Misguided Reviews

Fun and Fancy Free

No surprise that Ben disliked The Three Caballeros. As I said myself, in the review, it was truly awful. I honestly have nothing else to say regarding his review, so let’s move on.

Now, the Disneyologists amongst you will know that Fun and Fancy Free wasn’t the next film to come out of the Walt Disney Animation Studios after The Three Caballeros. The next release was in fact ‘Make Mine Music’, followed by ‘Song of the South’. However, neither of these films are available on Disney Life in the UK (in fact, ‘Song of the South’ isn’t available anywhere!). I looked into this on Wikipedia and found that this was related to a segment in ‘Make Mine Music’ featuring gun use and ‘Song of the South’ due to:

“the film’s portrayal of African Americans as racist and offensive, maintaining that the black vernacular and other qualities are stereotypes. In addition, the plantation setting is sometimes criticized as idyllic and glorified”.

A good call on Disney’s part in the 21st Century, I’d say. However, if either of these films become available again, we will give them a watch and let you know what we think (though, to be honest, I’m not in any rush to see them).

‘Fun and Fancy Free’ was the fourth of six films that had been created during the Second World War, whilst most of the WDAS staff had been drafted, and therefore had a considerably lower budget. The film starts with Jiminy Cricket (got a lot of time for Jiminy!), who introduces us to the first story, Bongo, about a circus bear that escapes back to wild (despite being bred in captivity). Following Bongo, we get the story of ‘Mickey and the Beanstalk’, which is basically an adaptation of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

Despite the two stories (which, in themselves, were entertaining enough), much like in Saludos and Caballeros, the film frequently goes off on tangents of random musical animations that bear little relevance to the stories supposedly being told and are quite hard to follow at times. By this point, those segments have just become tedious to me and Ben. Thankfully, we also don’t have access to the next release, ‘Melody Time’ (there’s no specific reason why we don’t have access, so I’m assuming that it must just be total crap), which looks like it’s in the same ilk as the last three watched. Let’s hope The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is better. If not, it’s Cinderella after that one! Woop woop!



Disney during the 1940’s was rubbish.  After watching seven films of dated indulgence mixed with child donkey slavery, deer snuff and plenty of birds that are almost moist with excitement at watching Latin American propaganda material, we’ve been able to mercifully skip two films either due to gunplay or scenes containing slavery. Without a doubt this is the only time I’ve had reason to say, “high-five for film racism!” In all seriousness, there has been a slight bitter taste in quite a few of the films so far, whether it’s normalising slavery, firearms, tobacco, alcohol or implying that women are only good for cleaning and Prince / dwarf nurturing. I will instead give a big high-ten for the progress we’ve seen since.

Unfortunately there are still two more Disney films to endure of their 1940’s era, and the title of the 1947 entry, ‘Fun and Fancy Free’, leaves little room for optimism. At worst, they created such a meaningless pile of crap that they felt compelled to name the film with as much positive connotation as possible to mask the shitshow contained within. At best, it’s a documentary about swingers. Given the past reputation of Disney films I mentioned above, a propaganda flick about the joys of dogging with the wife in Baía, seems perfectly plausible.

The intro tune is annoying and dated as always and…. bugger. Donald Duck again.  Could this guy just piss off? If we get Jose Carioca again, who bludgeoned the last two films with his Latin America sycophancy, I swear to God I will turn it off. I just had to get Kerry to wind the intro song back as I’m sure I just heard the line “If you should have a crummy cake”. Go listen and see if you hear that too. Now I’ve put that idea in your head, you probably will. Alas, on rehearing the line it actually says, “if you should have a crummy day”. I’m disappointed. A crummy cake will cheer me up I’m sure. I really want cake now. Subliminal advertising perhaps? Wait, are Disney now receiving backhanders from Latin America AND a Mr. Kipling? Is ‘Fun and Fancy Free’ going to be all about how your life must include Fondant Fancies maybe? I could go for a Fondant Fancy right now. Not sure I could cope with a whole film about them though, especially if that dick Donald Duck is going to be eating them. I’m thinking about cake an awful lot, so if this was their cunning plan, then it really is working a treat.

2020-02-23 (1)Hello! Sorry I got totally side-tracked there. Right so, ‘Fun and Fancy Free’. We start with Jiminy Cricket, who was one of the less annoying parts of Pinocchio. I’m realising that I’m just starting to build up pockets of knowledge about Disney which has resulted in a cacophony of feelings ranging from pride to nausea. He’s singing on a boat about being fun and fancy free. They’re really driving home the point about fun and fancy freeness through the medium of song already, and I still have no idea really about what it means. I want to know why they made this the film name. Now he’s in a house. We see the fish he attempted to molest in Pinocchio and his ardour for her is clearly still alive.  Next a cat tries to attack him after Jiminy pokes him on the nose with his umbrella. What a silly twat. Following this he chats with a drunk doll and an angry looking toy bear. He finds some records and a musical love story by some chick called Dinah Shore, which is so appealing he must play it. Jiminy and I are very different people / crickets.

The record starts playing and the audio suddenly becomes visual as well. Just because. We are informed this love story is about three bears. So presumably less “Romeo and Juliet” and more of a “Ron Jeremy” sort of love. The protagonist, Bongo the Bear, is the star of the Circus. He does all sorts of amazing things like juggling whilst upside down. On a unicycle. On a trapeze. The usual plausible stuff. Despite being literally the most talented being on the entire planet, he’s treated by the circus owners like crap. There are so many people in Disney films that I want to suffer hideous, grizzly deaths and to be honest, at least up to 1947, not enough of them do. In fact the number of villains and bastards that have met their maker total the same as deaths of sweet mothers of lovable fawns. So unsurprisingly he wants to leave and go back to the wild.

From his train carriage that goes from town to town, which more closely resembles a prison cell he manages to escape. It’s extremely satisfying considering his horrible and ungrateful owners. I feel a sense of joy as Bongo is reunited with the woods and his natural habitat, the only thing distinguishing his previous life from the other animals being his smile of appreciation. And his hat, bowtie, jacket and unicycle.

We then get many scenes of Bongo trying to adapt to the wild and generally having fun being free… That’s why the films called ‘Fun and Fancy Free’! Closure. Then, whilst Bongo has a bit of chill time in some flowers, we are treated to many scenes of trees and frolicking animals. Once again Disney doing its tried and tested art of killing time with cute drawings doing pretty much sweet F.A. and, as always, the song accompanying it is disgusting. Bongo 2After some struggles catching fish, Bongo meets a girl bear under a waterfall and immediately wants to do her. Or in Disney language, falls in love at first sight. She seems interested too. It must be that sexy hat, jacket and bowtie. This is an excuse for another hideous song with more indulgent animations such as cupid bears making a love nest out of pink clouds. I’m getting bored now.

The problem, it transpires, is that there is a fuck-off-big bear who also has an interest in her. Now, apparently if a bear likes another bear, they give them a slap. Does this actually happen or did the writers just decide this on a whim? Bongo being domesticated, doesn’t know this custom and so he doesn’t slap her about which means she thinks he’s not interested and goes off with the fuck-off-big bear instead. Now we get a song about how it’s “good to give them a slap”… I don’t think this song would be allowed in the 21st century somehow?! Just think how many impressionable boys of the 1940’s were inspired by the sentiments of this song! I wonder if the male writers that returned in distress from fighting the Nazi’s before making this film and wrote this ditty as retribution towards the women that stayed behind and didn’t have to experience the horrors of war.

Bongo decides to fight for his woman and with the aid of his unicycle, defeats fuck-off-big bear and lives happily ever after with her. It’s quite similar to Bambi, but better and far less distressing. I wouldn’t call it essential viewing, but there has been far worse in recent films.

