Like most people on the internet I make a lot ranked list content. Not here so much but else yes. A few years ago I did a list of Non-Christmas Movies which is not a new concept and how I’m doing again so this a part 2 of the this list except this one is not ranked and there are only four.

Why four? Because. That is a good enough reason. (I had five but one was already on my OG list and I just wanted this out prior to the Holiday so four)

I had a few parameters for these movies. First they had to some kind of winter aesthetic, had to have something to with family and gifts. However none of these film are about Christmas or have scenes Christmas.

Some Spoilers

Anastasia (1997)

Anya journey to the past Anastasia picture image
Anya, “Anastasia

I don’t know about you but when I think about Christmas the music from The Nutcracker comes up as peak Christmas music. And that makes me think of the setting of Anastasia. Add in some snowscape, “The Once upon as December” song, the necklace motif and reconnecting with family and you could add this to your holiday watch list.

The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005)

James Cosmo as Father Christmas and Georgie Henley as Lucy, “Narnia

Dumb side story, I love Bob’s Burgers and one of my favorite bits is in the second episode where one of the kids says that Narnia was written by Salman Rushdie. I don’t know why I find that so funny but I do.

So back to Narnia. Giving that Narnia is under a constant winter due to Jadis, The White Witch, I think it very much got that winter aesthetic down. The internal drama is about family and Santa a.k.a Father Christmas gives them presents which are very useful.

The Little Princess (1995)

Liesel Mattews as Sarah, The Little Princess
Liesel Matthews as Sarah, “The Little Princess

Again we have snow imagery with Sarah spinning as snow blows around her. She gets a locket from her father before he goes off to war. The locket is taken after her father is presumed dead leaving Sarah at the mercy of her boarding School’s Head Mistress. Her friends get the locket back for her. And at the end of the movie she reunites with her father and gains an adopted sister.

La Belle et la Bête (2014) or any version you want

Lea Seydoux as Belle La Belle et la Bete 2014 picture image
Lea Seydoux as Belle, “La Belle et la Bête” (2014)

Surrounding the Beast’s domain is snow, much like the Disney version. The Beast gifts her items, like in the Disney version and the 1946 version. In this version it’s dresses. There is also a family dynamic at play since she offers herself to the Beast to save her father. Why did I pick this? Seemed logical however any version of Beauty and the Beast will work for happy Christmas movie watching. Even the 2017 (or the Christmas mid-quel movie) if you want, it’s not the one I would go for but whatever makes you happy.

Shout out to Three Wishes for Cinderella, I forgot you were on the OG list.

Happy Holidays

Beauty and the Beast Something there picture image
Belle and the Beast

There is a lot of discourse around Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Two elements  that get addressed are the Beast’s age relative to his curse, I.E was he eleven when he was cursed or an adult and Belle’s desire for adventure in the great wide somewhere.

First lets consider the Beast’s age. Technically both readings are correct according supplemental media. In the 2017 version makes it clear from the word go that he was an adult BUT in the christmas mid-quel he was a kid, who was cursed on Christmas. So  both readings are correct in a way. 

But let’s just consider the 1991 movie and ignore the other movies. The first clue that points to his age at the time of the curse is the narrator saying that the enchanted rose would bloom until his 21st year.  And then Lumiere saying that they have been cursed for ten years. Which means he was eleven.  It’s kinda hard to ignore that. Unless you don’t like math, like me.

However maybe Lumiere was merely saying that for while the servants carried on with business as usual and it’s only been in the last ten years they gave up trying and the narrator’s line indicated that Beast was a beast for 20 years before the rose bloomed. Or maybe this movie has no real concept of time. It’s an enchanted castle after all. 

There are also a few other elements that sight that the Beast was an adult at the time of the curse or the enchantress was just really mean-sprited.  First there is the portrait which him as an adult. It’s hard to argue against that one. But maybe it was an enchanted portrait that aged with the Beast? Though if that was a thing in the curse it would have gotten mentioned in the narrative, I mean the mirror did. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. It’s was a portrait of the Beast as an adult human, that is not a child’s portrait. 

