Fan Casting: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

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The Cast

The characters in the film were a ragtag group of people who managed to be interesting separately and apart. That’s always important for everyone to be interesting. The voice acting was so good that whenever I think of these characters, or see their photos, I immediately hear Cree Summer, Michael J. Fox and etc. Because this film is so underrated, the actors who bring these characters to life in live action really have the chance to build upon what we’ve seen already.

So, I’m going to give my top choices for the characters with a few honorable mentions if I have them for that role.

Milo Thatch

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So, Milo is apparently 32!! I always thought he was in his 20s. But sure he’s 32 in the animated film. I have a couple of choices for his live action role, and with my top choice it could make him a bit younger. Just a tad. But Milo is Mild-mannered, smart, friendly, funny, socially awkward, informative, knowledgeable, determined, eager, sympathetic, idealistic, heroic among many things. He has a lot of things he’s really good at. He’s a linguist, cartographer and of course becomes the King of Atlantis at the end of the film. Milo is a likable character, he’s earnest and you root for him even though he’s really naive in the beginning. He manages to pull it together even though he was a bit of an outsider with the others. So, this obviously would need to be maintained.

I’ve seen Andrew Garfield mentioned a lot and yes, he would be great but I think he just looks too old. I wouldn’t be upset if he was cast but he looks too old. I’ve also seen Tom Holland mentioned which I wouldn’t mind him either because I love Tom Holland and he would be great but I think Milo should be played by someone we’re not too familiar with yet. So, either an unknown or lesser known.

Top Choice: Cole Sprouse

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Cole Sprouse is about 27 and if they start this movie in the next two years, he’d be around the age I thought Milo was. He’s currently on Riverdaleand was in Five Feet Apart, and I enjoy him immensely on Riverdale, he is my favorite on the show lol. His character is very different from what Milo would be. I mean, Jughead is smart and what not, but he’s not that awkward (no matter how much they tried to make it seem like he is) or even mild-mannered the way Milo is. Cole Sprouse is likable and he’s goofy when he’s just being himself and I think he could use something that would propel him so he’s not just stuck doing meh teen romances or whatever is going on Riverdale lol. Plus, he’s already dressed up as Milo for Halloween and I dug it and I need it now.

Honorable Mentions:

Grant Gustin currently plays Barry Allen/The Flash on the CW and I like him. I think he was at his best in Season 1 and I like when he’s being goofy. I think Grant really shines when Barry is being goofy and awkward. Milo is like that and I think Grant could really play that and he’s not too old nor does he look too old… yet lol. Dylan Sprouse is also a fine choice. I haven’t seen him act recently but I’m sure he would be up for doing it.

Princess Kida

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Kid is very intelligent, caring, eager, energetic, persuasive, kind, brave, resourceful, aggressive, vigilant, proud. I love her appearance, because it’s so different from what we’ve seen. I think it’s really important that she comes off as a strong person and I’ve been thinking of people who could portray that. I have always loved Kida, she’s a Princess who isn’t considered a Disney Princess, but she gets a lot of cool things to do. She’s a warrior, she gets to speak another language and her look is so different from what we’ve seen before so I can imagine the costume designer and the hair/makeup people would love to sink their teeth into her design. Besides, I think with her hair you could do a lot of different things. It could still be white but her hair could be big and curly, it could be locs, I mean black people’s hair is very versatile.

Top Choice: Keke Palmer

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I like Keke Palmer a lot for Kida. I haven’t seen her recently and I’ve always liked her. Keke could play all of her vulnerable moments and her strong/badass moments. Plus, she has this energy about her that is regal which is what Kida is even if she’s a bit wild and free. I also think she’d look great in Kida’s look.

Honorable Mentions: 

Gugu Mbatha-Rawwould be PERFECT but she’s too old, especially next to Cole Sprouse who is my top choice for Milo. Zoe Kravitz is also someone I really like for Kida, and she’s about the same age as Cole but she can skew a little older sometimes. Chloe Bailey was mentioned by a friend and I’d dig it lol. Leticia Wright she would be an interesting choice, but I’d be into it.

Commander Rourke

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Commander Rourke is many negative things and the main antagonist in the film. He’s greedy, boastful among other things. Before the movie, he doesn’t start out as a villain, I mean, he has his plans and what not, and clearly, it’s villainous plans because he’s trying to take something from a group of people. You’re not meant to like him lol. So, he needs to be someone who is charming, maybe a little bit handsome, who clearly is a leader and someone who can be ruthless.

 

Top Choice: Woody Harrelson

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I was thinking a little hard on this one. I didn’t want to pick an actor who would clearly play this role like Stephan Lang whose already played a character like this in Avatar. Woody Harrelson can play villains and while he may not exactly have the statue you would think a guy like Rourke would have, I think he could make himself have it and he would be so good in this role. He wouldn’t automatically come off as a villain, he’d be charming, maybe a little bit funny and then we could see some greed and villainous intentions start to poke through

Honorable Mentions:Stephan Lang, Viggo Mortensen. 

Lieutenant Helga Katrina Sinclair

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Rourke’s German second-in-command and lieutenant. She’s very tough, cunning, short-tempered, rebellious, bold, selfish, determined, violent, aggressive, rude, sarcastic, argumentative, hot-tempered, passionate, reserved, cold, cruel, ruthless, disrespectful, obnoxious, vengeful. I got all of that from the wiki lol. She’s quite an interesting character and I think they could give her a little more to work with in a live action film.

 

Top Choice: Diane Kruger OR Alice Eve

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So, Diane Kruger because she’s German (lol) and I haven’t seen her in a role like this. I haven’t seen a ton of her films but I would like to see her take it on. Besides, I know she’s done some action things in some films so it’s not like she would be totally out of her element.

Alice Eve because she has this innocent look to her but she can also look very sinister, depending on her expression. That would be good for Helga, not to mention, Helga is very sexy but strong and imposing when she’s trying to be. I think Alice Eve could do that.

Honorable Mentions: Charlize Theron (I feel like she’s the obvious choice but I wanted to try someone else).

Vincenzo “Vinny” Santorini

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So, I don’t think it’s ever said if Vinny is Italian but I think it’s pretty implied. He’s pretty funny but not because he does anything that’s funny but because of how he talks and his delivery in his dialogue. He has some of the best dialogue in the film. He used to run a flower shop but after an explosion (that he survived) he became a demolition expert. He’s a likable guy even though he’s very deadpan and snarky with great one-liners.

Top Choice: Bobby Cannavale

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Again, another choice I was thinking about and of course Sacha Baron Cohen is always everyone’s choice and he’ll be fine (maybe a little annoying as he can be)but I think Bobby Cannavale would be a surprise and fun in the role. He can come off as a villain depending on his energy which Vinny surprisingly does later but he also can be very likable and funny.

Honorable Mentions: Justin Baldoni, Sacha Baron Cohen(Obvious choice)

 

Dr. Joshua Strongbear Sweet

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He is a medic who is of African American and Native American descent. He is a medical officer and the first one to take Milo in and is very open about who he is and what he likes to do and he’s very kind and almost a mentor in ways to Milo. I mean he does warn Milo about their teammates quirks lol. He of course is on the team with the others in betraying Milo and finding the crystal but when the King gets hurt, he turns on Rourke because he is not for violence. Also, Phil Morris voices this character and that man is one of the best voice actors!

Top Choice: Isaiah Mustafa

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As soon as I posted up the cartoon photo from the film of Dr. Sweet, Isaiah Mustafa immediately came to mind. He’d be perfect. Phil Morris was so good with his rapid-fire delivery that I think Mustafa could emulate that while also making him his own. The only big difference is that he’s not super buff but he’s tall and imposing, especially when he’s just standing there with the right look. I like him a lot and I think he would have both that charm that Dr. Sweet has especially since he’s always at 100 no matter on his mood.

Honorable Mention: Terry Crews, Henry Simmons

Audrey Rocio Ramirez

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Audrey is an 18-year-old Puerto Rican mechanic. She is the chief mechanic of the journey and she does whatever she can to keep the Ulysses running after it’s Leviathan. She doesn’t particularly like Milo that much, especially when he fixes one of the machines but she does warm up to him later. She does side with Rourke in the beginning but she feels guilty and is one of the first of the group to side with Milo. Audrey is feisty and I know she is very liked by many fans because of her personality and really nice animation.

Top Choice: Cierra Ramirez

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I haven’t really watched her in her respective shows and she’s not Puerto Rican but she does have the look that Audrey has. Otherwise, they can find someone who is a new actress for this role.

Honorable Mention: Melonie Diaz (she’s too old but she can register a little younger sometimes)

 

 

Other Supporting Characters

Wilhelmina Bertha Packard

Top Choice: Helen Mirren 

She’s an elderly, sarcastic, chain-smoking radio operator. She’s very cynical and does her own thing. Helen Mirren would be perfect for this role and this is the only time I would obviously cast someone because Helen Mirren would be great. We can make this character British lol, I love when she’s all sassy.

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Gaetan “Mole” Molière

Top Choice: No one right now… maybe Mark Hamill??

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Mole is a French geologist who acts like a mole. He’s a little weirdo, he burrows into the dirt and is very flirty though he is quite dirty. Everyone seems not to take him seriously when it has nothing to do with the expedition or his field of study. He’s funny, so I think it’s important that whoever plays him, maintains that energy that he has without making him come off as a pervy person. I mean, he’s a perv lol but there’s a line. That sounds weird but you know what I mean. Maybe Mark Hamill? He came to mind afterwards lol. He does a great job in The Flashwith his villain character. Otherwise, perhaps find a little French man? lol

Honorable Mentions: I would have said Timothy Spall as my top choice because I mean obviously lol, but I’m not sure what’s going on with him health wise (google him), so I’ll just put him here.

Preston B. Whitmore

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Preston B. Whitmore is an eccentric millionaire who funds the expedition to Atlantis. He’s a bit mysterious because no one knows much about him but he wants to fund the expedition because he believes in it and he believes in Milo. He’s there in the beginning and more towards the end. If I remember, he’s into Yoga and all that so whoever plays him needs to be able to maintain his mysteriousness. I think with him being a bit odd, the actor should really make sure he’s charming enough to get Milo on board, but also, you’re not sure where he stands.

 

I don’t have a top choice right now but I have some options here: Kelsey Grammar, Jeff Goldblum, Donald Sutherland, Dick Van Dyke (lol), Ben Kingsley, Patrick Stewart

Jebidiah Allardyce “Cookie” Farnsworth

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He’s a very minor character but he’s likable and memorable. He is a Western-style chuckwagon chef. He’s quick talking and humorous. He makes some of the weirdest concoctions.

Top Choice: William H. Macy

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King Kashekim Nedakh

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Kashekim Nedakh is the king and ruler of Atlantis at the height of its power. He makes some bad choices that causes Atlantis’ downfall and then results in him losing his wife to the Crystal and his eyesight because he looks directly at the crystal. He’s protective of his daughter, very strict and is against outsiders in his kingdom. Understandable. His role is very small, but he comes off very wise but kind of harsh in ways and then his last scene is supposed to be very apologetic and you understand him. I have a few actors who would be great in this role but if we are shown flashbacks of when the city was ruined, then this actor would need to be able to move quickly enough to save his daughter from seeing the crystal.

Top Choice: I actually really like the idea of Sidney Poitier playing this role because he’s a legend and I think he has that regality to him that this character would require. They can de-age him and then have a stand-in do the movement that’s needed for the flashbacks.

Honorable Mention: Morgan Freeman, Giancarlo Esposito, Mahershala Ali (for a younger dad but since their lives are much longer than regular humans and because I love him lol).

Soooooo, this one took me a while because there are sooo many people in this movie lol and I wanted to make sure I had some good choices in there. This is my list of who I think would really do a great job for this film. It would be great if they LISTENED TO ME but that’s fine.

What are your thoughts on this fan casting? Let me know your thoughts and who you would like to see bring these roles to life?

Thanks for reading!

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FanCasting: Treasure Planet (2002)

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Summary: A Disney animated version of “Treasure Island”. The only difference is that the film is set in outer space with alien worlds and other galactic wonders.

I distinctly remember when this movie came out in 2002. I remember the trailers and I remember the McDonald’s commercials for it. However, it was almost like it came and went. I’ve seen it many times and cut to some years later, I own it now and this movie is beautiful and amazing.

I have done a lot of research and watched videos on this movie. It took 10 years to make, which was much longer than the other movies at the time. It was also stuck in production hell for a long time. It seems like the men who ran Disney at the time, were wholly against this movie and did nothing to help it become a thing.

This film was pitched to Disney by John Musker and Ron Clements several times in their Disney career. During production of The Black Cauldron (1985), they asked but got assigned to direct The Great Mouse Detective (1986). They asked again but got assigned to do The Little Mermaid (1989) and THEN Aladdin (1992). They asked again after Aladdin, but the studio wanted them to do Hercules(1997) and they only agreed to work on that film if they could do Treasure Planet right after. Finally got smart. But they had some good movies in their career before they got to do their passion project. I don’t particularly care for Herculeslike that but the other ones in their repertoire are some of my favorites (TLM and Aladdin particularly)

Animated Voice Cast

This movie has a great voice cast.

  • Joseph Gordon Levitt as Jim Hawkins.This is JGL’s debut as a voice actor and he does a really good job in the role. He is youthful, he has a unique voice at this point in his life and whenever Jim goes through his anger spouts or even the emotional stuff, he handles it well. I’ve always wanted JGL to be the live action version of Jim but he’s too old now, but I’ve found someone who can bounce his amazing voice work.
  • David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Delbert Doppler. I’ve never really seen him in anything, other than Frasier, and didn’t watch it like that. It was just on and I’d kind of watch it lol. But he has a great kind of awkward and annoying combination of a voice. Delbert was endearing but he was also that Doctor character who thought they knew everything but never really experienced it themselves.
  • Emma Thompson as Captain Amelia. She is one of my favorite characters in the movie lol, she’s great and Emma Thompson is great at voicing her.
  • Martin Short as B.E.N. He’s a robot and Martin Short is a little annoying in the role but I guess that’s the point of him lol. Very distinct voice as well.
  • Brian Murray as John Silver. He is a cyborg and the pseudo-villain of the film. He has a great voice and he changes it up depending on his mood, I like that.

Live Action Cast

Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins is said to be 15 in the film, in a deleted scene. He can stay 15 especially with a few of my choices or we could age him up a little bit, maybe 17 so he’s not quite at 18 just yet. But he’s a bad boy who yearns for adventure. He just can’t seem to get his life together but he manages to figure out the puzzle he gets from Billy Bones and embarks on a quest to help his mom. He feels like it’s his fault. Jim goes through a lot in this film. He’s angry and acting out because his father left when he was a kid and he’s resentful for that. I think a role like this, is one we’ve seen many times and there’s nothing wrong with seeing it again in a different package. We see Jim grow throughout the film and I think with great writing coupled with his great acting, it would be awesome.

Top Choice: Timothee Chalamet

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I think Chalamet would be great at this role. Most of his roles are dramas and he’s so good at that but I would like to see him do something that’s a bit more fun and adventurous. That may not be his thing but I’d think he’d be great at that. With all the emotional stuff Jim experiences, especially the betrayal he feels when Silver does his thing, I think Timothee could really handle all of this. Plus, he still looks young, he’s 23 but he has a young face. I don’t know if that hairstyle would quite work on a real person and it doesn’t look stupid but I like Chalamet’s hair in the picture on the right, so I think that would work out fine, or have him grow it out a tad bit longer and definitely let him keep his curls because while I love Mena Massoud’s hair in Aladdin, I wish he got to keep his curls too.

Honorable Mentions: Booboo Stewart, Levi Miller, Ross Lynch, Nick Robinson. These three actors I feel like would also do a really good job at this role. I put them in the order of who I think would be the best for the role.

Captain Long John Silver

He’s never quite called “Long John” but that’s his name from the novel soo but anyway, Silver is ambitious, greedy, cunning and spent most of his life searching for Captain Flint’s treasure. Whenever he’s working with his crew in secret, he’s clearly their menacing Captain. However, you come to like and care about him because of his interactions with Jim. He doesn’t like unnecessary acts of violence and cruelty. He even plans to mutiny after they collected the treasure so no one would get hurt. He puts on airs of cruelty to keep his crew in line. I think as the film goes on that’s clear.

Silver is rather greedy and cunning, having spent most of his life searching for the treasure of Captain Flint, but he has a caring side, too, and understands that friendship can be more important than treasure. He dislikes unnecessary acts of violence and cruelty, originally intending to mutiny only after the treasure was in hand, and thus, avoiding bloodshed as much as possible, and is generally honest and honorable in his piratical dealings. Nonetheless, he maintains a constant air of harsh brutality and deception around his crewmates, understandably necessary to maintain his position as their leader.

Top Choice: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

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Sooooo, I think JDM and Javier Bardem are basically twins so physically they both could do it but I think JDM has a charisma about him that would work for John Silver. The man is a cyborg so I would think a mixture of CGI and prosthetic or motion capture or something would work for this character. He always seemed to also be an alien who also was a cyborg. But I think JDM would be able to pull off all the character changes that Silver does in the film. The unassuming Chef, a strong father figure/mentor to Jim and of course the hard pirate that he really is, even though he really becomes that mentor to Jim lol. Plus, while he can’t seem to charm Captain Amelia, I’d imagine he’d be able to charm and intimidate others. JDM would be great at that.

Honorable Mentions: Javier Bardem, Manu Bennett

 

Captain Amelia

Amelia is quick-witted, fast-talking, and a force of will. She is proud, strong-minded, business-like, and scornful of flattery. Her speech is educated, courteous and to-the-point, oftentimes sarcastic but always with undeniable authority that quickly dominates the conversation with others. She’s a hardass and I love her for it lol. She is enthusiastic about adventure, has great agility, sleight of hand and of course she’s British lol. She’s very demanding of her crew and will appreciate talent but maybe not quick on the draw about treason. She’s smart and very brave when she needs to be. She’s awesome!

Younger

Top Choice: Hayley Atwell

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Captain Amelia is very similar to Peggy Carter in ways and it think Hayley Atwell would play all of her personality really well. She has that feisty personality; she has a classic look and I think she’d have a commanding presence to keep all of those men on her ship in line. Just like Silver, she could be prosthetic and CGI or motion capture as well, but I think with her being a cat/woman hybrid, there are ways to make it look real and not follow in the footsteps of this new Cats movie and whatever that is lol.

Older

Cate Blanchett-skews a bit older but I think if Captain Amelia is aged up a bit that would be okay. Besides, Cate looks amazing and after seeing her as Hela, she’d be great lol. Plus, I can imagine her giving the same energy with her own flair that Emma Thompson gave as her voice actress. Plus, she’d fit well with my older choice for the Dr.

Honorable Mention: Naomie Harris

Dr. Delbert Doppler

He is the classic astronomer who is clumsy in both body and words but he’s intelligent. He is a pacifist except when it counts lol. He’s very kind and he clearly cares a lot for both Jim and Sarah and he’s always willing to help them whenever he can. Being that he is a scientist, he gets excited about discovering Flint’s Treasure and funds the exploration. He gets to go through a lot of emotions in this film, as he starts off very optimistic, but unsure of what to do and how to handle being in space, and then not feeling useful because he doesn’t know how to handle Amelia’s wounds later on. Delbert might be a little annoying but he’s loyal and you can know he’s on your side.

Younger

Top Choice: Brandon Routh

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He would be perfect! Delbert is similar to Ray in ways from Legends of Tomorrow. Brandon Routh is so likable; he’s a dork and it works for Delbert! I think he’d be perfect! He can be clumsy, not coming off very brave until he needs to be and I think he’d have great chemistry with Hayley Atwell and she’d definitely come off much cooler than him. Routh would be able to handle this character and keep him just as lovable as he was in the animated film.

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Garfield, Matthew Gray Gubler

Older

Gary Oldman-skewing older for this character as well but I think he’d be good with Cate Blanchett as Captain Amelia. He is a great character actor and he’d be so good at this role. It’s an unassuming role and he’d get to have fun. I think he and Cate Blanchett would play off each other very well. I’d love to see it.

Honorable Mentions: David Tennant, Jeff Goldblum, 

B.E.N.

58475d484070c08137d0b4418f0682a5B.E.N is funny, forgetful (formerly), temperamental, rambunctious, hyperactive, neurotic, insane, friendly, optimistic, overemotional, melodramatic, sensitive, loyal, clumsy, obsessive, cheerful, talkative, somewhat irritating. He’s a robot who worked for Captain Flint and knows the location to the treasure but had his memory literally removed lol. BEN is annoying but he and Jim do create a friendship.

 

Choices: Martin Short, Alan Tudyk, Calum Worthy. I don’t have just one choice for this role because it’d could be played by anyone with nice comedic timing and I can’t help but to hear Martin Short’s voice each time I think about him. SO, I chose people in my top choices who I think would do well in general.

Mr. Scroop

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This dude is scary… that’s all that matters here lol. The choices I have below are all the people I think could do this role. I mean, they’re all great at having various voices going on here and I would in particular like to see Jared Leto or Lee Pace do the role since Serkis and Cumbersnatch often play rolls like this.

Choices: Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumbersnatch, Gary Oldman, Jared Leto, Lee Pace

Sarah Hawkins

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I chose actresses who I thought could emulate her optimism, hardworking, and frustrated attitude she has at the beginning. I also wanted to choose actress who I thought looked like Timothee Chalamet. It’s a smaller role but she has a big impact on Jim’s life and some of the choices he makes, so I think it’s important to have someone who can be that. Of course, the actress shouldn’t look too young but I think Sarah and her husband were young parents, so anyone in their mind 30s-late 40s would work well.

Choices: Bridget Regan, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, Sienna Miller 

Mr. Arrow

He’s a rock man lol. He dies in the film but he’s the Captain’s right-hand man, her first mate. He’s imposing and loyal.

tumblr_p3sq01xwm51t0xyebo2_250Top Choice: Laurence Fishburne
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Boom done!

These are my choices for a Live Action version of Disney’s Treasure Planet. It’s such a great film and so underrated. I’ve liked most of the live action remakes so far, some way more than others obviously, but I think this movie would benefit for a remake and besides, it really lends itself well to live action.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below about my choices. Tell me your choices for your cast and let’s discuss!

Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: The Lion King (2019)

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Summary: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
I will tell you where this film falls into my lineup of the live action remakes. So far, I have enjoyed them all, some more than others obviously but I for the most part like them all. However, I’m going to be as honest about this as I can be and I’m not comparing it to the animated film.
Oh, and there will be spoilers… I mean, you’ve seen the animated film, right? lol
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Donald Glover as Simba. He is a lion who is the prince of the Pride Lands. Simba is a young adult, is happy with his new life. He gets to do whatever he wants and he’s let go of his past. However, it’s clear it still haunts him, especially shown when they talk about the stars in the sky. Simba has to come into his own, retake his past and then take his place as king. Donald Glover had enough youthful energy to him that I believed Simba was probably an early 20 something who wasn’t sure of who he was. I think all of the scenes in the cove with the other animals was handled well too because Simba didn’t quite understand why the other animals were so afraid of him. I liked that addition because then he did grow up into an innocent young lion because he believed the motto, he was taught by Timon and Pumbaa. Glover was good though and I really think it was a missed opportunity to not have him have a solo song. The movie isn’t two hours but maybe it should have been to give us more time with Simba in the end so Glover could have really got his hooks into really good moments and dialogue.
    • JD McCrary as young Simba. Overall, he was good. I thought his voice was cute but perhaps too cute? I think he did what he was supposed to do in the end. His singing was a highlight.
  • Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. A slow-witted common warthog who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. Pumbaa is probably the more honest one out of the pair. You know what you’re going to get with him because he doesn’t think in complicated ways. He’s smart in his own way and I think Seth Rogen plays the part really well, one of the best in his role. He doesn’t always stick the dialogue but for the most part he works. For some reason, he’s less annoying and more honest in his characterization and portrayal.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. The treacherous brother of Mufasa and the uncle of Simba who seeks to take the mantle of king of the Pride Lands. Scar was given his scar in a battle with Mufasa when he challenged him for King. I liked that added line or word to imply that. I wonder what his name was before. Scar is similar but a little different in ways too. Ejiofor plays him differently. He’s less “flamboyant” and came across more like concealed anger and aggression. He has an ego and a strong desire for what he wants and I think Ejiofor manages his tone with his line delivery that isn’t mocking but honest and threatening. It’s very Shakespearean.
  • Alfre Woodard as Sarabi. She gets a bit more to do but she’s regal, confident in herself and refuses to break down. I’ve always loved her strength and Alfre Woodard is always great at being strong-willed and sassy in her way.
  • Billy Eichner as Timon. A wise-cracking meerkat who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. First of all, I love the fact that he has so many meerkat movements, like the way he pops up when he stands or how he sits. I think Billy Eichner was great! Definitely one of the best and my favorite of the film. His line delivery fit the character so well! Timon is smart and clearly the leader of his friend group but he doesn’t always get it on the first try. It works for him and while he’s smug, it’s not obvious. He has most of the best lines! I like his philosophies and what he believes in. Also, the distraction scene was probably better than the actual scene in the live action scene and he doesn’t even do the entire song.
  • John Kani as Rafiki.A wise mandrill who serves as the shaman of the Pride Lands, and a close friend of Mufasa’s. Rafiki doesn’t get a lot of lines, whenever they show him, he’s speaking in an African language and doing whatever he’s doing. Not to mention, the first time he actually talks, I believe, is when he talks to Simba and I thought he was great! He’s a bit eccentric but he knows what’s going on and he’s quick on the uptake. John Kani was great in the role. He just got to be a bit weird and it works for the character.
  • John Oliver as Zazu. A yellow-billed hornbill who is the majordomo to the King of the Pride Lands. Zazu likes structure, he does things the way they’re supposed to be done. He’s serious about his role in the circle of life and John Oliver is quite perfect for it. He also gets a lot of laughs and I wonder just how much Oliver got to make up. Zazu is a brownnoser but he’s not annoying, at least not to me. I also like how he always takes his duty serious because when Nala was trying to sneak away, he not only spoke to her, he came to her rescue. He’s a bird but he’s put himself into danger for his family.
  • Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala.Simba’s childhood best friend and future love interest. Apparently, she’s supposed to have a bigger role but I thought it was about the same. She could have/should have had a bigger role (definitely recast though). She gets a few extra lines and has two and a half new scenes. The scene before she runs away, the sneaking out scene, which was very good, but of course she’s not talking lol, and then when Simba catches up to her on her way back home. Nala is the youngest lioness in the pride and she has her independent thoughts and is strongly against Scar and his regime. She gets to be a little sassy but she’s not as sassy as she should be. Anyways, Beyoncé is fine.I thought she was going to be bad and she does have some really bad line deliveries but she’s fine in the end. I’m still very aware it’s Beyoncé talking and not Nala. I knew the director wanted her from the beginning and good on him for getting what he wanted, but I think Nala should have been someone with voice acting experience or GOOD acting experience. She’s fine though guys. SHE’S FINE!
    • Shahadi Wright Joseph as young Nala.She’s played this role before on Broadway and she was good. Young Nala doesn’t get a ton of lines but for what we saw, she felt like a little cub who had her own thoughts but who was Simba’s ride or die. Her singing was good and I wished we got to see more of young Nala just for her to have more lines.
  • James Earl Jones as Mufasa. The King of the Pride Lands and the father of Simba. Jones reprises his role from the original 1994 animated film. Mufasa is generally the same. He clearly sounds different due to James Earl Jones’ age but it works. He sounds way wiser and more seasoned and I think you believe everything Mufasa says. He’s kind, loving of his family and the kingdom. Yes, the lions hunt other animals but he still wants to protect everyone. He makes that clear. Plus, he’s a strong dad, he makes sacrifices for his child and he does whatever it takes. Whatever it is! James Earl Jones is always a gem and he’s just as good as he was as when he was younger.
  • Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, and Eric Andre voice Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi. Three spotted hyenas who are Scar’s henchmen. Overall, I think they’re all different from what they were. They all get a bit more character. Shenzi is clearly the leader of the hyenas as they all defer to her and Scar approaches her first in ways. She’s still pretty ruthless and Florence Kasumba was great, her voice is so amazing. I could really listen to her talk for hours. Kamari and Azizi replaced Bansai and Ed and don’t expect to get those same characters. Kamari and Azizi worked off each other because Key and Eric Andre had nice chemistry. Azizi didn’t quite understand personal space and Kamari hated how close he’d get. They got a lot of laughs from me as well.
Musical Score. Hans Zimmer is a mastermind when he does musical scores and I think in ways; he improves on the original just a tad. It does sound the same but I can tell the differences and it works. One of my favorite scores is during the scene when Simba is walking through the desert after he ran away from pride rock. That piece of music is so beautiful that I do believe I raised my eyebrows. I think it’s beautiful and definitely a highlight.
STUNNING animation. When the film started, it didn’t start right at the “NAAAAA” but it gave us maybe 20 seconds of scenery and it looked like real Africa. I’m not sure if it was or not, but wow. Then the “Circle of Life” sequence is shot for shot the same as the original which doesn’t bother me, but I was super impressed at how beautiful everything was. When we got to see the vastness of the Savanah and Timon and Pumbaa’s home, it’s just beautiful and you can tell there was a lot of care that went into all of it. Whatever you think of these remakes, whether they are cash grabs or not, I don’t think it’s fair to say they don’t put care into them because for everything to look as real as it does and to be so beautiful, they care. I can’t wait to see this movie in Dolby IMAX. The animals are also stunningly beautiful. I think you can tell the difference between Simba and Nala when they are kids, you can tell the difference between Nala and Sarabi when she’s an adult and so on. This is a highlight of the film of the beauty. JUST ARGH! It’s so beautiful! Even if you HATE the movie, marvel at the animation!
Classic Story. This is a classic story of a kid running away from home, running away from their past, to find solace in a new family they created and then return home to face their past. The prodigal son returns! It’s a kind of story we know and probably understand in ways even if you haven’t lived it yourself. Simba goes through a lot of soul searching. We can all experience that.
Timon and Pumbaa. To be clear, they were never my favorite characters. I’ve always found them annoying. I think I grew to like them later in their television series but in all the movies (including Simba’s Pride and 1 1/2 they were annoying to me) but Billy Eichner has the best lines in the entire film at least in terms of humor. Most of the dialogue laughs came from him. Seth Rogen was also good as Pumbaa, I thought he was a good choice from the get-go but I think he maintains that lovable personality Pumbaa has. Also “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is probably the best song in the movie lol. Plus, the two play-offs of each other really well. I believed their relationship and I liked their relationship to each other, to Simba and to the other animals in their little cove.
Soundtrack. There’s been a lot of talk about the soundtrack and that it’s not good. This is why I don’t listen to movie soundtracks without seeing the movie. I think overall, it’s good. All of the main songs are handled well. “Circle of Life” is good, I’m sure the singer is different. “Just Can’t Wait to be King” was cute, JD McCrary was good, as was Shahadi Wright Joseph, I liked her delivery of Nala in general and her singing was nice. I wish there was more of it. “Hakuna Matata” was fine and I liked Donald Glover riffing on it because they made a joke about it, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have liked it. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was the best in the film. Now, about “Be Prepared” since everyone’s been hating on it. I thought it was fine. I read they were going to change some of the words and how it was animated since it had very clear Nazi undertones and they didn’t want that again as to not offend. Sure. I liked how it started out as spoken word, then it slowly built into a song but it was still more spoken than sung and that didn’t bother me. FUN FACT: Jeremy Irons who voiced Scar, sang most of the song but then Jim Cummings (who does a ton of voice over acting) sang the rest of the song because Irons couldn’t hit some of the notes. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was okay, I’ll talk about it more later, but I thought Donald Glover did well on it. His singing voice to me, is more of a crooning sound and I think this song is a crooning song and he does that.
Good Tense Moments. I will get into this a bit in the cons, but some of the scenes that stood out to me were Nala’s escape and Simba vs. Scar. I always wondered how Nala escaped without Scar knowing or without being caught by the hyenas, or at least what did she have to do? They played a little bit of “Shadowland” and I was like ARGH! That’s all I wanted was that song! But anyway, she’s sneaking away and Scar wakes up and she’s hiding, ducking so he won’t catch her and though we know she makes it away, it’s actually tense because I was like dang, he’s around the corner, how is she gonna get out of this one? Hyenas were also patrolling. I thought that sequence was good. Then later, with Simba and Scar. When Simba shows up “get away from my mother!” that line delivery was pretty bad lol but Scar then turns it all on Simba about killing his father and I liked the stuttering from Glover at Simba’s guilt and insecurities and how Scar preyed on that. I do think the blocking could have been a little better but the acting between the two was good. Then of course later, when they have their actual fight and I thought that was animated really well and the blocking and direction was great! For one, they of course did move like lions which in ways made that a tad more brutal. I always have to laugh though because Simba is definitely malnourished from living off of bugs… just saying lol.
Cons:
Some of the voice acting. I don’t think this is a problem all around, just in some areas. I know everyone is expecting Beyoncé to be the worst, but she’s not. I mean, Nala has like 8-10 lines overall and Beyoncé isn’t bad at all of them. Maybe half lol. I laughed a bit when she first started talking but it was this loud whisper and then her “I laugh in the face of danger” line was terrible AND her “I’m not a cub anymore” during the battle at the end was also bad lol. Her accent isn’t as prominent as it usually is, so I think it’s clear she did a lot of work for this which I appreciate it, but she doesn’t quite nail it the way she could have. It was inconsistent, is the best way to put it. Not terrible but inconsistent. I also felt that JD McCrary as young Simba was just okay as well. I knew the singing was going to be okay because he has a really nice voice. The dialogue and the acting didn’t quite match up to me. Simba is supposed to be this over-confident, a little arrogant little princely brat, with a bit of earnestness but they were heavy on the earnestness more than the other adjectives. Maybe it’s just that JD McCrary is just too innocent for his own good or that he just doesn’t have the experience to match what the character is supposed to be. He’s cute, don’t get me wrong but I was like “I don’t believe your sassy behavior”. There are minor missteps for Donald Glover as adult Simba (there were times when he sounded really lazy or weak in his delivery) and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa but they’re not glaring to me. If I had to choose over which Simba I’d rather spend a whole movie with though, I’d pick little Simba because while I didn’t always believe the personality we’re told about Simba and the voice acting, he was more likable then. Which is funny because I don’t quite think you’re supposed to like Simba that much anyway? Is that just me? lol
Photorealistic Animation. Yes, it is STUNNING. But it kind of sucks because the characters don’t get to connect the way they probably should. For example, there are plenty of times were the lions do little things they do in real life, like the flick of the ears, and the shake of the head. Other animals do it too, like how Timon moves, I think it’s great. These animals move the way they do in real life and that’s super cool. But I think the problem comes with the fact that they don’t react much at all. I don’t think it has to be “human reactions” like in the cartoon film because of course there is so much that can be done with hand drawn animation but animalistic reactions. For example, during the stampede, when Simba was running from the wildebeest and then hanging on for dear life to the tree, he doesn’t look afraid, he looks indifferent. There are times when they do little things with the eyes, but it’s very few times when that happens. It just sucks.
Soundtrack. Soooo this refers to really only TWO songs. One being “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, first of all, it’s mostly during the day but the song says “tonight?” I mean, it’s a small thing but still a glaring continuity issue. Secondly, I rolled my eyes hard when I saw the teaser that included this song and I heard Beyoncé’s super extra runs. Listen, I don’t like all the extraneous riffs and stuff in these songs because it doesn’t sound good and with the arrangement of the music is irritating. This is like showtunes, the sound should have the feeling and sometimes the riffing just bothers me. Plus it wasn’t as romantic and it should have been. That’s the other problem. Even when JD McCrary did it in “Just Can’t Wait to Be King”, I didn’t like it and his voice is just so pure. The only time I was okay with it was when Donald Glover did it during “Hakuna Matata” because Timon joked about it. “Oh, he’s riffing again” and it was cute but when it happens the other times. Ugh. Also, the new song, “Spirit” or whatever, it’s a nice song but grossly out of the place in the film. It’s playing during Simba and Nala’s run back to the pride lands and it just does not work there. It should have just been instrumental music. That song should have been exclusively for the soundtrack or in the credits. I also wanted “Endless Night” and/or “Shadowland” because they’re both my favorite songs from the Broadway show and I think Donald Glover could have really showed his singing chops in that song. They even played the opening from the song and didn’t play it! Same for “Shadowland” THEY PLAYED THE OPENING! I WANT THE SONG! This is why I didn’t want Beyoncé for the part because I also don’t think she could have sang the song the way it needed to be sung.
Tension. This probably leads right into the next point, but most of the tension you’re supposed to feel, that’s built up doesn’t land that well. The elephant graveyard is supposed to be a tense scene, almost scary because these hyenas take no prisoners and you know it’s coming. Plus, as Simba and Nala walk through the graveyard, it’s a very well animated and put together location and Nala following Simba, clearly unsettled and all that but I was like ‘I’m not quite feeling it’. Same with Simba and Nala’s argument. It was too subdued for what they were talking about it. I don’t even think the dialogue was strong enough either. I’m not saying they had to be yelling at each other, but Simba was dismissive, which was fine, but Nala wasn’t trying hard enough to convince him and her “meh” energy ended up transferring to Simba and their conversation ended up on a “meh” and then it led into a good scene with him meeting Rafiki but it should have been strong the entire way through. It should have ended on a super high note where Simba is frustrated, even more confused because his entire world just got messed up again. When he was a kid, it got messed up and then Timon and Pumbaa put a bandaid on his wound only for Nala to open it again with reality… which is why Rafiki’s timing always work. But here, she didn’t nearly mess up his world enough for the “He Lives In You” scene to really land. They didn’t have to yell at each other but the dialogue definitely should have been stronger.
Emotional Stakes. It’s really hard to go into this but we all know this story and there are a ton of emotional hits in the story. Mufasa’s death, Simba running away and feeling guilty for what he think he did, Simba going home, having that whole conversation where he reveals he’s responsible for Mufasa’s death and all that. That stuff is intense and it hits really strongly, especially whenever I think about it. BUT it doesn’t hit the way it should in this film. Mufasa’s death is sad and I always cry but I didn’t in this at least not from what I saw but more for what it means and what it meant to me. Mufasa’s death is sad, yes but the emotions come from when SIMBA sees him and his reactions. He tries to wake his dad, he’s not quite understanding what’s going on, and this goes on for a while. THAT is why people get effected because of Simba’s reaction. It just came and went here. I need the dialogue, I need to sit in the moment, let me feel his pain. Scar came up too quickly. If anything, let Scar stand in the background like a shadow while Simba is breaking down. There are a lot of moments that are supposed to have a strong effect but they fall short. They don’t hit the way they should. Even if I’d never seen the animated film, I got the point and what it meant for Simba but as an audience member, I was like “meh okay.”
Overall, if you’ve never seen the original film then I’m sure you’ll really like this film. There’s a lot to like in it and if you’re not nostalgic then it should be fine. I even think if you love/like the original then you could like this fine. I like it fine. Don’t go into it expecting to hate it, just go into it to have a new experience and to marvel at the animation. The voice acting was good overall for the most part, and the characters are good and likable. The musical score is probably a highlight considering how GOOD it is. This film is also stunning to behold. I mean STUNNING. The soundtrack is good overall, and Timon and Pumbaa are standouts due to great dialogue and really good voice acting. The story is also recognizable and relatable. On the other hand, I think some of the voice acting is consistent, the realistic look of the animals prevent real emotions to pass through so the voice acting and the characters on the screen don’t quite match up. Also, the emotional stakes don’t quite hit. The movie tries to hit them and make them important but it’s not as important as it should be. The Lion Kingis fine. It doesn’t ruin the original film and if you don’t want to see it because it’ll “Ruin your childhood” then don’t see it, but don’t ruin it for those who want to see it and don’t shame the people who really like it. It’s good.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Lion King? What did you think about it? Be Honest. What do you love about the original? What is your favorite Live Action remake so far?
Let me know in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for more review like this!
My Disney Remake Lineup so far. It could change as we get more of these and when I rewatch.
  1. Aladdin
  2. The Jungle Book
  3. Beauty andthe Beast
  4. The Lion King
  5. Cinderella
  6. Pete’s Dragon
  7. Maleficent
  8. Dumbo

