Magi: Adventures of Sinbad episode 1 Child of Destiny picture image

Little Sinbad, Magi: Adventures of Sinbad, Episode 1 Child of Destiny

I  hate that this one got randomly picked as it’s a show I have been meaning to watch anyway since I have seen both seasons of Magi and Sinbad was awesome in that show but this what I got so I shall watch it.

So this is season 1 episode 1 which is entitled Child of Destiny.

I don’t recall to much of Sinbad in Magi, except that he was awesome  but he was cool but he might be a case of less is more and that worries me about this show. Also I don’t recall if he was some awesome chosen  one in Magi. Super awesome child of destiny plots are getting outdated but the show is from two years so methinks of being a tad forgiving.    

This show does has a weird tone. One minute is light then tense then light again. I’m not sure how to feel. I guess because it’s an Adventure it can get away with tonal shifts but it still confusing. At least ease the viewer in the emotional or tense tones.   

There is also a TON of narration for world building mainly about a war, not the best mechanic but plot exposition has to go somewhere. Again it’s the first episode so we can be slightly forgiving but SHOW don’t tell. Maybe that is not the first thing taught for screenwriters?

Mostly this introductory episode is about 5 year Sinbad’s relationship with his Dad,a war-hero turned social pariah. He teaches little Sinbad  what strength means and wars sucks. War does suck.

I would say this wasn’t the strongest first episode of an anime I have ever seen but it was serviceable to get a handle of Sinbad’s origins story, his personality and world-views. Was it the best in execution? No but was middle of the road. I wouldn’t say it would turn me off watching more episodes.


Side-note- I apologize that this post was late. Real-life has been tiring and vexing.

Now that Once Upon a Time is done I thought it would be a good time to do another round of random picks from Netflix but this time with Fantasy movies. Since Fantasy is like Fairy Tales.

Every Thursday in June there will be a review of some random Fantasy movie off Netflix.

Just like last time the selection is through  There will be no re-rolls, you have my word.

A few guidelines;

  • If I get a show I will only watch/review the first episode.
  • I reserve the right to stop watching the movie/show at least the 30 minute mark. It does take me a lot to quit a movie but I don’t want to waste my worthless time either.
  • If I have seen the movie before I will still review it but in the event that I get a movie/show I have already reviewed before I reserve the right to re-roll but I shall make a note in the post of that event.  The odds of very low of though so I don’t imagine that will happen.

First one is on June 7th!

The Neverending Story picture image

The Neverending Story

Ah, the 1980’s when it was totally ok to traumatized the child audience with creepy imagery, weird complex meta plots and harsh heart-break. This is where the 1984 movie The Neverending Story comes in. It was based on the first half of a book of the same name by Michael Ende.

It was a West German English language movie. At the time it was the most expensive film produced outside the USA or the USSR. It also spawned two bad sequels, which I’m not getting in to.

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor The Neverending Story picture image

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor

So nerdy, cowardly bibliophile, Bastian is getting chased by bullies and hides out in a creepy book store. He impressive the shopkeep with all the book he has read but the shopkeep tells him that the book he is currently reading is different. Bastian takes to book though he promises to return it. Bastian then skipped a math test to read the book in the school’s creepy attic.

The story is about a world called Fantasia that is quickly being reduced to nothing. The Nothing is some kind of weird force engry thing erasing the world. The ruler of Fantasia, The Childlike Empress is somehow dying and she summons a warrior from the Plain people who hunt the Purple Buffalo, Atreyu to find a cure for her illness. Atreyu has to leave all him weapons behind but is given AURYN which like The Empress symbol and will protect him.

So off Atreyu goes on his quest with his horse pal Artax. They are being follows though by an agent of the Nothing, a wolf-like creature named Gmork. Atreyu literally wonder around aimlessly till he get an idea to ask a great old ancient one named Morla but to get there he has to go through the Swamps of Sadness. There if you let the sadness get to you, you drown. This what happens to Artax, he becomes sad, sinks, and dies, and if you don’t cry at this scene your heartless.

Atreyu meets Moral who is a giant Turtle and is the mountain that Atreyu was standing on, this freaks out Bastian and his scream is heard by Atreyu and Morla. Anyway Morla is a little draft and not super helpful to Atreyu. Moral suggests that Atreyu go to the Southern Oracle who is 10,000 miles away. Atreyu despairs and in nearly caught by Gmork but he saved.

