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Disney Animation Dark Ages Vol. 1: The Great Mouse Detective

I reviewed The Great Mouse Detective a couple of years ago, but it was barely a paragraph,and appears to be deleted, so I’m reviewing it again this time as a Halloween pick. It’s only gone up half a star since reviewing it last time.

It was released during what fans refer to as Disney’s Dark Ages. The string of films released in the 80s was the first that didn’t have any kind of influence from Walt since his death, weren’t financially successful for the company, and the stories were growing darker, and I’d argue, less family-friendly with each new release. It was like Disney forgot they were making movies with young families in mind.

The Great Mouse Detective pays homage to Sherlock Holmes and focuses on Detective Basil of Baker Street. He reluctantly teams up with Dr. Dawson and young Olivia in the search for her father. They must work together to save both her father and the Queen of England from an early demise at the claws of the evil Rattigan.

The Great Mouse Detective is one of Disney’s darkest entries in their animated canon. I enjoyed it more than I did last time, but it’s still one of my least favorite Disney movies. It’s not something I would sit young children in front of.
When Rattigan’s cronies don’t do as their told, they get fed to his cat. You see several characters get eaten and come close to death in other ways. There’s also a bar scene with busty bar mice and dancing show girls. Dr. Dawson’s alcoholic beverage also gets drugged. (Ya know, the kinda stuff that’s perfect for children !) There’s one scene where a bat jumps out of a stroller and kidnaps Olivia. This scene still makes me jump even when I know it’s coming, and I’m nearly 27. This movie might be fine for older children, but you’ll want to keep the little ones away. I can’t believe this only received a G rating. It should’ve been PG! Not even a catchy villain song and good characters are enough to save this one.

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Disney Valentines Vol. 1

Duchess (Eva Gabor) and her three kittens are kidnapped by Madam’s butler Edger when he discovers that she’s leaving everything to the cats and he’s second in line. Hoping to move up the inheritance line, he dumps them in the middle of nowhere with little hope of survival. Thomas O’Malley the alley cat (Phil Harris) helps Duchess and her kittens to get back to Madam, and ends up falling in love with Duchess in the process. Because cats need love too, and because this is Disney and a cat romance isn’t weird in the slightest!

This is one of my favorite animated Disney movies! The animation is beautiful and in some scenes looks similar to a watercolor painting. The story’s funny, and the music’s great. It’s one of Disney’s more underrated gems.

It was recently announced that Disney is working on a live-action version. (Because they’re lazy and it’s easier to regurgitate another unnecessary remake than it is to create anything original.) It’s supposedly going to be in the same vein as the Lady and the Tramp remake which I miraculously enjoyed. It could be good. It could be bad. It could go either way. It’s undoubtedly an unnecessary waste of time, money, and creative energy. Until then, you can stream the original on Disney Plus.

In traditional 2D Disney Princess fashion, Giselle (Amy Adams) gets nearly eaten by a troll and is rescued by Prince Edward (James Marsden). They sing a duet, fall in love, and she accepts his marriage proposal after a grand total of five minutes or less! Edward’s evil stepmother wants to keep her position as Queen and devises a plan to get rid of Giselle.
Disguised as an old hag, the Queen pushes Giselle down a wishing well that transports her from 2D fairytale kingdom Andalasia to 3D real world New York City. While there, fun-loving romantic Giselle ends up staying with strait-laced, uptight stick-in-the-mud divorce attorney Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter Morgan.

Giselle brings fairytale magic with her wherever she goes including her ability communicate with animals through song and bursting into broadway worthy musical numbers at random. She injects Robert’s life with magic, and he tries to keep her grounded in her new reality. As much reality as he can anyway with an evil Queen and her henchman trying to kill her, and a Prince and talking chipmunk trying to find her! In the end, Giselle’s fairytale ending isn’t anything like what she’s expecting. Sometimes reality is better than a fairytale.

Enchanted takes several elements from Classic Disney movies like the old hag and poisoned apple from Snow White, the dragon from Sleeping Beauty, and the missing shoe and Ball from Cinderella, tosses them in a blender, and somehow they ended with a fantastic movie by the end of it! Enchanted has been one of my favorite movies since it first came out. It’d been years since I watched it, and I’d forgotten how good it was! I love everything about it from the story to the animation, the cast, and the music. Everything is perfect! I can’t wait for the sequel Disenchanted coming out later this year! I’ve literally waited just over half my life for it! Stream Enchanted now on Disney Plus.


De Los Muertos Pick: Coco

Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of being a singer like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) The only problem is that his family hates music and doesn’t support his dream. Miguel sees Ernesto’s guitar in a torn family photo, he believes he’s Ernesto’s Great-Great Grandson.

After stealing Ernesto’s guitar in order to play in the local talent show, Miguel is transported to the Land of the Dead. Once discovered, his family tries to send him back to the Land of the Living, but the temptation of Ernesto’s guitar is too great and he’s sent back to the Land of the Dead. While on the run, he runs into Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), a troublemaker trying to cross the bridge to visit his family on De Los Muertos. He fails at his mission because his picture’s been left off the ofrenda. The two make a deal: Hector will take Miguel to Ernesto in exchange for having his photo back on the ofrenda. But not everything is as it seems, and the secrets about Miguel and Hector’s family history are about to unravel in ways that change both of them forever!

Coco is one of my favorite Pixar movies. I love the emotional story, the breathtaking animation, and the music. At the end of it, I wanted to put my Grandarents’ pictures on an ofrenda just in case! I highly recommend this one. It’s easily in my top 6 Pixar movies.

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That’s So Underrated: Meet The Robinsons

Meet The Robinsons has always been one of my favorite Disney movies. Unfortunately, it’s also one one of their most underrated movies to date. It’s a quirky sci-fi/time travel adventure that tends to get lost in the midst of all the princesses and talking animals.

Science whiz-kid Lewis has had 124 adoption interviews and has had to deal with rejection every single time. His plans, to time-travel back to when his mom left him on the orphanage steps and trying to convince her to change her mind, are hijacked by Wilbur who claims to be from the future. He promises to take Lewis back to the past if he agrees to help Wilbur save both their futures before Bowler Hat Guy can destroy Lewis’s hope for a forever family.

Once in the future, Lewis meets Wilbur’s family, the Robinsons, a family full of quirky and unique characters. While spending time with them, he finally feels like he belongs for the first time in his life. They offer to adopt him, but that would seriously screw with the timeline, having his past self being adopted by his future family.

I love how Disney made the best pro-life story ever without intending to! This movie centers around family and the importance of adoption, of being chosen, and feeling like you have somewhere where you belong. Technically, this movie has absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, but I think it’s one of the best movies about love in general and one of the best choices to end the month on. I can’t recommend this movie enough!