Lady & the Tramp 2019 | Movie Review

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🎥 Cinematography by Enrique Chediak

👗 Costumes by Colleen Atwood & Timothy A. Wonsik

🎬 Directed by Charlie Bean

🎞 Edited by Melissa Bretherton

🎼 Music by Joseph Trapanese

📋 Produced by Brigham Taylor

📝 Screenplay by Andrew Bujalski & Kari Granlund

🌟 S T A R R I N G

🧔🏻 Adrian Martinez as Elliot

🐶 Aemon Wolf O’Keefe as Ollie

🐶 Ara Storm O’Keefe as Dodge

👦🏻 Arturo Castro as Joe

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Ashley Jensen as Jacqueline (Jock)

🐶 Benedict Wong as Bull

🐶 Clancy Brown as Isaac

🧔🏾 Darryl W. Handy as Trusty’s Owner

🧔🏽 F. Murray Abraham as Tony

🐶 James Bentley as Chance

🎶 Janelle Monáe as Peg

🐶 Jentel Hawkins as Dame

🐕 Justin Theroux as Tramp

📸 Kate Kneeland as Jock’s Owner

🏥 Ken Jeong as Doctor

👩🏾 Kiersey Clemons as Darling

🐈 Nate Wonder as Devon

👦🏽 Parvesh Cheena as Pet Shop Owner

🐈 Roman GianArthur as Rex

🤠 Sam Elliott as Trusty

🎀 Tessa Thompson as Lady

👨🏻 Thomas Mann as Jim Dear

👵🏾 Yvette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah

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The next movie on my review list is Lady and the Tramp from 2019. This was the first remake released on Disney Plus, but it still had a huge budget so I’m not lowering my standards for quality. This was my first viewing:

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The opening credits start as an illustration & transform into the first scene, a charming town decorated for Christmas. This is a nod to the original movie which starts the exact same way. The closing credits show the town decorated for Christmas one year later, & then transform into an illustration. Gotta love those bookend credits!

Kiersey & Thomas have fantastic chemistry as Darling & Jim Dear. They make an adorable onscreen couple, & their newborn daughter Lulu is an absolute doll. Miss Clemons shows off her singing chops with some beautiful lullabies for the baby. Seriously, I’m about to put them on a playlist for myself. 🎶

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUiQefKs9ds

Unlike the other animal-led remakes, this movie took on the challenge of using real dogs. All the canine costars are adorable, but I have to give a special shout-out to Monte who played Tramp. He was a rescue from New Mexico, adopted by the film’s animal trainer Mark Forbes. Street dogs are adoptable too!

 I can imagine using special effects to make real dogs talk was no small task. However, I have to be fair because this movie had a big budget despite not being released in theaters. For the most part the dog mouths weren’t too bad, but there were some rough parts, especially with Lady.

• Tessa & Justin did a great job as the respective voices of Lady, an American cocker spaniel, & Tramp, a Schnauzer-mutt. The leading dogs were equally as adorable as their human voices, but I have to give my full allegiance to the side characters because they truly won my heart. Sam Elliott was perfectly cast as the voice of Lady’s bloodhound neighbor Trusty. My Scottish queen Ashley Jensen voiced Jock, now a female Scottish terrier with the full name Jacqueline. The two of them were incredible &, dare I say, stole the show. 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻

 I love Yvette Nicole Brown so much! Aunt Sarah is a more serious character than I’m used to from her, but the gramophone scene was absolutely hilarious. Classic Yvette humor! Let’s just say her arms demonstrate how passionate she is about opera. 😂

 The Siamese cats scene was changed to avoid the offensive cultural stereotype from the original film. Si & Am are now Devon & Rex, two cats from the Devon Rex breed. The new song What a Shame is jazzy & a new Disney jam to enjoy. I dare you to listen & not snap your fingers!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZVIZin767E

 The Bella Notte scene is adorable with real dogs. Also, round of applause for Arturo Castro & F. Murray Abraham who brought chef Joe & Tony to life. They did a wonderful job with such a beautiful & classic Disney song. Bravissimo!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avcEEiDYNV0

Tramp once had a family. When the couple had a baby, the husband drove him to a park, threw a ball to distract him, & drove away, leaving him to fend  for himself. Why would you do something like that as a pet owner?? At least take the time to find him a new home! Hearing that story broke my heart. 💔

Janelle Monáe voiced Peg, the Lhasa Apso dog who sings He’s a Tramp in the pound. Obviously she killed it! It has the same jazzy feel as Devon & Rex’s song What a Shame. There’s something very soothing about the songs in this film. Surprisingly, out of all the remakes, this is the soundtrack I’m definitely adding to my Disney playlist.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgI9QrD22cc

💬 Closing Thoughts: I have to be blown away to stay engaged with an animal-led film. This movie was good, but I did zone out a few times. The charming city & sweet story are anchored by a strong cast, but they were let down by a movie stretched far too long. It would’ve made a bigger impact if the story had been trimmed to match the original movie which was 21 minutes shorter. All that being said, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, especially after my second viewing.

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🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 66% Critics | 51% Audience

❓ Original or Remake: Lady and the Tramp is not one of my favorite Disney movies, but I’m willing to rewatch either version without hesitation. Since this decision is a toss up, I’ll consult my rankings. By one spot the winner is the . . . original!

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2ZDDU34gYw

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Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon 2016 | Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast 2017 | Movie Review

Christopher Robin 2018 | Movie Review

Dumbo 2019 | Movie Review

Aladdin 2019 | Movie Review

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 2019 | Movie Review

• 👨🏻 • 👶🏽 • 👩🏾 • 🏡 • 🎀 • 🍝 • 🐕 • 👨🏻 • 👶🏽 • 👩🏾 • 🏡 • 🎀 • 🍝 • 🐕 • 👨🏻 • 👶🏽 • 👩🏾 • 🏡 • 🎀 • 🍝 •

🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿

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Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

• Previous Video: NEW Kiwi Starfruit Refresher + Lemonade + Star Drink | Starbucks Review

• Art Blog

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 2019 | Movie Review

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🎥 Cinematography by Henry Braham

👗 Costumes by Ellen Mirojnick

🎬 Directed by Joachim Rønning

🎞 Edited by Craig Wood & Laura Jennings

🎼 Music by Geoff Zanelli

📋 Produced by Angelina Jolie, Duncan Henderson, & Joe Roth

📝 Screenplay by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, & Noah Harpster

🌟 S T A R R I N G

🗣 Aline Mowat as the Narrator

✨ Angelina Jolie as Maleficent

🧚🏾‍♂️ Chiwetel Ejiofor as Conall

💂🏾‍♂️ David Gyasi as Percival

🧚🏼‍♂️ Ed Skrein as Borra

👸🏼 Elle Fanning as Aurora

🍄 Emma Maclennon as Button & Pinto

🤴🏻 Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip

🧚🏻 Imelda Staunton as Knotgrass

💂🏻‍♀️ Jenn Murray as Gerda

🧚🏼‍♂️ John Carew as Jungle Warrior Fey

🧚🏾‍♀️ Judith Shekoni as Shrike

🧚🏼 Juno Temple as Thistlewit

🧚🏻‍♀️ Kae Alexander as Ini

🧚🏻‍♀️ Lesley Manville as Flittle

👑 Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith

🧚🏻‍♂️ Miyavi as Udo

👑 Robert Lindsay as King John

🐦 Sam Riley as Diaval

🧚🏻‍♂️ Warwick Davis as Lickspittle

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Up next on my movie review list is Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the 2019 sequel to Maleficent. This was my first viewing:

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Appropriately, the Walt Disney Pictures logo is the classic Sleeping Beauty castle. When the camera pans to the sky, the intro transitions into the Moors where we see three men sneaking around. This opening scene gives me Once Upon a Time vibes. Time for a rewatch because it’s now on Disney Plus. 😉

There is a narrator again, but Aline Mowat replaced Janet McTeer. There is no indication she’s still meant to be an older Aurora telling her story.

I didn’t think it possible after the beauty of Maleficent, but the sequel is even more colorful & vibrant, the Moors absolutely stunning. I’m ready to book a flight & visit. It’s somewhere in France, right? 🌺 Speaking of the Moors, the pixies are back! Their CGI looks about the same as before, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m not really sure how much better they could look as heads edited onto little fairy bodies. 🧚🏼 🧚🏻‍♀️ 🧚🏻‍♂️

Prince Phillip is played by a different actor, Harris Dickinson, who replaced Brenton Thwaites due to a scheduling conflict. For the short time that he was onscreen, I liked Brenton as Aurora’s prince. Normally I hate actor changes within a film series, but I’m about to surprise everybody. I ended up liking Harris better, not only as the prince but also as a match for Aurora. They had great chemistry!

Once again, we find ourselves looking at Maleficent with suspicion. Has she returned to villainy, or is she the antihero she was set up to be at the end of the first film? Wait & see . . .

First impression: King John has a sweet relationship with his son Phillip & wants to leave behind the days of war. Queen Ingrith is colder than her husband & has a fondness for weapons.

Aurora continues to call Maleficent her “godmother” & the three pixies her “aunties.” So sweet! They are the only family she has left besides Phillip. 💕

In the beginning of the first movie, we saw young & adult Maleficent wearing greens & browns while protecting the Moors. In the beginning of the sequel, adult Maleficent moves away from villainous black & returns to her earthy roots with a headpiece & dress that match her dark brown wings. The rest of her costumes alternate between a dark color palette & an earthy color palette, an accurate representation of a multi-layered character.

Queen Ingrith has a secret area in the castle which she accesses by twisting the head of a mannequin in her closet. RED FLAG! Underground she has some kind of lab & weapon-making operation going on. ANOTHER RED FLAG! We get a glimpse of something else in a corner of the laboratory: a spinning wheel. A THIRD RED FLAG!

When the queen meets Aurora & Maleficent for the first time, it’s revealed that she’s allergic to flowers which grow all over the Moors. Interesting! When she directs one too many verbal jabs at Maleficent, the fairy displays her power. At the same time the king falls victim to a curse which the royal family & Aurora blame on Maleficent. She swears it wasn’t her & leaves the castle with Diaval. As she’s flying back home, Gerda, the queen’s loyal sidekick, shoots her. Back at the castle, Phillip & Aurora suggest the Queen try true love’s kiss to wake her husband. She expresses doubt that it will work but tries anyway. She leans in & whispers “You wanted peace. Now rest in peace forever.” before kissing him. Surprise surprise, it doesn’t break the spell. All signs point to a villainous queen framing Maleficent.

After she’s shot, Maleficent falls into a body of water but is swiftly rescued by a mysterious, winged creature. When she wakes up, she looks absolutely stunning with all her hair down. I wish I looked that gorgeous while injured or in pain. 😂 Where did she end up? She was rescued & taken to the hidden home of the Dark Fey; they are the same species of fairy as Maleficent. Their leader & Maleficent’s rescuer Conall is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, the voice of Scar in The Lion King remake. He is in favor of peace, but other Dark Fey want to declare war on the humans. It’s also revealed that there’s a reason Maleficent is so powerful: She’s the last remaining ancestor of the Phoenix, a Dark Fey ancestor. Yes, that is the mythological bird who regenerates, rising from the ashes of its previous body. That detail is very important later on so take a mental note.

There are little magical creatures introduced in this movie that look like animals. Although they’re cute, they bring the movie down to a child’s level. It makes me feel like I’m bouncing between a fairytale & Trolls. Their scenes, though few & far between, feel too young & out of place.

Having said what I just said, the horrible laboratory scene near the end of the movie is so awful & sad. Lickspittle, Queen Ingrith’s appointed lab worker, tests a new weapon on a tiny magical creature. It is a success, killing the little guy instantly. NO!! 😭

During the wedding festivities, the other two pixies scold Thistlewit for eating the rice rather than throwing it. She retorts that it’s a waste to throw rice rather than eat it. That is definitely something I would say about any kind of food! 😂

Finally we find out the queen’s backstory: Growing up, her family had a kingdom that bordered the Moors. One winter, the humans struggled to survive while the fairies thrived. Ingrith & her brother believed they should take what they needed to survive, but their father was adamant that they keep the peace. He sent his son to the Moors, but the son never returned, leading the kingdom to believe he’d been killed by a magical creature. Out of fear, the citizens overthrew the king, & Ingrith was exiled. Later on when she married John, King of Ulstead, she still held hate in her heart toward the Moors, determined to declare war & get revenge.

