. image 8I can see where the book lovers are coming from though. It was quite vague in parts, which I’m sure is where the books would fill in the gaps. However, despite not knowing the characters, I enjoyed the casting choices. Current Disney-darling, Josh Gad, is great in every role he plays and his portrayal of giant dwarf thief (he is a giant dwarf that is a thief, not a big guy that steals dwarves, I should clarify), Mulch Diggums was no exception. It was nice to see Colin Farrell not playing a bad guy for a change and he is very easy on the eye, so his presence in the film as Artemis Fowl Sr, was appreciated by me and my daughter. Judy Dench was Judy Dench, so no complaints there.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the film a lot and can’t wait for the sequel, which was nicely set up.


Kerry 😁

New Releases

Lady and the Tramp – Live Action

A few weeks back, Ben and I watched ‘Lady and the Tramp’ for his Misguided Reviews (link to review here). The next day, ‘daughter’ and I decided that as we now have Disney+, we can watch the live action version. Ben had previously been adamant that he would not watch any Disney film out of sequence and would only watch the live actions when he was due to review them (which could be a few years down the line realistically, as there are a vast amount of live action films made by Disney). However, within 5 minutes of the start of the film, lured over by the high-pitched “Awwwww”s from myself and daughter, he quickly succumbed and watched the whole thing with us.

image 6The storyline for the live action is very similar to the original. A pedigree cocker spaniel from the upper-class neighbourhood meets a mongrel and after some disruption at home, runs off with him to be shown what life is like on the other side of the picket fence. If you haven’t seen the original, I highly recommend it.

In line with the current, ‘progressive’ direction that Disney seem to be going in, the film has had a few changes to allow for more diversity in its characters. This has had a mixed response from the fans. The notable changes are:

  • ‘Darling’ is now an African American.
  • ‘Jock’ is now female.
  • The Siamese cats are now Devon Rex cats and the song “We are Siamese” has been replaced with the song, “What a Shame”.

There are a few minor storyline changes, to make the film flow a bit better, but these were the three changes that really caught people’s attention and raised quite a discussion throughout the Disney community…. so, I’m now gonna put my two cents in… and try not to offend anyone (the expression ‘walking on eggshells’ seems appropriate right now).

So, Darling being African American. The biggest argument against this (rather than idiots just whinging “Stop trying to be so politically correct all the time, Disney!” in comments feeds, whilst firstly ignoring all the times that Disney has been the opposite of PC and secondly, how the world is changing and no amount of yelling, in fear of your privilege being taken away from you, is going to change that…. *breathe, Kerry, breathe*) is that Lady and the Tramp is set in 1920’s America, so a black woman would not be married to a white man and that black people in general would not be part of the upper classes. Now, I did also question this when we were watching it and have since concluded that It doesn’t change the film negatively at all. In fact, at least we get to see Jim Dear and Darling fully and that they have more character in this version.

image 3Onto the next ‘issue’. Jock being female. She was voiced by Ashley Jenson, who I feel brings so much character to any role she plays and didn’t disappoint here. Did they need to change Jocks gender? No, he was fine as he was. Did it make the character any worse being female? No. I felt it actually improved the character and gave them more to work with. Why did they change the gender? Don’t know and, frankly, don’t care. Next!

Finally, the last ‘issue’. The Siamese cats being replaced by Devon Rex cats and the song “We are Siamese” being replaced with the song “What a shame. Now, I can see why they did it. “We are Siamese” is quite racist and stereotypes the Siamese (or Thai, as they are now). However, Siamese cats are a breed of cats and I don’t think that they needed to change the breed. Surely the point of these animals is that they are pampered and entitled. Siamese cats, from a visual perspective, work well for these character traits as they are beautiful and are usually pedigree, which means that they would, indeed, be quite pampered in comparison to some felines. It progress’s the storyline well in the original version. They are constantly trying to eat the fish and eat the bird, which results in Lady trying to stop them and when they indicate that they may be heading to the baby’s crib, this leads Lady to get extremely defensive, barking and chasing them, resulting in the cats making it look, to Aunt Sarah, that Lady has attacked them. Due to Lady being a ‘wicked animal’, it is then that Aunt Sarah takes Lady to the pet shop, with the view to having her muzzled. When Lady then panics and escapes the pet shop, Tramp rescues her from some aggressive street dogs, which ignites their relationship. image 8In this version, Devon & Rex, act like interior designers and decide that the house needs ‘redecorating’. Aunt Sarah still thinks that it is Lady that has trashed the house, but there is no indication to anyone that she has attacked the cats. Why Aunt Sarah would put a muzzle on a dog because they trashed the house makes no sense. Surely a muzzle stops a dog from biting. It could still trash a house quite easily with the muzzle still on. Ok, so as my daughter just pointed out (as I read this out to her and Ben), muzzles also stop a dog from barking but, again, still wouldn’t stop them trashing a house. So, in conclusion to my ranty monologue, should have changed the song? Yes. Should they have changed the breed and character of the cats? No. However, once again, does it take away anything from the quality of the film, in my opinion? No. Finally, just a little addition to this point, I actually really enjoyed the song, ‘What a Shame’.

