ATDis #5 Bambi

Hello Internet Friends!

Yesterday my roommate (picture to the right) and I watched Bambi.  IMG_4316I have seen Bambi in my life, I am pretty sure that my family owned it on VHS, but I have not seen it in a very very long time.  I have quoted it many times (everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime) and one of the quotes was a rule in our home (if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all) but I haven’t ever watched this movie as an adult-like-person until now.

Bambi was a very beautiful movie.  The multi-plane camera that Walt Disney invented was definitely put to good use here, and it led to some beautiful scenes.  Also, the score for the movie was so beautiful.  My roommate and I kept talking about all the cymbal crashes and violin sweeps as the movie progressed.  I love the song “Little April Shower” and it holds a place on my “rain” playlist, which means I listen to it semi-often, living in Florida where it rains at around 2pm every day over the summer.

Ok…. I tried really hard not to write this paragraph.  I really did.  But I can’t help it.  Bambi twerks throughout the entire film.  Even as an adult, he twerks.  He sticks his little white tail in the air and wiggles it around in  the cutest way, but he twerks.  After seeing it (and commenting on it) the first time, I said “but I’m not going to write about that” and then it happened again.  And again.  And again.  So I mentioned it.

One other thing I will mention, is that I really like how the movie watches all of the forest creatures.  We truly get a picture of everyone, rather than just the main characters.  When Bambi is born, we see all the little animals welcoming him.  As we continue through his life, we still get to stop and see how everyone else is doing.  This “stop and smell the roses” type approach was really cool to see.

In terms of Walt’s legacy, something I really like about the movie that we haven’t seen from Walt Disney so far in this adventure, is the full-circle-ness of the movie.  We start with Bambi being born and end with his children.  We start with his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, looking over him and end with him looking over his children.  It truly showed the life of Bambi, with all its ups and downs, heartbreaks and twitterpated-ness, in a beautiful and satisfying way.  While in the other movies we see a beautiful story, none are so… complete, as this one.  I don’t know there was something very cathartic about this movie that I normally don’t experience in the whole “full circle” endings (I’m looking at you Gilmore Girls, a year in the life.  You too season 6 finale of Once Upon a Time).  I think Walt and his team did an excellent job.

¡Amigos de Internet! Join us in our next episode for a special, and not very well known, treat.

ATDis #4: Dumbo

Hello Internet Friends,

Dumbo has a very special place in my heart.  Even though I would’t call it a “staple” in

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My friend, Amanda, and her boyfriend Nick on Dumbo (circa March 2016)

my house as a child (I never really saw it, in my memory, until I watched it on Netflix in high school), I have always loved the characters and music, and the ride at Disney World.  I think I also love the fact that the “Winter Quarters” for the Circus was in Florida, my home state, and there is an entire little moment of Casey Jr. rolling up through Florida to its next destination.

Something I wanted to finally figure out, 100%, was the gender of Dumbo.  As a  child, I had always thought Dumbo was a “he.”  Then, when I got older, a book called “The Kingdom Keepers” had a scene where the characters watched Dumbo to look for clues.  One of the descriptions they use is “mother-daughter relationships.”   So I watched the movie.  Dumbo’s “real” name is “Jumbo Jr.”   And, as his mother is named “Mrs. Jumbo” I assumed he was a “she.”  But I was still quite confused.

When I watched this time, this was one of my hidden goals.  And I have to say, I’ve finally done it.  While watching, the other characters call Dumbo “he” and “him.”  This should have been enough for me to be satisfied, but of course it wasn’t.  I had to figure out the name.  And I didn’t like “oh, Jumbo is a name for both boys and girls” as an answer.  So, what I’ve concluded is this.  Jumbo is the last name.  I think Mrs. Jumbo actually has a first name, but it is never revealed.  I also think Jumbo Jr. is the name of Dumbo after his father, but I can’t give you any more information to support this theory.  Maybe its as if his name is “Junior,” which is a thing, but instead they call him “Dumbo.”  Poor thing.

Also, I had never really cried in this movie, but when I watched it this time I balled my eyes out.  Yay.