He is saved, treated and brought close to the Southern Oracle by Falkor, a luck dragon who just like children. Atreyu then meets Engywook and Urgl. Engywook is an expert of the Southern Oracle and he shows Atreyu the first gate to get to the Oracles, The Sphinx Gate. Those who don’t know their own worth are killed by the gate. Atreyu tries to pass through but he loses his confidence. He does escape teh blast from the Sphinx’s eyes but Engywook bemoans that he didn’t tell Atreyu about the Mirror gate which shows a person’s true self. At the icy gate Atreyu sees Bastian reading the book, which freaks Bastian out and he throws the book but resumes reading.
Atreyu gets to the Southern Oracles who tells him the only way to save the Empress is for a Human child to give her a new name. Atreyu tries to find the human child but Nothing hits them and he falls off Falkor and he loses AURYN. It’s here that Gmork shows up and tells Atreyu that Fantasia is a place made up of Human’s imagination amd the nothing is like adult apathy. He also says he in league with the nothing because with out Imagination and hope people are easier to control. Atreyu then kills Gmork.

Falkor find AURYN and Atreyu but Fantasia is destory and it just bits of ground. Atreyu wonders if The Empress‘ seat of power, The Ivory Tower exists. They find it intact. Atreyu meets with the Childlike Empress. She tells him that Atreyu did not fail his quest and they he brought a Human child with him who has been with him on his quest. Bastian relieve she is talking to him. She begs him to give her a name. Bastian is hesitate but give her the name of Moon Child, which was his mother’s name, and I can hear him say Moon Child. The Empress shows Bastian the only bit of Fantasia that exists, a single grain of sand but through Bastian dreams and wish he can bring back Fantasia. Bastian then makes a wish to fly Falkor and scare the bullies.

Barret Oliver as Bastian The Neverending Story picture image

Barret Oliver as Bastian

According to some, the book is better as it has more going on and Atreyu is green. I never read the book though I have heard the author didn’t really like the movie but let’s just keep to the film in question.

So this story is REALLY complex, I’m not sure I can get my head fully around it. That or I’m trying too hard. The story makes it’s clear that Atreyu and Bastian are like two side of the same coin. Atreyu was picked because he was the one to appealed to Bastian and in turn Bastian is a surrogate for the audience watch him.

So does that mean, if I were to read the story in the film’s context that I would get the same story but with a different character? Like the character I relate to does the same things as Atreyu, which really isn’t that much and I give the Empress a new name like I dunno Sally or Mabel Joy Snickerdoodle the Third? Or would be a different story? Or is the battle with the nothing and the the renaming the first time you read the book then after you get the Emptiness and the Babbies? Or something else. See what I mean about over thinking it? But there is this lovely philosophy that the movie has about the power of one’s imagination.

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Artax The Neverending Story picture image

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Artax

As I mention before this movie has its moments of scaring children, both in the movie and to the audience. First this movie was very hard on the child actor who played Atreyu, Noah Hathway. He was hurt twice and nearly lost an eye. The role was also looked physically exhausting.

But more than that there is the Swamp of Sadness scene where Artax dies and you can see Atreyu’s going through of the stages of Grief and really his performance makes that scene heartbreaking never to the horse just stand there. Also the horse didn’t really die, there was an elevator which admittedly hurt Hathaway and not the horse. The movie shows that you that child can take a lot of dark and sad imagery as long there is a happy ending and at the end Artax is alive again, though that scene will always get me.

Tami Stronach as The Childlike Empress, The Neverending Story picture image

Tami Stronach as The Childlike Empress

I’m a character person, I can forgive a lot if I like the characters. So how are the characters? Well, they are interesting in their simplicity. Most are not deep or fleshed out with engaging backstories, problems or flaws.

The most developed character is Bastian since we get a sense him and he is the only was with flaws and a character arc of overcoming being a wuss and learning there is value is dreams and imagination. And even still his is annoying.

The rest of the character have elegances to the way they presented in the movie. Their simplicity makes them likable in a effortless way. I would say for me my favorites character are Falkor and the Childlike Empress but the racing snail was so adorable so honorable mention.

The Sphinx Gate The Neverending Story picture image

The Sphinx Gate

The technicals in this movie are lovely. Sure at time they look stagy but there is a nice lush and realness to them. It gives the movie a very unique look, tone and atmosphere. Everything looks like it was made to best of the ability at the time and it adds so much to feel of the fantasy.

