Movie Review: Frozen 2 (2019)

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Summary: Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Idina Menzel as Elsa.  She is the Queen of Arendelle, Anna’s older sister and has magical ice powers. This movie picks up about a year after the first movie, she’s fallen a little better into her role as Queen but there is still something not quite clicking for her. She still feels out of place, as if she doesn’t belong and this is shown when she realizes she’s hearing this musical call. She doesn’t know who or what it is but after singing “Into the Unknown” and something happening to the Kingdom, she decides to find out just what is going on. Throughout the movie, she learns little things about her family’s past and about herself. This movie really focuses on Elsa’s journey to discovering who she is and where she truly belongs, especially now that she is more confident in her powers and using them. Idina Menzel does a great job in voicing Elsa. She’s very quiet and reserved and Idina’s voice is soft and she does great line reading for the character, particularly in emotional moments or when she’s talking to Anna. I love the sisterhood we see between Elsa and Anna and that’s it so much stronger here which is natural. I also love how Elsa interacts with Kristoff being that he’s important to her sister (though I wished they’d interact more). I just like her journey throughout this movie of discovering herself. Frozen was about her coming to terms with her magic and this is about her coming to terms with where she belongs.
  • Kristen Bell as Anna. Anna is Elsa’s younger sister and she’s the opposite of Elsa when it comes to her personality. She’s outgoing, outspoken, full of energy, awkward and clumsy but it works for her. She’s endearing. She adores her sister and is protective that she would do anything to make sure she and Elsa don’t fall apart again. I understood that. At the same time, she’s dating Kristoff and they have a great rapport as well. I thought Frozen was about her more than Elsa (Who was the catalyst) but in this she’s taken on a supporting role which is fine but she’s still fierce in her decisions. Kristen Bell is amazing as Anna. Her personality and delivery shines through for this character and I cannot imagine anyone else playing this role. Plus, her “The Next Right Thing” solo is lovely, and I teared up.
  • Jonathan Groff as Kristoff and Sven. He is an iceman and Anna’s boyfriend. In this movie, he’s playing that supportive role, but he has his own plot in this movie of trying to figure out the best way to propose to Anna, but she’s distracted with everything else going on. Not to mention, he’s not good at trying to be overly romantic in his proposal. He has some great lines though that I remember being like “best boyfriend ever”. He says things like “my love isn’t fragile” or when Anna needed help, he helps her and says, “I’m here, what do you need?” without asking a single question of “what are you doing out here?” or anything like that. I was like yesssss. I loved it. He might be worried, but he never hinders Anna’s personality. I like Groff a lot, he’s so likable and his delivery for Kristoff is so much fun and I like his kind of mellow/chill personality.
  • Josh Gad as Olaf. I think Josh Gad is funny most of the time, I like how he delivers lines for Olaf and I do think Olaf is funny and he is likable but there are times where I just don’t need him to interject anything. He has that kind of tendency of being annoying. It’s not all the time but I do feel that way. I did tear up a little during a scene with him later in the film, the music played during that sequence was lovely. In this, his existential thoughts are about growing up and water having memory. It was funny most times lol.
Supporting Characters. We meet a lot of new characters as well as seeing some returning ones. Their parents return with more lines and a bit more personality. We often talk about their bad parenting when it came to Elsa in the first movie, so seeing them like this, allows the audience to see that they were trying.
Arendelle People 
  • Evan Rachel Wood as Queen Iduna. I’ve always liked ERW and I was surprised at her singing in this film with her lullaby and a song she sings later with Idina Menzel. But she carries that motherly tone with her daughters, and I would have loved to see more of her to be honest.
  • Alfred Molina as King Agnarr. We learn a little more about him and Alfred Molina’s voice was perfect, and I wouldn’t mind learning more about him too.
  • Sterling K. Brown as Lieutenant Destin Mattias. He has such a distinct voice and I like him a lot (even though I always remember him as the bad guy from Supernatural lol) but he was the Captain of the soldiers from Arendelle. His role is very much supporting but if they do a third one, I expect to see him.
The Northuldra Tribe 
  • Martha Plimpton as Yelana. She was cool, she’s the leader of the tribe and clearly cares a lot about them. She acts as a guide in ways to Elsa in giving her advice. If we get a third film, I would like to see more of her.
  • Jason Ritter as Ryder. He is Honeymaren’s brother and shares Kristoff’s love for reindeer and I liked him a lot. He was energetic, funny and I think he and Kristoff would have a great friendship since Kristoff is surrounded by women lol.
  • Rachel Matthews as Honeymaren. You’ll probably see a ton of articles about her but at least in this movie, there’s not much there. She seems cool in that she wants to bring peace to the Enchanted Forest but it’s not like she’s a major supporting character nor did we see anything that interesting about her so I personally think the articles are reaching BUT if they give her more to do in the third movie, where it makes sense then sure. I’m down.
Amazing Music. I think the music in this film is so good. I listened to the soundtrack for a while after I saw the movie and I think it’s beautiful. The actual songs are beautifully sung, and I thought a lot more complex than the ones in the first one. Don’t get me wrong, I love the songs in the first one, but I thought these were more emotional and heartfelt. The Lullaby song that Evan Rachel Wood sings is lovely, she also sings with Menzel with “Show Yourself” and I did not she could sing like that. “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” are showstoppers and I thought both were better than “Let It Go” and Idina Menzel shows out on both those songs. Kristen Bell has a beautiful and emotional solo “The Next Right Thing” which I did tear up on. I thought it was a disservice to Jonathan Groff in the first movie at not having a real song since he has an amazing voice but he gets that here in “Lost in the Woods” which the sequence in the film is literally the best in that the adults in my theater were cracking up because it was filmed like a 90’s boy band music video. The best. The instrumentals are amazing as well. Aurora is a young singer and you hear her throughout the movie as she is the voice of this high-pitched singing call. Beautiful.
