Once again, I’ve let my life take front and center. I don’t even know when I watched this film, and I’ve watched plenty since then. No notes from when I watched it, so no critique. Here’s a rating, in all fairness, though.
[The next six blog posts about films will lack a critique as well.]
It’s been over a month since I watched “Dumbo.” Life kind of got busy and crazy there for a while, but I still want to review it the best I can. So, here goes my attempt despite my horrible memory for film.
My initial response was excitement, to be taken back into a strangely colorful and bizarre world. Secondarily, I was surprised to realize just how short the film was. There was a sense of nostalgia with the trains, animals, and everything else.
The stork was creepy as hell. The older elephants were off-putting. And I was kind of disturbed by the fact that his actual name is Jumbo, Jr. But a grown woman was cruel enough to call this new born elephant by a name that degraded him. I was very confused why the train was a living train, when nothing else in the film that was inanimate came alive. And I just genuinely disliked the clowns. (Oh, how could I forget that bubble elephant? Terrifying.)
Despite all the confusing elements in the film, I loved Timothy Q. Mouse and Dumbo’s friendship. What a great encouragement. But as an adult, I’m really disappointed in the blatant racism with the crows. It could have been worse, granted, but the whole point of them just seemed excessive.
Most relatable character: Dumbo. I think everyone would like to think this about themselves. We – each of us – are the underdogs. We come out of the womb. People have their expectations of us upon first sight. This continues throughout our lives, but we must overcome obstacles and struggles. We must learn to fly, to soar higher than what others can see in us.
A huge lesson to glean from this film: despite what someone else says about you or thinks about you, use your unique skills and talents to prove that you are valuable. And maybe become a Timothy Q. Mouse for someone else.
On January 15, 2018, we didn’t stop with “Pinocchio.” We set up the surround sound and put on “Fantasia” as well. It was like a concert in the living room.
Initially, I was excited to listen to the concert, and I would love to go to a concert hall to watch this. However, it gets boring about halfway through because you cannot relate the individual storylines to one another. Moreover, you don’t relate to the characters because they’re not the characters you grow up to know as a child. I don’t remember watching this when I was a child, but I do remember the famous scene involving Mickey. So, that was the big winner for me.
Like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” I recognized a lot of elements from “Once Upon a Time,” which was exciting! If you enjoy classical music, I’d say watch “Fantasia” at least once.
On the afternoon of January 15, 2018, we got news that school would be out for another day because of inclement weather, and that meant another Disney movie night! Woot! I got another Fair Maiden in hand and gathered round the television with a few of my favorite people to reminisce on our childhood – whether that be good or bad.
My initial response? “Pinocchio” is probably the deep-seeded, unconscious reason that I got involved in Theatre. Some of the characters sing a delightful tune, “An actor’s life for me.” (Now, I can’t say I’m an actor, but I have studied acting techniques and all that jazz.) Speaking of tunes, I enjoyed the music in this film quite a bit more than the music in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
Now, let me ask two simple questions that have been bothering me about this movie. Why can some of the animals walk, sing, talk and act like humans while other animals cannot?! And how the hell did Pinocchio become a great puppet sensation, go to Pleasure Island, and end up inside a whale all within about 36 hours?! I digress. . .
As an adult, though, I also wonder, Did no one really think that a man rounding up young boys to take to Pleasure Island was a strange thing? Did no one think to try to stop this madness? His face turned into A MONSTER! Oh gosh, and once they got to Pleasure Island, the boys were drinking alcohol and smoking cigars. What the –? Sure, I’d be excited to demolish a building and eat cotton candy, but still. . . This is madness.
A huge lesson to gain from this film: don’t trust foxes and cats who tell you they can offer quick ways to fame and happiness. I mean, if a fox is talking to you, maybe you should reconsider some things about your life.
