Best and Worst of Disneytoons I’ve Seen

Clearly I love animation given this blog but that doesn’t mean I love all animation. And for the most part I don’t care for Disneytoons animation. My poor blogger friend Animatedkid just finished his Disneytoons Canon review and it almost ruined him. Like he almost gave up blogging at one point. I can promise you one thing I will never review the Disneytoons Canon!

disneytoonsBut there are a few good to decent films out of Disneytoons. I thought it would be fun to share with you my list of the best and worst of Disneytoons (Worst is much easier to come up with in this case!)

Best-

10. Planes: Fire and Rescue- it’s not a great movie but for its target demographic I didn’t think it was that bad. The animation is actually quite good and the story I thought was ok.

9. Cinderella 3- got problems especially with Anastasia’s character but I feel like they actually tried to tell a new story. It’s creative and there’s some decent animation with the final carriage chase.

8. Tigger Movie- I admit been a while since I’ve seen any of the Winnie the Pooh sequels but this is the one I remember liking the most. Tigger searches for his family and I remember that being a sweet story.

7. Lion King 2- decent follow up to the Lion King. It is similar and misses Jeremy Irons but it’s an ok watch. I like some of the songs like He Lives in You and My Lullaby

6. Great Fairy Rescue- a good story where Vidia tricks Tink into getting caught by a little girl who’s father won’t believe her about fairies. Good animation and good voice talent. Get to see the entire team which I like and Tink, Lizzie and Vidia learn nice lessons

5. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas- who doesn’t like Mickey? And the 3 stories are cute for Christmas.

4. The Three Musketeers- an enjoyable take on the Dumas story with Donald, Goofy and Mickey. Got to like that!

3.  The Pirate Fairy- my favorite of the Tinker Bell movies. I like the addition of Zarina who becomes the pirate fairy and all the Easter eggs to Peter Pan. And come on it has Tom Hiddleston as Captain Hook! Loki in a Disney movie! But the animation is good and it’s a decent story

2. Ducktales Movie- think of it as Indiana Jones for kids. It’s a fun treasure hunt with our favorite characters from Ducktales. The animation is pretty good and I like all the voice work. It’s unpredictable with all the wishing and the lamp and all.

1.A Goofy Movie- a movie with a ton of heart, some good songs and a nice story about Goofy and Max going on a road trip (unwillingly by Max). I think most teens can relate to Max but it isn’t too heavy handed with the messaging.

Worst-

10.Planes- I don’t think this is awful but it is pretty boring. The sequel is definitely better in my opinion.

9. Little Mermaid 2- I give it a bit of a pass because I love Little Mermaid but if I’m honest it’s pretty awful. The animation is terrible and it’s a copy of the original film without any of what makes it special. There is one decent song but the rest are lame.

8. Mulan 2- I appreciate that they tried to tackle arranged marriages and feminism in a way but it comes across as very preachy and stupid. I don’t like how Mushu is suddenly against Shang and it’s just a let down from the bold characters of the original film.

7. Tarzan 2- I don’t really like these midquels because they play too much with the original story. I guess this is ok for very small children but thoroughly lame.

6. Atlantis: Milo’s Return- I love the original Atlantis: the Lost Empire but I am one of the few. This was a series that was made and combined together to make a movie and it shows. It doesn’t flow together and all of the mystery and fun of the original is lost.

5. Fox and the Hound 2- a midquel that takes Todd and Copper and has them join a country hoedown band. Just what you always wanted…

4. Beauty and the Beast: the Enchanted Christmas- another midquel that annoys me. It doesn’t make any sense given the original movie. If the Beast had a big Christmas party I don’t think they would be storming the castle in a few months…and besides that it’s just thoroughly lame.

3. Pocahontas 2- I can see how someone can ignore the historical inaccuracies of the first Pocahontas but this is just too much. Just no is all I have to say

2. Cinderella 2- 3 terrible stories combined into one movie. They are trite, lame and poorly animated. The worst is when Jacques gets turned into a human so he can learn that size doesn’t matter…Groan.

1. Hunchback of Notre Dame 2- I am no fan of the original Hunchback of Notre Dame but even I know this sequel sucks. It takes any subtlety or message of the original and stomps it on the ground. Suddenly we have a love interest for Quasi and a bell with jewels on the inside because beauty is found inside…double groan. It’s awful.

So there you have it my best and worst of Disneytoons!

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Top 10 Worst Animated Films

So Norm of the North inspired me to create a top 10 list of the worst animated films I’ve ever seen.  Here it is:

lorax22210. Lorax- This bright, messy film ruins Dr Seuss’ subtle message into a story of bland corporate greed.

mars needs moms9. Mars Needs Moms- Gray, drab, motion capture film with a strangely dark message for kids of Moms getting abducted by aliens.

legends of oz8. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return- Some of the worst animation I’ve ever seen.  It does not look finished.  The story is cluttered and I nodded off more than once. It is not worthy to bear the name of Oz.

