I will be seeing Big Hero 6 in the next 3 hours! Oh boy!
I was talking with a friend about Robin Hood and told her despite its problems it is one of the most rewatchable Disney’s. What I mean by that is some movies are masterpieces but more weighty than the kind of thing I want to watch over and over again .
So what are those movies that I don’t mind repeat and frequent rewatching? What’s the one that if I’m feeling like a movie that will entertain but not challenge me what do I pick? I will add that I seem to have a unique high tolerance for repetition. Other people tire of music, movies, food, books and I just don’t. If it is something I like than I like it forever and repeatedly.
That said, some films like The Lion King I love but the intensity makes it tough to rewatch again and again.
I will also say that all of the Pixar movies with the exception of Brave (yes even Cars 2) are very rewatchable. That’s why I’ve struggled to write up reviews of Pixar ,movies . How many ways can I say masterpiece?
Here goes in no particular order:
1. Tangled- romantic comedies are probably my favorite genre to rewatch. Tangled is funny, light, joyous, beautiful and a terrific villain.
2. Robin Hood- Maybe not the most ambitious Disney film but the humor makes it very rewatchable. I love the voice performances and while it is a bit too long it is so much fun I enjoy rewatching it.
3. Jungle Book- I hate the ending but other than that it is charming, funny, and the music is the true star. It clips along so well with moments of real heart. It is certainly up there in the movies I’ve seen the most.
4. Emperor’s New Groove- Again not the most ambitious but so full of laughs that it is great to rewatch. Comedies are often the best for rewatching as we don’t always feel up to an intense emotional experience.
5. Aladdin- Another comedy makes the list but Aladdin is so much fun with the manic energy of Robin Williams. Every time I see it I spot a new impression or moment I had missed before. It will entertain both boys and girls equally and it is just one I wouldn’t mind watching on most any day.
6. Frozen- I can see many of you roll your eyes because you are sick of this movie. I repeat I don’t get sick of movies. If I like them I like them and I like Frozen. I could listen to the music all day and the humor is great, pacing a lot of fun and I just enjoy watching it most any day.
7. Lady and the Tramp- sweet, simple, romantic and with some tension and laughs. Just something so pleasant I can’t think of a time when I would not enjoy watching it. As the poster says the ‘happiest motion picture’ from early Disney.
8. 101 Dalmatians- A lot of of humor with Cruella, fun lively story, lots of great characters. Dry with with Horace and Jasper. Always at the top of my rewatch list.
9. Lilo and Stitch- Probably my most emotional film on this list but it is so lovingly told and Lilo is such a real kid I am drawn to the picture despite my dislike for Stitch. Maybe part of it is I find the Hawaiian local and music so relaxing it’s an easy rewatch for me.. It brings back many happy memories.
10. Mulan- Another movie with a lot of humor, romance, heart, and excitement. Just thoroughly entertaining and not too deep or morose like other less rewatchable films.
Honorable Mentions- Beauty and the Beast although it feels a little long for a frequent rewatch, Little Mermaid because of my nostalgia for it, and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh which is probably the most rewatchable for little one’s.
Just like with Tarzan and Phil Collins, it is easy to figure out if Emperor’s New Groove is a movie you will enjoy. The lead character Kuzco is voiced by David Spade and if you think his brand of sarcastic humor is funny you will probably like the movie. If not, this one can be a skip.
Luckily I do think he is funny, and I do enjoy this movie.
For some reason we are usually quick to dismiss comedies, whether animated or live action, as being less worthy of praise than dramas or musicals. I’m not sure why this is because if anything making people laugh is harder than making them cry. That’s at least my experience. In writing for Nanowrimo the sections where I am trying to tell a joke are brutal and what I think is funny others don’t give a chuckle. So I stand up for comedies, especially Disney comedies.
While Disney has comedy in most of its movies there are 5 I would classify as outright comedies-
1. Jungle Book
2. Robin Hood
5. Emperor’s New Groove
Each of these comedies for me has strengths but as far as non-stop laughs I think Emperor’s New Groove is the best. Jungle Book has great music, Robin Hood adds some adventure and dry wit, Hercules goes gospel, and Aladdin has the funniest single performance in Disney, but it feels like Emperor’s has a joke every 2 sentences and for me 99% of them make me laugh. Therefore, it is a successful comedy.
I also appreciate the comedy is funny for adults and children. It’s not like Shrek with innuendo and lewd humor. Most of it is very sarcastic asides, oftentimes breaking the 4th wall (the characters talking to the audience).
The story is also cooky enough to also make laughter easy. It’s all so ridiculous it puts us in a mood to laugh. In fact, when I first heard about a Disney movie about a man being turned into a llama I thought it sounded so stupid, but then I saw it at my college theater and laughed a lot. Such low expectations made it feel even better than it was but it has held up and still makes me laugh.
The production behind this movie is interesting. They had originally assigned Roger Allers from The Lion King to direct a serious picture called The Kingdom of the Sun. They hired Sting to write the songs and his wife made a documentary on the mess (not available I checked everywhere).
Delays kept happening and Michael Eisner was feeling the heat from McDonalds and other companies who were waiting for a movie. He put the pressure on Allers to produce a film but it was still slow so Eisner asked writers Mark Dindal and Chris Williams to write a 2nd script just in case.
It got up to a year and change before the release date. Sponsors were getting nervous so Eisner pulled the plug on Kingdom of the Sun, Allers quit and Dindal and Williams completely retooled their idea into what we see today.
Poor Sting was left with only 1 song in the credits. The only other song is sung by Tom Jones called Perfect World which is our intro to Kuzco.
The movie did fine at the box office but word of mouth has made it very popular.
There are celebrity voices just as in the Lion King including David Spade, John Goodman, Ertha Kitt, Patrick Warburton, Wendie Malick, Jon Fielder
The animation really isn’t that special. It is supposed to be an Incan world but just like with Hercules there is no attempt to be true to the time period or lore of the native people. This is a comedy and it stands only upon its writing, which I liked.
The introduction is very good. We see Kuzco as a llama in the rain telling us what a sad situation he is in. He then begins to narrate the story in flashback starting with what a greedy pig he is (but in a comical way)
He’s so greedy in fact that he is going to build a summer home called Kuztopia on the site of a village where our hero, Pacha lives voiced by John Goodman.
He fires Yzma his ‘assistant’ and she grows angry and decides to poison him. Yzma is a great villain voiced by Ertha Kitt. Maybe not the most complex but very funny. I love when they try to use a trap door and it ends up taking her to crocodiles ‘why do we have that lever.’
Unfortunately her poison plot doesn’t go as planned:
Yzma has an assistant named Kronk who is hilarious. He is a loveable buffoon who loves to cook and battles angels and devils on his shoulders (literally). The writing for Kronk is consistently funny.
Yzma tells Kronk to get rid of Kuzco but he puts him on Pacha’s wagon and figures he’s done for.
Pacha finds Kuzco as a llama and is reluctant to help him since he was so rude about the summer home, but being a good guy and hoping he can convince him to change his mind, Pacha rescues him in a very funny section of slapstick (it reminds me of Captain Hook and the crocodile scenes in Peter Pan).
Pacha is very caring towards Kuzco despite his continued bad attitude and rudeness (creating a lot of the humor). For example, there’s a nice moment where Kuzco is cold and Pacha gives him his poncho for the night.
They end up making it back to a bridge and it breaks trapping Pacha. To his horror Kuzco says he is not going to help him and that he is going to have him arrested once they get to the castle. Pacha yells back ‘we shook hands’ calling back to an earlier conversation. Then Kuzco trips and they both end up suspended and we get a funny scene with a nice message on trust and teamwork
On the other side of the bridge it is going to be 4 more days together so they end up at a diner in a very funny scene. Yzma and Kronk are also at the diner but neither of them know it. This is just classical physical comedy
Kuzco realizes Yzma tried to kill him and the llama was just a mistake and they find out Yzma and Kronk are at Pacha’s home.
Pacha’s family is one of the best family’s in all of Disney, and his wife is pregnant which is the first time a pregnant woman has been on an animated feature. Go pregnant women! But seriously cool to show all types of women not just pretty adolescent girls.
The kids are very funny locking Kronk and Yzma in the closet and give Pacha and Kuzco time to run away.
Finally they get to the castle and as they look for the potion Yzma is there and we get a great chase sequence that I think is just as good if not better than the wizards duel in Sword in the Stone (still don’t get all the love for that movie) . They turn into all different shapes and sizes depending on the potion they drink.
My favorite is probably when she turns into a cat and has a new voice:
In the end, Kuzco is changed back, Kronk is head of the junior chipmunks and Kuzcotopia is no longer built on Pacha’s village. (Even that you get a good joke with a man Kuzco threw through a window saying ‘it wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time’. That’s funny to imagine an old man frequently being thrown through windows)
It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to know whether it is for you or not. The tone and type of humor is obvious from the start and it either makes you laugh or it doesn’t. For me, it does, and I think that is worthy of praise.
There is some nice messaging and I think the villain is pretty good but all that would be nothing if the jokes weren’t so consistently funny and so plentiful.
So give it a shot. It’s humor your whole family can enjoy which is actually kind of rare. Nothing inappropriate or offensive. Just sarcastic, silly comedy.
The animation is on the Saturday morning level and it is probably on par with good Disney afternoon episodes of Ducktales or Tailspin in that department.
The voice acting is uniformly good and the Tom Jones number at the beginning is fun (if you have a boy who hates musicals this is a good one for him).
My score is going to seem high but it truly did make me laugh that much, and it is one I find myself wanting to rewatch again and again.
So now we are starting the part of this project I am probably looking forward to the least- the Disney 2000s. To be honest, if I could just watch 12 Pixar movies instead I would be a lot more pumped but I promised to go into the project open minded and I will do so with each of these films.
In fact, most of them aside from Emperor’s New Groove, I either haven’t seen or haven’t seen in a long time. So I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised kind of like I was with Rescuers Down Under. Hopefully I will find a hidden gem.
So, I am curious, my wonderful readers, which one (or more) out of these 12 do you like and why? Get me pumped! Which is your least favorite? I promise I will not let your likes or dislikes affect my view of the films so don’t worry about that. Just share in the comments or message me on facebook or twitter at @smilingldsgirl.
Just a quick little interruption now that I finished The Lion King.
With Pocahontas we get into my high school years where I was hit and miss with Disney and then in 98 I started college and liked Mulan, Tarzan and Emperor’s New Groove but that’s all I remember. I went on a mission in 2003 so no movies till 2005. Then after that I was really more into Pixar than Disney. It wasn’t until 2010 that I got excited about Disney again with the release of Tangled.
It had been probably since Emperor’s New Groove that a Disney movie had come out I had liked as much as Tangled, so 10 years.
“Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast are the only movies I remember seeing as a child…I was mesmerized by them- by the characters, the romance, the animation and of course the music! I am excited that with Tangled a whole new generation will have a Disney princess experience. I hope Disney keeps up the good work and doesn’t rely only on the brilliance of Pixar”
So the next 17 movies should be interesting because for the most part I either haven’t seen them at all or it’s been a long time. Here’s how it breaks down:
Pocahontas- saw recently on netflix
Hunchback- haven’t seen since release
Fantasia 2000- haven’t seen
Dinosaur- haven’t seen
Emperor’s New Groove- own
Atlantis- haven’t seen since release
Lilo and Stitch- haven’t seen in long time
Treasure Planet- haven’t seen since release
Brother Bear- haven’t seen
Home on the Range- haven’t seen
Chicken Little- haven’t seen
Meet the Robinsons- haven’t seen
Bolt- saw a few years ago on netflix
Princess and the Frog- haven’t seen since release
So there are 6 I haven’t seen, 6 I haven’t seen since release or a while, 5 I either own or have seen recently.
Always fun to try something new or reexamine something from the past. After all, I am very different in some ways than I was in high school and college (and in other ways I’m exactly the same).
So there you go. Just wanted you guys to be aware of the perspective I am coming from in this section of the project!
Thanks for reading!!!!
Any of these particular favorites of yours? Any I haven’t seen which you like?