Okay, another thing I noticed: Jiminy Cricket is one of the most pervy Disney characters of all time, and Cleo the fish is not far behind him. And in the spirit of over-sexuality, surely I’m not the only one who noticed the juxtaposition of the Blue Fairy’s animation within “Pinocchio” to everyone else and everything else in the movie. She’s an animated blend of Marilyn Monroe and Uma Thurman in a world of cutesy.
With all these things in mind, I had a good time going on this adventure with Pinocchio (even if turning into a jack-ass still terrifies me).
Most relatable character? Geppetto. This poor, simple man goes to sleep wishing on a star, and he wakes up in a world where his creation has come to life. AND HE’S TERRIFIED. I mean, it’s speaking to him, and he reacts logically – terror. So, he does his best to make sense of the situation, accepts it, and then he tries to take care of this boy. The boy runs off, and somehow Geppetto ends up inside a whale. (I can relate. Sometimes you end up inside a whale. That is, metaphorically.) Sometimes you end up in places that you don’t understand; sometimes you experience things that don’t make sense. And you do your best to trudge through the nonsense.
The most accepted theme of the film: Be a good boy. Don’t tell lies. (How stiff! How shallow.)
The most important lesson one can take from “Pinocchio:” Sometimes you make mistakes, but its best to learn from them. Keep trudging through the nonsense. “Let your conscience be your guide.”
Since I’m enjoying taking a trip through all the Best Picture winners from the Oscars, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane with the Disney animated films as well. (I don’t really know how to review my childhood, but I’m sure it’ll come to me in time.)
On January 13, my friend Emilie and I sat down to watch Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” of 1937. (No one ever calls it by the full title!) I decided it’d be fun to drink a Fair Maiden, which is a Disney-themed drink inspired by Snow White, created by Cody. (But let’s face it; I’m not a mixer.) And we had a blast looking back on our childhood, remembering certain moments and questioning other moments now that we’re older.
My initial response to the film was that everything was FREAKIN’ CUTE, from the spiders to the flies to the chipmunks and beyond. My immediate reaction to Snow White was that she actually looked to be fourteen-years-old, and, when I was a child, I had never thought she looked young. I always thought she looked like she was in her thirties or something like that.
I forgot that there was music in the movie, and it actually didn’t play too much of a role in the storyline, except that the prince and Snow’s song synced up, which was pretty sweet. Honestly, I kept having flashbacks to “Once Upon a Time” because I’m obsessed with that show. So, if there were questions about certain scenes in the movie, I could explain things away or over-empathize because OUAT has created intricate backstories for each and every Disney character. (Is that good or bad? We shall see.)
As an adult, I’m more suspicious of fairy tales. So, this (we’ll say) fourteen-year-old girl stumbles into a home, she cleans it up, decides to make dinner, and then falls asleep on someone else’s bed. . . While she’s still cooking! (Not to mention, she can talk to animals. And they do what she wants. She has an animal army!) She goes from breaking-and-entering to caring for seven tiny men. She teaches them cleanliness and starts bossing them around IN THEIR OWN HOUSE. But they love her for it, sure. Now, in such a society, what would people say to a young woman living with seven men? This is suspicious, people.
The story was fluffy, and the ending was abrupt. The witch just falls off a cliff?! And suddenly the prince arrives for a happily ever after. . .
Most relatable character? Grumpy. He lives with six other men, who also happen to work with him. He’s been at work all day, and all he wants to do is have dinner and then go to sleep. Some girl shows up in his home unannounced, acting like she owns the place. I mean, come on. He’s a realist. He’s right in his suspicions of this young Snow White.
The most accepted theme of the film: if you wish really hard, hope really hard for something, then it will come true. . . If you take a bite out of a “Wishing Apple,” then all your hopes and dreams will come true. What a load of hogwash!
The most important lesson one can take from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:” if someone comes along selling you some crap about quick-fixes and dreams coming true in one swift moment, then it’s more than likely a lie and a deception. Take a page out of the dwarfs’ book: work hard and be loyal. Dreams can come true if you take steps toward specific goals.