We return to Jiminy Cricket who’s using a dolls bosom as a pillow. It was he who insisted we watch this musical story and then he slept through the bloody thing! Anyway, he sees an invite to a party across the way. As he travels to the party across the way, we get a song about going to a party across the way. I’m used to Disney doing shit like this now. Doesn’t mean I like it though.

The “party” it appears is in fact a congregation of the follow four people:

Creepy PartyIs this a party or the young girl’s WORST FUCKING NIGHTMARE? “Mummy, Daddy I just had the worst dream where it was my birthday party and the only guests in the house were me, two elderly, drunk paedo puppets and an old man in a velvet pimp jacket making a mouth with his right hand!”

This is beyond creepy. Somehow the girl isn’t scared and even more inexplicably, Jiminy Cricket’s first instinct isn’t to call the police. I call bullshit. After doing research (or ‘nipping onto Wikipedia’), I’ve discovered the chap in the velvet jacket is comedian, actor and ventriloquist, Edgar Bergen. I question his ventriloquist skills though, mainly due to the fact when the puppets talk, Edgars MOUTH IS MOVING! Now I don’t know about you, but when I think of the main skills required to be considered a ventriloquist, not moving one’s mouth is pretty damn high on the list! Possibly ventriloquism has progressed a long way in the last 70 years, but I’m not impressed with this dude’s skills. Or his choice of dolls *shudder*. I get the feeling that most people would have known who Edgar Bergen was in 1940’s America or with the way he is presented, people are definitely expected to be familiar with his work. It’s yet another way the film feels so dated.

Here’s another thing that has blown my mind: that little girl died aged 57. Which was at the time of writing, over 23 years ago!!! Which has brought home the fact that just about everyone involved from the animators to the musicians to the actors to the dancers to George (see previous reviews), is now dead. Some have been for many years. Plenty probably died before I was even born. And yet thanks to the miracle of film, I get to endure some of the nonsense they created, even though our timelines never even crossed paths.

And on that note, Edgar and his creepy puppets tell the long since deceased girl Luana and story about a place called ‘Happy Valley’. He asks creepy puppet #1 to try and picture it. Creepy puppet #1 strains as if he is about to soil himself evidently proving that asking what is essentially sculped wood to produce conscious thought bubbles is a waste of time. Luana, as a sentient being, is on hand to help however, and Happy Valley is thunk thinked thoughted imagined into reality. Happy valley is a very… happy place. And why wouldn’t it be, after all it has a singing harp. Wait, what? I’m finding this sing harp annoying but each to their own. It should be noted that it also seems to be part harp, part woman. Ok then. To show how happy a place it is, we get more frolicking animals. Its feels like at least three quarters of the Disney animation films thus far have solely been frolicking animals.

One day the harp was taken and this basically caused famine and misery. The scientific reason for this should be so obvious I feel no need to discuss it further… We go to the house of Mickey, Goofy and OH FOR FUCKS SAKE, Donald. For the third film in a row. And if Donald could be annoying when he’s not hungry (granted he was extremely sexually frustrated), the levels of dickness he reaches when famished is inexplicable. He treats the others like complete crap, becomes hyper-aggressive and irrational which  culminates in his attempted eating of a live cow’s tail.

We return to the world’s most horrifying birthday party for a reminder of just how creepy the puppets are (as well as just how annoying that girl, Luana, is). After their hilarious capering 😒, the world-famous Edgar Bergen continues with the story. Mickey sells the cow for magic beans. At this point I realise we’re watching an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk. The Disney films so far have done a lot of adapting rather than creating original stories. But then saying that, after seeing their original stories, I don’t really blame them. Unsurprisingly, the beanstalk grows, they climb it and there’s a giant house in the clouds. I reckon I know who stole the harp-woman.

So after entering the castle they realise there’s a giant there. Kerry has just suggested that the giant should say “Fe Fi Fo Fuck, I smell the blood of a stupid duck…” That would be amazing, so obviously he doesn’t say that. We return to “reality” to find creepy-puppet #2 pretending to be a giant. And apparently adorning a pirate hat helps this illusion. Ok then. The rest of the story passes by as I expected. They realise the giant has indeed stolen harp-woman, and they successfully steal her back and escape although there are quite a few near-misses. Around a thousand at a rough estimate. It does get a little “oh hurry the fuck up” if truth be told. The harp makes everyone happy and everything live again, the story ends, the film ends, and no lives have been changed by the experience that is watching ‘Fun and Fancy Free’.

And that’s the best way to summarise the film really. It wasn’t bad (Three Caballeros), Depressing (Bambi) or creepy (Pinocchio), but at the same time wasn’t exciting, overly rewarding or necessary (a film that isn’t Disney in the 1940’s) either. They just did it, and it just was. And now I just need a drink.


Ben 🙄



Misguided Reviews

The Three Caballeros

Looks like Ben liked Saludos Amigos slightly more than I did. Thing is, I’ve looked at the list of films to come and, let me tell you, we are about to head into Disney’s Golden Age. We have 2 or 3 films to go and then we get this list of beauties:

  • Cinderella
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Aristocats
  • Robin Hood

You see, Disney fans! These were THE films of my childhood. My brother and I used to watch them on VHS over and over, ‘ROFL’-ing about certain parts and then rewinding to ‘ROFL’ all over again! If Ben knew exactly what was coming, I think he might’ve given Saludos Amigos a lower score. In fact, looking back at that list, I’m now wondering if I should’ve given it a lower score. More like 3 out of 10. Yes, I’m changing my score of Saludos Amigos to 3/10.

Anyway, I digress (and I think it may become clear why, in just a moment.). The Three Caballeros. Like Saludos Amigos, it was first released outside of the USA, premiering in Mexico City on 21st December 1944. It was then shown to American audiences on 3rd February 1945. It has many similarities to its predecessor, also being made as part of the goodwill project between the US and parts of Latin America (particularly Mexico). It, again, features Donald Duck. The overall story is that it is Donald’s birthday and he has received a box of three presents from ‘His Friends in Latin America’. The first present is a projector and film, showing him a film about the birds of Latin America. The segment contains that best character in the whole of the film, by a long way. In fact, the only endearing thing about the film. The Aracuan Bird. I will leave Ben to tell you why. The second present is a book about Brazil, which José Carioca (the green parrot from Saludos Amigos) pops out of. He takes Donald on a journey to Baía. A new character, Panchito Pistoles (a red rooster from Mexico) pops out of the last box. The three birds give themselves the name The Three Caballeros and Panchito gives Donald his final present, a piñata.

Just like Saludos Amigos, this was another film that I had not previously seen. It’s not well known and I can see why. It’s awful. Truly awful. The first 15 minutes or so were ok, but the remaining 55 were painful to watch, if I’m honest. It’s a mess. It has very little storyline; the characters aren’t overly entertaining (except for the Aracuan Bird, who should’ve been given his own film!) and it is, quite frankly, a head fuck. I wanted to switch it off after about 30 minutes and it was actually Ben that insisted that we had to watch it till the end. It is like the storywriters at the WDAS were men, at that time, and they had all gone off to war leaving the women in the studio (who were the animators and musicians) to make this film on their own. Not saying that women couldn’t make a decent Disney film in the early 40’s, but this didn’t make them look good. At the risk of sounding like one of Ben’s reviews, I can imagine the conversation at the studio after the men were called away to fight:

“Now, Mary. As you know, our head writer George has been called up to help the British win this war. We’ve been given the task of coming up with another film to keep the Latinos happy. Now, what have you got?”

“This is a shock. I’m not sure if I’m any good at writing. Can we make it a bit like the last film? That went down well, didn’t it?”

“Well, not massively, but ok. So, we’re gonna have Donald in it again, yes?”


“Mary? You look worried. I know that it must be hard to transition to writing from animation, but my advice would be to write about what you like. So, what do you like?

