So I’m sure you all know this story-but I’ll do a quick review just in case. Belle and her father live in a small French village. Her father is an inventor and he goes off to a fair to show his latest creation, but ends up going the wrong way and enters a magical castle where all the furniture is alive and the prince was transformed into a beast.
With a miscommunication as to why Maurice is there, he gets thrown into the castle dungeon, and his horse which ran away travels to Belle. Belle, meanwhile, has been unhappy with her life, and Gaston- a total jerk who wants to marry her. When she spots the horse, she rides off to find out what happened to her father.
There she trades her freedom to free her father and settles in to life with the Beast. Will she find a way to free herself? Or will she discover that there is more to this Beast than his outward appearance?
Most Romantic Moment: I Want to Do Something for Her
So this moment comes about half way to two thirds on the movie. The Beast and Belle have been spending a lot of time together and the Beast has fallen for Belle and wants to show her how important their friendship is to him.
So he thinks and thinks about what to do and what does Belle love. Yes what does Belle love, that’s the most romantic part. He wants to just do something special for Belle-not wanting anything in return or expecting anything-and thinks of something that Belle would love. So he gifts her, her own the library.
So Ariel is a mermaid, but she really loves human things. She is always collecting things from shipwrecks and going to the surface to talk to birds and see land. One night she is watching a ship that is bringing Prince Eric home. A huge storm occurs and causes the ship to be destroyed.
When she gets home her father discovers her treasure trove of human items and destroys them. In typical, teenage fashion, she throws a temper tantrum and goes to see the evil witch Ursula, who takes her voice in exchange for giving her legs. Ariel has three days to get Eric to kiss her, if he does she will be a human forever- but if he doesn’t then she will turn back into a mermaid and belong to Ursula.
That’s not good.
Ariel goes topside but has difficulties getting Eric to kiss her, as he doesn’t want to take advantage of a mute girl and is in love with the girl who saved him (couldn’t see her only heard her); along with Ursula’s lackeys getting in the way. Ursula transforms herself into a beautiful woman, takes Ariel’s voice, puts a spell on Eric, and gets him to agree to marry her. Ariel and friends are trying to stop the wedding, but will they be able to in time? Or is it too late?
Most Romantic Moment: Kiss the Girl
This is a great song and a great scene. You have the perfect atmosphere with the blue lagoon, a rowboat for two, a group singing in perfect harmony a romantic song; and to top it all off you have them in the weeping willow!
I love it!
I LOVE weeping willows and find them beautiful, magical, and incredibly romantic. I love this part of the song.
It is Time for Our Annual Disney and Animated Film
So this film isn’t considered a “Halloween” movie by some, but I always think of it as one because when they rerelease the Studio Ghibli films in theaters every month, they always do this one in October. Not to mention it has spirits in it.
I think I have seen it maybe three times in theaters? I forget. Anyways, I love this movie.
I first heard of Studio Gibli because my friend was really into the films. We watched Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro. Then when I was in college my best friend and roommate had a bunch of his films and we watched Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke.
I absolutely loved Howl’s Moving Castle and bought it- making my nieces watch it, (they love it now too), and Spirited Away. And as I still needed a Disney film and an animated film (yearly Horrorfest tradition) I thought it was perfect!
So the film is Japanese, and then voice dubbed in English for the states. There are a few differences in phrases and terms, mostly because there are things you won’t understand if you don’t know Japanese culture.
So the film starts out with little Chihiro (Daveigh Chase) and her parents are driving to their new home. Chihiro is very upset to have to leave her friends and family.
Her father decides to go down a shortcut, which leads him through an old abandoned amusement park and the world of Kami (spirits) of Japanese Shinto folklore.
Her parents see the food left out for the spirits and eat it. Oh no-you aren’t supposed to do that. Being of Mexican descent, I know you never, ever eat the food for the dead/spirits. Remember that Lizzie McGuireepisode?
So of course her parents have something bad happen to them, they turn into pigs and run off!
Poor 10-year old Chihiro, what is she going to do now?
Luckily, she is saved by a young boy, Haku (Jason Marsden [he played Goofy’s son Max], who takes her to the bathhouse. He gives her some food to eat so she can remain in the spirit world.