Part of Ingrith’s evil plan was locking the wedding guests from the Moors in the chapel. The deadly poison developed in her secret lab was then released into the air through an organ played by Gerda. Flittle, the beloved blue fairy, sacrificed herself to clog the organ & save her friends. NO! I’m not crying, you’re crying!! 😭

During the final showdown between Ingrith & Maleficent, Aurora steps in & calls Maleficent something she never thought she would call her: “Mother!” Right after that beautiful moment, Maleficent shields Aurora from from a poisoned arrow shot by the queen. Ingrith then reveals she spread a false story about Maleficent throughout the kingdom, painting her as a villain after the sleeping curse five years ago. She thinks she has accomplished her goal by defeating the most powerful fairy. The problem is those pesky ashes that Maleficent’s death left behind. Yes, she does indeed rise from the ashes in the form of the Phoenix she is descended from. Ingrith throws Aurora off the castle tower in anger, but Maleficent is right there to save her daughter. When she returns to her fairy form, she’s wearing an absolutely stunning all-black, velvet dress with lace details. Never accuse her of being unfashionable! The best part is what she does to Queen Ingrith; she turns her into a goat. 😂

• Diaval & Maleficent still have some great banter:

✨ Maleficent: “I missed you.”

🐦 Diaval: “Did you bump your head, then?”

✨ Maleficent: “I did.” 😂

• You’re probably wondering what happened to King John. Well, the spinning wheel in Ingrith’s laboratory was the same one that Aurora pricked her finger on five years ago. The evil queen used the spindle to stab her husband & put him to sleep, only to wake from true love’s kiss. Her kiss didn’t work because she never loved him, thinking him weak for wanting peace with their magical neighbors. After the queen is defeated, Lickspittle presents the spindle to Maleficent who swiftly destroys it, breaking the curse & awakening King John. Happy ending!

I noticed an interesting parallel between the first movie & its sequel: Aurora had an evil dad who was a king, & Phillip had an evil mom who was a queen. Both parents were blinded by their own agendas, sacrificing everyone & everything else in their lives.

• In the beginning of the movie, Aurora wears a blue dress then changes into a pink dress to meet her future in-laws. This a nice nod to the “make it pink, make it blue” scene which was omitted from Maleficent. At the end of the movie while Aurora is walking down the aisle at her wedding, Knotgrass & Thistlewit argue over the color of her dress. “Make it green! Make it pink! Make it green! Make it pink!” Flittle, now a beautiful blue flower, steps in & makes the dress blue. *sigh* I’m crying again! 😭 💙

• If you thought the prince & princess’ blue wedding outfits were the peak, you were wrong. Their final white outfits are even more stunning, illuminated in golden sunlight. The cherry on top is Maleficent flying away as she says she’ll be back for the christening. They’re having a baby! 💕

💬 Closing Thoughts: I hate to be the viewer that can’t suspend belief & enjoy a film. However, I must admit I struggled with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Initially I was unsure about the changes in the first movie so the sequel was even riskier in my eyes. Obviously the second film required more creativity because the the original fairytale didn’t have a second part. I liked some of the things the crew did with Aurora & Maleficent’s story but never reached a point where I felt fully immersed. I think the two main characters were just too familiar to believe an entirely new tale about them.

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🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 40% Critics | 95% Audience

🏆 Major Awards: Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar nomination (Arjen Tuiten, David White, & Paul Gooch)

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0OFH4xpPr4

• 🍃 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🧚🏼 • 🧚🏻‍♀️ • 🧚🏻‍♂️ • ✨ • 👰🏼 • 🏰 • 🤵🏻 • 🤴🏻 • 👸🏼 • ✨ • 🧚🏻‍♂️ • 🧚🏻‍♀️ • 🧚🏼 • 🌳 • 🍄 • 🍃 •

Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon 2016 | Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast 2017 | Movie Review

Christopher Robin 2018 | Movie Review

Dumbo 2019 | Movie Review

Aladdin 2019 | Movie Review

• 🍃 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🧚🏼 • 🧚🏻‍♀️ • 🧚🏻‍♂️ • ✨ • 👰🏼 • 🏰 • 🤵🏻 • 🤴🏻 • 👸🏼 • ✨ • 🧚🏻‍♂️ • 🧚🏻‍♀️ • 🧚🏼 • 🌳 • 🍄 • 🍃 •

🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿

• 🍃 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🧚🏼 • 🧚🏻‍♀️ • 🧚🏻‍♂️ • ✨ • 👰🏼 • 🏰 • 🤵🏻 • 🤴🏻 • 👸🏼 • ✨ • 🧚🏻‍♂️ • 🧚🏻‍♀️ • 🧚🏼 • 🌳 • 🍄 • 🍃 •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

• Previous Video: NEW Kiwi Starfruit Refresher + Lemonade + Star Drink | Starbucks Review

• Art Blog

• Goodreads

• Instagram

• Pinterest

• Twitter

• Youtube

Aladdin 2019 | Movie Review

• 🦜 • 🐍 • 👑 • 🪔 • 🧞‍♂️ • 🧑🏽 • 🐒 • ✨ • 🌏 • 🐅 • 👸🏽 • 🦜 • 🐍 • 👑 • 🪔 • 🧞‍♂️ • 🧑🏽 • 🐒 • ✨ • 🌏 • 

🎥 Cinematography by Alan Stewart

👗 Costumes by Michael Wilkinson

🎬 Directed by Guy Ritchie

🎞 Edited by James Herbert

🎼 Music by Alan Menken

📋 Produced by Dan Lin & Jonathan Eirich

📝 Screenplay by Guy Ritchie & John August

🌟 S T A R R I N G

🦜 Alan Tudyk as Iago

🤴🏼 Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders

🐵 Frank Welker as Abu, Rajah, & The Cave of Wonders

🐍 Marwan Kenzari as Jafar

🧑🏽 Mena Massoud as Aladdin

👸🏽 Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine

👩🏽 Nasim Pedrad as Dalia

👑 Navid Negahban as The Sultan

🧔🏽 Numan Acar as Hakim

🧞‍♂️ Will Smith as Genie

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The next Disney remake I’m reviewing is Aladdin from 2019. This was my 2nd viewing:

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Co-directors John Musker & Ron Clements have confirmed the peddler who tells the story of Aladdin in the original movie is Genie as a human. Continuing with a similar backstory, the remake opens with Will Smith as a mariner sailing a ship alongside an unidentified woman & two kids. He begins his story of Aladdin with the song Arabian Nights, same as his animated counterpart. In the 1992 version, Robin Williams had a voice double for this song because the specific style & high notes were beyond his ability. In the remake, Will did all the singing, & I think that was a mistake for this song. It obviously stretched him, & the patchwork done with effects is too robotic. Also, his personal style doesn’t mesh with the song; it sounds like a boy band member giving “Arabian” music a try. Like Emma in Beauty and the Beast, Will’s heavily edited singing voice opens the movie & is therefore one of the first things my mind retains. That is so unfortunate because it could’ve easily been avoided. Even if Will had started the song & a voice double finished it, that would’ve been a huge improvement without affecting Will’s overall performance. Disney keeps making the same mistakes with these remakes, & that is truly annoying. 😑

The sets and costumes are a conveyor belt of color, & I cannot get enough of it. During my college internship, I had the pleasure of attending a few Indian weddings as a photographer’s assistant; they were always such colorful & vibrant events. This movie reminds me of those experiences so I definitely see the inspiration taken from India. 🇮🇳

Let’s talk about Jasmine’s impeccable wardrobe. There are nods to her classic outfit with teal accents, teal jewelry, & an updated version with added bling & peacock feathers worn during the party scene which leads into A Whole New World. Other than that, everything is brand new, & I really, really, REALLY like the fresh interpretation. Two things to mention: Number one, 2019 Jasmine does not bare her midriff like 1992 Jasmine which is mirrored by 2019 Aladdin not being shirtless. Number two, Jasmine’s outfits are inspired by her mother’s homeland Sherabad which is a fictional country in South Asia. Round of applause for Master Costume Designer Michael Wilkinson! 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻

OOPS! I guess you’ll have to watch the movie to get a better look at Jasmine’s wardrobe including her STUNNING white wedding dress with gold & teal accents. It sparkles all over & embodies the song A Whole New World. 😍

One of my favorite scenes from the original movie is Aladdin giving up his loaf of bread to feed two hungry children who have nothing to eat. The remake version isn’t as drawn out or emotional, but he does give a bag of dates to two hungry children. Still a sweet gesture! 🥰 Abu hides one date for himself under his hat. 😂

I like the One Jump Ahead musical number & Mena Massoud’s singing voice, but the addition of drums is odd. It might sound better on its own, but within the scene it’s the wrong puzzle piece. Stay tuned for more on this subject . . .

I love the brand new character Dalia brought to life by Nasim Pedrad. I’ve been a fan of Nasim since her Saturday Night Live days. She is an absolute treasure, so beautiful & so hilarious. I love that she wasn’t just a throwaway side character. Her humor was utilized well, & she got a sweet love story of her own with Genie. Their awkward interactions are equal parts adorable & hilarious. HERE FOR IT! 💘

Throughout the movie Genie’s CGI body doesn’t look too bad; what actually falters from time to time is the face, sometimes looking a bit too fake. On the positive side, Will’s singing voice improved significantly in Friend Like Me & Prince Ali, two songs that suited his style & voice much more than Arabian Nights. Speaking of style, I appreciate that Will made Genie his own instead of attempting to copy the late, great Robin Williams. Those are shoes that cannot be filled so it was always going to be the smarter choice to fill his own shoes. I love Will Smith for who he is so I’m glad we got his personal interpretation of this beloved character.

The first time I watched this movie, I was skeptical up until the desert scene when Genie starts brainstorming outfit ideas for Prince Ali; that’s when the movie really started to click for me. This time around, I enjoyed it from the very beginning. I mention this because it’s always a good idea to give things more than one chance. Aladdin is my second favorite Disney movie so I went into the remake with high standards & expectations. After that first plunge, I relaxed & was able to see it as its own movie. If you don’t like something the first time, in this case a Disney remake, I recommend you give it a second chance just to be sure.

Subtle joke alert! When Genie is trying different outfits on Aladdin, one of them includes a large, turban-style hat. Aladdin comments on it being so big, & Genie replies “No, that is not a big hat.” A little later during Prince Ali’s grand entrance into Agrabah, Genie is seen wearing a ridiculously huge turban. Punchline! 😂

Mena & Will have great onscreen chemistry. Their banter flows so well that you almost forget they’re in a movie. The scene when they’re first introduced to the Sultan & Princess Jasmine is especially hilarious. If you don’t cry from laughter while watching it, there’s a good possibility you have no soul. 😂

I enjoyed most of the musical numbers but am especially fond of the spectacle in Prince Ali & the Bollywood-inspired choreography at the party following Prince Ali’s entrance into the city. Remember the beautiful colors & costumes I mentioned earlier? They make the dancers look even more gorgeous, like the fast moving images inside a kaleidoscope. *sigh* 🥰💕

When Genie appears on Jasmine’s map, he creates a castle & names it Fantasyland. He then adds Adventureland with a pirate ship  & Tomorrowland with a rocket ship. Those places sound very familiar. Wink wink! 😉

I like Mena’s singing voice, but something sounds off in A Whole New World. He sounds too heavy in a big ballad moment that should sound light & grand. Naomi is fantastic, & Mena sounds much better after she joins in. Remember the drums from One Jump Ahead? They’re back to cause more trouble. Once again we have drums that weren’t in the original song,  & they do not work. I hate to say this, but they sound like the generic music samples that come with a keyboard. Dare I say they age these classic songs, making them sound too much like a concert from decades ago. 😳

The scene in which Jafar’s staff is destroyed & his spell over the Sultan exposed felt odd, like the whole sequence happened too quickly. This might sound nit-picky, but something definitely felt off with the pacing. It may have something to do with me not being a fan of 2019 Jafar. This is a controversial opinion so buckle up. First of all, I think Marwan Kenzari is a bit too young. Part of what makes Jafar so creepy in the 1992 version is his pursuit of Princess Jasmine despite being close to the age of her father, the Sultan. I understand why an updated movie wouldn’t go too far with that storyline, but I still think he should’ve been at least ten years older. Second, he comes across as annoying rather than intimidating, like a young athlete who is too cocky & ambitious for his own good. On top of all that, his voice as a powerful genie isn’t convincing, & his CGI form is questionable. Animated Jafar as a red, evil genie was terrifying! Unfortunately young, updated Jafar wasn’t for me.

