Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
I remember watching this adaptation of Dickens'masterpiece "David Copperfield" on BBC back in 1986, and I had fond memories of it. Therefore I was exited when I found the DVD of this series in a shop this December. Now watching the whole series again after so many years, I'm still pleased to see how 'complete'the story is. Many adaptations of DC leave out some characters from the original novel or skip some episodes. The classic adaptation with W.C. Fields leaves out the whole Salem House school episode, thus robbing the viewer of one of the more memorable character Mr. Creackle; and I still don't see why they decided to do it that way for it forced the scriptwriter to find a new way to introduce Steerforth into the story. And poor Tommy Traddles! Always a sort of underdog in the novel and obviously regarded as an insignificant figure by many who adapted DC for the screen, as his character is mostly dropped. it's so good that this series does not follow that trend and show Traddles 'in his full glory'. Overall the acting is excellent;it's also good that the grown David looks convincingly like David as child. Heartily recommended!
This past Sunday I saw 'Pocahontas' again on video (yes people, I still
do not have the DVD) after many years. For some time I've just avoided
this movie. The renewed acquaintance brought out the same melancholy
feelings as 12 years ago when I saw it in the cinema the first time.
I've always been a sucker for Disney animation and this remained so as
I grew up. I was exited about the 'second flowering' of Disney that
began with "Little Mermaid" and I really looked forward to Pocahontas
at the time. Looked to me that Disney were exploring new grounds again.
But in 1995 I was of the verge of a depression and seeing "Pocahontas'worked as a trigger for that. Mind: I liked the heroine, the animation, the music and -what I felt- the chemistry between the leads. But it was also a heavy-handed, toxic-serious-content movie, and did not at all give me that uplifting feeling that Disney cartoons usually give me. It is not merely because of the not-so-happy ending (actually I applaud a break from the 'formula', a bold move) but the fact remains that, after all, Pocahontas and John Smith were historical characters, and it is hard to put that out of my head while seeing this straightforward 'Romeo-and Juliet'story 'inspired by' actual events. The notion that the fragile peace between colonist and Indians, owing to Pocahontas, was only short-lived, gives a melancholy feeling of sorrowful regret" as a reviewer (I believe from Variety.com) remarked. Still I like the movie for what it is, and I applaud the Disney studios for trying to break away from the usual 'safe and tried' fare. "Pocanhontas' was not the kind of film that most people expected or wanted from Disney, and it is no surprise that it got many hostile reviews and that it divided the critics. I could also point out the weak points -plot holes- in the story, but lots of reviewers have done that before me. Suffice to so say that I found the reason to send John Smith back to England quite absurd. Would it really benefit the health of a badly wounded man to be at a ship at often rough ocean for four months? I think not!
-------- additional remarks (16 Nov. 2007):
I have purchased the SE DVD now and I must say I'm happy that they put the song "If I never knew you" back in the movie. A little word also for the zealot historians and others who trash this movie because it is not exactly an actual historical account and thus accuse Disney of misinforming people. I think that anyone watching Disney's 'Pocahontas' and thinking afterwards "Oh, this is how it all really happened", must be either a small kid or very stupid. If the songs don't give you a clue that it's nothing more than 'inspired by', the talking tree might do the trick. Anyway, who are the historians to accuse Disney of confusing people about the truth if they themselves cannot agree on whether the real capt. John Smith was truthful in his accounts of his adventures in Virginia? Think about that!
Having read the novel NN a couple of times I know how rich and full of funny characters and episodes this novel is. This adaptation greatly reduces the number of events compared to the novel; though I understand a director has to make a choice what elements of a story he should put to the screen I think the director has been a bit too drastic in doing so. No reference at all to the Mantalini's, or to the downfall of the Squeerses and the closure of Dotheboys hall -I sorely missed those episodes! But what I missed story-wise was partly made up by the acting of Christopher Plummer as Ralph Nickleby and the heartrending performance of Jamie "Billie Elliot' Bell as Smike. A pity that the director also puts the accent mostly on the melodramatic aspects of a story which is full of delicious humor. This adaptation has it charms but check out the royal Shakespeare's Company's version for a faithful adaptation that does Dickens real justice!
