Behind the Fairy Tale: Pocahontas
Poooooooocanhontas, where the wind comes whistling down with colorssss! Sorry about that. I just can’t say that name without thinking of the musical Oklahoma. It fits perfectly. And frankly, Pocahontas starring in a production of Oklahoma would be about as realistic as the Disney version, and involve a lot more hoe downs.
Okay, so story starts off with hunky Aryan explorer who can never convincingly reserve a hotel room, John Smith. John Smith is manly, ya’ll, and you can tell by the way he hops on a cannon while singing. All his crew have man crushes on him, including this one kid, Wesley Crusher I think, who he saves from drowning so he can later shoot Kokopuffs. Oops, spoiler.
Next we have dramatic fog and Native American chanting and oh boy are we going to a reservation? Oh, wait, this is before Our Hero so they are still merrily picking corn and rowing canoes and beating drums and stuff. Pocahontas, or “Pokey” as I like to call her, is up on top of a cliff ready to jump like 500 feet into the water. This should be a short story. But no, she lives and oh we get how she’s like super brave and not at all stupid. It helps that she’s beautiful (except for a missing nose) and has a great bod.
Next we get Pops, the chief and Pokey’s dad. Mom’s dead of course, this is Disney. Dad wants her to marry Kokopuffs (that was his name, right?) but Pokey doesn’t cause he’s like really hot and built and brave but hey, where is his sense of humor huh? What the heck does her stupid dad expect, I mean jeez. At least in this one, Dad is not a Weeble.
Pokey is upset about this so she talks to a tree that OMG A FACE! How did her grandmother get in the Willow Tree? Holy crap that was weird. Anyway, she asks her for advice on her dream about a spinning arrow and like all “wise ones” she yammers some nonsense like “listen to your heart.” Thanks for nothing, grams.
So mostly everything is going okay until the white people get there to screw everything up. We’re good at that. On the whitey side is the femmy head of the expedition, Ratface, er Ratcliffe (his actual name). He has – oh boy, a cute little pug sidekick! Let’s kick it to the side. He also has an even girlier lackey who skips about helping him prepare. This is meant to contrast John, who is like not fancy prancy but All Man.
All Man turns out to mean “suicidal”. While Ratty immediately starts digging up the land for gold (destroying crap is a great way to make a good first impression), manly man Smith starts leaping around tall mountains and singing. “The greatest adventure is mine! Maybe I’ll meet a hot chick!”
While he’s doing this, Pokey is stalking him along with her sidekicks (why, just why) an irritating raccoon and a hummingbird. Whatever. Part of the movie is taken up with the pug and the raccoon running around so the kids won’t go to sleep during the romance junk.
So John hears her and he gets his gun and then Pokey walks out of this fog in this awesome model pose and John’s all whoa I really wanna – get to know her. But, oh no, they don’t speak the same language. How will they . . . oh, right, they stand close and leaves blow around them and BANG automatic universal translator. Convenient.
John calls her a “savage” (oh wait, I only meant your non-hot people!) so Pokey schools him by dragging him all over the wilderness while singing about blue corn moons and painting mountains and wind colors and I think maybe the Native Americans were growing more than corn. She clearly has some sort of leaf blower power, cause leaves are always swirling around her body and in her Pert Plus hair.
Meanwhile Pokey’s dad sends some scouts to check out the new guys, and one of them gets shot and he gets this wild idea that these peeps might be dangerous. He calls some of his friends over for backup.
John tells Ratty that there’s no gold so naturally he figures the Indians are hidin’ it and they should kill them all! Perfectly logical plan there.
But that won’t stop our lovebirds! Pokey gets caught by her pal, but hey, what’s the threat of war when you’re in luss . . . love! John sneaks out too, and is followed by Wesley the brat he saved earlier. John and Pokey make out, but turns out Pokey’s pal ratted her out and oh oh Kokopuffs is pissed, and tries to put a tomahawk in John’s skull but Wesley shoots him dead. Whoops. I never saw this coming, did you?
John is captured and waits execution while Ratty gets his men together to rescue John and retrieve the weapons of mass des- the gold. Pokey is still confused, so she wastes time yammering to the willow tree before figuring out that she should maybe stop this. At the last second, she flings herself over John, stopping the club. She reasons with her Dad, who is suddenly like oh, okay, let’s all stop fighting and stuff, what was I thinking?
But too late cause Ratty tries to shoot him. John plays the hero and takes the bullet (omg he is so manly). The settlers turn on Ratty, but there’s no happy ending for John and Pokey cause John has to be taken home to be treated (the natives can’t pull out a bullet?) and Pokey must stay to keep peace (yeah that’s gonna work). They make out in front of Dad a bit then John sails away while Pokey shoots some leaves his way in goodbye. Aw.
Now for the “behind the fairy tale”. If you think Disney goofed up fairy tales, that ain’t nothin’ compared to what they do to actual historical figures. The real Pocahontas was roughly eleven when she met the twenty-eight year old John Smith. You can clearly see the romance potential here, but no, they were just friends, sorry Lolita fans.
John Smith (who was an explorer but hairier and not quite as hunky) did write that she saved his life when they were about to smack him in the head with a rock. Others say he had a tendency to brag about women saving his life (totally macho there) and that possibly he misunderstood and this was really just a ritual, not an execution. Either way a large blunt object was involved, so I’m not sure if it matters all that much. At least it didn’t to John.
Disney does include several of the real people – well their names anyway, the actual setting, Jamestown, and the famous rock incident which was probably true. They leave out the part where she later is kidnapped by the English she’d been feeding and held for ransom but Daddy didn’t want to give up his guns so she got to get all Christianized and married to an Englishman and her name changed to Rebecca and entire culture obliterated for a new one, oh and also how she was dragged to England to be paraded around like a monkey before catching smallpox and dying at about 21. Fun stuff. I can’t believe Disney left this out.
Stay tuned next time when Disney decides to lighten things up with The Hunchback of Notre Dame!
Wheel of Thrones
Welcome to the Game of Thrones! The Survival game show where everyone fights to sit on the pointiest throne ever! But who will get voted off this week? Will we vote off the evil, useless people or the few noble ones for shock value? Let’s find out while we playyyyyy the Game of Thrrrronnnnnes! (cue applause track)
Let’s meet our contestants.
The Stark Family
First off is Ned who has just arrived on the island (King’s Landing). He’s a good, noble lord who only chops off heads when there’s a good, noble reason for it. Like someone ran away from a horde of zombie monsters. He’s joined by his wife Catelyn, who likes to shout out accusations of treason to very dangerous people with power and weapons. Also we have the Stark children: Jon (the pouting bastard who went to guard a big wall), another brother Robb (left home to babysit the house), Sansa (whiny teenager), Arya (cute little girl with a deadly sword to play with), and Bran (the obnoxious paralyzed kid who remembers squat). And I think there’s another brother, but who cares? What are their chances? Here? Oh, yeah, they’re screwed.
