New series review: Wynonna Earp

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks. Today I will be reviewing Wynonna Earp, or at least the couple of episodes that have been aired up until now (that’s just 4!!!).

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I’m always on the look-out for new series to watch, yep, I have no life, at least not a social one (well, a partially social life). And this time I stumbled upon Wynonna Earp. Or as I call it, hopefully the female version of Supernatural, set in the Wild Wild West if Jo was still alive.

Wynonna Earp is brought to you by the syfy channel and it has that same feeling as a lot of their series. I don’t know what that is, but if you’ve been watching a lot of series you immediately can tell if it’s produced by syfy, or CW or HBO or any other network.

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Originally starting out as a comic book series and riding the success of the Marvel / DC brought to our screens. It specifies as an Action/Western/Fantasy/Horror series. Yep….

According to IMDB: Based on the IDW Comic, Wynonna Earp follows Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures. With her unique abilities, and a posse of dysfunctional allies, she’s the only thing that can bring the paranormal to justice.

But like I said before, it feels like the female version of Supernatural, only the sisters don’t travel cross-country but stay in Purgatory, the town, not the gateway to Hell.

I mean, there is Wynonna herself, leather jacket wearing, drinking, swearing, bad-ass with a gun, older sister coming back to her hometown where just about everyone hates her. She lost her father (shot him) and her sister, has a nasty prophecy hanging above her head and a special gun that can kill demons! Oh and she is trying to protect her still alive sister. (Dean)

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And we have Waverly, the younger sister, trying to bad-ass herself, bit of a dork, super smart, speaks Latin, does a lot of research, had an imaginary friend called Bobo, and wants nothing more than help big sis killing demons. (Sam)

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Agent Dolls, bit of a mystery man, can get his hands on some really old, creepy occult objects, knows his occult stuff, trying to teach Wynonna how to kill demons and other monsters and how to shoot. Doesn’t take shit from no-one but somehow will protect the girls. (Bobby)

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Doc Holliday, once a good-guy, now we don’t know yet, seems to be working for both parties, the good and the evil side, old but still good looking, there is some tension between him and Wynonna and you’re constantly wondering if she is gonna kill him or f*ck him. (Cas)

WYNONNA EARP -- "Keep the Home Fires Burning" Episode 102 -- Pictured: Tim Rozon as Doc Holliday -- (Photo by: Michelle Faye/Syfy/Wynonna Earp Productions)

And we have demons, not the black-eyed ones but these have red eyes, are stuck in Purgatory, again the town and trying to get out before Wynonna kills them with her special gun. If they are killed they get sucked back into hell, looks pretty cool.

So, we’re four episodes in and I kinda like it. It’s funny, I like strong female leads, it reminds me of Supernatural, I don’t know, it appeals to me for some reason.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? And no I haven’t read the comics so no spoilers!!!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy

Are you a series snob?

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Today I want to address something that’s been bugging me for a while now.

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Being a series snob. For those who grew up or already were adults in the 90’s and a geek things finally started to look up, series wise. (This might have happened earlier, but I was born early 80’s and grew up in the 90’s and can only talk about my own experience.) series and particularly sci-fi series became a thing.

Pre-download and pre-streaming services, yes those were scary days, we had one channel in the Netherlands supplying us with those epic series all the way from the US. You had to make sure you were home to watch it, or videotape the latest episode, 1 episode a week! Oh the horror!

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But… It was something you were looking forward to, I even remember discussing episodes at length with friends prior and after it aired. There wasn’t much diversity so if it was slightly sci-fi or fantasy like, you watched it and kept on watching it until you liked it, because that was it!

The fond memories I have while watching the X-files, a couple of very obscure series I don’t even know the name of. Star Trek during dinner and my mum complaining about the gruesome prosthetics that made her loose her appetite. The adventures of Buffy and her Scooby gang and whether you had the hots for Spike or Angel. Friday night and Babylon 5 with a bowl of crisps, or chips depending on which side of the big pond you live. Cue the nostalgic feelings please.