Also, the Stork is OG Mary Poppins.  He does the “bag falling through the cloud while I’m sitting on it” way before she does.  (I checked the dates and everything.)

Also, I love Timothy Q. Mouse way more than Jiminy Cricket.  Timothy is a way better spokesman and also has a lot more sass.  If you disagree with me on this, or anything else, let me know why in the comments.

Also, Timothy is the OG Inception.

I think when looking at this from a “Disney Legacy” standpoint, this movie solidified the relationship/character aspect of Disney.   As discussed in prior blogs, Snow White created the legacy, Pinocchio solidified wishes, Fantasia solidified magic, and now Dumbo solidified family.  We have two characters, who never speak, and yet their love for one another is shown throughout the entire film.  I find it very telling that the characters with the most love speak the least.  I think Walt Disney was trying to use Dumbo’s story and characters to show how deep the relationships can be in life, and how these relationships can be shown in animated movies the same way as in other movies. I think he did a really good job.

Don’t be a deer in the headlights.  Tune in next time!

ATDis #3: Fantasia

Hello Internet Friends!

I would first like to apologize for the lack of activity.  Since the last post, I’ve been through finals, graduation, and starting summer routines.   A lot has gone on, but now I’m back on track.

Last night, I watched Fantasia for the very first time.  In my life, I remember seeing clips of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the ice-skating fairies in The Nutcracker. I also remember seeing pictures or pins or images somewhere of the little mushrooms in The Nutcracker as well.  I had about as much exposure to the hippos and ostriches and unicorns as anyone.  (But no one told me there were DINOSAURS! So I was very interested to see them).

Overall, I found the entire thing thought provoking, if not a little boring.  By the last number, with Chernabog, I was supposed to be excited.  I was an avid reader of The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson in my youth, and so I really wanted to see the origins of “the worst evil ever imagined.”  But by the end I was just not very interested.

The one thing I thought about most was how brave it was for Walt Disney to come out with a movie so… experimental.  But here’s the other thing, I almost feel like it was a step backwards in movie-technology.  Think about it: for a long time, many movies didn’t have sound.  In the pit of the theater, there was a pianist, orchestra, or other live music.  For this, Walt was trying to do the same thing.  He had “live” music being played along with images that related to it.  He was going backwards to go forwards.  None of the characters really talked (besides the Master of Ceremonies) and it just reminded me of what a silent film must have been like.  But in this stepping backwards, he is also stepping forwards.

Everyone who listens to music imagines what is going on in images.  Walt just decided to draw what he and his team imagined.  I really enjoyed how artistic this made the movie. This movie was comprised of one interpretation of the music.  There are many other images that could have been drawn, and many that have been drawn.  None are more right, nor more wrong, than any other.  I think that’s the whole point of this movie, and of art in general.  It’s supposed to inspire people to create things.  To combine science, music, art, mythology, history, language, and creativity into something to be shared with the world.

IMG_4200In the overall scheme of “Disney” and the brand Walt was creating, I think Fantasia solidified his footing in Magic.  Snow White and Pinocchio both showed how important wishing was.  Both of those movies were pretty focused on wishing.  Fantasia showed the magic of Disney.  While the other movies did (obviously) have magic, the fairies, unicorns, centaurs (and centaurettes), pegasi. ballerina ostriches and hippos, brooms, and even the dark demons of Bald Mountain showed just how magic Disney could be.

Don’t be a dummy, join us for our next adventure!

Thanks for coming along 🙂

ATDis #2: Pinocchio

Hello Internet Friends!

A few days ago I watched Pinocchio for the first time in my whole life.  Sorry for not posting at the time, Finals are crazy.  But yes, for the first time.  At the very least, the first time all the way through in my memory, as I may have been shown various clips or whatever in my life or watched it when I was too small to remember.

I really like how sassy Jiminy Cricket is, asking for a badge (a nice Gold one), asking to be his conscience (the little voice in your head nobody listens to), etc.  He is also very real.  He scolds himself, he makes mistakes, he yells and apologizes.  I sort of expected him to be “perfect conscience character” (like Fairy Godmother from Cinderella).  This is how he is portrayed when he makes cameos in things like “Mickey’s House of Mouse” (the Christmas episode). So I definitely did not expect how he was in real life.