Haku: Don’t be afraid, I just wanna help you.
Chihiro: No… no… no… no… no…
Haku: Open your mouth and eat this. If you don’t eat food from this world, you’ll disappear.
He tells her to see the boiler man Kamaji, and ask for a job. He will have to give her one if she asks and then she can stay in the world, and look for her parents. He refuses, but does claim her as his granddaughter.
Kamaji sends her to the owner of the spahouse, the witch Yubaba. Yubaba tries to scare her off, but as Chihiro prevails, she gets hired on and signs a contract. Yubaba takes her name and changes it to Sen. Haku finds her later and gives her the card from her friend with her real name. He warns her, don’t forget you name or else you can never leave.
I liked that, as in fairy tales that is a common theme with witches and warlocks, Rumplestilskin-your name is powerful.
No one likes Sen as she is still human. She gets paired with Lin (Susan Egan, who you’ll recognize the voice as the same actress who was Meg in Hercules). Lin is unhappy as no one wants to help her as well, now that she is paired with Sen. Yubaba makes things difficult by giving them the hardest tasks as she wants to break little Sen.
One night, Sen notices something outside when she goes to close the doors. She spots No-Face, which is not supposed to come into the spa (but she doesn’t know that). She leaves the door open as she gets called away by Lin to take care of the stink spirit. After she leaves, No-Face comes in.
That’s not good.
They need serious help to clean up this one, but the guy who gives the special spa bath salts won’t give her anything. However, No Face grabs her a bunch of them. As they clean the stink spirit, Sen realizes that he needs more than just a bath.
Lin: Sen! Sen, where are you?
Chihiro: [from beside the Stink Spirit] Over here!
Lin: Don’t worry… stay right where you are, I’m coming to get you! You’re gonna be fine, I won’t let him hurt you.
Chihiro: I think he needs help! It feels like there’s a thorn in his side!
She frees him and the creature is horrifying looking to me, creeps me out, but he’s the nice spirit of a polluted river and gives Sen a magic emeticdumpling and gold to everyone else.
All are happy, but Sen feels a little distressed. She misses her family and can’t find Haku anywhere.
Lin warns her to stay away frpm Haku, that he is evil and works for the witch Yubaba-don’t trust him. But Sen is convinced that Haku is good.
Meanwhile No-Face has made fake gold and has been treated like a king in the spa. He demands food and tips well, eatign workers when they keep him from reaching Sen.
Meanwhile, Haku has returned from his mission (in the shape of a dragon), and is attacked by paper Shikigami. Haku and Sen try to fight them off, but one morphs into Yubaba’s twin sister, Zeniba, and reveals he stole a seal from her.
That’s not good.
Yubaba’s giant crazy baby Boh captures Sen and doesn’t want her to leave. He wants her to stay and play with her, threatening to break her arm and force her to stay-this baby always scared me.
On second thought-with this baby in it, it is a horror movie.
Zeniba’s image does not like how the baby speaks to her and turns him into a mouse and makes a hologram baby. Haku then attacks her shikigami and that destroys the Zeniba hologram. He’s badly injured and falls down to the boiler room with Sen and Boh.
Kamaji diagnoses him as having eaten some pretty powerful magic. Sen gets the great idea to give him some of the dumpling she got earlier. He coughs up the seal and a worm, which Sen destroys. Boh and Kamaji’s soot creatures reenact it.
She has to travel to Zeniba and take the seal. Kamaji gives her his roll of tickets to take the spirit train and she is about to head out-but is stopped by the antics of No-Face. No-Face has been going crazy trying to find Sen and eating everything!
Okay I was an adult when I saw this but he is so crazy and creepy looking, he has ALWAYS terrified me. He’s like the creepy blob thing in Phantoms.
She gives him the rest of the dumpling and he spits everything up. Sen leaves and No Face goes with them. Sen, No Face, Boh, and Yubaba’s crow all travel on the train to see Zeniba.
When they reach Zeniba they are surprised to discover that she is so kind and nice. She puts them to work, No Face weaves and the others help out.
They then have a tea party,
And Zeniba reveals she can’t do anything to help her, her parents, or Haku. Chihiro must do it.
