Nostalgia

nostalgic movies

Watching all these Christmas movies has got me thinking about nostalgia.  Often especially during the holidays we can get accused of liking something ‘for nostalgia purposes only’.  Everyone is guilty of this for one reason or another, but I often find there is more to the story than the accusation would suggest.

What is nostalgia?  Well, it is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations”

So for example I lived for 3 years with 2 roommates in the basement apartment of a house.  We had many good times at that house and when I drive by it I am often overwhelmed by nostalgia for that period of  my life.  Now those friends have married and I don’t see them as much as I would like.  It is a time in the past that I miss and look back fondly on.

I’m not a psychology expert. but I think nostalgia is actually healthy as long as it doesn’t make us forget the blessings of the present because we are idealizing the past.  I did that once on my mission where I moved to a new area and all I could think about was how life changing the old area was.  My companions had to sit me down and say ‘Lafayette was great but we’ve got to work here now in Indy”, which I did and it was awesome!

That said,  it is good to be able to look back at our lives and remember the good times.  Remember with fondness all the love and happiness we shared, especially if those people have passed on.  So nostalgia can be quite powerful and motivating in our lives.

But let’s stick to entertainment. Like experiences, we can also have nostalgia for films.  A particular movie meant something to us or is associated with an era or person in our lives, and so we remember it with ‘wistful affection’.

I believe if you enjoy the movie it doesn’t really matter whether it is nostalgia or not.  It’s kind of like taking a placebo for depression.  If it helps your depression who cares if it is a sugar pill?  Better is better.  Enjoyment is enjoyment.

The only difference is it is usually impossible to pass on that nostalgia to other people so it can feel frustrating when they do not share your ‘wistful affection’.  In fact, it can even seem insulting because the film and the time in your life are so interconnected insulting one, feels like an insult to you and your moment in time.

Here is a funny clip from my favorite show How I Met Your Mother about when people don’t get your nostalgic movies (excuse the bad clip but it will give you the idea)

There is however a distinction I would like to make:

In nostalgia we have 2 kinds of experiences.  The first are films that really aren’t good that we have nostalgia for.  The second is films that are good and were important to us in the past (probably because they are so good)

For example, many people have nostalgia for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ET and The Goonies.   Those are all legitimately good movies that I remember fondly too.  Whereas, say someone has nostalgia for Howard the Duck? That film doesn’t have the same inherent quality of content argument as Star Wars…

Here’s some examples from my life:

Cutting Edge vs Footloose-  Both of these films would be considered by me as ‘sleepover movies’.  They were the kind of movies my girlfriends and I liked to watch at sleepovers.  Other favorites were Dirty Dancing, Fame, Grease, Dance with Me, Bring it On, Save the Last Dance (dancing in general was a popular theme of these sleepovers for some reason).  The Cutting Edge is a silly movie that I have nostalgia for.  It’s completely predictable and stupid but it’s about the Olympics that I love and skating and there is pretty good chemistry between its stars, but it would  definitely be a bad movie I have nostalgia for and enjoy (I have it on blu-ray!).

Footloose on the other hand I also have nostalgia for but I actually think is a good movie.  It is well written with an interesting discussion about religion, safety, freedom of choice and some terrific choreography and music.  I watched it again not that long ago and was surprised how dark it gets.  All that definitely went over my head but I liked it then and I like it now.  Definitely a good nostalgia movie.

christmasBeverly Hills 90210 vs Boy Meets World-  We were not allowed to watch 90210 when I was a kid because it was considered too adult by my Mom- probably rightfully so.  But nevertheless I have a certain nostalgia for it.  When I could sneak it I enjoyed it and I enjoy it now even though it is totally soapy and stupid and poorly acted.  It went on for like 10 years and especially near the end when I was on my own I really got into it even though I knew it was kind of terrible.

Boy Meets World on the other hand I was allowed to watch and I sincerely think it is a great show.  Yes it is extreme cornball but it has such heart, it teaches good messages, has an appealing cast and the acting is not half bad.  I love it and I love Girl Meets World, so it’s good nostalgia in my book!

christmas2Clueless vs Girls Just Want to Have Fun- We’ve got two more sleepover movies.  Girls Just Want to Have Fun is a stupid movie about girls who want to make a dance show (again with the dancing!).  But I still enjoy it.  It’s charming in its own way and has an appealing cast.  Definitely bad but I enjoy it for nostalgia purposes.

