movie

I Will Analyze… I Can Go the Distance with Disney’s “Hercules” (1997)

Warning: Contains spoilers***

 

Seeing “Hercules” in the movie theater is one of my very earliest (and very faint) memories. I was 3 years old at the time. Then I saw it in 4th grade, during an indoor recess. I watched it again more recently—in March of this year.

In Ancient Greece, the muses start with an opening song. Then it goes to Mount Olympus, where Zeus, Hera, and the other gods are adoring the infant, Hercules. Hades, the god of the underworld, has a plan to harm Hercules. His assistants, Pain and Panic, kidnap Baby Hercules from Mount Olympus and feed him a potion that makes him mortal. They stop when a couple finds Hercules. There is one remaining drop. And Hercules still has his strength. However, since he has become mortal, he cannot return to Mount Olympus. The human couple takes Hercules and raises him.

Years have gone by and Hercules is now a young man going with his adoptive parents to Athens. He accidentally destroys the architecture with his involuntary strength. Hercules feels that something about him is unusual. His adoptive parents reveal to him that he was found and they still have the metal he wore when they found him. The metal has the symbol of the gods. Hercules goes to the temple of Zeus. In order to return to Mount Olympus as a god, Hercules has to prove himself a true hero. He gets help from the faun, Phil, but also falls in love with a young woman named Megara (Meg). Hercules struggles but pushes himself.

I found Hercules’s struggles to make him very believable. The way he acted toward people was done well. The midpoint, where Hercules becomes super famous and popular was great, even if it didn’t satisfy the Zeus statue.

The humor was not slapstick, but used appropriately, such as when Pain and Panic had those sandals with Hercules on them. Hades got mad and Pain and Panic defended themselves with the excuse of the Hercules being a different entity than the one they knew. There were also a lot of 90’s references, such as Air Hercs (like Air-Jordans), Grecian Express, and more. I grew up in the 2000’s, but I still got the references.

The plot points were also done well, especially the deal Hercules made with Hades. It went back and forth. Hercules lost his strength, gained it back, and acknowledged the deal again.

With Meg, I felt her role was only there for romantic element convenience, because hey— shouldn’t Disney movies with protagonists in their teens or over have romance. Not necessarily! I don’t know about the 90’s, but if you’ve seen 2016’s “Moana” or 2012’s “Brave”, neither main characters fell in love. And they were females.

Anyway, back to this film. Although Meg was just okay, I did appreciate how Hercules gave up his return to Mount Olympus at the end to rejoin Meg. I thought that was so sweet. This is one of those movies where the main character does not achieve his or her goal. Yet, the ending is still satisfying. Which leaves me wondering… what if Hercules never met Meg? Hmmm…

Anyhow, the movie is still a 5-star film for me. It isn’t one of the top Disney classics for me. But I still really enjoyed it.

 

movie

What Review is This? It’s “The Aristocats” (1970)

It’s 1910 in Paris. A retired opera singer named Madame Adelaide Bonfamille and her butler, Edgar, return home. Duchess the mother cat, and her three children, Berlioz, Marie, and Toulouse play around. Meanwhile, Edgar brews some milk to put the cats to sleep. The cats drink the milk and get taken away in a basket. The four cats end up frightened until they meet the alley cat, Thomas O’Malley. From there, they journey back to Paris.

This movie was amazing with its characters (with the exception of a few stereotypes), retro 2D animation style, French culture, and music. My favorite song from this film is “Everybody Wants to be a Cat”.

Duchess was very motherly and gentle with the kittens. Marie was a bit of a snob. And should she really have made goo-goo eyes at Thomas O’Malley? Speaking of which, Thomas O’Malley was voiced by the same actor who played Baloo in 1967’s “The Jungle Book”.

The hounds were great, too. I loved how the lead dog, Napoleon, claimed that he was the leader. Abigail and Amelia, the British geese, were hilarious. Uncle Waldo was okay, although he was not very developed except for his drunk-like attitude. I don’t think Disney or any movie geared toward families and children would get away with that today.

The songs were good, although there were only a few. While the movie was a good watch, to be honest, it wasn’t super-engaging. I don’t know why.

Nevertheless, I would rate “The Aristocats” 4.5 out of 5 stars. I would gladly recommend it today. It didn’t do as poorly as some Disney films (i.e. “The Black Cauldron”), but I was surprised to hear how many people don’t pay as much attention to “The Aristocats” as to “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”. However, the movie did do pretty well when it came out.

