Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blogging Disney: Part 1

Okay. So for those of you who didn't read the post preceding this, I found a plethora of old Disney movies in my basement that I haven't watched since I was like, 4. So I'm watching them all now, and blogging my thoughts. Because what better time to spend my summer? Look, it's not like I have netflix. Which is kind of a problem because my goal to watch every season of X-Files won't go well unless I have netflix. Or every season of X-Files, which I don't. Don't judge my summer goals. What are yours? Read 100 books? Skydive? Build a house?

I'm just kidding. Wow, I'm getting off track...again. Anyways, let's begin!
I watched Lion King 2: Simba's Pride. And then I tweeted all of my thoughts. Which actually ended up making me miss half of the movie just cuz I ended up staring at my phone half of the time but I got the basics down.

As I mentioned before, I recall loving the movie as a kid. And I actually only remembered one part from it, while I was watching the movie, which I ended up remembering wrong anyways. Which I will explain in a second.

My experience started out with me grabbing the VHS and opening the DVD player, and then sitting there wondering what I was supposed to do next. Then I closed the DVD player, feeling a little embarrassed, and then pressed the eject button on the VHS player, and waited for a bit. Then I remembered that you are supposed to put the VHS into the machine, there isn't a disk drive or anything. So, I did that. Then I rewinded the movie, and then I pressed play. So far, so good.

I did end up watching the commercials, just to see what they would be. They were all for like, Mulan, and A Bugs Life (which has quite a few dirty jokes in it, the worst was actually in the preview. Just thought you'd all like to know.) and I thought to myself, wow. Disney really scored in the 90's. That's when most of their classics came out. The best Disney has come out with in this millennium is Tangled. I guess Disney made up for it though, cuz were there any really good movies that actually came out in the 90's? I honestly can't think of any. Except maybe Titanic.

There was also a preview for Lion King on Broadway. Which I think would actually be really cool to see. I think it would be even cooler to see if they used real lion cubs though. You know, food for thought.

And finally the movie began. With a really, really creepy song. I will probably mention a few things about the soundtrack throughout the blog, but wow, I was genuinely scared. Every song was seriously just creepy. It didn't even compare to the soundtrack of the first movie. (which I am listening to right now, by the way)

Then the movie actually begins, with Simba holding up his new born cub, Kiara. And I decided, again, that having a pet baby lion would be very fantastic.

Except we soon learn that Kiara is actually a complete airhead, who did not inherit either of her parent's brains. The description of her on the back of the movie box described her as "headstrong" which I didn't exactly agree with. She was just like Simba in the first movie, always wanting adventure and what not...except she was just really stupid.

Once she is not a baby but slightly older, she is wandering around and, being her rebellious self, ventures off into the Outlands where she meets little Kovu, who is an Outlander and a total jerk. They don't immediately hit it off, mostly because she is a Pridelander, and he is an Outlander. One could say that she is perhaps a Capulet, and he is a Montague, but I'll get into that later.

I wasn't really paying attention, but somehow they fell into an alligator infested lake. Or maybe crocodiles. Can anybody actually tell me the difference between those two? Anyways, in their escape from the alligators, they magically become the best of friends, because everyone knows the only way to bring two born enemies together is to throw them into a alligator filled lake and have them escape together.

After their escape, Simba appears and has a miniature freak out over protective dad episode, and then warns Kovu's mother, Zira, who is psycho, about how he banished her to the Outlands and...something else. Zira is Kovu's mother, if I understood correctly. And, being the great mother that she is, tells Simba that he can kill Kovu if he really wants to. But Simba is too cool for that, so he just yells at Kiara and then they go home.

One thing that confused me about this scene is how the Outlanders talk about Scar, and for a while they made it seem like Scar was still alive. Didn't he get eaten by hyenas? Here is what I gathered.

Zira is not married to Scar, but probably wanted to be.
Kovu is not Scar's son, but everybody wishes he was.
Scar is a pretty cool bad guy. But his little pride clan thing is pretty pathetic. They are all ugly, and annoying.
Kovu was chosen to be Scar's heir. So Scar is definitely dead.
And now for a confession. Don't judge me for this, but if Simba was a human, he would probably be really, really attractive. He already has a really attractive voice. Matthew Broderick isn't necessarily attractive himself, but his voice is. And as far as lions go, Simba isn't too bad looking. I mean, for an animated lion. I know I'm just digging myself into a hole, but seriously. If I could have a crush on one imaginary movie character that is an animal, it would probably be Simba.

Moving along...