Pound_Puppies_Big_Paw_poster7. Pound Puppies Movie- The worst of the corporate toy movies from the 80s with no creativity or cleverness.  We get the origins of Puppy Power and that’s as lame as you might guess.

fly me to moon6. Fly Me to the Moon- Basically a script of unending fly puns and toilet humor.  Poor animation, annoying characters, stupid story.

hero of color city5. Hero of Color City- Terrible Toy Story rip-off about crayons who come to life.  The animation is awful, the story is boring, humor falls flat.

hunchback44. Hunchback of Notre Dame 2- Takes the subtle dark message of the original and turns it into a maudlin atrocity. Terrible animation, horrible villain and a bell with jewels on the inside is stupid.  The worst of the Disney sequels in my opinion.

norm1113. Norm of the North- Call it recency bias but this may be the worst animated film I’ve seen in a theater.  The story makes no sense, animation is sloppy, villain super lame. Not one good thing to say about it

crazy nights2. Eight Crazy Nights- Disgusting animated film from Adam Sandler featuring jokes in poor taste to put it mildly.  His vocal performances are insulting and annoying.  The songs wouldn’t even work in a bad SNL skit. Terrible film in every way.

dogs christmas1. All Dogs Go to Heaven Christmas Carol- You guys know how dear Christmas Carol is to me and this film adds hypnotized dogs and a she-devil spirit called Belladonna who wants to destroy Christmas.  Making Carface Scrooge doesn’t work because he isn’t the primary villain trying to ruin Christmas.  The Tiny Tim dog is the worst and  The animation is terrible and the songs unoriginal.

Tinker Bell Review

This review was previously posted on my column over at ldsblogs.com. I would love if you guys checked out that column and maybe added a comment or two.  It would make my day!

Welcome to another week’s pick for Family Movie Night!   This marks my 10th entry in this column (12th video on my channel).  I’ve really enjoyed working on the series so I hope you have as well.

Today I hope I can introduce you to a series which may have fallen outside your radar. Since 1953’s Peter Pan, Tinker Bell has become one of the most iconic figures in all of Disney.  Tinker Bell is even the one that puts the sparkly ring around the castle in the Disney logo.  With this kind of notoriety, it was probably only a matter of time before everyone’ favorite fairy got the starring treatment in a Disney film.  And not only one film but a series of to this point 7 films!

It might seem easy to discount a direct to DVD series like the Fairies franchise but I’m telling you they are well done.  The voice talent is top notch.  The animation is bright and colorful and the stories are predictable but entertaining.  But most importantly I like what the characters and message give to young girls who the franchise is mainly aimed at.

disney-tinker-bell-2008

With the exception of Frozen it is no secret girls get the short end of the stick when it comes to magic or superheroes in animated movies. Of the 13 current Disney princesses (or Princesses in waiting as Elsa and Anna are designated.  ), Elsa and Rapunzel are the only ones with magical powers.  Many Disney female villains have magical powers like Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Madame Mim, Ursula, or Mother Gothel but basically none of the good girls (strange isn’t it?).  The fairies from Sleeping Beauty are one of the only notable exceptions but they are the side characters not the leads.

You could say the same thing about other popular franchises which sometimes have a token hero female like Black Widow in Avengers, Hermione in Harry Potter, or Wonder Woman in Justice League.

This makes what girls get in the Tinker Bell series special because it is almost all about girls and they each have a special power that makes them unique.

In the first film, Tinker Bell, we get to see Tink created (Mae Whitman) and find out she has a special skill called tinkering- basically a knack for inventing things and putting stuff together.  The problem is she lives in Pixie Hollow and the most prestigious job is to be part of the nature fairies who go to the mainland and wake it up for the day and help the seasons change.

The main pixies of the series are introduced to us in Tinker Bell and they are:

tinkerbell-and-friends-disney-movie-tinker-bell-open-walls-1179903Rosetta (Kristin Chenoweth)- she is our garden fairy who helps things get planted, take root and grow

Iridessa (Raven-Symone)- she is the fairy of light that lights fireflies and brings the world out of darkness

Silvermist (Lucy Lieu)- she is the fairy over water and helps make dewdrops for the plants.

Fawn– (America Ferrera)- she is the fairy of nature and connects with all the animals in the forest.

There is also  Vidia (Pamela Adlon) who is Tink’s rival and Queen Clarion (Angelica Huston) who rules Pixie Hollow.

Tink likes working in the tinkering department but she is still jealous of the nature fairies that can wake up the mainland.  This makes the main story of Tinker Bell a unique one of Tink both learning to value her own talents and abilities while also expanding into new worlds  and dreams.

The voice work is top notch in this and all the Tinker Bell films and this first film sets the groundwork for all the characters and the world we will get for 7 more films..  Think of it as an origin story in a way.  It is not one of the best of the series but it is a good first step into the world of Pixie Hollow.

Tinkerbell-And-Friends-e1395939724591And I do like the message of accepting who you are while still dreaming big.  Overall, it is a well animated, entertaining first step into a great series  especially your daughter will love.  Think of it as the Avengers for girls!

That said, I don’t think your boys will have a terrible time watching Tinker Bell.  There are several boy characters and girls like Fawn who are more tomboys.  It’s not like the Barbie movies which are more exclusively girls only.

Tinker Bell is definitely a film and series that is geared more towards children but I find them tight enough and engaging enough to greatly enjoy.  Just give them a try and have an open mind and I bet you will like them too.

Enjoy your time in Pixie Hollow!

To see the rest of Rachel's reviews, click here.
To see the rest of Rachel’s reviews, click here.

I would love to get some feedback from the readers on these choices for Family Movie Night.  I have tried to do a variety so you aren’t watching the same type of movie each week; however, if you’d like more of a particular style or type please let me know.  Put in the comment section any feedback on how your kids react to this or any other film I have reviewed.

Thanks so much!  Rachel

An Extremely Goofy Movie Review

This post was previously posted on my column over at ldsblogs.com.  I’d love if you guys took a look at the post and gave a comment or two.  Thanks!  Tomorrow my Family Movie Night pick will be last years Boxtrolls so that should be fun.  If you have any suggestions or ideas for Netflix picks I could use I would love it. Thanks!

goofy thumbnail

This week on my Facebook page I was delighted to see lots of back to school pictures from my friends with children starting off the school year.  Seeing these images and the smiling (and a little bit nervous) looks on kids’ faces made me want to come up with a family movie night pick they might like and that has a back to school element.  I also wanted to pick a movie which I thought boys would like since they are a little bit harder to come by on Netflix kids.  After much thought, I went with the fun but imperfect An Extremely Goofy Movie.

Made in 2000, An Extremely Goofy Movie is a sequel to the 1995 film A Goofy Movie (Netflix only has Extremely not the original).  Both films were made by the Disneytoons division which is the studio that makes the lesser-known, often straight to DVD films for Disney.  They are behind the terrible sequels in the 2000s like Bambi 2 and the horrifically bad Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 (that’s available on Netflix and I promise you it’s awful.  Don’t watch it!).   Honestly the Goofy, Tinker Bell and Winnie the Pooh franchises are the standouts over at Disneytoons.

I could see someone really eviscerating An Extremely Goofy Movie and it isn’t without its flaws.  First of all, it is dated and stuck in the year 2000.  Everything is extreme including extreme sports like skateboarding and BMX biking (even the name is Extreme!).  It also has a lot of lame jokes about coffee and Starbucks that feel very dated.

But if you can get beyond that junk there are things to like in An Extremely Goofy Movie.  The plot is Max is now 18 and going off to college (even though he looks exactly the same as in the previous film).  He is naturally very excited to be on his own and away from his overprotective but well-meaning Dad.  Unfortunately for him, Dad loses his job and has to go back to college for the year. This means Max has to put up with Goofy for the entire school year.

Things get further complicated when a rival fraternity (led by Bradley Uppercrust who is just as snobby as he sounds) challenges Max and friends to an XGames show-down.   Goofy also meets a love interest named Sylvia and they share a common infatuation with anything 1970s and are actually quite funny together.

Whether it is in the movies or on The Goof Troop TV show, I’ve always liked the relationship between Goofy and Max and can relate to that dichotomy of needing your parents but wanting them to be as far away as possible.  I think it’s good for kids to talk about their parents as real people with feelings that make mistakes and Goofy is such a character.  There is no doubt his heart is always in the right place.

They decided to not have any original songs like A Goofy Movie but I don’t really mind that because I’m not a huge fan of those songs.  Instead they have a bunch of classic rock songs from the 70s featuring Pat Benatar, Peaches and Herb, Carmen Carter, John Avila, The Specials, The Partridge Family and more.  I’m impressed for a direct to DVD movie they would pay so much for the copyright to songs like C’Mon Get Happy.  They can’t be cheap.

goofy dream

Overall, I feel like they really tried to make a good movie.  The animation is solid (definitely much better than most of the Disney sequels from Disneytoons).  There is a cool sequence where Goofy is trying to take a test but is so focused on Max he has kind of a hallucinogenic dream. I like when Disney animators get nutty and weird for no apparent reason.  It’s like the animators creativity bursting through the screen! (Another example is the yodeling song in Home on the Range.  It’s like they couldn’t help themselves).