Then there is a Chip. How old is Chip? Because if Beast was cursed as child then Chip would have either been born a teacup or spent most of his life not knowing he was ever human. Seems cruel, you go through your whole life thinking you’re a talking teacup only to learn that you were once a human, a creature Chip would have never even seen before. Though Chip being in favor of breaking the curse indicates that he remembers being human. Though that would mean he been a child for about 20 years. 

Also there is whole aspect of aging within the castle. If Beast was an adult at the time of this curse that means no one was aging, which seems to be the case since Beast recognized everyone when they were cured.
I just want to point out Mid-quel ignores this, only the Beast ages no one else.

Then again you can just sight enchanted castle and maybe no one in the castle knows what year it is anymore or their ages.  

Belle Beauty and the Beast  picture image

Then there is Belle. Her line about wanting adventure gets thrown around but next line gets ignore. So she wants adventure but she needs someone who understand her.
Want vs Need is a pretty basic concept. So some people think Belle got the short end of the narrative stick because she didn’t get adventure in the great wide somewhere.  Which is the point, it’s what she wanted not what she needed. 

The bad part of this the 2017 version trying to fit this in with the book of teleportation. I suppose they could have made it more of thing but they just used it  to show how Belle’s mother died by illness. Adventure? A minor trip to Paris for backstory is the correction for Belle wanting adventure? 

What the 2017 version could have done is changed it so that enchantress was sneaky and curing the Beast required a quest but only Belle could figure out what the magical macguffins were to break the curse. So Beast and Belle would have gone minor adventures to learn and grow and bond and fall in love.  And in the end it’s still love that cures him. Then again that would have changed things too much and 2017 version was more concerned with fixing plot holes that didn’t really need fixing. But it made money so doesn’t really matter. 

In the scheme of things these elements don’t really matter, they do not change the overall enjoyment of the movie. So if you think Beast was child or adult at the time of his curse either reading of the text is fine. If you wanted Belle to have more adventure, can’t fault you for that either.   

A while ago I did a list of non-Christmas Christmas movie list on Hubpages and I thought let’s do that again but here with different movies. So you can check out the other list HERE which is a bit more in step with other lists like this. Do look at it, it’s all I want for Christmas.    

So here are eight other movies that are less commonly on other people’s lists. No shade to other lists on other sites.  These movies have a winter setting or have a scene at Christmas and they have a familial tone.   

Many films have the winter-y or snowy setting and a familial  tones like Fanaa or Star Wars but I would not call those non-christmas Christmas movies, even though Star Wars movies have been coming out around Christmas (except Solo) so there is that added touch but all the same there not among the list.

So here are eight movies. I’m going try to avoid spoilers. These are ranked in no order.   

Emmanuelle Beart as Manon in Manon des Sources picture image
Emmanuelle Beart as Manon in Manon des Sources

Manon de Sources –  I think I have talked about this movie a little bit before. But towards the end of the film there are some scenes at Christmas,  at least one scene at Christmas. However would say the the family angle some more into play here. Also if you want to want this movie you must watch Jean de Florette first because Manon des Source is the second part. But I highly recommend this movie.  

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp – This movie has a Christmas bookend as it starts and end at Christmas. But I don’t think I have to say too much about this one, it being a Disney classic however I will say that this film does have a strong message of family. 

Belle and the Beast 

Beauty and the Beast – This one might just be superfluously here but I don’t care, it’s snowy and magical, so It counts. 

Anya journey to the past Anastasia picture image

Anastasia – Again you have snow imagery  and a strong message of family togetherness. Plus Once Upon a December could be played in a Holiday rotation and wouldn’t feel out of place. 

Gin, Miyuki and Hana 

Tokyo Godfathers – I wouldn’t say that this was my favorite Satoshi Kon movie, (that would be Paprika.) It is one those movies that is a Christmas movie but it seldom makes any of the list, so it’s here. 