Beautiful Animation. There is a clear upgrade in the animation from the 2012 film to now. I think it’s obvious, particularly with Elsa’s magic and that scene on the water. The water looks so real when it cuts to that scene of Elsa on the beach. It’s so amazing.
I also think both Anna and Elsa’s animation has allowed us to see they’re older and their clothes. I mean, Elsa has a dress where it looks like it’s bleeding out of her skin. Amazing! Then the musical sequences, “Show Yourself” and “Into the Unknown” really allow for them to show off AND the spirits too.  Beautiful. I saw the film in Dolby which does allow for great sound, but the screen is also brighter, and the colors really pop. I think it’s worth seeing it like that.
Interesting Story. So, the story is really interesting. The idea that something is calling to Elsa and she must figure out who or what it is I like that a lot because it’s mysterious. So, there’s that plot. Then Kristoff is trying to propose to Anna but she’s not paying attention because she’s worried about her sister and I like that, it’s cute. It’s like an episode filler but it’s cute. Then there’s this other stuff with their parents… and there are so many interesting threads we get introduced to and I was into them.
Cons:
Narrative Issues. I don’t think the story is boring by any means, the problem I found that it’s not as tight as it probably should have been. It’s a very interesting story, I was very eager to understand and to find things out, but I found that there was a skeleton but not much flesh, but the idea of the flesh was so interesting, I felt let down once I saw it not quite land the way it should have. Especially after seeing that amazing teaser trailer with Elsa trying to get over the water. I think there was a lot of threads that just didn’t connect in the best way.
Story Slows Down. There are points in the movie where the pacing slows down and I remember going “Okay, let’s get back to the story now” and I don’t know why it does that because the story is very interesting. I liked a lot of what was setup with the stakes and consequences but there are times when it shifts focus to a side plot, which I liked, but it felt like a filler episode. It just gets very excited to include all this stuff, but it feels incoherent.
No Consequences/The Ending. Sooooo, there are a few elements that happen in this movie that left me questioning the consequences of the actions that people make. For example, once Elsa uses her magic to alert Anna about something that happened in the past, which while I get her powers are growing, I thought it was a little weird how she could just recreate moments with her powers (you’ll see what I mean), Anna makes this decision at the end, I mean it was a big decision and I wonder what would the fallout have been like. Then later, Elsa stops Anna’s decision with her powers and that’s just it. Yes, she has a reason to why it works but it was a deus ex machina and I guess I wanted them to really go through with it. But at the end of all that, Elsa makes another big decision and I get it and respect it but what does that mean for her?
Some Questions. I have a few questions about things that just happen without a real explanation why. For example, after Elsa has this great second musical sequence later in the film, she goes into this lower chamber and something happens to her that just happens out of the blue. There was no explanation as to why it happened, there was no warning that it would happen, and she seemed just as shocked as I was. It would have been cool if it was explained why it happened to her of all people. I’m trying not to spoil anything but there’s some magical stuff that happens with a group of people and I need to know if the forest affects time. But if it affects time, how did people actually grow up there? I just… I need some clarification. I need to see the footnotes of the script lol. Also, Elsa’s powers are growing, that’s cool, but the whole thing of “water has memory” was such a big thing and while it was cool, I feel like it shouldn’t have been something that she could do until after the “Show Yourself” scene when we really see her come into her magic. *sighs* I just have so many just questions.
Overall, I loved watching Frozen II. I really enjoyed myself. I think it’s a great movie to watch for anyone who liked the first one and even if you didn’t like the first one, I think there is a lot to like in the sequel. All the main characters (except for Hans) has returned and I like them all, with a like/dislike relationship for Olaf lol. I love the sisterhood between Anna and Elsa and Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell really work well together and play their characters well. Kristoff is still likable, and I think he and Anna are great, he has some great strong moments when it comes to romance and his love for her. The music is fantastic, and I think a lot better than in the first one. The animation clearly had an upgrade and we had an interesting story to watch unfold. Now, with that said, I think the story does leave a lot to be desired in that it needed more tweaks, it has some pacing issues in the second act and there were some choices made that I thought were without true consequences. It’s really a narrative issue for me with this movie. But in the end, Frozen II is a really good sequel, it’s worth the watch in the theaters. I saw it in Dolby, and I think that’s a great way to appreciate the animation and the music.
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Frozen II? What are your thoughts? Is it better than Frozen? Let me know in the comments below!
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Movie Review: Lady and the Tramp (2019)

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Summary: Two dogs fall in love lol.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the original, I’ll watch it again at some point, so this is not a comparison.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. So, this movie has the voice actors for the animals and of course the humans as well.
  • Tessa Thompson as Lady. She is an American Cocker Spaniel who is used to be the light of her human’s lives. She has it good and when they get pregnant, she’s told that the baby will replace her. I think because of Tessa Thompson’s great voice and sassy energy and I liked what she did with Lady. She’s naive still but she’s very much excited to try things, or she at least stands her ground. When she first meets Tramp, she’s like “what are you doing here? I’m going to bark” and he’s like “No please don’t” and she’s like “Mmm yeah I’m going to bark.” I liked that about her. She grows throughout the movie of learning how to live for adventure, and yes with her being a dog, certain human things she doesn’t understand so as she learns, she learns how to make it work for her and her family.