So, in summary, this adaptation was awesome and we all really enjoyed it. As I believe Ben mentioned himself in his Lady and the Tramp review, it made him rethink the really high score that he gave the original because, as much as he loved it, he actually thought the remake was better. Watch it and let me know in the comments what you thought.


Kerry 😁

New Releases

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

The misguided husband is currently taking a break from writing and after watching this film, it became apparent why.

I decided that now, whilst I am at home this much (Covid-19 lockdown, for those reading this in the future), I will watch through the Disney releases of 2020 and review them (which was something I was going to do with all new releases moving forward anyway, but Mulan has been delayed). It is very interesting seeing through the eyes of a non-nostalgic Disney viewer, as the style of film ‘Timmy Failure’ falls into the category of films that I don’t tend to watch (aimed at the age group below ‘teens’ and not animated). image-4They just don’t appeal to me. So, I was interested to see what I thought of it and went in with an open mind, convinced that as it’s Disney, I will love it. So, I said to Ben, “I’m going upstairs to watch a new Disney film”, to which he responded (as he had briefly misheard me), “That sounds like my kind of ‘Isney’ film” (say my sentence out loud, if you missed what he might’ve heard). The fact that I’d said that I was going upstairs, in the middle of the day, to watch it, must’ve very much raised his eyebrows. Anyway, onto the review!

The story is based around a boy called Timmy Failure (shock), that looks like he is about 7, but apparently is 11 (thanks IMBD). As surnames tend to start as one word and evolve into another over time, I’d love to know at which point his evolved to ‘Failure’, because I think I would’ve changed it much further back in the ancestral chain, if that had been my family name. image-7Timmy is an only-child that lives with his single mum (you see his Dad walk out on them at the beginning of the film) and believes that he runs his own detective agency with his partner, Total, a full-sized polar bear. Now, initially, I was wondering how he managed to own a polar bear but, alas, Total is essentially his imaginary friend. I should add here that the polar bear is seriously cute, for a 1200-pound carnivore. The film follows Timmy’s life as he tries to run his detective agency and deal with school, whilst trying to prove that all the crime in the area is being perpetrated by the Russians that live in his city (Portland, Oregon).

That’s it. That’s the whole story. Haven’t even given away spoilers because nothing unexpected happens. I’m now going to cover all the parts of the story that I liked before I start my rant about cover all the parts that I didn’t like.

Look how amazing her hair is!

I liked the polar bear, probably because it appeared to be a real bear. I’m assuming that this was done using CGI or something, as I don’t think it would be possible to tame a polar bear to that degree. I could watch animals all day, so I should probably check out some of the nature documentaries on Disney+. Hmm, what else did I like? I like Molly Moskins’s hair… and her cat. I liked the effort that Timmy’s mum’s new boyfriend was making such a genuine effort to bond with Timmy and that they do get closer throughout the film.

Sorry, that’s all I could give you. Four things (and two of them were purely the existence of certain animals). Onto the things I didn’t like.

Timmy just wasn’t the sort of character that I felt I could get behind. He seemed too… broken. I know that sounds awful and I genuinely don’t mean it the way it reads, so let me try and explain. I have two children. A 15-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son. I was a single mother to until my daughter was around the age of 3 and one of my biggest fears was that I would let her down as a parent and wouldn’t be able to raise her to be a strong person that can cope with the world. image-8I felt that Timmy wasn’t coping with the world at all and his mum’s frustration was all too close to home, for me. I do have a habit (as does Ben) of getting too emotionally invested in fictional characters (see Ben’s Bambi review if you want to see how much). It was quite clear that he had created this world of ‘being a detective’, as I way of attempting to gain some control of his life. We see that ‘Total’ comes into his life shortly after his dad leaves. The child has developed an ability to block all his emotions. He says, “Affirmative” instead of “Yes”, “Negative” instead of “No” and, more concernedly, he can not bring himself to say the word, “Sorry”, when he has done something wrong (even to his mum) and instead says, “Mistakes were made” (hence the tagline to the film). Timmy clearly has compassion, and we see this a few times throughout the film, but at times my heart breaks for his mum. Funnily enough, I don’t want to watch a Disney film and feel like I’m psychoanalyzing the characters. I appreciate the most people just watch films and switch off from seeing the characters as humans, but I really struggle. My issue. Shall we psychoanalyze me? Let’s not, eh. By the end of the film, he has developed in his character a bit, but not enough to make it worthwhile. image-6Then the film just ends. It doesn’t seem to have the usual beginning, middle and end. It just… is. There is no real sense of starting at an equilibrium, getting into a disequilibrium and the ending at equilibrium again. I found that at 25 minutes in, it was really struggling to hold my attention.