The voicecast they got also shows effort.  Bill Farmer is of course great as Goofy but we get James Marsden, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Vicki Lewis, Bebe Neuwirth (my favorite as Sylvia), Pauly Shore and Rob Paulsen.

To see the rest of Rachel's reviews, click here.
To see the rest of Rachel’s reviews, click here.

Not all the humor works in this film but I still laughed.   Kids will like the slapstick jokes but I thought some of the writing was funny.  My favorite was when one of the boys says “And why are we always wearing these gloves?”! Hasn’t everyone been wondering that all these years?

The most important part of An Extremely Goofy Movie is its heart.  The relationship between Goofy and Max is one I think most families will be able to relate too and perhaps have some discussions about communication and accepting each other’s differences.  Movies don’t have to be perfect to be worth a watch, and An Extremely Goofy Movie is a film I’d certainly like to watch with my family at the beginning of the school year.

Pirate Fairy: A Review

pirate fairy5In 2014 20 films were submitted to the Oscars for consideration.  Of that 20 I have seen 17 (including the film reviewing right now).  Of the remaining 3, one should be coming up in the next week or so and two I have found impossible to find (Cheating and Giovanni’s Island. If anyone knows a way clue me in!).  Three I am not reviewing on this site because they are garbage and I try to only review movies I have at least one positive thing to say about aside from the Disney Canon which I reviewed all of them.  If people really want me too review them let me know.  The three garbage films are Nut Job, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return and The Hero of Color City.  If you want to read a review tearing apart three movies I will do it but only if by request (this is a hobby after all, so it should be something I enjoy). 🙂

But today I get to review the 6th installment in the Tinker bell series produced by Disney Toons, the mostly direct to video wing of Walt Disney. My blogging friend over at Animatedkid is reviewing the entire Disney Toons Canon (bless his heart…). The movies are terrible but his reviews are great so check it out.  The Tinker bell movies may seem like masterpieces by the time he gets to them! https://animatedkid.wordpress.com/

I’m actually excited to talk about this movie because the entire Tinker Bell series are way better than you might at first think. They are pretty well animated, have decent stories and good voice performances.  Are they Oscar worthy?  No but they really are  entertaining, well made movies.

And I’d say The Pirate Fairy is the best of the series I have seen.  It’s a cute little  story which I think girls will love.

pirate fairy2The story for The Pirate Fairy is centered around a fairy named Zarina (voiced by Christina Hendricks of Madmen fame).  She is a curious fairy and is easily bored doing her job as a dust-keeper (in the Fairy world all the pixies have distinct roles like Animal Keeper, Spring Fairy etc).

The Dust Keepers make pixie dust for all the other pixies to use and they have an assembly line that follows time tested methods for making yellow dust that is magic out of concentrated blue stones.

dust keeper homeZarina wants to know why they do things the way they do and she begins experimenting with different combinations of dust causing different reactions.  Unfortunately one of those reactions causes a kind of explosion and Zarina is forbidden from being a dust keeper.

After Pixie Hollow celebrates the seasons, Zarina runs away and takes the blue dust with her. Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman), Silvermist (Lucy Liu), Iridessa (Raven-Symone), Rosetta (Megan Hilty), Fawn (Angela Bartys) and Vidia (Pamela Adion) go after her . It’s a fun collection of girls and personalities- kind of like the fairy world Avengers ;).

pirate fairy3

When they find Zarina it turns out she has become a pirate (captain no less) on a ship with James Hook (voiced by Tom Hiddleston!). He is of course up to no good!

pirate fairy9The rest of the movie is a back and forth between the girls, Hook and the pirates.  Eventually Zarina realizes Hook is just using her to get the pixie dust so his ship will be able to fly. The girls have to defeat Hook, rescue Zarina and get back the blue stones.

pirate fairy4So yes The Pirate Fairy doesn’t reinvent the wheel but there are a lots of little winks to the original Peter Pan movie like showing the origin of the clock in the crocodile or how Hook met Mr Smee.  The girls have fun personalities and Zarina is very likable.  Hiddleston hams it up as Hook and overall it’s not a bad watch. It’s not quite special enough to be worthy of a B but still a strong recommendation especially for the target audience.

I think girls 5 and under will love it and it has a nice message about being curious, smart and valuing everyone’s unique gifts.

The animation is pretty good with the pixie dust sparkling all over the ship and characters.  As I said the voicework is good and Joel McNeely does a great job with the music.

If you have a young girl I think they will really enjoy The Pirate Fairy. For what it is trying to be it does it very well.

Overall Grade- C+  (Not every movie has to be a masterpiece for me to heartily recommend it).