The Lannister Family
Now here is a group of contenders, because sociopaths, while insane, are pretty good at getting what they want. Jaime is an obnoxious twit who gets the honor of guarding the king’s chamber while the king bangs prostitutes instead of his actual wife, Jaime’s sister, Cersei. But that’s okay, cause Jaimie bangs her for him. They have three children (oh ew), Joffrey (the demon seed) and two other kids no one cares about. Finally, there’s Tyrion, brother to the pyscho twins. He’s a dwarf, but don’t count him out cause he’s smarter than most of the cast (not that hard) and also, he’s awesome. His hobbies are avoiding his insane family, playing with prostitutes, and peeing off tall walls.
The Baratheon Family
King Robert is a fatty who likes to put the kingdom in debt by spending money he doesn’t have on war games that get people killed. So kind of like most of our presidents, only he’s even more brazen about the prostitutes. His wife, Cersei, wants her little freak son on the throne. She tells him everyone else is “the enemy”. Great parenting there. Joffrey Baratheon is not really a Baratheon, but he’s in line for the throne anyway because either the king is too dumb to realize the kid is way too blond to be his, or he just doesn’t care because he doesn’t want to go near the ice bitch.
The Targeryen Family
Older brother Vivisection is a sniveling, skinny creeper who sold his sister for a barbarian army that thinks he’s an asshat. Good play there, Rat Nose. His sister, Dany, is getting braver, and shows it by halting the army so she can go potty or something. While wandering off, her brother tries to kill her and nearly gets killed himself by the barbarians until she spares him. You know the others wanted to vote him off SO BAD. She figures out she’s preggers with a boy (cause she just KNOWS, okay?) Dany gets naked a lot, so she’s not likely to get voted off too soon.
So there we have our main contenders so far. There are several others introduced, but I don’t remember their names, and don’t feel like looking them up. One new guy is called Littlefinger, which just sounds icky. He’s the “master of coin” (cause treasurer is just not fancy enough) who I like to call Weasel Boy. He owns a brothel and slimes into several scenes. I hate him already.
Also we have several guys who hang out at the wall. We want them at this wall! We need them at this wall! Cause there are ice zombies and stuff! And eventually we’ll see one do something. Trust us!
Oh, and by the way, winter is coming. Just in case you forgot.
Now for a song! To the tune of Happy Days.
Game of Thrones Days
Psychos, creepers, Game of Thrones
Bitches, Whiners, Game of Thrones
Rapists, Murderers, Game of Thrones
The winter comes, with sex and violence
Golly this is such a fun show!
Their days are shorrrrrrrt
Full of nastiness (oh sucky days!)
Their days are shorrrrrrrt
Watch ’em die with me (oh sucky days!)
Season 1, Episode 3
Death Toll: Sadly o (I think?)
Nakey Toll: A few bare boobs in the brothel. Half of Dany.
Alice Watches Game of Thrones
Okay, so I wrote a post mocking Game of Thrones already, but I hadn’t actually seen it because cheap. But then I saw that they had season one at the library, so I figured it definitely beat doing the dishes, and I checked it out. I watched the first episode last night. I was going to give you a summary, but I thought it might be better if I put it to the tune of “The Brady Bunch.” Here you go.
The Game of Thrones Bunch
It’s the story
of a man named Ned Stark
who was bringing up five kids and a bastard
All the sons they had dark hair
Like their father
Kinda hard to tell them apart.
It’s the story
of a king named Robert
Who was bringing up three kids who weren’t his own
That’s because his wife Cersei
banged her brother
It’s really kinda gross.
It’s the story
of a girl named Dany
whose brother was a really big creeper
he sold her to a barbarian
like Johnny Depp on steroids
It’s the story
of a drawf named Tyrion
who is definitely the best character
He gets all of the best lines
and has a big peen
He likes to drink and whore
It’s the story
of a bunch of prostitutes
who love being nakey and gig-gi-ling
they have lots and lots of sex
and totes enjoy it
Cause prostitution’s fun!
It’s the story
of a bunch of zombies
who murder, maim and frolic in the woods
they are really kind of cool
but people tell me
they hardly ever show up
And then one day when the king
he came to Lord Ned
And he asked him to be his right hand man
It’s a very risky job and most dudes die quick
And besides all that there is no dental plan
The Game of Thrones
The Game of Thrones
That’s how it goes so far
On the Game of Thrones
I know, that should totally replace the admittedly cool theme song they have right now. And I’ll also admit, the first episode wasn’t bad. It started with a zombie girl pinned to a tree and ended with another kid being pushed out a window, but who likes kids anyway? They’re seriously annoying. I’m told he kills off most of his characters, but at the moment I can’t say I’ll be all that sad if a larger percentage of them die, except the dwarf. Then all bets are off.
Anyhoo, since I’m clearly going to keep watching this mess for a while, is there anyone who would like me to give it more coverage? I mean, I need breaks of fictional asshattery in between the “real life” asshattery. What do ya think?
1,001 Cray Cray Nights
Last post I talked to you about Disney’s Aladdin and promised to tell you about the original story today. Some of you said you thought Aladdin was a real jerkwad, which he is, but if you compare him to the original Aladdin he comes off looking like Nelson Mandela in comparison. No, really.
“Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” is one of the stories from an ancient Eastern fairy tale collection known as The Arabian Nights. The story goes that this sultan kept marrying these girls only to kill them the next morning. Not sure why, just for giggles I guess. Anyway, when this Scheherazade chick gets picked by him, she decides to tell him some bedtime stories and he’s so into them that he keeps letting her live so she can finish them. She does this for 1,001 nights which means she is either a really awesome storyteller or she was just trying to put the sultan to sleep on purpose. Considering the number of pointless details to just the story of Aladdin (As Thing One asks, what was the point of making 24 windows in the palace coated in jewels only to leave one unfinished? why???) I’m going to go with the latter.
I got this particular translation from The Arabian Night’s Entertainments, edited by Andrew Lang. He informs us that “a great deal that is very dull and stupid was put in, and plenty of verses” but “Neither the verses nor the dull pieces are given in this book.” If this is the case, I never, ever want to see the book he is referring to, because the crap he left in is both dull and stupid.
But onto the story. In this version, Aladdin does have parents, but he’s a lazy brat that plays in the streets. This “grieved the father that he died.” Wow. I mean, my kids can drive me up the wall too, but they’ve yet to cause spontaneous death by laziness. Pretty impressive, Aladdin. One day this mysterious African magician claiming to be this Middle Eastern kid’s “uncle” shows up and Aladdin’s mom hates him so much she’s like “Hey, yeah, go with him, why not?” So they travel together and the uncle says “I will show you something wonderful.”
It turns out he can open the earth and there’s this cave down there and Aladdin is like “heck with this” but the uncle smacks him, gives him a ring, and tells him to go down and get him a lamp and some jewels off a tree. The magician wants to kill Aladdin as soon as he comes out, and who can blame him, but Aladdin’s all nuh uh, let me out first and then I give you the lamp, man. Uncle traps him in there.