TV show

Hookin’ Up My Analysis of “My Life as a Teenage Robot”

The show, “My Life as a Teenage Robot”, was one of my favorites as a child. It focused on a teenage girl robot named Jenny Wakeman (or XJ9, as her mom often called her) who had to balance her normal teenage life with fighting crime and danger. Sound similar to “Kim Possible”, except that the protagonist is a robot?

The characters were great, such as Jenny, Brad, Tuck, and many more. The theme song also rocks. And the style of the art was very well-executed.

One of the most memorable episodes was when Brad found out that Jenny was built 5 years before the setting of the show. So she was technically 5 years old. Authorities took Jenny away from the high school and put her in kindergarten. She showed off as smarter than the little kids and acted like a jerk. When she was forced to go back to go back to high school, she whined, “I’m only 5 years old.”

Another interesting moment was when Jenny was solving a problem in Japan and something got altered in her system. Jenny lost her ability to speak English and could only speak Japanese. That was very unique.

Now what I wonder is if Jenny will ever reach adulthood. In that kindergarten episode, Jenny’s mom revealed that she was built as a teenager. So will Jenny ever go to college, get a job… retire even?

Yes, cartoon characters usually stay the same age for several seasons throughout the entire show duration or maybe age by one or two years. But I wonder how would Jenny feel when all her peers got jobs, married, started families, and so forth while she was still a teenager. Would she ever mature emotionally?

Oh, well. The show isn’t on anymore. I don’t think we’ll ever get to see more episodes of “My Life as a Teenage Robot” or learn more about Jenny herself. As of now, there probably isn’t going to be a reboot.

Still, the series was amazing with an imaginative concept and premise. I have no idea what shows Nickelodeon airs now, except “Spongebob Squarepants” and “The Fairly Odd Parents.” I don’t know about “Spongebob”, but “The Fairly Odd Parents” has made a lot of changes compared to when I used to watch it.

“My Life as a Teenage Robot” didn’t last as long. But I still consider it one of my top childhood favorites for Nickelodeon.

movie

He’s the Boss – “The Boss Baby” Review (2017)

Warning: Contains Spoilers***

 

I saw the trailer for this film many times. At some point, I was on a plane and decided to give this movie a try. I had no idea what the plot was until I watched it.

The story is narrated by a man named Tim. It focuses on when Tim was 7 years old and living a happy life with his parents. They bring home a baby in a suit. Like many little kids, Tim is resistant to having to accept a new baby in the family. He discovers the baby talking on the phone in an adult voice. When the baby holds a meeting with a few other babies in the house, Tim records their conversation. His parents see him trying to hurt his baby brother. They ground him. The baby takes Tim to Baby Corp and gives him a tour. Tim improves his behavior with the baby and his parents end his punishment. The parents go to Las Vegas and leave Tim and the baby with a nanny. Things are not going to go well. Tim and the baby have to go stop them.

This movie had a lot of interesting and unexpected concepts, such as how babies are made in that world and how babies need a special formula to function like adults or else they function like normal babies. Despite that, it seems unknown and inconsistent why Tim’s parents told him where babies come from (the real way… I’m obviously not going into detail on that).

The scene with Elvis plane and passengers was funny and creative. I liked how they had their own Elvis language. The growth and change Tim goes through was done well. When the boss baby has to leave, Tim is sad. There are even little figures removing all evidence of that baby and wiping the parents’ memories of the baby. It was so sweet how the boss baby was willing to give up his position and rejoin Tim as a normal baby. His name is then Theodore.

I would rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and would gladly recommend it to anyone.

 

 

movie

On the Way… Now a Review of “Ice Age” (2002)

Warning: Contains Spoilers***

 

One of the greatest prehistoric-set movies of all time is “Ice Age”. I am amazed how much effort the creators did to use prehistoric creatures. They got to use pretty much any kind, except dinosaurs.

The three main characters’ voice actors did such a great job with their roles. John Leguizamo expressed such great humor on Sid the sloth. Ray Romano did a superb job as the cranky Manny the mammoth. Dennis Leary portrayed Diego the dark saber-toothed tiger very well.

And Scrat? Ah, you can’t forget him—constantly chasing his acorn. He may not speak or be part of the main trio (or the group of 4 if you add the baby), but Scrat’s moments are wonderful. There was one moment in the film where Sid, Manny, Diego, and the baby came into contact with Scrat.

