Summary: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.
This will be a short review.
Dumbo. Dumbo is a newborn elephant who has oversized ears and HE’S SO CUTE! He is the newest addition to the Medici’s circus. At first, some of the people at the circus think he’s a freak and he is used to attract huge audiences. Once he learns how to fly, after prompting from the kids, Medici uses Dumbo as a flying attraction. However, his mother is taken away because she gets uber protective of her baby (which is understandable!). Dumbo then begins to feel lost because she’s gone and the kids become close to him to help him regain his confidence. Once he gets put into Dreamland, he’s really out of his element. Dumbo doesn’t talk at all, but his facials are super expressive. I think that and his endearing personality is what makes him an interesting hero albeit an unconventional one.
Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo’s Relationship. We don’t get to see a ton of them together as they get separated pretty early on but a lot of what drives Dumbo is the fact of getting back to his mother. He even seems to go along with the plans delivered at the end because he was promised to get back to his mom. I thought that was sweet and the part of the movie I wanted to see the most.
The Idea of Family. A big part of this film is the idea of family. The whole thing with Dumbo and his mother, and then Colin Farrell’s family and then the circus as a whole being a family. I did like how there were three different layers of family going on and that it was such an important part of the film that each plot point was directly related to “family” in some form or fashion.
Animal CGI. I think this movie has really nice CGI. I think Dumbo is precious and I want a baby elephant. I think all of the animals we get to see look really good to be fully computer generated. There is also a bit of the pink elephants part and it’s different from what we remember but it works for the tone of the movie but it’s also quite cool. I think the way they handle all the effects, there aren’t a ton, but the ones there are, it’s really good. Dumbo’s face, all of his expressions, especially in his eyes are so sweet.
Really Cute… Most Times. I feel like I’m mostly praising Dumbo but he is the most charming thing about this movie. There’s a part where Eva Green’s character goes into a room and she says “Bonsoir!” and Dumbo comes in behind her and repeats her in his way lol. It was super cute and got a lot of laughs in my theater. This happened a lot but mostly because of Dumbo!
The Acting. I don’t really care about any of the characters but I think all of the acting from the adults is good. They’re all well-known actors and I think they all do well with what they are working with and their fine in their roles.
The Entire Human Aspect. I didn’t want to compare it to the animated film because I am able to look at the two separately but the thing that makes the animated film charming is the fact that it focuses mostly on Dumbo and the mouse, THE ANIMALS! The humans are inconsequential and this movie shows WHY!! I did not care a bit about any of these humans in this movie. They force Colin Farrell’s family on us and I definitely did not care. I guess I could care about the circus people but the made Dumbo be a clown and made fun of his ears! I don’t care! Then there was this whole thing with Michael Keaton… jeez, literally cared about none of these people!
No Emotional Weight. I cry every time I watch the animated movie… and while this movie tries to hit the emotional parts that we know from the animated film, it doesn’t hit quite the same. The Baby Mine in the trailer made me tear up when I first saw, but I just went “aww” and then kept it moving. There’s a lot of aww’s but mostly because it’s cute not emotional the way I think the movie wants it to be. The whole thing with the dad and his kids, all of that stuff, it just doesn’t hit.
Unbalanced Story. This story is all over the place! We have this whole thing about Dumbo being weird because that’s the whole point of the movie. Then there’s thing with Colin Farrell where he’s come back from the war and lost his arm, which means he’s lost his act in the circus and his wife died… I mean there’s a lot going on that the movie wants us to care about. Farrell’s daughter is a boring scientist, the son has no personality other than to look wide-eyed at everything and then even more. I literally only care about Dumbo. There’s so much going on in this movie that I think it loses what is supposed to make it charming and that’s focusing on Dumbo and what he’s going through and what he feels.
The Little Girl. I don’t know the actress’s name and while she’s a kid, I want to give her a pass, but wow she was really bad. She was the one we spent a lot of time with because she is the one who figures a lot of things out because she’s super smart. I’m glad that she was smart and into science. However, she had one facial expression the entire time. Her tone was monotone and every time she spoke, I was like wow. It was really bad. Even when she was trying to be emotional it didn’t work. I don’t know if it was a choice or if Tim Burton told her to do that. Either way, it was really bad. Her little brother was better than her and he didn’t get much to do.
Overall, I wanted to like Dumbo more than I did. I thought it was cute overall and I wanted to love it about as much as I loved the animated film because I have been optimistic about these live action remakes, and I don’t mind them but this one left a lot left to be desired. IT was kind of a shame really because it could have been handled better. I don’t know if they thought we would relate more because of the humans but they don’t help the story at all. Dumbo is the selling point and he is the best part of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the acting is good through all of the adult actors but you don’t care about any of them because it’s just added storylines we don’t need. The CGI is good and while I didn’t mention this separately, the soundtrack is lovely. Now, there isn’t any emotional weight, at least not to the point where the movie wanted it to land and the little girl’s acting was not good and she’s almost a main lead because of how much she’s featured. Also, the story is all over the place. *sighs* I think it could have been better otherwise, this one could have been left to its original place as an animated film.