Fun Fact: The original voice Jonathan Freeman had to adjust his Jafar voice so he would be seen as calm & calculating, a real threat rather than just an irritable grand vizier. I think this is where Marwan’s version got stuck; he never moved past being irritable or irritating.

 The first time I watched the remake, I fell head over heels in love with Speechless but thought the second part fit into the pacing of the movie much better than the first part. The second time around, I thought both parts were just fine. Naomi is definitely the strongest singer in the cast. My fellow Lemonade Mouth fans & I are OGs; we knew she would kill it as Princess Jasmine the minute the casting was announced. 🎶

I cannot believe I didn’t mention this earlier in my review! Abu is mischievous & adorable, & I love that the Magic Carpet is his best friend. Their reunion & hug after Genie repairs Carpet is sooo cute. 😭💕

Mena & Will’s onscreen chemistry strikes again! They did a fantastic job with the third wish scene. It gave me all the feels & made me cry. If we’re getting technical, it’s behind the original scene but only by a little bit. 😭

By now you should’ve figured out that after Genie is set free, he marries Dalia & sets sail to explore the world. In the beginning of the movie, what we saw was him telling the tale of Aladdin to his daughter Lian & son Omar while Dalia moved about the ship.

Shout out to Navid Negahban! He was fantastic as The Sultan. His version has more depth & less silliness. The scene at the end between him & Jasmine was emotional & so well done by both actors. After his wife died, the Sultan sheltered Jasmine from the world to protect her. He eventually realizes her ambitions are more important & proudly names her the next Sultan. Sultana Jasmine of Agrabah!

First of all, I love the cast dance party that opens the closing credits. Second, the remix of Friend Like Me featuring Will Smith & DJ Khaled is a JAM. See what I did there? Wink wink! 😉

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🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 57% Critics | 94% Audience

❓ Original or Remake: I love many of the updates that were successfully done in the remake, but the 1992 movie will always have a special place in my heart. Original!

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foyufD52aog

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Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon 2016 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast 2017 | Movie Review

Christopher Robin 2018 | Movie Review

Dumbo 2019 | Movie Review

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🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Dumbo 2019 | Movie Review

• 🎟 • 🥜 • 🍿 • 🎈 • 🐭 • 🐘 • 🤡 • 🎩 • 🎪 • 🎟 • 🥜 • 🍿 • 🎈 • 🐭 • 🐘 • 🤡 • 🎩 • 🎪 • 🎟 • 🥜 • 

🎥 Cinematography by Ben Davis

👗 Costumes by Colleen Atwood

🎬 Directed by Tim Burton

🎞 Edited by Chris Lebenzon

🎼 Music by Danny Elfman

📋 Produced by Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger, Justin Springer, & Katterli Frauenfelder

📝 Screenplay by Ehren Kruger

🌟 S T A R R I N G

💰 Alan Arkin as J. Griffin Remington

🤸🏻‍♀️ Benjamin “Bendini” French as a contortionist

🎩 Danny DeVito as Max Medici

🏋🏾‍♂️ DeObia Oparei as Rongo the Strongo

👨🏻 Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier

🐘 Edd Osmond as Dumbo

💋 Eva Green as Colette Marchant

👦🏻 Finley Hobbins as Joe Farrier

🎹 Frank Bourke as Puck

🐩 Jana Posna as a poodle trainer

👩🏼‍🍳 Jo Osmond as a cook

👨🏼‍🦳 Michael Keaton as V. A. Vandevere

🎩 Michael Buffer as Baritone Bates

🃏 Miguel Muñoz Segura as Ivan the Wonderful

👿 Phil Zimmerman as Rufus

👨🏻‍🦲 Joseph Gatt as Neils Skellig

👧🏻 Nico Parker as Milly Farrier

🐍 Ragevan Vasan as Pritam Singh

🐍 Roshan Seth as Pramesh Singh

🧜🏻‍♀️ Sharon Rooney as Miss Atlantis

👩🏻 Zelda Rosset Colon as Annie Farrier

🃏 Zenaida Alcalde as Catherine the Greater

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Disney remake number nine is Dumbo from 2019. I need to warn you that the original movie is one of my least favorite Disney movies because it makes me so darn sad & depressed. This was a very difficult thing to put myself through so bear with me as I navigate this review. This was my first viewing:

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 I was surprised there was no themed castle intro. I thought they might use a circus theme, perhaps the classic red & white striped tent instead of a castle. Maybe they tried, & it didn’t work. Who knows! 🤔

 Going into this live action remake, I was hoping the story might be a bit brighter. Unfortunately it started with a character named Holt Farrier coming home from the war without his left arm to care for his two kids & work in the circus after the death of his wife Annie. It was at this point, about four minutes in, that I knew the story was going to just as bleak or even more so than the original.

Roshan Seth, who plays snake charmer Pramesh Singh, is a familiar face in the Disney community, but you have to be well-versed in DCOMs. I recognized him right away because he made an appearance in one of my favorite Disney Channel franchises of all time. Ring any bells?? He played Uncle Kamal Bhatia in The Cheetah Girls: One World. Shout out to his character Pramesh who has a sweet, tender heart towards Dumbo! ❤️

 Dumbo is a rainbow amidst darks clouds in this movie, a breath of fresh air. I seriously cannot handle his blue eyes & baby mannerisms. He’s so stinkin’ cute, it physically hurts. 😭 💕

*Note: Dumbo is actually named Jumbo after his mom Mrs. Jumbo. Circus attendees nicknamed him “Dumbo” because he has a hard time walking without tripping over his ears. Jerks! 😡

 In both versions, Mrs. Jumbo is punished for protecting her baby from harm’s way. In the original, she saves Dumbo from kids who are bullying him because of his big ears; for her protective act, she’s chained up in a cage on the circus grounds. In the remake, she saves Dumbo from a rowdy circus crowd & an abusive elephant handler who ends up dead in  the chaos; she’s chained up & sold to save the reputation of the Medici Brothers’ Circus. It really isn’t fair when you look at the situation from a mama’s perspective. This opens up a conversation about animals belonging out in the wild, not in captivity as performers for human pleasure.

During the Baby Mine scene when Dumbo reached for his mama through iron bars, my heart broke, & I sobbed. When Dumbo cried as Mrs. Jumbo was taken away by men with whips, I sobbed even harder. His sad face in clown paint made me sob for a third time. When a car honked & Dumbo jumped out of the bath thinking it was his mom, I sobbed yet again. 42 minutes in, this story is just too sad for me. I hate it. I hate it so much!! 😭 😭 😭 😭

• Dumbo realizing he can fly is a happy moment, & yet I found myself smiling more out of relief than happiness. He’s initially seen as an ugly elephant who won’t make any money for the circus. It’s such a relief when he discovers his unique talent & earns at least a little bit of respect. That poor elephant goes through way too much in a two-hour movie. He’s just a baby! 😭

There are a few moments that genuinely lifted my spirits  & made me laugh: Max Medici soaking in a bath wearing orange slices on his eyes & a face mask, Rongo multitasking & going from strong man to drummer for the Big Top show, Dumbo defiantly turning his little elephant butt to Colette Marchant, & Dumbo lifting his ears to the right or left to match the flags held by the Farrier children. 😊

There are quite a few nods to the original film. Here are some of the references I caught:

The circus travels from town to town on the Casey Jr. train.

A stork lands on the train car before Dumbo is born.

One of the pet mice is wearing a tiny ringmaster uniform & looks just like Timothy Q. Mouse.

Dumbo can initially fly while holding a feather & later learns his ability doesn’t rely on feathers.

Some of Dumbo’s circus costumes come straight from the original: a baby bonnet, clown paint, & a headpiece embellished with the letter D.

Miss Atlantis the mermaid, played by Sharon Rooney, sings Baby Mine, & her voice is beautiful. I’m rewatching the scene right now & sobbing so hard it burns. Bad idea! 😭

At the first Dreamland show featuring the baby elephant who can fly, a vendor is seen selling Dumbo plushes. They look like the original Dumbo with his yellow hat & red & yellow collar.

The Pink Elephants on Parade scene is thankfully shortened to Dumbo watching the beginning of a Dreamland show & seeing the bubbles as elephants bathed in pink light.

When the Medici Brothers’ Circus is bought by V. A. Vandevere & added to his amusement park Dreamland, it’s revealed to be the place where Mrs. Jumbo ended up. During his first show, Dumbo hears his mama & runs away to find her. She’s chained up in an exhibit called “Nightmare Island”alongside other wild, dangerous animals; her new name is “Kali the Destroyer.” Not long into the reunion, Vandevere’s goons step in to break it up. Poor Dumbo just wants his mama & doesn’t understand why they can’t be together. So incredibly cruel! 😭

• The circus crew unites to rescue Mrs. Jumbo. Even after Dumbo gets his mom back, it still isn’t a happy ending because he rushes off to save the Farrier family from a fire. After all they’ve done for him, they’re his family too. He flies into the fire with a feather & water inside his trunk. When it’s time to fly out, he loses the feather & doesn’t believe he can fly without it. The kids encourage him that he’s always had the ability fly within him. He’s finally able to summon up the courage & fly, saving them all from the fire. After all that, Dumbo is once and for all reunited with his mama. I literally can’t see anymore because I’m sobbing AGAIN! 😭

The renamed Medici Family Circus is revealed at the end of the movie with a new “no animal captivity” policy. A mama & baby elephant weather vane is shown above the circus grounds, a tribute to Mrs. Jumbo & Dumbo who now live in the jungles of India. I love the message of that ending, but honestly it does very little to lift my spirits after a very grim 2-hour movie.

• Just to recap, this film dealt with animal abuse & captivity, bullying, a dead mother & broken family relationship, money troubles, war, & a war injury plus learning to live as an amputee. I think I covered it all. Heavy is an understatement. 😑

💬 Closing Thoughts: I went into this movie knowing I probably wouldn’t like it. On top of that, my love for The Greatest Showman has upped my standards for circus movies. Director Tim Burton has a very specific style, & it worked well in Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately it didn’t work for Dumbo because it was a dark aesthetic stacked on top of a grim story. Speaking of style, some of the visuals didn’t work for me, specifically the circus ground scenes in the beginning; it felt like the unsuccessful results of experimentation with multiple Instagram filters. The cast is incredible on paper but couldn’t make it work onscreen. Danny DeVito’s moments of humor weren’t enough nor the Farrier kids’ relationship with Dumbo. This adaptation is faithful to the original while also expanding the story & giving humans a bigger role to play. Basically the crew took a grim story, added more humans, & made the story even more grim. I gave it a chance because I wanted to like it, but there were very few things that worked so expect a low ranking. I’m sorry! I tried. I really did. 😔

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🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 46% Critics | 48% Audience

❓ Original or Remake: Obviously I don’t like either, but I’ll go with the original because it’s shorter.