My Thoughts: Live Action The Little Mermaid

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So, anyone who knows me knows that my favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid. Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be a mermaid and Ariel has always been my favorite Disney princess. I know this movie pretty much word for word.

Back when Disney announced their slate for the live action remakes, I remember seeing The Little Mermaid being part of that list but it didn’t seem to be finalized like the others were. If read any of my other pieces about the live action, you know that I’m okay with these remakes. They don’t bother me the way they seem to bother other people. I loved LOVED Aladdin, I loved The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.

You can also check out My Thoughts: Disney Remakes. I’ll probably do another post similar to this now that we have more of these.

I think TLM would be a nice big challenge to do live action and to do well. We’ve seen mermaids in other mediums but they never really show them having an entire kingdom and conversations under water. It’s always above water and what not but then after watching Aquaman, which I thought was just okay, it’s clear that it can be done. Now, I would imagine that with the resources and funds that Disney has, their effects would look a lot better than they did in Aquaman.

The Cast

So, we have a few confirmed actors for the characters.

Halle Bailey as Ariel

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Ariel has always been my favorite Disney princess and I’ve always related to her curiosity and wonderment. Sure, everyone likes to pick on her because she gave up her life to be with a guy, and while I’m not saying that’s not true, she wanted to go to the surface BEFORE she even saw Eric. She sings “Part of Your World” before she even sees him. So, let’s not act like she saw him and it was a wrap. ANYWAYS, I like this casting.

I know a good majority of people wanted Zendaya and don’t get me wrong, I was up for that as well, especially when the picture below surfaced. It’s lovely fanart and I like Zendaya, I know she can act, I like her singing voice (they would just have to make the music in a lower range since Zendaya’s voice is just a tad deeper) but I’m not surprised as she’s doing her thing in her new HBO show AND she’s Michelle “MJ” Jones in Spider-Man.

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But I’m not mad at Halle Bailey’s choice because I think she’s cute, she’s young (19) and has a wistful look about her AND she can SING. I am always impressed when she and her sister perform because they both have beautiful voices. I also really like her look and I love the fact that she has locs and I REALLY hope they keep that look and if they want to keep the red, which I am partial too, then just dye her locs a lovely red color.

I have not seen her act, I know she’s on Grown-Ish but I don’t watch that show right now, so I’m not familiar with her acting, but Ariel spends a majority of the movie silent. So, a lot of her acting will be emotional/dramatic and physical. It was cute to see her try to fit in with the humans and it’s funny. They also gave Ariel some great emotional and dramatic moments in the animated film and she’s animated beautifully whenever she’s surprised, sad or anything of the like. So, I really hope that Halle Bailey can do all of that and more. It would really give her the chance to show what’s she got. I have faith in her.

Prince Eric

*swoons* He was one of my first movie crushes. Him and Aladdin lol. We do not have a Prince Eric just yet BUT I have some thoughts on this. So, I wouldn’t necessarily be mad if they kept Eric, Caucasian or if they race bended him to Asian, Hispanic whatever, but I would assume that his Kingdom would be just about located in/around the Caribbean so it makes more sense for him to also be black, plus, it would probably just sit better with people that Ariel didn’t leave her black family behind, or gave up her voice because she fell for a white guy. Just saying. I had a few ideas come to mind for him.

If they didn’t make Eric black then I would pick Shawn Mendes because I like him. I think he’s the right age, he’s cute and he can sing, they can give Eric a song in the movie lol and he’s biracial… his father is Portuguese.

My top choice right now is Jordan Fisher.

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I actually thought of Kelvin Harrison Jr. first, well his face not his name lol, I think he is super cute but I saw Jordan Fisher mentioned in an article about it and I was like OMG! Why didn’t I think of him sooner? I love Jordan Fisher. He has a great voice, singing and speaking, he is super charming and I think with his personality, they would give Eric way more to do (at least I hope so). He’s 25, which I think should be the cutoff age in terms of casting someone now that wouldn’t be too much older than Halle Bailey. I would assume when they start filming will be 2020 so she’ll be 20 and he’ll be 26 which keeps a healthy gap. Anyone older would be too weird.

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This is Kelvin Harrison Jr. He’s also super cute, he’s 24. Now, I don’t know about his acting just yet (He’s in the movie adaption of Walter Dean Myers’ book Monster, called All Rise which I’ve been waiting to see). I also think he’d look great with Halle Bailey.

 

 

Also also, my coworker just mentioned this, Avan Jogia could be a possible contender for Prince Eric. I still prefer Jordan Fisher but I wouldn’t be mad at making Jogia a Disney Prince.

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King Triton

My instant thought when I saw Halle Bailey’s casting was Idris Elba or Morris Chesnutt lol, which people are agreeing with me hahaha.

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I think he’ll be amazing, plus with his great voice, whether he keeps his accent or not, I think he’d be great! He has that majestic feeling about him. I think he’d be great. Also give him locs like he has in Thor, make them nice of course, but give him silver hair instead of white hair.

Ursula

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I don’t like this casting at all. I enjoy Melissa McCarthy for the most part but the funniest I ever found her was Bridesmaids and Spy. Ursula is humorous yes, but she is also devious, she is cunning, a little sexy and she’s scary. Right now, I cannot see McCarthy pulling this off, in fact, in my mind, she’s doing her same old shtick. I have not seen the movie she was recently nominated for but this is a Disney movie, and I feel like she’ll go overboard. I don’t like it.

Queen Latifah

Some years ago, Annie Leibowitz, the photographer, does a series of photos where celebrities are Disney characters and they had Queen Latifah pose as Ursula. I think this is inspired casting because Queen is regal like Ursula, I think she can pull off the sexy and the terrifying!

LIZZO

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I was introduced to Lizzo from RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was a guest judge and I loved her energy and humor. I heard that she expressed her want to play Ursula and I even saw her Twitter video of her singing a bit of “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, which of course needs to be SLAYED by whoever plays Ursula and I want an anthem, not some kind of talk/jokey hybrid. I enjoyed what I saw. I’m not super familiar with her music just yet, but I do plan on checking on her because I have liked what I heard so far. I’m down for it. She would be a younger Ursula but why not as Jafar was younger lol.

Sebastian

Obviously, he wouldn’t be an actual person but I wonder what he’s gonna look like because I mean, he’s a crab lol who looks a bit like a lobster. It shall be interesting. I heard someone mention Lin-Manuel Miranda for the part, but I think he should just stick to doing the music as the music was a nice highlight for Moanaso he should just do that and let someone else play Sebastian.

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Tituss Burgess played Sebastian in The Little Mermaid on Broadway and he was excellent. I saw it on YouTube years ago and it was great quality lol. He can totally reprise the role again here, he just won’t be on stage this time, but he has great energy, he’s sassy and he can SING. Let’s get it.

 

 

Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle

These two are together because they were the first cast announcements.

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I adore Jacob Tremblay ever since I saw him in Room, he was fantastic. He’s done well in everything I saw him in even if I don’t particularly like the movie lol but I think he’s a perfect choice for Flounder.

As for Awkwafina, she annoys me, her voice, she’s not that funny and I get this try-hard vibe from her so I’m like…

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but I guess I’m okay with it in the end because Scuttle is also annoying so I guess it works out in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariel’s Sisters/Atlantica/Eric’s Kingdom

Atlantica should just be a very diverse place as should Prince Eric’s kingdom. I’ve seen a lot of push for Eric to be Asian, so regardless if he’s Black or Asian, just make sure his kingdom has a bit of everyone in there, especially living on the water. Perhaps his Kingdom is a bit of a port city, a lot of immigrants I would think.

As for Ariel’s sisters, there are a lot of jokes out there right now, but I do think they should have Chloe Bailey be one of her sisters, perhaps the second to youngest, and maybe Ariel is really close to her. I’ve seen a lot of “King Triton should be white and some of her sisters should be” and I’m like “No, give me a black family.” So, they can clearly have different colored hair if you want to be funky, just make sure it doesn’t look ridiculous when doing it, but I do believe her sisters were all blondes and brunettes, so it could also just simple hair colors and have Ariel stand out with her having red locs. I think it would be pretty cool.

The Music

We know that they are bringing back the classic songs, which is great, and Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda are working together and I think there might be some new songs, which is cool. I think Eric needs a song lol. I just hope we keep the same feeling of the music, particularly in ‘Part of Your World’ but update it to fit the new world and Halle Bailey’s lovely voice. I really liked what they did to the music in Aladdinso it can be done in a contemporary way.

The Story

The story is well-known if you’ve seen the animated feature. It is very different from the original story by Hans Christian Anderson, thank goodness because that story is dark lol. But mermaid wants to go to the surface world as she has collected so many trinkets, one day she sees actual humans, including a human prince who catches her eye and now she really wants to go in order to meet him. She saves his life which allows him to have some idea of the woman who saved him and then shenanigans ensue.

I think in order to update this story line more, so it’s not just this girl giving up her life to be with some guy, but perhaps give her more opportunity to see him, or maybe even talk to him. Something so we see her have the chance to fall for him more. I’m thinking, we see the opening as usual, so skip forward to when she sings “Part of Your World” and of course the fireworks and the boat and all that. So, she manages to climb up high enough to watch the men on the boat, I would even say throw some women on there, women can be sailors, and they’re having a party, dancing, singing some song, sharing food and laughter. It would be a grand sight and she’s intrigued by all of this. Of course she sees Max, something she’s never seen before, but then maybe they break out into some sailor’s song or something and Ariel hears Eric sing (which leads into Jordan Fisher singing his song), something quick and she’s enamored by his voice, which I feel like it would be a nice connection because she loves music, she’s supposed to have this beautiful voice compared to her sisters and Eric also has a nice voice. She watches him as he dances, mingles and sings with his people and she likes his energy and charm.

So of course, she saves him as usual, she sings her song and then swims off. I WANT THEM TO MEET AGAIN as it would make more sense. This movie will probably be two hours long as it’s not animated and has the chance for more meat on its bones.

Hear me out.

After she runs off the first time, she comes back maybe a few more times. Eric walks the beach often with Max, maybe with the hope of seeing the mysterious girl again. Maybe Eric has a solo song? Something about his duty and freedom, lol I don’t know. Then later, Ariel goes a bit early, hiding in the same place among the rocky area and hums the song she sang or “Part of Your World” which she sang the reprise to him. He comes right on time and recognizes the song and she’s hiding in the rocky part of the beach and he’s like “It’s you isn’t it?” and then they have this awkward conversation, where she refuses to show herself to him. I feel like they could do this a few times to give them a chance to talk and for her to fall for him more which would attribute to her growing want/need to be on the surface.

When her father finds out she’s gone multiple times, talked to a human AND has fallen in love with him, it gives him way more of a reason to destroy her grotto and more of a reason to go into Ursula’s arms. Also, I feel like Triton should mention something about her mother, perhaps Ariel looks just like her and she was killed, like in the prequel movie. This is all good stuff. When Ariel finally shows up on land, of course she can’t talk so Eric doesn’t recognize her voice or her singing voice which means she just has to go off of her personality which is charming too as she is literally a fish out of water.

I think that they should give Ariel and Eric more interactions so she doesn’t just leave her family behind like others like to point out so often. Then the rest can follow as normal, just throw in more meat to fill in that runtime.

I think it’s important for their relationship to feel organic and not just rushed. I think it can be done if done correctly. I’m a little wary of Rob Marshall as the director but hopefully everyone surrounding him helps create a lovely story that is the one, we know and love but also updated.

Overall

I’m excited for the movie and to see what becomes of it. I am a bit nervous just because it is my favorite Disney movie and Ariel is my favorite Disney princess, so I definitely hold this one really close to my heart, but I’m not going to hate it before I even see anything. I always try to be open-minded so I can’t wait. Film production begins in 2020 and I think 2021 would be too soon so I anticipate May 2022 for release. We’ll see though lol.

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Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Dumbo (2019)

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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.
Pros:
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.
Cons:
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!
Thanks for reading!

My Thoughts: Live Action Aladdin

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.
The Casting
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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
The Costumes
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.

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But I think the costumes in Aladdin look so good so far.
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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*

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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.
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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.
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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…
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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.
The Music
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!

 

Movie Review: The Incredibles 2 (2018)

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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!
Pros:
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!
Cons:
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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