“Oh, I don’t know. Flowers, dancing, LSD”

“Never thought I’d say this, but I miss George”.

That is ‘The Three Caballeros’ in a nutshell. A cluster-fuck of flowers, dancing and feeling like you are tripping. Sorry to any who liked it, but I hated.

1/10 (1 for the Aracuan Bird, obviously)

Kerry 😁

Evidently in circa 1944, Walt Disney was continuing to receive backhanders from either some Government to the south or The Latin American Board of International Airtravel, and as a result we get our second consecutive instalment fusing animated children’s characters with pro central and south American propaganda better known as The Three Caballeros (Three Horsemen). By the way, I don’t know if there is or was a Latin American Board of International Airtravel, but as the initials spell LABIA, I really hope there is.

The intro is just like all these other early Disney films, the music sounding just like the others, the animation looking just like the others.  The addition of being dudes singing about how they are “three happy chappies”, makes this intro feel even more outdated than the films that have come before.

The film’s opening scene features Donald Duck receiving some presents in a box for his Birthday. I really dislike Donald Duck. To be honest, I can’t remember if I really disliked Donald Duck before I started watching his cameos in these early films or not. I also find that having now watched through the first eight films in order, it feels that everybody is already expected to not just know characters like Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse, but to actually revere them and long for the moments they decide to appear. I really don’t. Donald’s a dick. So the aforementioned ‘dick’ opens the first present in the box and it’s a film projector. Donald’s rabbiting throughout all this and I can’t understand a bloody word that he is saying. Kerry however, it appears, can understand every word, which makes me wonder if Disney fanatics subconsciously speak Disnish or Disnese, a bit like Harry Potter and Parseltongue.

A film starts playing all of a sudden, and clearly whoever sent the present to Donald is being paid off by LABIA as well. After a brief Pro-Latin introduction we inexplicably go to penguins in Antarctica. Frolicking penguins; sunbathing penguins; you get the idea. One Penguin doesn’t like the cold. There’s always one that has to be a bit of a snowflake (boom boom). He wants to go to the Galapagos islands. Fair play, I want to go there too, he’s a penguin after my own heart. After many failed attempts at leaving, he builds a boat out of Ice. Clearly penguins, or at least this penguin, should be commended for their growth mindset.

Mr Penguin, ah, I’ve just looked it up, he’s called Pablo. Wait! Pablo?! Ok, Pablo is off on his journey when he encounters a blanket of fog. Literally a blanket. Of fog. That made us chuckle. He passes the Magellan Straight, The Fernandez Islands, Lima, Quito, it’s turning into a geography lesson again just like in Saludos Amigos. Calm down children, you’re thrilled I know. After making it across the equator with Neptune’s assistance, his boat starts to melt (note that it didn’t melt while crossing the equator or any time before). The plausibility of the sketch has been compromised in my opinion. By once again displaying that growth mindset, he manages to use the shower nozzle to turn his bath into a rudimentary speed boat. Genius. Finally he makes it to the Galapagos Islands and gets a good bit of sunburn. Once there, he realises he misses the Antarctic and his friends. Might have something to do with the fact that a penguin moving to the Galapagos is FUCKING UNNATURAL! So what do you expect?! It was an enjoyable little story anyway.

AracuanNow to the Amazon jungle in Venezuela. Specifically Venezuela. And they decide to give introduce us to a load of birds with funny names. We also have Toucans trying and failing to make love. Yup, that’s the expression they use. Make love. We also get a bird that sings a “peculiar song”. It is one of the greatest things in the history of film. Someone else out there obviously agrees (credit to ‘BeauwithaBang’ on YouTube) and made what is now my favourite video (even if it is slightly short). To be honest, just give today’s kids 90 minutes of this bird singing and they’ll be happy as a fawn in the woods (until its mother gets brutally murdered, naturally). Kids do not want hear the Latin name for Venezuelan wildlife nor the customs of some remote part of Latin America, they want to see this bird making stupid noises while running maniacally back and forth across the screen. But alas, 1940’s Disney doesn’t possess such logic. Instead we go to Uruguay for a story about a boy hunting Hornero birds, that is being narrated by presumably his adult self. Either that or boys’ voices in Uruguay break at a ridiculously young age.

Whilst hunting birds he finds a winged donkey-child-slave from Pinocchio.  It certainly looks like a flying donkey (with testicles for a tongue apparently).

Flying Donkey

Its name is Burrito, which is little donkey in Spanish, so it definitely is a flying donkey. The writers have jumped the shark once again. To cut a long story, or what feels like a long story short, at the town’s fiesta the next day, there is a donkey race with a 1000-peso prize. After much training, the boy (Gouchito) wins the race after much mockery and many struggles to keep up. Overall, it’s an enjoyable enough story, and to be fair, so far this film hasn’t been too bad, and I can only hope that continues. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. The rest of the film is astonishingly crap.

You know how there are certain birthday and/or Christmas presents that get sent so frequently because they’re a safe option when ideas are thin on the ground? You know the sort: handkerchiefs; bath products; chocolates; a pop-up book containing a parrot playing an umbrella as a musical instrument; socks… Well I wish the good people of Brazil had sent Donald some socks as the pop-up book containing a parrot playing an umbrella as a musical instrument is the catalyst for our descent into astonishing crapness. JoseEven a reprise by the amazing peculiar-song bird can’t save it. The parrot in question is the Brazil obsessed Jose Curioca from ‘Saludos Amigos’. This time he takes his obsession to new heights by zoning in on the wonders of Baía (Wikipedia has informed me that they’re referring to the state of Bahia). Donald’s never seen Baía, so Jose kindly conjures a magic train from the book to take them on a trip there. I’ve noticed that the Disney films of the 1940’s dedicate a large amount of time to indulgence for the animators and musicians and their trip here is a prime example of that, with complex evolving animations that ultimately have no substance, set to long outdated musical compositions that ultimately suck. Their journey to Baía is guilty of that sort of indulgence, and yet this is merely a warning shot for what lays ahead…

The Baía segment. The woman selling cookies that sings for ten minutes whilst Donald pervs on her. The random street musicians who also perv on her. Jose saying “Baía” about a hundred times with near orgasmic euphoria. It is so indulgent and so long that even Disney-freak Kerry is watching with wide eyed astonishment. I hate Baía. Jose asks Donald for his honest views about it. He says it’s swell. I really hate him too.

After more psychedelic drivel, we get Donald’s third present, which is apparently the wonder of Mexico. Or rather a tour of Mexico for Donald and Jose (because it would appear that we’re blessed with his delightful presence for the ENTIRE REST OF THE FILM) by another annoying bird with Jingoist tendencies named Panchito Pistoles. PanchitoAh, it’s time for another song. We haven’t had one for almost 90 seconds which means we were in grave danger of needing a plotline. The song is all about how they are three gay Caballeros. They use the term gay many, many times in these early Disney films. It should be noted that ever since Baía and during the remainder of this film, there is nothing gay, at least in the contemporary sense, about Donald.  Every time he comes into any sort of contact with a female it becomes ever more apparent that he is on heat, to the point that surely Jose and Panchito must have thought his sex-pest tendencies would make him a liability.

Panchito blindfolds Donald. I’m not sure if it’s the wisest thing to do to a duck that’s in season. Ah ok, he has a Pinata as a gift. Panchito and Jose then proceed to make it very difficult for Donald to hit the pinata, owing to the fact they keep moving it. Oh what whimsical capering. Ultimately this is all leading to the inevitable payoff of animal heads and teapots exploding out of the Pinata once hit, and dancing. Did I say inevitable?

Now we get a song about Mexico City with a load of dancers. I wrote in my notes “WHAT KID TODAY WOULD WATCH THIS SHIT?!” Sums it up really.