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NiYVoqBt-8

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Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon 2016 | Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast 2017 | Movie Review

Christopher Robin 2018 | Movie Review

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🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿

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Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

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Christopher Robin 2018 | Movie Review

• 👦🏼 • 🍃 • 🐻 • 🍯 • 🐷 • 🌳 • 🐯 • 🍃 • 🐴 • 🍯 • 🐰 • 🌳 • 🦉 • 🍃 • 🦘 • 🍯 • 👦🏼 • 🌳 • 🐻 •

🎥 Cinematography by Matthias Koenigswieser

👗 Costumes by Jenny Beavan & Sally Turner

🎬 Directed by Marc Forster

🎞 Edited by Matt Chessé

🎼 Music by Geoff Zanelli & Jon Brion

📋 Produced by Brigham Taylor & Kristin Burr

📝 Screenplay by Alex Ross Perry, Allison Schroeder, & Tom McCarthy 

🌟 S T A R R I N G

👨🏻‍🦰 Adrian Scarborough as Hal Gallsworthy

👩🏻‍🦱 Amanda Lawrence as Joan MacMillan

🐴 Brad Garrett as Eeyore 

👧🏻 Bronte Carmichael as Madeline Robin | Elsa Minell Solak as 3-Year-Old Madeline Robin 

👱🏻‍♂️ Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin | Orton O’Brien as Young Christopher Robin

👩🏻 Hayley Atwell as Evelyn Robin

🐻 Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh

🐯 Jim Cummings as Tigger 

👨🏻‍🦱 John Dagleish as Matthew Leadbetter

👩🏼‍🦱 Katy Carmichael as Christopher Robin’s mother

👨🏾‍🦱 Ken Nwosu as Paul Hastings

📰 Mackenzie Crook as a newspaper seller

👨🏻 Mark Gatiss as Giles Winslow

🚔 Matt Berry as a policeman bobby

🐷 Nick Mohammed as Piglet 

👴🏻 Oliver Ford Davies as Old Man Winslow

👨🏻 Paul Chahidi as Cecil Hungerford

🐰 Peter Capaldi as Rabbit

👨🏻‍🦳 Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Ralph Butterworth

👩🏽 Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo as Katherine Dane

🦘 Sara Sheen as Roo 

🚖 Simon Farnaby as a Taxi driver

🦘 Sophie Okonedo as Kanga

🦉 Toby Jones as Owl

👨🏻 Tristan Sturrock as Christopher Robin’s father

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Today is an interesting day because I’m reviewing a last minute addition. I never once thought to include Christopher Robin from 2018, but the internet tells me it’s considered a Disney remake. It’s very different from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons because it follows Christopher as an adult. It’s more of a sequel than a remake so that’s what I’m classifying it as. This was my third viewing:

•  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  S  P  O  I  L  E  R  S  •  A  H  E  A  D  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •

• Themed castle intro alert! Trust me when I say this one is unique & adorable. It starts out like normal with the camera moving over Sleeping Beauty’s castle as fireworks go off. As the front of the castle comes into view, it transitions into an illustration which leads right into the opening credits presented as the pages of an illustrated Winnie the Pooh book. UGH! Love it! 💕 

• This film introduces five new voices to the Hundred Acre Wood: Nick Mohammed as Piglet, Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, Sara Sheen as Roo, Sophie Okonedo as Kanga, & Toby Jones as Owl. Brad Garrett previously voiced Eeyore in a video game. This is a monumental task, taking on such iconic characters, & these wonderful actors did an incredible job. 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 I don’t mind a new voice actor as long as they do the character justice. However, I think it was the right decision to bring back the one & only Jim Cummings as Tigger & Winnie the Pooh. This movie relies heavily on the nostalgia of the audience, & bringing back a familiar voice we all grew up with was a smart decision. The first time Pooh opens his mouth & speaks, it feels like a comfort blanket has been wrapped around you, & all is right with the world. 💕 

• I cannot say enough good things about the character designs. It truly feels like I’m watching Christopher Robin play with his stuffed animals. The talking looks smooth, & their adorable little faces show so much emotion. Their home in the Hundred Acre Wood is equally adorable, like a miniature fairy garden we get to see up close. 

Fun Fact: Not all the animals are stuffed animals! A.A, Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh, was inspired by the toys of his son Christopher Robin Milne. Eeyore, Kanga, Piglet, Pooh, Roo, & Tigger are all stuffed animals. Owl & Rabbit, however, are real animals, characters added to the Hundred Acre Wood from A.A. Milne’s imagination. In the animated shorts & movies it’s hard to tell the difference because everyone is animated the same way, although the real animals never mention their stuffing or need their tail pinned back on with a nail. In this movie it’s much easier to separate the animals from the toys with seams & stuffing.

• The movie opens with a Hundred Acre Wood tea party which is a normal occurrence in the Winnie the Pooh books & movies. There is also a brief glimpse at a game of Poohsticks between Christopher & Pooh on the bridge.

• Eagle-eyed fans will catch the significance of the early chat between Christopher & Pooh. I haven’t read all the books so I’m not sure if it’s happened in that realm, but the exact same conversation takes place at the very end of the movie Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin. Christopher is going off to school & asks Pooh if he’ll always be there for him, even when he’s 100. Pooh asks how old he’ll be then, & Christopher tells him 99. He then promises his human friend he’ll always be there, forever & ever.

• The six Winslow Luggage employees that Christopher Robin manages – Hal, Joan, Katherine, Matthew, Paul, & Ralph – resemble a certain group of animals. There’s just something about the way they’re portrayed that reminds me of goofy Tigger, leader Rabbit, motherly Kanga, pessimistic Eeyore, silly old bear Pooh, timid Piglet, wise owl, & young Roo. I don’t know who matches who, but collectively they’re a piece of the Hundred Acre Wood in London. Adding to my theory, five of them are named after voice actors from the Winnie the Pooh franchise: Hal Smith (Owl), John Fiedler (Piglet), Junius Matthew (Rabbit), Paul Winchell (Tigger), & Ralph Wright (Eeyore). Interesting! I wish I could find something on the internet that officially confirms my suspicion/theory. 🤔

• Keep the nostalgia coming! We get an updated version of the classic scene in which Pooh wakes up & does his stretching exercises in front of a mirror before his morning honey.

• At the train station Pooh asks Christopher for a balloon which is yet another easter egg. A classic Winnie the Pooh tale involves the silly old bear trying to float up to a beehive using a balloon to get more honey because he’s run out. In the 1926 book & 1966 featurette, the ballon is blue. In Christopher Robin & the 2011 movie Winnie the Pooh, the balloon is red & not used to get honey.

• While crawling through the tree doorway to the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher Robin gets stuck & says “So this is what this feels like.” He’s referring to Winnie the Pooh who gets stuck all the time. Remember when he got stuck in the entrance to Rabbit’s house? Classic!

• When Christopher pretends to fight a heffalump to prove his identity to his Hundred Acre Wood friends, it’s very symbolic that he pounces on & stabs his work briefcase as “the enemy.” His job drained the imagination out of his life & took him away from what matters most: family! Work isn’t bad, but it should never consume you.

• Pooh and his friends declare they’re going on an “expotition” to London to return Christoper Robin’s important papers. This is a reference to the A.A. Milne story “Expotition to the North Pole.”

• Eeyore is my 24/7 mood:

Pooh: “And the game is called Say What You See. You first, Piglet.”

Piglet: “Panic. Worry. Catastrophe.”

Tigger: “Speed! Danger! Recklessness!”

Eeyore: Disgrace. Shame. Humiliation. 😂 

• At the beginning of the movie, young Christopher wears a blue gingham top & blue shorts that resemble an outfit from the book “The House at Pooh Corner.At the end, adult Christopher wear a red sweater vest & blue shorts that resemble the school uniform from Winnie the Pooh. I think he wore a similar outfit before the 2011 movie, but I can’t remember which TV episode or movie it was in.

• After Christopher Robin convinces his boss to give the Winslow Luggage employees more vacation time, a mid-credits scene shows them at the beach along with Eeyore, Piglet, Pooh, & Tigger. This scene is even more meaningful when you know the name of the man who’s shown playing piano. His name is Richard M. Sherman, one half of the legendary Sherman brothers who wrote music for Disney classics such as Mary Poppins, The Aristocats, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, & The Parent Trap. He is playing Christopher Robin, an original song written for this movie. 💛 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQzOLSlZsSQ

💬 Closing Thoughts: Some might think the real world scenes are too bleak for a Winnie the Pooh movie. For example, Christopher in boarding school, going off to war, becoming a workaholic, etc. In my personal opinion, those things work in favor of teaching a lesson about growing up but never losing the wonder of childhood. That’s what Pooh & his friends represent in Christopher Robin’s life as well as the lives of adults like me who grew up with them. Don’t ever stop taking trips to the Hundred Acre Wood! 

• 👦🏼 • 🍃 • 🐻 • 🍯 • 🐷 • 🌳 • 🐯 • 🍃 • 🐴 • 🍯 • 🐰 • 🌳 • 🦉 • 🍃 • 🦘 • 🍯 • 👦🏼 • 🌳 • 🐻 •

🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 73% Critics | 83% Audience

🏆 Major Awards: Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination (Chris Corbould, Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, & Theo Jones)

• 👦🏼 • 🍃 • 🐻 • 🍯 • 🐷 • 🌳 • 🐯 • 🍃 • 🐴 • 🍯 • 🐰 • 🌳 • 🦉 • 🍃 • 🦘 • 🍯 • 👦🏼 • 🌳 • 🐻 •

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0URpDxIjZrQ

• 👦🏼 • 🍃 • 🐻 • 🍯 • 🐷 • 🌳 • 🐯 • 🍃 • 🐴 • 🍯 • 🐰 • 🌳 • 🦉 • 🍃 • 🦘 • 🍯 • 👦🏼 • 🌳 • 🐻 •

Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon 2016 | Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast 2017 | Movie Review

• 👦🏼 • 🍃 • 🐻 • 🍯 • 🐷 • 🌳 • 🐯 • 🍃 • 🐴 • 🍯 • 🐰 • 🌳 • 🦉 • 🍃 • 🦘 • 🍯 • 👦🏼 • 🌳 • 🐻 •

🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿

• 👦🏼 • 🍃 • 🐻 • 🍯 • 🐷 • 🌳 • 🐯 • 🍃 • 🐴 • 🍯 • 🐰 • 🌳 • 🦉 • 🍃 • 🦘 • 🍯 • 👦🏼 • 🌳 • 🐻 •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

• Previous Video: NEW Kiwi Starfruit Refresher + Lemonade + Star Drink | Starbucks Review

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Revisiting Beauty and the Beast 2017

• 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 🐗 • 💘 • 👸🏻 • 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 •

🎥 Cinematography by Tobias A. Schliessler

👗 Costumes by Jacqueline Durran

🎬 Directed by Bill Condon

🎞 Edited by Virginia Katz

🎼 Music by Alan Menken

📋 Produced by David Hoberman & Todd Lieberman

📝 Screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos & Stephen Chbosky

🌟 S T A R R I N G

👗 Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe

🐗 Dan Stevens as Beast / The Prince

☕ Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts

👸🏻 Emma Watson as Belle

🕯 Ewan McGregor as Lumiére

💋 Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette

🧙🏻‍♀️ Hattie Morahan as Agathe / Enchantress

🕰 Ian McKellen as Cogsworth

🎭 Josh Gad as LeFou

🔨 Kevin Kline as Maurice

💪🏻 Luke Evans Gaston

☕ Nathan Mack as Chip

🎹 Stanley Tucci as Cadenza

• 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 🐗 • 💘 • 👸🏻 • 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 

Back in March 2017, I saw this movie in theaters & reviewed it. I’m going to revisit my original thoughts & see if I still feel the same way. This was my 2nd viewing:

•  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  S  P  O  I  L  E  R  S  •  A  H  E  A  D  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •

Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite Disney movies growing up. The love story goes beyond girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy. Belle is the first human, not counting the enchanted objects, to look past Beast’s exterior. Her attention and kindness encourages him to become more human, making his inner transformation just as important as his outer change. They develop a friendship first and then fall in love. I am ashamed to say that despite being initially excited, I allowed myself to be swayed by critics giving their opinion based on the trailers. Once the movie was released and I heard great feedback from lifelong fans, I started to relax and get excited again. I finally saw the movie last Wednesday. When the title card filled the movie screen, I got chills and teared up. In that moment I realized how emotional the experience was going to be for my inner child.

• In the name of consistency, I have an obligation to tell you that fireworks go off over Beast’s castle instead of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. We love a themed castle intro on this blog! I was less emotional in the beginning then I was in the movie theater back in 2017 because there wasn’t as much adrenaline running through me. To be honest, I was thinking of the things I didn’t like before & bracing myself for the movie to be much worse than I remembered. Boy oh boy was I in for a surprise! 

