Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Damn you Disney!

What do you think it means that I've had Disney songs stuck in my head since last night? Just snipets. Last night it was just,

"Bless my soul!
Herc is on a roll!
Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh."

again and again and again. And then something from Beauty And The Beast this evening, but the effort of congering up those Hercules lyrics has apparently wiped it. Oh- oh- wait for it- wait for it -

Damnit! "A Whole New World!" Where the hell did that come from?? Aladdin is my least favorite Disney movie. Some have said that I'm crazy, that clearly The Little Mermaid is the most heinous of our generation. But my money is on Aladdin because The Little Mermaid didn't have a #1 Billboard hit single to irritate you in and out of childocentric venues.

My brother, Aren, and I used to go to animated features together as teenagers and a little as adults, up until I left for graduate school. It's funny how easy it is to bond when you're the only people over ten and under forty in a theater. Also, the movies are way more enjoyable, because you laugh when the kids laugh (usually because the one sitting directly behind you will say something hilarious, like, "Mommy, I wish I had crabs! They're so funny!") AND when the parents laugh, plus you get to spend the rest of your time making snide comments and innuendo ("Yeah, he he, I bet he's all like, 'You've seen my carpet, now show me yours,' he he, he he.") We'd share a large coke, a large popcorn with butter and a box of red vines and try to get each other to snort coke out our noses (something neither of us ever does) or spill popcorn on our laps.

Living in Russia in '94 was probably the first time we really bonded as playmates. Up until that point we'd always had neighbor kids to play with, and my desire to play pioneers did not mesh with his desire to do anything BUT playing pioneers, especially if it also invovled making car noises. In Moscow we didn't have a choice about who to play with. We spent three months swimming, renting the most God-awful videos, watching them over and over, and watching the nascent cartoon network. To this day, the two of us can lip-sync along with Rookie of the Year like Christina Aguilera at a high school prom. I suspect that because we first bonded watching movies and feeling out of place, we've adopted the Disney Movie habit as a way of recreating that sensation. (Yes, I know: A duuuuuH!) We haven't done it in at least three years partly becasue I was living back east for two of them, and partly because there haven't been any movies that have made us say, "haha, that would be worth the $10 per ticket to spend an hour and a half making bad innuendos and listening to children ask loud questions with obvious answers in voices pitched like whispering without an actual lowering of amplitude!" I don't know if it says more about us or about kids movies these days.


Anonymous said...

Dude, The Little Mermaid was an awesome movie. I choose to believe that Brother Bear was the most heinous Disney cartoon ever. I have no real reason to believe this, since I haven't seen it. But I've decided to scorn it, basically 'cause I hated the Phil Collins songs that played in the previews.

Joseph said...

Argh. That was me.

Sydney said...

I have reasons for hating/disliking many Disney movies, many of them feminist, it turns out.

The Little Mermaid: she can't save herself, it's all for a man.

Pocahontas: historical inaccuracies, let's never see what happens to her after moving to England...

Aladdin: crazy irritating song, all the lying to get the girl, the not wishing for more wishes, and the father being a total tard.

The Lion King: though I think I liked it as a kid, "Hakuna Matata" has forever soured my opinion for it.

I like the old school ones, like "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Snow White." The women may not have been very good at taking care of themselves, but the baddies were really evil and people died, which kind of makes up for it because there are actual consequences for one's actions.

And I liked "Beauty and the Beast" and "Mulan" because they had strong female characters who took care of themselves and others, just like the male characters. Also, "Lilo & Stitch."

Please to note, these are just the "princess" movies. I loved "Robin Hood," "Lady & the Tramp," "Peter Pan," "The Rescuers," "The Jungle Book."

"Hercules" and "Tarzan" were two of the ones that Aren and I went to see as "young adults." I did not see "Treasure Planet" as that is the lamest title ever. And if you're going to peg "Brother Bear" as the worst for a Phil Collins song, you better lump in "Tarzan," because it too had an awful Phil Collins theme.

Man, bad theme music has ruined more Disney movies than lame ass Princesses!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have a special hatred for the Little Mermaid for two reasons:
1-Ariel is a fucking psycho stalker. She sees this guy one time, has a nice moment with him, and then becomes totally obesses with him. Creepy! She's like Fatal Attraction with fins.
2-My sister loved this movie and would keep watching it constantly when my father bought it for her on video. I did not want to watch the Little Mermaid, and this was a sourse of constant fights between us. So, we'd often be rolling around on the floor scratching and biting each other whilst "Under the Sea" played in the background. Yeah...
I agree with you that Pocahontas is a vile, vile movie, but I actually don't mind Aladdin for some reason, if only because I thought that the CGI Cave of Wonders looked totally cool when I was a kid.

One thing that's funny, is that over here in Japan Disney is considered cool. Not "cool" in the ironic/kitschy sort of way, since they don't really "do" irony over here. No, it's considered really awesome, especially among women. And Stitch is everywhere. That little blue ball of id is a total cultural icon over here.
Which is cool, actually. Lilo and Stitch was cute, and you can't really go wrong with a movie that combines both space aliens and Elvis.

Oh yeah. Sleeping Beauty. The evil queen was totally badass. The part at the end where she turns into a dragon is pretty fucking cool, and she's never played up for laughs like other Disney villains are. She's totally malevolent and spiky, and also completely iconic. I know that for some people "iconic" is just another way of saying "cliched," but in this case I think that it's totally appropriate that she comes across as basically the ideal fairy tale villain. Also, she had a raven. How cool is that?

The Black Cauldron is also pretty sweet, but it loses points for having an annoying fur thing as a character.

You know, there's still Pixar movies, though those are at least 52% for adults. I saw Cars on my plane ride here, and for the first time in my life saw a genuinely entertaining movie whilst in the air.

Joseph said...

Alright, you caught me. I actually don't care for The Little Mermaid at all, other than having an odd fondness for "Under the Sea". I still contend that Brother Bear is worse than Tarzan. Sure, they both have craptastic soundtracks care of our friend Mr. Collins, but Tarzan has a guy who swings through the forest via vines (which is hard -- I've tried it!), whereas BB has goddamn talking bears.

If we're actually being serious, I can't stand Cinderella. Not 'cause I remember anything about it, just 'cause I once hung out with a kid once who insisted we watch it over and over again ad nauseum.

And my favorite, far and away, is The Great Mouse Detective. And really, only because of the Rube-Goldberg-like trap that they have to escape from halfway through the movie. So cool.

Rip Tatermen said...

The Great Mouse Detective contraption is awesome, but we all know that the greatest animated Disney film ever is Tron.