The film is set on Christmas eve and is the story about three homeless people finding a baby. It has a non-traditional take on family.  

David Bowie as Maj. Jack 'Strafer' Celliers in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence picture image
David Bowie as Maj. Jack ‘Strafer’ Celliers in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence- I haven’t seen this movie is quite a long time and I don’t really remember it super well but I recall liking it. So this a war-time Drama starting David Bowie as a POW. The last scene of this movie takes place at Christmas. 

Daniel Emilfork as Krank dressed as Santa The City of Lost Children picture image
Daniel Emilfork as Krank dressed as Santa

City of Lost Children – I reviewed this movie  not too long ago. It has some Christmas imagery and it weird but there is also the family connection as the main character tries to save his brother, the weird family the mad scientist makes and the orphans. It has all the making of a Christmas classic oddly enough.

Dr Zhivago

Dr Zhivago – I will admit I haven’t seen this movie but I have always wanted to but the run-time is intimidating.  Then again I have seen Lawrence of of Arabia which is longer so that is on me, one day.  Anyway like most of the movies listed here this one again is about family and has a pivotal scene set at Christmas. 

Do you have a favorite non-Christmas movie? If so what is it?  One of my favorites is on my Hubpages list . Can you guess it??? 

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

In the past five years there have been two major movie adaptation done on Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. One was a French film done in 2014 that took some very big swing on adapting the story to a large scale epic and the other was a 2017 Disney remake of the 1991 animated version. Both films are technically an adaption of the traditional French Fairy tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve. The story took inspiration from other stories including Cupid and Psyche. So nothing is original, everything is adaption and elevation, but are these films?

Jean Cocteau Arm homage in 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Jean Cocteau Arm homage in 2017 Beauty and the Beast

Both films took their queue from other adaptations of Beauty and the Beast, 2014 was made in the spirit of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 version and the 2017 version was a direct remake of Disney’s 1991 movie which also took some influence from Cocteau and other source in addition to the original fairy tale.  Though I just want to say the 2017 movie has a shot of the an arm holding a lamp, so there was a Cocteau homage shoe-horned into the movie.

Vincent Cassel as the Beast and Léa Seydoux as Belle La Belle et la Bete 2014 picture image

Vincent Cassel as the Beast and Léa Seydoux as Belle

The 2017 movie and the 2014  movie are vastly different attempts at adaptation. The 2014 version follows the story closely till Belle reaches the Beast’s Castle but then take some very big swings and makes a lot of weird decisions like giving the beast a complex backstory that ultimately doesn’t make sense to the narrative and weakens the love story. Basically the Beast wouldn’t have been a beast if he and his first  wife just had communicated.  On the other end of the spectrum you have the 2017 version which tries to correct some flaws with original 1991 movie but it’s nearly a shot for shot remake that doesn’t enhance the story for the medium of Live-action.  

Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast

The 2017 does add elements that actually makes the story dumber. The only decision that is improve upon and is different is that the stakes are higher for the servants in the castle and the curse is expanded upon and the town is also cursed to a degree. That is the only improved change. The rest of the changes are very misguided, like the book that can go anywhere which was just there because of Belle wanting adventure. However the only time it was used was for backstory on how Belle’s mother died of the plague even though the movie hinted at  a more violent end as Maurice talked about being safe in the village. Also they way they reached the conclusion of death by plague was Belle and Beast finding a doctor’s mask. Why would the doctor just leave that behind anyway? It was a poorly thought out addition that didn’t add anything.

Emma Watson as Belle 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Emma Watson as Belle

Disney didn’t have to approach this project so straight on. They could have gone in any number of directions. Not sure where the fault lies as every decision seemed half-baked and followed the lead of a better movie. Maybe the department heads were not allowed to be creative with the look or style.  While I don’t like the 2014 movie for how confused and boring the narrative was at least the design of the castle and the costumes were on point and interesting. Also the visuals were good in parts.

 Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast

The result of the 2017 version was a very calculating remake. Disney knew that their 1991 movie was a triumph as it was nominated for a Best Picture award so they knew they could more less stand on the original’s success to make money and maybe some awards. While the 2014 movie was a misguided effort there was still a creative effort which can’t be sayt about the 2017 remake.


Also I hated the acting and the costume but that is for another day because I have words for that ballgown.

 Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

Confession time, Beauty and the Beast was never like a favorite Disney movie of mine, don’t get me wrong, I like it, I’m just not attach to it in a nostalgic ways. Nor am I a big fan of Emma Watson so I don’t have any excitement for the new version.   With that said, let’s look at the music video “starring” Ariana Grande and John Legend.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

It’s rather interesting that this version of the song sounds more 90’s than the 90’s version.  This is not a good version of the song. Grande’s voice doesn’t seems suited for it. Like her diction is all over the place trying to sound “pretty.” Legend does better but does very little for the song.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana-Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

So let’s just move on to the actually video. Well let’s just get this out of the way, WHAT IS GRANDE WEARING? Who designed that and who said “yeah let’s put her in a loofa?” (I realize everyone is saying it looks like a loofa and that because it’s true)  Grande dress is supposed  to look like a rose but this is a monstrosity. If this was on Project runway it would be voted out. It’s like bolt of tulle threw up on her. There are ways of communicating the shape of a flower in cloth without like like a wanna-be-designer.  I don’t want to give the impression of knowing anything about actually fashion design or aesthetics BUT typically when doing voluminous or big gown you need to balance out the portions. So big ballgown more streamlined bodice and vice-versa. This gown, why I get is suppose to be artistic does adhere to that method and just opts bit volume on volume but hey at least her hair in flat and straight. The thing the dress could have been fixed easily, just remove the tulle from the bust and left it smooth or add bead ot embroidery for more close up shots.  The volume isn’t even necessary as you don’t see the dress when the dancers form a rose around Grande.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

The dancing is actually one of highlights of the video. The way they form a rose is quite visually pleasing. While I know knowing about dancing the  choreography was very nice.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

I get the visual frame but what is it framing? Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

Though I will say this with the dancers, Grande’s gown, Legend at the piano , Belle and Beast dancing, the over-the-top set and the firework sparkle effects,  it’s a visual overload. The a lot of  shots become cluttered.      

 Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

This music video is just a case of  more equals  more. With minor tweaks it could have been a well-portion over-the-top grand video but instead it seemed a case of over indulgence all over the place.        

What do you think? Was Grande wearing a Loofa? Did you find this video timeless and elegant  like the song or was over-the-top and over blown?   

Click here to watch the Video  

Warning, Kind-Rant-y

My Crack Team of Young, Impression and Insecure, teenage girls a.k.a Disney Princesses picture image

Disney Princesses

In liking  some more nerdy media, like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, you find yourself looking into Fan-Theory. Personally, I enjoy fan-theories and speculating but sometimes they can be a bit of stretch especially all the ones for Star Wars,#Reysfatherislonestar (let me know if you get this.)  The fan-theories that are really the most annoying to read or hear about are the ones about Disney movies.

The Lamp Seller Aladdin picture image

The Lamp Seller Aladdin

The Disney Fan-theory just take whatever Easter Eggs or aspects of the production and just try and give it a deeper meaning that are often beyond ridiculous. The only one I really do subscribe to was the Genie being the Lamp seller and I don’t really want to pat myself on the pat but that was my thought when I first saw the movie in theatres as young child and I was by no means a smart child. But while we’re on the subject of Aladdin the one that annoys me is because of the mere fact that Robin Williams ad-libs and did impression in the movie led some people to think Aladdin took place in a post-apocalyptic world. Not that this REALLY debunks it but I had this mini Aladdin hardcover book  that was a summary of the movie, and I swear it had a year given in it for when it took place. I can’t recall exactly but it was around 900 A.D. Again doesn’t debunk the theory but the point is  Williams ad-lib and they took it as a cue for a deeper meaning.