Zeniba: I’d like to help you, dear, but there’s nothing I can do. It’s one of our rules here. You’ve got to take care of your parents and that dragon boyfriend of yours, on your own.
Chihiro: But, um, can’t you even give me a hint? I feel like Haku and I met, a long time ago.
Zeniba: In that case, it’s easy. Nothing that happens is ever forgotten, even if you can’t remember it.
Haku wakes up and goes after them. No-Face stays behind while Chihiro, Boh, and the little crow decide to return to the spa house. Sen frees him when she gives him his name back.
Chihiro: Haku, listen. I just remembered something from a long time ago, I think it may help you. Once, when I was little, I dropped my shoe into a river. When I tried to get it back I fell in. I thought I’d drown but the water carried me to shore. It finally came back to me. The river’s name was the Kohaku river. I think that was you, and your real name is Kohaku River.
Haku: You did it, Chihiro! I remember! I was the spirit of the Kohaku River.
Chihiro: A river spirit?
Haku: My name is the Kohaku River.
Chihiro: They filled in that river, it’s all apartments now.
Haku: That must be why I can’t find my way home, Chihiro, I remember you falling into the river, and I remember your little pink shoe.
Chihiro: So, you’re the one who carried me back to shallow water, you saved me… I knew you were good!
But not all is taken care of. Chihiro must now past the test to pick her parents from the pigs or be stuck there forever.
She and her parents are free and leave. Her parents are groggy as if they have just woken from a dream, and they find their car covered in vines and such as if it has been sitting out there for a long time. I wonder how long they were in the spirt world? Does her father still have a job?
They head to their home and Chihiro’s father asks is she is nervous about going to a new school. After all Chihiro has been through school will not be a problem.
This is an absolutely adorable film, although it does have some creepy moments in it. No-Face,
Every year we review an animated film and this year it is:
I’ll always look back on that first with the most fondness; my introduction to Basil of Baker Street, the great mouse detective
So guess what guys! Bonus Disney film and bonus Vincent Price!
This was one of my upmost favorite films growing up. I don’t think I could ever fully explain how amazing this film is-it is just too good.
So the original story is a book Basil of Baker Street, which was awful-don’t read it. Instead, when Disney went into production they borrowed from The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and other of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works.
As my costume this year was Sherlock Jane Holmes Austen, I knew I had to review it.
Mystery, you say?
The main character Basil of Baker Street is a mousified version of Sherlock Holmes-a mix of Leslie Howard and Basil Rathbone (where his name comes from). This film not only has a great main character but the best Disney villain of all time, Ratigan.
Played by Vincent Price-this guy gives Professor Moriarty (Sherlock’s archnemsis) a real run for his money.
This film starts of with father and daughter-Hiram and Olivia Flaversham. Hiram is a toy inventor and is celebrating with the apple of his eye, Olivia. Unfortunately, her birthay is interrupted with intruders.
He quickly hides his daughter and then is kidnapped.
Meanwhile, in London, Dr. David Q. Dawson has just arrived from Afghanistan, newly retired from the war. He’s looking for a place to stay and to begin his practice.
Dr. Dawson: Little did I know that my life was about to change forever.
He sees little Olivia trying to make her way down the street without being run over, and feels sorry for her. She tells him she is looking for the famous detective, and shows him a newspaper clipping. He agrees to help her, and off they go.
When they arrive at 221 1/2 Baker Street, Basil is not there. They decide to wait when they are interrupted by a strange looking mouse.
Yes, it is Basil of Baker Street, the Great Mouse Detective.
Put my crime-solving cap on.
Olivia tries to talk to him, but he ignores her…until she mentions a certain little fact:
Olivia Flaversham: I didn’t lose him. He was taken by a bat.
Basil: Did you say… bat?
Olivia Flaversham: Yes.
Basil: Did he have a crippled wing?
Olivia Flaversham: I don’t know, but he had a peg leg.
Dr. Dawson: I say, do you know him?
Basil: Know him? That bat, one Fidget by name, is in the employ of the very fiend that was the target of my experiment! The horror of my every waking moment. The nefarious Professor Ratigan!
Dr. Dawson: Ratigan?