From what I remember, Simba has a talk with Kiara and explains to her that "we are one" as in, everything is together in some sort of harmony. I still think it's funny that all of the animals like, bow to and are subjects to the lions, but the lions eat them. It's kind of like Barack Obama getting hungry and deciding which of us he is going to eat today. Anyways, Simba explains this whole concept with a song. Which again, is mostly dumb and didn't give me much hope for the rest of the soundtrack.
Then it shows the Outlanders, and Zira is yelling at Kovu for sucking at following in Scar's "paw prints" (I always thought it was funny they call it that). And then the little Kovu falls asleep, and his brother and sister whine and complain and act creepy, and then his mom sings an almost epic but mostly disturbing song that is pretty violent and just made me wonder about her sanity...more. Because she is seriously PSYCHO. This song wasn't necessarily as bad as the others, but how violent it was, for a kids movie, was still a little questionable.
And then it shows Rafiki! I love Rafiki. He is so funny. And he always gives good advice. Well, in the first movie he does. We see later that he turns to LSD for his wisdom, but I'll get to that in a second. In this scene, he is talking to Mufasa, apparently, who inspires him that if Kovu and Kiara get married, then the two warring tribes will be brought together. Not unlike a certain Shakespearean play, eh?

In the next scene, Kovu and Kiara are all grown up, and Kovu is old, ugly, scary and evil while Kiara is older but still a complete blockhead. It's strange because everyone keeps telling Kiara how much older she looks. It's like, weren't they right there with her while she was growing up? Only my relatives I haven't seen in years still tell me that. So I don't really know.

And also, riddle me this. How come there are no other males in Simba's pride? He just has his little harem and that's it? Who did they expect Kiara to marry if not Kovu? Paris? Heh heh. Anyways, it's the same deal with the Outlanders. Kovu and his hippy brother are the only male lions. It's just a little strange.

Anyways, this scene is a big deal because Kiara is going hunting by herself for the first time. Except she isn't very good at it. So when she finds out that Timon and Pumbaa, who are still hilarious in this movie, followed her, she gets angry and decides to go hunt in the Outlands. Except Kovu's brother and sister strategically started a fire, so that Kovu could strategically save Kiara's life.
Simba finds Kiara all safe-ish and yells at Kovu for being in the Pridelands. And then Rafiki comes in and slyly tells Simba that Kovu saved her life, so Kovu asks if he can join their pride. Simba reluctantly agrees, but at least he is in his right mind and suspicious of Kovu. Kiara is mostly dumb and is not suspicious of Kovu at all, and is instead mostly happy that he is coming home with them. Which is all fine in the long run, but right now he is still evil and still plotting to kill Simba. So...jokes on you, Kiara. Except not. Yeah.

Next is the  only scene I THOUGHT I remembered from my childhood. Here, Simba has a dream that mirrors the scene where Mufasa is killed in the first movie (which, let's be honest, is probably the most heartbreaking scene of any Disney movie ever made). Only Simba is Mufasa, and Kovu is Scar. And instead of antelopes, they are scary wildebeests with glowing eyes. From what I remembered, it was lava. But I'm thinking that was just a dream I had, about the dream. Within a dream. Within a dream. You're waiting for a train...


So the next day, Kiara and Kovu go play with each other, and Timon and Pumbaa follow. And somehow, they get caught in a rhino stampede, which I also vaguely remember from when I watched this as a child. What I didn't remember though, is that Kiara and Kovu like, awkwardly accidentally kiss. Personally, I think it's awkward when animated animals actually kiss in movies. Like it just looks weird. And...awkward. Because it generally is. And here comes the strangest part in the entire movie.
Later on, at night, Kiara and Kovu are either lion cuddling or lion making out, (it's really hard to tell) when Kovu starts having internal struggs about his whole "be like Scar and kill Simba" duties. Internal struggs? Cue RAFIKI!! Rafiki shows up, and we all expect him to start giving Kovu deep words of wisdom concerning his destiny. This...does not happen.
Unlike the first movie, where Rafiki uses wisdom and leads Simba to realize that he needs to become king and replace Mufasa and other deep stuff, he uses a song. And drugs. I am 100% sure of it.

I really cannot describe what happens next. You'll just have to trust me, and watch this.

Did you watch it? Do you understand now? Not that that's something you can really understand, but wow. WOW.

One of the things I didn't understand about that whole scene (there were many) is why Kovu seems to be totally enjoying it. Like, it's completely cheesy, and tacky, not to mention slightly disturbing. Wasn't he was raised on blood lust and evil? If I were raised on blood lust and evil and the desire to murder, I would not have enjoyed that scene one bit. In fact, I wasn't raised on blood lust or evil and I still felt slightly disturbed at that scene. So, Kovu, what's going on?
LSD is really the only explanation.

The best part is when air head Kiara exclaims "Upendi means love, doesn't it!"

Congratulations. We have a future Einstein on our hands.

Once Kiara and Kovu return to Pride Rock, Kovu gets the chance to be alone with Simba. So technically, he was supposed to kill him there. But since he didn't, now the Outlanders are all angry with him. And seriously, they were alone for like 5 seconds. Strictly speaking, had Kovu attacked, it would've been him against Simba, who could take him all by himself, blindfolded. Not to mention the rest of Simba's pride/harem was right there too. If Simba had been attacked it would have been 10 to 1. As if he could stand a chance in the first place. But the Outlanders overreact, and decide to just kill Simba by force. Which I thought was the plan in the first place, but apparently not.