  • Justin Theroux as Tramp. He has a great voice and I liked him a lot. His character is that rugged “bad boy” type lol which is funny to say for a dog, but they have personality too. He’s a man of the streets and is street smart and he comes across Lady after he escapes the Dog Catcher in her doghouse. Their first meeting isn’t the best, but they meet again when she runs from the pet shop and they have their adventure that blossoms into romance. Tramp doesn’t have a name throughout the movie, he’s called many things and it shows in that he has no idea what he really wants or who he might really be. I think Justin Theroux had the right kind of charm and ruggedness for this character while also being endearing
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of supporting characters in this movie and I’m not going to go through each of them, but I wanted to at least highlight them for their work on the film. Sam Elliott as Trusty was inspired as he’s a bloodhound and he just exude that “old timey” guy who thinks he’s still in his prime and likes to tell stories of the good old days. Ashley Jensen as Jock (Scottish Terrier) was cute and erratic and it worked. Janelle Monáe as Peg was amazing as she has that sultry voice. Benedict Wong as Bull had nice comedic timing and worked well with Janelle Monáe. Thomas Mann and Kiersey Clemons portrayed Jim Dear and Darling Dear and I saw people complained about the interracial marriage, but I thought they were cute, I believed in their romance and relationship.
Cute CGI Animation. At some points, I wasn’t sure how much was trained animals or CGI animals, but I thought it looked good with the animals talking and their mouths moving to reflect their conversation. They did do a little something something to their eyes.
Really Sweet. I thought the moments between Lady and Tramp were really sweet. I mean sure, the dogs can’t emote quite as well as their animated counterparts, but I think it was handled well enough, better than The Lion King. I don’t think it was as “realistic” as those were… I don’t know lol. I thought they had “chemistry” as dogs can. Not to mention, Lady interacting with Jim and Darling was super adorable and it made me want a dog (as always). I liked the moments with Lady and Tramp quite a bit and I was into their dialogue and Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux worked off each other really well. The Bella Notte scene was cute. When they save Tramp at the end and he’s invited into the family, I was like AWWWWW! This movie is really sweet and cute. I mean really.
Cons:
The Dog Catcher Stuff. I don’t even really remember it being a thing in the animated film, I know it was because I remember the pound and stuff but every time, he came on screen I was like, dude get a life. He’s a stray god. He’s treating Tramp like he’s a human being who just goes around stealing stuff from people’s homes. Tramp sleeps in the train yard, okay and then he just trots around the street. He’s not that much of a menace. It was just overkill and towards the end when he came to the Jim Dear and Darling’s house, I was like “bruh…”. I hated it.
Minor Pacing Issues. I do think the movie has an issue with keeping the momentum at times, but I think a lot of this has to do with the Dog Catcher being thrown into scenes. He shows up at the Dear’s house a couple of times, we cut to him trying to find Tramp so many times and I was like ughhhh, stop lol. I mean yes, he causes conflict, but it was annoying so because of that, it causes the movie to slow down.
Overall, I thought it was a very charming and I liked it a lot. I thought the casting was handled really well and the actors really captured their characters. Of course, the dogs were adorable and the training for them to hit their marks without CGI was handled really well. I thought the human characters were interesting and the acting was good. I liked the few that were incorporated, I appreciated the new “Siamese Cats” song because while I get it, it’s a classic, some might find it offensive and Disney deserves credit for that. Besides, I thought the new song was fun. The story is still really cute, and I was into it. My only big problem was I did not like anything dealing with the Dog Catcher. It was too long, the actor was good, but his character was ridiculous and annoying. I can imagine people complaining about “the magic” missing from the movie and I do agree there were times where, the movie reached a slow point after keeping me invested but I think that’s a minor pacing issue. A lot of that was broken because of all the Dog Catcher scenes, personally. But in the end, I thought the movie was cute, with major rewatchability and it’s truly a harmless, sweet adventure.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Lady and the Tramp (2019) yet? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Disney’s Descendants

 

In memory of Cameron Boyce.
Disney’s Descendants premiered way back in 2015 lol. I remember seeing the poster and hearing about it, but I wasn’t really watching anything from the Disney Channel because those shows, and movies don’t really interest me. BUT I love the Disney movies, like the villains and the princesses and what not so the idea of the movie following the kids of famous villains was an interesting idea. I don’t believe I caught it on television, but I ended up checking it out from the library (where I work) and watched it. This won’t be a formal movie review as there are three but more of a complete overview. All the pros and cons will be from all three movies.
Let me just say now, I love all three of the movies. As of right now, while I’m watching, the second one is my favorite one, but once I do a rewatch, I’ll see if that’s the same.
New Information: Now that I have rewatched the first two, the second one is still my favorite lol.
There are spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the third one yet, or any of them and want to, I wouldn’t read this review just yet. Watch the movies and then come back to me. 😀
Pros:
The Main Four. So, we have our main four villain kids or “VKs” as they’re called in the third one and these are the characters, we spend the most time with and who we grow to know and love.
  • Dove Cameron as Mal. She is the daughter of Maleficent and Hades. In the first movie, she’s probably the one with the most to prove since her mother is the “most evil” villain and she gets to interact with the daughter of the princess her mother cursed. She’s also the last one to change in the first movie of allowing their new life to have a positive effect. She still does some sneaky things to please her mother in the first one, but she manages to prove herself at the end. In the second one, she’s trying hard to please the people of Auradon now and is having a hard time figuring out who she wants to be. She runs back to the Isle because of that and is determined to remain a villain kid but her friends and her boo thang, bring her back home. She ends up pulling through at the end. The third one, she has a harder choice in that she’s about to be Queen and the people of Auradon are afraid because Uma is lurking around still, and Hades almost got through the barrier. She makes the choice to end the program that would bring over kids from the Isle. It’s a big secret she keeps throughout the film and I really liked the moment when everyone finds out and they all get emotional and stuff. She has a nice song during this moment. I like Mal, I mean, she’s cool and she’s relatable in a lot of ways. Dove Cameron does a good job at portraying all the sides of Mal we get to experience.
  • Cameron Boyce as Carlos. He is the son of Cruella de Vil and the youngest of the group in the movie and in real life. At least he comes off that way to me in the movie. When he first encounters chocolate, I’m still upset at how long they let him have melted chocolate on his face. But he matures as the movies go on, he stands up for himself a lot more and grows more confident and I love seeing him mature. It’s great. Cameron Boyce was a bright spot in the movies, and he will be missed. He was great. He was cute and sweet, and I really wish we got to see him interact with other animals to justify his comment about wanting to be a vet. That would have been a great subplot for him. *sighs* Rest in Peace Cameron.
  • Booboo Stewart as Jay. He is the son of Jafar and a little pickpocket. I wish we got to see Jay do a lot more than what we saw. He was also a very loyal friend and he showed that through his teasing of Carlos, through his looks and touches with Evie and just being there with Mal. They would exchange looks sometimes. I liked that he was the strong silent type of the group while also being a bit goofy and the jock. It worked for him. I just wish we got to see him do other things besides playing sports. I feel like there was some great subplot for his character that was missed. I’ve always liked Booboo Stewart though (I want him to play Tommy Oliver so bad) and I think he does a great job of the cool, handsome, sporty, thief and goofy personality Jay has. I just wanted more!
  • Sofia Carson as Evie. She is the daughter of Evil Queen and my favorite character. I like her personality. In the first one, she’s probably the one who acclimates to Auradon the quickest and one of my favorite lines, is in the second one, when she goes with Ben back to the Isle to find Mal and she says “don’t let me get stuck there again” and it says so much about her character. She loves her mom, but she doesn’t want to ever have to live that life again. It did seem like she was the most out of place there even though she knew how to operate on the Isle. I like her sense of style, I loved her loyalty and I think Sofia Carson has a great voice! I like how protective she is of her friends and that she’s always ready to go to bat for any of them. Plus, her chemistry with Zachary Gibson as Doug was cute and I really shipped them. I just wish we got to see her do more.
Other Characters. There are a ton of supporting characters, we get introduced to some in each movie but I’m only going to talk about the ones I really liked. But special shout out to Zachary Gibson as Doug, Jadah Marie as Celia, Anna Cathart as Dizzy Tremaine, Dianna Doan as Lonnie, Brenna D’Amico as Jane and Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad.
  • Mitchell Hope as Ben. He is the son of Queen Belle and Beast and on his way to becoming King in the first movie. It’s his idea to bring the villain kids to Auradon and it’s his personal project. He’s the boy next door type, kind and welcoming to everyone and he really tries to make the villain kids feel at home, even if he might be a little scared of them in the beginning. However, it was clear that he and Mal would have a thing because he was immediately taken with her. I liked that even though her love spell washed away when they went on their date, he didn’t treat her like a villain when he knew she spelled him. I liked that. I think he’s a good kid, and he really tries to do things that would help everyone. The only thing I don’t like is his stupid little roar to indicate he’s the Beast’s son. I think it’s stupid when nothing ever happens with it, he just does it and I’m like… boy sit down. Mitchell Hope is adorable and he’s very likable, he could tread the annoying line, but I think he does a good job at not doing that.
  • China Ann McClain as Uma. I looooved her. She was my favorite character that was introduced in the second one. She’s Ursula’s daughter and a villain who is upset with Mal for a rivalry they’ve had since they were kids. She has a plan and she manage to really succeed for the most part, until the end of course. I like her energy and sassiness and I loved her look in the second one. She’s a pirate queen and it just really works for her. China Ann McClain is great! Her giggles and smirks she gives throughout the second and third films are a mood. I like her friendship and chemistry with both Thomas Doherty (Harry) and Dylan Playfair (Gil), not to mention the rivalry she has with Dove Cameron. She really came and took over as a standout. Plus, whenever she’s on screen, I’m paying more attention and every song she’s involved in, I’m into. She’s great! I would love to have just an Uma movie, that way I can see more of her, Ursula and Harry and Gil.
  • Sarah Jeffrey as Audrey. She’s not in the second one but she is introduced as Aurora’s daughter and she and Mal have an instant dislike. Which was cool, I liked that. Throughout that first movie, she was Ben’s girlfriend and a little snooty and “perfect”. When Ben chooses Mal, when he’s under the spell, she starts dating Chad who becomes infatuated, even in the second one when she’s gone. But I liked her a lot more in the third one. She’s back from her trip and she’s upset and hurt about Ben and Mal, especially with Mal becoming Queen, that she allows her anger, loneliness and jealousy take over and she is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter and is a villain throughout the film. Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun playing Audrey like that.
  • Thomas Doherty as Harry Hook. He is a secondary character that is introduced in the second one and I like him too. First, he reminds me of Sebastian Stan and it’s uncanny. I need them to play brothers in a film, Seb can put on the accent. But he’s very…sensual. It’s a little weird because he’s a teenager, I guess flirty is the better, but Thomas Doherty plays Harry a little sensual, or at least that’s just his nature. I don’t know lol, but I liked him because his little laugh was great, the way he teased Mal and Jay was great with some history there that I wish we got to see and hear more about. He’s great to watch on screen and it seemed like he and Audrey might have hit it off at the end of the third one. I’m cool with that lol.
  • Dylan Playfair as Gil. His role is a lot smaller than Harry’s but he’s just as likable. He’s like an innocent puppy. He’s Gaston’s son and seems to be a little dim but with a heart of gold. He’s not that mean compared to Uma or Harry. I feel like he would thrive in Auradon, the way Evie did from the beginning. He and Jay really hit it off in the third one with their bromance, which was a nice addition since Carlos spent most of the movie worrying about Jane, so it was nice to see Jay make another friend. Gil is a puppy lol, best way to explain it and Dylan Playfair is really endearing as Gil. I would have love to see him interact with his dad.
Catchy Songs. Y’all the songs in these movies are super catchy. When I first started watching this, the only song I really remembered was “Rotten to the Core”, which is the opening song our main four VKs sing and it’s catchy. They often play parts of it throughout the movie, mostly Jay’s “rotten to core” part. It also becomes a little mantra for them through each movie which is kind of funny. Then the “Set it Off” song at the end was also catchy. Those are the only two I remember that I liked. I also remember the “Be Our Guest” rendition because it was terrible lol.
  • Descendants 2 has more songs that I can hear what they sound like and they’re great. My favorite is “Chillin Like a Villain” because I like the sequence, the lyrics, Evie’s voice is great on it and the dancing was great too. Uma’s song “What’s My Name” is also a BOP and I often find myself randomly humming it. She also does a rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” which was good. “It’s Goin Down” is a fight song and it’s also catchy, it’s almost like they wanted to do a little rap, it’s kind of funny because it’s a little cheesy but it’s a nice song.
  • Descendants 3 has a song that I think I loved the most because I literally cannot get it out of my head, and I liked the sequence in the movie. “Queen of Mean” is sooo great and Sarah Jeffrey clearly had fun performing it. The rap or “Spoken Word” part is nice but I like the singing part. “Good to be Bad” is the first song in the movie and it’s nice. “Do What You Gotta Do” is the song that Mal and Hades sing, and I enjoyed that song and the “Night Fall” which I didn’t realize was the name lol, is a great and fun sequence.
Then of course each movie has their big song at the end where everyone dances but I think I like the one in the third movie the best “Break This Down” because I really liked the choreography and it has the most meaning behind it.
Awesome Dance Choreography. I think this is coupled with the music, but I really like a lot of the choreography in all three films. They really get to shine in “Rotten to the Core” in the first one and then of course the big number at the end. Same thing goes for the second film but “Chillin Like a Villain” has some great moves, particularly the little step in the gif below. Ben (Mitchell Hope) is really trying back there lol.
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I love that lol. In the third one, “Good to be Bad”, “Night Falls”, and “Break This Down” is dance heavy and I really like “Break This Down” dancing because they throw in some stepping and it’s so good. I mean, everyone gives it their best effort, but China Anne McClain, Cameron Boyce and Sarah Jeffrey really kill the step moves with Booboo Stewart having an honorable mention.
Interesting Stories. I think overall, the movies had interesting stories going on. I liked the first one in that they had to not only fit in with the kids at Auradon, but please their parents. I wanted to see more of that in later films, since Jafar, Cruella and EQ were still around. I feel like at least Jafar would try to get in touch with his kid because he’s crafty. In the second one, Mal had her personal issues but I enjoyed her rivalry with Uma, it was childish but a fair rivalry. I wanted them to take some of it even father further considering how it was clear there was a big issue between Uma’s group and Mal’s group. Then later, Audrey returned from her hiatus in the second one and she’s angry at everyone basically. She’s mad at Ben and Mal because Mal stole her boyfriend (which legit, she did) and Ben chose Mal in the end. So, she decides to steal the Queen of Auradon’s crown from the museum and then is enticed by Maleficent’ s scepter, not by much though, and wreaks havoc. I quite like that she was a bad guy, it made sense and it was fun to see a hero be a bad guy for a while. Plus, she has a great villain song.
Character Chemistry. One of the highest praises is the chemistry between our main four together and separately. Right away it’s clear that Mal and Evie are best friends and Jay and Carlos might be closer, but they all depend on each other. I like as the series goes on, we see these relationships get stronger and then we see some other moments like with Jay and Mal being rather close in the second one. He stays behind a little longer after the four of them have a moment and I wish we got to see more of that. I like the idea from the books that Jay and Mal were “friends” first and might have a stronger friendship because of that. Sure, Evie and Mal are best friends but I feel like Jay could have been able to reach a different side of Mal. When they did those things, I liked it a lot I just wanted them to do more of it. As for the romance relationships, I thought everyone had great chemistry where it counted. Ben and Mal are cute together, they really have nice chemistry. Evie and Doug were also super cute, and I wish we got to spend more time with their relationship. Carlos and Jane were cute, especially when Jane grows on you in the second one because she was a little meh in the first one. As for Jay, I liked the chemistry he had with Lonnie, I’m not sure what happened there but they would have been cute.
Interesting/Nice Costumes. The costumes for the characters on the Isle all have that skater/leather/put everything on look to it. Each movie costumes have evolved, and I wanted to try and share some evolutions, but it didn’t quite work out that way. But I think the outfits in the second one is my favorites. I like Mal’s lighter purple bangs and Evie’s dress she wears during ‘Chillin Like a Villain‘, it’s nice. I also really love Uma’s look, her braids, hat and everything. In the third one, I liked their “motocross” outfits, the leather jumpsuits. I liked Evie’s hair in each movie, but I think I liked it the best in the first and third one, when it’s down. I hate Carlos’ hair in the second one, the wig is bad! lol, I like his curls! I also think it was cool to see the modern takes on some of the classic Disney princess/villain attire, like Audrey’s Sleeping Beauty inspired outfit in the third one. I prefer Uma’s long braids compared to her hairstyle in the third one. I also like how each character had their color schemes. Mal=purple and green, Evie=blues and reds, Jay=yellows and browns, Carlos=whites, blacks, reds. It’s cute.