Basil: He’s a genius, Dawson. A genius twisted for evil. The Napoleon of crime!
Dr. Dawson: As bad as all that, eh?
Basil: Worse! For years I’ve tried to capture him, and I’ve come close, so very close, but each time he’s narrowly evaded my grasp! Not a corner of London is safe while Ratigan is at large. There’s no evil scheme he wouldn’t concoct. No depravity he wouldn’t commit. Who knows what dastardly scheme that villain may be plotting even as we speak.
From here we fade out to take a look at the villain-Ratigan (Vincent Price). His plan is to have Haversham create a toy mouse Queen, kidnap the real Queen, and use his toy/puppet to rule all mousedom. After his amazing reveal and we have THE BEST VILLAN SONG OUT OF ALL THE DISNEY VILLAN SONGS!!
So debonair, so evil, so classy, so demented, etc. He has it all. Fantastic!
Meanwhile, Fidget goes looking for the girl and to find out what Basil has unearthed. They spot him and the chase is on-after a quick stop to Sherlock Holmes’ flat (Sherlock Holmes speaks with the voice of Basil Rathbone. Since Rathbone was already deceased it was edited from his reading of the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for Caedmon Records in 1966).
In the flat they pick up Toby, a dog, and track Fidget down to a toy store:
Olivia is stolen, but luckily they found the list and Basil uses al his power of deduction to find Ratigan’s lair.
It is time to suit up and head out. The two disguise themselves as sailors and head down to a tavern on the waterfront.
Bar Maid: What’ll you have?
Dr. Dawson: I’ll have a dry sherry, with, oh, perhaps a twist of…
Basil: Two pints for me and my shipmate. Oh, by the way. We just got into port. We’re looking for an old friend of mine. Maybe you know him. Goes by the name… of Ratigan! [Everyone at the bar gasps and turn to Basil]
Bar Maid: I… never heard of him.
Basil is on high alert and notices that the drinks have been roofied. But it is too late for Dawson who causes a giant scene:
When I was a kid I never noticed how racy this was. It almost didn’t make it in the final cut. I just remember enjoying the song.
So they get out of there and follow Fidget, but it turns out to be a trap. Ratigan has outwitted Basil. He takes his robot Queen, the Flavershams, and his crew and set off to fulfill his evil plan.
Let’s stop and talk about how awesome this scene is:
Ratigan’s enthusiasm and how he can’t settle on one so he does all his ideas.
How Basil figures out this plan and incorporates it, calculating in like a minute.
When he is free the first thing he does is change back into his “uniform”.
Basil catches Olivia as she is thrown through the air just like that.
And he stops to have his picture taken.
Meanwhile, Ratigan has fooled the queen, abducted her, and has established his Robot Queen who has given him all the power.
Ratigan: I have the power!
Robot Queen: Of course you do.
Ratigan: I am supreme!
Robot Queen: Only you.
Ratigan: This is my kingdom! [maniacal laugh] That is, of course, with your highness’ permission. [the robot is idle; Ratigan slaps it to start it again]
Robot Queen: Most assuredly… you insidious fiend.
Robot Queen: You’re not my royal consort!
Ratigan: [to crowd] Such a sense of humor.
Robot Queen: You’re a cheap fraud & impostor!
Ratigan: [under his breath] Flaversham!
Basil: [operating the robot] A corrupt, vicious, demented, lowlife scoundrel. There’s no evil scheme you wouldn’t concoct. [the robot goes crazy and breaks apart]
Robot Queen: No depravity you wouldn’t commit. You, professor, are none other than a foul stenchus rodentus, commonly known as a…
Ratigan: Don’t say it!
Basil: …Sewer rat!
Yes Basil came in just the nick of time. Ratigan escapes with Olivia and Basil and Dawson are on the train again. Basil crashes into Ratigan and they wind up in Big Ben and we have one of the most amazing scenes in Big Ben-and one of the scariest.
Back at Baker Street Hiram and Olivia leave to go home and get back to their lives-
Olivia Flaversham: Goodbye, Basil. [sniffles] I… I’ll never forget you.
Basil: Nor I you, Miss… Miss Flangerhanger.
Dr. Dawson: [chuckles] Whatever.
Afterwards, Dawson is going to go about what he originally planed t do, but Basil likes having a best friend.
Dr. Dawson: Well, it’s time I was on my way too.
Basil: But… umm… but I thought…
Dr. Dawson: Well, the case is over, and perhaps… well perhaps it’s best I found my own living quarters.
Basil: But…[Knock on door] Oh, now who could that be?
[Dawson opens door; a lady mouse is standing there]
Lady Mouse: Is this the home of the famous Basil of Baker Street?
Dr. Dawson: Indeed it is, miss. You look as if you’re in some kind of trouble.
Lady Mouse: Oh, I am. I am.
Dr. Dawson: Then you have come to precisely the right place.
Basil: Ah, allow me to introduce my trusted associate Dr. Dawson, with whom I do all of my cases. Isn’t that right, doctor?
Dr. Dawson: Oh? Why, yes. By all means.
Basil: As you can see, Dawson, this young lady is from the Hampstead district, and is troubled about the mysterious disappearance of an emerald ring in the third finger of her right hand. Now, tell me the story, and pray, be precise.
And that is just the beginning-many more adventures are to cme. Although sadly they didn’t make any more movies. I don’t know why not!
It is such an amazing film, and I watched it over and over and over again as a child.
It is time for our annual animated film pick! This year I am going with:
Romantic Moment #8
I love Aladdin. In fact, the first Disney film I ever saw was Aladdin. I was just a baby but my mom took me when the whole family went to see it. I used to watch the first and third one all the time. I love all the songs in this film and committed them all to memory at an early age.
Aladdin is a retelling of a chinese tale in Arabian Nights or A Thousand and One Nights, tales that Scheherazade told her husband to keep herself alive each night, (for more on that go here). Disney disneyfied it into being much happier and brighter, like they do with everything.
In the Disney story, Aladdin is an orphaned boy living with his monkey friend, Abu. The two are street rats, scrounging about for food and hiding from the castle guards. Every night Aladdin goes home and dreams of being rich and living in the palace, never having to worry about anything.
Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine is in the palace and has to marry by her sixteenth birthday. She hates every prince that has called on her and she feels they all are after her fortune.
Also in the palace lurks Jafar, the evil vizier, who wants to take the throne for himself. Along with grabbing the throne he is trying to get inside the fabled Cave of Wonders to get a lamp, but only a pure-hearted, diamond in the rough can enter.
These three stories intersect when Jasmine sneaks out of the palace, only to be helped by Aladdin when she gets into trouble. The two run from guards but are caught, with Jasmine revealing herself and going home, while Aladdin is sent to the dungeon. Jafar disguises himself and frees Aladdin- convinced he is the perfect person to enter the cave. Aladdin is and does, but Abu brings the whole place toppling down when he tries to take something he is not supposed to touch. Aladdin gets stuck inside the Cave, but there he finds the genie of the lamp
And the adventure to capture the heart of the princess is on.
Most Romantic Moment: I Can Show You the World
So I’m sure you all know what moment I’m choosing from Aladdin; when Aladdin takes Jasmine on the magic carpet ride through the world. Of course this is super romantic, a flight around the world-but there is a reason why it is extra romantic.
So earlier in the film, Aladdin saves Jasmine and takes her back to his place when they run from the guards. There they talk and learn about each other, with Jasmine sharing her dreams and how she feels.
Aladdin: Wow. The palace looks pretty amazing, huh?
Princess Jasmine: [glumly] Oh… It’s wonderful.
Aladdin: I wonder what it’d be like to live there, and have servants, and valets.
Princess Jasmine: Oh, sure. People who tell you where to go and how to dress.
Aladdin: That’s better than here. You’re always scraping for food and ducking the guards.
Princess Jasmine: You’re not free to make your own choices.
Aladdin: Sometimes you feel so…
Princess Jasmine: You’re just…
Aladdin, Princess Jasmine: …trapped.
Of course at the time he didn’t realize that she was the princess, he thought she was just sharing her opinion. But later when he is trying to make up for being a jerk and try and win her heart, he remembers what she said and gives her what she has wanted. The ability to leave and explore and be out of the palace. Freedom to go wherever, out of the palace walls, with her choosing where to go and what they should do.