Rating: 2.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Dumbo? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts down below!
So, listen, I’ve wanted to do a piece on what I thought about Disney’s live action trek through our childhood memories. I did one a couple of years ago when Beauty and the Beast was coming out. You can read Disney Remakes Thoughts and the Beauty and the Beast review.
It’s no secret that I am optimistic for these remakes. I don’t have a problem with it and I will get into all of that when I talk about that. This piece is to specifically talk about the live action Aladdin movie before it comes out and I do my official review. These are my thoughts SO FAR. There isn’t much to really talk about since it’s not out yet but I’m going to touch on the casting and the costumes mostly because that’s what the promo photos have been for.
So obviously I thought it was important to have a cast full of people of color for this movie because of where it’s set. Sure, Agrabah is a fake country but it is based on real places. I remember back when they officially announced it, everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin.
Obviously I get it, I mean back in the day, I would have been like yasss, but I like the guy they got to play Aladdin.
I think he’s super cute and I follow him on Instagram and he seems to have great energy for the role. I just hope the direction and the writing allows him to be great. Sometimes actors can’t shine when the material won’t let them so I’m hoping it does because the animated film is so great. I think Mena Massoud is a fine choice physically, so we’ll see how it is acting wise.
Now when Naomi Scott was cast as Jasmine, there was a lot of backlash because she’s not brown enough. Listen, I get it because representation is important, and I agree. It would have been nice to have someone who is browner to play such an iconic princess who is the first Disney princess of color. I get it completely. However, my issue came with the fact that people had such a problem with her when she is of Indian descent on her mother’s side, but everyone wanted Avan Jogia to play Aladdin when his father is British-Indian. It was so crazy to me. I often defended her casting whenever it came up in a conversation because it’s not like she not a person of color at all. But that’s over and done, I think she looks great in the role. I’ve only seen her in Power Rangers and a few episodes in shows. I think she’s a fine actress. I just hope they allow Jasmine to have a bit more character growth. She is my third favorite Disney princess, but I never really thought she had the best writing in the animated film. She’s a great character but she’s a flat character, which is why I hoped they took notes from the Broadway show. She has a lot more character in that and I think it’s important that we get to know Jasmine as more than just “I don’t want to marry someone I don’t love” just like we get to know and love Aladdin.
As for Will Smith, I’m okay with this casting overall. I was a little skeptical when it was first announced, and I am not necessarily skeptical but curious now. I like Will Smith, he’s a likable guy but I can never see him as his character… he’s Will Smith. I think the only time I was like “wow that’s the character and not Will Smith” was probably Hancock just because that guy was a jerk and a bit different from the characters Will Smith plays that I have seen anyway. I know no one can fill Robin Williams’ shoes but I hope they don’t try to copy that iconic character but allow Will Smith to make it his own. Now, in the trailer, the way he started talking sounded like The Fresh Prince and I was like ummm… so I just hope it’s not too jarring outside of his physical appearance. I think he’ll be fine overall, but I’m just like… okaayyyyy.
I think they are beautiful. At least all the Disney remakes have had beautiful costumes, no matter what you think of Cinderella’s huge blue dress or Belle’s yellow dress. I think they’re both fine. I didn’t care for Cinderella’s dress at first, it grew on me but overall, it’s fine. I’m in the minority but I really liked Belle’s dress but ya know, whatevs lol.
But I think the costumes in Aladdin look so good so far.
I like Aladdin’s look mostly. Mena Massoud has great hair and it just looks weird, I don’t know if it’s because he’s supposed to be “dirty”, so his hair is greasy, I don’t know but that’s what throws me off the most. I mean, I know in the pictures he looks really “clean” as I have seen people say but I mean promotional pictures aren’t technically stills from the film. I think he looks better in the second photo with the genie. I can’t WAIT to see his Prince Ali look because it’s iconic and I can imagine the detail on it. *heart eyes*
Jasmine’s costumes are so beautiful! I think her clothes are my favorite of our live action heroines so far. The attention to detail, the colors, how the blue outfit resembles her iconic outfit but puts a new twist on it. I think she looks amazing. The picture with the Sultan is a new one I discovered, and that yellow is everything. LISTEN, I don’t care, I think Naomi Scott looks great. The Sultan also looks good in that picture.
Jafar’s costume also looks nice. I think his hat is a bit big lol, but perhaps he’s a young guy who moved up quickly in the ranks and obviously wants to be Sultan. I mean, in the animated film it was gross because he was a smarmy old man and he wanted Jasmine to be his queen lol. So, with this younger actor, I hope he acts super smarmy so make up for being a beautiful man lol.
