Princess Arete Review; Interesting Concept, Sleep-inducing Pacing

Princess Arete  picture image

Princess Arete

Princess Arete is a 2001Japanese animated movie done by Studio 4C. It was based off an original story by Diana Coles, “The Clever Princess” or “The Adventure of Princess Arite” in Japan. The film is praised for subject matter but criticized for its pacing.

That being said I have a Hate-Respect for this movie. I get it, I just don’t want to watch it

Arete trying to escape Princess Arete  picture image

Arete trying to escape

The plot is about a Princess, Arete, who is forced to live in a tower by her father till a man worthy of her appears. Arete however know how to get in and out of her tower and goes into the tower and would rather her life has substance. While she waits in the tower her suitors bring her father magical gifts.

Arete is visited by two of her would be suitors and she is less than impress by there swaggering and boasting and decides to leave her tower for good however she caught. She taken to her father and an old sorcerer named Boax who wants to marry the very young princess. Boax then puts an enchantment on Arete to make her a mindless traditional beautiful Princess. Before Boax takes Arete away, a witch gives her a magic ring that will grant her three wishes.

Boax takes Arete to his secret liar where it is reveal that Boax was actually a servant of the real Boax whose real motive was to imprison Arete because their a prophesy that she will end his immortal life.

Boax has a deal worked out with a village that he will supply water if the village feeds him. The one who work for him is a lady named Amble. Amble tries to free Arete but can’t seem to break her out. This sparks Arete to break out of her enchantment and reverts to being a child. Boax then gives Arete a impossible task to free himself of her. However Arete decides to go back to Boax’s liar and learns that he has jewel that makes water. She steals the jewel and floods the barren land so it will be green again. Boax then loses his magian crystal that makes so he can use magic thus ending his immortal life and fulling that pesky prophesy. Arete then goes off on to see the world, the end.

Arete under the traditional Princess enchantment Princess Arete  picture image

Arete under the traditional Princess enchantment

The idea behind this movie/story is feminism through the male gaze. Arete’s curse and what she have to inwardly fight against is being a default princess that literally waits to be saved.

On the one hand I respect this angle but on the other it means that Arete herself has no character development. She doesn’t grow, she reverts and then goes back to herself.

Princess Arete  picture image


Also the pacing doesn’t help. It is toe-hair growing slow. It’s style and is common in Japanese movies. To be fair the pacing didn’t really bother me till 30 minutes in which is about when the plot kicked in. Slow pace stories work when the story is not a focal point but characters existing in their world so when Boax enters and starts the conflict the slow paces kills it.  Call me unrefined but the pacing is unforgivable, it’s a miracle I even finished this clunker.

Also there is a weird quick of this movie that it doesn’t know how to let a moment land. For instance towards the end of the movie Amble quits working for Boax and she is telling him off. The movie lingers on the long-shot Amble, who isn’t doing anything for a notice duration before it cuts to Boax’s reaction. So now only is the pacing sleep-inducing but the editing is lacking.

Princess Arete  picture image


Speaking of character, they don’e shave much personalities. Arete just wants to sees the world and is curious. Boax is a meanie-pants, really half is dialogue is just yelling. Boax’s servants Grovel and Amble are there though Amble has a backbone and Grovel is a frog.

On a related note, Arete being a child and all the older guy vying to marry her made me very uncomfortable.

Arete and the magical book  Princess Arete picture image

Arete and the magical book

To the film’s credit the animation is interesting. The characters have a weird simplicity that adds to the children-book fantasy of the story, I can see some people liking teh style and other hating it. It also has very lovely fluid moments and the backgrounds are wonderful.

The music, when there is music is also lovely. I wish there has been more of it through the film would have help me stay a wake through this.

Princess Arete  picture image


Princess Arete while has an interesting angle with what should be a refreshing princess story is buried in slow uninteresting-ness, watch it if you’re insomniac.

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KINGDOM HEARTS (Honest Game Trailers)

I died with laughter at 2:09.
Also 2:16 because I love that character.