Also while costumes are really a focus in this movie, I love The Childlike Empress’s Art Noveau pearl white gown, it’s so pretty.

As I just want to add, I love way the world feels very big and old in this movie.

Barret Oliver as Bastian and Falkor The Neverending Story picture image

Barret Oliver as Bastian and Falkor

The Neverending Story is a classic example of 1980’s children fantasy. Is it a perfect movie? No, is fun and interesting? Yes!

Deep Roy as Teeny Weeny with the Racing Snail The Neverending Story picture image

Deep Roy as Teeny Weeny with the Racing Snail

clue 1 and Clue 2

The Princess Bride picture image

The Princess Bride

Fair warning, this review is a gush-fest. If you want a movie that causes pain wait till next week and here are two clues for the next review, clue 1 and clue 2.

As for The Princess Bride there isn’t much to say. It was based on a book of the same name by William Goldman in 1973 and made into a film in 1987 by Rob Reiner. On it’s release it was a modest success but its has a legacy of being a cult movie. It’s also a DAMN quotable movie. Heck look up the word inconceivable on google and you will get the movie.

I did read the book many years ago and while it was enjoyable I think the movie is better, the book is also weird if I recall.

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup The Princess Bride picture image

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup

The story is pretty simple. Westley and Buttercup are young lovers but one day Westley goes off and is presumed dead. Five years later Buttercup is forced into an engagement to Prince Humperdink. Humperdink then hires Vizzini, a genius Sicilian, Inigo, a fencer out for revenge and Fezzik, a kind giant with a gift for rhymes (I know what a a cliche), to kidnap and kill Buttercup in order to start a war with a rival country. However the Dread Pirate Roberts follows them and defeats all of them and runs off with Buttercup. The pirate turns out to be Westley who took on the alias of the Dread Pirate. However Buttercup and Westley are caught by the Prince and his henchman the not very nice Count Rugen.

Westley is tortured and is mostly dead but Inigo and Fezzik get a miracle and storm the castle on Buttercup’s wedding day. Inigo gets his revenge for the murder of his father on Count Rugen who killed him and Buttercup and Westley are together. The whole story is told as a book a grandfather is reading to his grandson.

Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya The Princess Bride picture image

Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya

Typically when I review a movie I have to ask myself what was good about the movie as a general opener but with The Princess Bride it’s more of a question of what is bad and I’m hard press to have a negative.

I guess one thing is that film is very filmy. You can tell the stuntmen from a mile away and your blind. The sets look fake and there are tons of Anachronisms. Like the British discovered Australia in 1606 but the tone of the movie have a Renaissance quality. Even given those flaws they actually add to the atmosphere of fun swash-bucking fantasy romance. And characters more than make up for anything.

Wallace Shawn as Vizzini, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya and André the Giant as Fezzik The Princess Bride picture image

Wallace Shawn as Vizzini, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya and André the Giant as Fezzik

The characters are one of the main highlights of the movie which is necessary since the story is fairly simple, which is fine. All the characters are interesting unique and memorable. A lot of that comes from the writing, everyone gets good lines. I just love these characters, argh damn you movie. Even SUPER minor characters are memorable like the king and the impressive clergy man  with his “mawwiage speech.”

Wallace Shawn as Vizzini with Robin Wright as Buttercup at the Battle of Wit The Princess Bride picture image

Wallace Shawn as Vizzini with Robin Wright as Buttercup at the Battle of Wit

Maybe it’s all the mold I have breathed in cleaning my basement and the exhaustion of it has melted my brain but I can really find a fault with this movie. I mean I guess the ending song is a prime example of 80s cheesy and Buttercup, the titular character is not the most interesting. But she is brave and once she knows her true love is alive she doesn’t lack conviction. I suppose agmonst the other kickass characters and quotes she isn’t that memorable but she is likable enough, I don’t have an issue with her.

Robin Wright as Buttercup with Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck and Christopher Guest as Count Rugen The Princess Bride picture image

Robin Wright as Buttercup with Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck and Christopher Guest as Count Rugen

Also since I’m a costume person, the costume are very nice. Everything is one point and looks like the character actually have wore the clothes and have lived in them, which is rare on films. And props for Buttercup’s wedding gown being blue.