As for The Genie. I already said what I had to say on the casting, but I think the blue is a bit jarring. Perhaps when I see the movie it won’t be as weird because I’ll already be immersed in the world and when it happens, maybe it’ll look better. Maybe they’re still putting some work on his final look. I think the second photo looks better than the first photo. Maybe him being large helps this look. I don’t know but I prefer the more “human” look like in the picture above with Aladdin. Apparently, the human look is his disguise when he’s out in the world, but I wish he looked like that all the time. I mean, perhaps his hands turned blue, or maybe whenever he used magic it was blue to pay homage, but I’m not really feeling it. This is probably the first time I’m like…
But I’m still optimistic. Update: I started writing this on 2/12/2019 and I have to say the blue look is growing on me. It’s still jarring but it’s growing on me.
This is the last thing I want to touch on. We know and love the songs from the animated film and I can’t wait to see how they do them in this version. I’m excited. I am however curious about these new songs. There is a new solo for Jasmine and Aladdin and Jasmine have a new duet, which is called “sweet”. I really wanted the two original songs from the Broadway show in the film, “Proud of Your Boy” which Aladdin sings in his home and “A Million Miles Away” which Aladdin and Jasmine sing together (but not together). I really wanted both of those in the movie, but I guess they’re not, instead there are two new songs. So, I’m curious to hear those and I’ve never really heard either lead actor sing, I know Naomi Scott was in Lemonade Mouth, but I never saw that, so I’ll just be waiting for the film.
Overall, these are my thoughts right now for the upcoming Aladdin movie. I am excited. As I said, I am generally optimistic about these live action remakes, I don’t think they’re useless, I think its kind of cool and I’m interested to see what they continue to do. I hope Aladdin does a great job!
Thanks for reading my quick thoughts on the upcoming Aladdin movie! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you not impressed? Why not? Are you excited? Tell me why! I’m interested in hearing from you!
Summary: Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for the kids while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.
FINALLY IT IS HERE! WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOVIE FOREVER! I didn’t ask for Finding Dory and it was fine. NO ONE WANTED MORE CARS MOVIES! Cars 2 is terrible and Cars 3 was cute. BUT FINALLY!! I love the first movie, it’s my favorite Pixar film and I love it to pieces. Finally. I do have to say I wanted them to age up the characters 14 years to match those of us who were kids when it came out, but I’m okay with what they gave us because it was great!
Cast and Characters. We have a lot of characters in this film, we meet a lot of new supers and there are of course returning characters, but I’m not really going to get into all of them because ya know, that’s a lot lol. But I think all of the new supers were really cool and had awesome powers, that were put to good use in the film.
Craig T. Nelson as Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible. He possesses super strength and limited invulnerability. He’s been wanting to be super again for so long, that when the movie starts, and they go up against the Underminer, he expects a better reception than what they received from governmental people. But when they get to chance to prove them wrong, he’s excited to get back out there, but he feels slighted when they choose Helen instead of him, but he wants to prove that he can also be a stay at home dad. Bob really does try, he does a good job for a while, but it’s easy to see that he needs something else to be doing too, at least in his mind. He really tries though, he reads through Dash’s math book, he tries to help Violet out, and he of course discovers Jack-Jack’s powers and takes the initiative to do something about it. He just has to slow down every now and then. Craig T. Nelson has some great moments where he can just be all over the place and controlled. His voice is great for Bob.
Holly Hunter as Helen Parr / Elastigirl. Let’s be real, Helen is the MVP, she was my favorite in the first (alongside of Dash) but she is so freaking cool. The way she uses her powers is just so unique and done in ways I haven’t seen other heroes with this power do. She has the ability to stretch her body into many shapes and forms and she does just that. In the first movie, we got a taste of what she can do, but they really go to town with her, she creates less of a mess than Mr. Incredible and is more tactical about how she solves problems, which serves her well in the film. She is also still a mother and have been a stay at home mom for a long time that this new job of hers, is different and she’s worried, however, she also is having so much fun. I love Helen because she is so protective of her family, but she is still a superhero, no matter how long it’s been since it’s been illegal, and she still kicks butt. Holly Hunter’s voice is perfect and that is all.
Sarah Vowell as Violet Parr. She is the oldest and the only girl, her powers are to become invisible and project force field. In this movie, she is definitely being a teenage daughter, who is dealing with her feelings about boys, and about who she is, and she spends a lot of the movie questioning a lot of things that’s happening or being decided. All of that is understandable considering she is what 14 maybe? Her powers allow for a lot of cool moments, but also some really funny visual gags, like the one where she goes into the kitchen to get ice cream (lol). However, Violet is the oldest, so she does step up quite a bit. Sarah Vowell’s voice is still great for the character, it could be really annoying but it’s not.
Huck Milner as Dashiell “Dash” Parr. Who doesn’t love Dash?? Along with his mother he is my favorite. He is a bit of a troublemaker, the oldest son and has superhuman speed. He is outgoing, he is always willing to run head first into anything. Dash hates being left out and he wants to always be involved. He always has funny jokes to say. His powers are also really cool.
Eli Fucile as Jack-Jack Parr. I have always loved Jack-Jack, but he really owns a lot of this movie. A lot of the humor comes from him because of his reactions to things and his powers. Even though he’s a baby, he obviously knows what’s going on because when Dash said, “We want to fight bad guys”, Jack-Jack repeated but in baby talk, plus the whole time he was in Edna’s house. I mean, this kid is just gold. He has an assortment of powers, and we get to experience them all. Whether or not he’ll keep all of them, I doubt it, they’re all used hilariously.
Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best / Frozone. Similar to the first one, he’s not in it that much, but we definitely get to see him use his powers way more in this one. He is Bob’s best friend and he can create ice from humidity and he help out in the beginning with the Underminer, but when the police come, he ducks out because he knows it’s still illegal. He encourages Helena and Bob to join him at the meeting with Deavor, but we don’t see him for a while after that until Violet calls him to help Bob out and then of course during the climax of the film he’s more present. I think Frozone is super cool, I wonder what all he can do with his powers, but the fact that he’s always willing to come when the Parrs need him speaks a lot to him friendship with them. Plus, Samuel L. Jackson is his voice and he’s always cool.
Bob Odenkirk as Winston Deavor. He is a superhero fan who leads a telecommunications company with his sister Evelyn and wants to bring back the “supers” by revamping the public’s perception of them. He is very earnest, and he wears AWESOME suits. He has a lot of ideas and he just wants supers to have their days again, because he believes in what his father believes in, which was that supers were necessary. He’s a nice guy, and he truly believes in the mission. I don’t really know the actor, but his voice has this innocence and hopeful tone to it which works for the character.
Catherine Keener as Evelyn Deavor. She is Winston’s sister and a technological genius who has never encountered a problem she could not solve. Evelyn is smart, and Helen sees a bit of coolness in her since she builds all of the technology for the company and for all of Helen’s new jobs. She is always cool, calm and collected and I think her, and Helen would become great friends. Catherine Keener’s voice is also always great, it’s soothing.
Brad Bird as Edna Mode. She a fashion designer to the “supers” and a close friend of the Parrs. She’s not in the movie as much as she’s in the first one, I don’t think, but she’s still always great. ALWAYS.
The Story. The story is very smart, this movie is animated but it has a lot of adult themes, and there is a lot of moments of exposition but the not the wasteful kind. Just as there are adventure and action moments, there are quiet moments that are just characters talking. I think that’s a strong aspect, especially when you have a movie set in the 60s or 70s, with a family and dealing with the law. There is talk about the law, and it being unfair and just but having to follow it. How to run a family, how to deal with perception, and ignorance… there is a lot of great stuff in there that will help stimulate the mind and that’s very relevant to what’s going on today. Plus, it can get really tense when it comes down to the villain and what their goal is. It makes sense, which makes it so good.
Family Dynamic. The Parr family feels like a family. The movie is set in the 60s-70s, not really sure the exact time, but considering the time period and how everyone is worried about how society will react to certain things, such as them being supers. Helen is worried about her family, Bob wants to basically relive his glory days and be a super again. The kids just want to be part of the team and Jack-Jack is growing up with powers. I love how they interact with each other, the love and trust that Helen and Bob share (even the worry about Bob being able to handle the kids on his own, or Helen being able to hero on her own). Also, the sibling relationship between Dash and Violet, is believable and how they fight with each other but then lean on each other whenever they need to. The Parr family is a great family!
The Villain. Without going too much into it, the villain is really cool. Also, kind of justified. I thought it was a little predictable which I will mention later on, but otherwise, I really liked them as a character and how intelligent they were. It was kind of scary lol.
Action and Adventure. Obviously since it’s a continuation from the first movie, we see them tackle the Underminer which is a very cool action piece and as the movie continues, the missions we see Elastigirl go on, which allows for her to use her powers in ways we haven’t seen yet, just makes it even more cool. The movie definitely takes the action and adventure to the next level from the first film, the stakes are a little higher, and there are more supers involved so we see more. It’s fun!
Violet and Dash’s Inclusion/Potential. I think my biggest gripe with the movie is that Dash and Violet doesn’t really get the chance to do much. Particularly for Violet, she spends a lot of the movie worrying about things with Tony, and how she feels about being a superhero and of course being suspicious of her parents lol, but we don’t really get to see her use her powers the way she was able to in the first film. She has a really cool part in the beginning with the Underminer, and then a pretty cool fight with another super but that’s kind of it. As for Dash, during the climax he either spends it holding the baby, or he’s waiting to be told to press a button. I know that in the first film, there’s more going on, kind of, but we got to see him run on water, and what not, but we see him really fight one person and that’s it. I was disappointed that he didn’t get to do more because he loves it so much. It was kind of lame. It was definitely something I was looking forward to seeing but the movie didn’t deliver it for me.