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Notre Dame de Paris Plot- Big on Emotion, Weak on Story

  Garou Helene Segara Quasimodo and Esmeralda  Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda


One of Notre Dame de Paris‘ core weaknesses is the way it presents the story. The narrative is very patchy and filled with a lot little gaps. To really understand what is happening you have to know that story before going it to.

 garou Bruno Pelletier Gringoire spotting Quasimodo during the Feast of Fools Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Gringoire spotting Quasimodo during the Feast of Fools


For instance it takes seven songs for the story to get to beginning of the book. Before that it’s all set-up plus a few lines that marginally tell us about the characters. But seven songs for the Feast of Fools to start. And the plot kind of trots at weird pace, giving us the bare minimum to get to the plot points

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda,Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Ending

However the larger point of the musical isn’t so much to tell the story of Hunchback, as I suspect the creators were under the impression that the audience already knew the story prior to seeing it but the to tell the emotions of the story which the musical does very well. The emotions in this musical are like that of The Phantom of the Opera, over-fucking-top, I still get misty eyed during Danse Mon Esmeralda. Does that excuse the musical for some its jarring weirdness?

 Luc Merville Clopin and the Court of miracles  and the Attack of Notre Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Clopin and the Court of miracles and the Attack of Notre Dame

Nope. I don’t care how emotional effective the songs are, so many of the transitions from emotion to pivotal story points are down right jarring. For instance to get from Phoebus song’s Dechire, when he sings about two ladies wanting him to Quasimodo’s punishment we have the bridge song Anarkia which is 42 seconds to explain Gringoire being married to Frollo, the word Ankaria and then OMG look it’s Quasimodo, let’s go check that out. Or how about going from the lovely song where Esmeralda sings about wanting to live to BAMS attack on Notre Dame. And for the record Notre Dame de Paris sports a very sloppy hastily done attack scene. First off Quasimodo is not around, Frollo can just end sanctuary and I’m unclear if Clopin and the court of miracles are defending Notre Dame or attacking it.

Daniel Lavoie Frollo  Notre Dame de Paris picture image



Despite the narrative weakness, Notre Dame de Paris is faithful in some ways to the book. For instant the fate of the characters is all on point and this is the best portrayal of Frollo in any version outside the book, even better than the opera that Hugo himself wrote the lyrics to.

 Garou Helene Segara Quasimodo and Esmeralda  Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

It is easy to over look the weak story telling of Notre Dame de Paris because you do get lost in the big emotions. Does that make it ok? No, but thank goodness the musical is so powerful, that is its very mighty strength.

Next Time – Differences between the book and the musical, (I wrote them once for my Hubpage, so outline, done)

Helene Segara as Esmeralda and Daniel Lavoie as Frollo NOtre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Frollo

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Another Preliminary Chapter: The Comprachicos

The next chapter is more preliminary parts about the Comprachicos. Comprachicos are child-buyers. This term was coined by Victor Hugo. The Comprachicos also disfigure the children.

They whole thing is very cruel but this all set-up for understand the character. I’m not sure I agree that these preliminary chapters are effective for the follow of the narrative but different styles and who am I to argue with Hugo.

That pretty much what this chapter boils down to.

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Shrek 2 Review ; Pinocchio you vixen

Shrek 2  picture image

Shrek 2

Shrek 2 as the name suggests in the sequel to Shrek. In a few ways Shrek 2 feels like a bigger movie, the humor is bigger and the plot has more stakes.

Note- Keeping this one short and not doing the other Shrek movies, I didn’t like 3 and 4 doesn’t exist for me.

Shrek meeting Fiona's parents Shrek 2  picture image

Shrek meeting Fiona’s parents

The plot is that Newlyweds Shrek and Fiona travel to the Kingdom of Far Far Away to met her parents. Fiona’s dad doesn’t takes a liking to Shrek as he has a deal with the Fairy Godmother that Fiona would be saved and married to her son, Prince Charming as the Fairy Godmother help Fiona’s dad become King.

The King hires Puss in Boots, a hit man, cat to axe-off Shrek. However Shrek gets the better of the little kitty and Puss joins him. Shrek gets the idea to go the Fairy Godmother’s factory. Shrek and the gang steal a potion to make people/true love attractive, weird spell. Donkey and Shrek use it which make them and Fiona pretty, or Fiona her old human self, have to wonder what Dragon looked like. Godmother decides that she will try to convince Fiona that Charming is Shrek. Shrek and pals get arrested and the fairy tale pals of Gingy, Pinocchio, the three pigs ect have to save them.