Tarzan Parents picture image

Tarzan Parents

All the Disney theories are just so far-reaching. I won’t say that Game of Thrones or Star Wars aren’t but they are not bad as the Disney ones.  My least favorite has to be Tarzan’s parents are Anna and Elsa’s parents but Tarzan takes place sometime during the Victorian era but Frozen doesn’t seem to and Rapunzel is in Frozen and that is certain not Victorian. Your eyes will go cross if you think about it for too long.  Also they look nothing like Elsa and Anna’s parents in fact they look more like Anastasia and Dmitri but darn, not a Disney movie, plus again wrong time period. 

Belle, Carpet, Pumbaa Disney Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King

Belle, Carpet, and Pumbaa

Also speaking of Tarzan, another theory is Belle is an ancestor of Jane BECAUSE Jane has a teapot and cup that looks like Mrs. Potts and chip. It’s not an easter egg it’s a clue. But then how do people explain how Hercules got Scar’s pelt? Did the Lion King take place at the same time as ancient Greece? Wouldn’t have the Hyenas torn up Scar’s skin when they ripped him apart? And then with all this logic is Little Mermaid a contemporary of Aladdin since Sebastien was in Aladdin? Is The Little Mermaid post-apocalyptic? Are Mermaid’s mutant?   But isn’t The Little Mermaid in Neverland since people think Ariel’s mom is one of those Mermaids in Peter Pan because one of the mermaid looks like Ariel even though Ariel was going to originally have Blond hair  till Splash happen. Oh but Belle, Carpet from Aladdin and Pumbaa are in Hunchback! Where is the theory to explain those?  I’m confusing myself now.

Belle and the Provincial Town, Beauty and the Beast picture image

Belle and the Provincial Town, Beauty and the Beast

Well since Hunchback doesn’t  have any popular theory here one that doesn’t make sense but doesn’t not make  either. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle acts like she is rather above the village. She calls it poor and provincial and she fully admits she doesn’t fit in with the townspeople. So WHAT if Belle and her father were originally from Paris. They had to  move to the quiet provincial town to escape  Frollo’s genocide of the Gypsy as their house had gotten burned down in the fired Frollo created. The farm the live in the move belonged to Belle’s mother. This theory also ties into the adsenty royal family as Frollo doesn’t have to deal with a King and why one cares or knew about a Prince seemingly vanishing.  Despite the fact that Hunchback is clearly medieval and Beauty and Beast has a somewhat 18th style especially since Cogsworth mentioned the Baroque era which was from 1600-1750 seems unlikely and Beauty and the Beast have a bonus that they take place in the some country at the very least.  I guess I need to figure out Pumbaa and Carpet since theories have Carpet in a post-apocalyptic world and Pumbaa lived sometime during 5th century. Also why does Hercules have Gospel music with an  Ancient Greece setting? Off Subject,   

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The point is these theories have no sense of the movie’s setting and tone and rely on Easter Eggs and other production decisions  to connect dots that aren’t really there.

La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

La Belle et la Bete

Guys, I can’t do it, I think movie broke me. I’m not sure I have a single negative thing to say about Jean Cocteau’s 1946 movie La Belle et La Bete, not even like a snarky nitpick… well maybe, let’s find out if can I say anything bad against this beautiful surreal movie.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

Before the film even starts the director asks the viewer to keep a childlike mind, that’s no problem for me. The movie proper starts with a former wealthy family trying to get by. The family consists of a father, three daughters and a son. Two out of the three daughters would rather pretend they still had their former wealth and are in fact shallow bitches. The third, Belle, is fairly content to do housework. She has an admirer, Avenant, a friend of her brother. Avenant wants to marry Belle but she declines stating she can’t leave her father.

They then get news that one of the father’s ship was recovered. When asked what she wants back from the trip, Belle asks for a rose. However the ship’s stocks was seized leaving the father with nothing. As he goes home with nothing for any of his children he stumbles on a haunting castle, where he’s well feed. Before leaving he picks a rose for Belle but the Beast appears and demands his life. The father begs and tells him it was for his daughter. The Beast tells him that he can live if his one of daughters dies in his place. The Beast allows him the use of his horse, Magnificent, and he goes home. He tells his children that he will go back to die but Belle sneaks off with Magnificent to die in her father place.

