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.
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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. The Lion King
  5. Cinderella
  6. Pete’s Dragon
  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!

My Thoughts: Live Action The Little Mermaid

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

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

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

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

The Cast

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

Halle Bailey as Ariel

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

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

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

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

Prince Eric

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

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

My top choice right now is Jordan Fisher.

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

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

 

 

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

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King Triton

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

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

Ursula

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

Queen Latifah

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

LIZZO

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

Sebastian

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

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

 

 

Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariel’s Sisters/Atlantica/Eric’s Kingdom

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

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

The Music

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

The Story

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

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

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

Hear me out.

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

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

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

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

Overall

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

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Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Aladdin (2019)

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Summary: A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.
I think it needs to be said as I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews compare it to the animated version. YOU CAN’T COMPARE THE MERITS OF A MOVIE OFF OF IT’S PREDECESSOR! It’s destined to fail regardless if you do that. Yes, it’s a remake but it’s still its own movie and should be judged as such. As I’ve said before, I’ve been very optimistic about these remakes and I had such high hopes for this one. Probably even more so than the others.
You can read the two other posts about this movie. A trailer review and a thoughts piece.
I’m making sure not to have spoilers, at least nothing that will ruin the movie, or at least nothing that you don’t already know from being familiar with the animated film or that’s in the trailers.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Mena Massoud as Aladdin. He is an impoverished Agrabah thief and “street rat” whose been doing his thing for years. He steals because he must, but we see just how selfless he can be when he gets some food after a pretty good score and gives his food to a kid and his family. When he meets Jasmine and they go on their adventure in the city, he falls for her because she seems to understand him and vice versa. They have a connection and he’s interested in pursuing it. He believes that he might have a chance at something he might not have had before. He then gets mixed up in a task from Jafar and starts to think of how he can impress a princess as he doesn’t want to let their connection go. Aladdin is a pure character, very sincere in the beginning. He’s smart, he understands how the world works and while he might wish things were different, he isn’t mad at the world. I’ve always liked that about him. His situation is the situation and when he gets the chance to make it better, he isn’t automatically thinking of “I want riches”, “I want power”, he just wants to be with the girl he fell for. It’s naive but it’s innocent. He never intentionally sets out to be a liar. We see that about him. As the film goes on, we see him start to fall into the lie he’s created, and he gets punished for it in different ways and then must find a way to come back from all of that. Mena Massoud is my age, I think about 27 but he has a youthful energy about him in this movie which I really loved. I loved watching him play one of my favorite characters and one of my first crushes lol. He’s very handsome with a smile to die for and big brown eyes which helps the charm that Aladdin has. He has some great facial expressions he gives in certain parts of the movie and The Genie is right in saying “kid, is it just me or does everything surprise you?” and even Mena Massoud says that the best emoji face for Aladdin is the “surprised emoji” because his reaction to things he’s not used to is just so pure. I think he has a nice singing voice and I wonder just how much of the stunts he does because Aladdin does a TON of stunts in this movie. Whether he’s jumping off buildings, falling out of windows, hanging off walls/cliffs etc. I also love to see just how good of a thief Aladdin is. He is REALLY good at his job and I was so impressed at how much I liked him in the role. Great job Mena! I can’t wait to see you reprise this role in the SEQUEL! I AM CLAIMING IT NOW! Also, any future projects. I will be keeping my eye on you.
  • Will Smith as Genie. The genie is a being who has been stuck inside of a lamp for 1000 years, but he is surprisingly chill about it. Obviously, he wants to get out more, be outside and everything but he’s not like cranky. He is kind, eccentric and just a lot of fun. He has the power to grant the three wishes of anyone who possesses his magic lamp. He is an all-powerful being. He is a bit of a trickster in ways, but he becomes a great mentor figure to Aladdin. He comes to care for the kid and wants to see him be true and honest to himself. He seems to not want him to fall into any issues that he might have seen previous masters fall into. The Genie sees the greatness within Aladdin and he wants him to be more confident in the power he has inside of himself. He even says to him (which is the trailer) “I changed what you looked like on the outside, but I didn’t change anything on the inside” and I think that’s one of his best lines because that’s so true and he wants Aladdin to see that for himself. Will Smith did have big shoes to fill thanks to Robin Williams iconic and memorable performance, but I worked hard to not compare it, but I think he manages to pay homage to what Robin Williams did while also making the role his own. Just like Robin Williams pretty much played Robin Williams, Will Smith plays Will Smith as the Genie. He had great chemistry with Mena Massoud. He really felt like a father/brother figure to him and he was very energetic and clearly had fun while playing the part. I think he managed to make the role his own and while he might not be as memorable, I think what he did deserves praise. His jokes were funny, particularly the “brass” one. I don’t know why but I cackled each time I saw it at that part. Smith said he pulled from a lot of his earlier characters for the role and in certain places you can see that. I also liked a lot of his emotional and more serious moments, like at the Harvest Festival when he’s telling Aladdin that he didn’t change anything on the inside. Or the part where he finds out Aladdin probably won’t use his third wish to set him free. I thought he did very well in both of those parts and I loved his dialogue in the serious moments. Great job Will Smith! I was a little nervous, but I really enjoyed him!
  • Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. She is the Sultan’s daughter who is feisty and wants to have control over her life. When we first meet her, it’s in the city where she’s already out there seeing how he people live. She’s young and there’s a lot that she must learn but at the same time, she smart and quick on her feet. She wants to be Sultan because she feels like she knows her kingdom and people more than any outsider Prince would. She has more than just “I don’t want to marry someone I don’t love” but that she can’t rule because she’s a woman. I know some people complain about “forced feminism” but I think that’s just ridiculous because it gives her more reason to turn down these Princes. She goes through more than just trying to decide who she’ll marry. She also must find her voice and the courage to speak out for her people and herself, whether it’s against her father or Jafar. I’ve always liked Jasmine, but I feel like she’s given more of a personality in this. In the animated version, she’s pretty one dimensional and we get to know her more in sequels and the TV show, but we know a lot of her here and I think you root for her more because of that. She loves her city and feels some type of way that she isn’t allowed to go out and experience it more, she really wants to be someone who can lead. Naomi Scott does all this well. I think she is the stand out in the film. She is a great reactionary actress. I love how expressive her eyes are. Whenever someone is saying something that is really affecting her, her eyes grow large and if she’s trying to hold back tears, you see that in her entire body. I was really impressed, and I really liked her. Great job Naomi! Plus, she absolutely KILLS her new song “Speechless”. I get chills every time I hear it. She also has great chemistry with Mena Massoud and I think their chemistry really elevates the story between Jasmine and Aladdin.
  • Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. In this he is a young man, the Grand Vizier of Agrabah and the Sultan’s chief advisor. He is frustrated with how the Sultan rules and wants to overthrow him once he acquires the Genie’s lamp. We get to know more about him in this movie. We learn a bit about his childhood and he even relate to Aladdin in some ways, he’s honest about that. I think because he’s a young man he comes off way more desperate. He may have played the patient game but it’s not like he’s an older man whose been biding his time for years. He’s somehow made it high up in the ranks to be closer to the Sultan and give him advice. Plus, he seems to have a penchant for war as he advises him on that in some areas. I quite liked Jafar in this. I don’t think he’s as scary or intimidating as he is in the animated film (which is one of the few times I compared the two) but that’s part of the interesting thing in his character. He’s not really intimidating but he tries to be, and he even has this crazy thing about him. There’s a place where Jafar calls out to Aladdin (as Prince Ali) and when Aladdin kind of dismisses him, he almost yells but tries to compose himself because they were in public. I love that lol. Also, later when he gets the lamp, his reaction is so great. I was okay with him not being this oily kind of man but a desperate young man. I think Marwan Kenzari was good and dynamic in the role. He’s almost a bit tragic, in a pitiful way. I hope there’s a sequel “Return of Jafar” because I would love to see him return with bigger intentions. He threatened Aladdin big time and I want to see them face off!
  • Navid Negahban as The Sultan. He doesn’t have this large role, but he is wise and noble and he’s very eager to find a capable husband for his daughter. He is kind but not goofy and aloof. He wants the best for his daughter and everything he does is to secure the future for Jasmine. He has a few active moments towards the end of the film. Navid Negahban is good in the role, he has a commanding presence which fit the world they created in this film. I was glad he wasn’t silly and easily manipulated.
  • Nasim Pedrad as Dalia. She is Jasmine’s loyal handmaiden and confidante. She clearly has been by Jasmine’s side for a long time and I liked her. Dalia was funny and sure she was comedic relief, but it wasn’t in your face and annoying, at least not to me. I just loved that Jasmine had someone to talk to and bounce her thoughts, dreams and feelings off of, because Rajah is great, but he can’t talk back to her ya know? Nasim Pedrad has great facial expressions, especially when she’s talking to the Genie in later scenes or even reacting to things between Aladdin and Jasmine.
Character Chemistry. There are a few interesting relationships we get in this film where the chemistry between the actors is strong.
  • Aladdin and Abu. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to include this one because Abu isn’t a human but the friendship between Aladdin and Abu is important because they’ve been living together for X amount of years. They have a routine of how they do things, how they steal and all of that. Plus, I’m not sure how often Abu is a CGI monkey, but Mena Massoud really made it seem like he was best friends with his monkey, friend and partner.
  • Aladdin and Jasmine. Obviously, the main relationship of the film and it’s important that they have a good relationship and chemistry with each other. I love the fact that she’s with him while he’s singing “One Jump” which allows both us and Jasmine to see how well he knows the city. They have a connection from the first moment he saves her from the accusing vendor and says, “Do you trust me?” they have a moment. Later, in his home, they have a chance to talk and get to know each other a bit more before she ends up going back home, even with a negative thought in her mind about him. He likes her so much that he even attempts to see her again.  He even willingly goes into the Cave to hopefully find a way to impress her. As Prince Ali, he’s awkward with her and it makes for a lot of endearing and humorous moments. I think the movie hits a lot of important beats for these two where their romance is young and innocent, and you root for them. Plus, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott have great chemistry!! Even watching them in interviews I’m like “O. O”.
  • Aladdin and Genie. Their friendship is one of the crux of the movie. They meet in the cave when Aladdin releases him from the lamp and at first, it’s weird because Aladdin isn’t what the Genie thought would be the master, but then they build this friendship to the point where Aladdin trusts the Genie and vice versa. It’s a brotherhood and we see it grow as the movie continues. We see how much the Genie grows to care about this kid and how Aladdin looks up to him and even feels some type of way whenever the Genie seems disappointed in them. You get invested in their relationship. Will Smith and Mena Massoud have great chemistry together as well. They play off each other well and I was invested in their friendship.
  • Jasmine and Dahlia. Dahlia is Jasmine’s handmaiden and her friend. This relationship gave Jasmine another person, who understood her and believed in her, to talk too. Sure, she had Rajah, but he can’t talk back to her so giving her a friend I think, worked out. Dahlia is protective of Jasmine and vice versa, she encourages her, and I think Naomi Scott and Nasim Pedrad played off each other well.
  • Aladdin and Jafar. Aladdin and Jafar meet when they go to the Cave of Wonders. There is a tension being built between the two. Jafar clearly sees a bit of himself in Aladdin and he even has an honest conversation with him in some ways. As the film goes on and they meet again later when he’s Prince Ali, there’s a suspicion and dislike there from Jafar and of course Aladdin remembers him. So, there’s a tension that builds between the two whenever they’re in a scene together. I’ll mention their ending a bit later, but I was hoping for this tension to clash big time.
Production Design. Gemma Jackson who did production design work on Game of Thrones led the design here. I love the design of the world. In the opening credits while Will Smith is singing “Arabian Nights”, we go through Agrabah, through the marketplace and the palace. We pretty much get a quick look at what all the main characters are doing in that moment. Agrabah looks so realistic, crowded and like a thriving port city. Plus, we get to see that Aladdin really knows the city, I mean during “One Jump” he really goes through a lot of areas in the city and it allows us to see just how cast Agrabah is. When we see Aladdin’s home, it looks like something he would be able to throw together being someone of poor means. We don’t get to see a ton of inside the palace, but we do get very nice shots of the outside of the palace which is beautiful and the designs in some of the rooms we do visit are also beautiful. The Cave of Wonders also looks cool. The tiger face is put into the side of the mountain, which makes more sense. I liked that it looks like the inside of a mountain and that Aladdin had to really climb up this rock pillar (I mean he did a lot of climbing in this movie lol) to reach the lamp. I do think it looks like a set in some areas but once I got into the movie, which happened quickly, it doesn’t stand out as being a set that much.
Costume Design. Michael Wilkinson oversees the costumes, and these are some of my favorite costumes in the live action Disney movie spectrum. I love all of Jasmine’s outfits. I mean, most of them I’d seen before in the trailers and in promo photos but seeing them in the movie, like when she first walks down the stairs in that pink dress, like omg it’s so beautiful. Seeing her iconic blue outfit during the Harvest Ball and the “Whole New World” sequence is so beautiful! The attention to detail on her costumes. Just WOW! Also, Aladdin’s Prince Ali look is also a fantastic take on his iconic look and the color, while it was always white, it just looks so great on Mena and of course I like how he got a close shave and a haircut to add to the look. I also liked that he didn’t walk around wearing a giant turban lol. The Genie’s human look is based off the Broadway show which I thought when I saw it, but it’s also great. I love the colors on Will Smith’s skin. Aladdin’s “street thief” look is also nice. I know some people were upset because he’s wearing a shirt, and sure, I get it, especially since Mena Massoud is a gym guy (I follow him on IG) and he has a nice physique but I didn’t mind that he actually wore clothes because with all the stuff he’s doing, all the stealing what not, if he’s not wearing clothes that can fit his lifestyle then why have that lifestyle ya know? Like his red hoodie vest thing is great, all the pockets in that thing. I love how he uses it in the beginning when he’s stealing. GAH! I love the costumes.
The Soundtrack. Okay, every song from the animated film is in the movie. Will Smith starts us off singing “Arabian Nights” and there are different words in there. I was a little shocked at first when Will Smith started singing because I don’t think I ever really heard him sing, I’ve heard him rap, but the singing shocked me, and I think he sounds good. The arrangement of the music is also nice, I really got into the flow of it. Mena Massoud sings both “One Jump” and the reprise of that “Riff raff, street rat… I don’t buy that” that one and I think he sounds rather nice. “Friend Like Me” also gets a funky upgrade which I also like and its Will Smith in his element of the music he used to rap but it is still what you remember. He throws his own Will Smith flavor into it. “A Whole New World” is lovely and I think Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud sound good together. He almost sounds like Brad Kane sometimes. “Prince Ali” also gets a bit of an upgrade in the flavor of the song. Now, Jasmine gets a solo song “Speechless” which I knew about, and you hear it twice. The first time, it’s like a pep talk to herself and it’s only a few bars. Later, she sings it again as more of her anthem and I really like this song. It does feel out of place in terms of the arrangement and the “pop-like” sound it has, but Naomi Scott really kills it vocally and the arrangement doesn’t even matter to me because the lyrics make sense for her character.
Big Spectacle Sequences. Some of the songs have a smaller moment happening while they’re being performed on screen, like the first “Speechless” is just a quiet moment for Jasmine. “Arabian Nights” is the song for the opening so we get introduced into the world during that. But “Friend Like Me”, “Prince Ali” and “One Jump” are probably the ones that have a lot going on. “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali” are the Genie’s songs, so he gets to use his magic to show Aladdin what to expect and he goes all out. “Friend Like Me” is probably my favorite out of the two sequences we get from The Genie. It’s what “Be Our Guest” in Beauty and the Beast should have been. Plus, Aladdin gets to dance during this scene and I don’t know how much Mena Massoud did, but it was fun to watch Aladdin and the Genie get down. “Prince Ali” is probably the bigger of the two spectacles in theory, but it was very subdued to me and it was fun. I mostly liked watching Aladdin be all awkward up there as people are looking at him in awe.
It’s Really Funny. The first time I saw it, I had a good crowd, there was a lot of people laughing in places and sometimes people laughing is funnier than what’s happening on screen. When I saw it again later, there was a couple next to me who were super cute laughing at stuff. BUT the movie is funny. Aladdin in this is confident in ways but he’s also a young man. I’m not sure his age exactly, but he has some great dialogue. One of my favorite moments, is when he gets caught by some guards and the big one says “Evening” in his deep timbre and Aladdin says “evening” but it’s all high pitched and he clears his throat to sound more confident. Cute and funny. Mena Massoud has some nice comedic timing. Abu gets some laughs. The Genie got a lot of laughs from me. I mean, it’s Will Smith being Will Smith. Some of my favorite stuff for him is during the Harvest Festival scene. Jafar has some moments. Iago does as well. He talks but it’s like full blown conversations, he sounds like a parrot, but he’ll say shady stuff. Dahlia also has some good comedic moments as well. It’s lighthearted fun.
Guy Ritchie’s Style. This will be both here and in the con section. Guy Ritchie was an odd choice to film this movie, but I understand it because he films action well and while there isn’t like huge action sequences, there are smaller moments where we have action. During “One Jump” it’s a whole action piece of Aladdin and Jasmine running through the city. When Aladdin goes into the Cave of Wonders, he slides down a sandy hill, he gets pushed out of a window… Aladdin goes through a lot in this movie lol. In the pushed-out window scene, you see it in the trailer, not a spoiler, it does get slowed down and I like it in that moment. It slows down so you can see the terror on his face and then it speeds up in time to see him hit that water and boy… PAINFUL lol. Then of course the chase scene at the end, Ritchie loves chase scenes lol. I would like to see the movie in someone else’s hands who may have more experience in doing a movie like this, but I think his style is fine.
Cons:
Guy Ritchie’s Style. I don’t think this is wholly a con, but there are some instances where it seems weird. Guy Ritchie has his style when it comes to action. I’ve only seen a couple of his movies, but he has a style and it’s evident in this movie at times. During “One Jump” there is a part where Aladdin and Jasmine are walking away from the guards and they are oddly sped up in that moment. Like, they look like they’re walking normally, but it’s like two seconds faster. It’s just a bit weird. He also loves to do the slow-mo. moments that then go back into the action. It doesn’t happen a lot but if you don’t like when people do that in actions movies then it might get on your nerves.
Inconsistent CGI. There are times when I think Abu and Rajah look a little weird. I mean, I know Disney can do CGI well because Jungle Book is beautiful and so seamless but it’s just a few times where it doesn’t look the best. Same can be said of The Genie. I don’t think he looked as jarring as he looked when we first saw him in the teaser where it was like “Ummm” it fits much better in the movie. HOWEVER, there are plenty of times where his face looked really CGI and it wasn’t as seamless and it should have been. I think Will Smith did motion capture for the role and sometimes it doesn’t always translate well. It looks very uncanny valley. I don’t mind how his body looks, or any of that, I mean harping on him being “jacked” is just childish because he’s a Genie, so what? lol the CGI is just odd at times.
Anti-climactic Face Off. At the end of the film where Jafar has the lamp and all that stuff and Aladdin is trying to save Agrabah from him, I was into the chase scene (something that Guy Ritchie does well) but I was hoping for a faceoff between Aladdin and Jafar that was more than just a conversation. I think it was well acted by everyone in the scene, particularly Marwan Kenzari but they built up this tension between Aladdin and Jafar the entire movie and not much came of it, at least not the way I think it should have. They left it open for a sequel and I’m hoping for a sequel. “Return of Jafar” sure, but make sure it’s like good and stuff because I don’t really like the animated movie lol. I just wish that the climax held the same energy that the movie held in other places. It doesn’t quite stick the triumph of Jafar’s defeat the way it should/could have.
Overall, I LOVED Aladdin. I knew I was probably going to like it, but I loved it. I think all the acting is good and they all fit into their character roles well. I do believe Naomi Scott really shines in the film, Will Smith does a great job with the Genie and newcomer Mena Massoud really holds his own and I can’t wait to watch everything he does next. We see what we’re familiar with but also with some updated personality traits I think work for the film. The production design is amazing and Agrabah looks great. The costume design is BEAUTIFUL and one of my favorite things about the movie. The soundtrack has an updated sound to it and still maintains the upbeat and catchy sounds it’s known for. I love the chemistry built up between different characters and the tension we get between Aladdin and Jafar as they seemed to be cut from the same cloth just had different destinies thrust upon them. I think Guy Ritchie’s style of directing works in the film for the most part. This movie isn’t perfect no matter how much I seem to be singing its praises. Ritchie’s style comes off awkward at different points in the film, just as the CGI doesn’t always hold up, particularly on the Genie at times. I also wish the climax was much bigger because there was plenty of potential for that and it just doesn’t hit the way it should have. With all that said. I’m probably one of the few critics who wrote a review and absolutely loved it.
SOOOOO take that as you will.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Aladdin? What are your thoughts on the film? What is your favorite of the live action Disney remakes so far? Which one are you most looking forward to?