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Back to today. We have basically everything on demand. Netflix on the telly, illegal downloading, semi-illegal streaming on line, DVD’s are fairly cheap if you want to wait two months. And more series than you can possibly watch in an entire lifetime, even though we, or I, try.

With the overabundance of different series I find myself getting more critical about what I watch. I have my popular regular series, namely the big 3 (SuperWhoLock) and about a dozen or so I also follow. I often start new series, but whenever the CGI is very bad, for example Grimm, I give up very easily. I do this as well with series I find too confusing (as in I don’t have to watch every freaking second or I might miss an important plot). If the story line disappoints me and it’s more of the same every damned week, bye bye series. (how many freaking doppelgangers can you have parading on the screen).

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Some series get a second go because there’s an actor on it I admire, Arrow is such a series. I love John Barrowman, but I know Oliver has been stuck on the damned island by now. Just stop with the freaking flash backs.

Some series are entertaining enough even though totally unrealistic, Scorpion anyone? Seriously you have an IQ of 170 and use Bing as a search engine???

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Also, I love crossovers! Arrow and the Flash, the Flash and Supergirl, now if someone, and I’m looking at both Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, made a Doctor Who / Sherlock crossover I would be over the moon.

But going back to my original point. I’m more critical in watching my series and not very loyal in watching it all the way towards the end. I give up when it doesn’t interest me any longer. Much faster nowadays than a couple of years ago.

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Are you a series snob? Let me know in the comments.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy

I watched the Breakfast Club and I didn’t like it

AM I THE ONLY ONE BEAR FUCK ME RIGHT PUFFIN

There. I made memes about it. So now you can forgive me. No? Then read this.

Yesterday me and my boyfriend were browsing Netflix and we came across this movie. I realized I’d never seen this classic so I decided to watch it. The Breakfast Club is about a group of stereotypical highschoolers who spend their Saturday together in detention. We have the Sports Jock, the Prom Queen, the Nerd, the Weirdo, and the Criminal. During the movie they start to interact with each other and learn something about each other but also about themselves. I think this movie is intended to be about character growth, thinking outside your assigned stereotype and emotional development. But in my opinion it just fails to send the right message. I’ll explain by exploring each character. BE AWARE: SPOILERS!

The Criminal

The facts
This bully makes it a sport to rub literally everyone the wrong way. He’s rude and aggressive. He has some kind of obsession on finding out if the Prom Queen still is a virgin or not. During the movie we found out that his father has anger management issues and doesn’t care much about him. The teacher treats him a bit too harsh and picks on him solely because he’s ‘the criminal’.

What I expected to happen
He learns to confront his father and vent his frustrations another way. He finds something he’s good at (sports maybe?) and stops bullying everyone.

What really happened
He just continues to be a bully and nothing really changes except that he gets a relationship with the Prom Queen (I will tell more about that later).

The message that I got
It’s okay to be a complete ass-hole if your home situation is shitty. Being a dick will get you the girl.

The Prom Queen

The facts
She’s rich and popular. She seems to be good friends with the Jock. She’s not necessarily mean to anyone. She’s constantly picked on by the Criminal until the point that she’s in tears. She actually makes quite a few good points: she says it doesn’t matter to her if someone is a virgin or not and she says that she’s not obligated to share details about her sex life with anyone. We also find out that her parents are divorcing and that they use her as a pawn to get back at each other. She brutally honest about the fact that on Monday she will probably ignore the Nerd and the Weirdo because she has to keep up appearances for her friends.

What I expected to happen
She realizes she is a strong woman who doesn’t need the protection of her clique. She befriends the Weirdo and maybe even starts to date the nerd.

What really happened
In the last 5 minutes of the movie she suddenly starts to passionately kiss the Criminal because dating him would be a good way to get back at her parents.

The message I got
It’s okay to have sex with persons who verbally abuse you just to prove a point.

The Jock

The Facts
He doesn’t seem to have much personality or personal traits except for the fact that he is the best of his wrestling team. We learn that he is pressured by his father to be a WINNERRRR! and to bully other kids (the reason why he’s in detention), when he actually doesn’t like either of those.

What I expected to happen
He learns to stand up for himself to his father and befriends the nerd and the weirdo. He’s going to do something his father disapproves of in stead of wrestling (Book Club? Cooking?).

What actually happened
He indeed bonds with the nerd over the fact that they are both under a lot of pressure. He learns that he isn’t capable of thinking for himself and acknowledges that he only does stuff because his father wants him to (Yay! There is some actual character development here!). We don’t get to know how this realization works out for him in the end though. But here’s the thing that ruined it for me: after the Weirdo gets a make-over (more about that in a minute), he instantly falls in love with her and they get into a relationship.

The message I got
It’s okay to date someone solely based on his/her looks even if you don’t like their personality much.

The Weirdo

The facts
She’s weird and constantly weirds everyone out by her behaviour. She doesn’t talk in the first half of the movie but later on we learn that she goes to a shrink because she’s a compulsive liar and that she doesn’t like it at home because her parents ignore her. She doesn’t have any friends.

What I expected to happen
She opens up to the group and turns out the be a very likeable person. She befriends them all. She learns that it’s okay to be herself and that she doesn’t need to be this shy.

What actually happens
The Prom Queen gives her a make-over and the Jock falls in love with her after. They start dating instantly. Interesting exchange between the Prom Queen and the Weirdo: Queen: ‘You look much better without that black stuff around your eyes’. Weirdo: ‘But I like the black stuff around my eyes!’. <— which is totally ignored.

The message I got
It’s okay to totally change you appearances and act like someone else to get friends and to get attention from the other gender.

The Nerd

The facts
He’s socially awkward who’s a member of the science club, the chess club, and practically any other ‘nerdy’ club. He has excellent grades but as we learn later he fails wood-shop and that made him so desperate that he was planning to kill himself. The teachers found a gun in his locker so he got detention (Yes, you read that correctly, a student has suicide plans and they found a gun in his locker and all they do is give him one day of detention. It was a flare gun but still. MURICA?).

What I expected to happen
Everyone is shocked by the Nerd’s personal issues and they decide to help them to get over his psychological problems. They learn that if they look past his good grades he is a very nice guy and the Prom Queen falls in love with him. The Jock leans him how to deal with pressure.

What actually happens
They all laugh about his suicide plans (because it’s funny <— yes, that was sarcastic) and they talk him into writing the essay they all had to make all by himself. He’s the only one who doesn’t get into a relationship.

The message that I got
If you are a good student and if you’re a nice person you end up alone doing everyone else’s work.

Post Hoc thoughts:
It is of course also possible that this movie is about the fact that teenagers will be teenagers and won’t change or change for the worse because teenagers are stupid (I doubt it though). I didn’t really get that message when I first watched it but if that’s the case, they’ve done fairly good job.

Jurassic World, a review.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Welcome to another film review. It’s been ages since I went to the cinema and this time I had a really huge urge to go see the newest in the Jurassic Park films, Jurassic World.

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Beware, this review contains major spoilers! You have been warned!

As I am typing this review, I just got home from the cinema on a huge sugar rush and Jurassic Park in my DVD player, watching it for the umpteenth time.

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I grew up with Jurassic Park and the dinosaur rage in the 90’s and I loved it, still do by the way. And why is it they don’t show a film like Jurassic World during ladies night? I would love to get a goodie bag, free drinks and food while enjoying a couple of epic looking dinosaurs / hybrids killing of stupid people. What’s not to love for a lady?

Anyways, when the opening tune started I got some serious goose bumps and almost ended up with tears in my eyes. S0 beautiful, so familiar, such a big part for me growing up.