Belle enters the dreamlike castle and faints at the sight of the Beast. The Beast carries her to her room and her clothes transform into regal splendor, ah the costumes are so pretty. When she comes to the Beast tells her that every night she should dine with him. At dinner the Beast tells her Belle that she is in command of the every night the beast will ask one question, Will she marry him. She refuses him.

Belle over time becomes accustom to life with the Beast though she refuses to marry him every night and suggests that they should remain friend but Belle wants to see her father again. Through a magic mirror that the Beast has, she sees that her father is deathly ill. The Beast left Belle go back to her family. He gives her a magic glove that can teleport her there and a magic key that is to a pavilion which is the source of his power. If she does not return in a week, he will die.

Belle returns home sees they are living in poverty because of the brother’s money loaning. Her family is envious of her riches and conspires to steal the key, which they do. He brother and Avenant also steal Magnificent as the Beast sent him to retrieve Belle as she was convinced by her sisters to stay longer. However the Beast also sent the magic Mirror, Belle uses it to see the Beast’s sorrowful face. She uses the glove but realizes she forgot the key and tries to find but can’t find it anywhere. Belle returns to Beast and finds him dying. As he is dying Belle’s brother and Avenant break into the pavilion the Beast spoke of called Diana’s Pavilion, a place that no one can enter. They scale the walls and break the glass ceiling. Avenant tries to go into it but is shot by an animated statue of Diana and turns into a Beast and dies. The Beast then transform in a handsome Prince who looks like Avenant. He tells Belle that he was turned in a Beats because his parents didn’t believe in spirits and his being a Beast was their revenge. Belle tells him she loves him and the fly away to his kingdom where she will be a queen.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

If you recall in my Thief of Bagdad review, I said that the characters is this movie were compelling even though they are presented simply and they are. I think this comes down to the acting. Belle is presented as earnest, sweet girl who does stand her ground. Her attachment to the Beast does come through albeit subtlety. Throughout the movie she refers to The Beast as “La Bete” or “The Beast.” When she comes back to him after seeing her family she start calling him “Ma Bete” or “My Beast.” It’s subtle but powerful.

The Beats too is subtly done. You can tell that he walking a very thin line between being a beast and acting like a human. It’s a little different than other versions where he starts acting beastly and through love starting acting like a human. It’s a nice take and it’s acted wonderfully by Jean Marais, who also played Avenant.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

The only real criticism isn’t really a criticism since by the film’s own admission things don’t make sense, that the plot is meant to be simple taken at face value. So when the Beast tells us things about his power or when  smoke raises off of him after killing things, it’s not explain, it just emotional.

While I do like when things are explain, most movies tend to bog down the narrative with exposition that sometimes it can ruin a movie. With this movie, it’s not really important that we know how the Beast’s power work and why Avenant transforms into a beast. The passing line about how he was transformed into a beast was just the right amount of exposition. Explaining thing too much wouldn’t have advanced the plot of a girl and a Beast falling in love nor would helped the surreal style and mood, if anything it enhanced it.

Josette Day as Belle La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle

This movie gives us a very dreamlike surreal style with its special effects and camerawork. I mean it’s just a lovely movie to watch. I really love the part when Belle first enters the castle, it’s just so dreamlike. But what I really love are the costumes. They were designed by Lavain. They are very grand and beautiful. The Beast’s make-up is great. Everything about this movie is just so pretty.

Josette Day as Belle La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle

One thing that bugs is because the movie is presented so simply with an emphasis on the style, I feel there is a lot to take on a symbolic nature. Like because we’re told to take it simply, there is something else to be gained from more than just the mood or effects. Like I’m suppose to take this on pretentious, intellectual level, like maybe it’s Belle’s sexual awakening or the movie is about the collapse of society and our collective inability to communicate on a metaphysical level blah, blah, blah.