The sets are stunning. The village is like the picturesque interior of a snowglobe isolated from the rest of the world. There are golden, ornamental baroque details all over Beast’s castle, specifically French Rococo. Under the curse, the exterior is dark and dramatic; the word gothic comes to mind. As the centerpiece of the story, the enchanted rose is as striking as it needs to be. The theme is appropriately weaved into other parts of the film; Maurice attempts to pick a white rose from Beast’s garden, and Belle’s baby rattle is a red rose. Don’t even get me started on the final scene. The flower-draped ceiling is GORGEOUS!! The entire ballroom looks like springtime, airy & bright.

• Yes yes yes!!! This movie is indeed gorgeous, especially the scenes that take place in the castle. And that final ballroom scene? *faints from the beauty* 😍 

Belle is the same beloved character but with a few modifications. Her day-to-day outfits are a quirky mix of materials and patterns, and combat boots are her footwear of choice. The wardrobe update matches her new role as an inventor just like her father Maurice. The yellow ballgown is a simpler design than it’s 1991 counterpart, but when you see how it moves onscreen, doubts will fly out of your mind. The gold touches make it shine, and the skirt floats through the air as if it were weightless. The look wouldn’t be complete without the gold ear-cuff, a subtle nod to Belle’s unconventional style. There is no need to say much about the celebration dress. The way it looks and moves in the ballroom during the final scene will take your breath away. Belle’s hairstyles are simple but very beautiful. My personal favorite is her updo in the library scene accessorized with a blue headband. Of course I have to mention Beast’s wardrobe which goes through a transformation of its own; it becomes more refined and princely as the movie goes on. Costume designer Jacqueline Durran deserves a lot of credit because she came up with outfits for a character who is animated during most of the film. A lot of work went into making sure the animated garments had the depth and detail of tangible clothing. The animators did a phenomenal job.

• I mostly feel the same. I didn’t love the gold ear cuff as much this time around, but I can overlook that one small detail without much hesitation. I know the yellow dress is controversial, & I agree it could’ve been better. However, I don’t hate it as much as the majority. You know why? The celebration dress is stunning enough to erase past sins. The pure white gown embellished with romantic pink flowers is a springtime vision paired with the prince’s powder blue ensemble. 

Alan Menken is a musical genius so it’s a no-brainer that I like all of the new songs, especially Evermore. In terms of flow, Days in the Sun is a nice song, but it feels unnecessary. There is no nice way to say this so I’ll just rip off the band-aid. Many of the vocals are heavily edited, and I suspect it has more to do with lack of vocal ability than over-zealous audio editors. It is a fact that Dan Stevens hired a vocal coach to learn how to sing for this movie, and Emma Watson has never sung professionally. I am thrilled with their acting performances, but the vocals leave a lot to be desired; they sound robotic and lack emotion. I found myself holding my breath every time they sang because I desperately wanted it to sound good but knew it probably wouldn’t. A few times I was pleasantly surprised. Emma did a good job with Belle (Reprise), and Beast sounded much better in the second verse of Evermore. I saw a comment on YouTube regarding Emma’s vocals that was well put. I can’t remember the exact words, but this is the basic idea: The original songs, written for an experienced singer, are above Emma’s capabilities. She sounded better singing the songs written for her portrayal of Belle. I had the same problem with Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson. Ewan has sung before in a film, and for the most part his vocals sound good. I know Emma can sing, and I think she was a great choice for Mrs. Potts. The issue is inconsistency. Sometimes the vocals sound good, and other times they sound heavily autotuned. Since both roles require a certain voice, it is possible that manipulation was required to help Ewan and Emma stay in character while singing. The song Beauty and the Beast is a turning point in the story, and Mrs. Potts’ singing voice ruins a bit of the magic in what is an otherwise beautiful scene. Listening to it again, the vocals sound better than I remembered, but there are still some parts that don’t sound as nice as they should. Knowing that Emma has a great voice makes this even more of a heartbreaking disappointment. I love the cast, but this movie is a musical. Acting and vocals should be split 50/50 when considering the potential actors. Perfection was well within reach for this film, and lack of vocal ability was the one and only roadblock. Consider the rave reviews that Josh Gad and Luke Evans are receiving. Why do you think that is? Not only are their acting performances spot-on, but their vocals are spectacular. That is why they are the most successful part of this musical film. I want to end my rant by mentioning that I find the entire soundtrack to be over-edited, even the experienced voices such as Kevin Kline. I would have preferred less effects and rough edges. At least the final result would have sounded more genuine.

• I have notes to add as well as some revisions:

I’m not sure what didn’t click the first time, but Days in the Sun is a lovely song which adds to the story of the objects. 

I still love the song Evermore. One detail I failed to mention is the 28-second instrumental intro which all Beauty and the Beast fans should know because it plays as the original 1991 movie begins; a shorter version opens the 2017 movie. I didn’t catch that connection until I rewatched the animated movie which is exactly why I’m watching both the originals & remakes for this series. I love those nerdy details! I still prefer Josh Groban’s version of the song, but considering Dan Stevens took voice lessons for this movie, he did a good job. My biggest complaint is the overediting. I know an effect was used to aid the Beast voice, but I don’t think his singing had to sound robotic as a sacrifice. 

I have the same complaint regarding Emma Watson as Belle. I will continue to say this over & over again: If she wasn’t going to have a singing double or go through intense vocal training, I would’ve preferred that autotune take a backseat to a soft, rough around the edges voice. Rewatching the movie gave me this epiphany: It sounds like Emma recorded the songs alone in a large room with major echo. It doesn’t match what Belle is doing onscreen, whether that be walking through the village or exploring the castle. There are a few parts that sound okay, but that’s just not enough. I’m seriously considering a petition to request that Disney rerecord the singing & use a light hand with editing. Honestly, that change would make it near perfect because I love everything else about this film.

The sound editing for Emma as Mrs. Potts & Ewan as Lumière isn’t as bad as I remembered. They are both experienced singers & sound great in character. The same goes for Kevin Kline who only sings one song How Does a Moment Last Forever, an emotional moment that tugs at the heartstrings. I think I was being nit-picky about the audio because of Beast & Belle’s voices, but now that I’ve calmed down, every other character was fine with only a few rough spots. 

Animation was the perfect medium for this story because it is a fairy tale that is not at all grounded in reality. When considering a live action version, you have to ask yourself if the story will translate. I commend the crew because I was a believer every step of the way. I like the realistic design of each enchanted object. They fit the style of the movie and still feel like the same beloved characters. I love the way the friendship develops between Beast and Belle.  There are so many amazing scenes I could mention such as the library and Belle’s childhood home in Paris, but I will stick with one. Up until the ballroom scene, I was fully invested in the budding friendship. During the waltz when Beast lifts Belle, I felt a strong wave of emotion and instantly knew the relationship had become a love story. I was worried about the transformation because I wanted to be in the moment; I didn’t want to only see Dan Stevens in a wig. I am so relieved that the scene came together because it cemented the couple’s chemistry. I know that Belle’s final quote is controversial, but I LOVED it. I found the playful moment to be cute and relatable.

👸🏻 Belle: “How would you feel about growing a beard?”  😘

🐗 Beast: “GROWL!”  😉

• Yes yes yes!!! I still agree with everything I said about the art direction, the enchanted object designs, & the relationship between Beast & Belle. Dan & Emma have great onscreen chemistry which worked well before & after the beast-to-prince transformation.

💬 Closing Thoughts: There are details that disappoint and frustrate me, and I’m not afraid to talk about them. However, I can’t change anything so there’s no use dwelling on the negative. My emotional reaction speaks volumes, and I will definitely be watching this movie again. Please go and see it before you form an opinion. You might be pleasantly surprised! 

• Because of my rants about the singing & effects, you probably think this movie isn’t highly ranked. This is where I surprise both you & me. There are many things to consider. First, this film is close to being a shot for shot remake with very few changes, even in dialogue. Second, I was more emotional during the remake, crying at least three times; I only cried once during my rewatch of the animated movie. Third, I can say without hesitation that the animated movie is better because it has no vocal shortcomings. However, if the singing voices were fixed, I would choose the remake. GASP! I took this review one step further & timed how long Belle sings onscreen. In the span of 120 minutes, she sings for approximately . . . FOUR MINUTES!! That’s only 1/30th of the movie. Stepping back & looking at the big picture, her voice is an important one but wasn’t featured much in an otherwise great movie. Going the extra mile yet again, I watched the movie for a third time with my brother, a frequent movie watcher who is brutally honest. He’s not a fan of musicals, but at the end he told me the criticisms had been too harsh. He didn’t even cringe or say one negative thing the entire film! So, where does that leave my ranking? I won’t reveal anything right now, but you should be prepared for this movie to land very high on the list, higher than even I thought it would be.

• 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 🐗 • 💘 • 👸🏻 • 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 •

🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 71% Critics | 80% Audience

🏆 Major Awards: Best Costume Design (Jacqueline Durran) & Best Production Design (Katie Spencer & Sarah Greenwood) Oscar nominations

❓ Original or Remake: Repeating what I already said, my choice is the original, but if the singing voices & sound editing were fixed, I would choose the remake.

• 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 🐗 • 💘 • 👸🏻 • 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 •

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Nl_TCQXuw

• 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 🐗 • 💘 • 👸🏻 • 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 •

Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon 2016 | Movie Review

• 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 🐗 • 💘 • 👸🏻 • 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 •

🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿

• 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 • 🐗 • 💘 • 👸🏻 • 📖 • 🏰 • 🧙🏻‍♀️ • 🌹 • 🕯 • 🕰 • ☕️ • 🎹 •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

• Previous Video: NEW Kiwi Starfruit Refresher + Lemonade + Star Drink | Starbucks Review

• Art Blog

• Goodreads

• Instagram

• Pinterest

• Twitter

• Youtube

Pete’s Dragon 2016 | Movie Review

• 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 •

🎥 Cinematography by Bojan Bazelli

👗 Costumes by Amanda Neale

🎬 Directed by David Lowery

🎞 Edited by Lisa Zeno Churgin

🎼 Music by Daniel Hart

📋 Produced by James Whitaker

📝 Screenplay by David Lowery & Toby Halbrooks

🌟 S T A R R I N G

🪓 Aaron Jackson as Abner

🌲 Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace Meacham

👮🏼‍♂️ Ian Harcourt as Deputy West

👮🏾‍♂️ Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Sheriff Gene Dentler

🌲 Jim McLarty as Ranger Wentworth

🐉 John Kassir as Elliot the Dragon

👨🏻 Karl Urban as Gavin Magary

🪓 Marcus Henderson as Woodrow

👦🏼 Oakes Fegley as Pete Healy | Levi Alexander as 5-Year-Old Pete

👧🏻 Oona Laurence as Natalie Magary

🪓 Phil Grieve as Bobby

📖 Robert Redford as Meacham

👮🏼‍♂️ Steve Barr as Deputy Smalls

👨🏻 Wes Bentley as Jack Magary

• 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 •

The next Disney remake I’m reviewing is Pete’s Dragon. I’d never seen the original film or 2016 adaptation so I watched them back to back in release order:

•  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  S  P  O  I  L  E  R  S  •  A  H  E  A  D  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •

Starting with the 1977 film, the best parts were Elliot the puppy dog dragon, Mickey Rooney as Lampie the lighthouse keeper, & Helen Reddy’s angelic singing voice. Speaking of music, can I tell you a secret? I had absolutely no idea this movie was a musical! Color me surprised when the horrible Gogan family started singing while searching for Pete. I was aware of the famous song Candle on the Water but didn’t know there were other songs. Unfortunately this movie was not my cup of tea so there’s a golden opportunity for the remake to win my heart.

🌟 Rest in Peace Helen Reddy | October 25, 1941 – September 29, 2020 🌟 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rx-B9KcIO8

UGH! It is so typical of Disney to start a movie by ripping out my heart with a parent’s death. In this case, two parents! Following the fatal car accident, little Pete picks up his backpack & wanders into the nearby forest where he meets Elliot. Elliot is a big, green, scary-looking dragon, but he immediately comes down to Pete’s level & reaches out to him, sensing that he needs him. Look at that, I’ve already used an entire box of tissues six minutes in. 😭

I want to be Jessica Chastain as a forest ranger when I grow up. That’s just a fact! 🌲 🐻 🌲 

Hats off to the special effects team! It’s amazing how they can make a boy playing with a dragon look so real. I have great respect for filmmakers who worked with much less before the 2000s & 2010s, but I also admire the strides that’ve been made in CGI. Absolutely incredible! 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻

 Politics in movies tend to earn an eye roll from viewers, but I really don’t mind the discussion about deforestation. It’s an important issue that has serious consequences, especially for animals who rely on trees. The contrast between the Magary brothers really makes you think. Gavin pushes the boundaries of ethics with his business practices, cutting down more trees than necessary. Jack believes there’s a way to run their family lumber mill without destroying the entire landscape of their home. In the end Gavin learns there’s more important things in life than greed.