This is one of the oddest adaptations of 'David Copperfield. It's not merely because only about one-third of the novel is adapted to conclude with a totally contrived plot, it's also because human characters are turned into anamorphic characters for no good artistic reason (because it looks funny? Is fun for the kids?). Can you imagine David and his mother as cats, Mr. and Mrs. Micawber as monkeys? Disney, so often derided for 'butchering' classics, doesn't even do that - except in the case of 'Robin Hood' which, even though being quite pedestrian for Disney-standard, is a whole lot more entertaining than this silly movie with forgettable songs. This movie just shows that you can do anything with Dickens: dumb it down, twist it around -with the underlying message - hey, Dickens was just for kids! If you love good animated features, put on any Disney-classic instead, if you love Dickens and DC in particular, any adaptation is better than this one (I highly recommend the BBC-version with Daniel Radcliffe)
When I read that the Disney studios were working on an animated feature
based on Victor Hugo's classic work 'Notre Dame de Paris' I decided to
the novel and read it, for I was curious for the original story. I loved
novel (though I was angered because Hugo treated his protagonist so
cruelly). Then I went to see the Disney version,and realising it was
different form the novel- in fact, they had taken some themes and
key-elements of the original and made up their own story - I loved it
The reason may be that I'm a buff for Disney animation as well as a lover
classic literature (especially Charles Dickens) and I also know that
flicks are often very liberal rendition of the original
What springs to mind for instance is Disney's Pinoccio -generally and
rightly regarded as an animated masterpiece. But is does 'sugar coat' the
story and tones down much of the cruelty, as well as simplifying the plot
the long-winded narration(for instance: in Collodi's original Pinoccio is
hanged from a tree among other things)and the original character of the
puppeteer Stromboli was quite a reasonable guy.So I could go on and on.
never have I heard any comment like 'Carlo Collodi is turning around in
grave' though similar objection can be raised against D's'Pinoccio' as
been raised time and again against D's HOND.
Did you enjoy D's Little Mermaid? Are you sure Hans Christian Andersen
have liked it? How many times did you watch D's Jungle Book? By all
it did take little more than the names from the Kipling
If you can only value faithfull renditions of classical books just don't
watch Disney animation (you'll probably hate it anyway).
Now the Disney version taken on its own term, it is a intensely dramatic,
heartfelt story with only one serious flaw: the comic'relief' of the
gargoyles. They are very irritating, as several earlier reviewers have
pointed out, and especially in the sequence with the song 'A guy like
not merely because of the anachronism (note: the in-joke reference to Tom
Hulce's role in 'Amadeus' doesn't even work in dubbed versions)but also
the insensitivity they show toward 'Quasi'
HOND, unfortunately has been infected with the 'Aladdin virus' which
thankfully has worked out by the time Tarzan hit the screen.
High point of HOND:
Quasimodo rescues Esmeralda from the stake and cries out 'sanctuary'. Even if Victor Hugo would not have liked the rest of the film, this scene would probably have satisfied him.
Low Point The "A guy like you" sequence. See comment above.
All in all, HOND in my opnion is a good Disney ,though not as perfect as Beauty and the Beast: 8.5
Victor Hugo fans, take heart. I do understand your feelings. But note: in 'Serious Business' it is revealed that at the release of D's Hunchback Disney's own publisher Hyperion reprinted the orignal novel, which enjoyed brisk sales. Even if you despise the 'Disney version'it has actively promoted Hugo's work. A blessing in disguise, so tho say.
This new Disney -picture L&S I really enjoyed. It was far better than last years' disappointing 'Atlantis' (I can only hope that 'Treasure Planet' turns out better as an action-adventure sci fi movie from Disney). Hilariously funny, serious and heart -warming and totally weird at the same time. There's something new and fresh to this movie I cannot pin down exactly: the fact that Stich is not a cute animal? Or that the heroine Lilo is not a princess (to be) and she can be a real brat, though you cannot help feeling for her? That the story is about 'ordinary people' with problems most people can associate with? The 'old' part is of course the use of water-colour backgrounds. I understand some critics complained about the ''Saturday-tv-cartoon' level of animation, but I think the 'simplicity' works nice here. It doesn't always have to be slick, detailed 'breathtaking' 'Lion King' -like. L&S doesn't require the same technique as, for instance 'Tarzan' to be enjoyed. L&S is worth at least a look or two, if not more. I give it 8 out of 10.
What can I say about this brilliant TV series? It's simply unforgettable and something to see time and time again. Top-cast actors in a stunning TV-drama, for me it ranks even higher than other classic mini-series such as 'Upstairs-Downstairs' or 'Brideshead Revisited'. The British TV has a great reputation for historical dramas, but I don't think they'll be able to top 'I, Claudius'. 10 out of 10.