Predictable Villain. So, I don’t think they were a bad villain, I thought they were pretty awesome. I was just a little disappointed that I was able to figure it out so quickly. But that’s a really small gripe.
Overall, I very much enjoyed The Incredibles 2, I don’t think it’s as good as the first one, I think the first one was all around a better movie but this one does up the ante in a lot of ways. All of the characters are likable and are cool in their own right. Elastigirl owns this movie, the way she uses her powers to accomplish things and just how cool she is. SHE IS SO COOL!!! I quite liked the story, of trying to bring supers back into the forefront and make them legal once more. Plus, the idea of using a superhero who doesn’t make a lot of mess and trouble, be the face of that opportunity, that’s really smart and I loved how much Helen loved doing it. The action and adventure were also handled really well, even with the slower parts, the movie never lags, it never slows down. It’s awesome. The family dynamic is also great. My only real problem with the movie is that Dash and Violet don’t really get the chance to be awesome like they were in the first movie. We don’t really see them use their powers or really be part of the story which is really sad since they’re both so cool. Otherwise, The Incredibles 2 is a great movie.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Incredibles 2 yet? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts below!
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Summary: Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.
Cast and Characters.
Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen. He is a legendary Piston Cup veteran who lives in Radiator Springs since the first movie. He is a seven time winner and the sport is changing and he begins to feel overshadowed by Jackson Storm, and the newer race cars in particular. After a brutal accident, he loses the Piston cup and now he must get faster, he must become better so he does not get pushed out of the thing he loves the most. He goes through a road trip in order to find out how he can be better than he was, so he can continue racing. This is probably the movie where Lightning has the most development and character arc and I loved it. I mean, I like the first movie a lot, (the second one is not even about him really and it was stupid) but this one really lets us see Lightning as a mature person having to discover new things about himself, which I think is more interesting.
Owen Wilson returns as the voice actor for Lightning and I think lately, Owen Wilson has been really funny, mostly because it’s been subtle and I thought Lightning had some great funny moments and lines in this film. A lot of that makes him so likable is the fact that Owen Wilson plays him so well… plus of course his animation. I also want to know how old Lightning is because the “old man” jokes were… odd.
Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez. She is Lightning’s trainer and racing technician. She wants to be a racer but she was told she couldn’t, so her confidence took a huge heat. Those who can’t do, teach right? lol so she is a younger model, very enthusiastic, upbeat and she’s like one of those fitness trainers from the videos, where they’re always trying to be positive. I like Cruz. There are times where she is a bit annoying but most of the time she’s likable and feel fresh compared to Lightning who is older and more mature. She plays off of him very well.I’ve never seen Cristela Alonzo in anything but I thought she was great here. Her voice is very charming and upbeat and she feels like a young woman would in her position.
There are a lot of supporting characters in this movie. We have the return of a lot of characters we know and love from Radiator Springs, like Sally, Luigi, Ramone, Flo, etc. Mater is in this too but not that much, thank goodness because I always found him annoying and not very funny. We have a lot other characters like Mack, Rusty and Dusty and Chick Hicks returning. Of course there are a ton of new characters such as Smokey, Natalie Certain, Jackson Storm, Sterling and some of Lightning’s close racing friends in and everyone makes their own impressions in the times that we get to speak with them. All of the voice acting is very good.
The Story. So at its core, this story has been done many times. The comeback story, where the older person who was awesome in their day, is starting to be shown up the younger athletes coming into play, and now they feel like they have to make a comeback. With that said, I still like that cliché story because it allows for a lot of heart, if done correctly. Considering the fact that we’ve seen Lightning in that position, the younger crowd coming up and the older people being a bit intimidated by him, it was cool to see him on the other side of that bridge now. We care about him which makes his story that much more personal. There is also a little twist in there, that I saw coming but it’s still super sweet.
The Emotion. I think this movie packs in the emotion, and I was emotional already so I did tear up a little bit. Yes, Cars 3 made me tear up, but it was really sweet. I don’t want to spoil anything, even though Cars has been out for a while now, but basically Lightning makes a choice and it was a really mature and emotional one.
The Future. I haven’t looked into it to see if there is going to be a 4th movie or anything, but I think this movie did a great job in setting up the future for Lightning and other characters. I think with how the story went, there is room for more. If they decide not too, that’s fine as well but I think with how the movie ended, they really worked to make a plausible set up for more, whereas the second movie does not do that, nor does the first one. This ones doesn’t feel like the end, perhaps to one story, but it’s definitely the beginning to other stories.
Cliche. Of course there were very few surprises in this movie, it’s very predictable to the point where I was literally calling out plot points as the movie went on. That’s a bit unfortunate for a movie that becomes really heartfelt.
Childish. Of course this is like, what? for a kid’s movie, but I just have to say this. This movie tries to feel more mature, to have Lightning make a grown up choice and while it’s sweet, it never quite adds up to what Pixar is known for. Yeah they do produce kids movies but they always have themes and choices that are still geared towards adults and I don’t think this movie quite fits into that mold. It still feels very kid driven and I think that does knock it down a notch to not really adding up to what it could have been.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Cars 3? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Question: What is your favorite Pixar movie?
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Summary: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to work out the mystery.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this film, but I’m not going to go over all of them. Just the two main characters and some of the supporting because of their roles in the film. Just know that all of the characters are bright, colorful and likable!
Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel Rivera. He is a 12-year-old aspiring musician. He feels out-of-place in his family of shoemakers. He doesn’t want to be stuck in this mundane process that his family is stuck in. They have banned music and he doesn’t understand this, at least in a way that keeps him from loving music. Miguel wants to be a musician and he finds ways to protect his love. What I loved about Miguel is that he felt like a kid. He made his mistakes. He acts like a kid. When he decides to steal a guitar in order to play for the talent show, he faces the consequences of his actions… then he gets a second chance… and he steals the guitar again. That’s hilarious and so accurate. He is clever, he’s funny and determined. Miguel knows what he wants and he does what he can to go after it, and even as the story continues and things are discovered, he rolls with it. Anthony Gonzalez was great, he reminded me of Auli’i Cravalho as Moana in how she sat in her character, he did the same thing with Miguel. I really enjoyed his energy for this character. Plus, he has a great singing voice on him.
Gael García Bernal as Hector. He is a charming trickster in the Land of the Dead. When we first meet him, he’s trying to make it through customs (they have a whole system it’s great lol), by pretending to be a celebrity and it’s revealed that he tries to sneak over the bridge every year. So, when he meets Miguel, he enlists his help in order to actually make it over the bridge at some point. Hector is a charming character and a lot is revealed about him that turns him into a tragic character as well. He was probably my favorite character in the movie. At times he seems very selfish, or like he can’t be trusted and there’s more to him that makes him relatable and you can’t help but to feel bad for him. I’ve never seen Gael Garcia Bernal in anything, I saw one but I don’t remember him in it and it’s been so long, but I really liked his voice. He’s very charming and he helps Hector be likable and tragic at the same time. Also, he has a nice singing voice.
Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz. The most famous musician in the history of Mexico. He is also Miguel’s idol, he’s the reason why he wants to be a musician. He even inspires Miguel to build a guitar that looks just like his. He has many fans around the world, but his untimely death (lol it’s hilarious) puts him in the Land of the Dead, but he’s even more beloved there due to his charm and charisma. I definitely can’t give anything away with him, but it all makes sense once you watch the film. I like Benjamin Bratt and his voice is great for this character. The larger than life personality, the charisma, and even the ego, just works. Bratt only sings Remember Me in the film, while Antonio Sol does the singing at other times in the film.
Alanna Ubach as Mama Imelda. She is Miguel’s great-great-grandmother. The ban on music started with her. There is a lovely opening scene in which Miguel tells the story of her life and how her heart was broken. Due to her husband choosing music over her and their child (Coco), she dedicates her life to creating roots for her family. A shoemaking business. Mama Imelda is a businesswoman and she protects her family. Even when Miguel ends up in the Land of the Dead, she does whatever it takes to help him. Alanna Ubach (she was Maria in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and she’s in Legally Blonde) is great! I loved her voice for this character. She is just the right balance of maturity, fierce determination (Miguel obviously gets it from her) and love for her family. She has a great song during the climax of the film.
Other Characters. Most of the other characters are Miguel’s family. Most notably, Renee Victor as Abuelita Elena, she is Miguel’s grandmother and she takes after Mama Imelda in that she strongly enforces the ban on music. She’s funny and a bit extreme. Ana Ofelia Murguia as Mama Coco and she gives us a very emotional performance anytime Mama Coco actually speaks. She is Miguel’s great-grandmother. His parents, his family in the Land are all great and colorful characters!
The Look of the Film. Oh man! Pixar is amazing! The look of this film is so beautiful! The colors! Oh wow! The Land of the Dead is so beautiful. The flowers are so vibrant and beautiful, and useful in the story. The way the skeletons look in how there are little-engraved designs in the faces, they look like the masks or the painted skull faces which was a nice touch. The world that is created is inviting and beautiful. Even when Miguel sees it for the first time, my eyes were huge. It’s a feast for the eyes. I want to go and see it for myself, but ya know as a visitor, not a permanent resident. Plus, the attention to detail on the little city of Santa Cecilia is also beautiful, it feels like a real place and while I don’t know much about Dia de Muertos, but I like how the graveyard where families would leave offerings for their families looked like how I’ve seen them before.