Clueless on the other hand is the nostalgia movie of my high school experience, and I think it is one of the best written comedies ever made.  It makes me laugh to this day.  Things like Cher’s speech on the Haitians and the garden party or the scene where Dion drives on the freeway for the first time crack me up.  I have strong nostalgia for it but it is also genuinely a good movie.

christmas1Some might claim they can be more objective than those of us who have nostalgia for films or shows,  but I don’t think that is the case.  If I acknowledge I have the nostalgia and can say if it is good or bad despite my sentimental feelings how is that not the peak of objectivity?  I am able to look at it and say ‘I love it but I know it isn’t very good’.  That is objective!  If I tried to defend it as good when it really isn’t than you’d have a point.  If I like something on this blog because of nostalgia I will tell you.  Like I admitted upfront I was going to have a hard time reviewing Little Mermaid because I am sooooo attached to it and it meant so much to me as a little girl.  I still think I was objective but maybe not as critical as I was on things that didn’t have the same personal value.  But that is the exception to the rule.  Most films I look at with the same perspective and eyes and can objectively say whether I like it for nostalgia or other reasons.

Just to sum it all up- we all have movies that are nostalgic for us when we watch them.  They remind us of eras of our lives, particularly childhood and if we enjoy the experience of watching them than who cares? Enjoy watching them for whatever reason you want.  Just don’t expect others to experience the same whimsey and delight.  Also, there are films we have nostalgia for that are actually good movies and others that are pretty bad.  It’s important to see that difference and not discount something merely because it is a sentimental favorite.

Especially at Christmas many of us have nostalgia for It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Christmas Story and Christmas Carol etc but those are great movies so watch and remember all the good times you’ve had over the holidays with these wonderful nostalgic movies.

I will add too that Perks of Being a Wallflower is the first movie I’ve seen as an adult that felt really nostalgic for me, so nostalgia doesn’t have to be a movie from our past.  It could have been filmed in my high school amongst my friends and I LOVE it so much.  I saw it at least 5 times in the theater because I kept taking my friends, twice in one week.  It spoke to me and excited me in a way no other movie has in years. I think the writing is great, acting great, and the story is so moving, funny, sad, scary, just perfect. One of my all time favorites.  Definite nostalgic but still very good movie!

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In Defense of Mary Sue and Gary Stu

As I’ve been doing reviews I keep hearing the same criticism about characters ‘he’s a Gary Stu” or for a girl “she’s a Mary Sue”.  I have to admit I always thought this was a way of describing a boring, uninteresting character in a story.  Turns out the official description is:

(fandom slang) A fictional character, usually female, whose implausible talents and likeableness weaken the story”

So this is basically what we call in Mormon circles a “Molly Mormon”.  Someone who is so perfect it doesn’t seem realistic.  Well, as someone who has been accused of being a Molly Mormon on occasion I suppose I have a unique perspective on this topic.  In fact, I have a little bit of a defense of this much maligned character in stories.

First of all, implausibility is completely in the eye of the beholder especially when we are talking about morality.  For example, being a virgin to some may be seen as impossible or as an ‘unrealistic’ character trait in a story but amongst me and my unmarried Mormon and Christian friends it is very common.

What personally annoys me much more than a character that is ‘too perfect’ is the tendency in especially modern novels to tag on negative traits because the authors are afraid of being accused of Mary Sue’s and Gary Stu’s.  I can think of less examples of this in movies than in books but you will frequently have a novel where a character has an affair tagged on to their story because ‘no marriage is perfect’.

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For example, a book called the Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith drove me crazy because it was about a sweet girl named Ivy who grew up, learned and had a happy family.  At the end of the book she is standing in a field and a man comes up to her and she sleeps with him in the field.  The message in the book is ‘now she is fulfilled’ . Groan.  It ruined it.  Another book with that message which ticked me off is The Awakening by Kate Chopin.  A lot of feminists love it but I hated it.  She is living a perfectly happy life but it’s not ‘enough’ and she has to leave her family and have meaningless flings and suddenly her soul has all of this purpose and meaning.

Give me a Molly or Mary Sue any day over this kind of ‘modern’ character.  Even the ultimate Gary Stu, Superman (who is basically supposed to be a Jesus type) was all ‘modernized’ and made a wounded conflicted character in Man of Steel and I hated it.  Where was the fun? It was so bleak and violent and in the end so off putting. It was not a more complex character just a boring, obvious, everyday character without any of the cheeky fun of the comics.  He even rings the neck of Zod which was so out of place given the Messianic imagery throughout the film. Give me the original cheesy Christopher Reeve version any day over that modern dreck.

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So I hate the opposite of a Mary Sue but let’s talk about the trope itself.  It is often said the Mary Sue is ‘annoying’ in the story.  Again, that is totally relative.  Like beauty, annoyingness is in the eye of the beholder too!

First of all, it entirely depends on the kind of story that is being told.  For example, if I am watching a B summer action movie I don’t want my hero to be all conflicted and complex.  I want him to save the day!  Let’s think about Indiana Jones.  He is handsome, charming and he always figures out the clues that others have spent generations toiling over in a manner of minutes.  Do we care? No, because he’s Indiana Jones and we want to see him fight Nazis, jump over cars, and find the Holy Grail.  That’s what made the 4th Indiana Jones movie so obnoxious (one of the many things) is they kept bringing up all of Indiana Jones frailties, how old he was, and that he wasn’t the same guy as before.  Also, they pushed the trope too far.  In the originals Indy always got beat up bad but would save the day . In the 4th he survives a nuclear explosion in a fridge…Too far!

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Other examples of this type of character are Ethan Hunt, Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer, James Bond, and McGyver.  They are our heroes and we want to see them prevail and not be ‘realistic’.  Sure their talents are implausible and they are charming in the way no man is in real life, but it’s perfect for the type of movie we’ve signed up for.  That’s why  I didn’t mind Milo in Atlantis because it was this type of action, treasure hunting B summer movie that such a character works well in.  The same is true in Goonies.  Do we care that the kids find a ridiculous treasure easily under the city?  No because it’s a fun adventure with a charming troop of hunters.  I thought the troop surrounding Milo was a lot of fun and so I enjoyed the adventure.  The mythos, language and lore they created also compensated for a less interesting lead character.  I didn’t miss or need Milo to be anything more than what he was.

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The same is true with Hercules.  I enjoyed the stuff around Hercules enough that I didn’t need him to be all dynamic and crazy.  Megura, Zeus, Hadeus, Pain and Panic, the music was all fun enough for me to enjoy the picture.  I recognize that isn’t the case for a lot of you but again what annoys one doesn’t annoy another.  What charms one drives another nuts. I was okay with Hercules being an unrealistic guy because he’s a demi-God.  He’s supposed to be that way.  Like Superman, Hercules just have to have a modicum of flair and personality so that  all around him can shine.

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There are also dramatic characters that could be described as ‘unrealistically perfect’ that I are considered classics.  For example, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird doesn’t make a wrong move the entire movie or book.  He is always loving, kind, honorable and virtuous but I have never heard anyone say that he was a bad character.  He is typically thought of as one of the greatest characters in English literature.  Sometimes we need a character to stand up for right and truth consistently in a story.  I feel like now writers would make Atticus an alcoholic or tag on some other vice to make him more “relatable”.  What a shame that would be.

BOB CRATCHIT

Another example of a Gary Stu that I love is in Christmas Carol.  Bob Cratchit is an implausible character in many ways.  Few men would put up with such treatment and certainly Tiny TIm is a rare angel on earth but they are needed in order for Scrooge to see the error in his ways.  Sometimes an ultimate contrast is what a story requires for the plot to move forward.  If Tim was just kinda sweet and kinda nice than Scrooge would have written him off but his goodness has an effect.   From the moment he see’s Tiny Tim, Scrooge begins to change.

Both Atticus and Tiny Tim are trying to teach us something within the story and they do it very effectively.  So maybe next time you see a ‘Mary Sue’ trope you can stop and say ‘what is the author trying to teach us here?’.  Maybe it will work, maybe not?

The truth is all characters are ‘implausible’ because if we wrote about real life it would be very boring.  Most of us do the same routine every day interrupted by moments of clarity.  A good screenwriter must make craft a tale that is not simply moments but a story and sometimes Gary Stus and Mary Sues are needed for the particular story to progress.

At the very least saying a character is a ‘Gary Stu’ is kind of like saying he is boring or food is gross.  It doesn’t really give me any information.  Why is he implausible?  Why are his traits unlikely and why do they weaken that particular kind of story? I will probably still disagree with you but at least we will understand each other’s perspectives better.

On the Wikipidia article on Mary Sue’s they have an interesting passage about how the fear of the ‘Mary Sue’ label is making some authors hesitant of including female characters at all.  “Smith interviewed a panel of female authors who say they do not include female characters in their stories at all. She quoted one as saying “Every time I’ve tried to put a woman in any story I’ve ever written, everyone immediately says, this is a Mary Sue.” Smith also pointed out that “Participants in a panel discussion in January 1990 noted with growing dismay that any female character created within the community is damned with the term Mary Sue.”

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For example, I did not respond to the character of Pocahontas.  I didn’t find her interesting because she doesn’t really grow and for the type of story they are trying to tell I found her selfish, a poor listener and stubborn in an uncharming way.  She also preaches to people when she talks instead of having conversations. This makes her less relatable and her actions predictable.  You see how that is a more fleshed out description than just attaching some label?

I think that fear is what causes writers like Smith to tag on the adultery or other flaws so they have a defense against the Mary Sue label.  That is not good! The fact is most people I know are probably Mary Sue’s so they exist and are real.  Let’s have stories about these people too!

So, I say think about the story you are watching.  What genre is it and are the character tropes and types appropriate to the story being told? You can still dislike the movie if it doesn’t do those things well but at least it won’t be an automatic Gary Stu or Mary Sue?

Then if a character rubs you the wrong way, if you find them annoying, think for a second about why.  Is it their voice, actions, mannerisms?  What? Let’s dig a little deeper than Mary Sue or Gary Stu.

I mean after all Jesus was the ultimate Gary Stu and he changed the world so let’s be a little more open minded when it comes to these things and not just stick a highfalutin label on things.

Sincerely your friendly neighborhood Mary Sue or Molly Mormon or whatever you want to call me… 🙂

Movie 29: Rescuers Down Under

RescuersduposterWhen I started this blog I was hoping I would be surprised by movies and really love something I had previously discounted.  Up until now that hadn’t really happened.  But I think Rescuers Down Under may finally be that moment!

Compare to the First-

What? You ask?   But, Rachel you hated The Rescuers how can you like the sequel?

Well, as it turns out there are a lot of reasons.  This is one of the few times in movies when a sequel is far superior to the original in every way.  I seriously can’t think of a single way I liked the original better.

My main problem with The Rescuers wasn’t the set up. It was the tone.  To me it had a mean spirit about it.  First of all, it starts off the movie with Penny already captured.  We don’t see her get abducted but just hear about it morosely from Rufus at the orphanage. We hear about how miserable and lonely Penny was and from the beginning it feels hopeless and sad.  There is never a moment where Penny is free from her kidnappers.   In Down Under there are extended sequences of Cody with Marahute the eagle before he is abducted which helps us feel more hopeful than a desperate message in a bottle.

We also get WAY more of Madusa in the original than we do of the villain Mcleach in Down Under . In fact, I would bet that Mcleach and Cody are in the same scene for less than 10 minutes of the finished film.  Mcleach actually isn’t in the movie all that much, and there is almost always a comic element to his scenes whether it is Joanna stealing his eggs or Frank and the other animals trying to break free.   (more to come on that later).  Wilbur gets more screne time than the villain.  Some may see that as a weakness but I need very little of Mcleach to know exactly who he is.

Mcleach is also not as emotionally cruel to Cody like Medusa is with Penny.  He tells him to shut up and tries to intimidate him but it is more procedural and less personal than in the original.  Plus, there is no tearjerker song telling Cody to be brave despite the evil he is among.   And Cody has a mother who loves him and is looking for him.  The loneliness the characters experience is not the same.

In the end it comes down to tone.  In the little writing I’ve done I have learned tone is huge.  Down Under is full of light and hope where The Rescuers felt dark and cruel.  Again, this is just my opinion but that’s how the two came across to me.

So let’s actually talk about the movie instead of comparing to the original…

Production-

For some reason Disney had wanted to make a sequel to The Rescuers for some time.  In fact, Oliver and Company was supposed to be a continuation of Penny with her adopted family.  That was eventually scrapped and around 1988 production started on The Rescuers Down Under.

At the time there was an Australian trend with movies such as Crocodile Dundee being popular.  In the dvd extras Disney animators went to Australia and spent time at the San Diego zoo to get the feel for the animals and it is definitely the most life-like animals since Bambi. Marahute is stunningly drawn.

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Although it is often forgotten (even by me!), Rescuers Down Under was important because it was the first film to use all CAPS (Computer Animation Production System).  This was developed by Pixar and instead of xerox which had been used since 101 Dalmatians copying the cells, the computer scanned the drawings and colored them in digitally.  The CAPs work in this movie is stunning.  Compared to the sketch xerox era it is so alive with color and movement.  Even more so than Little Mermaid.

There is also CGI in the movie which is completely created on the computer and that does not hold up as well.  Segments like the Sydney Opera House look dated when I bet when they were released it was pretty spectacular.

This kind of computer look of the opera house and the ocean turning purple and flat doesn't hold up well
This kind of computer look of the opera house and the ocean turning purple and flat doesn’t hold up well

But these scenes are few and far between.  Most look fabulous.

The voice cast is excellent.  Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor (her final role. I met her right around this time in the Beverly Hills Hilton and she was exactly you would think she would be. Even had a fir and hat like Bianca!) returns as Bernard and Bianca and both of them are given more to do in this telling.  Bernard isn’t a total bore but actually does things to propel the story and there are lots of terrific side characters.

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My favorite was Wilbur who is the albatross brother of Orville from the first film.  John Candy does the voice work and he is hilarious.  There are repeated scenes where he is in this mouse operation clinic where I laughed about as hard as I have in a long time .  It’s a shame Candy didn’t do more voice-over work because he is so good.

The other interesting thing about the film is it is only the 2nd Disney film with no songs.  The first being The Black Cauldron.  The rest of the Disney Renaissance pictures would be full on musicals but Rescuers doesn’t even have a song in the credits, and you know I’m actually ok with it, which is surprising with how much I love musicals.

They were clearly going for an Indiana Jones vibe with Rescuers Down Under and in every way they succeeded including Bruce Broughton’s John Williamesque score.  I loved it! Here’s the closing number.  Listen to it and see if you don’t hear the Indiana Jones feel:

There is even a map with arrows just like in Indiana Jones:

mapAnd the kangaroo rat Jake has an Indiana Jones feel about him except he isn’t scared of snakes!

jake mapOne of the animators said they were trying to share the message that “someone small can conquer evil” and that really comes through.  What a great message for kids who are of course little.

It’s a shame it didn’t do better at the box office because it is routinely ignored by Disney and its fans.  It had the bad luck of opening the same weekend as Home Alone which monopolized the family audiences leaving Rescuers with 4th place.  Jeffrey Katzenberg pulled all marketing for the picture after that and it was left to the wayside.

The only good thing which came out of it is Disney decided to not release any of the sequels they would produce in theaters.  The direct to video sequels by Disney are one of the grossest cash grabs ever perpetrated by the studio.

The Story-

Like I said, it actually takes a while for the abduction and crime to happen (at the 13 minute mark).  Before that we meet Cody who lives with his Mother in the Australian outback, which looks a lot like a lush Grand Canyon.  The vistas are magnificently drawn.

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Cody is notified by some of his network of animal friends that a creature is in trouble.  When he arrives he finds out it is a magnificent golden eagle called Marahute.  At  first Marahute is suspicious of Cody, but he is kind and cuts the ropes that bind her which thrusts him off the cliff.  In a very dramatic scene Marahute rescues Cody and gives him the ride of his life.

When the ride is done Cody notices a small mouse tied up and not realizing it is a trap tries to free it.  When he does he gets thrust into a pit and we meet Mcleach who is voiced by George C Scott.  He is a greedy poacher something Cody is eager to accuse him of.  Still he is willing to let Cody go until he see’s a golden feather from Marahute on his backpack.

featherMcleach also has his pet ‘goana’ or giant lizard named Joanna.  She is constantly fixated on eating eggs. evil lizardWanting Marahute, McLeach takes Cody and throws his backpack to the crocodiles to throw off the rangers who will search for him.  The mouse who was the bait on the trap see’s the abduction and sends word to the Rescue Aid Society.  This fun scene almost reminded me of an international version of the Twilight Bark from 101 Dalmatians.

Eventually Bernard and Bianca are assigned to the case but it interrupts Bernhard’s proposal to Bianca.  This scene of the mice restaurant reminds me of classic Disney short.

The animation is also fabulous with the snow coming down in the background (think of the original with the static backgrounds that looked so corny.  Quite the contrast!)

So off they go to find Albatross Air but it turns out it is no longer Orville but his brother Wilbur and like I said every scene with him is hilarious.  In an homage to the original we get another rocky take off which is a lot of fun.

His arrival in Australia is equally funny.

Bernard and Bianca meet Jake in this scene and he agrees to be their guide.  This is also where Wilbur get’s taken to the mouse hospital which is so funny.

Then we get the scariest scene in the movie with McLeach trying to get information from Cody using knifes.  This is the closest the film gets to the tone of the Rescuers but it is about a minute long so it is more palatable.

knifesBefore you know it we are back to Bernard and Bianca with Bernard trying to propose again, but he is interrupted by Jake and  a snake.

Cody is then put into a cage downstairs with the rest of the animals Mcleach has poached including a cellmate lizard named Frank.

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This is another character that keeps things light and fun when they could be dark and disparaging.   The gang tries to get the key from the wall to set themselves free but Joana catches them and destroys their attempt putting the key back.

We then get another funny scene of Wilbur in the hospital.  Maybe you guys won’t think it is a good scene but it really made me laugh

We also get a humorous scene with Joana stealing Mcleach’s eggs and he gets the idea of how to manipulate Cody.  The next morning he pretends to let Cody go but tells him he has killed Marahute and ‘too bad about those eggs…’.  Knowing Cody will go to the eggs he follows him with Bernard and Bianca on the tank/truck contraption he is driving.

There is a scene that is right out of the tank scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade which was released in 1989. I have to believe this was added or changed to be an homage to that scene they are so similar but in a good way!

What kid isn’t going to like that kind of adventure?  There is nothing about Rescuers Down Under that is going to scare kids, make them nervous around strangers like the Rescuers did for me at 9 years old.

Mcleach traps Marahute but Bernard is left behind with the eggs.  He cleverly hides them from Joanna and just then Wilber shows up.  He says he will not sit on the eggs but there he is at the end of the scene.

Now that Mcleach has Marahute he needs to ‘tie up the loose ends’ meaning get rid of Cody.   All the hope lies in Bernard saving the day.  Jake doesn’t think he can do it but Bianca believes in him ‘you don’t know Bernard like I do.  He will never give up’ .  I like this moment of faith in a tiny mouse under such odds.  It goes with the theme the animators were trying to achieve.

To everyone’s relief Bernard does save the day and turn off Mcleach’s truck and causing him to be thrown into the river.

Marahute saves Cody and before another minute has gone by Bernard proposes to Bianca and she accepts creating our happy ending .

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with one final word from Wilber sitting on the nest (I just love that guy!).

Wilber sitting on eggsMovie Review/Conclusion-

This movie is the reason why you should always go into a film with an open mind.  Even if you didn’t care for the original, maybe they will fix the problems in the sequel? It’s rare but it does happen, and it happens with Rescuers Down Under.  I loved it!

The voice acting is fabulous.  The comic relief is hilarious.  The Indiana Jones moments are great fun.  The side characters like Jake and Frank are developed and a delight to watch.  The music is perfect even without any songs!

Some of the animation looks a little dated but it is only a shot here, and a shot there.  Most of it looks gorgeous.  The flying scenes totally hold up.  The characters look so much more alive and vibrant than the original and more than anything we had seen in previous films (yes, even more fleshed out and illuminated than Little Mermaid).

The villain is a mean dude but you hardly get any of him, which is perfect.  We know he is a bad guy.  We don’t need to dwell in it till it becomes shrill and unpleasant.  He’s in and out and done.  Maybe not the greatest Disney villain ever but it works for the story.

Bernard and Bianca were a lot of fun this time around, and we got to see way more personality from both, especially Bernard who saves the day!   I loved that.

And Wilber is my new favorite.  He was so funny I could watch his scenes over and over again laughing each time.  The crazy doctors almost reminded me of a Pinky and the Brain skit.  That’s how funny they were.

So, I don’t know if going in with low expectations made this work for me but whatever it is I really liked it.   I can’t imagine a kid not loving this movie.

Overall Grade- A