Next Panchito shows Donald his favourite dance, which of course involves MORE singing and MORE dancers! It’s not my favourite dance that’s for damn sure. I’m also getting the feeling that any kid watching this film that possesses no knowledge of Latin America would assume that these countries are nothing but all singing and dancing utopias. As nice as they may be (away from the Favelas), the rose-tinted specs that these guides are viewed through are eye-rolling to the extreme.

After zoning out yet again, my attention is brought back into focus by the fact Donald, Jose and Panchito are suddenly travelling on some sort of flying carpet type thingy. Ah it turns out they’re travelling to another part of Mexico to watch even more dancers! And back to zoning out again. Kerry is despising all this as much as me. When a Disneyologist is loathing a Disney film, it must be bad.

After what feels like a week the dance finishes and they set travel again on their flying carpet/rug thingy to Acapulco. We take in many scenes of the beautiful beaches and we are also advised “to check out the hot stuff” that is sunbathing on it. “Have a good perv kids!”. Inexplicable. Donald cannot contain himself anymore it seems after seeing so much flesh through his telescope (yes, he’s perving through a telescope), and we then proceed through a good five minutes of attempted molestation and screaming, which bizarrely is preferable to the singing and dancing. This is a supposedly a FAMILY FRIENDLY FILM! Again, inexplicable. I know Kerry pointed out that a lot of the writers were probably at war and left it to the women and the elderly to write the script, which for most part seems totally accurate, but as for this scene:


“Ok ladies, you’ve done very well writing this Mexico segment. So, 95% of it is a dance routine but you’ve earned a firm palm to the buttock of appreciation from me for all your efforts. When the men return you can go back to making the tea with your heads held high. But we need something a bit different for the Acapulco  segment.”

“How about a nice dance in swirly dresses?”

“Mary, bless you my simple girl, I just said it cannot be another dance as seventeen dances in one segment is quite enough. Walt has told us we need to sell these places as beautiful tourist destinations as that’s what children enjoy watching and is in no way about accepting money from any governments. As good as your input has been, my dears, I feel there’s only one man who can get us out of our creative funk. I know some of his ideas were slightly avant-garde for a children’s cartoon such as deer murder and drunk elephants hallucinating, and the donkey-slave-children was just horrific but god dammit George knew how to draw in viewers. So I wrote to him asking for help and his reply arrived just 15 minutes ago. Let’s see what a great children’s writer suggests (opens envelope):

“Greetings all , hope we are all gay and dandy. Right, if we really want to make Acapulco seem like paradise, how about we pan a view of the beautiful sandy beaches and the gentle waves crashing on the shore” .

I told you he was good! Now he says,

“We close in on the beach and we see beautiful women sunbathing in the hot sunshine”.

You see, this is the creativity you all need to be aspiring to! And now he suggests

“Then we should have ten minutes of these women running and screaming in terror from three horny birds descending from the skies in an airborne rape blanket. Weathers awful here, Kind Regards, George”.


You know I think the war may have sent him a bit peculiar.”


Incredibly, this is what happens. Even more incredibly, it’s the easiest and most pleasant thing I’ve watched in the last twenty-five minutes.

Following this molesty (why does spell-check keep questioning these perfectly reasonable words?) interlude, we’re back to the singing and dancing and hallucinogenic animation for a final ten minutes of tedium, with Donald so horny at this point I almost want to see him get his end away or get shot, just so I can get some closure. It’s an obnoxious, indulgent crescendo to a largely obnoxious, indulgent film. It’s too much of a headfuck to describe so if you really want to try and figure out what the hell is going on without having to torment yourself with the film itself, read it here:

You Belong to My Heart and Donald’s Surreal Reverie
The skies of Mexico City result in Donald falling in love with singer Dora Luz. The lyrics in the song itself play parts in the scenarios as to what is happening as well. Then several imagined kisses lead to Donald going into the “Love is a drug” scene. Donald constantly envisions sugar rush colors, flowers, and Panchito and José popping in at the worst moments, making chaos. The scene changes after Donald manages to dance with Carmen Molina from the state of Oaxaca, from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The two dance and sing the song “La Zandunga”. Carmen begins by singing the song, with Donald “quacking” out the rest of the chorus with her. The “drunkenness” slows down for a second after Donald multiplied himself while dancing, but speeds up again when Carmen reappears dressed in a Charro’s outfit and uses a horsewhip as a conductor’s baton to make cacti appear in many different forms while dancing to “Jesusita en Chihuahua”, a trademark song of the Mexican Revolution. This scene is notable for providing the masterful combination of live-action and cartoon animation, as well as animation among the cacti.
The scene is interrupted when Panchito and José suddenly spice things up for the finale of the movie, and Donald ends up battling the same toy bull with wheels on its legs the day before from earlier. The catch is that it is again loaded with firecrackers and other explosives, following with a fireworks finale with the words “The End” exploding from the fireworks, first in Spanish (Fin), in the colors of the flag of Mexico, then in Portuguese (Fim), in the colors of the flag of Brazil, and finally in English, in the colors of the flag of the United States.

That was taken from Wikipedia because I just can’t explain it.

To summarise, I find it hard to believe that after the first third of the film I was actually thinking that I was going to be in for another ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ style unexpectantly pleasant surprise. I was ready to give it at least 6/10 at that point, but then Jose appeared, and it all went to hell. Donald’s libido was barely acceptable at times for a family film and even if the singing and dancing was what the kids of the 1940’s liked to watch, I do wonder if there’s a single one today that would sit through it all. Not to mention the quantity and length of some of the dances almost made me wonder if the writers were trolling us all. LABIA may have been delighted by it, but I certainly wasn’t. Still prefer it to Bambi though.



Misguided Reviews

Saludos Amigos

Shock. Ben hated Bambi. That’s ok, so did I. So let’s move on, shall we. On to Saludos Amigos, another of the earlier films to come out of the WDAS that I hadn’t seen. Honestly, the more that I look at the list of films that we are going to watch, the more of a fraud I feel. There are actually so many that I haven’t seen. Still, Disney lover, not Disney expert, I guess (says the woman with ‘Disneyologist’ in her bio). I love cheese, but it doesn’t mean that I have tried all the cheese. I guess this just means that I need to watch more Disney. Oh well. I’ll be that martyr. For the sake of this blog. You’re welcome!

Saludos Amigos was released on 24th August 1942… in Rio de Janeiro. It didn’t hit US cinemas until 6th February 1943. 2019-02-03 (33)The United States Department of State had funded the film in order for Disney to produce a film that solely featured Latin American culture, in an effort to try and severe the ties that some of the Latin American countries were seemingly developing with Nazi Germany. The film is made up of four segments. Two feature Donald Duck and one features Goofy. We are also introduced to the character José Carioca, a green cigar-smoking parrot from Brazil. José is also in the next film that we will be reviewing, The Three Caballeros, so let’s hope Ben like’s him (as I don’t think he’s that keen on Donald Duck!). I will let Ben take you through the segments in detail.

The film was fine. It’s another of Disney’s stabs at a documentary, really. The cartoon segments were fun. I particularly enjoyed Goofy’s and I also learnt a lot about Latin America in the 1940’s. Would I watch it again? Probably not. I just find that there are Disney films that peak my interest more. However, I’d imagine it was enjoyed a lot more by audiences in the 40s & 50s, it just doesn’t translate as well to audiences today.


Kerry 😁

Considering the previous film was the psychological-mind-fuckery that is ‘Bambi’, it’s quite frankly a miracle that I watched the 1943 follow up “Saludos Amigos”, let alone agree to review it. Fortunately, I am fairly confident that a film that directly translates from Spanish as “greetings friends” should have a fairly narrow scope for deer-snuff. Still, this is Disney, so nothing is beyond the realms of possibility at the moment.

