Monday, May 16, 2011

Well, it's been a busy weekend. On Friday I showed my wares at the bank, as I think I mentioned in the last post. Saturday we went to a going away party for Jordan R and her friend Sarah P at Sarah's house--or rather, mansion. Oh my GOSH, that place is incredible! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so sorry, no pix. If you ever want to find out the definition of "posh," visit the P family! It's like something out of the Victorian era, with modern conveniences of course, but worked in tastefully, so they don't clash with the brocade and damask upholstery, antique-looking furniture and crystal chandeliers. My brother said it was "like something you'd see in a Jane Austen movie," and the area they live in is like "old English countryside." Rolling hills, green meadows, thick woods of fir and pine and larch, with groves of aspens here and there; and what a view from the hill the P family live on! It's the kind of place I've always wanted to live (although I'm not sure I'd want my house *quite* so fancy, LOL). OK, enough gushing. >Halo<
And now for yet another Blog Party, this time hosted by BeastsBelle at Never Grow Up (who graciously let me join in even though the last day was a while ago):

1. What is your all-time favorite animated Disney film and why? I'd have to say either Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, with Rapunzel as a new fave. ;-) These movies are a bit more “balanced” than some of Disney's other films—they have funny moments as well as serious or even sad ones, a bit of intensity (and even scary moments) balanced by sweetness and joy. And although the creators don't acknowledge God openly, the last three movies also uphold good Christian values such as respect for parents/authority, loyalty, sacrificial love, kindness, etc., without being preachy...or relying on over-the-top silly antics and lame (or even crude) humor to make it interesting for kids. Ahh, the good old days...which Rapunzel seems like a echo of, happily.

2. What is your all-time favorite Disney/Pixar film and why? [Note: I realize that questions 1 and 2 may overlap...I just thought this would make it easier for those of us who have favorites in both categories. ;}] Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. I like all the TS movies, but 2 is, IMHO, the best of the trilogy. Sure, it's a little hyper at times (I declare, the entire main cast seems high on Cowboy Crunchies—the only cereal that's sugar-frosted-dipped-in-chocolate!—half the time), but it's not nearly so conflict-ridden as 1, nor as melancholy (or scary!) as 3. Buzz and Woody have resolved their differences, learned to work together, and are now the best of friends and share the leadership of Andy's room.
As for MI, the whole concept of “monsters in the closet” living in their own separate world, and scaring little kids being “just their job,” and the kids' screams being the monsters' source of energy—it's so random and off-the-wall that it's brilliant! But then, that's Pixar; they excel at taking a common idea, putting a good story with it, and then putting their own quirky spin on it. ;-) Plus they're not afraid to “go deep” with their stories. The characters—be they talking toys, monsters, super heroes or robots with a five-word vocabulary—are very real, and you come to care about them. The stories also have good morals and really make you think, yet they're not preachy or contrived (usually). Concerning MI, though, I love that Sulley always did the right thing by Boo, even when listening to Mike's selfish advice would have cleared up all his problems (maybe). He stood up for what he believed to be right and did everything he could to protect Boo.
OK, this ended up longer than I intended....
3. What was the first animated Disney film you remember seeing? Not sure. We had several on tape (off the TV) when we were little, so either Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood, Lady and the Tramp, Winnie-the-Pooh or Dumbo.

4. It's talent night at your school/job/etc...You have to perform a Disney song. Which one would you choose?
Oh my...I don't know! I love “God Help the Outcasts” (or whatever it's called) from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, although it's a bit low for my voice. “A Whole New World” is also pretty...but it's a duet, and I don't know anyone who'd be willing to sing it with me. :-P Probably I'd end up doing “A Dream is a Wish [Your Heart Makes]” from Cinderella or “Candle on the Water” from Pete's Dragon.

5. Name your top 4 Disney heroes or heroines (or any character, for that matter) and talk a little bit about why you admire them.
  • Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Mind you, I'm not a fan of the movie anymore because of the rather adult themes in it (which I didn't really “get” as a kid), and I HATED the book, but Quasimodo will always be one of my favorite characters. What can I say? I tend to root for the underdog. Disney's portrayal of him was so sweet and innocent, he was willing to risk danger and Frollo's disapproval to help Esmeralda and her people, he saved Esmeralda's life and did everything he could to protect her—why couldn't he have “gotten the girl”?! But one has to admire his selflessness in stepping back and accepting that Esmeralda preferred a swaggering pretty-boy—er, handsome, courageous soldier to him.
  • Belle from Beauty and the Beast. While she starts out discontent with her life (in the original fairy tale, Beauty was the only one in her family who was content), Belle is loving and respectful to her father, polite, modest and intelligent. And despite donning that almost-topless ballgown, one gets the feeling she's not really aware of how beautiful she is, nor is she trying to flaunt herself (unlike those ditzy blonde triplets in town!). Her direct defiance of the Beast's warning never to enter the West Wing is a serious fault (how did she justify disobedience to a direct order?), but her other qualities make up for it. And I love it when she takes the wounded Beast back the the castle after his fight with the wolves...rather than leaving him to go home to her father. Speaking of which, one mustn't forget how brave she was in taking his place as Beast's prisoner in the first place. Don't we all wish we could be like that!
  • Woody and Jessie from the Toy Story trilogy. Woody may start out insecure (despite his assurances to the other toys) and jealous, but as the story progresses, he turns out the be a loyal friend and a faithful encourager. I especially like him in 3, as he is the only one of Andy's toys who truly believes 17-year-old Andy won't just toss them in the garbage. He's unsure what the future holds, yet he almost pleads with his friends to have faith, and he holds onto that faith until the end. And even though everyone turns against him (again), and he initially writes them off, when he finds out they're in danger, Woody risks it all to try and get them out of it. And those who've seen TS3 know that his faith was rewarded. As for Jessie, she has a pretty complex personality for a toy. She feels deeply, and in some ways that has made her a bit cynical, yet other times she is happy-go-lucky and cheerful. She seems to be protective of Bullseye, and she's not afraid to show her love for Buzz (although it seems a bit stereotypical in 3). She's just an all-around fun character. Besides—she has red hair! ;-)
  • Rapunzel from (duh!) Rapunzel. As I've said before, I love that she's respectful to Mother Gothel, even though the latter really doesn't deserve it. You get the feeling that, despite Gothel's annoying put-downs and refusal to listen, Rapunzel really does love her “mother” and try to please her. I also like that she's plucky and resourceful—not some sissy, helpless damsel-in-distress who has to rely on the hero to save her. Yet she has a childlike innocence about her that's sweet and charming, and not at all sappy or stupid. And she's a mean hand with a cast-iron skillet! :-D

