Princess Arete picture image

Princess Arete

Princess Arete is a 2001 Japanese 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 knows 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

Boax

Also the pacing doesn’t help. It is toe-hair growing slow. It’s a s style that 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

Arete

Speaking of character, they don’t have 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 the 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

Arete

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.

 

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II

Ordinary Miracle is Quasimodo sweeping solo number in the Sequel. It’s akin to the “I want something more” type of songs but it focus on Quasimodo’s desire to be loved by preferably a good-looking lady. He relates people falling in love as miracle but just an ordinary everyday miracle like lightning, architecture and growing-up.  I’ve read that people like this song and they think it’s powerful. I disargee though, I find it clumsy in every aspect.

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Madeline Figurine Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Madeline Figurine Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Background Music is fine, the orchestra is quite nice but the medley and lyrics really kills it. Melodically the song has three parts, Quasimodo first bit where he imagines having someone love him, the second part where he discusses the “Ordinary Miracle” and the the last bit is Quasimodo’s singing about how’s he in love. Then the song goes back  to being about miracle and ends on the imagine how great it would be if someone loved him. The trouble with these parts is the don’t flow nicely into each other. The worst offender is Quasimodo singing about love and how it’s a volcano of emotion and gypsy potions can’t undo it. That part seems like it’s from a different song

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That brings us to the next point; the Lyrics. Quasimodo’s references to love and being in love with someone else as a common place miracle and  that for him that would be extraordinary miracle.  However he says that it would that it would “extraordinary if an ordinary miracle happen to him” now I know he’s referring to love but the line is written “an ordinary miracle” meaning any of the other aforemention miracles in the song would be extraordinary. However one of those miracle has already happen to him- “A Baby starts to walk or talk one day then shockingly he’s grown and in love”, Quasimodo is adult and is in love again, so an “ordinary miracle” happen kinda weakens his arrgument. Plus he sites, a natural occurrences like Lightning and Cathedrals being Miracles. Perhaps Quasimodo needs a dictionary but since he never master the alphabet maybe a dictionary is beyond him. Lightning, Architecture, and aging are not Miracles. A Miracle is an  extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs or an extremely outstanding or unusual events, things, or accomplishments. Given the examples and how Quasimodo ruins his point I’d say the lyrics are weak.

Quasimodo does a Hand Stand while sing Ordinary Miracle Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo does a Hand Stand while singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Victor and Hugo Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Victor and Hugo Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hulce does a decent job with vocals, it’s not a different song to sing but I do feel he didn’t perform to his full capability.

Laverne Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II sequel 2 Disney picture image

Laverne Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney sequel 2 II picture image

Quasimodo singing Ordinary Miracle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this song the worst in the movie? No, it’s not, but it’s not a good song either, it’s barely an adequate song.  It’s just weak.  Dare I say, Ordinary.

Next Time –  I’d Stick With You

Quasimodo and Zephyr Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Quasimodo and Zephyr Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney