Since the first time I heard about the project of the movie Maleficent, I had been looking forward to watching it. Sleeping Beauty has been my favorite Disney movie since I was a child; and Maleficent one of my all time favorite villains, right up there with Darth Vader. I had also believed that Angelina Jolie would be a wonderful actress to portray Maleficent. I was proven right.
I had huge expectations for this movie, so I knew I had the risk to be sorely disappointed. Yet, I was blown away. It went beyond everything I had hoped for. I loved this. It was amazing in every way. Even Elle Fanning who plays Aurora, was great, despite my worries. Neither her nor the actress portraying Aurora in Once Upon A Time are like I picture Aurora in my head, but both of them did a good job.
Source: Disney Wiki.
Starting the narrative when Maleficent was a young girl was a brilliant idea and brought a lot to the story and her personal development. Her friendship with future King Stefan and then his betrayal was horrible and explained a lot of how she got lost in anger and sadness. Seeing her reconsider her choices and want something better not just for her, but for people around her, including Diaval and Aurora, was very powerful.
I loved seeing the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora since she was a baby was one of the best parts of the movie. It was quite a feminist movie and it was positively refreshing. I was particularly sensitive to how Maleficent doesn’t like children and has to get used to Aurora and ends liking her. And the twist of the “true love kiss” was amazing and so powerful. I also had no idea about Maleficent becoming her complete self again at the end of the movie.
There were so many little things, some emotional, some funny, that brought added greatness to the story and the dynamics between the characters. The visuals, costumes and soundtrack were beautifully done. it is a movie that I will rewatch quite many times in the years to come and it wouldn’t surprise me if I end writing papers related to this.
After recently rewatching The Lion King for one of my papers, I decided to give a try to its sequel, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. I am not so familiar with Disney’s sequels to their movies, as I think the only other one I saw before was Jafar’s Return, the sequel to Aladdin. So, I didn’t really know what to expect with The Lion King II. I was positively surprised.
I somehow like the French title better than the original one, as instead of translating it “Simba’s Pride” they used “The Tribe’s Honor”. I think it works well and includes Nala and the others in the influence they had on Kiara, Simba’s and Nala’s daughter.
This sequel was very faithful to the spirit and characters of the originals. Seeing Simba and Nala as an established couple was a treat and them having a daughter made me very happy. I like how Kiara took after both her parents and struggled to find her place and that she wasn’t good at everything just because of who she was. Kiara being a fighter but not such a good hunter was an interesting idea.
Kovu was also a compelling character and I was relieved they said that he was Scar’s adoptive son as I was a bit scratching my head if he had been his biological one. His development was well executed and I liked seeing his bond develop with both Kiara and the rest of her family.
Rafiki was as awesome as in the original movie. The scene where he “talks” with Mufasa without the viewer hearing or seeing Mufasa was one of my favorite. It was hilarious and added a lot to the story.
It was a great watch and I recommend it to any fan of the original movie!
Continuing on my Disney catch up, I watched The Princess And The Frog. I loved this movie and it now is one of my favorite Disney. Tiana is one of my favorite princesses as well and a great female character! I enjoyed the whole movie and it had many great characters, both human and animal/insect.
I very much liked the opening with Tiana and her best friend Charlotte, and also with her parents. I think it was very important to show this as build up for the rest of the story. Seeing Tiana as a princess who wasn’t born in nobility and a woman of color was great. Her father telling her that wishing upon a star only got her halfway towards the realization of her dream and that the other half was hard work, made me extremely glad. I think that the apology of hard work and dedication in the narrative was a strong point.
Seeing Tiana not give up on her dream, even as it evolves was great, just as seeing her smash the amulet herself to save the day. She was such a great character! Yet, I think that the way the movie showed that she didn’t have to give up on everything else to get her dream to happen was crucial too.
Her banter with Naveen was priceless and I like how they both helped each other to learn new things. If Naveen hadn’t grown up through the experience, I wouldn’t have wanted to see Tiana be with him. The progression was well done. I liked that after the noble wedding, we see them work on (and at) the restaurant together.
I also liked Tiana’s and Charlotte’s friendship. I think that it added a lot, just like the crocodile and the firefly who were among my favorite characters. I found this very touching to see Raymond reunited with his love Evangeline, as he shines next to her after he passes away.
Preparations for my upcoming blog series A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom are going well. The logo is ready, as previously mentioned and I have the musical “theme” for the short videos. I have now done more than half of the scripting for the introductory video segments. Once they are all ready, I will move on to the preparation of the actual posts. After much deliberation, I have decided that I will work on having everything prepared before the launch of the series (posts and videos). I will of course edit certain posts as time goes by if the characters I’m analyzing undergo significant changes, but with much up in the air in my life, I don’t want to see the quality of this series diminishing or lacking time. This is why I am unsure of when exactly this series will be launched, though it will be this summer for sure. The more I work on it, the better it is coming along, so I am pretty optimistic about the final results and am looking forward to all the discussions it might spark.
Photo Credit: Sonja Langford.
In the past months, I brought up the possibility of expanding my online presence to another platform (I am not willing to add more than one as it is important that I can really engage with people without spreading myself too thin). I am still debating over it, but I might decide to go for a Tumblr account. The one time I tried it, I ran away screaming (and this isn’t stretching the truth much). I tend to love how it looks and I know quite a few people I interact with are also there. So I would be interested in having feedback from you Tumblr users. How flexible is the platform? Any recommendation for a theme/place to find free ones? How easy (or not) is the tagging/queuing system? I’d set up automatic shares on Tumblr like I have on LinkedIn and Twitter, but I’d look into being a bit active there. I also wonder how the sourcing aspect of Tumblr works. I know that I could just simply Google all of this, but being able to have actual input from users would be extremely useful. Thank you!
Links: Diversity, Writing, Social Media, Tinker Bell
I am still catching up with Disney movies I didn’t get to see before. This time, I watched Atlantis: The Lost Empire. I recommend to read Rose B. Fischer’s post about it, because I agree with all points she made, including about Kida and her relationship with Milo. So, I’m going to try not to repeat too much as I go through my own review. I also couldn’t help thinking about so many parallels between this and Stargate.
I checked the movie for research purposes, and I admit that I was tempted to just fast forward or give up on it during the first forty minutes (basically until the mission reaches Atlantis and we see a grown up Kida). The story was great but the execution was laborious. I liked the opening a lot but everything following until the aforementioned moment made me yawn. It was so slow. On the other side, all that happened in Atlantis in the last 40-50 minutes felt rushed and could have benefited from a longer and better screen time. This blatant imbalance in storytelling was damaging to the movie.
I would have really loved to see more of Atlantis (and of Kida too) because it is part of the heart of the movie and it would have been very beneficial to the end when the small group works on saving the city and its people. It really feels as if we have like a fraction of time discovering and actually seeing Atlantis before all hell break loose. In terms of timing and execution, prologue and epilogue are the ones best handled.
There was a lot of potential with the very diverse cast of characters, in terms of ethnicity, gender, age. That was well done, including how Audrey Ramirez was the first one to decide to side with Milo and give up on the mercenary operation, but that Helga Sinclair remained with the captain of the expedition – even as they end having a big confrontation. I also liked Joshua Sweet a lot. This movie had so many good things in it but suffered from how it was actually done. It really is sad because it could have easily been a favorite of mine, but I admit that I don’t really plan to rewatch it, unless I need it for further research.
The upcoming blog series A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars & Fandom is coming together bit by bit. I now have a logo/banner, music for the video segments, a model for the script writing of said segments and I hope to soon start preparing the first actual posts. I’m so excited about this project and I’m relieved that this is coming together the way it does so far. I’m still nervous about the actual taping, but I hope that it will go fine, since the editing will be easy in comparison!