7 Disney Sequels I Refuse to Acknowledge

As a Disney enthusiast, I am often asked to share my opinion on a variety of Disney films by the friends I somehow miraculously have. Inevitably, these always include a laundry list of home entertainment flops, aka the list I have so diligently prepared for you today.

“But, Laura, this is just a list of sequels!” you cry.

Wrong, young Disney noob. This is a list of bad, cringe-worthy, waste-of-cabinet-space sequels that I have and will continue to ignore until I die. In full disclosure, I have seen each of these seven films at least once, which was more than enough.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Pocahontas II

So, hold up. Let me get this straight. You want to replace John Smith with another yet completely different white guy from England who is also named John? Nope. Not having it. FOREVER MEANS FOREVER. Why do I feel so much like Taylor Swift right now?

9f8b4b275b85ecf4a88b88ebd968c843

2. Lion King 1 1/2

If a Disney sequel features a younger version of any character, said movie will make you want to peel your skin off and bleed out slowly to the sound of bad tween dialogue. Thanks, but I’ve been through puberty once. That was enough.

giphy

3. Ariel’s Beginning

See #2 minus puberty because babies, which just makes me feel weird as an adult viewer.

4. Tim Burton’s Alice Through The Looking Glass

As a lover of Lewis Carol, this movie really rustles my jimmies. If you’ve got an hour to waste (who doesn’t?) head over to The Disney Movie Review to hear an unabashed soapbox spiel about Tim Burton crushing my dreams and why Belle should only wear her blue dress.

50380-animation-reaction-disney-crying-cry-alice-in-wonderland-walt-disney

5. Hunchback of Notre Dame II

If we’re being honest, I can’t even remember this movie because all I can think about is Jennifer Love Hewitt’s cheeky smile at minute 1:15 in that VHS commercial.

6. Literally any Cinderella sequel ever.

So, here’s the funny thing about villains – they’re usually evil. And without extensive phycological rehabilitation, evil people usually stay evil. So unless I missed the Royal Therapy scene, sassy Cindy and the increasingly effeminate Ken doll get an oh-heck-no from me.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-4-00-10-pm

7. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Beast banned Christmas, and then he unbanned it. Done. That’s the entire plot of the movie, which was a bust. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes, because even they were too embarrassed to reprise their role in this sequel.

embarrass-wardrobe

As you see, this list could go on indefinitely, so in the interest of time I did my best to only choose movies that brought me to tears.

So, Laura, you’re saying ALL Disney sequels are doomed to fail?

Wrong again, my silly little friend! There are plenty of Disney sequels (even triquels!) that I genuinely adore. Yes, I invented triquel©. I’m not really sure how copyright works, but I put that fancy C symbol next to the word so I think so we’re all good. Anyway, the good sequels include The Little Mermaid II (AKA My Life Story), Lion King II, 102 Dalmatians, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and any future Toy Story movies. On a good day, maybe even Lady and the Tramp II. Maybe.

Have you been personally scarred by a bad sequel? Are you an in-the-closet Pocahontas II fan, or perhaps you have a good sequel story to share? Shoot me a comment below because trivial Disney convos are my jam.

What’s Up with All These Disney Remakes?

tumblr_nfapi3rfwx1qgwefso1_500

The Jungle Book. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty. Beauty and the Beast. For the past five years, Disney has been in an experimental relationship with live-action fairytales that (as far as I can tell) has no end in sight. In 2015, Cinderella racked in $132 million globally on opening weekend. Try $294 million for The Jungle Book. Needless to say with figures like these, Disney has taken a cute from Queen Bey is about to put a ring on remakes.

But what’s so magical about a remake, anyway?

giphy

In high school, I did a lot of babysitting because I had no money and two X chromosomes. We watched The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Tarzan, the usuals. Every week, I would optimistically offer up suggestions for movies that I had loved growing up. The Aristocats, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White, Pinocchio, even The Jungle Book. After being shot down like Bambi’s mom time and time again, I finally caught on.

“That movie’s too slow.

“It’s a boring one.”

“No, that movie isn’t very funny.”

The next generation is a new audience with new expectations.

giphy2

But all hope is not lost. Many animation studios make the bulk of their profit from tentpole films, meaning movies with never-ending sequels like Kung Fu Panda 3, The Avengers, Shrek, etc. With the exception of Marvel and LucasFilms, Disney hasn’t relied too heavily on tentpole films in the past. Lion King 1 1/2 happened against our will, and yes, Pocahontas II disappointed audiences everywhere because apparently Mel Gibson is too good for sequels. But these were just home releases – a small boost, not a blockbuster.