The movie seems to WANT you to read into more and I don’t want to, though I bet lots of film scholars have but that is just what they do.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast as a human Prince La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast as a human Prince

La Belle et la Bete a beautiful movie that offers compelling character and stunning effects, if you haven’t figured it out, I really love this movie. It also has left a impact of films, like Gaston from the Disney version is based on Avenant, in fact they were going to call him Avenant and there is a piece of conceptual art that is pretty a straight copy. And the 2004 The Phantom of the Opera copied the candelabras. Heck, even I used elements of this movie in a novel I wrote for NaNOWriMo*. There are also many others homages and tributes to the movie, there also was semi-remake back in 2014, that we’ll get to and I have a lot of choice words for that movie.

Josette Day as Belle La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle

Because clues are fun, Clue 1 and clue 2

*Novel coming someday, maybe.

Beastly picture image


There is no amount of alcohol that I could safety consume that would make this movie, Beastly, remotely okay. Unlike some other movies I get why this was made, Twilight proved to be a cash-cow, so other people went for and copied it and low and behold someone wrote a book of a modernized version of Beauty and the Beast, except it’s devoid of anything likable and engaging. So let’s just get this over with.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy

So rich kid Kyle is an attractive asshole running for student body president because it looks good. Kyle is a shallow dick because the film makes it clear that his dad doesn’t love him enough and his mom is dead or something, I wasn’t paying attention to the movie, it was the only way to get through it. So yeah Kyle doesn’t have love in his life.

So he pisses off the school’s resident goth girl which equals witch and he is cursed with ugliness. Ugliness in the movie’s context is bald, scarred and tattoos, okay sure whatever movie, you have already shown yourself as shallow fuckery. SO he has to hear the word “Love” by the spring or else he will stay unattractive forever, which in this movie is tantamount to cancer.

His father is jerk who has him live in exile, which is outside of New York City with only a maid and a blind tutor. He then arranges for some girl from his school to stay with him because some drug guy wants to harm her or something. He also kind of liked her when he was pretty. He then goes by the name Hunter to hide his identity from her and then conforms his personality to get her to like him and then voila they are in love and blah happy stupid ending. Also the issues of the maid and the blind guy are fixed with the witch’s magic. And world peace broke out, oh wait no, just an asshole learned love and kindness are better than being a dick, yawn.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle with Neal Patrick Harris as Wll the blind tutor Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle with Neal Patrick Harris as Wll the blind tutor

So before I get into the movie, though really what is there to say, the wording on the spell is that he has to hear the word love. That doesn’t mean romantic love. If the maid or tutor had said love in a platonic way does that count? A puppy would have loved him because puppies are awesome, would that have work or do we need the word? Would a different language worked or is the spell English-specific? Minor thing but it really the whole thing. The dude needed to learn how to love but is romantic love the end-all be all love?

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy

That was issue number one; the language of love, here is issue numero dos. In a place like New York, you would think there would be a sub-culture that would have been into the whole beast look this movie went with, with its bald, scarred tattoos. I mean I know this a shallow movie but geeze movie he was hardly that ugly.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy

Despite the stupid and shallowiness of this movie is the movie like a good movie with good shots and characters? Hell no. I can’t even recall anything about the look of this movie other than it had like a blue tone to it but as for shots I don’t remember shit. And characters, the main character goes from jerk to in love but I don’t really recall him making any super big changes unless you count him asking the witch to help the maid and tutor. But that seemed more because the original story had the Beast’s servants cursed too, so it was shoe-horned in the movie because of the source material not because he was being nice.

The girl, Vanessa Hudgens‘ character, I want to say her name is Libby, no it was Lindy which was short for Linda…..sigh…….. Anyway she was ummmmmmmm, I’m not sure. I guess she had one motivation which was to go Machu Picchu, which seemed like a random location but whatever. Other than that I don’t think there was much to her personality, she was rather bland. No, wait, I take it back, she liked jujyfruits, clearly she is the most compelling character in this or any century.