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup The Princess Bride picture image

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup

So let us don our holocaust clocks and grab a M.L.T sandwich and watch The Princess Bride because it inconceivable how fun this movie is. I keep using that word, I don’t think it means what I think it means.

Billy Crystal as Miracle Max and Carol Kane as Valerie The Princess Bride picture image

Billy Crystal as Miracle Max and Carol Kane as Valerie

Labyrinth picture image


For today’s review I’m donning nostalgia goggles and wearing my I APPRECIATE THE MUPPETS ON A MUCH DEEPER LEVEL THAN YOU T-shirt because today we’re reviewing the 1986 Jim Henson movie, Labyrinth.

Labyrinth is a sort of companion piece to Jim Henson’s 1982 movie The Dark Crystal, Unlike The Dark Crystal, which is a dark serious fantasy movie with only puppets, Labyrinth is a light-hearted coming of age story with a few human characters. However, it does have its surreal moodiness that makes for a great children’s movie, then again that was the style of kids movie in the 80’s.

Sarah entering the Labyrinth jennifer connelly Labyrinth picture image

Sarah entering the Labyrinth

Labyrinth centers on fifteen-year old Sarah played Jennifer Connelly. Sarah frenquetly has to babysit her step or half baby brother, Toby. One night while babysitting Toby she asked the Goblin King from her favorite book, Labyrinth, to take Toby away. As it turns out the Golbin King, Jareth, played by David Bowie, takes Toby to his castle at the center of the Labyrinth beyond the Goblin city. Sarah begs him to giver her brother back and he gives her thirteen hours to solve the Labyrinth and reach the castle. The rest of the movie is Sarah meeting creatures and friends while Jareth tries to thwart her and falling in love with her all.

Jareth offering Sarah her dreams jennifer Connnlley David Bowie  Labyrinth picture image

Jareth offering Sarah her dreams

Labyrinth has an interesting kind of moral. It’s a coming of age story but the way it handled isn’t very common. Sarah is on the cusp of childhood and adulthood. She rather likes living in her fantasy world of toys, storybooks and costumes and doesn’t like the reasonability of taking care of her little brother. She does haven’t sort wants the freedom to do what she wants, like when she argues with her stepmother about how she doesn’t ask Sarah what her plans for her evenings. It sort of plays at being and adult but keeping a sense of childhood which is fitting for a Jim Henson movie.

Sarah in the Labyrinth Labyrinth picture image

Sarah in the Labyrinth

That being said Labyrinth doesn’t have a very strong story, it’s really just a girl in a strange place meeting strange creatures and characters. Is is because most of the movie was done from the artwork of Brian Froud. So it was a collaborative movie that was unified with a script. But I think it works here, I think going from point to point but having a larger goal in mind works for a story.

Sarah and Jareth dancing Jennifer Connelly David Bowie Labyrinth picture image

Sarah and Jareth dancing

Of course the premise structure that with movie has only really works because the technically and the character work well. Let’s start with the characters. Sarah has a lot of growth. She starts off bratty but grows and accepts her adult responsibilities and when she is offered her dreams she rejects them. Jareth is kind of like Sarah. Bowie talked about how he saw his character has taking the responsibility of being the Goblin King but hating the job. So he does his job of taking children and trying to scare the ones who would save them. Bowie brings a lot of complexity to character who might not have had any. The other characters like Hoggle, Ludo and Didymus are also great. Hoggle grows from being a coward and not very nice to be being brave and kind. Ludo is just kind despite being somewhat scary and Didymus is amusing.

Jareth singing Dance Magic David Bowie Labyrinth picture image

Jareth singing Dance Magic

As is standard with Henson movies the technicals are great and a lot of fun. The CG work looks very dated but it was 1986 so it’s forgivable. The costumes are also great. It rare that a movie gives the male villain more costumes than the lead female. The ball-gown she wears is wonderful, it’s like pure 80’s fantasy mixed with Art Nouveau. The whole of the ballroom scene is stunning.
The movie also has a great sound track that David Bowie provided. Who doesn’t love Dance Magic?

Sarah, Ludo, Didymus and Hoggle Labyrinth picture image

Sarah, Ludo, Didymus and Hoggle

However the movie does have some pacing issues. It drags in parts, like the battle has some fun parts BUT it goes on and on and on and then on some more. There also a part before she meets the Fire Gang that is a little dull, also the fire gang is a little bit of a what the fuck scene and in this movie that is saying a lot.