Even though the updated scene has a more serious tone, Pete running through the town of Millhaven & unknowingly causing chaos is a nice callback to the very first Passamaquoddy scene in the original movie. I would suggest more tissues when Pete gets caught in an alleyway & starts howling. He’s like Mowgli in that moment, crying for help the only way he knows how. He’s been in the wild for years without supervision & doesn’t realize the adults are only trying to help him. 

• I know I shouldn’t have laughed, but the paramedics who dropped a patient off a stretcher at the sight of Elliot got a snort out of me. 😂 

Elliot goes looking for Pete as soon as he disappears. When his search brings him to the Magary house, he sees Pete with the family & leaves sad, thinking his friend no longer needs him. More tissues!

You have to watch the scene to truly appreciate the humor, but this exchange over the sheriff’s radio gave me the giggles:

👮🏾‍♂️ Sheriff Dentler: “Attention all units! We’re eastbound on Millhaven Road in pursuit of . . .”

👮🏼‍♂️ Deputy Smalls: “Dragon! It’s a dragon!”

👮🏾‍♂️ Sheriff Dentler: “You can’t say ‘dragon’ over the radio.”

• Being hunted by humans after so many quiet years in the forest confuses & scares Elliot. From atop the bridge, he starts breathing fire, something he hasn’t done the entire movie. The heat causes the bridge to collapse, putting Jack & Grace in danger. Pete pleads with Elliot to stop & help; his exact words are “I need them.” That’s all the green dragon needs to hear! He immediately snaps out of fight or flight mode & swoops in to save the day for his best friend. 💚

I would recommend another tissue box for the end. After the dust has settled from all the dragon hunting chaos, Elliot & Pete have a sweet exchange in front of the cave that used to be their home. They will always be friends, but it’s time to go their separate ways. Elliot needs to be a dragon, & Pete needs to be a boy. Have no fear! The Magary family still visits the legendary Millhaven dragon at his new home in the mountains.

💬 Closing Thoughts: This gorgeous movie with a sweet story may not land at the top of my rankings due to slow pacing in the middle & lack of nostalgia, but I’ll definitely rewatch it in the future. It’s a mix of Good Dinosaur in story & Twin Peaks in atmosphere. If you think the latter came out of left field, think again. Both are set in the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s. Boom! Nailed it!

• 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 •

🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 88% Critics | 72% Audience

❓ Original or Remake: This is an easy decision because I was not a fan of the original film. Remake!

• 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 •

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPOamb6d_20

• 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 •

Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

• 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 •

🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿 

• 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 • 🪓 • 👦🏼 • 🐉 • 👮🏾‍♂️ • 🌳 • 🌲 •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

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Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 | Movie Review

• 🐱 • 🌝 • 🇨🇳 • 🚢 • 🇬🇧 •  👩🏼 • 🦋 • 🖼 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🐭 • 🎩 • 🐰 • 👬🏼 • 🐇 • ♥️ • 🕰 • 👑 •    

🎥 Cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh

👗 Costumes by Colleen Atwood

🎬 Directed by James Bobin

🎞 Edited by Andrew Weisblum

🎼 Music by Danny Elfman

📋 Produced by Jennifer & Suzanne Todd, Joe Roth, & Tim Burton

📝 Screenplay by Linda Woolverton

🌟 S T A R R I N G

🦋 Alan Rickman as Absolem

👨🏻‍⚕️ Andrew Scott as Dr. Addison Bennett

👑 Anne Hathaway as Mirana / The White Queen | Amelia Crouch as Young Mirana

🐭 Barbara Windsor as Mallymkun / The Dormouse

🚢 Ed Speleers as James Harcourt

🐟 Edward Petherbridge as Gentleman Fish

👩🏻‍🦰 Eve Hedderwick Turner as Baloo Hightopp

👨🏻‍🦰 Frederick Warder as Poomally Hightopp

🌹 Geraldine James as Lady Ascot

👸🏼 Hattie Morahan as Queen Elsemere

♥️ Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth / The Red Queen | Leilah de Meza as Young Iracebeth

👱🏻 Joanna Bobin as Alexandra Ascot

👨🏻‍🦰 Joe Hurst as Bim Hightopp | Oliver Hawkes as a Young Bim Hightopp

🎩 Johnny Depp as Tarrant Hightopp / The Mad Hatter | Louis Ashbourne Serkis as Young Tarrant Hightopp

💍 Leo Bill as Lord Hamish Ascot

👩🏼‍🦱 Lindsay Duncan as Mrs. Kingsleigh

👬🏼 Matt Lucas as Tweedledee & Tweedledum

🤖 Matt Vogel as Wilkins

🥬 Meera Syal as Nobody

👩🏼 Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh

🐇 Michael Sheen as Nivens McTwisp / The White Rabbit

🐸 Owain Rhys Davies as Delivery Frog

♟ Paul Hunter as White Chess King

🐰 Paul Whitehouse as Thackery Earwicket / The March Hare

👨🏻‍🦰 Rhys Ifans as Zanik Hightopp

🤴🏻 Richard Armitage as King Oleron

🕰 Sacha Baron Cohen as Time

👩🏻‍🦰 Siobhan Redmond as Bumalic Hightopp

👩🏻‍🦰 Simone Kirby as Tyva Hightopp

🐱 Stephen Fry as The Cheshire Cat

🐕 Timothy Spall as Bayard Hamar | Kyle Hebert as Young Bayard

👨🏻‍🦰 Tom Godwin as Pimlick Hightopp

🥚 Wally Wingert as Humpty Dumpty

• 🐱 • 🌝 • 🇨🇳 • 🚢 • 🇬🇧 •  👩🏼 • 🦋 • 🖼 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🐭 • 🎩 • 🐰 • 👬🏼 • 🐇 • ♥️ • 🕰 • 👑 •

The next Disney movie on my review list is Alice Through the Looking Glass from 2016, a sequel to the live action remake of Alice of Wonderland. This was my 2nd viewing:

•  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  S  P  O  I  L  E  R  S  •  A  H  E  A  D  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •

The castle intro isn’t themed, but after the fireworks go off, the camera pans up to the sky where Cheshire Cat’s blue eyes & wide grin appear. After a few seconds his eyes disappear, & his grin goes vertical, transforming into the moon. Down below on a stormy sea we see a ship named “Wonder” & its captain Miss Alice Kingsleigh. I really like how the end of the first movie connects to the beginning of the second movie. Alice sees Absolem, now a blue butterfly, as she’s sailing away from London for China at the end of Alice in Wonderland. In Alice Through Looking Glass, she sails back to London from China & sees Absolem when she arrives.

Alice’s main dress reflects her recent travels to China. I’m not sure how culturally accurate it is, but after one Google search I know it’s received praise for the design. Unfortunately I’m in the minority. I don’t hate the design completely, but the mix of colors & patterns is a bit much for me, especially the collar & pants. The purple bodice/dress is my favorite part which is why I like the ensemble much better when the collar’s removed.

The title is taken from the book “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, but the movie isn’t a direct adaptation, focusing more on the character Time & time travel. One of the biggest book references is an early scene in which Alice steps through a mirror & finds herself on a mantel in a study. Now small in size, she slides down a nearby rope & lands in the middle of a chess game. Startled she backs into Humpty Dumpty who falls off the desk & breaks. The white chess king orders all his horses & all his men to put the pieces back together.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall: Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty in his place again.”

Hatter is a major character in this story so we see him quite a bit. When Alice arrives in Wonderland, she visits his house which is shaped like a giant hat. I’m a sucker for details like that!

The character Time was written with Sacha Baron Cohen in mind so it makes sense that his humor, censored for children of course, is on full display. He wasn’t a straight villain but rather took a journey with twists & turns to keep the audience guessing. Unfortunately his story arc was muddled & never gripped me. Just to be fair, I should mention that I’ve never been a huge fan of Sacha. Even if I was, I don’t think this would be my favorite movie role of his. I don’t mind goofiness when it’s done well, but on this occasion it was not.

• Even though I wasn’t 100% convinced by the time travel element, I did like the prequel Wonderland scenes. It was fun to see all the familiar characters when they were young & learn some background information about why they turned out the way they did, specifically Hatter, Iracebeth, & Mirana. Speaking of the royal sisters, we get introduced to their parents who should look very familiar. Queen Elsemere is played by Hattie Morahan, the same actress who portrayed Agathe/The Enchantress in the live action Beauty and the Beast. King Oleron is Richard Armitage. If you don’t know that name, we can’t be friends. 😂 Listen, I’m a simple girl. If you cast Richard Armitage in a film, even for just a few minutes of screen time, there’s a good chance my review will improve. 😍

One of Iracebeth’s traits that’s explained thanks to time travel is her hate of white roses. Following the accident that causes her head to swell, she sees white roses & immediately mutters “Stupid roses!” She doesn’t like them because they’re associated with a horrible memory.

• This is a good time to talk about pacing. The story seems to rush but also drag for two hours. There’s never a point when everything clicks & starts to flow. A good example is the asylum scene: Alice accidentally leaves Wonderland & ends up in an asylum, only to escape right away & go back to her time travel adventures in Wonderland. I understand the intent, but that scene is abrupt & doesn’t fit in what’s an already mismatched puzzle.

• I’m not sure if this criticism is accurate so please take it with a grain of salt. I’ve seen many complaints about Hatter’s wardrobe, but my complaint has to do with what’s on his face: Makeup! I like the creative direction, but something in the second film feels off, like it’s not as well done as in Alice in Wonderland. To be more specific, the contouring with pink powder is inconsistent; it looks in bad in some scenes & fine in others. I know Hatter is supposed to look garish, but that doesn’t mean the makeup should draw the eye & have you questioning whether or not it looks right. To balance out the negative with the positive, I’ll mention his red safari outfit which I did like.

• For those curious about the Knave of Heart’s fate, this film gives us an answer. In Alice in Wonderland, Iracebeth is open with her feelings for the Knave, but it’s implied that he doesn’t reciprocate. When Mirana banishes the Red Queen from Wonderland handcuffed to her “true love,” he first tries to kill her, an attempt thwarted by Hatter, & then begs for death. He obviously started banishment on the wrong foot because we get a quick glance at his dead body in the second film. There was obviously some trouble in paradise!

• One of the few moments that made me feel emotional came at the very end. Besides Hatter, the story focuses on the relationship between sisters Iracebeth & Mirana. Iracebeth has always despised Mirana because she thought she hated her. Mirana did tell a lie that led to Iracebeth’s accident, but she never did anything to her sister out of hate, just selfishness. Every time she says “I love you,” she means it. After all the time travel shenanigans are over & done with, Mirana once again looks her sister in the eye & says “I love you.” It seems like Iracebeth hears her sister’s words & believes them for the very first time. I didn’t cry, but tears did start to form. The goodbye between Alice & Hatter was also very sweet. 💕

• I really like Alice’s new look featuring short hair & a white ship captain’s uniform. She gives me Captain Amelia (from Treasure Planet) vibes! I also like that she reconnects with her mother, & they go into business as a two-woman team. Girl power!

• As an art blogger, it wouldn’t be right for me to ignore the lovely mix of character illustrations & paper art in the closing credits. I saw it. I acknowledge it. I approve! 👍🏻 Our faithful butterfly friend Absolem flies us through the credits which end with a tribute to Alan Rickman who passed away in January 2016. This was his final film role, released posthumously. 🦋

💬 Closing Thoughts: This movie wasn’t as bad as I remembered from my first viewing, but it still isn’t a masterpiece. The same brilliant cast returned for this second helping of Wonderland, but they were let down by too much spectacle & not enough substance. There weren’t enough endearing moments to make me feel invested in what was happening. The story drags to the point that you’re watching for the sake of reaching the end. Never a good sign! Tim Burton returned as well, but he was a producer rather than the director. Some may disagree, but I think that was the first misstep & a sign of things to come.