The Story. I think this movie created a way for kids to process death. It’s a way in that it’s spirited and touching. At the center, the movie is about family, connection, culture and of course following your heart in a way that doesn’t compromise who you are. It doesn’t feel overly complicated but it also isn’t just a simple story that it feels elementary or childish. It has its twist and turns and it’s emotional. The story can be felt by everyone.
The Music. So I’m listening to the soundtrack while I write this because I didn’t really remember it after leaving the theater minus a few sung songs because of the accompanying scene. Listening to it, the songs I liked in the scenes are still good songs. Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina, Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (The Lopez’s wrote the music in Frozen) wrote the songs and Michael Giacchino composed the score. I liked Hector’s lullaby and “Everyone Knows Juanita” because it’s cute and the scene is emotional. “Un Poco Loco” is probably my favorite in the film because Anthony Gonzalez and Gael Garcia Bernal have so much fun in that song and its super cute! “Proud Corazon” is also a great song for the ending of the film. As I mentioned before Mama Imelda’s song during the climax is also great, it’s in Spanish “La Llorona” and the scene is great.
Emotional. There may be light spoilers here. Just like any Pixar movie or Disney affiliated, they love to add the emotions. I’m also an emotional person these days, but I teared up a lot and I think I full on cried towards the end of the film. I have a big family so that definitely connected with me. One of the big things for the people in the Land of the Dead is that they can only remain there as long as their living family continues to put their pictures up on their ofrenda (alter). The living must also continue to share with their children about their ancestors so their stories can continue to live on. If that does not happen, then the spirit is considered a “forgotten”, and they have a “Final death” in that their spirit completely moves on because they have no connection anymore. That kind of stuff is emotional. Plus, Miguel’s reactions to seeing that happen to people he may have just met were also emotional. A scene after the climax is emotional, I cried. I teared up when Hector sang his lullaby. Then the scene towards the end when Miguel sings Remember Me made me cry. So…if you’re a crier, expect to cry. If you’re not a crier, that’s fine, just know the movie will still get you in the feels.
Not Enough Music. I don’t think there is enough of it in a movie about becoming a musician. I don’t think it needed to be a musical or anything, but the music was pretty spare. It’s a nitpick but something I noticed.
Lags/Feels Slow. In some parts of the film, it feels like it just lags for a moment and I did pull my phone out during those few times, it’s not boring but it definitely feels like the pace slows down and that makes it feel longer than it should and it’s not that long, it’s barely two hours.
Overall, I really loved Coco! I think Pixar has done it again. This movie has heart, it has a strong story, strong leading characters, great supporting characters. Everyone is well-developed and feel like a real family. I definitely don’t want to spoil anything but the title is very important. The film is beautiful with how it looks. Everything is so vibrant and colorful! The songs are fun and accompany their scene well, even listening to the soundtrack, I can’t help but love them on their own. Anthony Gonzalez and Gael Garcia Bernal were great in their roles and had great chemistry with each other. It’s emotional as well and focuses on family, culture, and connection. It has a few flaws in that mostly it lags a bit making it feel slow in places and a minor nitpick with it not having enough music from the characters. Otherwise, I think Coco is a great family film, or see it by yourself and have a nice treat of a sweet movie!
Rating: 4.49 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Coco? Are you interested?
So tell me: What is your favorite Pixar movie??
Comment below and let me know your thoughts and your answer to my question!
Okay first… who remembers this movie? If you’ve never seen it (what’s wrong with you??) you might have heard of it. It is one of Disney’s classics.
Summary: Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.
So this isn’t really a review, that will be saved for when I do my Disney Marathon segment, I just wanted to talk about it. I used to watch this film all the time as a kid, it was one of my favorites, apparently I used to cry watching it every time too (according to my mom). I’m not sure what happened to our VHS tape but I feel like it somehow got destroyed… by a person. But ya know, conspiracies and all that.
But I’m watching this movie, and I’m already enthralled once again. The scene with the storks delivering the animal babies to the circus is one of my favorites, I love how each baby reacts to their parent (or not react as the Hippo baby goes right to sleep next to it’s momma lol), or the fact that Mrs. Jumbo is looking expectantly, she is the only animal who seemed to be nervously awake for the arrival of her child. It’s just so cute I can’t stand it.
So finally, on the train the next morning, the one talking stork manages to find Mrs. Jumbo on the train and there is another cute scene of him delivering the baby. There’s a service and everything that she must wait before opening her sack. He sings and Dumbo’s name is actually “Jumbo Jr.”, you’d be surprised how many people did not know that. I was on tumblr while watching the film and someone actually posted they never realized his name was not actually Dumbo but Jumbo Jr. but anyway, haha, all of the other elephants gush over him until he sneezes and his adorably, gigantic ears are shown. I don’t know why everyone found it funny because he’s so cute.