Goblins Labyrinth picture image


Despite Labyrinth having a very simple premise you could write a thesis on on the symbolism of this movie from a number of different disciplines. Was the whole real or did Sarah imagine it? Was the worm helpful or deceptive? And just the Ballroom scene in general, that is my favorite scene. The movie has so many layers and richness.

Also there is a comic book sequel series, Return to Labyrinth .

This list was also REALLY hard to compile.

Number #10

Arete trying to escape Princess Arete picture image

Arete trying to escape

Princess Arete – While it had glacier slow pacing it did have some interesting ideas and a unique style. Did I really enjoy it? No but that is a personal opinion, it was still a better than most of the Non-Disney Princess movies I reviewed, which is kind of sad.

Number #9

Clara with the Nutcracker Prince The Nutcracker Prince picture image

Clara with the Nutcracker Prince


The Nutcracker Prince – I’m surprised I liked this movie but it did have solid narrative and interesting take on growing up, plus the music.

Number #8

Dmitri, Anya and Vlad Anastasia picture image

Dmitri, Anya and Vlad

Anastasia – I wanted to put this higher on the list but considering the history and Rasputin as a villain the 8th spot is perfect.

Number #7

Lady Amalthea a.k.a The Unicorn's Human Form The Last Unicorn picture image

Lady Amalthea a.k.a The Unicorn’s Human Form


The Last Unicorn – This was an ambitious story to tell. It has its flaws but it is a good identity piece.

Number #6

Nausicaa not wearing a mask in the Sea of Decay Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind picture image

Nausicaa not wearing a mask in the Sea of Decay


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – Nausicaa is a solid entertaining movie. It has issues as it tries to do too much for one movie but it’s still highly enjoyable.

Number #5

Shrek meeting Fiona's parents Shrek 2 picture image

Shrek meeting Fiona’s parents

Shrek 1 and 2– Yeah it’s a tie. But Shrek is a keystone fairy-tale parodying movie(s) with great characters and heart, plus the 3D added to the movie and at no point was I like “Oh, this thing should have been hand-drawn. What the Fuck Hollywood.”

Number #4

San and Ashitaka Princess Mononoke picture image

San and Ashitaka


Princess Mononoke – This is a beautiful environmenal movie. It loses points for a rushed ending but it’s forgivable.

Number #3

Pazu and Sheeta seeing Laputa Castle in the Sky picture image

Pazu and Sheeta seeing Laputa


Castle in the Sky– Castle in the Sky is great adventure movie with great pacing, great characters and a satisfying ending. There is just such a great balance to this movie that seems rare in cinema.

Number #2

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya picture image



The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – Again, I debated whether or not to put this at number one because I really loved this movie and it has a unique style, fluid animation and a compelling story. However this movie does have a pacing problem in the middle. That being said it is a masterwork.

Number #1

Tzipporah, The Prince of Egypt picture image


The Prince of Egypt – My biggest criticism of this movie is that it was rushed in parts which meant I wanted more of it whereas Kaguya ultimately I wanted less and that is how it nudged the top spot.

The Prince of Egypt is a gorgeous movie. It’s big on style, dynamic angles and shots and great drama. There is no denying this movie is stunning.

It’s funny that the one of the best and the worst of the Non-Disney Princess were reviewed at the very end.

The next bunch of movies are going to be Live-Action Fairy Tale movies. I’m reviewing them in sort of random order, if you want make a recommendation for a movie you can because there is A LOT of them and I hope they don’t suck or at the very least not as painful to watch, though some will be, Kstew and the Thor, I’m looking at you.

The King and I Picture image

The King and I

Sometimes a movie comes along and it makes you just ask yourself why? The 1999 animated movie version of The King & I is one such movie. It was made by Warner’s Brother in associated with Morgan Creek, Nest (our friends from The Swan Princess) and my old nemesis Rankin/Bass. This movie is based or rather somewhat based on the Roger Hammerstein musical “The King and I” which in turn was based on a novel by Margaret Landon called Anna and the King which was in turn was based off of Anna Leonowens’ memoirs which were over-extragted about her life, teaching the children of King Mongkut of Siam.

Now I don’t know much about the King and I or Thailand’s history but I do know that Thailand was never colonized because of the reforms of modernization undertaken by Mongkut a.k.a Rama IV and Rama V.