• 🐱 • 🌝 • 🇨🇳 • 🚢 • 🇬🇧 •  👩🏼 • 🦋 • 🖼 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🐭 • 🎩 • 🐰 • 👬🏼 • 🐇 • ♥️ • 🕰 • 👑 •

🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 29% Critics | 48% Audience

🏆 Major Awards: Best Song Written For Visual Media Grammy nomination (Just Like Fire – Max Martin, Oscar Holter, Pink & Shellback)

• 🐱 • 🌝 • 🇨🇳 • 🚢 • 🇬🇧 •  👩🏼 • 🦋 • 🖼 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🐭 • 🎩 • 🐰 • 👬🏼 • 🐇 • ♥️ • 🕰 • 👑 •

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anvGUW-vsLE

• 🐱 • 🌝 • 🇨🇳 • 🚢 • 🇬🇧 •  👩🏼 • 🦋 • 🖼 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🐭 • 🎩 • 🐰 • 👬🏼 • 🐇 • ♥️ • 🕰 • 👑 •

Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

• 🐱 • 🌝 • 🇨🇳 • 🚢 • 🇬🇧 •  👩🏼 • 🦋 • 🖼 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🐭 • 🎩 • 🐰 • 👬🏼 • 🐇 • ♥️ • 🕰 • 👑 •

🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿 

• 🐱 • 🌝 • 🇨🇳 • 🚢 • 🇬🇧 •  👩🏼 • 🦋 • 🖼 • 🍄 • 🌳 • 🐭 • 🎩 • 🐰 • 👬🏼 • 🐇 • ♥️ • 🕰 • 👑 •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

• Previous Video: NEW Kiwi Starfruit Refresher + Lemonade + Star Drink | Starbucks Review

• Art Blog

• Goodreads

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• Pinterest

• Twitter

• Youtube

The Jungle Book 2016 | Movie Review

• 👦🏽 • 🍃 • 🐺 • 🌳 • 🐘 • 🌊 • 🐅 • 🍃 • 🐆 • 🌳 • 🐍 • 🌊 • 🐻 • 🍃 • 🦧 • 🌳 • 🔥 • 🌊 •

🎥 Cinematography by Bill Pope

👗 Costumes by Laura Jean Shannon

🎬 Directed by Jon Favreau

🎞 Edited by Mark Livolsi

🎼 Music by John Debney

📋 Produced by Brigham Taylor & Jon Favreau

📝 Screenplay by Justin Marks

🌟 S T A R R I N G

🐺 Asher Blinkoff, Chloe Hechter, Emjay Anthony, Kai & Sasha Schrieber, Knox Gagnon, & Max Favreau as the young wolves

🐆 Ben Kingsley as Bagheera

🐻 Bill Murray as Baloo

🐺 Brighton Rose as Grey Brother

🦧 Christopher Walken as King Louie

🦔 Garry Shandling as Ikki

🐺 Giancarlo Esposito as Akela

🐅 Idris Elba as Shere Khan

🐗 Jon Favreau as Fred

🐺 Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha

🦏 Madeleine Favreau as Raquel

👦🏽 Neel Sethi as Mowgli | Kendrick Reyes as toddler Mowgli

👨🏽 Ritesh Rajan as Mowgli’s father

🦏 Russell Peters as Rocky

🐿 Sam Raimi as an Indian giant squirrel

🦌 Sara Arrington as a Nilgai

🐍 Scarlett Johansson as Kaa

• 👦🏽 • 🍃 • 🐺 • 🌳 • 🐘 • 🌊 • 🐅 • 🍃 • 🐆 • 🌳 • 🐍 • 🌊 • 🐻 • 🍃 • 🦧 • 🌳 • 🔥 • 🌊 •

I hope you’re not sick of CGI animals because the next Disney remake on my review list is The Jungle Book from 2016. This was my 2nd viewing:

•  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  S  P  O  I  L  E  R  S  •  A  H  E  A  D  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •

This particular castle intro is not jungle-themed . . . at first! The blue castle is surrounded by a Disney theme park. Once the fireworks go off, the camera starts to pan out, & the moat transitions into a river as a jungle comes into view along with the title “The Jungle Book.”

• I need you to be prepared for a review that’s mostly me raving about how pretty the movie looks. 😂 Seriously though, it looks like a nature documentary. Absolutely stunning! As if the setting wasn’t enough, the animals blow my mind. The special effects team did such a great job making the talking mouths look natural without affecting the integrity of the other features. They look like real animals who are talking!

 Mowgli’s wolf guardians change a little bit between the two versions. In the 1967 film, he’s raised by Raksha & her mate Rama, & Akela is their pack leader. In the 2016 film, he’s raised by Raksha with the help of her pack & their leader Akela.

• Lupita Nyong’o is the voice of Raksha, & the motherly tenderness & protectiveness she injects into the role is spot on. Giancarlo Esposito is the voice of Akela, & he’s fantastic as usual. My brain is just so confused because the last time I saw him onscreen, he was dealing drugs out of Los Pollos Hermanos. 😂

• Mowgli & his wolf siblings call Raksha “Ami” which means “Mother” in Urdu, a language spoken in Pakistan & India. I think that’s such a sweet detail & a way to educate viewers about another culture. Like me, someone will hear the word, use the subtitles for spelling, & google it for more information. Boom! You know a new word in a different language. 🇵🇰 🇮🇳

• Let’s talk about Disney cats. Everybody knows about Berlioz, Cheshire, Figaro, Lucifer, Marie, Oliver, Rajah, Simba, Tigger, Toulouse, etc. The list goes on! But the one cat I hear so little about is Bagheera. Number one, he’s a black panther. Awesome! Number two, he’s wise, a serious guardian to balance out Baloo as the fun parent. He deserves way more hype & attention!

• I need to prepare you for the shocking news I’m about to deliver. Are you ready? Idris Elba was perfect casting. LOL! He could literally play a paper bag, & I would be applauding from the front row, calling for an Oscar. 🏆 Focus! Back to The Jungle Book. Idris plays the villainous tiger Shere Khan, & his deep voice will send shivers down your spine. Whether that’s because you’re scared or attracted to him is between you & God. 😂 😂 😂

• Neel Sethi deserves so much praise for what he did with the role of Mowgli. Not only did he do a great job as a young newcomer but also as the only person acting on set. He had to imagine all those talking animals while emoting & conversing. That’s tough to do as an adult, & he took on the challenge under the age of thirteen. Brava! 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻

• I’ve seen this movie before, & Shere Khan’s attack on Bagheera still scared the life out of me. 😰

• Leading up to the release, Scarlett Johansson was one of the cast members I was unsure about. I didn’t mind the change of a female voice for Kaa, but I just couldn’t picture Scarlett as the reticulated python that tries to hypnotize & eat Mowgli. Thankfully my fears were swiftly laid to rest. She was featured in only one scene rather than two but did a good job with the voice & made an impression in a small amount of time. No weak link here!

• I realize I’ve gone down the list & one by one said how great each actor was in this film. Seriously though, this cast is airtight. Continuing with the high praise, Bill Murray was genius casting as Baloo the bear. His energy & humor are perfect for Mowgli’s Papa Bear. Soon after they meet, Baloo convinces Mowgli to climb where the big bear cannot & retrieve honey from a beehive. Two curious animals show up, an Indian giant squirrel voiced by Sam Raimi & a pangolin with an unknown voice. They get a little too chatty for Baloo so he looks at them & retorts “You have never been a more endangered species than you are at this moment.” Definitely a laugh out loud moment! 😂

• At the 49:30 mark, Mowgli is sitting atop a floating Baloo while they sing The Bare Necessities, & the river scenery is absolutely breathtaking. It looks like a painting, specifically one created by Thomas Kinkade. He actually has a Jungle Book painting from 2012. 🎨

• One early morning Baloo & Bagheera catch Mowgli sneaking away to a pit surrounded by elephants. They’re disappointed at first because they think he’s messing with the large pachyderms. To their surprise he pops out of the pit & guides the retrieval of a baby elephant using long vines. The look of pride on their faces is the cherry on top of an incredibly sweet moment. 💕

As someone with a fear of heights, I sympathize with Baloo having to climb a long way up to King Louie’s temple. About halfway up he mutters “A bird. That can’t be a good sign!” Another LOL moment from Mr. Murray! It’s also a sweet moment because Bagheera takes pity on the big bear & encourages him the rest of the way. These two are opposites in personality, but their friendship works because of that balance. They also provide loads of hilarious banter!

• If you’re interested in Onomatology or Zoology, I’ve got you covered. The following characters have meaningful names, & their species are native to India where The Jungle Book takes place:

🐺 Akela | Akela अकेला means alone in Hindi | Indian Wolf

🐆 Bagheera | Baghirā means Black Indian Leopard in Hindi | Black Indian Leopard

🐻 Baloo | Bhālū भालू means bear in Hindi | Himalayan Brown Bear

🐺 Raksha | Raksha रक्षा means defense/protection/safeguard in Hindi | Indian Wolf

🐅 Shere Khan | Shair/Sher means lion & tiger in Urdu & Persian + Khan is a title given in various parts of Asia | Bengal Tiger

🐗 🦔 🐍 Other represented species include Fred the pygmy hog, Ikki the Indian porcupine, Kaa the reticulated python, Raquel & Rocky the Indian Rhinos, an Indian giant squirrel, & a Nilgai. 🦏 🐿 🦌

• I didn’t know I needed Christopher Walken as a giant ape in my life, but here we are. King Louie wants only one thing from Mowgli: the secret of how to make fire which is known as “The Red Flower.” In this adaptation he is bigger & scarier, much more of a villain than his animated counterpart. The 1967 Louie was a petty thief in comparison to the 2016 Louie who is basically a dangerous crime boss.

• The only two musical numbers that made the transition from the 60s to 2010s were The Bare Necessities & I Wanna be Like You. Jon Favreau was honest early on that this would be less of a musical film than its predecessor. I appreciate that he had a vision & stuck with it, not forcing the musical aspect. The songs worked where they were placed, & it never felt like there needed to be more than there was.

• Remember the adorable baby elephant that was rescued from a pit? After Mowgli defeats Shere Khan, he rides on the back of his small pachyderm friend. Love that continuity! The sounds of trumpeting elephants can be heard in the background as they celebrate the triumphant victory & use the river to put out the rest of the fire. Elephants are revered in the jungle so this show of respect towards Mowgli is high praise indeed. It all started with one act of kindness. *sigh* That’s storytelling at its finest. 📖

• At the very end of the movie, the shot of Bagheera, Baloo, & Mowgli sitting in a tree turns into an illustration, & the book, which is resting on blue velvet material, closes. Music shakes the book back open, & all the characters make an appearance in 3D pop-up form, some stepping out of the book & going offscreen. King Louie is the first to appear, being dug out of the temple rubble & singing a reprise of I Wanna be Like You. The first part of this sequence was inspired by the opening of the 1967 movie: A book entitled “The Jungle Book” lays on top of blue velvet material & opens to reveal an illustration. Gotta love those Disney details! 

• 👦🏽 • 🍃 • 🐺 • 🌳 • 🐘 • 🌊 • 🐅 • 🍃 • 🐆 • 🌳 • 🐍 • 🌊 • 🐻 • 🍃 • 🦧 • 🌳 • 🔥 • 🌊 •

🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Critics | 86% Audience

🏆 Major AwardsBest Visual Effects Oscar (Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, Dan Lemmon, & Robert Legato)

❓ Original or Remake: Do I even have to say it? The original movie is good, but the 2016 film is a masterpiece, a feast for the eyes supported by a brilliant cast. This is a no-brainer decision: Remake!