I believe I’m correct when I say that next to no human being has ever watched this film. At least if they have, then certainly no-ones felt the need to shout from the rooftops about it. You always have to be wary of a Disney film when even a die-hard fan like Kerry knows pretty much sod all about it. Saying that, she knew pretty much sod all about The Reluctant Dragon, and that’s probably the only film I’ve reviewed so far that hasn’t left me cranially-molested. So there’s hope. ‘Spell-check’ has just flagged up “cranially-molested” as not being a valid word. I’ve corrected ‘spell-check’ on its mistake.

After the usual annoying intro, we have a map of South America. Apparently, this film is about Disney creative ‘doing research’ here for future ideas. Obviously, this is in no way just a holiday at Disney’s expense. Fair play to the dude who successfully pitched the idea that they need to be paid to go to another glamourous continent in order to decide what to draw next. Knowing Disney, they’ll return three months later with drawings of a cute tapir next to his dead mother and mischievous children being turned into enslaved alpacas.

They start by showing the people who live by2019-02-03 (39) Lake Titicaca and we are immediately bedazzled by the delights of women weaving clothes and detailed explanations of what the fisherman’s boats are made of. Now for me, it’s reasonably interesting (key word being ‘reasonably’), but I suspect a number of young children at this point are running around pretending to be a car or doing a headstand on the sofa whilst humming or whatever else bored kids do. All of this is presented to us alongside commentary from a chap with a ‘Deems Taylor’ (the MC from Fantasia) level of wildness.

After seeing some donkeys (of the non-slaves-that-were-formally-children variety) and llamas we see Donald Duck, who has suddenly appeared on the banks of Titicaca. If you haven’t guessed, we’ve now switched from live film to animation…. Basically we now have five minutes of him getting into all sorts of hijinks involving weaved boats and nearly falling off bridges, etc…

The ‘research trip’ takes them to Chile next. They aren’t allowed to film whilst they are there, so we have no idea what they got up to, but they have kindly made an animation to represent their time in Chile, which naturally is a story about three planes…

2019-02-03 (38)Basically some mail needs to be picked up from the other side of the Andes and the Mummy and Daddy plane both can’t make the trip due to various ailments so young Pedro plane has to do it instead. So Pedro sets off on his jour…. hang on. There are Mummy and Daddy planes and they can have children?!!!! The mind boggles at the thought of what happens when a Mummy and Daddy plane love each other very much.  Anyway, Pedro sets off and is immediately scared of heights. Being a plane that’s somewhat problematic. Once he adapts, he flies through the mountains and only gets distracted when he spots a bird and gets rather overexcited, and chases it. You can’t fuck a bird, you silly plane! Apparently you can fuck another plane though (just ask Mummy and Daddy plane who I’m sure have gotten over their illnesses to make the most of your absence). After collecting the mail, the weather turns and there is a huge storm that threatens to knock Pedro out of the sky. We keep seeing a wobbling altímetro (that’s Spanish for altimeter… you’re welcome). Happily, after some scary moments, it doesn’t and he returns to find Mummy plane sleeping whilst Daddy plane lies next her smoking a cigarette and looking pleased with himself. That’s a lie, but at least Disney refrained from killing anything off for once.

2019-02-03 (37)Argentina next and we’re off to the Pampas, where we see local cowboys and old women and meat on barbeques. Personally, as a geography geek who’s fascinated by the world, I find this interesting. But I’m sure many won’t. All this leads to their next animated sketch, which involves the narrator reminding us that America has cowboys as well and so we’re going to Texas to see the antics of Goofy and a horse. Goofy is transported to the Pampas to learn about the differences between American and Argentinian Cowboys. My issue with this whole segment is that we had a “Goofy and his horse” shenanigans in the Reluctant Dragon and a lot of this feels like a bit of a rehash and, frankly, just lazy. You travel eight thousand miles to do a sketch with an almost identical premise to one from just three movies ago. That’s a waste. Goofy learns how to eat bread and meat and dances with a horse, you know, the usual.

And so we move north to Uruguay, oh ok, we’re not stopping at Uruguay then. Apparently Uruguay is not worthy of being drawn. Onto Brazil. We’re being introduced to a new character they’ve created, thanks to their experiences here, by the name of José Carioca, who is a cigar smoking Parrot. Light up kids. After seeing some old people dance and then some younger people dance at Rio carnival, we have a song in Portuguese with a load of hypnotic watercolour animation. I speak a little Portuguese but the only word that I really keep comprehending is2019-02-03 (35) Brasil (that’s Portuguese for Brazil… you’re welcome). The animation depicts various flora and fauna of the Amazon and is superbly done. Donald Duck reappears and I realise I much prefer Looney Tunes. If Bugs Bunny or Roadrunner were to appear here, I would be quite pleased, but when I see Donald Duck, I feel disappointed. José reappears and promises to show Donald Copacabana and it appears they have struck up a repour. They dance to some samba music. The one thing worth drawing attention to here is that Donald gets bladdered from drinking a spirit called cachaça. It is so strong it causes Donald to breathe fire, from which, José lights his cigar. Light up kids, but try to get blind drunk first. After Donald drunkenly dances to some Samba, the film ends.

This is a shorter review than previous films as although, much like most of the previous films, not a lot happens, this film was only forty minutes long. For that, I’m grateful. I’m not sure if this was a good premise for a film or not. It’s certainly original and, at times, it’s really fascinating (at least to me) but ultimately it feels like a placeholder film while the writers try to seek inspiration and wait for the war to end. The sequences with José Carioca and Donald Duck in Lake Titicaca were enjoyable enough but I felt the Goofy segment was a weak point (as discussed earlier). The ‘Pedro the Plane’ cartoon was entertaining (although I was distracted by the thoughts of aviation procreation). I spent the rest of the film distracted by the thoughts of how plane-birth would actually work. Perhaps the cargo deck has a secondary purpose? I digress, overall, I don’t think the film has aged especially well and I certainly think today’s youth will give up on it, but what I will say in praise of this film is my new mantra for life in general, “At least it’s not Bambi”.


Ben 🙄

Misguided Reviews


I can’t believe he didn’t like Dumbo! One of my work colleagues asked me which film we’d reviewed most recently and I said it was Dumbo, to which they replied, “Well that’s a nice one for Ben. No one can dislike Dumbo”. Au contraire, mon amie. Never underestimate my husband’s ability to dislike popular films. In fact, he prides himself on it. Awkward fucker.

To be honest, I do understand his grievances. Once again, the bad guys don’t get their comeuppance, which leaves a distinct lack of closure. Still, Dumbo is so cute and he gets his happy ending!

Onwards and up… Bambi. Oh, he’s gonna hate it. I mean, I think he’s gonna hate it. I haven’t seen it since I was a small child and there must be a reason why it never graced the screens of young Kerry’s childhood household. I genuinely don’t remember much about it, other than his Mum getting shot (which I’m sure contributed to my being a vegetarian now, although I never ate venison when I was an omnivore either!). Now I’ve watched it again, I can see why we didn’t have it on video. It is BORING! I’m sorry, I feel like I’m letting the side down, but it is. Nothing happens. It’s just a load of woodland animals pissing about, until the fawns mum gets shot by hunters (which is brutal, very emotional and I really don’t see how it adds to the story). Bambi’s desperate cries of, “Mother! Mother! Where are you?” is truly heartbreaking. His Dad shows up, tells him that he’s his father and that he won’t be able to see his mother again and, before you’ve had time to grieve for the poor little guy, we’re suddenly thrust forward in time to Bambi’s adulthood and a happy little tune about spring is playing. Then… there’s a random fire. No one dies. End of film. THIS FILM HAS NO STORY! But, I will leave it to Ben to go into detail. Maybe he liked it.

SPOILER ALERT! He didn’t. I didn’t.