So Aladdin uses the lamp to summon Robin Williams right? Nope. He accidentally rubs the ring that the magician gave him for no apparent reason and out pops a genie of the ring. He’s all “Yo, what you want, be speakin’ quick homie” and Aladdin demands to be rescued from the cave. Then he goes to his mom and they rub the lamp and pow, here comes another genie, cause that’s what this little upstart needs is TWO powerful beings serving his every whim. He orders the lamp genie to bring them fast food and all sorts of crap cause he’s an entitled little creep.
Then one day the sultan tells everyone to close their doors cause his daughter’s going to the bath and Aladdin decides to peep on her cause he’s also a pervert. She’s beautiful of course so he tells his mom he wants to marry her and to her credit his mom laughs in his face. But he threatens suicide if Mom doesn’t do as he asks (our hero), so Mom takes some jewels he got wrapped up in a “napkin” from Sonic or something and puts them before the sultan.
The sultan is all into the jewels so says Aladdin can marry his daughter. But then he like, forgets, and tells the vizier’s son he can marry her. So you figure Aladdin has the genie make him a prince so he can compete right? That wouldn’t be nearly creepy enough, folks. Aladdin demands that the genie bring him the princess and her bridegroom that night. So the genie does so, beaming the newlywed’s bed, with the couple in it, to Aladdin.
Aladdin has the genie dump the guy out in the cold and the poor princess is all wtf, but Al is all “Hey, babe, I’m your real hubby, let’s snuggle.” And he sleeps right next to the terrified girl. And if that’s not enough, he does it the second night too. No word on whether the married couple has any fun times before, after, or during the time Aladdin is beaming them off in their bed. Lazy, entitled perv, I mean, our hero.
So the princess tries to tell Dad what’s happening but he threatens to chop off her head cause all the men in this story are jerks. Then her husband confirms it, and asks if he can have a quickie divorce cause Aladdin creeps him the heck out. But Aladdin’s happy, and gets the genie to pretty him all up with lots of slaves -white and black! – to attend him and then he has the genie make a big freaking palace cause what else was the genie doing, and then he marries the lucky, lucky girl.
Then suddenly the story talks about how Aladdin is gentle and modest and courteous and wait is EL James writing this because the main character is none of these things. Anyway, the evil uncle magician comes back and hears about Aladdin’s palace and tricks the princess into exchanging an old lamp for a new one. Naturally she takes the magic one that Aladdin never bothered to tell her about cause, duh, woman.
And the magician spirits her and the castle off and the poor girl has yet another jerk to contend with, and he’s apparently so bad he makes Aladdin look good in comparison, cause she’s actually happy to see him when he rescues her. And THE END oh but WAIT the magician had a brother and are you freaking kidding me? Even the genie is ticked about this and tells Aladdin quit being a jerkwad, the magician’s brother is here dressed in drag (don’t ask) so kick him out. And then it is finally THE END.
Now don’t you think the Disney version is great now?
Strange Addictions: E.T. Phone . . . Boobs?
Yeah, we’re back with another dose of strange addictions. Thank goodness they give us the warning at the beginning not to try this at home. I was so close to nomming on my fruit shaped eraser. It’s so realistic and smells good too!
This episode involves no eating of nonedible products, so yay! It does, however, involve a lady so goofed up they devoted the entire episode just to her. Or it might have been because TLC really liked seeing those ginormous boobs.
How big were they, Alice? Dolly Parton looks like a Double Minus A cup compared to this woman. Heck, the bride of Godzilla would probably have smaller mammary glands, and they’d be much more functional too. If you’ve ever played a video game, or read comics, you know how insane they can get with drawing the boobs. These chicks have boobs bigger than their heads. It’s crazy. This lady leaves them behind. Way behind. When I first saw this woman, my jaw dropped, and as you know, I’ve seen a lot of weird crap just working in a library.
Not only does she have a rack that can actually serve drinks (she demonstrates), she also has an enormous silicon-filled caboose. It’s – just – I think even Sir Mix-A-Lot would be saying “Daaaaahmmmn, guuuurl!” The thing is a bench. You could probably sit on her comfortably, except then she’d fall over on her boobs and not be able to get up. Really – she has to have help getting up if she lays on her back. I can imagine all sorts of reasons this lady might be heading to the ER. Suffocation is just one of them.
She has so much silicon in her boobs, that they weigh something like 20 pounds. And they do party tricks. If she puts a flashlight under her boobs, they light up from all the fluid. They could make a science fiction movie based on this lady, and I can pretty much guarantee you’d get the usual demographic (18-25 year old males) filling the seats.
Her college aged son tries to persuade her to maybe drain the boobs a bit, but she surprises him with her decision to make them twice as big! Poor kid. It had to be fun having this lady as class mom. Oops, got my boobs in the frosting! Anyway, he expresses concern for her welfare, and says he wonders which she cares about more – her big boobs or her kids? She skirts around it, but answer? Boobs.
Her youngest child, a girl around nine, is the best part of the entire program. They interview her, asking what she thinks about her mother’s boobs. She says, “I like that they pay the rent, but they’re really weird.” I love this kid. Apparently, mom does modeling for people who like women with impossible proportions – I’m guessing car magazines. But there’s the kid, saying it up front – maybe you make some money, but you’re a freak. If your nine-year-old can figure this out, you might want to think it over, lady.
But thinking does not seem her strong suit. Perhaps she has had some silicon injected into her brain along with her boobs, butt, oh and I forgot, her lips which look like someone smashed them in a meat processor and they swelled up into little sausages. But clearly, this is not enough for her. She needs more.
She visits the plastic surgeon, but even he just shakes his head, refusing to work on her because it will freaking kill her. All that silicon is not very healthy, nor is going through that many surgeries. Also he might be the only plastic surgeon to have actual qualms about working on someone who’s batshit crazy. Besides the dangers of silicon and surgery, I’m not sure how she’d walk without toppling over, even with the substantial butt in back. I don’t know how she does it now. She can’t even find clothes to fit her warped body. I mean, damn, even Barbie can find clothes. Lots of them.
But she’s no Barbie, even if she does have enough plastic to be one. At the end of the show, TLC reports that she has found a surgeon willing to do the operation in the next few months. Wait for a news story about a woman’s boobs spontaneously combusting into flames. I be it will be our girl!
What about you guys? Have you ever considered plastic surgery? What would you want to change?
Strange Addictions: Bieberfied?
This week on “Strange Addictions”, we get a lady eating beauty products, and a guy using plastic surgery to look like Justin Bieber. I’m not sure which one is worse. You can’t make this crap up.
First up, we have Brittoni, a lady who is a little confused about how makeup works. Instead of putting it, say, on her face, she eats it. She prefers eye shadow, but you know, it has to taste right. Naturally. So she goes to the store and shakes a little out and licks it to see if it is her flavor. No reason to waste money on makeup that doesn’t taste good, am I right? I’m never going to look at eye shadow quite the same way again.
She decides to “come out” to her family, but here’s the kicker. Mom and sister and she have this family tradition of making donuts and sprinkling baby powder on them. When I first heard this, I thought I’d heard incorrectly. Like, oh, that was powdered sugar, right? Nopes. We’re talking that stuff you’re supposed to be putting on a baby’s bum.