    6. Who, in your opinion, is the most hideous Disney villain of all time?
    I assume you mean “hideous” as in behavior, rather than looks, as none of Disney's villains were really ugly that I can recall. I'd have to say Frollo from Hunchback and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty are the worst. Frollo disgraces his office as a “churchman” by his vengeful, bigoted, selfish, lustful and downright murderous tenancies. And of course Maleficent is just evil incarnate! (Although oddly enough, she didn't scare me at all as a kid. Maybe because I didn't realize what she represents...and I knew she wasn't real :-P). Mother Gothel from Rapunzel is right behind them with her selfish motives concerning the power of the magic flower. Did you notice she made a covering for the flower so no one else would find it? (“She hid it under a bushel,” quoth Peter.) And how creepy is someone who will sneak into somebody else's bedroom with a pair of scissors to cut off their newborn baby's magical hair? And how selfish to steal the baby and keep her in seclusion all her life and telling her the world is full of selfish people (takes one to know one)!

    7. If you could spend a day with any Disney character, whom would you choose? How would you spend your day?
    Probably Rapunzel, and that (after finding a magic potion that would restore her poor, mangled hair back to its former glory) we'd swing from her hair up and down the tower, cook up some mouth-watering delicacies, have a sewing bee, stuff like that.
Second choice would be Quasimodo, just because everybody seem to forget about him. :-( Perhaps he could show me how to carve wooden figures and build miniature structures. ;-)

8. Which Disney character is the most like you?
Not sure. I guess I'm a mix of Belle (discontentment with life, wanting more, love of reading, curious, modest), Esmeralda (angered by injustice and prejudice), Rapunzel (multi-talented, plucky and intelligent, love and respect for Mother, longing to fulfill my dreams), Jessie (don't take disappointment/betrayal well, hard to let go of past hurts, a bit cynical, protective of those I love, prone to crazed moments) and Woody (jealous and insecure, yet fiercely loyal to those I love, trying to cling to my faith even when my circumstances are “paint it all black!!!”).

9. What, in your opinion, is one of the greatest movie moments in an animated Disney film?
At the end of Toy Story 3, when *SPOILER WANRING!* Andy gives his toys to Bonnie, introducing each one and telling her something special about them. I love how Pixar handled the whole growing-up situation. It's obvious that Andy still loves his old toys, even though he doesn't have time to play with them anymore (he did try to put them in the attic, after all). It seemed like he even had a hard time giving them to Bonnie (especially Woody), yet he knew it would be better for them to be loved and played with, rather than lying in boxes and collecting dust for however many years. And it's so neat that he has one last playtime with them before leaving them with Bonnie! As someone who still has a soft spot in her heart for her old “friends,” this moment really touched me.

10. If you could pick which film Disney would make next, what would the film be?
I have several ideas, actually:
~Snow White and Rose Red. This is another favorite fairy tale that has, sadly, never made it to the Big Screen (although a TV show back in the '90's did an animated version, but I doubt it's been put to DVD). I'd love to see it done—providing it was decent and sensitive to the heart of the story.
~Hansel and Gretel. Another one that might be fun as a Disney movie, as it's a well-known story and a favorite of many, I'm sure.
~A redo of 101 Dalmations that was a bit closer to the book. Bring back both Nannies—Nanny Cook and Nanny Butler—and Cruella deVil's cat! And I keep seeing Halle Barry as said villainess for some reason. Maybe because in the book, Cruella is described as having dark skin and black eyes. Meaning no disrespect to the actress, of course; I just think she'd do a good job at the part.
~Treasures of the Snow. This is a touching story of forgiveness and love, and it would make a lovely movie...but I fear Disney either wouldn't touch it because of its strong Christian message, or worse, change it so that God wasn't a part of it. :-(

Well, this has been fun, as these things usually are. 
Until next time, Gentle Readers,
God bless,

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