They crash the big ball and defeat the Fairy Godmother but Fiona dad is revealed to really a frog which her mother accepts. Shrek gives Fiona the chance to stay in their pretty forms but she tells Shrek she wants the ogre she married and they revert to ogre and Donkey again. Same moral as the first.

Fairy Godmother and Charming Shrek 2  picture image

Fairy Godmother and Charming

Does this plot have issues? OH, Yes, first off why did Charming have to save her in the first place? If the king wanted to uphold the deal order an arrange marriage, Fiona was smitten with a prince before they met anyway. And what took him so long? Grooming? And is her a Prince or is that just his name. Nitpicks

But the way the humor way done, the pacing and the characters make up for it. Unlike the first Shrek, with movie doesn’t subverts Disney as much the first one, it subverts just pretty much everything while still subverting Fairy Tales as its mission point, and because of that the jokes do not let up. You just laugh more during this movie.

Puss in Boot being cute Shrek 2 picture image

Puss in Boot being cute

Speaking the Characters, the new characters in this movie are fantastic. They all have their ticks that make then fun. First off, the Fairy Godmother is diabolic but I’m bias as I’m a fan of Jennifer Saunders, Ab Fab for the win (though all the voice actors in this movie

are great). But you gotta love that a Fairy Godmother is the villain. Pretty boys as villain isn’t new but Charming is just such as smarmy egomaniac that he is delightful. Puss is great as he uses his cuteness to disarm his victim. While the King and Queen aren’t anything amazing or new they are still likable though I like the beauty and beast/ Frog prince thing they have. But the real character of this movie is Mongo, a Gingerbread Godzilla monster, what could be more awesome?

We also learn more about the other characters, like Pinocchio’s underpants preferences, that one my favorite jokes.

Fairy Godmother singing hero Shrek 2 picture image

Fairy Godmother singing

The animation and music like the first movie are great and you gotta love The Hero segment.

Charming kissing Fiona Shrek 2 picture image

Charming kissing Fiona

Speaking of the climax, compared to the first movie there is a lot more at stake. In the first movie the only stakes is that Fiona will marry some guy that she doesn’t really like that much. In this one if Charming lands a kiss Fiona will be in love with him and not with Shrek as the King was co-forced into slipping her a love potion, which didn’t end up happing but the audience doesn’t really know that until Fiona head butts Charming. But what are the ramifications? In the first one Lord Farquaad was already a ruler and didn’t seem like he was that terrible at it, no one in Duloc seemed to be wanting but Charming would have been a bad king.

Also in the first one aside from one throw away line about locking Fiona in the tower again, Farquaad wasn’t very threatening, Fairy Godmother legit tried to kill Shrek when she learned Fiona wasn’t given the potion.

Donkey with Fiona's parents eating Dinner Shrek 2 picture image

Donkey with Fiona’s parents eating Dinner

Compared to original, Shrek 2 just has more going for it, more likable characters, more plot, more stakes and all around more silliness. And by the way, DONKEY!

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Shrek Review – Talking Donkeys are worth more than possessed toys

shrek picture image


Shrek a is Dreamworks 2001 CG movie. It was based off of a 1990 picture book by William Steig of the same name. Shrek is one of those seminal Non-Disney Princess movies and by that I just mean that it’s popular, like really popular. But just because something is popular does that make it good?

shrek, Donkey and Fiona shrek picture image

Shrek, Donkey and Fiona

Shrek is about a misanthrope Ogre who gets his swamp home invaded by Fairy-Tale creatures as Lord Farquaad wants the perfect kingdom and Fairy-tale creatures offend his senses or something. Lord Farquaad is trying to become king so he has to marry a princess, and he picks Princess Fiona who needs to be recused from a pretty dragon.

Shrek and a talking Donkey go to Lord Farquaad’s kingdom and Farquaad tells him if he recuse the Princess he will return the Swamp back to normal sans the enchanted little creatures. So Shrek and Donkey embark on a quest and save Fiona from the girly dragon.

Fiona at first isn’t happy that Fairy-tale logic wasn’t followed as her groom-to-be didn’t save her himself but on journey home Shrek and Fiona form an attachment. Fiona is also cursed as she turns into an ogre by night and only a kiss from her true love can break the spell. However Shrek over hears her and donkey talking about how she is ugly and hideous and he misconstrues it that they are talking about him and not her. Shrek is hurt and hasten Farquaad to them as they right outside the kingdom. Fiona is desperate to break her curse so her wants the wedding before sunset. Shrek and Fiona then part mad and sad about the misunderstanding. However Donkey convinces Shrek to break up the wedding and Fiona reveals her curse and when she and Shrek kiss she permanently becomes an ogre.