So the girl tells her family that she eats makeup, and they are totally understanding, cause they are eating baby powder donuts. Just kidding. They both act horribly shocked!. Sister says “That is weird” as she takes another bite of a donut sprinkled with a Johnson & Johnson product. Just – what? They’re talking to her about how unhealthy this habit is, and how can she do this, – but – the donuts. And the baby powder. Lady, you’re holding the baby powder in your hand while talking to your daughter and I just . . . nevermind.
She goes to the doctor at their suggestion (they are totes fine with their chemical laced donuts) and the doctor, not surprisingly, tells her eating makeup is not a good idea. What gets me, though, is there’s no – hey, let’s figure out WHY you are eating makeup. Either the girl has a nutritional deficiency major time, or she’s nuts, or maybe both, but – don’t just send her off with a warning. I mean – I just – nevermind.
The girl does go on to quit her eye shadow addiction. I’m guessing the baby powder donuts continue, though, cause totes normal.
Next, we have Toby, a guy in his thirties who has been spending years and huge amounts of money to make himself look like . . . Justin Bieber. Now, I think it’s kind of stupid to try to make yourself look like any pop star or actor but, really, Justin Bieber? Couldn’t he at least have gone for someone with a little more testosterone? Heck, Michael Bolton would be a better choice, dude, and his voice is higher than mine.
But this guy is convinced that Justin is the picture of gorgeous and youthful, and he wants to be just like him. I just don’t get it. To me, Justin Bieber looks like a twelve-year-old who cuts his hair with a bowl. Yet this guy is willing to go under the knife multiple times to completely reshape his face to resemble Justin’s. Be afraid, Justin. You just think being arrested is tough. Wait till this guy finds you.
He’s had operations I’ve never even heard of – forehead lifts, eyebrow lifts, hairline moved forward, nose jobs, chin reduction and implants, and holy cow who the hell does this? TLC shows the before and afters and – frankly, our Toby looked better BEFORE he started all this stuff. Which is not all that difficult.
He goes out to find more “Justin” like clothes, and tries to get people to guess who he looks like. They don’t have a clue. Undaunted, he says “Justin Bieber!” and they just blink. Good grief. He’s spent this much money, and he still doesn’t really resemble a guy he shouldn’t be trying to look like in the first place. That is really, really sad.
He next goes to a plastic surgeon who is slightly concerned about all these surgeries he’s had, especially since TLC is there filming him. When he suggests the dude invest his money in psychiatry (boy I hope he has savings), Toby just walks off. He’ll just go to another plastic surgeon! He doesn’t need help! Nopes! Totally fine.
I wonder if the people on this show ever meet each other and then get together. Maybelline girl and Bieber boy. Wouldn’t that be a match made in Hell?
Behind the Fairy Tale: The Lion King
I remember when I first watched “The Lion King” in the theaters. The intro was amazing, with that camera spanning the African wilderness, and all those animals bowing, and the African chanting in the background. Of course, now I cannot listen to the chanting without hearing what a friend of mine heard it as – “Llama, llama, penguins in pa-ja-mas . . .”
And that’s just the beginning. While all those animals bowing is pretty cool, it now strikes me as a bit odd that the monkey goes and holds up the baby from the cliff. That’s a long freaking way down there. I mean, yeah, they’re announcing the birth of the new prince, or in the case of the audience, the next guy that will probably eat you. Which has to be partly why they’re all there – on the off chance the monkey drops the cub, they are gonna have some good eatin’ tonight.
And another thing, sure it’s cool when that monkey does it, but somehow this reminds me of another celebrity who did not get such good press for dangling his baby over a great height.
But enough of the intro, baby Simba quickly becomes an obnoxious little cub that makes “The Little Mermaid” look like the best child ever. He’s the prince and he knows it, and he’s gonna make sure everyone else does too by abusing his authority left and right – aws. And just like in “The Little Mermaid”, Simba’s dad has some flunky, this time a bird, keep an eye on his kid, knowing full well this flunky not only has no real authority over the prince, but stands a good chance of being EATEN by the prince should he ever get a bit peckish. And they act like Mufasa is such a great king.
Anyway, Simba has a song about how he “Just can’t wait to be king” and I find it incredibly ironic that the elder Simba is voiced by Matthew Broderick of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” fame, because I can’t help but see Ferris in this scene. And just like with Ferris, I really want to kick that little cub. Oh, but Alice, he’s just a kid! Yeah, and there’s a really good reason I decided not to be a teacher. I don’t tend to like the majority of children, with obvious exceptions, because they are, well, children.
Anyway, we soon meet Scar, Simba’s uncle, voiced by Jeremy Irons, automatically making him the most awesome character in the movie. He resents the heck out of his older brother, and no wonder, since Mufasa actually means “king” whereas Scar means, well, scar. That sucks. So just cause he’s a little younger, Scar gets nothing while Mufasa gets this entire harem, something Disney kind of glosses over, but let’s face it. All those lionesses are not doing Mufasa’s taxes, if you get my drift.
Scar decides it’d be fun to get rid of the little punk, and I can’t say as I blame him. He begs him not to go to the Elephant graveyard cause it’s oh so dangerous. Naturally Simba decides to go, just like Scar knows he will, and he takes his good pal Nala along.
Oh, Nala, there is so much to this dynamic too. Remember how I said Mufasa has this whole harem? Well, Nala’s mom is a part of that, and we never see her Dad, so that must mean that Nala is also Mufasa’s kid. Yet they’re engaged to be married. So Simba’s supposed to marry his half-sister? No wonder the two are disgusted by this idea.
Simba and Nala go to this spooky graveyard, and nearly get eaten by Scar’s pals, a group of idiot hyenas, once again reinforcing the “evil can never get good help” stereotype. Mufasa comes in and rescues the two just in time, and then has a talk with his son about how he’s one day going to rule and how that means his subjects will both serve him and be his meal tickets, but that’s okay because . . . circle of life?
Meanwhile, murder attempt #1 has failed and Scar decides to tell his cronies about how they should “Be prepared” for him to take over and what that’s going to entail. At one point we see the hyenas goose stepping and dang, Disney is really going for the evil now. This is my favorite song of the movie, because I guess I’m just sick that way.
Scar comes up with another plan, that is, leading Simba out to a valley and then getting his pals to stampede the Wilderbeasts over the mountain. Talk about your overkill, but I guess Scar wanted to make sure someone really got smashed this time. And it works, because Mufasa again comes to Simba’s rescue, but is unable to escape himself, mostly cause Scar knocks him off the cliff instead of giving him a paw up, saying “Long live the king.”
So Dad’s dead, and there’s Simba trying to get him to wake up cause he realizes that oh man, he is REALLY gonna be grounded now, when Scar helpfully arrives and asks “Oh, Simba, what have you done?” Gawd, I love Jeremy Irons. Oh, where was I? Right, he gets Simba to believe that he is at fault for his Dad’s death, and that he’d better run away before anyone finds out his crime. It works, and Simba runs, and then Scar makes another mistake. He sends his minions after Simba to finish him off. Wrong, wrong, wrong, Scar. Of course the hyenas give up after a while, figuring there’s no way the cub will survive out in the wilderness alone.