I have also seen The Legend of Suriyothai which is a movie about Suriyothai, one of Thailand’s most famous and beloved Queens. The movie was financed by Queen Sirikit, directed by a member of the Royal family and stars a minor royal and a pop star. But enough of that tangent and my clear stalling, let’s talk about The King and I.

Anna and the King about to get their dance on The King and I Picture image

Anna and the King about to get their dance on

Unlike other movies that just introduce characters and situations this one make the bold decision not to. The king’s advisor dude, The Kralahome wants to be king because all bad guys want to rule for no reason. He spies on Anna on route to Siam with  her son and thinks “I can use this lady to dethrone the king.” So what does he do? Sends a dragon with his BS illusion magic that is never explained to I think scare her, not sure what his plan is. Then Anna sings her whistling song and the dragon either finds the whistling or uptempo singing disagreeable and peaces out.

Anna docks and her son gets to keep a monkey whose name is Mushi, or Mochi, or Munchi, I couldn’t understand the kid and who cares (it seems to be Moonchee and I still don’t care). Anywho Kralahome and his overly offensive minion Master Little welcomes Anna and tells her she isn’t going to live in a house like she was promised which get Anna’s panties all in a knot. There is also a lame running gag where Master Little looses his teeth, charming.

Anna speaks to the King who getting a present from Burma, a girl named Tuptim who can read, OMG Shocks! Then Kralahome then decides to try and kill Anna’s son, Louis because the King will get blamed for it. Huh? What? How do you figure that? Kralahome is a massive dum-dum. That plan by Kralahome fails too like the dragon. But whatever his lame plans pads out the running time.

Then we see Tuptim meeting her cute sidekick, a little Elephant named Tusker and then she meets the crown prince, Chulalongkorn and voila they’re in love because they’re attractive, meh they’re teens.

Then Anna meets the nameless kids of the king and that pads out the running time for a little bit. Then Anna starts teaching and takes them outside the palace sings the getting to know you song while Mater Little and the Monkey cause antics, I really can’t remember why, probably another Kralahome master plan of dumbness.

Then Kralahome sends a letter to the Bristish saying that Anna is being treated badly and the King is a barbarian. The letter plan works as the Bristish officer heads to Siam to dethrone him. Yeah that is just dumb.

Kralahome then sends killer statues while the King sing-prays to Buddha but the King’s panther, Rama (everyone has pet/sidekick) defeats them before the King notices by roaring. I don’t get what Kralahome’s plan is.

Then the British come and Anna convinces the King to put on a banquest because the Bristish like dinner parties, but if Downton Abbey has taught me anything that is where the real fighting is really done.

Master Little learns that the crown Prince gave the royal pendent to Tuptim so Kralahome uses that info to goat the king into being a meanie pants at the banquet because when he learns this he wants to whip Tuptim to death but then decides to send her back to Burma which is also death. The Crown Prince and Tuptim run off. Kralohome decides that this is a good opertunity to kill the king or something but when that plan fails he just decides to use firworks (a la Mulan) to kill him. It doesn’t work so Kralahome is sentenced to clean up the sacred white elephant shit, The crown prince gets to marry Tuptim and Anna gets her house. I was just so happy when it was over.

The sidekicks The King and I Picture image

The sidekicks

One of the main problem with this anus of movie is that in order to make it friendly for kids they threw in sidekicks everywhere. These sidekicks come at the expense of the characters who are really there so that the production didn’t have to think to hard. The story, characters and songs were already established but the additions of the sidekicks just steamrolls over that.

The getting to know you sequence is a great example, the movie has Anna and the kids singing it but the focuses is on Master Little and that Monkey. After a while I just tuned it out as a coping mechanism.

The King's kids The King and I Picture image

The King’s kids

So we don’t get interesting or compelling characters in this, hell Disney Sequels have more interesting and compelling characters, at least Madeline in the hunchback sequel got more of a characterization then any character in this movie. The King wants technology and tradition, Anna wants a house, The prince and Tuptim want to get married and Kralahome just wants power. What is it with advisors wanting power?

Speaking of Kralohome, what the fuck? This guy is like Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. Like Cersei, Kralahome thinks he is like a genius and a master tactician but he is really just an idiot. On what planet do you think a King will get blamed for the death of a boy when your fucking minion is the last one seen with him? There so much fail with Kralohome, I would feel embarrassed for him, if I cared.