Speaking of which, the film begins with Scrat, trying to get his acorn in the snow. He falls and the snow is gone. He catches his acorn, and a larger animal steps on him. The title sequence and opening credits start.

The animals are migrating to prepare for the ice age. Manny goes in another direction. Another scene shows Sid waking up and unable to find his family. After accidentally angering a couple rhinos, Sid runs from them and meets Manny. Sid shows interest in being Manny’s companion. But Manny is too moody and prefers to be alone.

Another point-of-view shows the human baby and his parents. Diego and the other tigers are watching. At some point, the tigers attack. Diego almost gets the baby until the mother catches him. She runs away with the child, but dies as she sees Manny and Sid. Sid takes the baby. Shortly after, Diego meets Sid and Manny. They begin their journey to return the baby to the other humans.

This film had a lot of action, humor, and emotional moments. The scene where the animal trio and the baby get separated in the ice slide tunnels was funny. The baby had no fear whatsoever. The animal trio was for the most part good with the baby. Diego didn’t always act appropriately to the child, though. Sometimes, however, he was brighter than Sid. Sid tended to be naïve and didn’t always make smart choices. Like when Manny suggested milk for the baby, Sid reacted with, “Ooh, I’d love some.” Diego clarified that Manny was taking about the baby.

The dodo scene was awesome. I appreciated their Tae-kwon-do scene when the main trio just wanted to give the infant food. And Sid won. There was a slow-motion effect as Sid fought the dodos.

Now the film is not without its flaws. There is one inconsistency I noticed. At the end, when Sid is getting emotional and teary as the baby has been returned to his father and the other people, Diego comes back and says, “You know humans can’t talk.” But the baby’s mother talked. Diego was even there. When she ran away with the baby, she turned around to the other humans and said, “Bye.” I guess Diego must’ve forgot by the film’s end—or had tuned out during that time. I don’t know.

Nevertheless, “Ice Age” was a fantastic movie. There are three sequels after, I believe. I would rate this 5 out of 5 stars.

 

TV show

I’m Gonna Analyze, Cause it’s “Danny Phantom”

Ah, “Danny Phantom”—one of those amazing cartoons for people who grew up in the 00’s, like me. Created by Butch Hartman after “The Fairly Odd Parents”, the premise focuses on a 14-year-old boy named Danny. He has two ghost-hunting parents who have a special machine with a portal. Danny has done something that altered his DNA. And… you guessed it… he became a ghost. Well, half ghost. From then on, he is Danny Fenton (his human surname) and Danny Phantom, although the people in his town refer to him as the ghost boy and think he’s evil.

But why is Danny okay with that—being considered a villain? I know he doesn’t let anyone know he’s the ghost boy, except for his two best friends, Tucker and Sam, and later, his sister, Jazz. Still—someone could seriously hurt him. Nothing can get too extreme as “Danny Phantom” was a children’s show.

There was one episode special, however, where Danny accidentally revealed to the public that he was the ghost boy. His parents were shocked, and so was everyone else. But we didn’t get to see Valerie’s reaction. In fact, she didn’t appear at all there.

You probably remember Valerie, that girl who also hunted ghosts, but was harsher than Jack and Maddie Fenton, Danny’s parents. But she wasn’t always kept tracked of too well. She had three different voice actors, the third being Cree Sumner, who voiced her throughout the series from that point on. But then she seemed to have disappeared. I remember finding it unsatisfying that Valerie wasn’t in that special where Danny transformed from ghost to person. I’ve always considered how she would’ve reacted.

Another thing I discovered about the show was that the ghosts aren’t dead, and they’re only referred to ghosts to make it easier to recall than to use some other word (I can’t remember the other term). This came from the fan theory: Is Danny Phantom half dead? Ironically, in one episode, a ghost said, “You can’t catch me alive,” and another said, “Um… you’re a ghost.” Hmmm… was that ever explained? Or how Danny just sucked his future evil self into the Fenton thermos to resolve the main conflict? I wonder how that worked out.

Regardless, the ghosts were memorable and well-developed. I loved the box ghost—his signature line, “I am the box ghost” is so clever. He sounds like the alien, Mark, from “The Fairly Odd Parents”. Ember the Rockstar had an amazing song and I enjoyed how she hypnotized people to love it (until Tucker undid that in one episode).  Desiree the wishing ghost was like a wicked genie. She reminded me of Norm, who was also from “The Fairly Odd Parents”.