But now the tides are turning. To stay relevant, Disney has three options. Generate new blockbusters (Frozen), reinvent forgotten classics (Pete’s Magic Dragon), or set up new tentpoles (Star Wars). While I believe all three are in the works, there seems to be a strong emphasis on creating forgotten classics with the goal of establishing new tentpoles.

Clear as mud, right?

giphy1

Basically, live-action remakes are low risk and high reward because fans already love the story. They’re also an easy (though expensive) way to reinvent old stories for young viewers, which will allow Walt’s legacy to stay relevant in the age of CGI. In short, it’s fish bait for your children. The craziest part? It’s working like magic.

So, what’s next for Disney?

According to US Weekly, “Other projects in the works from Disney, all set for release between 2017 and 2019, include A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay; Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; Dumbo, directed by Tim BurtonMaleficent 2, starring Angelina Jolie; and Jungle Book 2, a sequel to the just-released live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling‘s book, starring Neel Sethi,Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Idris Elba.”

Notice how I put this in quotes because I was too lazy to research it for myself. Regardless, you can see that Disney is preparing for a tidal wave of live-action profit, that will hopefully position the company for years of financial gain and never-ending merchandise opportunitites.

Personally, I think this is excellent news. The possibilities are literally endless, folks! I am thrilled to see old Disney icons like Pongo, Belle, Marry Poppins, and Mowgli meet fresh, young eyes because these characters mean something to me. As they live on, so does a precious sliver of my childhood. Through these films, old dreams drift into the future. They are the Bing Bong to my Riley, the White Rabbit to my Alice.

tumblr_nr59x9h7tw1tj1myeo1_250

What are your thoughts on all of the remakes?

 

We NEED to Talk About the New Beauty and the Beast Trailer

In case you missed it, Disney released a trailer teaser for the new live-action Beauty and the Beast, which is code for “DROP WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING AND WATCH IT RIGHT THIS SECOND.”

Sorry not sorry for the drama, but we’re reliving the birth of the Disney Renaissance, folks. Your undivided attention is a must. As a self-professed Disney princess enthusiast whose favorite film happens to be Beauty and the Beast, I’m basically on sensory overload. That being said, I’ve tried to catalogue my thoughts as coherently as possible! In this post, I’ll mostly be talking about my reaction the trailer, but for a more thorough rundown of the film itself check out The Disney Blog.

From the trailer, it appears we will be treated to a darker retelling – I expect somewhat similar to the 2016 The Jungle Book and less like the 2015 Cinderella. Personally, I’ve always been drawn to the gothic undertones of the story more than the glitz and glam of the Disney princess franchise, so obviously I am thrilled the trailer is more suspenseful than romantic. Here are a few other quick thoughts I had while watching (and re-watching) the clip.

First Thoughts

gaston-embarrasses-himself-with-his-thinking-in-beauty-and-the-beast-quote-gif

  • Unlike the live-action Cinderella, I am ecstatic to see that (so far) the musical score remains true to 1991. We all know Alan Menken is gold, and if you don’t cry during the “Transformation” score you should probably post a listing for your missing heart.
  • Although I never had a single doubt, Emma Watson is perfect. Just perfect.
  • Cogsworth and Lumiere sound pretty much exactly like the original, and this news is just wonderful.
  • I think I stopped breathing for a full 10 seconds as the camera panned over the ballroom. So, when can I move in?
  • In the original film, the only portrait shown is the one Beast scratches, which shows his human self. In the new trailer, we are shown a different portrait with three figures. Could this hint at a long-awaited backstory for Adam?
  • I’m glad our first look at Belle is in the blue dress, not the gold dress. It seems trivial, but I’m a big advocate of blue-dress Belle. After all, she’s only in the gold dress for, what, an hour tops?

Hopes and Dreams

beauty-and-the-beast-belle-dandelions

  • We haven’t yet seen the Beast, and honestly I hope we don’t until the film. It’s good to leave something for the imagination, right?
  • If this resembles Beastly in any way, I’m going to break down in tears.
  • Although I’m not positive the musical aspect is going to fit into this retelling, I am still highly optimistic Emma Watson may sing a number or two.
  • It may be a stretch, but I would love to see a cameo or two from the original cast – Enchanted style.
  • The Beast’s roar sounds a little like a stalled lawn mower, but I don’t hate it. It reminds me of a cat-like purr, almost. After seeing The Jungle Book, I am very optimistic in a realistic, animalistic portrayal of the Beast.