Cons:
More Carlos and Jay. I would even include Evie in some instances, Mal is clearly the lead, which is fine, but I think with her being the focus, we don’t get the chance to really spend time with the other three, especially Jay and Carlos. We do see character development but it’s so small as we didn’t know a ton about them to begin with, it’s almost like meh. At the end of the first one, Audrey runs over to dance with Jay and they kind of flirt so I thought we had that but then she was gone in the second one. But then, we got an interesting plot with Jay and Lonnie in the sequel, which I thought was going to be a thing since they have similar interests and personality, but I guess we just forgot about it in the third one. I would have liked that. Jay is a strong and silent type in many ways but he’s also a jock, he seemed “dumb” at times, but I don’t think he was stupid, just maybe not as book smart as Carlos… I don’t know, I feel like with his dad being Jafar, he’d be quite intelligent and witty, but he was just a physical dude. As for Carlos, he’s clearly the youngest and they all protect him, and it was nice seeing him grow up to be more confident, but it was almost like the extent of his growth at first was not being afraid of dogs. I mean, we do see him stand up to his mother over the video call and he chooses good along with the others at the end, but he didn’t have a clear arc other than the dog thing. At least that’s how I saw it. I guess in the end, he was quietly growing in confidence.
Emotional Support. We get this throughout the film, but I think the biggest thing is that I wish we got more of it from other people. Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos are supposed to be like the squad, best friends and sometimes, it doesn’t always come off that way because they don’t get to have a ton of moments where they can be emotional support to each other besides Mal. In the second one, Carlos points out that Evie and Mal often go off to talk and leave him and Jay out of it even though they’re a family. That was really the only time an effort was made for them all to have a moment and just talk. It still ended up being about Mal and I wish we had more chances to just catch up with the main four and have them catch up with each other. They all had their own lives, but they were still a family.
More Villain/Hero Parents. I wanted to see more parents. In the first one, we see each of our main four’s parents, which is cool because we can see what they diminished to being on the Island, but I wish we saw more of them. Of all the parents. I wanted to see more villain parents. In the third one, we get to see Dr. Facilier (he looked super cool btw), Lady Tremaine and Smee (but he has no lines), and in the second one, we saw Ursula’s tentacles and that was it. I wanted to see more of them. Gaston and Hook’s sons are there, why can’t we see them too? Or what about the parents in Auradon? We see Belle and Beast and Fairy Godmother but that’s it. I think we briefly see Snow White because she’s a news reporter and we see Sleeping Beauty’s mother but no one else. We’ve met, Chad, Cinderella’s son, Audrey, Aurora’s son, Lonnie, Mulan’s daughter. Doug, Dopey’s son and tons of other kids but no other parents. It would have been interesting to see the VKs interact with the actual victims of their parents and not just their kids. Plus, none of them besides Mal, got to interact with the kids of the parent’s victims. It would have been nice to see Jay meet and possibly befriend Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid. Evie never got to meet Snow White’s kid, but I guess she fell in love with Dopey’s kid so that’s enough… meh lol, they’re cute but I wish there was more. As for Carlos, well, hard to say how that would be handled lol but still, Anita and Roger’s kid? Missed opportunity really. We got to meet Hades who was dope, but it would have been nice to have him more involved instead of being the original keeper of the McGuffin.
The Parents. They’re not all bad but I don’t think they’re that great either. In the first movie, we see Cruella, Jafar, Maleficent and Evil Queen and honestly, it’s funny to see what happened to them, especially since the ends of their movies, three of them die and one of them ends up as a genie lol but they’re all mere shadows of themselves and it’s okay but I think it might have been better to show them a bit closer to their animated counterparts. Maleficent is played by Kristen Chenoweth and I can’t really take her seriously as the character. It’s supposed to be funny but meh. Maleficent is intimidating and she’s just not. She worked sometimes. I liked that Cruella was a little crazy lol and I really wanted to see sooo much more of her. Evil Queen is there too and she’s charming and I liked her and Maleficent had a working relationship but you’re not quite sure if they’re friends lol. Jafar owns a junk shop but I feel he was also too silly too. I get it, it’s a DCOM but I think you can still be a little silly but maintain their villainy. I also think it was a missed opportunity to not have them at least shown in the second and third movies. It didn’t have to be large parts but at least at the end, so we know they’re still around at least. Maleficent not so much since she got turned into a lizard but still. Also, the parents in Auradon aren’t that great either lol. Fairy Godmother hardly interacts with Jane, Belle is okay, but King Beast is kind of meh, he tells Ben in one of the movies “this is all your fault” like dude, that’s your teenage son, I mean jeez lol. Why didn’t Evie meet Doug’s parents? I wanted to see if Dopey was still Dopey lol. COME ON!
More Complex Adventures/Stories. So, there is a book series that coincide with the films, written by Melissa De La Cruz and I listened to the first two books (read by Sofia Carson, Evie herself) and I must read the next ones, but I quite enjoyed the adventure they go on in both of those books. They can’t do this now due to Cameron Boyce’s passing (Rest in Peace Cameron) but I think it was a missed opportunity to not have these characters have experiences that were a bit more complicated. Yes, each one dealt with Mal having to make some tough choices, but I hated that the other three didn’t really have to be involved. I mean, you take them out of the adventures and what do you lose? Nothing. They’d just be Mal’s friends like how Doug and Jane are treated at times.
  • Jay- I think if they had things like Jay having to continuously deal with violent impulses or his thievery. Chad even calls him out on being violent in the first one and we know that he’s good at stealing and we get callbacks sometimes, but I feel like it wouldn’t be that easy. He plays sports but was he just accepted because he did well? Chad was a jerk most of the time but was he the only one? It was too easy with Jay. Not to mention, he and Harry Hook clearly did not like each other but it was just some teasing, you never quite learn why they don’t like each other. Was it just because Mal and Uma didn’t like each other? Missed opportunities. What was he even doing in the third one outside of the main plot, like his side job? No idea.
  • Evie- Had her designing business and her relationship with Doug but I don’t think she ever had anything really happen. No one threatened her business, she didn’t have to deal with anyone thinking she’ll do to them what her mother did. I think it would have been nice to have issues with her business or something else that would make her frustrated with Auradon or something.
  • Carlos- Boooyyy, I wish he had more to do too. First, I was so annoyed to see how often he was holding that damn dog. I get it, but I was like ughhhh put him down! But outside of learning to love dogs, he also only is there to build his confidence with Jane as his girlfriend. He does nothing else. I don’t even know what he was doing in the third one because they all clearly graduated from high school by that time.
Overall, I really like these movies. I knew I probably would when I first heard about them. I think they’re fun, creative and unique in what they do in this world. I mean, the kids of Disney villains? That’s awesome. I like all the main characters, particularly the main four, the acting is good and clearly the actors have lots of fun. The costumes are cool, creative and I like the nods to other characters and stories. I looove the music, some of these songs really get stuck in your head and plus the dancing for most of the dance heavy songs are well choreographed. “Chillin like a Villain”, “What’s My Name” and “Queen of Mean” are my jams. I like the stories we’re shown in these films and I think it’s been great to see them unfold and grow. Now, I do think these movies don’t focus enough on some of the other main characters, particularly in Jay and Carlos who are interesting. Not to mention, it was a missed opportunity not to introduce other villain and hero parents, or even show the kids of some of our favorite heroes. I mean, not having Jay meet Aladdin and Jasmine’s kid is sad. While I like the stories, I wish they would have either gone in a different direction with some of them or considered having more mature side plots so we’re not just following Mal everywhere with all her problems. It’s just not as interesting as what some of the possibilities could have been. But otherwise fun and great trilogy!
Rating: Collectively 3.79 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Disney’s Descendants? Which is your favorite movie in the franchise?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more reviews.

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!

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. Cinderella
  5. Pete’s Dragon
  6. The Lion King
  7. Maleficent
  8. Dumbo

Movie Review: Toy Story 4 (2019)

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Summary: When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. As always there are a ton of characters in these movies. We have our classic Toy Story characters we know and love and all of the voice actors have returned, outside of Don Rickles (R.I.P.) and of course some new characters and returning new characters from Toy Story 3.
  • Tom Hanks as Woody. Woody is back! He’s the same Woody he always is, loyal, hardworking, resilient and a leader. In this, it’s been two years since Andy gave Bonnie his toys and Woody is used to being the leader, he’s used to running the bedroom and all the toys listening to him and deferring to him. He doesn’t have that now as Bonnie Hunt’s “Dolly” is the leader of Bonnie’s room. In this, we get to see how kids grow up and how they lose interest in certain toys and gain interest, or more interest in other toys. Woody doesn’t get as much playtime as he got with Andy or even with Bonnie in the beginning. He’s not quite sure how to deal with not having the same importance he’s used to having so when Bonnie makes “Forky” he takes it upon himself to make sure Forky is always around for Bonnie when she needs/wants him and this becomes his job. Without spoiling what Woody has go through in this one, he’s still the same Woody just with a lot of learned lessons and experiences under his belt. Tom Hanks is Woody and he will always have that kind but frantic energy as this character always. Also, the emotional moments he goes through, I felt all of that. If this is truly the last Toy Story, I’ll miss Tom Hanks as Woody.
  • Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear. Buzz doesn’t quite have the same large role in this as he’s had in other films, but Buzz is Woody’s best friend and always his ride or die. Buzz takes over in Woody’s absence but he also learns how to listen to his “inner voice” when it comes to making tough choices. I’ve always liked Buzz, he’s always that confident, cool uncle who always tries his hardest and may not always get it right but he’s always ready to try and learn it again. Tim Allen is of course Buzz Lightyear. His silly moments, even his emotional moments hit really well.
  • Annie Potts as Bo Peep. So, in Toy Story 3, I think, Bo Peep was gone. We had no idea what happened to her but we’ve found her! She was given away when Molly was still a kid and then ended up in an Antique Shop since she’s like china or porcelain or something. But she’s in this little town with a playground, and where RVs can park and hang out for a bit. There’s also a carnival which is just kids galore to play with the toys. Bo pretty much has become a “lost toy” but she has taken to this lifestyle so well. She’s pretty badass. Her sheep too, WHO HAVE NAMES y’all lol. But she’s reunited with her boo, Woody and it’s been so long but she has his back in his task to save Forky. I’ve always liked Bo Peep but I really liked her here because she was so active and running things, that I was like yaasss. She definitely has an upgrade in her animation but that’s cool. Annie Potts has a great voice, it’s like a classic actress voice but it fits this character.
  • Tony Hale as Forky. He is a new toy that Bonnie makes in kindergarten. He’s a spork with arts and craft things stuck to him. Since he’s made from trash, he just thinks he’s trash and keeps trying to find his way into the trash. He’s kind of useless for a while but he ends up being endearing because he’s like a baby new to this world and learning how to operate in it and how important his role is in this little girl’s life. Tony Hale is funny and awkward and pulls off the innocent role well.
  • Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby. She is a baby doll who lives in the antique shop. She’s like the leader of the store, she even has Vincent (who is basically the Slappy Goosebumps doll lol) wheel her around in a baby carriage. I recognized her voice but I couldn’t put a name to the voice. But she comes off super sweet and nice. She has her goals and will stop at nothing to achieve your goals, but it’s up to you to decide if she’s a villain or not. I quite enjoyed her though.
Supporting Characters. We have a lot of supporting characters in this movie too, a lot of old ones and a lot of new ones. I’m not going to go through each of them other than the ones we spend a good amount of time on.