In the next scene, Kovu is freaking out because, let's be honest, how do you tactfully tell your girlfriend that your destiny is to kill her father, but you don't feel like it anymore? Instead, Simba ends up taking Kovu and tells him the real story about Scar. Once he is finished, he gets ambushed by the Outlanders. Simba, who is amazing, totally kicks butt and throws off the entire pride, and ends up killing Kovu's brother in the process. After Simba escapes, Kovu's mom confronts blames Kovu for his brother's death and slashes his eye, giving him a scar just like *gasp* SCAR'S!! How poetic.
Kovu then returns to Pride Rock and tries to explain to Simba, who is pretty miffed at almost being killed, that he had nothing to do with the ambush. But coming back with a scar like Scar's didn't really do him any favors, and Simba does not believe Kovu, so he says, "Exile." which is a strange word to precede a peppy song sung by all animals. Except it's really depressing and creepy and they all basically tell Kovu that he is not one of them...or something. And it's actually pretty mean, and you even feel a little bad for Kovu as he runs away.

And then comes the next question. How do you nicely tell your daughter that her boyfriend's family ambushed and tried to kill you? Kiara doesn't take it too well, and still trusts Kovu, and doesn't seem to mind that he almost got her dad killed. Maybe she was still suffering the after effects from the LSD. At any rate, she takes off and runs around looking for Kovu. There is a song that I thought had a kind of Christmas-y feel to it, but is actually a love song. And actually, I didn't think it was too bad. It came nowhere near to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" but compared to the rest of the soundtrack, it wasn't the worst song in the movie.

During the song, Kovu finds Kiara looking for him, and they are all happy and joyful and everything is all perfect and well!...
...Except not! Let's see, Simba almost died, Kovu is banished by both of the prides, and the two prides are about to attack each other. And neither of them seem to care, like at all. Kiara doesn't even question Kovu at all. Like, if it was me, I would've AT LEAST been like, "So, you almost got my dad killed. What gives?" and then let him explain that he had nothing to do with the ambush. Even Juliet freaked out at Romeo when she found out that he killed her cousin. I'm not saying Juliet is smart, but she at least had a little common sense. Kiara is dumber than a rock.

Finally, Kiara and Kovu discuss that bad stuff is going on, and Kovu suggests that they run away, because he was selfish and raised on evil and blood lust. Kiara has her one smart moment in the movie, and says that they need to go back so they can bring the two prides together.

So, Kiara and Kovu run back to their prides, and the lions have already started their face off. Simba is, of course, owning everybody, when he gets cornered by Zira. But, just in time, Kiara and Kovu come to the rescue! Kiara delivers a powerful speech, which pretty much comprises of "we shouldn't fight because...well, we shouldn't" and then suddenly all of the lions are friends. Like it is literally that easy. It probably happened because the Outlanders realized that they were no match for Simba, so it was more of a surrender than a 'let's all be friends'.

Except Zira won't give in that easily. She makes a big fuss, and jumps Kiara, making them both fall off the cliff. Kiara finds her way to a ledge, and tries to be noble and save Zira's life, but instead Zira falls to her death into some rapids.

And then that's it. Everybody goes back to Pride Rock and lives happily ever after. For how much potential the whole movie had, the ending was extremely anti-climatic. And then in the end, Mufasa says something, which is awesome because everybody loves Mufasa, but then that's it. It's over. Kovu and Simba both do their lion roar thing, and I decide for the last time that Simba is way cooler than Kovu will ever be.

So that's it. Thoughts: I really liked it as a kid. And strictly speaking, it wasn't a movie that I would never watch again. I liked it. It wasn't nearly as good as the first one, of course, but it wasn't a bad movie either. I'm just really critical. The worst part of the movie was the soundtrack, and Kiara's stupidity but other than that I think I would give it a 6.2 out of 10.

So, stay tuned. The next blog will feature Peter Pan. Yeeah get some!!



Carrots said...

So many things to say! First of all, you crack me up. I love reading your blog. And we should really do that Disney Princess marathon someday. Next: how to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile. A crocodile's nose is pointed, and an alligator's is rounded--which never made sense to me, because souldn't it be the other way around? "C" shaped for Crocs, "A" shaped for alligators? Anyway, just remember that they're backwards and you're good. :) And to become forever friends, one must either fall into a lake full of them or battle a fully-grown mountain troll. Ok. Now my problem with this post: in the world of crushes on animated animals, how can you like Simba when ROBIN HOOD (the foxy fox) is wandering around?! I would totally have a crush on him, given the choice. Who am I kidding? I totally do have a crush on Robin. That's all.

A-money said...

I have to agree with Kat on this one...Robin Hood is such a "foxy" babe!
Haha plus um...I started watching that song, and I couldn't finish it. Seriously.