Shrek and Donkey's souvenir photo  shrek picture image

Shrek and Donkey’s souvenir photo

Shrek’s narrative is very simple, it’s a fun buddy journey story. Nothing really grand happens but that is not the point. It’s meant to a parody of Disney/fairytales. As far as that goes, Shrek wasn’t the first to this but there so much bile on the front maligning Disney. The first rule of parody is you have to love was you’re parodying and they clearly did not. Does that hurt the movie? Not really as it only is certain points in the film it’s still enjoyable. Shrek has some silly moments but the pacing is slow at points and some of the character are lacking.

Lord Farquaad and the magic mirror shrek picture image

Lord Farquaad and the magic mirror

First there is Shrek. Shrek is a big uncouth ogre or that how he appears and how he wants to be thought of. He makes the point that ogres have layers but the most revealing thing about him is that he is something of a culinarian. He also nice and sensitive but that is invention of the plot to add to the romance and drama. Donkey is annoying which is his point. Really the side characters are better and more likable. Lord Farquaad is hilarious with his Napoleon Complex although what is his deal? Is he a regent? How does marrying a random princess give him legitimacy? Gingy was my favorite characters and he was just in one scene but that was enough, and really it’s the sequel that give the cool side character more to do.

Fiona kicking  ass shrek picture image

Fiona kicking ass

Then we have the princess, Fiona. Fiona is a proper late 90’s early 2000’s princess gal, she is pretty and kick-ass. Her being no-nonsense and ass kicking seems to stems off from her ogre persona. She also an odd blend of romantic and practical which is refreshing. I have no issues with Fiona.

I suppose the only issue I could have is that she only accepts her ogre form when she deems attractive by a male. But the point of it was that beauty is in eye of the beholder and having an unconventional beauty as the princess is the point to Fiona’s curse as story piece.

Monsieur Hood singing  shrek picture image

Monsieur Hood singing

I have been down on CG’s animation movies in the past and while I prefer hand-drawn stuff, I like Shrek’s animations. It’s nice cartoony and warm.

The music uses preexisting songs but they are handled fine though I love that enchanting leitmotif which is used at the beginning and what Fiona sings when she accidentally blew up that bird. Also the Robin hood song was silly.

shrek picture image


Shrek is a fun and silly movie that pokes fun at fairytales/Disney tropes. Is it bad? No, it’s fine but I like the second one better.

I just want to plug The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, it was my favorite book as kid and parodies fairytales so  devilishly delightfully.

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Horoscope 1/21/15

Today’s mystical horoscope comes from the French Lyrics of Notre Dame de Paris.

Jusqu’à la fin des temps,

I don’t know what it means, I don’t speak French.




(Means “Until the end of time”)



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The Plot of Notre Dame de Paris

Would you believe this is like at least the second time I have written a synopsis of the plot of Notre Dame de Paris ( here)? Also this is a synopsis of the original French product. In 2001 the show had some changes. I will at some point talk about the different casts (to the best of my ability) but for now the original French is the default since it’s most convenient version I can review.

Helene  Segara as Esmeralda and Patrick Fiori as Phoebus Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus Notre Dame de Paris

Act 1
The show opens with Gringoire, the story teller, as he regals the crowd with cathedrals and their important to the world and their demise from importance as books in stone and glass. The scene then shifts to Clopin and his group of refugees who want sanctuary in Notre Dame. His pleads fall on deaf hears as Frollo, the archdeacon of Notre Dame who orders the captain of the King’s Archer, Phoebus to arrest them. Phoebus corners pretty Gypsy lady. Phoebus is instantly attracted to her and ask her about herself. She tells him that she is a bohemian and her parents are gone but she dreams of returning to Andalusia someday though her fate is already determined. Clopin, her care giver then warns her that she is grown now and to be wary of men. We are then introduced to Phoebus‘ fiancee, Fleur de Lys who is fourteen and is quite smitten with the dashing captain.