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Ducky/Jordan Peele as Bunny. They’re attached to each other. They’re hanging as prizes in one of those kiosks for games at the carnival. They meet Buzz first because they think he’s trying to steal all the kids from them lol. But they’re funny and I wonder how much they allowed Key and Peele to just talk and say things because half the stuff they said was ridiculous. Those characters are also just comic relief but they have their usefulness lol. As always, it’s clear that Key and Peele had fun voicing these characters.
  • Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom. I almost didn’t recognize his voice but it’s totally him. Duke is a stunts toy who apparently failed at being a stunt toy lol. He gets sad every now and then about it but he’s Canada’s greatest! Keanu Reeves is also having a good time in this role. Not quite sure but it seemed like Duke and Bo might have had some kind of thing at one point lol.
  • Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples. She’s Bo’s friend, a tiny little pocket toy who is just all over the place. She’s cute and she’s funny and Ally Maki fits that lol.
  • Andy’s Toys:We get a nice return of all of our favorites with Joan Cusack as Jessie, Wallace Shawn as Rex, John Ratzenberger as Hamm, Estelle Harris as Mrs. Potato Head, Blake Clark as Slinky Dog(who has always been my favorite!) and of course Bonnie’s toys: Bonnie Hunt as Dolly, Kristen Schaal as Trixie and others.
Character Driven. All of the Toy Story movies are pretty much character driven which is always great because this really allows you to relate to the characters and care about them. Of course, a lot of us grew up with these characters so it’s also nostalgia but these characters are so lovable, so recognizable and this movie is no different in how they’re handled. They drive the story forward. Things happen because of mistakes made by characters, or things are achieved because of the choices of characters. Ugh, it’s just so good. This screenplay is handled with such care that while Toy Story 4 wasn’t a needed addition, it’s compelling and just as good as its predecessors.
Emotional. So, I was teary throughout a majority of the movie but I believe I cried maybe  twice overall. The ending especially. I wasn’t expecting it to hit me like that. There are a lot of good emotional nuggets in this film that I think a lot of people can identify with and be moved by. Woody’s journey alone in this movie, which is probably the most important journey, is handled so well that I just can’t imagine how it could have gone any other way. The lessons that are learned by Woody, Bo Peep, Forky and even Gabby Gabby are just so good and such human lessons. *sighs* It’s so good.
Stunning animation. OF course, Disney/Pixar does it again with another stunning film. The animation is definitely upgraded compared to the first three movies. Even Kid Andy, when we see him, looks really different. Ya know, upgraded technology lol. Bo Peep I believe is like china, or porcelain or something and I think her animation has also changed just a tad (She actually looks like Anna and Elsa to me). She actually looks a lot younger in 2019 than she did in 1995. It’s really fascinating to see how much animation has changed over the years. They’re still the same characters we know, no one looks drastically different but you can tell it’s 2019 in how the film looks.
Heartwarming Human Story. Now, I’ll kind of talk about this a little later, BUT overall, I think the story in this movie, while not as deep as the previous films, holds up just as well. The idea that life moves forward but you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, or how to move forward with life and those around you, that’s hard. I understand that. I’m sure many people understand that. I think the fact that Woody has that issue, is pretty human. It makes it relatable and I’m sure many people will sit in the theater and go “hmm…. why is this my life??” lol. Plus, everything Bo Peep says has some precedent as well. As does Gabby Gabby. There are a ton of little nuggets in this movie that you might just told your entire life and won’t even realize it until the end lol.
The villain. I hesitate to call this character a villain because while they do villainous things, you understand why and nothing they do is actually as horrible as they could be. But they’re also extremely fascinating in their wants/motives and you may actually sympathize with them.
Cons:
Forky At First.I actually found him annoying in the beginning. He ended up growing on me but in the beginning,  I was like “ugh, this character, he wants to be trash so let him be trash!” Also, I need to know how the magic of Toy Story works because he’s a spork that a child turned into a toy… yet it came to life. Soooo, how does this work? The other toys I get because they’re actually toys but the spork, I need to understand. It won’t change the magic for me, I just want to know how it works.
Needed?Probably not. No one really asked for Toy Story 4. No one really asked for a Toy Story 3 but this one more than 3 is the most unnecessary. I’m not saying that we should just throw it in the trash but Toy Story 3 ended the series on such a high and emotional note, especially with most of growing up with these movies, when the third one came out Andy was going to college and I was in college and it really hit home for me. It was perfect and this movie just feels like an extra one. The problems the characters go through in this one don’t feel as existential as the others have. At times, it’s like “Okay, this feels like a tack on story line.” The messages are important but we also kind of have gotten parts of this story in previous films. Woody feeling useless, it was the same in Toy Story 1. Woody having a midlife crisis, same as Toy Story 2. We’ve seen it before. The package is the same, the contents are the same, it’s just the wrapping paper that’s different.
Overall, Toy Story 4is a great addition to the Toy Story franchise. The characters are back and just as good as they’ve always been with some new adventures. All of the characters are just as loveable as always and the voice acting is fantastic as always. It’s clear there has been some upgrades in animation over the years and it’s stunning, absolutely stunning. It’s very much a character driven film with heartwarming, human lessons to learn. I think the way the movie handles the story and the impact it has on the characters is so organic that it doesn’t feel like something that was put together just to be put together. Now, while I think they handled it well, I don’t quite see the need for the film. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it and I wouldn’t take it away now that I have it, but it feels like an extra addition as Toy Story 3 ended on such a great note. I also found Forky to be quite annoying for a large chunk of the film. He might end up growing on you as he did me but he may not. But the movie is definitely worth the watch because Toy Story is always going to be timeless.
Rating: 4.69 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Toy Story 4? What are your thoughts? Would you like to see a Toy Story 5? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments down below!
Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for future movie reviews!