The park is finally opened as John Hammond imagined 20 years ago and you immediately get that, that’s a huge mistake, people are gonna die, feeling. It went wrong the first 3 times, why would number 4 turn out to be a winner? It’s still an island on the coast of Costa Rico, we still have a couple of annoying kids without parental supervision, one bad guy who’s really not that smart, some major meddling with genetics and DNA and one dude who gets how scary and smart dinosaurs really are.

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No John Hammond, (god rest his soul), no Dr. Ian Malcolm (how can we have a Jurassic Park without Malcolm), but we did have a goat being eaten by the T-rex!

Mr. Masrani had the bucks to open the park again and a whole team of scientists from InGen to breed some pretty scary and idiotic hybrid dinosaurs (idiotic as in not a good idea to mix a T-rex with a Raptor, squid and a touch of frog, seriously, can’t you image the scary outcome?).

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We get a nice overview from the park and some serious and pretty epic rides. You almost wish it was all real and you had enough money to visit it. Like I said, almost.

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Chris Pratt, also known as Star Lord, apparently babysat (imprinted) some just hatched velociraptors and now is the dinosaur whisperer when he isn’t saving the Galaxy. He is training 4 beautiful and very smart Raptors and that is epic. It shows just the right mix of being in awe and being scared shitless if you ever encountered one in real life. (Remember kids, don’t meddling in the affairs of dinosaurs, for you are crunchy and taste very good with ketchup.)

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I love that throughout the film you get the little hints from the previous films. Like the Hammond visitors centre, the weird cartoon DNA guy, but also the old visitors centre, the banner, the old cars, the ‘I can see in the dark goggles’, the original doors from the original film and much more. If you’ve seen the films it’s a constant reminder of the previous three films and I absolutely love it! And every time you here the theme song (or part of the theme song like in a ringtone) I’m getting those goose bumps again. And not to forget B.D Wong, who played in Jurassic Park in 1993 as Henry Wu.

The film also gives you some serious thought about the exploitation of dinosaurs, and yes I know they’re not real, mostly puppets and CGI, but baby triceratops for small kids to ride on? That’s just wrong! It’s consumerism in its ugliest form.

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And you have more of those moments, you really feel for the dinosaurs when they get brutally murdered by the main monstrous hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex. And she is one smart beast.

The film is loaded with epic, ‘hell yes moments’, and ‘you’re so gonna die’ and ‘I wish you would be eaten by eater the T-rex, the Raptors or Indominus Rex. Which usually happens. But also tear-eyed moments as the Brontosauruses are killed and the Raptors choosing the ‘right side’ and die.

The last fighting scene between the T-rex, Indominus and the Raptor is a bit over the top, but then again, it’s a film about dinosaurs. The last scene is just… epic.

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One thing though, why the hell did they hire Phil Tippet again?! Ok, this time as a Dinosaur Consultant (I know IMDB says supervisor, but the credits say consultant, I stayed to watch, I know I’m a geek.) But seriously, Phil?!

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I loved this film, you should see it, ASAP!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

Disney Classics Challenge: Dumbo

So what have we learned? I am BAD at keeping schedules. I have a reason though. I was under the assumption that I would have a lot of free time when I graduated, so I took way to many responsibilities and I ended up more stressed than I was when I was still in university. In the last two months, I worked 3-4 days a week, gave sex-ed at schools in my free time, helped my grandmother clean her house every other week, went to Dutch Comic Con, finished my first scanlation project, started following voice acting classes, and organized two birthday parties. Yes, there is fun stuff between the mandatory stuff, but it takes time nonetheless.

