Month: January 2013

thft

So…I may have endangered the entire space time continuum.

Hi everyone.

Um. Okay, I need to tell you something and you have to promise not to be mad.

Okay?

Okay.

A few weeks ago I built a totally sweet time machine and…

You promise not to be mad?

…okay, so I built a time machine and I was all set to do what anyone else would do with a time machine. Kill Hitler.  I mean, you have to, right? It’s like visiting the Eiffel Tower when you’re in Paris. It’s just what you do.

hitler

Do it now and you kill two birds with one stone.

But I wanted to practice first so I decided I’d try killing a lesser dictator for the experience points and I finally settled on Saddam Hussein.

Seen here about to bust this case wide open.

Seen here, about to bust this case wide open.

So I went back to Iraq around 1989 and I waited for him in his bedroom with my trusty shrimping fork. But then he came in and…

Okay, seriously, you have to promise not to get mad.

See, I was all set to do it and then he just starts bursting into tears and saying how he never wanted to be a dictator and that his father pushed him into it and that he had always dreamed of being an actor during the Golden Age of Hollywood but he’d never got the chance and…I just felt so sorry for him, you know? I did.

And that’s when he bludgeoned me with the night stand and stole my time machine.

So…yeah. I may have accidentally given Saddam Hussein the ability to travel throughout space and time.

See this is why I didn’t want to tell you, I knew you’d get mad.

Look, it’s fine! I was worried too! During those fourteen years in an Iraqi prison all I could think off was “Any minute now history is going to be re-written and I’ll find myself in a parallel universe where everyone’s speaking Iraqian…Iraqean…what language do they speak in Iraq?

Anyone? Anyone? Fox News?

French.

French.

 Really? Okay, thanks. But it didn’t happen, so eventually just decided he must have pressed the wrong button and gotten eaten by a T-Rex…

His last thoughts were: "Feathers?! LAME!"

His last thoughts were: “Feathers?! LAME!”

…and I went back to trying to learn the French for “Please, enough with the friggin’ electrical genital torture.”

Anyway, 2003 rolls around and after being set free by the brave men and women of the 3rd Armoured Cavalry regiment…

I offered to blow every single one of these men. The politely declined.

I offered to blow literally every single one of these men. They politely declined.

…I returned home, an empty shell of a husk. It was at that moment that I decided that what I needed to cheer me up was one of my favorite movies, the 1933 Marx Brokers classic Duck Soup made during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

And then, during the climactic musical number “We’re going to War!” I see amongst the crowd of bit characters…well, take a look…

Saddam Hussein

Yeah. Saddam Hussein used my time machine to travel back in time and get himself a tiny singing role in a Marx Brothers Comedy.  Sorry. My bad.

If it helps, it was 1930s Hollywood. He probably had to sleep with a metric ton of casting agents.

If it helps, it was 1930s Hollywood. He probably had to sleep with a metric ton of casting agents.

Robinhood_1973_poster (1)

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #21: Robin Hood

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material.

***

Introduction to movie. Bitter comment from Walt Disney. Batman joke. He’s been to Bahia. Have you ever danced with the Red Rooster in the pale moonlight? Columbo appearance. Batman joke. Batman joke.

Oh, sorry. Does it seem like I’m recycling a lot of material from other reviews? Well, when in Rome.

Robin Hood came out in 1973, in a decade when the Disney company was moving further and further away from its roots as an animation studio and becoming the massive, many tentacled, HYDRA-esque cartel bent on world domination that we know and love today.

Obey or die.

Obey or die.

The vast majority of the company’s earnings in this period came from the theme parks and merchandise. The studio’s live action movie division was also branching out into new genres like science fiction (The Black Hole) horror (The Watcher in the Woods) and hardcore pornography (Herbie Rides Again. I assume from the title). Meanwhile, the animation division was increasingly being treated like the weak sister of the company and Robin Hood is one of the best examples of this. This movie is infamous for its borrowing of animation from earlier Disney movies, in fact it’s probably got the most blatant examples of any film in the canon. Why is this? Well, because they were fucking broke. They had to make this thing on $15 Million, which sounds like a lot, but for a feature length animated movie is like trying to re-enact the moon landing with some aluminium cans and a few bottle rockets. And yet, I come here to praise Robin Hood, not to bury it. This movie, probably more than any other, perfectly encapsulates the Scratchy Era aesthetic: We got no money, we’re ugly as sin, but we got the charm and we got the tunes. Robin Hood has buckets of charm and some really great songs. It also has the kind of manic energy you would expect from a movie animated by starving hobos who were being paid in hot dogs.

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Bedknobs_and_Broomsticks_poster

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #20a: Bedknobs and Broomsticks

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material.

 

***

“It’s grand to be an Englishman, in 1910/ King Edward’s on the throne, it’s the age of men!”

George Banks, Mary Poppins 1964

“When you set aside your childhood heroes
And your dreams are lost up on a shelf
You’re at the age of not believing
And worst of all, you doubt yourself”

Eglantine Price, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971

***

Well, you couldn’t really blame them.

Mary Poppins had been such a phenomenal hit for Disney that it was only a matter of time before they tried to recreate that success. The two films have a great deal in common, Robert Stevenson directed both, David Tomlinson plays the father role, there are scenes mixing animation and live action, the Shermans are back on song duty (the last time they’d work on a Disney film until The Tigger Movie thirty years later). Hell, Julie Andrews was even offered the part of Eglantine Price but turned it down. Considering how badly she was typecast after Mary Poppins and Sound of Music, that was probably the right choice. Instead, the part went to Angela Lansbury, who ironically was one of the actresses considered to play Mary Poppins which leads me to believe that Walt Disney only knew two actresses.

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Check this girl out…

 

(Brackets and Ampersands) is a blog by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Moira Fowley, who is currently doing her PhD in vampire studies.

Well, someone has to take up the mantle.

Well, someone has to take up the mantle.

She blogs on Young Adult literature and vampires in the media and  she blogs damn well. If that sounds like something you could get your teeth into (see what I did there? Teeth? I’ll get my coat) you should totally check her out. Her blog. You should check her blog out. Not her. That’s be weird. She’s…don’t do that. Stop that.