But Simba is of course discovered by pals Timon and Pumba, a meerkat and a warthog. Timon gets the idea that if they get Simba on their side now, when he’s a big lion he’ll totally protect them. So they befriend Simba and show him how to eat bugs. And this is where I gotta say, yeah right. There’s no way a lion’s gonna grow up healthy on bugs. At some point, he had to have seen Timon and Pumba as two plump pieces of meat. Hey, “Hakuna Matata” means no worries guys, so you probably won’t mind if I snack on your entrails?
Sorry, I might have gotten a bit too violent there. Simba grows up a lazy goofball while back home Scar runs the kingdom into the ground. He’s not so good at balancing the whole eating certain subjects while keeping enough to still serve you thing. Also he somehow managed to cause drought, which is pretty impressive for one lion.
But Simba, Timon, and Pumba are having a great time, staring up at the stars and making lots of fart jokes. There’s even an entire song revolving around farts. But eventually Nala has to show up and ruin all his fun. She’s shocked to find Simba alive, and naturally assumes Simba’s gonna wanna come right back and defeat Scar when she tells him how he’s let the place go and stuff.
So now we come to the love song, and this is why I don’t normally get into the animals playing human parts bit. It just kind of gives me the heebie jeebies. I felt the same way in Disney’s “Robin Hood” where the parts of Robin and Marion are played by foxes. Simba and Nala are even worse, staring into each others eyes, and then at one point Nala licks him and does this “come hither” thing and I start thinking of Wild Kingdom and my brains screams “OMG please say this isn’t happening!”
Thankfully they stop there. Simba’s all, I am not going back there cause I’m a failure (well, sort of true) and then Dad appears in the clouds and tells Simba in his giant Darth Vader voice to get off his lion butt and go do what he’s supposed to do. Then the monkey shows up, and hits him on the head, and Simba decides to return home and confront his uncle.
Simba and Scar have this big battle, and it looks like Scar is gonna win, but then he stupidly misplays his hand saying “I killed Mufasa.” Oh, whoops. This gives Simba the strength to keep fighting and, you’ll never guess how Scar dies. Yup, another plummet death. I never saw that one coming, did you?
Anyway, all is happy and Simba and Nala get married (cue banjos) and have a cub of their own, and the monkey once again dangles the baby up over the cliff and boom, the end.
Now as for where the Lion King originated – it’s fairly well known that the Lion King is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In Hamlet, the king is murdered by his brother, who then marries the king’s wife, and the prince has to make up his mind about confronting his uncle. Oh, and you get ghost dad there, too. That all makes sense. But, you might not know that Disney also totally freaking ripped the movie off of some Japanese anime entitled “Kimba the White Lion”.
I know this because, naturally, I get all my real news from “The Daily Show” and Cracked.com. Check out this link, again from Cracked.com. It’s unreal how completely shameless Disney is in its ripoff. They weren’t even trying to disguise it. Shaaaame, Disney, shaaaame.
So ends the tale of the lion king. Stay tuned for our first human male lead in a Disney film, Aladdin.
Behind the Fairy Tale: Beauty and the Beast
First off, a disclaimer. There’s been a few who have sheepishly admitted to liking Disney movies. If I were to say I hated them, a friend who blogs here, and has known me since I was twelve, would totally rat me out. I do love these movies, well, most of them anyway. That’s how I know so much about them. Sometimes I watch stuff I like! But it’s just so easy to find the goofy parts. Pun intended.
On to the story, tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme . . . cause, um, you know the dinosaurs totally told this tale, usually in musical form. We start with a narrator who tells us about how this spoiled prince totally dissed a creepy old lady and wouldn’t let her in and oh oh she’s an enchantress. She turns the prince into a beast who then has to find a girl by the time he turns 21 or he’s stuck a beast for all time. Oh, and as an added bonus, his whole staff is turned into silverware, clocks, candles, furniture, and assorted knick-knacks.
I always thought something was off about that. I mean, where were the prince’s parents? And talk about an overdone punishment – what is this, Singapore? Check out this clip from Cracked.com. He focuses mostly on the intro, and he’s hilarious.
After the intro, we skip like ten years and meet Belle, whose name means beauty, so at least she’s not actually named Beauty like in the original stories, which, really, is just freaking asking for trouble. In this version, Belle is lucky enough not to have any siblings. Also, mom’s dead. But you knew that.
So Belle walks down the street in her “old provincial town” where everyone around her breaks out into song and conveniently introduce themselves. Belle is not a bubble head – she reads books, you guys. They’re stupid fairy tales, but I’m guessing she doesn’t have much selection. Since she’s smart and educated, the rest of the town totally doesn’t get her. Having grown up in a small town in the very conservative Bible Belt, I can sort of get that.
The big handsome guy in town, Gaston, decides Belle should be his because she’s as beautiful as he is. What’s odd to me, though, is that there are these triplet blondes that seem quite cute and fawn over him through the entire movie. Like, hey, Gaston, Belle’s not the girl for you. Marry the triplets.
But of course he has to have the one girl who wants him to get lost. He has a henchman who is this freakish troll looking dude. Come to think of it, there are a lot of these short, fat guys in Disney movies. Prince Charming’s father was short and squat. Likewise, Belle’s father is short and squat. Luckily Belle apparently took after dead mom in appearance.
Dad is an inventor, except none of his inventions have really worked up until now. So I’m not exactly sure how he’s supporting them, but whatever. He gets one working, and so goes off to town to show off his machine and get totally famous, which would be great if he had any directional sense whatsover. Even the horse knows better than to go down that creepy, clouded road.
But he goes down the creepy road anyway in a storm and gets chased by wolves, and the horse, showing its superior intelligence, runs home. Dad makes it to a castle that seems deserted. Very quickly he figures out that it’s not empty, but has a talking clock, candle stick, footstool, tea pot, and cups. Instead of freaking out, he just tries to figure out where the batteries are and all. Me? I’d be taking my chances with the wolves.
Mrs. Potts (she’s the teapot played by Jessica Fletcher from “Murder She Wrote”) asks if he wants a spot of tea. Uh, not if it comes out of your nose, no, I don’t. But he does, and he’s feeling lots better at least until the beast shows up. This is a big surprise to Belle’s Dad.
I have a question already. Why is he surprised? I mean, I’m assuming this prince at one time ruled over this little town, right? Or his missing parents did. Yet he’s gone for ten years, and not only does no one investigate this, they totally forget about the guy? I’d understand if we were talking like a century and the castle was covered by vines and stuff, but this is a pretty short time. Oh, well.
The Beast’s attitude hasn’t gotten a lot better in the last ten years, though it’s hard to blame him, considering he went through puberty with a LOT more body hair issues than normal. He yells a lot and throws the old man in a cell.