Anyway: Dumbo. Dumbo was released in 1941 and was solely made to make up for the financial loss that Fantasia created. Surprisingly, Dumbo turned most financially successful movies of the 1940’s. By purposefully keeping the animations simple and with a length of only 67 minutes, the production costs of Dumbo were half of Snow White’s and 1/3 of Pinocchio’s.  Dumbo got re-released in theaters in 1949, 1959, 1972, and 1976. Dumbo, along with Alice in Wonderland, was the first of Disney’s canon of animated films to be released on home video. The film was originally released in 1981 on VHS and Betamax, followed by a Laserdisc release in 1982 and then once again on VHS and Betamax in 1985. The film was then remastered in 1986 and 1989 and released on VHS and Laserdisc as a 50th Anniversary Edition of Dumbo in 1991, followed by a 1994 VHS and Laserdisc release. In 2001, a 60th Anniversary Special Edition was released in VHS and DVD formats. In 2006 the film was released on DVD,followed by a UK Special Edition release in May 2007. A 70th Anniversary Edition of the film was released in the United States in 2011 on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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I had Dumbo on VHS as a kid and I remember watching it many times. I watched it again a few years ago for nostalgia reasons, but I didn’t mind watching it again! It’s not on Netflix yet (at least in the Netherlands) but I have this one on DVD.

Like with Snow White and Pinocchio, we start with a part of the staff roll on slides. No opening of a story book though. The movie starts out with an adorable scene of storks delivering baby animals to the zoo. Every expecting mother seems to get her baby, except for Mrs. Jumbo. We then see that the animals get loaded into the circus train and we see the train riding across the US. I don’t know why, but I just love this animation style! It’s so adorable.

We then see a stork searching for Mrs. Jumbo and finally delivering her baby. She calls him Jumbo Junior, but when the other elephants find out about his abnormally big ears, they nickname in Dumbo. We cut to a scene were the train arrives and the circus people and the elephants build the circus tent in the storm. I found this scene extremely intriguing as a kid. Probably because it’s a very dark scene and you constantly have a sense of upcoming danger

Turns out that sense is absolutely wrong, because the weather the next day is perfect and the circus opens! However, the local kids make fun of Dumbo, and of course his mother is going to do something about that. She punishes the kids but because of her aggressiveness she gets locked up. The other elephants think this is a big shame and blame it on poor little Dumbo.

So this is when the movie gets a serious and maybe even a dark turn. Dumbo’s mother is in prison and Dumbo himself gets shut out of the society for something he can’t do anything about. What fascinates me even more is that these kinds of things are actually happening in the real world. Disney managed to put a very tragic story (a mother who’s in prison and a kid that gets rejected by society) into a freaking kid’s movie! Whereas Snow White and Pinocchio are mainly fantasy stories, Dumbo has an unsettling air of realism. It touches me.

This is when Dumbo meets Timothy Q. Mouse (what does the Q stand for?). Timothy feels sorry for Dumbo so he decides to help him. He figures out that if Dumbo manages to pull a great act at the circus show, the other elephants will accept him again. At night, he sneaks into the tent of the circus director and tricks him into using Dumbo as the ‘climax’ of the elephant pyramid the director is planning.

At the big show, we see the elephants forming the pyramid, and this is another scene I love, because the atmosphere is so tense! When it’s time for Dumbo’s big moment, he tramples over his ears and causes the pyramid to collapse, which destroys the entire circus tent. As a result, Dumbo is made a clown and the elephants no longer recognize Dumbo as an elephant. Again, the realism. When you try to meet expectations that you realistically just can’t meet, society will hate you even more, even though you tried your best and they basically made you do it.

At Dumbo’s first performance as a clown, you can see the poor boy is going to great emotional stress. Even though the show’s a succes, Dumbo couldn’t be more unhappy. Timothy tries to think up a plan and takes Dumbo to meet his mother in prison. AND THIS IS THE MOST HEARTBREAKING SCENE YOU WILL EVER SEE. Just look at this image. No words needed.

Just like Timothy’s last plan, this plan also backfires and Dumbo is only more sad than before. Timothy advises Dumbo to drink some water, but what he doesn’t know is that some kind of liquor got spilled in the water before. Dumbo and Timothy both get drunk and what follows is one of my favorite scenes of all time. Maybe Disney still had some Fantasia after-effects? Who knows. Just enjoy this:

After a night of… who knows what, Dumbo and Timothy wake up… in a tree! How did they get there? A group of crows (who are apparently African-American stereotypes. Please! This is nothing compared to the stereotypes we’ve seen in the previous movies!) they befriend suggest that maybe they flew there. Could it be possible? The crows and Timothy give Dumbo a ‘magic feather’ to give him some confidence, and… Well! Look at that! DUMBO CAN FLY! You didn’t see that coming (except that it’s on the box art).