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de paris picture image

Quasimodo as the Pope of Fools

The Feast of Fools begins with Gringoire leading the revelry. Quasimodo then pokes his head out from the cathedral and is crown the Pope of Fools by Esmeralda. Quasimodo then asks the crowd, especially Esmeralda if she will love him, but she doesn’t really care. Quasimodo curses his parents that abandoned him. Frollo then breaks up the fun and calls out Esmeralda for being a witch and evil. Froll then decides that they will kidnap her. Quasimodo tells Frollo that he will do anything for Frollo since he took Quasimodo in and gave him the bells. But despite that he doesn’t know Frollo’s heart but he belongs to Frollo and loves him as dog loves his master.

Juie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys & Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris Original Cast, picture image

Fleur de Lys & Esmeralda

Gringoire tries to follow Esmeralda after the feast but lost her. He then tells us that nighttime in Paris is a dangerous and lustful place. Quasimodo then set out to Kidnap Esmeralda as she warms herself but he stopped by Phoebus. Phoebus offers to take Esmeralda outside the city to where the other Gypsy live and he sort of puts the moves on her. Esmeralda tells him that she isn’t that sort of girl however when her asks to meet her the following night at Val d’Amour (a brothel) she does not say no. We then are thrown in to the Court of Miracles where the vagrants live and Clopin rules a world with no heaven, no hell, no country, no creed. Gringoire wanders in and going to hang but Esmeralda marries him to save. Gringoire is all for this match but Esmeralda asks what Phoebus means and that it the name of the man she loves. Gringoire tells her it means the sun. Esmeralda likes this name and entertains girly ideas about what kind of man he is while Fleur de Lys knows him a little more. Phoebus then tells us that two women love him and this the bestest thing ever as he figures he can have both and it will be awesome.

Frollo and Esmeralda during Belle, Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Frollo and Esmeralda

The next day, Frollo and Gringoire meet and Frollo find out that Gringoire and Esmeralda are married which is disapproves of and tells Grngoire that he must not touch his wife but I mean really want husband would really want to touch his wife. Gringoire shows Frollo the work Ankaria which engraved on the wall and asks what it means. Frollo tells him it means fate. They then see Quasimodo being taking away. (That songs last for 42 seconds). Quasimodo tries to a pillory and asks for a drop of water. Esmeralda gives him some and he calls her beautiful. Quasimodo, Frollo and Phoebus then tell us about their own desires for Esmeralda. After the crowd clears, Quasimodo invites Esmeralda in to Notre Dame and tells her she can be save their and it can be her home. Esmeralda then prays to Mary for protections against the people in power and the fools of the world as Frollo watches her and becomes more bewitched by her and knows she will destroy him and he is ok with that.

Gringoire Val d'amour Notre dame de Paris picture image

Gringoire at Val d’amour

Frollo follows Phoebus to Val d’Amour and tries to scare him away but Val d’amour is way too sexy and Phoebus meets with Esmeralda for a night of loving. They don’t make it very far when Frollo stabs Phoebus, such is fate.

Act II

Quasimodo with a Bell Les Cloches Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo with a bell

Frollo and Phoebus meet again and regal us with the changing world and how the snazzy new printing press with destroy architecture. They hear silence as the bells or Notre Dame no longer ring. Quasimodo is sad because he rings the bell for everyday and for everyone except himself and he wants to hear the bell ring out his love for Esmeralda. Esmeralda is also missing and Gringoire, Frollo and Clopin mourn her absence. Frollo asks where she has gone but Gringoire doesn’t tell him but tells Clopin that she has been arrested and will be hanged.

Esmeralda in jail les oiseaux qu'on met en cage  Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda in jail

Esmerlada in jail asks for Quasimodo to save her. Quasimodo is also missing her as they share a strong bond. Clopin then tries to recuse Esmeralda but is arrested himself. Esmeralda is put on trail but Frollo for wounding Phoebus. She then tortured and confesses to loving Phoebus which seems to be enough to condemn her to death. Esmerada then wishes Phoebus would save and take her to Andalusia while Frollo laments about being a priest and loving a woman.

Fleur de Lys La Monture Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys is at her wit’s end and is feud up with Phoebus’ cheating but she is whiling to forget it if Phoebus can ensure Esmeralda’s death, which is going to happen anyway so Phoebus agrees and claims that Esmeralda bewitched him anyway but he is ready to be 100% faithful.

