Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Disney Sequels Worth Seeing at Least Once

Happy Thursday,

I’m not sure what’s so happy about the random days I begin with “happy [day],” but the world needs more happy…or something.

Anyway, I recently visited a friend back home. For more that happened during that trip, see my post about King Richard’s Fair.

This bit is less medieval…er, well, actually. It has some medieval qualities.

If you grew up in America, odds are you watched Disney—willingly or not. Odds are also good you tried one or two Disney sequels and promptly decided “umm, no.” Some of the Disney sequels weren’t so great. Heck, a lot of sequels aren’t so great. The friend I went to visit and I, however, have dedicated at least part of our lives to watching as many Disney animated features as possible. Even if we just watch them once and then say “never again.” We did this with Mulan II.

I can’t speak for her, but I didn’t have that reaction to the five Disney sequels detailed below. Have a read and check them out. Proof II and IIIs don’t have to make you sad.

Five Disney Sequels Worth Seeing at Least Once

Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
Disney does love triangle

As you probably guessed from the title, this film is all about Pocahontas in England. King James sends John Rolfe to open the lines of communication with the Native Americans, and Pocahontas decides to go to England to assist in advocating for peace. Radcliffe is back and out to discredit her. John Smith is back, and there’s that love triangle. So many voices, so many paths. Can Pocahontas learn to “listen to the spirit within” to save her people?

This is really the story of Pocahontas learning who she is. At the end of the first movie, she has an idea, enough to stay while John Smith returns to England. In this one, we get to see her become a woman. And we even get some historical accuracy. What am I talking about? Watch the movie. (I know. I’m evil.)

Also, I have a 16-year-old girl crush on John Rolfe. Carry on.

Opening song: Where do I Go from Here?

Cinderella III: A Twist in Time
Let’s play the “what if” game.

“What if happily ever after never happened?” Cinderella’s step mother and sisters have been put to work in the palace kitchen. Sweet justice, or is it? Anastasia (one of the step sisters) just wants a love of her own. Moving toward this goal, she steals the Fairy Godmother’s wand, but the step mother has other plans. She turns back time to the night Cinderella fit the slipper and makes the slipper fit Anastasia. But Cinderella is sure she danced with the prince. Can she fight her former foes and magic to regain her happy ending?

Why wasn’t this Cinderella 1? Obvious problems with turning back time to events that didn’t happen aside, this was so much better than the first movie. Talk about a real heroine. Cinderella goes out and gets what she wants. She doesn’t sit around and wait for the mice to make her a dress. Then when that dress gets ripped up, she doesn’t run into the backyard and cry. She goes to the palace. She finds a way to stay at the palace. She fights with everything she’s got. And Anastasia—she really exhibits true character development. Watch the movie.

Opening song: Perfectly Perfect Year (Which has been stuck in my head for a week, carry on.)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
Rated G? *awah?*

It’s the festival of love. Quasimodo wants a love of his own, someone whose name he can shout as he rings La Fidele (a bell) over Paris. Enter Madellaine. She works for a shady circus owner who wants to steal La Fidele. He sets her the task of beguiling the bell ringer to get him out of the way. But love blossoms fast. Will Madeline turn aside her employer to help Quasimodo protect La Fidele?

After the first movie, this was tame. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this clip of “Heaven’s Light, Hell Fire.” For a kid’s movie, it’s…well, you’ll see. This one is fun. The gargoyles are back, and their all about helping Quasimodo find happiness.

Also, I’m 99% sure Achilles (Phoebus’s horse) was the inspiration for Maximus in Tangled.

Opening song: Le Jour D’Amour

Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure
“I’d give anything to have what you have” “And I’d give anything to have what you have.”

Scamp (Tramp and Lady’s son) is sick of the house dog life. He “wants to be wild and free.” After a messy episode in the house, he is chained outside for a night. He escapes and runs off to join the junkyard dogs. But Angel, a junkyard dog who wants a home, is adamant there’s more to life than the streets. Scamp must make a choice: freedom or love.

Scamp dreams of the life he doesn’t know one of his parents had. This is akin to Melody in the Little Mermaid II. Yes, Disney recycles plots. Lol. It’s okay, though. Lady and the Tramp II is still fun. All the old good guys are back, and there’s even Scamp’s three (identical) sisters. Why is it that, in animated movies, daughters always look like the mom and sons always look like the dad? Genetics? Oh well.

Opening song:Welcome Home

The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride
Two prideholds. both alike in dignity, in fair Sahara where we set our scene.

Kiara is just like Simba was at her age—adventurous and prone to disobeying her father. Kovu has been trained from birth to avenge Scar and take his place as king of Pride Rock. Their paths cross on one fated day when they are cubs, and they become friends. Years later, they meet as young adults. Kiara has grown into a princess and Kovu into a killer. But the power of memory and love is strong. Working together can they bring peace to their warring prides?

The Lion King was Hamlet. The Lion King II is Romeo and Juliet. I’m not sure what the Lion King 1.5 was (Hamlet on drugs?). In any case, II is worth a watch. Timon and Pumba are back and just as funny as they were in the first movie. All the original voices are back as well, even Mufasa…for one line. Speaking of Mufasa, little logic problem.

Simba to Kovu “My father’s law will prevail.” The law about the outsiders (Covu’s pride) being exiled…the outsiders who only became an issue when Scar took control…long after Mufasa’s death. So…what law was that?

Oh who cares! Just watch the movie. 

Opening song: He Lives in You

K, there you have it. If you have some free time and a desire to revisit your childhood, check these out. And if you only watch them once, I only said to watch them once. Brilliant, I’ve just absolved myself of all responsibility.

Thanks for reading.

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