Dumbo plans to dazzle the audience (and the other elephants!) with his new trick! But, at the most crucial point during the show, he looses his magic feather! But Dumbo manages to fly anyway! There was no magic feather, he could do it himself all along! The movie ends with some newspapers, showing us that Dumbo gets immensely successful, Timothy becomes his manager and he his mom get’s a private train wagon. THE END.

As you might have guessed by now. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. Both Snow White and Pinocchio (lets not count Fantasia, since that one is… incomparable) had it’s good but also bad points, and they both didn’t age very well. But Dumbo… Wow. Maybe the themes are a bit too dark for little kids nowadays, but apart from that, I’d say it aged perfectly well (or not at all)! I like the animation, the songs, the music, the story… Everything! 10/10!

Disney Classics Challenge: Fantasia

I’m so sorry it took so long to write this blog. As you might know I got sick a weeks ago, and it was the kind of sick that made me want to sit on the couch with a blanket watching Disney movies all day. Then I got better, and I was busy with the real-life stuff I couldn’t do when I was sick. Then I got sick again, but this time it was the kind of sick that made me unmotivated for absolutely everything except for staying in bed grunting for aspirins.

So now I’m better again (kind of, I hope), and I’m finally motivated to write about Fantasia, which I watched 3 weeks ago. Fantasia was released in 1940, the same year as Pinocchio. Mickey Mouse was losing popularity, so Disney made an extra-long Silly Symphony: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. But soon they discovered that production costs grew higher than it could earn, so they decided to add stuff to make it a full-length film. The result is Fantasia.

Fantasia made use of a sound system called Fantasound, a system that made it possible, for the first time ever, to show commercial films in stereophonic sound. However, the length of the film was 120 minutes, and it was believed that this was too long for a general release. In 1940 and 1941, the film was released in a roadshow format: It was shown for a limited time at 13 theaters across the US, you had to reserve your seats and the price was higher than regular releases. The film had a regular release in 1942, 1946, 1956, 1963, and 1969 in mono sound, and it was edited to reduce several times, only to lengthen it again after. It was released in stereo again in 1977. For the releases 1982 and 1985, Disney re-recorded the soundtrack completely. In 1990, the film got restored to its original format. Fantasia was released in VHS in 1991, on DVD together with Fantasia 2000 in 2000 and on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010.

But enough history lessons! What is Fantasia? I’ve never watched Fantasia before, but I heard of it of course. And I must admit that I wasn’t really looking forward to watch a 2-hour movie of psychedelic images and classical music. Did it meet my expectations? Kind of. The word I would use to describe Fantasia is… experimental. As in… what did Disney smoke?-experimental.

We start with the conductor explaining some stuff about classical music, that some pieces have specific stories and some don’t, and that Disney and co. just made some footage that they imagined while listening to the music (this conductor gave a short explanation before every piece btw) The first piece was Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, accompanied by abstract clouds and random images. I wasn’t looking forward to the next 1 hour and 55 minutes… (Yes, the image underneath is actual footage from the movie).

After a short introduction of the conductor it was time for Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and we saw fairies and fish and flowers. I liked this part because I actually knew the music and I was feeling kind of fever-ish, so I liked the fishies.

Next up was the famous The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I knew the story because my grandma had all kinds of small Disney booklets with the famous stories, but it was nice to see it in motion and with the actual music.

After that it was time for Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, which showed the story of the origin of life, starting with primordial soup and ending with the extinction of the Dinosaurs (I missed the comet, but maybe that wasn’t common belief yet in 1940). Up next was an actual pause, where we see the entire orchestra leave and retake their seats. Yes, we are only halfway there.