WAIT, he gave her jujyfruits and built a green house to impress her, basically flowers and chocolates. Just when I gave this movie a little credit it does that. How Fucking dare you movie, I take back my sarcastic back-handed compliment, you don’t even deserve that much.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle with Mary-Kate Olsen as Kendra the witch Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle with Mary-Kate Olsen as Kendra the witch

Beastly is a shallow vapid movie that was made to cash-in on the pretentious teenage movie trend that Twilight created.

Also in that scene where they are watching that Korean show and they were claiming to know what they saying, even with my meager knowledge of Korean, I knew they went not saying love, fuck you movie, and fuck your shallow pretension.

On March 31st it was announced  that Disney is planning on making a Live-Action Mulan movie, Source. This adds to number of Live-ation remakes following Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo and I guess Maleficent is in the mix too.

Really we all know what they are doing, these movies are clear cash grabs on popular properties. Though why Dumbo I don’t know. I mean I loved Dumbo as a kid, I still do but it’s kinda of the odd one out. You would think Snow White or the Little Mermaid over Dumbo but whatever, I’m not a studio executive nor did they ask me my opinion, I mean the should have but whatever.

But the question I have to force myself to ask, will Hunchback get this treatment? I’m going on the offence here and say probably not as Disney likes to forget that movie existed though not as much as The Black Cauldron. However unlike The Black Cauldron, which could be awesome as a live-action movie, Hunchback did get a musical which is getting a TONS of praise and does have a fan base. So it COULD maybe happen, like 0.05% chance.

Personally for me, I would love a new movie version, bad or good. And Hunchback makes more sense than a Live-Action Dumbo movie that will be mostly CG anyway so the Live-action in a misnomer. But do you think would you like Disney Hunchback live-action movie and do you even want one?

Melody & Quasimodo, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody & Quasimodo, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame

Where do you start critiquing The Enchanted Tales version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Everything is wrong with this adaptation. They got nothing right, even most of the names are wrong. I may complain about every other version but at least they got the basics right, Enchanted tales can’t even do that much.

Melody and her team of annoying instruments Enchanted tales The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture images

Melody and her team of annoying instruments

Well they got the basic basics, we have a guy who sports a hunch who rings the bells at Notre Dame and likes a Gypsy girl who dances. That’s it!

Now we have a Gypsy who is in fact some sort a sorceress as she makes instruments come to life with annoying personalities. That is the most niche super power ever, but instead of Esmeralda her name is Melody and she being pursued by a rich egomaniac named Jean-Claude.

Melody with Handsome Quasimodo Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Melody with “Handsome” Quasimodo

The name changes and annoying instruments are the least the problems; Quasimodo isn’t deformed, he’s handsome. He has hunch because he was sad and had low-esteem. This is just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong a thousand times wrong. Then to add to to this cacophony of ass-ness they tell children that looks don’t matter if people think you’re attractive. Looks don’t matter if you’re pretty. I suppose personality don’t matter either since Quasimodo does not have one. So we have terrible moral to boot.

Jean-Claude putting the moves on Melody again Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Jean-Claude putting the moves on Melody again

The main issue with the Enchanted Tales version is despite calling it The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this adaptation plays out and feels like a Beauty and the Beast knock-off. The power of love pretty much changes Quasimodo’s appearance which Melody claims to have accepted when he was ugly. That or that swing did wonders for his hair. Seriously his hair gets pushed back and instant Disney Prince. Also Jean-Claude looks exactly like Gaston and we have enchanted objects that dance around.

Melody and a handome Quasimodo Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody and a “handome” Quasimodo

It’s like the creators on Enchanted Tales were told that Disney is making The Hunchback of Notre Dame, they were told the bare basics of the original story and decided that it’s close enough to Beauty and the Beast and ran with that to make a half-assed stupidly annoying tale with the worst moral EVER!

Next Time – Melody a.k.a Not-Esmeralda

Melody, a.k.a Not Esmeralda,Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody, a.k.a Not Esmeralda, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame