Saturday, December 18, 2010

Things I am up to that will ruin my Street Cred

1) This week, I watched The Princess and the Frog

and I really liked it. It was super cute and one of the best Disney animated movies in 10 years or so. That said, I haven't seen Tangled, but I think that Princess and the Frog made it look like Disney is back on trajectory to get somewhere near their 80's/90's hey-day that started with The Little Mermaid.

The music was catchy, they didn't depend on celebrity voices, and they didn't go for all the post-Robin Williams wackiness that eventually made Disney movies a real slog to get through. And whomever was responsible for the character of Charlotte deserves a slow clap. That was brilliant.

2) Jamie and I took her parents to see The Nutcracker

Not just going to a ballet, but to a family/ children's show with an audience at least 30% comprised of little girls in holiday dresses.

Look, the ballet was lovely, and I will fight you if you say otherwise. And I am pretty sure every one of the lead male dancers could beat me up with one leg tied behind their back.

The craziest part: the kids in the audience were so good. It was amazing. Kids can't sit through pretty much any movie, no matter how much ADHD-friendly fodder is thrown their way, but throw a tutu and slippers on some dancers and the kids, apparently, will totally will sit through a 2 hour ballet where nobody talks.

Who knew?

3) Responsibly done with my Christmas shopping

And I only did a small portion of it online. No, you aren't getting anything, so don't ask, Paul and/ or Randy.

4) Keep tuning into those sequel "Rudolph" things on ABC Family

To my credit, I never make it more than five minutes.


rhpt said...

Esme really liked Princess and the Frog. And your friendship is all the gift I need from you, Ryan.

The League said...

Buddy, right back at ya.

J.S. said...

I'm returning this plasma TV that I got for Randy.

Steven said...

Ahead of my trip last month I, too, watched the Princess and the Frog and found it better than Disney's recent drivel ("Tangled" may be a turning point). I loved the "Friends on the Other Side" number.

I don't think they're in the Mermaid / Beauty and the Beast zone of awesome yet. The film definitely traded on some pretty thin stereotypes (Why would she want to be with the Loafer Prince, where was his development? Of course, rich white girls ain't go no sense) and failed to give important characters any motivation (the impostor manservant). And lastly the vision thing re: music really wasn't there: "Almost There" was not a number to compete with "Beauty and the Beast" or "Whole new World."

So, I'd reckon them to be back in Dreamworks Animation circa 1998 range.

I just thought that the story was neither big enough (Mermaid) or intimate enough (Beast) in terms of its artistic vision to get up into the Disney echelon.

The League said...

I can't dispute any of that, except one point. All I can say is that it is 100x better than the cow movie they did about 7 years ago.

I really liked the rich white girl with no sense. You sort of have to have a daffy friend, and I sort of appreciated that they didn't dwell on how these two couldn't possibly be friends.

Anyway, yeah, I just hope it means a forward trajectory for Disney.

Simon MacDonald said...

I missed out on The Princess and the Frog as my wife and daughter went without me. Other than Tangled which we plan on seeing this week it is the only Disney animated movie I haven't seen. I'm very interested in seeing it if only to see how they handle the Shadow Man.

The League said...

Shadow Man is properly spooky, and, yeah, that song works. I think he looks like someone real, but I could never figure out who, exactly, I thought they were modeling him on. If anyone knows, tell me!

Simon MacDonald said...

Still haven't seen the show yet but I think the Shadow Man is more of a Louisiana archetype more than any specific person. Just based on his looks I'm assuming he's a Bokor, a voodoo practitioner who can do white and black magic.

I think my favourite Bokor of all time as Baron Samedi from the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die. He scared the crap out of me as a kid.

The League said...

Oh! yeah, I don't disagree with the sort of character he was supposed to be.

Sometimes the Disney artists pick a face they can use as a baseline for their model. Like, Aladdin was loosely based on Tom Cruise.

I was wondering if they were like "hey, you know... Coolio is kind of awesome. Let's make him our guy."