Things I Wish We Had Seen

yb3tlyf

  • I’m dying for a look at the costumes. While I am typically a stickler on reinvention, I adored the way Disney updated iconic outfits in Cinderella while staying true to the original.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I’m dying for some stained glass.
  • Obviously it was just a teaser, but I can’t wait to see Gaston’s unanimated counterpart. I also hope that every inch of him is covered in hair. If you think I’m being creepy, here’s the song.

Things I Hated

641

  • Ha! Seriously. Good one, guys.

So, fellow fans, what is your immediate reaction to the trailer?

8 Things You Didn’t Know About The Little Mermaid

1. Ariel’s underwater motions are based on space travel.

To capture realistic gravity-free motion in underwater scenes, Disney animators based their sketches off of American astronaut Sally Ride’s motions in space.

Sally Ride

2. Before there was Sebastian, there was Clarence.

The character Sebastian began as an English butler named Clarence, but the character was revised after lyricist Howard Ashman suggested  a reggae feel for the score.

Sebastian

3. Ursala was drawn for the voice of Golden Girl‘s Bea Arthur.

The villain was drawn specifically for the voice of Bea Arthur, who eventually declined the part. Pat Caroll filled the role, although the character was left unaltered.

Bea Arthur

4. Ariel’s body was modeled after Alyssa Milano’s.

Animators looked to Alyssa Milano in Who’s the Boss? as a model of the youthful beauty they wanted Ariel to embody.

Alyssa Milano

5. The artists hired live-action actors to illustrate character motions.

Live-actions models were a staple of classic Disney films like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty but were less frequently used in later years. Disney hired Sherri Lynn Stoner from the Los Angeles Groundlings comedy improvisation group to exaggerate Ariel’s facial and body movements.

Sherri Lynn Stone

6. Over one million bubbles were drawn for the film.

Since The Little Mermaid was the last Disney film to use hand-painted cells, each new scene had to be created from scratch. Although stationary backgrounds were often reused, moving objects such as bubbles had to be redrawn with each new animation cell.

Bubbles

7. The soundtrack has been certified six-time platinum.

The Little Mermaid soundtrack sold over 6 million copies worldwide, an unprecedented feat at the time. The album also won two Oscars in 1990, one for Best Song from an Animated Feature Soundtrack (“Under the Sea”) and one for Best Album for Children.

Soundtrack

8. The Little Mermaid pioneered the Disney Renaissance.

The Little Mermaid was the first of many highly successful films under new CEO Mike Eisner. The Disney Renaissance includes such blockbusters as The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Hercules.

Disney Renaissance

For more Disney trivia, craft idea, and pure awesomeness, be sure to follow my blog!

What I’ve learned from Disney

disney

As any Disney fanatic or 7-year-old might say, I credit many of the valuable lessons I’ve accumulated to the Disney movie collection. While the exact number of impactful teachings remains truly infinite, there are a few key schoolings that stand out as life-essential. This collection of Disneyisms, the Bear Necessities if you will, should be an integral part of your life too, and so I’ve decided to share with you what I’ve learned from Disney over the past 21 years.

It’s alright if your prince is flawed, as long as there’s a redeeming quality.

Eric: Bad at charades but has castle.
Charming: Forgetful with names but has a castle.
Beast: Terrible temper but has a castle.
Naveen: Shallow and promiscuous but has a castle.
Phillip: Too trusting but has a castle.

***Note: the phrases “redeeming quality” and “has a castle” are equivalent***

You should have a healthy fear of the old, ugly, and obese.

Ursala: Ugly and obese.
Jafar: Old and ugly.
Scar: Old and ugly.
Mr. Waternoose: Old, ugly, and obese.
Hades: Old, ugly, potentially obese depending on the toga.

You receive 1 point for each quality (old, ugly, or obese) for rankings on the villainometer. 1 point is a devilish fiend, 2 points equals a malicious hell raiser, and 3 points signals a black devil from the tenth circle of hell.

Before every happy ending, there is a struggle.

Cinderella: Trouble with the steps.
Aurora: Potentially deadly sleeping curse.
Hercules: Universal takeover by Lord of the Dead.
Ariel: Born with the wrong parts. (Legs, that is)
Simba: Uncle with power issues.

Heroism isn’t free, and every iconic Disney character has had to prove themself, be it to their kingdom, their family, or themselves. The curses of today lead to the happily ever afters of tomorrow.