But now stuff gets really trippy. While listening to The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, we travel back to the ancient Greece, where we see unicorns (who behave exactly like swans, including the swimming, see, I learned something about unicorns!), we see centaurs picking a mate, which was borderline sexist. But I see clearly that the mermaid scene from Peter Pan drew some inspiration from this! And we see boobs *shocking*. We also see Bacchus the Wine God entering a party with his companions (which was downright racist) and we see Zeus interrupting the party with lightning. Although this part was a bit trippy and some stuff wouldn’t be accepted in the current time, it was one of the more enjoyable parts of the movie, since we see an actual story.

I later found out there was also a scene containing the images underneath, but it was removed from the version that I watched, for obvious reasons…

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Up next: Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli. The drugs have now fully reached Disney’s brain. Dancing ostriches, dancing hippo’s, dancing elephants (I see some foreshadowing to Dumbo here) and rapist crocodiles. I’ll just let the images explain the rest…

And FINALLY, the last piece: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. We see the actual devil raising from a mountain torturing his minions after which he is driven back by passing monks singing the Ave Maria.

So what did I think about Fantasia? It was interesting, but I didn’t like it. The stories and random images couldn’t hold my attention for long, so I was bored pretty quickly. I can imagine that young children may find the music and the images quite fascinating, but then again I don’t see young children sit through this 2 hour movie. Again there is some stuff that would be culturally unacceptable at the current time, which I find interesting, but it also is the reason that this movie didn’t age very well. But what I do like is that this movie covers different views and beliefs on history (scientific, Greek Mythology and Christianity) without really making a statement.

Next up is Dumbo! I’m looking forward to this one!

 

The Disney Classics Challenge: Pinocchio

Hellow everyone! I said I wanted to watch 2-3 movies a week, but maybe I’m able to watch more this week because I’m sick so now I have a lot of unasked-for free time. And what activity can you better do when you’re sick other than laying on the couch covered in used napkins watching old Disney movies?

So we’ve landed in 1940. I was surprised to read that despite great reviews, Pinocchio was initially a box-office failure. It eventually turned a profit when it re-released in theaters in 1945. Pinocchio got theatrical re-releases in 1945, 1954, 1962, 1971, 1978, 1984, and 1992. I was released on VHS in 1993 and it was the first movie to be released on Disney DVD in 1999.

I had the VHS as a kid and for some reason, I remember the story of Pinocchio better than the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I didn’t remember the details though, since I haven’t seen it since I was a kid. I also remember seeing a live-action version of Pinocchio in the cinema as a kid, but I can’t really recall anything about it, only that it was really dark. Also, I forgot to mention this in my Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs review, but at one point a dwarf shouts: ‘Jiminy Cricket!’. I though that was a nice Easter egg (or was it just a coincidence?). This movie isn’t on (Dutch) Netflix again, but I have the DVD.

Let’s get to the movie. Like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it starts with a book. But this time, we don’t have to reads for ourselves. Jiminy Cricket narrates for us. He tells us the story that one night he came to the house of the wood carver Gepetto. We see a lovely scene of Gepetto finishing the puppet Pinocchio, and the cat Figaro and the fish Cleo are also introduced to us. I love Figaro. Being a cat-lover, I really think every cat-owner can see something of his/her own cat in Figaro. Anyway, everyone goes to sleep and Gepetto wishes that Pinocchio would be a real boy. His wish is heard by the blue fairy, who gives the wooden puppet life, but doesn’t turn him into a real boy just yet. To achieve that, he must prove himself brave, truthful, and unselfish. To help him with that, she declares that Jiminy must act as Pinocchio’s conscience. Scared awake by all the ruckus, Gepetto thinks there are intruders in his house and grabs his gun (I know this still happens, but I’m always a bit thrown-off when there are guns in kids’ movies) to scare them away. This scene is actually quite similar to the one in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, where the dwarfs find out that Snow White is in their house. Anyway, Gepetto is in ecstasy when he finds Pinocchio. After a little dance, time to go to bed.