Meanwhile, Gaston has set up a wedding for Belle, only he hasn’t asked her yet. But he makes a tempting offer – if she marries him, she gets to be his servant and bear him lots of stupid, strapping sons. As hard as that is to resist, she tosses him out. He’s not pleased. Gaston. The triplets are right there. Sigh.
She’s worried about Dad, so sets off to look for him while Gaston drinks and tosses the triplets around. Belle’s dad runs in and begs for help saving Belle from a beast. No one believes him. But Gaston comes up with a devious plan to get Belle by threatening her father with the loony bin. Good plan.
Belle makes it to the Beast’s castle and the candlestick is all excited because she might be the one who will break the spell! She’s also the only female human who has entered the house in the past decade, but still! I can understand the French candle’s desperation. He’s probably tired of having his head set on fire all the time.
The Beast is no nicer to Belle than the old guy, but when Belle offers to take the guy’s place, he agrees. He might be a beast, but he’s not stupid. Girl trumps old sick guy any day. So Dad is shipped back home by an animated coach (I wonder which servant the coach was?) and Belle is given a nice place in the castle. See, Belle? Your prison is, like, nice and comfy!
The living chest of drawers offers her lots of gowns to choose from. Interestingly enough, they all fit Belle exactly. So, then, were these the beast’s mom’s clothes she’s wearing or did he just happen to have women’s clothes there just in case he caught a girl? I dunno.
Belle refuses to eat dinner with the Beast. He’s pretty cheesed off about it, but can’t vary well shred her to pieces since she’s his only chance at being human again. Later, Belle sneaks down and the dining room has a whole production number, serving this one girl every bit of food in the house. The plates, the silverware, I mean everything is freaking dancing here. “Be our guest, be out guest, we’re obsessed!” I’m out of here!
While I like the song, I feel I should point out that the candlestick says the servants are sad because they have no one to wait upon. That’s messed up. Whatever. Belle likes it and somehow the Beast doesn’t pick up on the Broadway number going on downstairs. She asks for a tour, then curiously sneaks off to the forbidden West Wing. Belle finds the rose that’s supposed to bloom until the prince turns twenty-one, when he becomes a beast forever because karma is really freaking awful in this movie.
The Beast finds her, roars, she freaks, and runs out of the castle. Wolves try to eat her, and the Beast saves her. Belle has a chance to run, but she chooses to help the Beast back to the castle. Some would call this honoring her promise. Others call it Stockholm Syndrome. Potato, Po-ta-to.
Unlike most other Disney movies, Belle actually spends a lot more time with the Beast, getting to know him. Granted, she doesn’t actually have a choice in the matter, but still. The Beast finds out she likes books and gives her a library, which was there the whole time, but whatever. Belle’s happy.
They decide to have a date night, and get all dressed up. Belle wears a beautiful form-fitting gold dress and they shove the Beast into a suit. I’m guessing the sewing machine made alterations on his dad’s stuff, or else dad was really freaking huge. They eat dinner, then go to dance.
The ballroom scene is computer animated. Remember this is back when computer animation was still fairly new. And it’s breathtaking, the camera panning around the shining floors and the painted ceilings as they dance. And the song is great too, even if it is sung by a tea-pot. It’s not hard to believe that this movie was the only animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It didn’t win, but boy did the nomination annoy a lot of the human actors. Ha.
After the dance, the Beast asks if she’s happy, you know, being his prisoner and all. And Belle’s like yes, because let’s face it her hometown kind of sucked, but she misses her father. He shows her this magic mirror he uses to spy on, er, observe the world around him. Belle sees her father acting like the useless doofus he is, and begs to go to him. The Beast hesitates, probably thinking about how in a few days he’s gonna doom himself to being a beast AND let’s not forget, doom his staff to be furniture and kitchen appliances.
But he loves her, so he lets her go, cause if she comes back it’s meant to be, and if she doesn’t, you hunt her down and kill her. Wait, no. Sorry. That’s Gaston’s method of love hunting. When Belle returns, Gaston threatens to send Dad to the loony bin if she doesn’t marry him. The Beast gave Belle the magic mirror, so Belle decides to prove the beast is real by showing Gaston the Beast in the magic mirror. The beast is in the process of belting out a Meatloaf song, so he looks pretty freaky.
Bad move. Gaston decides they must go kill the Beast! Luckily, it’s not hard to stir up this stupid town into getting their pitchforks. They have been seriously bored for too long. Belle says he’s really kind, and Gaston asks if she has feelings for this Beast, and Belle’s a bit confused because she’s never been into relationships with animals before. She does point out to Gaston that the Beast isn’t the monster, he is. Oooh, snap. Still, Gaston shuts her and the Dad up and goes off with his crew to kill the beast.
With the help of the stupid tea-cup and the Dad’s invention, they manage to chop their way out of the cellar. There’s another storm, of course, and Gaston meets up with the Beast who puts up no fight while Gaston shoots arrows into him. Meanwhile, the dishes and forks and stuff fight off the villagers in the only battle ever sponsored by Pier One.
When the Beast sees Belle, he fights back, and almost drops Gaston off the castle, but lets him go. Gaston pays him back by knifing him in the back, but stumbles, and has yet another convenient Disney plummet death. No blood, no fuss!
The Beast is dying, and Belle’s sad, and she says I love you, and then stuff starts getting really trippy. In this big burst of light the Beast is transformed into the prince. I’m not impressed. I kind of thought the Beast was cooler. Oh, well. All the servants turn back into themselves, and the prince and Belle dance. There will be time to find an entire castle worth of new furniture later.
How is it different from the original tale? It’s actually closer than many of the Disney movies, but has its differences. The girl’s name is Beauty and her father is a merchant down on his luck. He gets a promising lead and so asks the girls what they want. The sisters are all get me everything, but Beauty’s like oh, just a rose, figuring that’s simple and all. Nope. The Dad picks the rose from the Beast’s garden. The Beast tells the Dad to return shortly, unless he can get someone to go in his place.
Dutiful martyr Beauty insists that she go, and the sisters are all, yeah, totally send her, cause they went to the same mean girl school as Cinderella’s stepsisters. Beauty goes, and eventually falls in love with the Beast, but asks to go visit her home. Beast sends her with lots of bling, and the sisters keep talking her into staying longer and longer. When Beauty finally returns, Beast is dying, but she saves him with those same three words.
This is easily my favorite Disney movie of all. What did you think of it? If you had to be a household object, what would you choose?
Behind the Fairy Tale: The Little Mermaid
Ah, The Little Mermaid. Before I start properly trashing this movie, I must admit that when it first came out, I loved it. I was also twelve-years-old, so take that as you will. It was the first full length fairy tale animated feature since Sleeping Beauty, so it was a pretty big deal. There were some great songs, the best ones being sung by a crab – “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl”. Finally, the girl had a great name. I still believe Ariel is one of the most beautiful names ever.