2/10 (because the baby animals were cute)

Kerry 😁

With my now well-established aversion to sadness in films, this is the film that I’ve most dreaded watching. The reasons for that should be fairly obvious. However, I’m not going to completely write this film off before I’ve even viewed it, I’m going to attempt to be open minded. There just better be a pretty damn good reason to kill a fawn’s mother, and the only way I can think it justifiable is because the plot cannot function without it, and that the plot is so damn amazing, that the pure idea of not putting it on tape because of such horror, would be a crime against art, and a loss to the whole world.

And so I’m sitting here waiting for the film to start when the Disney Life app crashes (a now familiar occurrence by the way), which I fear is a bad omen. Even my Firestick thinks I should leave this film well alone. The app begins working eventually and with 30 seconds of the film starting I realise that my fears were very much justified as the typical early-Disney Intro starts up, but with a tune that is ten times more annoying. This tune is so annoying that even Kerry has picked up the remote and skipped it. Mercy.

The film starts with the world’s longest panning-through-woods scene in the history of cinema. The film is an hour long and this intro is so long I’m assuming the film’s story arc must literally consist of: Pan through woods → shoot mummy deer → back to the woods → end.  Anyway, after an age we see an owl:Owl

He’s defecating in a hole in a tree. Well if the birds in the hole downstairs will insist on playing Dubstep until four in the morning then it is only fair Mr Owl pops round to leave them a token of his appreciation…

Now we have a squirrel. Now a chipmunk. Nothing’s really happening. Now a mouse. A rabbit. Birds! All these animals are really cute. Still fuck-all happening, mind.

An announcement is made that a new prince has been born.  So all the animals go to visit him. He’s covered in amniotic fluid. Actually that’s a lie, there’s just nothing else of interest to talk about otherwise. Bambi is adorable. His mum looks content. I’m thinking I should switch the film off now in the style of Phoebe Buffet’s Mum (Mom) in ‘Friends’. All the animals come to offer their congratulations. Bambi tries to walk but falls over. Now he has a sleep. We see over yonder what appears to be Bambi’s Father, looking wistfully off into the distance. Probably wondering how six months ago he was a free-agent stag-king and one night of passion has resulted in this.

Next day the animals are still frolicking in the woods and they all say “Hi” to Bambi. We’re a quarter of the way through the film and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. We learn one of the young rabbits is called Thumper. He and his siblings spend an age trying to teach Bambi to walk. Rabbits teaching a deer to walk. Now that’s some essential cinema.

2019-02-03 (24)Bambi gets taught the difference between birds and butterflies. And flowers. He calls a skunk a flower to much mirth. Then he gets scared by a storm… That’s it I’m done, now there’s a song about rain. Fuck this shit. Now don’t get me wrong, I did continue to watch this film because I will sit through all these films and I will review them because its what I’ve idiotically signed up for, but there’s not a lot I can say about most of this, hell, I may as well be trying to write a 3000-word review about what air looks like. All I can do is point out those few things of significance that do actually occur.

Bambi and his mum go into an open meadow where there is “nowhere to hide”. Ominous. Bambi meets a doe and its pretty clear there’s some chemistry there. Well, she licks him anyway. I don’t know what signal that is supposed to convey in the cartoon animal world. In the human world, greeting by the licking of face suggests someone has bad social skills or has taken good LSD. They continue on their way to meet all the other deer. One of them is Bambi’s dad. I really wanted the mum to go up to dad and say, “where the fuck have you been?” but alas, she doesn’t. That would have been too interesting I suppose. The birds around them all start kicking up a fuss and there’s gunfire. All the deer wisely run away. Bambi’s dragging his heels though, this better not be what causes mummy deer to snuff it… Fortunately, it’s not. Which means we’re over half way through the film with still sod all occurring.

We go forward in time to Winter. The rabbits are playing on ice and some animals are hibernating. Bambi and Mum are really hungry and the only grass that’s not covered in snow that they can eat is out in the open. Here we go. Inevitably, they start getting shot at and have to run. Now I’m typing this over a month after watching what happens next. And it’s still no easier to put it into words. After the frantic dash back to the woods we see Bambi, and he says, “We’ve made it!”. But of course he’s the only one there. Because we don’t see what happens to Mummy deer. We have to create the mental image ourselves. And we have to focus on Bambi as he comes to realisation that his mum hasn’t made it. And don’t forget, he’s really cute. So the writers have made absolutely sure that they cause as much psychological damage as possible. This can never be unseen, and I very much blame the wife for inflicting this disturbing film on me.

The film continues. Even though life now has no meaning. Dad appears and takes Bambi away for a talk.

This scene is followed up with A HAPPY SONG ABOUT THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING!!!!! Are they taking the piss?! The writers are on the psychopath spectrum, surely. It appears we’ve skipped forward a few years as Bambi’s voice has now broken. Of course, as life now has no meaning and I’m sinking into deep depression I stop really paying attention to the film. Its descended into a documentary about animal mating rituals anyway. Bambi wins a fight against some random stag dude, then has some kids (not as a result o2019-02-03 (17)f the fight, that would be a bit strange. He gets it on with that face-licking Doe from earlier). Oh and in the midst of all this, the hunters come back and nearly shoot more animals and then attempt to burn down the forest. It would have been fitting for the film if Bambi had his house and mate torched to death as well, just to properly psychology ruin him. Fortunately that doesn’t happen as Bambi, being the brave prince he is, makes sure everyone is ok and they all live happily, and slightly scarred, ever after.

Anyway. After watching and writing the reviews for the previous Disney films on a regular weekly basis, the review for this film is being completed a good few months later. One reason is that this film was hard enough to sit through and finding the motivation to relive it in my head to type up the review was almost too torturous to endure, so I have procrastinated on it in the hope it will write itself. I found the movie, in most part, had very little plot and dragged from scene to scene. Was Mummy Deer’s demise essential to the plot? Hell no! Actually, I reckon this was the only reason it happened in the first place:

“Right guys, great job by the animation team on drawing these really cute animals, but at the minute they’re doing pretty much sweet-fuck-all plot wise. Anyone got any ideas on a good plot twist?

“How abou….?

“I swear to god George if you mention turning them into Donkeys and selling them into slavery, you’re going to be straight out that door.

“I wasn’t going to say that!

“Oh… good. What’s your suggestion then?

“Ok, um, um, uuuuuuum, um…………um, ok got it! We shoot his mum!

(Shocked silence)

“Shoot his mum? His mum?! Animation have drawn their cutest animal yet, and you’re suggesting we shoot its mum? George, you need to go back and see your shrink again. Now come on, think! We’re going to think of a grade-A plot for these cute creatures that will wow entire families around the world!

(After five hours)

“Ask the sound-effects department if they can record a shotgun sound.

2019-02-03 (13)One argument that I’m sure people will make is that the film makes a compelling argument against hunting. Without going too deep into the politics of this, I absolutely hope that it has talked someone out of hunting for sport, but if you want to kill an animal for the sake of killing an animal, you’ve probably shut down enough processes in that part of your brain for a Disney film to cause any major epiphany’s. Furthermore, I know some people could, and would, argue that it forced Bambi to grow up and prove himself as a man (stag), but that isn’t the only way that Bambi could find maturity and bravery, and in a film where I want some enjoyable escapism, this certainly isn’t the best way to achieve that. But I know some will say “but this is life and you shouldn’t sugar-coat it as it will make it easier for children to cope when this sort of thing inevitably happens in their own lives!”


You see, the other reason this review is so far behind schedule is that on the very same evening of watching Bambi, I received a message saying that my Father almost stopped breathing and had been rushed to hospital for emergency heart surgery. I was already feeling hopelessly depressed from watching the film and during that afternoon I accidentally kicked an ottoman as a result. Almost certainly broke a little toe! Bad things come in three’s indeed. After a further four operations and near-death moments, he is now slowly beginning the path to recovery but did the film in some way help to put his near-death into some sort of prepared-for perspective? Did it fuck! It just meant my Dad nearly died and on top of that I was depressed from watching a miserable and shit film! And my foot hurt too, but compared to a father on the operating table and the cries of a semi-orphaned fawn, it wasn’t a real concern… and the fact this wasn’t a real concern probably most brutally demonstrated my feelings towards Disney’s sixth offering: That it ranks somewhere between a parent undergoing emergency surgery and a broken toe.