Tuptim The King and I Picture image


I have already mention Tuptim, who I would assume is the token Princess-like character. Tuptim was given to the king from Burma. She can read but never seems to want to read, that would have made her interesting. Instead she is in love with the Prince and whines about being a servant, never mind she is a stranger in a strange place no instead she has a elephant. See what I mean about the characters having next to no personality.

The King and Rama the panther with stupid CG killer Statues The King and I Picture image

The King and Rama the panther with stupid CG killer Statues

Seeing as the songs where not original to the movie, I’m not going to talk about them but they are fine on the whole, I guess. To be honest half the songs don’t bother to focus on the singer or the subject matter so if the movie doesn’t care why should I?

The animation on the other hand is a train-wreak. It’s bad in the sense that it’s trying really, really hard to be good which makes it bad. It’s not even bad in that special bad way, it just off-putting. The dialogue is also really off-putting with it’s on and off again broken English.

Kralahome with Master Little The King and I Picture image

Kralahome with Master Little

The King and I is just a lame-duck of movie. It has nothing going to for it, I found the coldness in my feet far more entertaining than this puke of movie. One final piece of trivia, this movie made the Roger and Hammerstein estate have a no animated movie stance on any their musicals in the future, Good Job movie commend your lameness.

Thumbelina  picture image


I have mentioned nostalgia clouding bad kid movies and trying to be above it, that being said it has caught up with me in a little way. A part of me knows that Don Bluth’s Thumbelina is not a good movie, it has a lot issues, but, but, but I really like this movie. I have good happy memories this movie. Even though it has some flaws, I still like it.

Thumbelina was released in 1994 by Don Bluth. It was clearly him copying that sweet, sweet Disney formula. In fact they played the Disney logo at the beginning at test screenings to help get positive ratings. This movie is really a Disney knock-off.

 Thumbelina  with Cornelius Thumbelina  picture image

Thumbelina with Cornelius

The movie starts with off in Paris with Jacquimo, a swallow. He gives us theme about over coming impossibility because Disney has the monopoly on the being yourself theme. He tells the story of Thumbelina from book even though he was in the story. I’m confused but whatever.

Story goes, this lady wants a baby so she gets an enchanted flower and out pops full grown Thumbelina. Thumbelina isn’t fan of being small and lonely. She hopes her love will come by and low and behold he does, one Fairy Prince Cornelius. After 7 minutes and 39 seconds of screen time which includes a Whole New World knock-off, they are in love and on their way to engagement or they are, I can’t really tell. I guess it like engaged to be engaged.

However, Thumbelina is kidnapped in the night by Charo-Toad. Charo-Toad, like everyone else in this movie, is smitten with Thumbelina’s voice. She wants to add Thumbelina to her act and she wants her to marry her son Grundel. They ditch Thumbelina on a lily pad to get the Padre or something.

As Thumbelina is stuck on the lily pad, Jacquimo FLIES by. Thumbelina tells her tale of love and woe and Jacquimo congratulations her for being in love. Jacquimo helps her off the lily pad by cutting it lose and getting some fishes to pull her to shore. Jacquimo tells her to follow her heart to find her way home and while she does that Jacquimo will FLY around looking for Cornelius.

Thumbelina then gets caught by Mr Beetle, played by Gilbert Gottfried who wants her to sing at the Beetle Ball. However, her Beetle costume was poorly made and falls off revealing her as not a bug and the beetles call her ugly. As she laments, Jacquimo FLIES by and comforts her. He comforts her by saying as long as the guy you like thinks your pretty it doesn’t matter. I think it’s just bad writing there.

Then winter comes, and Jacquimo and Cornelius, who have been looking for Thumbelina are knocked out of commission. Also on the hunt for Thumbelina are Grundel who has Mr Beetle working for him.

As the cold weather sets in, Thumbelina is saved from death by Ms. Fieldmouse. Ms. Fieldmouse informs Thumbelina that Cornelius is dead. Thumbelina gets to mourn him for a solid 15 seconds because they have visit Mr. Mole. Mr. Mole also likes Thumbelina’s voice and tells them that he found a dead bird which turns out to be Jacquimo but he isn’t dead. Mr. Mole then pays off Ms. Fieldmouse to persuade Thumbelina to marry him.

Thumbelina, heart-broken over Cornelius’ death and thinking she will never get home decides to marry the mole. She tells Jacquimo this and after she pulls a thorn from his wing he tells her to go with him to the prince. She does not as she think Cornelius is dead.