But looking back at it now, I have a few questions. Oh, what am I saying? I have a LOT of questions. First of all, how do mermaids go to the bathroom? Oh, come on, you know you’ve thought of it. For that matter, how are, um, little mermaids made? I’m just not seeing it. I’d say they lay eggs, but if you’ll look closely, you’ll see that under her cross- your-heart mollusks, Ariel has a definite belly button. They never get into this in the movie, but Ariel’s parents were obviously fertile, having seven daughters and all. Weirdly, they all seem to be exactly the same age too, though Ariel is supposed to be the youngest.
You know how the youngest sibling is almost always the brattiest? I can say this because I am the youngest sibling. They’re always getting away with stuff, because cute, right? Ariel is no different. On the day of her first concert in front of the whole fishy kingdom, where is she? Goofing off with a fish appropriately named Flounder. That’s like naming your dog “dog”. But whatever. She’s off exploring a sunken sea ship, in an area known for sharks, and tells her buddy “Oh, don’t be such a guppy!” So, what, guppies are like second class citizens here? Also, I’m gonna have to side with Flounder on this one. Hanging around in shark infested waters sounds pretty stupid.
And it is, as she is chased by a shark and narrowly makes her escape. Only after her first near-death experience of the movie does she remember her concert. Oh, d’oh! Daddy, King Tritan, is super cheesed off, so assigns Sebastian the crab to babysit. I’m not exactly sure what Sebastion’s actual job is besides say conducting fish orchestras, but I’m thinking babysitting is not what he was hired for.. I’d be asking for a transfer if I got that kid, personally.
He sucks it up, though, and tries to convince her that living underwater is best with such wisdoms as “It’s bettah down where it’s wettah.”. Hey, I’m convinced. Ariel is not, and wanders off while he’s doing his whole big production number. Um, rude! She sees a human ship and decides, HEY, how about I go check that out? This makes even less sense when you consider that in a prequel to the movie, we see that her mother is killed by a human ship. But no one said Ariel was exactly tops when it comes to common sense.
So she hangs out on the side of the ship and spies Prince Eric and his extremely small crew dancing around and bazinga – true love. Oh, I forgot to mention she has another extremely annoying friend, Scuttle the sea gull, who identifies all her human “treasures”. But he gets them all wrong, cause he’s a freaking sea gull with a pebble for a brain. He thinks Eric’s dog is a human, a fork is a comb, and that you can find a pulse in someone’s foot. I really hated that bird.
There is, predictably, a storm, and the tiny ship is tossed, and so is Prince Eric. Ariel rescues him and brings him to the beach, where she sings a song about how much she wants to like, totally be part of his world, even though she just met the guy. At no point does she wonder about any of her, say, friends. You know, the crab, or the fish, or even the stupid bird that hang out with her all the time. Nope, it’s all about the guy.
He starts to wake up, so she hops back in the water. Now she’s more determined than ever to become human. As Sebastian says “the sea-weed is always greener in somebody else’s lake.” She goes to her secret hiding place, a grotto where she keeps all her human junk. Holy crap, Ariel’s a hoarder! Her favorite thing is her most recent acquisition, a statue of Prince Eric that sank from the boat. She has a big singing number and starts talking to the statue. Fortunately, Tritan intervenes before it gets super weird. Sebastian told him about her little visit with the humans, and he’s understandably ticked off. I mean, he’s just trying to keep the kid from killing herself. Still, he kinda loses it, blasting all her junk to smithereens. Look, Tritan, I’ve watched the show, and this is not going to cure her habit. Oh, well.
Cue Ursula the sea witch, who takes this opportunity to play the “good guy” and offer Ariel everything she ever wanted! She can be human, but there’s just a few little details like she has to get wooden headed Eric to fall in love with her in three days, and oh yeah, she can’t talk because the witch is taking her voice. Ursula (who is one of my favorite baddies) has an awesome song convincing Ariel, with such gems as “And she who holds her tongue who gets a man!” Yeah, like what guy wants a girl to talk? Just look pretty, Ariel, that’s all ya need! I mean, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White weren’t even conscious, and they got their true loves, so why not? Facepalm.
Ariel goes along with it, of course, and is transformed into a human. So her buddies help her up to the surface where she has this great Flashdance moment of flinging her hair back, and then they clothe her in a ship’s sail so she’s not nakey. Poor Sebastian. He knows he’s gonna get his shell kicked for this, so he has to try to help the kid win her man. Sebastian, dude, get a resume and quick.
Eric finds her and takes her back to the castle. He’s been looking for that chick with the beautiful voice that saved his life. He’s totes in love with her, cause she sings pretty, and really, what more do you need? Yet Ariel can’t be that person, cause she’s mute. Still, she’s cute and apparently Eric doesn’t have a lot of other girls competing for him. He doesn’t even seem to have parents, and yet he’s a prince. I’m not sure what that’s all about.
They eat dinner together, and Ariel brushes her hair with her fork while everyone stares at her like she’s freaking insane. She puts the fork down sheepishly, no doubt thinking about how she’s going to shove the fork into that stupid sea gull’s eye. Then Eric takes her on a tour of the castle, and a romantic boat ride. Sebastian gets together with a bunch of other sea life and they sing the song “Kiss the Girl”. Super subtle there, guys. What I do love is how the scene gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger with more and more sea creatures coming out of the woodwork to sing along, and yet Eric doesn’t seem to notice.
He’s all ready to kiss her, maybe so the song will stop, when Ursula’s henchmen eels turn the boat over. Ursula is ticked. “The little tramp – she’s better than I thought.” Ah, Disney, I do love your family films! She disguises herself as a human and with Ariel’s voice in a shell necklace, walks right in and hypnotizes poor, dopey Eric. They board a wedding ship – of course there’s a wedding ship – and the stupid sea gull realizes that the girl is actually Ursula (well, duh) and so Ariel with the help of the friends she’s put in danger countless times, goes off to rescue him again.
She almost succeeds, but then time runs out, she becomes a mermaid, and Ursula takes off with her. Ursula tells Tritan she’ll give him back his daughter if he’ll just give her his trident. You know, the thing Tritan uses to control THE ENTIRE FREAKING OCEAN. No biggie. Yo, Tritan, you’ve got six other kids, and we’re talking the lives of thousands of merpeople and fish and whatnot and really you should consider . . . crap, you just gave her the trident. Brilliant.
So Ursula goes all power crazy and starts stirring up the ocean, and she’s having a really great time until Eric rams his ship through her. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that imagery. Ursula is dead, and Tritan gets the kingdom back (I’m sure his subjects were all thrilled he was willing to lay it all on the line for the little brat) and he decides to turn his daughter into a human like she always wanted so that she can be with her true love. On the plus side, he doesn’t have to put up with her anymore. On the other hand, what if she realizes marriage is really pretty boring and she sees some cute merguy and decides she wants to be a mermaid again? Let’s face it, Ariel’s never really been one for having a lot of forethought into these things. Oh, well.
So they get married, the end, happy ever after. But there’s still some questions. Once Ariel marries Eric, does she eat her former fishy friends? I mean, Sebastian was nearly killed by the French chef in a slightly disturbing musical number involving a bunch of cleavers. Or does she stick to an all-seaweed diet? I’d think she’d have to, cause cannibalism is really not very Disney-like.