Helene Segara as Esmerada & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, un matin tu dansais from Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmerada & Frollo

The bells ring in the early morning as Frollo informs Esmeralda that in an hour she will die. She asks what she did to him to make him hate her but he confesses that he Loves her and gives her an ultimatum, the grave or Frollo’s bed. Esmeralda rejects him but Frollo tries to force himself on her. Just then Clopin saves Esmeralda as Quasimodo released everyone.

Gingoire lune Notre Dame de Paris  picture image

Gingoire and the moon

Quasimodo takes Esmeralda, and I guess the rest of the Court of Miracles. Gringoire then regales the audience and the moon with how consuming the power of love can be. Quasimodo gives Esmeralda a whistle and tells her not to leave Notre Dame. As Esmeralda drifts off to sleep, Quasimodo laments that God made the world wrong as Esmeralda will never love him but loves Phoebus. Esmeralda wakes up and tells us how she doesn’t want to die but she wants to live. She wants to live for love.

Esmeralda and Clopin l'attaque de notre dame notre dame de paris picture image

Esmeralda and Clopin

Clopin claims sanctuary but Frollo orders right if sanctuary broke Phoebus to expel them from Notre Dame. Clopin is killed and Esmeralda rushes to him but is recaptures and sent to the gallows, which pleases Fleur de Lys. Quasimodo begs Frollo to save Esmeralda but he refuses as she rejects him. As she hanged Frollo laughs and Quasimodo kills Frollo and then demands Esmeralda be returned to him.

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda,Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo with Esmeralda


Quasimodo holds Esmeralda’s body and begs her to dance for one final time and vows that in death they will be united in the universe.

Don’t you just feel happier now?

Next Time more on the Plot

Belle Notre Dame de Paris picture image


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The Man who laughs Preliminary Chapter: Ursus 1-4

Part 1
The book starts off with preliminary chapters, no idea what will come of these chapters but the first one, which is in four parts, is about a dude name Ursus and this wolf named Homo.

This part mainly focuses on Ursus. The only way I can think of to describe Ursus is think Frollo, Gringoire and Esmeralda all had a love child who grew up akin to Quasimodo. Ursus is a poet, doctor, vagabond who doesn’t like people. In fact he is called juggler-misanthrope. He also called a savant who is good at everything he does.

Part 2
This part is about Homo, the wolf. As far as wolves goes Homo is a gentle wolf who has intelligence enough to know that as long as he attends his master he do as he pleases as servant and not a beast. Homo also pulls Ursus’ van because it’s way cooler to have a wolf pull it than a donkey.

Part 3
This Part is about the what in Ursus’ mind are the only things necessary to know, which is English peers, with all their titles and estates. This part is so boring, like nothing happens. I did learn that the Earl of Grantham was a real title and not an invention of Downton Abbey , so that is something. Apparently the Grantham title went extinct in 1754. At the end Urusus writes that Lord Clancharlie was a rebel in exile and his holdings are sequestrated.

Was there a point to this part? Is Ursus, the juggler-misanthrope, a snob who loves the British aristocracy? Or is this Hugo being Hugo? On a positive side, this part made me good and sleepy for bedtime.

Part 4
The last part tells us that Ursus love of establish authority keeps him as vagabond. So they whole thing about the British peers that Hugo made us read is part of his grand master plan to keep people way from him. Ursus really is a misanthrope and when he does help people he gives them sarcasm back. I like this misanthrope philosopher.

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Joseph: King of Dreams Review; Not in Glorious Technicolor

Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph: King of Dreams

Joseph: King of Dreams is 2000 DreamWorks movie that have the distinction of being the first and only direct-to-video release from DreamWorks Animation. It was meant as a companion piece to the Prince of Egypt. As direct to video movie the quality was much lower but just because the songs and animation are not as good as theatrical release it doesn’t mean the movie can’t be good, I mean it seemed like the crew working on it tried but is it good? Not really.

Joseph and his brothers Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph and his brothers

The story is Joseph is a miracle baby as he was born from a baron lady. His father treats him special which makes his half-brothers all butt-hurt. Joseph then starts getting prophetic dreams, one about the ram getting killed and another that says he will be elated above his brothers. His big brothers don’t like that dream one little bit and sell him as slave which is proper reaction to their problem.

Joseph is brought to Egypt where he works as slave in the some dignitary’s house. He does well and meets the niece of his master, Asenath. He gets arrested when he doesn’t let his master’s wife have her way with him and he gets accused of trying to rape the wife.

In jail Joseph interprets the dreams of two prisoners, one’s dreams say he will be released and the other tells him that he will be executed. While Joseph is in prison, Asenath sneaks him food. Joseph while mad that god seems have turned away from him tries to remain positive.

After a while, the Pharaoh summons Joseph to him as Pharaoh has been having a dream that his priests can’t interpret. Joseph tells him that Egypt will enjoy prosperity but then a famine will come that could destroy Egypt. Joseph tells him that they should conserve grain while there is plenty and during the famine they will ration it back to the people. Joseph is the made a minster and given the name Zaphnath-Paaneah. Joseph’s plan works and he marries Asenath and have kids.

During the famine, Joseph sees his brothers asking for grain which the are willing to buy. Joseph is mad at them that they should ask for food but they say they have families to feed including a younger brother. Joseph thinks they are lying and imprisons one of his brothers and demands they bring their younger brother to him. They bring Joseph’s younger brother Benjamin. Joseph invites them to dine with his and then plants a golden chalice in Benjamin grain. Joseph’s plan to expose his brothers a selfish cheats back fires when they offer themselves to save Benjamin as this father couldn’t take the disappearance of another son. The eldest brother admits to selling Joseph and Joseph reveal himself to his brothers and invites them and their families to live in Egypt. Joseph then reunites with his father. Happy ending.

Joseph and his coat Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph and his coat

There are a number of reasons I disliked this movie but the main reason is I really didn’t like Joseph as character. He is kind of perfect. The whole opening number is about how great he is and while he does suffer I don’t really think he grows as character. Even his suffering isn’t that bad, yeah he sold as a slave but he get’s nice digs. Yeah he is put in jail but he plants a tree and then he gets a really sweet position. His brothers were justified in being jealous of him, selling him was a dick move but up until that point Joseph was the favorite of his father.

This type of character may work in the Bible, though to be honest I have never read this story, but for a movie it’s kind of hard to get on his side. Prior to being arrested, he was supposed to be put to death, my first reaction was “yay”, it not a good thing if the audience doesn’t care for the titular character of a children’s animated movie.

Joseph and Asenath Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph and Asenath

The rest of the characters are bland. I know the brothers have names but really why bother, they don’t have individuals characterizations, they are a group, but they have more character growth than Joseph does. Asenath is nice and pretty a.k.a generic. Joseph’s father is misguided idealizing Joseph but I suppose it was God’s will so he could save Egypt. Joseph’s mother is nice. That is it. There are other characters but they’re generic too.

Joseph and one of his Brothers Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph and one of his Brothers

Speaking of characters another reason I dislike this movie is the character design, or rather the lack of it. The characters’ looks are all bland to the extreme. Really can you tell any one who isn’t Joseph apart oh wait I take that back because Benjamin looks exactly like him, though I suppose that is point since family and such. But everything is so generic and dull looking.

Joseph in his Van Gogh dream  Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph in his Van Gogh dream

The Animation is also bad. It looks so old. If you told me this movie made in 1992 I would believe it. Though oddly enough this movie gets praised on its animation mainly for the Van Gogh art design of Joseph’s dreams. I don’t want to like an elitist snob over here but impressionism is dream-like already, it’s not inspired choice for a dream in a movie. And consider this, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (beautiful movie) had a Van Gogh dream segment. I found the impressionism jarring against the ancient world style. They should made his dreams in the style of his coat, with cool moving gradients and golden tones. They could have done more. I will say that while I don’t like the idea of Van Gogh painting as the dreamscape, I will say the execution was fine, it looked nice. As far as the dreams go, I like the idea of Pharaoh dreams, it looked like something and Pharaoh could dream up based on the surroundings and not art movement from thousands years in the future.

Joseph in jail  you know better than i  Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph in jail

This movie had songs. Were they good? Nope, they were annoying.

Joseph being a slave Joseph: King of Dreams picture image

Joseph being a slave

Joseph: King of Dreams is full of dull songs, dull colors, dull characters. So it’s pretty dull all round, kudos.

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