Thumbelina is about to marry the mole but can’t because she doesn’t love him and escapes. As she does, Grundel shows up and so does Cornelius who wasn’t dead just a little frozen. Jacquimo shows up again and takes Thumbelina to what he claims is the Vale of the Fairies. Thumbelina is pessimistic and asks him to take her home but he insists on her singing. As she sings spring comes and Cornelius shows up. Yay. They kiss and Thumbelina gets wings and they get married. Hooray!

Thumbelina with Jacquimo Thumbelina  picture image

Thumbelina with Jacquimo

The number one problem is that Jacquimo at any point could have flown Thumbelina home. We wouldn’t have had a movie but it’s a glaring issue. I’m not sure why he didn’t think to offer this or why Thumbelina didn’t ask. He instead offers to find Cornelius but he could have done that after he brought her home. It’s just one those plot hole that just leaves you confused and asking why.

Thumbelina  picture image


Another issue is with Thumbelina herself. Thumbelina doesn’t learn anything and she doesn’t earn her happy ending, it’s pretty much handed to her. All she has to do is say no to money but she was never about money and was wholly about love so there no growth for her character.

As far as her personality go, she is impressionable. Considering we don’t know how much time passes between her “birth” and the events of this movie, she could be a like two days old. So her being sheltered is understandable. She is also very pessimistic, she says “It’s Impossible” a lot.

In a way it’s refreshing to see a princess-like character being a negative-nancy, on the other hand without character growth it’s a little annoying. The thing is she’s right, it was impossible since we don’t see her make it home. She does go back at end when she is getting married but she is probably going to live with fairies, so she never really makes it back home. It wouldn’t have been impossible if stupid bird-jerk gave her a ride.

Speaking of Thumbelina, what is she? Cornelius kind of implies that fairies can get their wings later, so she is a fairy? But how did that seed work? Is she at all genetically related to her mother? Do fairies come from seeds? When two fairies love each other very much, do they plant a flower and out comes a baby? Or a grown-up non-winged fairy? I’m confused.

Thumbelina with Mr  Beetle picture image

Thumbelina with Mr Beetle

So as for the rest of the characters. They’re ok, Jacquimo is a well meaning co-dependent who is a little more than dumb, Cornelius is a rule-breaking flirt, the jitterbugs are cute, and the mom is bland but nice.

They other characters are ambitious and money grubbing. I think Grundel is a bit like Frollo, he obsessed with Thumbelina but doesn’t know her. I admit I do like Mr. Beetle, I find him amusing even if he is just Gilbert Gottfried doing Iago.

 Thumbelina  with Cornelius picture image

Thumbelina with Cornelius

Speaking of voice actors and Disney, Thumbelina is a pure unfiltered rip off of The Little Mermaid. Both are originally by Hans Christian Anderson, both use the same voice actress, Jodi Benson, both have red hair, both have beautiful and desirable voices. Hell both movies use Kenneth Mars voice of King Triton and the Fairy King. It even fade out to stain-glass. This movie feel very Disney-light.

Thumbelina with Mrs. Toad  picture image

Thumbelina with Mrs. Toad

So since a hallmark of Disney films is the animation and the songs how does those compare. The animation is really good. I really like how stagey the visuals are to the songs. Some of the characters design are overtly silly, dogs and goats with mustaches and Charo-toad. But on the whole it’s a pretty movie to look at.

Ms Fieldmouse Thumbelina  picture image

Ms Fieldmouse

The songs were composed by Barry Manilow. I know people don’t like most of the songs, heck one won a Razzie but I don’t hate them. I prefer some over others. I like the Aladdin knock-off, Let me be your wings and the vague I want song, Soon.

The other songs are meh but enjoyable. That’s right, I enjoyed Marry the Mole, how often do you get a gold-digging song in a kid’s movie? It’s just enjoyably stupid.

Thumbelina with the Jitterbugs Thumbelina  picture image

Thumbelina with the Jitterbugs

Thumbelina is supposed to be about over coming impossibilities but it seems more like don’t do things for money but in copying Disney that is what Bluth did, he married the mole so to speak. I won’t deny this duality does lead to a kinda messy theme which in turn leads to a messy narrative but I do like this movie. Maybe it’s nostalgia for it but the I find Thumbelina enjoyable, with good pacing, lovely visuals, and some nice songs.