Moana (2016)

moanaDirector: Ron Clements, Don Hall, John Musker, Chris Williams

Writer: Jared Bush (Screenplay) Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Auli’I Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk

 

Plot: In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the demigod to set things right.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of Their Best

 

Story: Moana starts with the ancient tale of Chieftain’s heart that could give life and who Maui stole the heart with the ability to transform with his magical fishhook but when others leave Maui defeat and both the heart and fishhook lost forever. This is a story for Moana and her people where she is destiny to follow in her father’s footsteps and become the Chief of their people.

Desperate to help her people Moana risks her own life to search for a new fishing location but only finds the dark side of the ocean before her grandmother also known as the crazy lady on the island shows Moana the final secret of her people and that is Moana’s destiny, to restore the heart of Chieftain to restore the peace within the waters with the help of the one that disturbed the peace in the first place the demi-god Maui.

Moana is an adventure family comedy that brings us the next Disney leading female character that is part princess but not in the love angle. This is huge plus because we are tired of the princess stories now. The story focuses on believing in yourself be it for your people or that the stories about yourself are not what are going to define you. The fallen hero side to Maui is excellently done to go opposite the soon to be chief character makes for an unusual partnership but one that works on the levels needed.

It wouldn’t be a Disney animation without wonderful songs and this is now different but I can’t help but find myself not getting them stuck in my head like others (Let it Go, for example) and I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. ‘I Am Moana’ is easily the headline song from the film and captures the character perfectly though.

Going into the characters with the voices behind them now Auli’I gives an amazing performance as Moana with her beautiful singing voice and of course we need to talk about the biggest name in the film Dwayne Johnson and Maui who again is brilliant in his role where he nails the singing and charisma the character needs. We do get great comic relief from a mix of Heihei the chicken and Pua the piglet but otherwise this is a very grounded film that doesn’t introduce too many characters.

Disney could have restored the magic it has been losing with certain recent releases and this sure as hell gets back to what once made them great enjoy the songs, the story, the adventure for it will be special.

 

Overall: Disney is back and with a boom, move over lazy Pixar sequels the original masterminds are back.

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Aladdin (1992)

charactr cardDirector: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried, Douglas Seale, Charles Adler

 

Plot: When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Instant Classic

 

Story: Aladdin starts as we see the evil Jafar looking for a lamp but hi plans are put on hold when he needs to find a diamond in the rough. We move onto meet street thieve Aladdin who steals to survive and help others who are less fortunate. We also meet Princess Jasmin who needs to be married off by her Sultan father by her next birthday but wants to fall in love before marrying someone.

After Jasmine runs away she meets Aladdin who gets placed into helping Jafar retrieve the Lamp from the Cave of Wonders. Once Aladdin finds the lamp he awakens the Genie who grants him three wishes that could change his life forever.

Aladdin is one of the most popular Disney movies all time and I can see why. We have the unlikely hero that is good at heart but never given the chance to be the success he could be, we have a strong female lead and a villain tired of being in the shadows wanting power. Mixing all of these together we get a full story that does everything you need in a film taking the Disney Princess idea to a new world. This will always be considered a true classic that will forever be loved.

 

Character Review

 

Aladdin: Aladdin is the small town street thieve that does what he needs to, to survive. When he meets Jasmine he instantly falls in love but finds him the target of Jafar to steal a magic lamp. The lamp gives him three wishes that he uses to make himself a Prince to marry Jasmine but it isn’t long before his true self is discovered and he can become a hero by himself. Aladdin is a great character that shows just because he does criminal activities he is doing them for the right reason and is selfless at heart.

Genie: Genie comes from the lamp giving Aladdin three wishes having been trapped for years. He has rules but must grant wishes that don’t break these rules to his master. He loves working for Aladdin but ends up being forced into working for Jafar. Genie is one of Robin William best performance as the pure energy behind this film that you want to see every single scene he is in.

Jasmine: Jasmine is the princess that is being forced into marrying a prince but she keeps rejecting any that come her way. She escapes the kingdom and falls in love with Aladdin who is everything she shouldn’t be marrying. Jasmine is a strong princess which is unlike most of Disney’s for the time she wants love and will make sure she finds it.

Jafar: Jafar is the Sultan’s most trusted advisor but he has plans to become the Sultan himself and will look into to any means to make this happen including finding the lamp to wish for the power. Jafar is one of your typical villains you see in a Disney film that will always be one to hate.

Support Characters: Aladdin has good supporting comedy character that will make you laugh through the film.

Director Review: Ron Clements, John MuskerThe pair give us one of the most memorable and stand out Disney films of all time.

 

Adventure: Aladdin takes us on an adventure as Aladdin goes from street thieve to worthy hand in marriage for Jasmine.

Animation: Aladdin had the brilliant animation you have come to know from Disney.

Comedy: Aladdin has great use of comedy with most coming from Robin Williams.

Family: Aladdin is one the whole family could enjoy with jokes for the whole family to understand.

Fantasy: Aladdin puts us in the middle of a fantasy world that is filled with genies that can grant wishes.

Romance: Aladdin has a romantic story that follows a princess who wants to fall in love rather than be forced into marriage.

Settings: Aladdin puts us into a world that shows the type of world that Aladdin is living in.

Suggestion: Aladdin is one that I think everyone should have watched at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Whole New World.

Worst Part: Not one.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears:

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 2 Oscars

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: A diamond in the rough.

Trivia: This film became the 14th (and the first animated movie) to gross more than $200,000,000.

 

Overall: One of the BEST Disney films of all time.

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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