Strange Magic (2015)

Director: Gary Rydstrom

Writer: David Berenbaum, Irene Mecchi, Gary Rydstrom (Screenplay) George Lucas (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Meredith Anne Bull, Sam Palladio, Kristin Chenoweth

 

Plot: Goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Kids Will Enjoy

 

Story: Strange Magic starts as we see the difference between the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest, the two kingdoms are side by side but both live different lives. When one of the fairies, Marianne accidently steps into the dark forest, angering the Bog King.

Marianne is about to marry the handsome fairy Roland but learns of his true nature, finding herself crushed. Swearing off love, Marianne sets out to protect her sister Dawn and friend Sunny from danger and the dark forest.

When Roland wants to become king, he must find a way to make Marianne take him back which leads him to trick Sunny into going into the dark forest to find a love potion so they can both get the one they want by finding the Sugar Plum Fairy.

This brings the Bog King into the Fairy Kingdom to retrieve the love potion giving the fairies one day to retrieve the potion or he will keep Dawn prisoner forever, with Marianne going out to rescue her.

 

Thoughts on Strange Magic

 

Characters Marianne is the typical strong female character who doesn’t want to follow the traditional trends and be extra independent, she fights for family while hating love. Bog King rules the darkness, hating the world because of his failures in love, he is a strict ruler but also sums up what it is like to have loved and lost becoming bitter to the world. Sunny the comic relief and we see him give us the most laughs as he tries to find a way to show his love for Dawn. Dawn is the annoying princess who is very shallow. Roland is the arrogant wanna be king who is completely annoying throughout.

StoryThe story is the old forbidden love story about two different sides of the fence falling in love against the wishes of everyone. We touch on the elements of trying to force someone to fall in love with you and the consequences it will have on them. It focuses a lot of the people’s individual mistakes when it comes to love.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/FantasyWe have a big adventure into the world forbidden, with elements of comedy going on throughout. We also have the fantasy elements of the film which is one the whole family could enjoy with catchy songs throughout.

SettingsThe creation of the worlds looks fantastic seeing how both sides live giving us a beautiful selection of settings.

AnimationThe animation does work well bring it into a different style to the normal, that all looks great.

Final ThoughtsThis does have a very big judgmental statement being made about treating people equally but this doesn’t over shadow the fun music side of the film.

 

Overall: This has a poor rating overall but this is enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Hercules (1997)

logoDirector: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi (Screenplay) Kaan Kalyon, Kelly Wightman, Randy Cartwright, John Ramirez, Jeff Snow, Vance Gerry, Kirk Hanson, Francis Glebas, Mark Kennedy, Bruce Morris, Don Dougherty, Thom Enriquez (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Rip Torn

 

Plot: The son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney’s Weaker Years

 

Story: Hercules starts with narration of the legacy of Hercules before taking us back to the beginning of the Hercules legend. We see Zeus throwing a party of his baby Hercules giving his first present Pegasus before Hades interrupts the party from the underworld. Hades not content with ruling the underworld wants to rule everything and consults the all-seeing future where he learns that when Hercules enters into battle with him he will lose. Hades sends his two slaves Panic and Pain to take Hercules and take away his immortality before killing him. They do remove his immortality but fail to remove his strength or kill him leaving him with a normal family to grow up as a normal kid.

We move forward to a young Hercules struggling to fit in anywhere, not being acceptable by the locals before being told the truth by his adopted parents. Hercules sets out to make it to the home of the Gods to find out where he really came from and meeting his father who sets him off to meet Phil to be trained as a hero along with his long lost friend Pegasus. We end up with a montage to show the training where Phil sees this chance as one last chance to train a true hero. On his first mission Hercules saves Meg from a creature getting his first glimpse of love.

We learn that Meg is in fact working for Hades and once Hades learns that Hercules is still alive he sets out to finish the job Panic & Pain failed to complete all those years ago. Hades’ attempt to kill Hercules only ends up making him a hero making him the hero Hades was warned about. Can Hercules become the hero he was destine to become or will love stand in his way?

Hercules has 17 writers, really 17 how is this possible? The story really does follow a very typical Disney theme of a son trying to prove himself in his father’s shadow and someone trying to find their place in the world. The ideas of the world Hercules lives in are all nice but as a fan of Greek Mythology I always want to see the Hercules myth told in all its greatness rather than a small segment that is clearly made up for a younger audience. I feel this film is very average and the story offers nothing fresh to the animation idea and is easily one of the more forgettable Disney animations. (4/10)

 

Character Review

 

Hercules: Hercules is the son of Zeus who loses his immortality and left on Earth. He grows up a mortal with strength but ends up struggling to fit in before discovering the truth where he must train to become the hero he was always destiny to become. Hercules is a character that we all know but do we really think he has this clumsy tendencies or failure to fit ideas? I don’t think so. (4/10)

 