Now the movie was far from perfect, but keep in mind it was based on the tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the author best known for making all his readers want to kill themselves by the story’s end. In the original Little Mermaid, she gives up her voice to be human, but the prince marries someone else anyway, and her sisters give up their hair for a knife for her to kill the prince with, thus allowing her to become a mermaid again. Instead, the noble mermaid kills herself and gets to go to Heaven.
Okay, so I realize that the lesson here is that you can’t be someone you’re not, and don’t’ give away your voice, and these are very important lessons that are totally thrown out in the Disney version. On the other hand, who the heck would have wanted to see that version? It sucks! I mean, if I were the mermaid, I’d have knifed old princey and gotten my tail back, but either way, you can’t say it’s suitable for children. Or even adults. So I still say I prefer the Disney version because if I want reality, I’ll just watch the news.
But that’s just my take on it. What do you think of the movie? Is there another Disney flick you’d like me to cover next?
Behind the Fairy Tale: Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite Disney movies for one main reason: Maleficent. This is one evil fairy you don’t wanna mess around with. She will CUT YOU. Forget to invite her to your baby shower? Expect one death curse on your baby. Also she can turn into a dragon and all sorts of crap when she’s angry. Try not to piss her off.
Sadly, Sleeping Beauty’s parents didn’t get the memo. The good fairies give the baby princess the gifts of Song and Beauty which begs the question – would the girl would have been tone deaf and ugly as a post without the gifts? Who knows? It’s just a good thing they didn’t come up with something silly to give her like, say, intelligence. That’s what beauty is for! Anyway, Maleficent shows up in a ball of fire to liven things up. Check it! And here’s another great power this lady has –the power of extreme sarcasm.
“To show I bear no ill will, I too will bestow a gift on the baby . . .” she coos. Hahaha, SNAP, she slaps a curse on the kid, dooming her to death by spinning wheel on her sixteenth birthday. Oh, the third chubby fairy tries to make it better, by simply dooming her to eternal sleep until true love wakes her up, but the king is having none of this. Like all politicians, he promptly overreacts and burns every spinning wheel in the country. I mean, come on, the fairy said 16th birthday. You could have waited, I’d say, at least 15 years before burning all the spinning wheels and dooming your people to sew every darn thing by hand. Not that it would do any good against a fairy who, considering she has the ability to appear and disappear in fire, probably can make a spinning wheel too.
The three fairies figure this out and come up with a plan to raise the kid alone without use of magic. Again, the kid is an infant at this point. 16th birthday, people. Still, the king and queen are freaked and so let these dimwitted fairies take their only child to be raised in the woods. I can’t forsee any problems with this.
It works for a while, mostly because Maleficent relies on her stupid henchmen to search for the child, and they search every cradle – for the entire 16 years. So hard to find good help these days. I love how she says, “Sixteen years you’ve been looking for a baby . . . .” before completely losing it and zapping the heck out of her minions. I’m not sure what Mal was doing all these years – being freaking awesome I guess. Anyway, she finally gets wise and sends out her crow to look for a pretty girl who can sing.
And said pretty girl – the fairies name her Briar Rose – grows up trapped in a cottage with three irritating old women. She has no one else to talk to but forest animals, so it is kind of hard to blame her when the first man shows up and she falls for him right away. I think I would too at that point. Like the prince in Snow White, he’s first attracted by her singing. This movie does have some of the best songs – partly because they are words put to the original music from the ballet. Anyway, she’s singing about meeting this hottie in her dreams and boom, real hottie shows up. He has a name too – Phillip – and shock of all shocks, a bit of a personality too! Big steps here, Disney.
Anyway, she doesn’t realize he’s the prince she was originally promised to as an infant (I love the scene where five year old Phillip looks down at his future bride and makes a disgusted face). And he, like her, thinks she’s a peasant. Mistaken identity for the win! It’s pretty much the only thing taking the girl away from her parents all this time has accomplished, since the fairies, eager to make a halfway decent cake and dress for her birthday, start using magic. Not sure how they’ve been sewing and cooking all this time, but whatever. It quickly devolves into two of them shooting the crap out of each other with wands, which the crow notices while flying overhead. Brilliant.
In between, while waiting for the princess, there’s a great scene where the two kings get falling down drunk. I’d love to see that happen in one of their movies today. But drinking is wrong! Except when it’s funny!
Anyway, Phillip informs his father that he’s marrying hot peasant babe (great quote: “Come on, father, it’s the 14th century – times are changing!), and Rose gets the great surprise that hey, we’ve been lying to you all this time, and now that you’ve finally met someone, you get to go be a princess and marry some prince you don’t know! Happy birthday! After this a series of mishaps happen resulting in Phillip getting captured by Maleficent and Rose (or Princess Aurora, whatevs) getting possessed and touching a – wait for it – magic spinning wheel created by evil fairy magic. Dun dun dummmm!
Well, now that the good fairies have managed to royally screw up EVERYTHING, they try to fix it. Since the princess is asleep, why not put all the rest of the castle asleep, you know, to spare the king and queen any suffering (and spare their own behinds, I wager.) This is just one example of hero has misfortune, the entire staff has misfortune. They finally figure out the mixup and go rescue Phillip from prison and give him a shiny sword and shield. So he rides off to the castle but wait, Maleficent ain’t goin’ down easy. She puts up thorns, then turns into a freaking dragon “Prepare to face ME and all the powers of HELL!” Whoa. I don’t know about Phillip, but I’d be wettin’ ’em.
I like the Disney version better than the original fairy tale. At least in this one, she’s only asleep a short time, and she’s woken up by someone who knows she’s under a spell and who she’s actually met before. In the original, the princess and the castle are all asleep for 100 years, which means when the prince finally gets there, she’s woken up by a stranger (again kissing what for all he knows is a dead girl) in a completely different universe. Think falling asleep in 1913 and waking up today. Yeah, slight culture shock there. That would have to totally suck.
So Phillip kills the dragon, and goes upstairs to wake the princess. Of course she looks perfect in sleep, holding a rose, her beautiful, perfectly styled blond locks (very peasant like!) laying across the pillow just so. Yeah, that’s a natural sleep position. I think it would have added a nice touch if the princess were snoring and drooling into her pillow. Oh well. Phillip kisses her and she wakes up. Next thing you know, they’re downstairs dancing around the ballroom. The stupid fairies continue to change her dress from pink to blue because some people NEVER LEARN. I find it amazing how the peasant girl instantly knows how to dance in court (did the birds and racoons teach her?), but whatever. The only disappointing thing is that Maleficent has to die (by the sword and Disney plummet death). She was totally the most interesting character.
I’m not sure what the thing is with fairy tales and incapacitating women. It’s looking like a bit of a trend here. Maybe they figure if women are asleep, they’re more likely not to notice all the crap the men are doing. I know that’s why I like napping today. What do you think?
Stay tuned next time for the original “failure to launch” Peter freakin’ Pan.