Ghosts could possess people in this series. I loved when Danny possessed his dad when he got in trouble at school. It was such a clever way to avoid getting punished.

And have you also noticed this detail about the extras? They’re all physically diverse. People have all different body types and I applaud that. After all, no one should ever feel self-conscious about his or her appearance, especially from something on the screen.

Now about the characters. Sam’s parents were the opposite of her. They had sunshine-like appearances and personalities while Sam was goth in both her looks and personality. Paulina was (I think) Danny’s crush at first, but then, out of nowhere, she seemed to have betrayed him and joined Dash’s side. I wonder why this happened and without explanation.

And Danny… our hero and star of the show… he was such a relatable character. From going through teenage issues to being Jazz’s annoying little brother at times to being loyal to his friends. Wow.

The show ended in 2007, despite its popularity. There are still some shorts of it on YouTube, such as the special where all the Butch Hartman cartoons cross over with “Danny Phantom” and “Danny Phantom goes to Hogwarts”. Even if there’s unlikely to be a reboot, the show is still great. I would gladly recommend it to kids today.

 

movie

“Cars 3” On Your Mark… Get Set… Review!

Warning: Contains Spoilers***

 

I saw the first “Cars” movie when it came out in 2006. However, I barely remember that. I didn’t see “Cars 2”.

But when I saw “Cars 3” last year in 2017, I discovered that I liked it. I appreciated how it easily stood on its own and the viewer didn’t have to rely on the previous two films.

Lightning McQueen is preparing for a race. His goal is to beat Jackson Storm. He crashes and ends up in critical condition. He is asked to retire from racing. But he won’t. Lightning gets pared with a trainer named Cruz Ramirez and teaches her some racing skills. He doesn’t want training, though. He yells at Cruz and she gives up on him. Lightning apologizes and things improve from there.

This movie kept my interest all the way through. The cow vehicles were funny. The animation was also done well.

Although Lightning didn’t return to being a racer at the end, I admired how he gave up his role in the race to Cruz. I found that to be very considerate and mature.

Overall, I would rate this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed watching it. But the “Cars” franchise never excited me too much. Would I recommend this movie, though? Absolutely.

TV show

Wish Granted! It’s My Top Favorite Episodes of “The Fairly Odd Parents”

From ages 7 – 12, I was a huge fan of “The Fairly Odd Parents”. I noticed tons of details, changes (including some inconsistencies), and much more. I would go out of my way to watch a FOP special. For example, when “Fairy Idol” premiered, I wanted to be home in time to watch it.

While I enjoyed the show very much, I have some favorite episodes. I will select the top 5.

 

5: “Emotion Commotion”

 

Timmy is afraid to go off the high-dive at a pool, despite his crush, Trixie and the other popular kids watching. He screams as he goes off, and his bathing suit comes off. He is laughed at because he’s naked. At home, he wishes to have no emotions. Kids continue to crack up after he was nude at the pool. Adults make Timmy face dangerous challenges because he has no emotions.

I was amazed at how imaginative the creators were with what it would be like to have no emotions. Timmy ended up dull all the time. When asked, “How do you feel?”, he’d answer with “I don’t.” What an interesting concept.

 

4: “Babyface”

 

Timmy is sent to hang with the big kids at Flappy Bob’s Learnatorium. When the kids chase Timmy, he ends up in the daycare center. In order to hide, he wishes to become a baby. Everything works, until Timmy discovers that he can’t talk anymore. He has to find another way to wish himself back to being 10.

I found this episode to be quite funny, especially when a baby took off his own diaper and threw it at Francis. I enjoyed Happy-Peppy Gary and Betty’s moments in the swamp scene, when Gary said to sing a song about not getting eaten by alligators and Betty actually started until Gary said, “I was being Ironic.” I also realize that Timmy would’ve lost his ability to spell and read after wishing he was a baby. Kids learn to talk before they read and spell. But that’s a whole different topic. But hey—plot convenience matters to the creators.

 

3: “Mr. Right”

 

Following “Babyface”, Timmy is sick of getting everything wrong. He wishes that everything he said was right. From the US having 49 states to losing Cosmo and Wanda, things get out of hand.

I loved when Mr. Crocker presented “The Scream” to Timmy. Timmy asked why he was screaming. Mr. Crocker answered, “Because he got an F… like you.” He even showed more of the painting and the figure with an F in front of him. Oh my gosh. I could laugh all day at that, even though that’s not why the figure is screaming. I liked when Timmy said stuff to Francis to block his hearing so that he could get his fairies back.