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Phil: Phil is the half man half goat trainer of Hercules, who sees this as a chance for him to get his last chance to train a real hero. Phil is your very generic trainer who really doesn’t get the laughs he needs. (4/10)

 

Hades: Hades is the God of the underworld who plans to take over the world but Hercules being alive puts a spanner in the works as Hercules is destiny to stop him. Hades makes for a good villain as he is always turned into the villain when we talk about the ancient Greeks. He is also the highlight of the film. (6/10)

 hades

Meg: Meg is the first damsel in distress that Hercules saves, but she is really forced to work for Hades even after she starts to fall in love with Hercules. Meg tries to be the alternative damsel in distress but it all gets lost when we don’t care about which side she plays on. (3/10)

 

Pain & Panic: These two are the bumbling slaves of Hades who keep messing up the simple ideas but adding comedic moments. These two are meant to be the comic relief but really fail to capture the idea of funny. (4/10)

 

Pegasus: Hercules’ loyal half horse half bird giving to him as a baby, Pegasus is one friend who is always there for Hercules when he needs him most. Pegasus does what it needs to do adding a protective friend but nothing more. (5/10)

 

Support Characters: Hercules has plenty of names known for being around at the same time as Hercules but not many that make too much of a difference.

 

Director Review: Ron Clements, John Musker – I feel these two don’t give us the film we really wanted from the word Hercules but not many do. (4/10)

 

Animation: Hercules has to get good points for the animation because when the Titans come they are frightening for a young audience. (8/10)

Comedy: Hercules has very few laughs if any throughout. (2/10)

Family: Hercules is one for the family to try to together it has attempted jokes for all ages really. (5/10)

Musical: Hercules has good songs used throughout with only one real memorable one. (6/10)

Romance: Hercules throws in a weak romantic angle which we see too often in Disney films. (3/10)

Settings: Hercules creates the settings Hercules could have fought in. (7/10)

Suggestion: Hercules is one that should be watch with the kids only, it falls to reach the levels other films do with the same style of story. (Try It With The Kids)

 

Best Part: I can go the distance song.

Worst Part: No comedy.

What Could Have Been Better? – Better sidekick characters.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Turned into a television cartoon.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Original Music Score.

Box Office: $252 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Zero to Hero!

 

Overall: Hercules feels so much like a complete rip off of nearly every Disney film and never reaches its true potential.

Rating 35

The Lion King (1994)

logoDirector: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Writer: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremey Irons, Moria Kelly, Ernie Sabella, Nathan Lane, Rowan Atkinson

 

Plot: Loin cub Simba learns about his future as king of Pride Rock from his father and king Mufasa. When he starts growing he starts exploring more leading him into trouble. His Uncle Scar wants to be the next king and comes up with a plan to get rid of both Mufasa and Simba. After succeeding in killing Mufasa, Scar scares Simba away and takes over Pride Rock. While Simba is lost in the wilderness he meets an estranged couple Timon and Pumbaa who teach him about not worrying about the past. Simba knows he has to face his past and reclaim his throne from Scar.

 

Verdict: Disney’s Last Classic

 

Story: Loosely based on the Shakespeare classic Hamlet, we get a great story of redemption for the sins one well animal thinks he has committed. In the end the animal touch is very accurate minus the hyenas so the community that they live in. what makes this such a popular film is how it can relate to the audience because we all feel after making a mistake that changes each day we live. It will always go down as the last Disney classic before the Pixar people turned up. (9/10)

 

Character Review

 

Simba: The young loin cub who mistakenly is involved in his father’s death and runs from the responsability which would become his. After growing up and learn to put the past behind him an old friend gives him a chance to redeem himself and take his rightful place as King. (9/10)

 simba

Mufasa: Simba’s father who guides him during his young cub days showing him his boundaries and explain the circle of life. He is always worried about his son but manages to save him before falling foul to Scar’s plan. (9/10)

 

Scar: The uncle who believed he would be one day but once Simba turns up he goes down the chain, he plans to take out the rest of the family so he can become king. Brilliantly evil character here using all his brains to push people where he wants them to go. (9/10)

 scar

Pumbaa & Timon: I have to look at these two as a double act because they complement each other perfectly with their laid back view on life. (9/10)

 timonpumbaa

Director Review: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff – Brilliant direction to create a classic that was a huge part of my childhood. (10/10)

 

Animation: When Disney were the best, this was their best. (10/10)

Family: Great family film that all will enjoy. (10/10)

Settings: Each setting created is authentic to the natural habitant of the animals involved. (10/10)

Suggestion: This is one that everyone has to watch, just sit and enjoy it. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Everything.

Worst Part: Nothing

Funniest Scene: Just can’t wait to be king song.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: Maybe (3/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has two poor sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 2 Oscars

Box Office: $987 Million

Budget: $45 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: The Circle of Life

 

Overall: Classic Animated Masterpiece

Rating 93