Monday, December 26, 2016

Favorite Disney Sequel

            I have not been posting nearly enough this year and I want to steer back from that.  To that end I have found a 30-day blog challenge and fluffed it out to 31 entries (since December has 31 days).  I have done a 30-day challenge before for movies, though that one was poorly executed (I started it in the middle of a month, at one point I posted 2 entries on one day, it is a mess).  I did another one just this year in August on Video Games, that one was better, go read it after this one, all of it.  Or don’t, no pressure.

            Today is day 26 and the topic is “Favorite Sequel”.
This wins almost by default.  Aside from animated series (many of which were admittedly well produced), direct to video hack out garbage, and several live action entries (for instance, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe) Disney has never been in the business of making sequels.  Because they have been fools.
They seem to be making up for lost time though.

One and Done
I do get Disney’s logic.  They make a product, release it to theaters, make their profits, and then move on.  Home video was not a force in the 40’s, why would Disney shoot to make a sequel to a film when the children who liked watching it had already moved on to other activities.  Billy has moved on to playing baseball, and Edith is into watching Billy play baseball—because it was the 40’s and title 9 didn’t exist—those kids are not going to watch “The Sword in the Stone II”, a sequel to a film they saw 5 years ago.  And you couldn’t count on a VHS copy to be in circulation to get Billy and Edith’s younger siblings to watch and know what it was “The Sword in the Stone II” was even a continuation of.
It is the same reason comic books from that era are so rare and expensive, nobody archived this stuff.  It was cheap and disposable entertainment to be chewed up and spit out like the gum a lot of it was packaged with.
I don't think I will provoke controversy by saying that this is the most logical choice for sequels of Disney's early films.
This movie didn't even have a round table, Lancelot, Mordrid, or the Grail.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
This “disposable” line of reasoning is dead as Nat King Cole.  Ongoing stories and sequels are all the rage today because people’s brain are so inundated with garbage every waking moment that having any product with a glimmer of familiarity is seemingly the only way to punch thru the intellectual haze.
Even original properties are derivative as hell.  “The Nice Guys” was one of the best original movies released this year and it is just a modern take on 70’s buddy cop movies.  It is great, go watch it if you are old enough to look at boobs, but you can’t tell me it is “original” because the idea of a hard edge thug and a doofy detective teaming up is about as old as ideas get, I think that is what Cain and Able was originally going to be about before the author decided to make it grim dark.

I don't think people know what originality is anymore.
Doing the EXACT SAME THING, but painted yellow.
That is not original.  That is distinct.
Arguably the most original films I can think of produced in the last 5 years were “Cloud Atlas”—a movie I love and it bombed—and “Jupiter Ascending”—which is a mess, but not nearly as bad as people claim.
This is a Disney blog.  I am very out in the corn right now.  Point is, Disney has always been using classic public domain stories and turning them into movies with their own production ability and with their own twists.  But they haven’t done a lot of sequels in the theaters.  “Zootopia” and “Frozen” will probably change that, but till they do there is really only one contender for this title.

Favorite Sequel
“Toy Story 3” is the best sequel.  Not a lot of competition in this category.  It is the ultimate culmination of what the first movie’s theme was, dealing with being phased out of a child’s life, and what was continued in the second movie with wanting to be a small part of many people’s lives hoping that would fill the emptiness.
“Toy Story 3” goes that step further, it is not just about dealing with it, it ends it.  The toys are passed to a new owner who will take care of them and treasure them from then on, and Andy goes off to college and gets to feel like shit every time he comes home to his empty room during the holidays.

This movie is a treasure and for the longest time it would be punching WAY below its weight class when the only other competitor is maybe “Rescuers Down Under”, but I am not even sure that came out in theaters, and while it is a great and fun movie it DOES NOT have the depth that “Toy Story 3” has.  Period.  Hard stop.  I will broach no rebuttal.

The Rebuttal
            “Finding Dory” is a great movie.  It is beautiful to look at, full of colorful characters, and from what I am told it does explain elements set up in “Finding Nemo” for Dory.  I say, “from what I am told,” because I haven’t seen “Finding Nemo”.
            As to whether it is the superior sequel to “Toy Story 3” is an opinion I could see someone having, but I do not have the same emotional connection to the characters that others may have.  Seeing the stories of Dory and the others continue is not as intriguing to me as they are to fans of the first film.  And I write that as someone who really liked “Finding Dory”.
            I felt happy-sad watching the touching reunions and personal triumphs of Dory in the movie, I laughed at the octopus, seals, otters, and whales.  It is definitely worth seeing even if you have not seen “Finding Nemo”.  But I can’t judge it as a sequel.
Pixar?  You trying to weaponize cute imagery or something?
            Share your own thoughts on this in the comments.  I know I am not the only person out there who is nostalgic for Disney products, and I am sure many people disagree with my selection for today’s entry. 
I picked Disney stuff just because I knew there was so much of it to talk about and it lends itself to discussion in the comments.  So please, tell me how my opinion about cartoon movies is biased and how your opinion on cartoon movies is objectively right.


If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

1 comment:

  1. What do you mean it's not unique? It's YELLOW! :D