The next morning he sends Pinocchio off to school. On the way, Pinocchio encounters Honest John and Gideon the cat (kinda funny that they have animal cats like Figaro and human cats like Gideon in this universe. Honest John en Gideon are the only anthropomorphic animals though, beside Jiminy), who want to sell the extraordinary puppet to the traveling gypsy Stromboli. They deceive Pinocchio by telling him that he will be an actor and will gain fame. Because Jiminy overslept, Pinocchio doesn’t have a conscience to tell him to go to school, so he agrees with them. When Jiminy finds Pinocchio and does tell him to go to school, Pinocchio doesn’t listen. Pinocchio’s performance as a string-less puppet is a success. Stromboli is actually a very racist stereotype Jew or gypsy (or Roma, I don’t even think it’s socially accepted to use the word gypsy nowadays).

After the show, Stromboli doesn’t allow Pinocchio to return to his father and locks him away in a bird cage. Jiminy sees Pinocchio’s initial success and decides that he isn’t needed (‘what does an actor want with a conscience anyway?’), but he wants to wish him good luck anyway. He finds Pinocchio locked in the bird cage, but is unable to free him. The blue fariy comes to their aid, but when she asks Pinocchio about how he came in that situation, he lies about it, which causes the iconic nose-growth. What I find surprising is that this is the only time in the whole movie that Pinocchio’s nose grows. And it isn’t really important to the plot anyway. The fairy forgives Pinocchio and frees him.

On their way home, Pinocchio encounters Honest John and Gideon the cat again, and this time they take him to Pleasure Island, an entertainment park without rules. So up until now we’ve seen a racist stereotype and a gun, but nothing really weird. But this is the point where everything gets bat shit crazy. All the kids on Pleasure Island fight each other and vandalize the place, and they are handed out cigars and beer. CIGARS. AND. BEER. Pinocchio is having the time of his life, smoking and drinking with his new friend Lampwick. He refuses to listen to Jiminy again, only to find out that the whole island is a trap, and that all the kids there are being turned into donkeys so that they can be sold. Because that makes sense. This scene is really fucked up btw, I’m surprised it didn’t traumatize me as a kid. Jiminy and Pinocchio escape just in time (Pinocchio does have Donkey ears and a tail now though). What also strikes me is that they do nothing about the situation on the island. They don’t defeat the evil guy, they don’t save to donkeys/boys, they just escape and the island probably still exists. Because that’s what you get when you smoke and drink when you’re under-aged, kids. You turn into a donkey. Let this be a lesson.

They swim back to Gepetto’s house(?), only to find out that it’s abandoned. I thought that all this happened in one night, but judging on the dust and the cobwebs, quite some time must’ve passed. The Blue Fairy delivers them a letter telling that Gepetto went looking for Pinocchio, but that he was swallowed by the giant whale Monstro. Pinocchio doesn’t hesitate and jumps into the ocean to look for Monstro on the sea-floor together with Jiminy (because who needs oxygen?). Monstro turns out to be one evil motherf*cker (he even has teeth!). Gepetto is trapped inside his belly and doesn’t have any food anymore. Pinocchio is eventually swallowed by Monstro too. There is a happy reunion, but Gepetto explains that they can’t escape. Pinocchio creates a fire with a lot of smoke, which causes Monstro to sneeze them out. Monstro, enraged, chases them, but Pinocchio is able to save Gepetto. To bad Pinocchio died doing that. What follows is another scene very similar to Snow White and the Seven Dwafs: Gepetto mourning at Pinocchio’s bedside. The Blue Fairy appears again and turns Pinocchio into a real boy because he saved Gepetto. The End.

I like Pinocchio a lot more than Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the tempo is better, it’s more dynamic, the characters are better written, the songs are more memorable. Except for the Pleasure Island scene, it aged very well. I feel like they used any feedback they got on Snow White which caused an enormous leap in quality.

Next up is Fantasia, a movie I’ve never seen before. I’ll see you then!