On the upside, this film has given me a new level of appreciation for how Ben feels when he watches Disney films without the nostalgia that I have of my childhood-self watching them. It is difficult to write a review when you didn’t find the film interesting and I can see why he is currently needing a bit of a break. He’ll be back very soon though.

In conclusion, I found that nothing really happens in this film and that I really didn’t enjoy it. Would I watch it again? Think I’ve just answered that. Mistakes were made.


Kerry 😁

New Releases


I saved money on my Vue Cinema tickets and now I feel EPIC! Sorry, channeling my inner ‘Moneysupermarket dude’. Seriously, though. Continuing on from addressing ‘high cinema trip expenses’ in my Frozen 2 review, I managed to get two tickets for £7 with my ‘My Vodafone’ offers. Why am I telling you this? Because I like to pass on money saving tips, when I come across them. Anyway, onwards (see what I did there)! Have a forgotten to mention that I’m an absolute fucking nerd? Well, in case you were in any doubt, I think this intro has proved that.

Was going to get tickets to see Onward for next Friday (6th March), as that was the advertised release date. However, looks like I could get tickets for the preview showings, which is what I did. Now, this film has an added bonus for ‘daughter’. She is a huge Tom Holland fan, so the fact that he voiced the lead character made her more excited for Onward than maybe some other films that are to be released this year from Disney.

‘Onward’ is based around Ian and his older brother, Barley. It is set in an alternate reality where mythological creatures (elves, centaurs, sprites, etc…) have essentially, over many centuries, had a technological revolution (much like humans did). This has resulted in them living very much like modern day humans do in the real world (cars, computers, mobile phones, etc…). Unfortunately, this has resulted in magic being left in the past. IanThe film starts with Ian waking up on his 16th birthday. Ian is an elf that lives with his mum, his older brother Barley and their pet dragon. Ian’s dad, Will, died from a sudden illness when Ian’s mum was pregnant with him, so Ian never got to meet his dad. Ian and Barley’s mum tells them that their dad had left a package for them, that they weren’t allowed to open until they had both reached 16. When opened, the package is revealed to be a magical staff, with a spell attached that will bring their dad back to life for one day. This not only confirmed Barley’s theory that magic is still out there, but that their Dad had magic in him and was a wizard. The spell can only be performed by another with magic in them and with the aid of a phoenix stone in the top of the staff (which they also find in the package). Barley spends a long time trying to perform the spell, but to no avail. However, later on when Ian tries, the spell starts to work (proving that Ian has inherited magical powers from their father), but halfway through, the phoenix stone gets destroyed, leaving only the lower half of their dad’s body. Ian and Barley decide to go on an old-style quest to find another phoenix stone, to complete the spell in order to have their full dad back. Unfortunately, the spell will wear off at sunset the next day, so they have a time limit for the quest.

This film was superb. The characters were relatable and likeable. I laughed; I cried. ‘Daughter’ laughed; daughter cried. I really liked the fact that it seemed to be hinting that we rely so much on technology, when we have so many skills within ourselves that we have repressed over the years. Not ‘magic’ specifically, but certainly an inner voice (or gut) that will guide us to ultimately make the right decisions, rather than relying on what others have created to make those decisions for us. To be your true self, rather than changing to suit what society expects of us. It’s something that Disney has been telling us for years, within its film characters, which is maybe why these are principles that I personally hold so strongly (and try a raise my children to have too).

An issue that many brought up with Frozen 2, was that it shied away from revealing Elsa to be gay. However, there was a female police officer in Onward that referred to her girlfriend’s daughter. Officially, the first openly gay Disney character! That delighted my daughter and me (all progress is good progress, after all) and I’m sure it will have the same affect on many many other Disney fans. It’s been a long-time coming, but these things do ultimately take time. I did mention in my ‘Evolution of Feminism in Disney’ post, that I will be addressing Disney’s LGBTQ+ evolution in an upcoming post, so keep an eye out for that (but as a cis-het female, it may take some time to write, as I don’t want to come across as ignorant or unable to relate).

Anyway, again, I would highly recommend checking out Onward (especially if you are a fan of the mythical and magical).


Kerry 😁