The whole first half of the movie (the half in Geppetto’s house) just made me think about It’s a Small World at Disney.  I don’t know if its the repetitive motions of the wood-carved clocks and music boxes, or the German atmosphere, or the style of the music in this half.  I just couldn’t stop thinking about the “Happiest Cruise that Ever Sailed Around the World.”

Looking at the movies in Chronological Order, I see one parallel so far: Wishing.  From wishing wells, to wishing stars, to wishing apples, it seems like Walt Disney was very interested in Wishing.

This is making me sad now, because Magic Kingdom’s traditional fireworks show, “Wishes,” is ending at the end of next month.  I’ve seen it many times, of course, but its ending.  I am excited for the new show “Happy Endings” (or “Happily Ever After” or something like that), but I am sad for the passing of the tradition.  Jiminy was the narrator for “Wishes” and for it to change makes me sad, now that I see the history of Wishing in original Disney Classics.

Stay tuned for the next movie! It will be fantastic!

Thanks for coming along 🙂

ATDis #1: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Hello internet peeps!

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Me at Magic Kingdom’s “New Fantasyland” construction wall, being grumpy at Grumpy (circa 2014? 2013?)

First off, I will say happy belated Easter to you all.  I hope it was full of yummy egg-shaped chocolate, sugar covered marshmallow animals, and, most importantly, the love of Jesus.

Today, I watched Snow White, I’ve officially begun my process of watching all 56 Disney movies.  One down, 55 to go.

Now I am going to tell you what I thought of this movie (obviously, as is the point of the blog).  I will also assume that there is no reason to hide spoilers, as the movie is from 1937, so if you are worried, I say now “Spoiler alert.”

I am trying not to be a cynic here, I don’t want to poke holes in the plot or ask dumb-ish questions like “Why did none of the animals (1) try to bite her or (2) have rabies?” The goal here is not to destroy my childhood, the goal is to relive it.  I also want to put some thought into what the characters are like, what I learned/noticed from this watching, etc.

Many people have claimed Snow White to be the most “bland” or “boring” or “wimpy” princess.  I have often thought that, but in my mind it was more “innocent” than any of those other adjectives.  During this watching, however, I noticed another side of Snow White.

When she first approaches the cottage of the Dwarfs, she looks inside the window and in an EXTREMELY mocking tone says to her animal friends “ooh its dark in there!” Her animal friends are frightened by this, but she goes over to the door, and very rapidly knocks once, knocks twice, opens the door and says “I guess nobody’s home!” and just waltzes right in.

This may seem very pure and innocent, but she does her knocking so quickly  that no one would have had a chance to go inside.  Leading me to this insight:

Snow White is OK with sneaking/breaking into a house.

OK, I know what you’re thinking.  “She’s just going inside! She didn’t know any better!” But no.  She knew exactly what she was doing.  Once she enters, she turns around and shushes the animal friends (who are all VERY hesitant to enter in the first place), proving once and for all she knows that she’s going somewhere she knows she shouldn’t be.

The other interesting thing I noticed was the strange relationship she had to the dwarfs.

When she first goes into the cottage, she assumes children live inside.  When the dwarfs come back, however, she corrects herself and calls them “little men.”  But honestly, I kind of feel like she never stops thinking about them as children.  She scolds them, she forces them to wash their hands, she tells them “its far past your bedtime” and she just treats them as children.  UNTIL they want to do something nice for her, then Doc acts as almost a grandfather figure.

Grumpy is the only one who notices any of this, talking about how she can’t tell him what to do in his very grumpy way.

Overall, though, I find it kind of odd that the six other dwarfs (all repeatedly referred to as “men” by Doc) are fine with being treated as children, even if it is the princess treating them that way.  I’m all for chivalry, the scene where they give her their beds is adorable and I love it, but I just think the gray haired, bald, old-looking men should not be bossed around by a canonically 14-year-old girl.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what I think.  This movie started the whole franchise.  I am forever grateful for the work that was put into this movie and I will forever cherish it as the one that began the empire.

Tune in next time for our next movie! I’ll give you a hint, no strings attached 😉

Thanks for joining the Adventure.