 

2: “Yoo Doo”

 

Timmy wants revenge on Francis. Cosmo mentions Yoo Doo dolls. But Wanda doesn’t approve. Nevertheless, Timmy wishes for them. He succeeds at humiliating Francis, but things get out of control. While with Trixie, Tootie controls Timmy with his Yoo Doo doll and makes him talk about how great Tootie and how she’s better than Trixie.

This episode made me laugh a lot. I enjoyed when people were being controlled by others using their Yoo Doo dolls. Yes, this wouldn’t be funny in real life. But it’s a cartoon.

 

And now… drumroll

 

1: “Just Desserts”

 

Timmy is mad when he doesn’t get sweets for dessert. He got carrots, a textbook to multiply fractions with AJ’s family, and a broccoli and brussel sprout sundae with Mark. He wishes that everything was dessert. Cookies, cakes, ice cream, and more. Everyone gets hyper, but then becomes obese. People have to roll to get around. Then the weight of everybody puts pressure on the Earth and it rolls toward the sun (which, by the way, would NOT happen in real life).

This episode was, perhaps, my favorite. I cracked up through a lot of the episode. I particularly found Trixie popping her belt off to be humorous. The idea of everything being desserts was amazing.

 

So there you have it. Although “The Fairly Odd Parents” isn’t the same as it was when I was a child, I’ll always value it as one of my favorite childhood TV shows.

 

TV show

PowerPuff Girls Theory: Was Their US History Different from Ours?

Anyone who grew up in the 90’s or 00’s might have remembered a show on Cartoon Network called “The PowerPuff Girls”. I was especially a huge fan of that show in 2nd grade. But that’s another story.

Anyway, those who watched the show all know the premise. Professor Utunium mixed three ingredients (sugar, spice, and everything nice) and accidentally dropped chemical X, thus creating the PowerPuff girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. The girls fight crime and save Townsville.

When there’s trouble, the mayor contacts the PowerPuff girls through their special telephone. The girls fight the crime and throw the villains in jail. And… without a trial.

There was never a courthouse, judge, lawyers, defense attorneys, witnesses, or any of that in “The PowerPuff Girls”. Not once have villains such as Mojo-Jojo, Princess, Him, or anyone else been tried and found innocent or guilty. They’re just immediately thrown in jail by the PowerPuff girls.

Yes, it’s a cartoon. But because people get tried before getting locked up in real life, I wonder if their history differed from ours today.

I will not go into detail as I do not discuss politics on my blog. However, I still consider this quite interesting.

TV show

I’ll Analyze, Cause “Phineas and Ferb” Is Gonna Do it All

Airing from 2007 to 2015, Disney Channel’s “Phineas and Ferb” has had a lot of fantastic moments. I discovered it when my brother used to watch it as a young child (he’s 18 now). I also enjoyed the show.

The cartoon focuses on two little boys, who are stepbrothers, and how they express their creativity and fun. They have an older sister named Candace. Candace is pretty aware of all the activities Phineas and Ferb do. Sometimes, Phineas and Ferb get their friends, Isabella and Baljeet, involved. Their platypus, Perry, also is an agent against his arch-enemy Dr. Doofenshmirtz. I loved when Dr. Doofenshmirtz shouts, “Curse you, Perry the Platypus!”

I enjoyed when Candace and Perry switched places and Candace had literally become a talking-platypus. The rollercoaster episode was also cool. Phineas, Ferb, and their friends rode a rollercoaster in the sky. Candace pointed it out, but the mom wouldn’t believe her.

Later on, there was an episode where Candace caught them and the mom’s reaction was quite realistic. She called the police and the boys were taken to an institution that forbid creativity and where they were trained to stop creating. It turned out to be Candace’s dream. I adored Phineas’s reaction of that. He came up with an invention idea to make people’s dreams into movies.

Another funny moment was when Phineas and Ferb searched for a mummy, and Candace had bandages all over. The boys thought she was the mummy.

And the moment I found to be the most humorous was when a robot man claiming he is a platypus’s predator received a bullhead. He became a minotaur in a suit. Oh my god… that was so clever and hilarious. It’s not everyday you see minotaurs or other mythological creatures in modern-day attire.

“Phineas and Ferb” had such an amazing concept and even theme song. I liked how the opening theme ended when Candace went, “Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence!” Ha ha—the usual annoyed older sister never gets boring. Neither do the main little boys, Phineas and Ferb.