I mean look at him! He’s precious. So the Golden Girls talk about him, makes fun of his ears and Mrs. Jumbo knocks the leader’s trunk out of the way, that old tart, and they’re all appalled at her audacity, but Mrs. Jumbo closes their little window and rocks her son. I can’t even. He’s so cute. So to just skip through the movie as this is not a review but more of a reaction… Mrs. Jumbo spanks some kids after they tease her son, she attacks the circus people and is ultimately locked up. After Jumbo Jr. (now labeled Dumbo) fails to participate correctly in a circus stunt, he is made a clown, which apparently in the Circus world is the worst thing to become… and I agree. I really dislike clowns. You’re not funny. But my poor baby elephant looks so scared to be involved with the clowns, having to jump off flaming buildings and what not, then after that, his new friend Timothy Mouse cleans the clown off of him and they go see his mother in her cage and when I tell you that I bawl like a baby during this scene. I was trying to stop it, I really was. But as soon as Dumbo goes up to the barred window and sticks his trunk through the bars searching for his momma… it’s a done deal. She turns to see him but the chains won’t go that far so she can only use her trunk. *cries uncontrollably*
So all she can do, is gently caress him and rock him and “Baby Mine” is playing and I’m crying at 1:45 in the morning watching this movie. This scene just tears me apart every time, it’s been some years since I’ve seen the movie in it’s entirety. I did a slight movie marathon back in college and I did watch Dumbo and I cried back then too, it’s been about four years and the reaction is still the same. THIS MOVIE WILL ALWAYS MAKE ME CRY LIKE A BABY… and I don’t necessarily have a problem with it lol. So now onto the main reason why I wanted to write this reaction piece. After another clown session, Dumbo and Tim manage to drink some alcohol, they get drunk and start blowing bubbles.
This part is a Big Lipped Alligator moment. Just like Nostalgia Chick said, “big lipped alligator” moments are moments in film that randomly happen and are never talked about again.
Examples: YouTube these scenes if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
The Singing Alligator in All Dogs Go To Heaven
The Singing Lizard in Ferngully: The Last Rainforest
Singing alley cats in Tom and Jerry: The Movie
The Singing babies in Rugrats: The Movie (you know the part I’m talking about lol)
The tunnel scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
SO basically now we have this alcohol induced “wtf” scene in the film. I mean I get it lol, but it was so random. Just watch this.
I mean what???? lol, what the heck is this?? Someone actually pitched this scene, someone actually liked and approved it, someone else actually sketched it out, someone colored and animated it!! Then someone actually made a song and people actually sang it!! I mean what??? So either that happened or someone managed to get all of this done and snuck it into the movie and the director saw it and went “meh, we’ll just leave it in there. It makes no sense but it doesn’t matter.”
What is this thing?? Someone actually drew this! lol so if you watched the video, you’ll see at the end, there is massive chaos, then elephants explode into each other then turn into pink clouds as the scene transitions. lol I can’t even… this whole scene is so random that when I watched it again for the first time in years, I was completely shocked. Of course I have never really forgotten this scene because it’s not one to forget but just the fact that it comes out of left field in the movie, then just goes away. Timothy Mouse never brings it up again, Dumbo never references it… just BOOM PINK ELEPHANTS then nothing. I just watched that scene again on YouTube and still I’m just like… wow.
So if I did not just give you nightmares, just to continue, the movie is almost over now. Dumbo and Tim wake up after hearing some loud crows… which I’m not even going to go into right now.
But I’m sure you know what I mean. I couldn’t help but to think about the crows in The Wiz. Dumbo came first before both the film and the Broadway show, so I can’t help but wonder if the creator of the The Wiz show was inspired by Dumbo’s crows when writing the crows in the show.
So anyway, they figure out that Dumbo used his magnificent ears and Tim decides to encourage Dumbo to use it to his advantage, even by pretending it’s a magic crow feather that gives him the ability to fly. Later, he’s doing the clown thing again, jumps off the fiery building, the feather escapes and Tim pleads with Dumbo to believe in himself and he flies. I’m like WHOO! Look at my baby elephant flying! I loved how he flew over those Golden Girls elephants.
So basically Dumbo becomes famous because he’s a flying elephant, I’m just surprised that his ears can support his body weight… ya know? He catches the train with his mother at the end waiting for him and the movie ends.
I still love this movie, even after years of not seeing it, sure, it’s not one of Disney’s greatest, but it’s one of their most emotional films… personally. The whole connection with Dumbo and his mother is so beautiful. I love Dumbo’s friendship with Tim, I still dislike those Golden Girls elephants… even though I felt slightly bad when they all got hurt but at the same time, karma. The Pink Elephants on Parade sequence will always be a “WTF” moment no matter how many times I see it, it’s brand new every time.
Definitely check out Dumbo if you’ve never seen it, or haven’t seen it in a long time. You might be surprised by your reactions.
In the future, I Do plan on doing a Disney animated marathon so I will actually review this movie when that happens. I want to do it in December but we’ll see how life goes.