The Reluctant Dragon – 7/10

Snow White – 6/10

Fantasia – 5.5/10

Dumbo – 5/10

Pinocchio – 3.5/10

A Broken Toe – 1.5/10

Bambi 1/10

Emergency surgery on Family members – Bad.

Ben 🙄


Misguided Reviews


Really pleased with Ben’s opinion of The Reluctant Dragon. When we were watching it, I thought it would be his sort of thing. The humour is a little bit more grown-up than some of the other early Disney films.

So, on to Dumbo. Coming out of the WDAS in 1941, many parts of the composition of Dumbo had been featured in The Reluctant Dragon, giving avid fans a sneak-peak of what to expect. It follows the story of a baby elephant born with abnormally large ears, highlighting the unconditional love and protection mothers have for their young and how greatness can spring unexpectedly from diversity, when it turns out that his large ears enable him to fly (wait, what!?). It can make the audience laugh (particularly when Dumbo and Timothy Mouse accidently get drunk), cry (‘Baby Mine’ *sob*) and wonder if they’ve smoked something dodgy (Pink Elephants on Parade, anyone?) resulting in an overall movie experience that stands the test of time.

Dumbo is one of my absolute favourite Disney films and I will enjoy it every time I watch it, without a doubt. However, I have my suspicions that Ben may not find it quite as endearing as I do. Dumbo is treated badly by many of the characters through no fault of his own and much like ‘creepy bad dude’ in Pinocchio, no one really gets their comeuppance, leaving a lack of closure following the films ending. However, I think that there will be characters that he will admire. He won’t hate it. Although, I could be wrong on all of these counts.

As I said, I love it.


Kerry 😁

It’s 10.30 in the morning and we are about to watch Dumbo. So no beer to help me here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m damn tempted but I will resist the best I can. This is another Disney film from 1941 so obviously the creative juices were flowing at Chez Disney in this period. Actually if the plot of ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ was anything to go by then ‘Dumbo’ was probably actually the artistic inspiration of another poor bastard like Robert Benchley who is treated like royalty by the staff at Disney Studios while they steal and recreate his brainchild from right under his nose.

The atypical Disney intro starts us off then, but with a distinctly “Circus-y” feel. I reckon a Circus will appear in the film. The film starts with a load of wind and rain. And big birds that I am informed are called storks, carrying bags in their mouths. They are flying over Florida. I know it is Florida as they are actually flying over a giant map of Florida. It’s like the animators looked at a Collins map of the world and went “So that’s what the earth looks like from space, well I never…”.

2019-02-06So the bags that the storks are bringing contain baby animals. Baby animals that are being brought for some Mummy animals. Now apparently there is an old-wives tale or a myth that “Storks bring the babies”, presumably to explain where babies come from to children who are not yet ready for the um… “details”. As someone who has never heard of this expression, this whole scene is somewhat confusing to say the least… also if storks bring the babies, how do you explain to kids the bloody great bump on Mummy’s tummy? To be honest, in today’s Jeremy Kyle environment (or American equivalent, Jerry Springer perhaps?) the only question children have about where babies come from is if the father is Steve or Dave?

All the mummy animals are now with their mail-order babies, except one. Mummy elephant’s baby didn’t arrive. But that’s what happens when you order your baby elephant online at the end of the day, and good luck trying to resolve the issue. Those Next-Day Delivery storks have always got some excuse… Also, as I sit here realizing that I’m attempting not to well-up over the unhappiness of a cartoon elephant, I remember how much I HATE the emotional manipulation that Disney thrives on and just how much I want to put these emotions back in the box at the back of my head where they belong.  You see, if I have a choice, I would want to see mummy elephants happy with their baby elephants, NOT mummy elephants deprived of their baby elephants! And I don’t need to see the disequilibrium of Mummy Elephant being without Baby Elephant to fully appreciate when Mummy Elephant ends up reunited with Baby Elephant later on in the film either. I can appreciate Mummy Elephant being with Baby Elephant regardless of previous trials and tribulations so just give me mummy elephants with their baby elephants and then I won’t be craving a Southern Comfort at 10.40 in the fucking morning!!!

2019-01-16The next day the same animals are being loaded onto a train. Oh yeah, and by the way, the train talks. Based on my experience with Disney thus far, I can only assume they’re being trafficked. At this point we have a fusion of narration and music, i.e. a singing narrator. It’s hideous. Although I love the idea of some dude singing about what’s going on for the entire film. Ah here’s the stork with the elephant, better late than never. He has been struggling to find Mummy Elephant but now he’s catching up with the train. A group of prostitute elephants wave at the stork and say “cooey!” from their wagon. Business must be bad if they’re trying to offer a stork a good time.

The stork enters the wagon and gives “Jumbo Junior” to his Mum. Apparently, he was brought to her from heaven and it’s his birthday. What, was he reincarnated? Was he actually born today?! All too confusing.

Jumbo is very cute. His, now very happy, mum (see, was that so fucking difficult?) and the prostitute elephants certainly agree. Then Jumbo Jr. sneezes and big ears pop out. Apparently, African elephants develop bigger ears by being very sneezy as infants then. #Disneyscience. The hooker elephants take the piss out of him because of it. He’s just a baby! What complete bitches. I know Walt likes to kill a cartoon animal every now and then, and I hope these whores are next.

So it turns out the train is transporting circus animals to the next town. We see the tent being erected in a storm by a load of faceless black men. In 1941 it evidently wasn’t deemed important enough to give black men faces…

The next day the animals get paraded through the town. I really, really hate circuses anyway and this shit doesn’t help me warm to them. All the people are laughing at Jumbo’s (or Dumbo’s as he’s now being called) ears. This sort of shit doesn’t make me warm to people much either, even if it is a cartoon. It’s a cute elephant and everyone’s being a total arsehole to him.

2019-01-16 (27)Later Dumbo gets washed and plays with Mummy, even though his big ears keep getting in the way. Some of the bastard children who were taking the piss out of Dumbo earlier return for another round of abuse. I feel that if they have nothing to better to do than track down an elephant with big ears so they can laugh at it again, they must have very boring lives. Is this what it was like before Playstations? The main kid dishing out the abuse looks remarkably like one of boys that was turned into a ‘Donkey slave’ in Pinocchio. Now if you happened to have read my previous reviews, you may have possibly noticed that I didn’t exactly warm to the donkey trafficking, as it seemed a horrifically over-the-top punishment just for being a naughty boy. However, if it turns out the crime was verbally abusing a cute baby elephant just because it has big ears, I will be forced to admit I was too hasty to judge, and those little shits deserve everything they get. I would also then happily add a point onto my score for Pinocchio as a reward, as it would have finally given me the closure I need. I’m deducting a point from this film however, as there’s too many bastards in it.

Fortunately, Mummy Elephant is on it and gives the kids what’s coming to them. Or at least tries to, as the circus folk intervene and take Mummy away, chain her up in a travelling cage and put a sign saying “Mad Elephant” on the front of it. This prompts Kerry to start crying. I hate Disney. Another point deducted.

The Prostitute Elephants all have a gossip and blame Dumbo for his Mother’s incarceration. Bitches. They all decide to ignore him. A random mouse then appears and scares the crap out of the elephants before enticing Dumbo out and befriending him. The mouse has an idea. He reckons if he can make Dumbo a star, he will no longer be a joke. The mouse then goes outside and hears two of the carnies talking about how they need a new “big climax” to the show. Well now isn’t that just convenient.