• 👦🏽 • 🍃 • 🐺 • 🌳 • 🐘 • 🌊 • 🐅 • 🍃 • 🐆 • 🌳 • 🐍 • 🌊 • 🐻 • 🍃 • 🦧 • 🌳 • 🔥 • 🌊 •

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4qgAaxB_pc

• 👦🏽 • 🍃 • 🐺 • 🌳 • 🐘 • 🌊 • 🐅 • 🍃 • 🐆 • 🌳 • 🐍 • 🌊 • 🐻 • 🍃 • 🦧 • 🌳 • 🔥 • 🌊 •

Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

Cinderella 2015 | Movie Revie

• 👦🏽 • 🍃 • 🐺 • 🌳 • 🐘 • 🌊 • 🐅 • 🍃 • 🐆 • 🌳 • 🐍 • 🌊 • 🐻 • 🍃 • 🦧 • 🌳 • 🔥 • 🌊 •

🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿

• 👦🏽 • 🍃 • 🐺 • 🌳 • 🐘 • 🌊 • 🐅 • 🍃 • 🐆 • 🌳 • 🐍 • 🌊 • 🐻 • 🍃 • 🦧 • 🌳 • 🔥 • 🌊 •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

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Cinderella 2015 | Movie Review

• 👨‍👩‍👧 • 💔 • 🧑🏻‍🦰 •💄 • 💋 • 👯‍♀️ • 👩🏼 • 🧹 • 🐓 • 🐕 • 🧚🏻 • 🦎 • 🐭 • 🎃 • 🦋 • 👠 • 🌙 • 🕰 • 🏰 • 🤴🏻 • 

🎥 Cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos

👗 Costumes by Sandy Powell

🎬 Directed by Kenneth Branagh

🎞 Edited by Martin Walsh

🎼 Music by Patrick Doyle

📋 Produced by Allison Shearmur, David Barron, & Simon Kinberg

📝 Screenplay by Chris Weitz

🌟 S T A R R I N G

👨🏻‍🦱 Ben Chaplin as Ella’s Father

🧑🏻‍🦰 Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine

🤴🏼 Derek Jacobi as The King

👩🏼 Hayley Atwell as Ella’s Mother

🧚‍♀️ Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother

🌸 Holliday Grainger as Anastasia

🇪🇸 Jana Perez as Princess Chelina of Zaragosa

👠 Lily James as Ella | Eloise Webb as Young Ella

⚔️ Nonso Anozie as Captain

👑 Richard Madden as Prince Kit

🎨 Rob Brydon as Master Phineus

🌻 Sophie McShera as Drizella

🧐 Stellan Skarsgård as Grand Duke

• 👨‍👩‍👧 • 💔 • 🧑🏻‍🦰 •💄 • 💋 • 👯‍♀️ • 👩🏼 • 🧹 • 🐓 • 🐕 • 🧚🏻 • 🦎 • 🐭 • 🎃 • 🦋 • 👠 • 🌙 • 🕰 • 🏰 • 🤴🏻 • 

The next Disney remake on my review list is Cinderella from 2015. This was my 2nd viewing:

•  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  S  P  O  I  L  E  R  S  •  A  H  E  A  D  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •  ⚠️  •

If you think I’m going to mention every single time the castle intro is themed, you are correct. Surprise surprise, this film opens with a 3D rendering of Cinderella’s castle. Surrounded by the vivid blues & greens of nature, it truly feels like you’re turning the first page of a fairytale. Little Golden Books come to mind!

Ella’s family home is picture perfect in all its soft, romantic glory. In fact, that’s the overlying vibe of the entire movie. The art direction is definitely Rococo inspired which makes sense considering one of the most famous literary versions of “Cinderella” is French.

We actually see Ella’s mother in this version. She is gentle & sweet, & the most important lesson she teaches Ella is “Have courage & be kind.” Her example sets the tone for Ella’s personality & her determination to overcome obstacles with both courage & kindness.

When the camera focuses on young Ella’s blue slippers, pay attention. Those shoes go with Ella from a happy childhood to servanthood, their periwinkle blue color fading away under layers of cinders & dust. With the wave of a wand, those dirty shoes go from rags to riches, transforming into the iconic glass slippers. Those details float my boat!

If you’re someone who appreciates a “Tears Warning,” I’ve got your back. I would recommend having a box of tissues within reach six & and a half minutes into the movie. You’re welcome!

In the animated movie, Lady Tremaine’s look & personality are reminiscent of a cold, stern school headmistress. In the 2015 version, Cate Blanchett took that part & said “Watch me work!” Her perfect lipstick & 40s-inspired wardrobe are to die for, but don’t be fooled. “She’s the devil in disguise, a snake with blue eyes.”

Speaking of wardrobe, there’s a reason this movie got so much costume design buzz. The soft, romantic colors of Ella & Kit’s outfits are contrasted by the rich color palette of Lady Tremaine’s wardrobe & the bright, gaudy stepsister dresses. Even if you dislike the movie, it’s still fashion eye candy.

Even though the mice & Lucifer the cat don’t play as big a part in this version of Cinderella, I appreciate that they were included. They were used just enough for a nice dose of nostalgia without feeling out of place.

At the 18-minute mark, Ella hums & sings Sing Sweet Nightingale, a familiar tune from the animated movie. I swear God gave Lily James an angelic voice for this role, even though it’s not a musical. She was born to sing as a Disney princess!

At the 20:20 mark, grab your tissues again! If you want a picture of just how kind Ella is, here’s a stellar example: When a local farmer delivers the news of her father’s passing, the stepsisters complain about not getting the gifts they asked for, & Lady Tremaine worries about financial ruin. Ella is visibly heartbroken, but she takes the time to tell Farmer John “It must have been difficult to deliver such news” before shutting the door & crying. I just want to reach through the screen & give her a hug.

Cinderella is one of the Disney princess movies that features a romance, & I appreciate that this adaptation added more depth to the story. Ella meets Prince Kit early on in the movie, weeks before she attends the ball at the palace. She meets him as Cinderella, an orphan dressed in rags, & he meets her as Kit, purposefully hiding his royal identity so she doesn’t treat him differently. I can’t even put into words how much I love this scene, how he likes her so much at first sight that he doesn’t want his title to get in the way of their interaction. He doesn’t even flinch at her cinder-covered appearance or the fact that she’s riding a horse bareback. That is major character growth from the unnamed, one-dimensional prince, & I am fully supportive. Did I mention the off-the-charts chemistry?? If your tummy doesn’t do somersaults like you’re on a roller coaster, go back & watch the scene until you’re a believer.

Nonso Anozie plays an unnamed captain who is both guard & friend to Prince Kit. I know him from Conan the Barbarian, Game of Thrones, & Zoo; his natural sense of humor is always a breath of fresh air, & don’t even get me started on his BEAUTIFUL smile. *sigh* I love love LOVE his banter with Kit & his instinct to protect him. This friendship is an added bonus in a movie I already love!

Rob Brydon’s cameo as the painter Master Phineus is short, but he still manages to be hilarious. Here for it! 😂

This movie is practically perfect in every way. The one & only thing I don’t like is the Fairy Godmother’s face while disguised as an old woman. I question why makeup wasn’t used as a practical effect because the digital face doesn’t look good at all. As a disguise, it should look natural & convincing, not weird & suspicious. Setting the negative aside, Helena Bonham Carter is perfect as the Fairy Godmother. She is her usual quirky self, but there’s a motherly kindness in her portrayal that touches Ella’s life at just the right moment, a tenderness that matches that of her older, animated counterpart.

We need to discuss the transformation scene because *GASP* it will take your breath away. Fairy Godmother uses butterflies to transform Ella’s destroyed dress into something worthy of a princess. They eventually land & become part of the bodice, & there’s one on each glass slipper. The blue ballgown is a tribute to Cinderella’s classic look while still being its own unique creation. Don’t forget to check out her ride! I didn’t think the animated one could be topped, but the brand new golden carriage is S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G. Hats off to Fairy Godmother for her Midas touch with a simple country squash!

Shoutout to Jana Pérez for representing España as Princess Chelina of Zaragosa! 🇪🇸

First of all, it is utterly adorable how nervous Kit is around Ella. You would think the opposite to be true, a “servant” being nervous around royalty. I appreciate that not just her beauty but also her kindness unnerve him. Second, the way Ella’s blue ballgown moves is too magical to be real, an absolute dream. Third, the song playing during the couple’s dance at the ball is reminiscent of Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty. Am I the only who hears that??

Yet another sign that Ella is unbelievably good: When everything turns back to normal after midnight & she has to walk home in her tattered dress in the rain, she smiles & laughs. I want to bottle that innocence & joy for (literal) rainy days!

Lady Tremaine reels in the Grand Duke with information about Ella’s identity & snaps the trap, trying to blackmail her way into nobility. When the search party arrives at her home, the last address on their list, he allows the three Tremaines to try the glass slipper before rushing to leave. Up in the attic where Ella’s been locked in, the mice manage to open a window so her voice can be heard down below; she’s singing Lavender’s Blue, a song sung to her by her parents. The Grand Duke is adamant that their job is done, but the captain isn’t convinced. In a dramatic turn of events, Prince Kit reveals that he’s been disguised as one of the soldiers, watching over the search proceedings. I’m sure you’ve surmised that he refuses to leave without meeting the girl who’s singing somewhere in the house. *SIGH* He truly wants to find Ella. 😍

I love the significance of Ella walking down the stairs to meet the prince, leaving Lady Tremaine in the attic. “Have courage & be kind.” It’s all about balance! She stood up for herself when the time was right & still had inner strength left over to look Lady Tremaine in the eye & say “I forgive you.” Could you do that? I don’t think I could!

It’s time to cry again, but these will be happy tears. The blue ballgown was just an opening act for the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING wedding dress & matching tiara. It takes my breath away every time I see it! Actually, I need a moment to compose myself . . . 😍 😭

On the day of their wedding, Ella & Kit are greeted by the kingdom while standing on a palace balcony. Some familiar animal friends make an appearance; it looks like they’ve moved in & are adjusting well to royal life. Before the happy couple kisses & lives happily ever after, Kit calls Ella “my queen,” & Ella calls him “my Kit.” ADORABLE!

At the end, Ella’s Fairy Godmother is confirmed as the narrator. She appears out of a cloud & waves her wand to reveal the words “The End.” A magical end to a magical movie!

💬 Closing Thoughts: This adaptation strikes the perfect balance between staying true to the animated movie & adding new touches that build upon a beloved foundation. Five years later I still don’t think any remake has taken the top spot away from Cinderella.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zye-4GGANzw

• 👨‍👩‍👧 • 💔 • 🧑🏻‍🦰 •💄 • 💋 • 👯‍♀️ • 👩🏼 • 🧹 • 🐓 • 🐕 • 🧚🏻 • 🦎 • 🐭 • 🎃 • 🦋 • 👠 • 🌙 • 🕰 • 🏰 • 🤴🏻 • 

🍅 Rotten Tomatoes: 84% Critics | 78% Audience

🏆 Major Awards: Best Costume Design Oscar (Sandy Powell)

❓ Original or Remake: Rewatching the animated movie made me realize how much I love it, even though I don’t consider it a favorite. Rewatching the remake made me realize it’s just as superb as I remember. I love the original, but the 2015 film will always possess a special place in my heart. This is an easy decision: Remake!

• 👨‍👩‍👧 • 💔 • 🧑🏻‍🦰 •💄 • 💋 • 👯‍♀️ • 👩🏼 • 🧹 • 🐓 • 🐕 • 🧚🏻 • 🦎 • 🐭 • 🎃 • 🦋 • 👠 • 🌙 • 🕰 • 🏰 • 🤴🏻 • 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20DF6U1HcGQ

• 👨‍👩‍👧 • 💔 • 🧑🏻‍🦰 •💄 • 💋 • 👯‍♀️ • 👩🏼 • 🧹 • 🐓 • 🐕 • 🧚🏻 • 🦎 • 🐭 • 🎃 • 🦋 • 👠 • 🌙 • 🕰 • 🏰 • 🤴🏻 • 

Alice in Wonderland 2010 | Movie Review

Maleficent 2014 | Movie Review

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🎥 Stay tuned for another movie review tomorrow! 🍿 

• 👨‍👩‍👧 • 💔 • 🧑🏻‍🦰 •💄 • 💋 • 👯‍♀️ • 👩🏼 • 🧹 • 🐓 • 🐕 • 🧚🏻 • 🦎 • 🐭 • 🎃 • 🦋 • 👠 • 🌙 • 🕰 • 🏰 • 🤴🏻 •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

• Previous Video: NEW Kiwi Starfruit Refresher + Lemonade + Star Drink | Starbucks Review

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