When the head carnie dude goes to sleep, the mouse tries a spot of sleep hypnosis in his ear. He tells the snoring man that he needs a climax and the perfect climax is “the little elephant with the big ears”. I question whether its wise to tell a sleeping man that he needs an elephant to climax. If it’s true that it’s easy for the brain to misinterpret subliminal messages, then there is a rather unpleasant rabbit-hole that can be fallen down here with this plan. Or elephant-hole. I really should move on…

We then skip to the following night’s show and the elephants are headlining proceedings and aren’t in therapy, so I guess the plan worked as intended. Actually, having started to watch their act I’m not so sure…

I mean it’s definitely a bit kinky.

Picture 1Definitely a bit angry.

Picture 2

Definitely a bit… ok seriously, what the fuck is going on here?

Picture 3

Eventually they pile up onto what I can only assume is the world’s first elephant-sex-wall, and the climax will be Dumbo flipping onto the top of it. The whole thing is eeever so slightly unrealistic but ok, the magic of cartoon and all that, I’ll let it go. Dumbo however, for some strange reason, is somewhat nervous about being flipped onto the top of a giant elephant-wall in front of a room full of people without any practice. As a result, he fucks the whole thing up a proper treat. It’s hardly his fault but I get the feeling he will be blamed anyway as it seems everyone else in this film apart from the mouse and his mum are total dickheads.

The next day, following this whimper of “a climax”, the elephants are doing their usual gossiping thing whilst covered in bandages. God, I hate them. They’re discussing how Dumbo is now going to be a clown in the show as punishment for ruining “the climax”. He got no training!!! Sick of this film. Apparently, him being a clown is a source of great shame and as far as they’re concerned, “he is no longer an elephant”.

The next night Dumbo is a weird-clown-elephant-baby in the performance, that is stuck on the top of a building while other clowns get up to all sorts of hijinks while trying to rescue him and put out the fire. The circus owners love it. I don’t. In a celebratory mood the owners all get drunk.

Dumbo is sad so the mouse takes him to see his mother. She hugs him with her trunk. I’m an adult male who is spending a morning getting emotional at the enforced separation of a mummy and baby elephant. I am not happy about this. Another point deducted. After the sad (of course it’s fucking sad, it’s fucking Disney) farewell, we re-join the clowns planning a new finale that is dangerous and reckless, but okay because “elephants don’t have feelings”. I expect them all to die (the clowns) or suffer horrific pain as recompense for this, for me to be satisfied with the film’s conclusion. Make the hooker-elephants suffer intensely as well. And the mean kids. Make them all pay! I want justice! But just like Pinocchio, I bet we won’t.

2019-01-16 (19)What we do get however, is a very, very drunk baby elephant and mouse. It comes about after one of the clown’s bottles of alcohol ends up being tipped into a water bucket. A thirsty Dumbo then goes and drinks from it. Really, the problem here is allowing animals to freely wander about, thus making such health and safety problems inevitable. The mouse then falls in the “water” and ends up equally battered. I don’t know the scientific implications of elephants and mice drinking alcohol, but the Disney writers have decided it leads to crazy-ass hallucinations. This hallucination scene is beyond words. I cannot do it justice with words either. It is…. fucked up. Really fucked up. Without giving too many spoilers it contains many things like contorting pink elephant bubbles dancing around while a song called “Pink Elephants on Parade” is sung. I urge everyone to go and watch this segment now…

The next morning Dumbo and his mouse buddy are asleep in a tree. Good effort on their part. That’s how you know you’ve had a good night. Some crows are above them in a tree acting very, very stereotypically black. At least they’ve been given faces I suppose. They decide to wake Dumbo and the mouse up by blowing cigar smoke in their face. Remember that one kids. If you’re at a sleepover and your mate won’t wake up in the morning, then you know what to do. And it must be okay to do so because it’s happened in a kid’s film.

Dumbo and the mouse fall out of the tree. I wish they had given this mouse dude a name as he’s a fairly prominent character, and I’m fed up of just calling him ‘the mouse’… I’ve just checked his name on Wikipedia, and it’s Timothy Q. Mouse. He has a full name including middle initial and they couldn’t be fucked to tell us what is was? Another point deducted.

Dumbo & TQM wonder how they got in a tree. With the help of the racially generic crows, they establish they must have flown with the help of Dumbo’s big ears. The crows then sing a song about how “they’ve never seen an elephant fly”. Ugh.

TMQ realises that he can make Dumbo’s career… take off (that was my joke, see, I could write crap puns for kid’s films…), by presenting everyone with the world’s only flying elephant. Okay hang on here, so this is how we’re going to get to Dumbo becoming a star and a fairy-tale ending, I get that, but I’m curious about the writer’s discussion that led us to this point…

“Right guys, now how do we end this film?”

“Ok ummmmm… How about Dumbo gets turned into a donkey and sold into slavery?”

“George, George, George, listen, I love your enthusiasm, I do. But we already did your Donkey-Trafficking thingy in Pinocchio. We can’t do it again.”

“Ummmmm… How about… ummmmm… I don’t know, Dumbo starts flying and becomes a star?”

“That’s… actually really good George, well done!”

“And he discovers he can fly after getting pissed up with the mouse to the point where he hallucinates pink, elephant-shaped bubbles before waking up in a tree!”

“Okay George, stop. You always take it a bit too far don’t you? Look, we can write a good way to get from A to B here, so let’s put our thinking caps on.”

(After four silent hours)

“Fuck it. Drunk baby elephant and mouse it is. Speaking of drunk, it happy-hour so let’s call it a day.”


After TMQ gives the crows a sob story about poor Dumbo, the crows agree to help Dumbo to fly again. As Dumbo is dubious, they use some cunning psychology, and give him “a magic feather” that will give him “the power” to fly. There’s about three minutes of the film remaining at this point, I get a very strong suspicion that they will be successful as there isn’t enough time for a plan B, unless the ending they’re going for is Dumbo falling to his death. Again, this is Disney, so I cannot completely rule out such misery. With three minutes remaining it also means there probably isn’t enough time to kill enough of the films many arseholes. So once again, too many people and prostitute-elephants are going to get away with shit that they shouldn’t.

Obviously The “magic feather” works, and Dumbo starts flying. Whilst airborne, he knocks over some telegraph poles.


“Hi, phone company? Could you please tell me why we didn’t have a working phone line for the previous two weeks please?”

“I’m sorry ma’am, but our lines were brought down by a flying baby elephant……. You don’t believe me, do you?”


2019-01-16 (18)That night at the circus, “the biggest climax of all time” or whatever the hell it’s called, seems to involve throwing a baby elephant off something ridiculously high. After some moderate suspense involving the dropping of the “magic feather” whilst falling, Dumbo flies and becomes a mega-star. He gets insured for $1,000,000, reunited with his mum and TQM becomes his manager.

This is all very nice and a happy ending, don’t get me wrong. But it all happens in the last minute of the film, the hooker-elephants’ only punishment for their bitchiness is to have peanuts shot at them as Dumbo flies around. The circus owners’ punishment for their obvious cruelty and lack of empathy towards animals is to OWN A HUGELY SUCCESSFUL ATTRACTION AND GET RICH. Complete bullshit. Again, the problem with this film, just like Snow White, just like The Reluctant Dragon, is that the ending is rushed and unsatisfying in my opinion.

Most people regard this film as exceptional. It has a 97% average rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So, I’m wondering why I just didn’t enjoy it?! Am I the only person? If anyone else feels the same way, then please let me know!  At the end of the day, I know I will struggle to enjoy any film with meanness to animals or mummy/son trauma, so I hope this won’t be a regular occurrence. Fingers crossed the next film will lighten the emotional load a bit. It’s Bambi next?

Oh fuck.


Ben 🙄