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Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
This Movie Sucks, This Movie Sucks, This Movie SUCKS!!!
This film, out of all of the Dr. Seuss movies, not only had the closest look to the original source material, but it looks amazing. And, I was like, "Hey, they actually did it. This actually looks like a Dr. Seuss movie done in computer animation." I was very impressed by it.
But, no matter how great an animated film looks, it can only be good as its story. And, my God, did they screw that one up, big time.
Not the actual story itself, that's fine. It's the pop culture references that they just dumped into this film. Really? Are you that afraid that you may lose the adults that you have to sledgehammer those stupid jokes in? And, the sad part about it is that there were moments in the film that actually felt like it came straight out of the books that this was adapted from. I mean, I understand it's a short book, but you didn't have to fill it up with these things that make no sense to the story. Or, worse, distracts you from it!
Now, I didn't mind them adding Jim Carry's shtick to Norton's personally, although I felt it would have been better if they didn't. So, because of that, he was sort of amusing to watch, although, sometimes, I just drop my head in embarrassment as some of the things he does. But, I did think that Steve Carrel did a good job, himself. In fact, I actually thought the two actors were doing such a good job working off each other that it actually felt natural.
But, as soon as those moments were gone, we get some of those good ol' pop culture references. Like that anime sequence that makes no sense because how does Norton's know what anime is. Was there a television in the background, somewhere?
Now, in case you don't see my rating at the top, I'm just going to prematurely tell you my rating of this movie is a two. And, yes, I know that my review, up to this point, sounded like it should have been higher, like a six. Well, let me tell you why I gave this a two.
As this movie was about to wrap itself up, I was thinking, "Hey, you know what, it wasn't great, but I thought it was nice and those pop culture references, as annoying as they were, they weren't that bad." Then, as if a hand came out of the screen and b***h-slap me, they have to end the film with a song. And, to make matters worse, they animated it like a music video. Why? What, in God's name, does it have to do with the movie? What is the point of it? What message does it convey, besides showing how NOT to end a movie that is tightroping on a line of mediocrity? Now, if it was a song that was originally made for this movie, I would have just let it go. However, after of plethora of stupid pop culture references, I would be very surprise if that song didn't aired on the radio years ago. Well, guess what, it was a hit by REO Speedwagon back in 1985 called "Can't Fight This Feeling." Wow, how ironic.
And, do you remember that cute little character named Jojo? Well, in the beginning, I knew that he was voiced by Jesse McCartney. You know, Justin Beiber's predecessor? Well, he only had about three or four lines in this movie, as the character of Jojo was silent through most of the time. And, as soon as that...f'ing scene came up, he gets to sing a solo line. And, that's when I began to think that they only got him just so they can do this scene. Or, since he is primarily known as a singer, they just want to throw him a bone and let him sing a little. Either way, it doesn't work. No, wait a minute, it does work. In that it made it even more worse!
And, that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I gave this a two. I was willing to let it be as it is, but because they ended this movie on such a horrific note, that is so God-awful, that it made me reject the film as a whole because it felt like it was leading up to that moment. A song that has no business to be in a Dr. Seuss movie. A song that doesn't even match with what they were doing. Except that I can't fight my feelings I have for this crappy movie!
Yes, the animation is great, and it does have its moments, but it was hijacked from the very beginning by writers who seemed to have little or no respect for the source material. I wish to give it more stars, but every time I think about this movie, I kept thinking about that stupid ending and how it left a terrible taste in my mouth. And, after three years, I'm still trying to wash it out. That's how much I hate this movie.
With Tangled, Disney has not reach the same level, yet.
I'll be the first to admit that I was not impressed with Disney's previous animated film, "The Princess and the Frog." I did not really care for the characters all that much, the romance is hardly there, and the songs were mostly forgettable. However, the animation is top-notch...and, that's all I can say that I thought was great about it. I don't dislike it, but I can't say that I like it, either.
So, when they announced their next film will be based on Rapunzel, I thought, "Okay, cool." Then, I saw some of the drawings and it got me very excited because they look so beautiful. Then, they changed the title from "Rapunzel" to the title what we now call it. I thought it was a stupid decision. Then, I watched the trailer. I started to worry a little. At that point, I was afraid that Disney is trying to broad this movie out to a bigger demographic because the last one didn't performed as well as they hoped at the box-office. So, I decided to miss it then, saying that I'll catch it on DVD. So, after a year or so of people saying that it's a great movie, I can, honestly, say that it was better than I thought it would be. But, I found it to be at the same level, maybe slightly higher, than "The Princess and the Frog."
Compared to Disney's previous attempt in making a computer animated film, this is, by far, their best film in that field. Even better than "Bolt," a movie that I love. It is stunning to watch at how beautiful the scenery looks and the how the characters move about. It looks fantastic. And, I'm happy to see that there is a stronger chemistry between the two leads and enough romance to go around. I found it to be very sweet. And, while not laugh out loud funny, I do find it to be very amusing. My favorite part is Rapunzel going bipolar after she leaves the tower for the first time. That was very entertaining to watch.
The animal characters, while good, did not really leave much of a huge impression on me. The horse, Maximus, was a great character, but the chameleon, Pascal, I almost forgot he was in this movie because I could not remember any stand-out scenes with him. Also, where the heck did he come from? I like to know his back-story of how he ended up in the tower with Rapunzel. And, I would love to see some scenes of the King and Queen. The scene where the two were readying to released, and the queen is comforting her husband, I found that to be the most touching scene out of the entire movie. So, based on that, I would have liked to see more of these two.
And, lastly, I am, again, very disappointed in the songs. I could think of two songs in the film that I thought were fine. And, one of them is not the villain song, which is usually my favorite. Speaking of which, this is one of the most boring villains that Disney has ever made. I mean, here is a woman who, not only wants to live forever, but wants to look good doing it. And, that's about it. Okay, not saying that kidnapping a baby and holding her hostage for 18 years isn't evil, but, she has the power to live forever, and she does nothing with it. I mean, imagined if you were in her shoes. What would you have done with it? Yeah, exactly.
And, there is one other song, the "I had a dream" song, (which, I find them becoming cornier every time I hear one) that felt like it was force into the movie. It's like Disney had a quota of songs that must be in each animated film, and they ran out of ideas for one more song, so they decided to write a "having a dream" song, but instead of letting Rapunzel or Flynn sing it, they make it a silly song, sung by a bunch of misfits that we won't see again, but, in the back of your mind, you know that you will see them again. Spoiler alert.
I don't think this is a bad movie. Heck, I don't think "The Princess and the Frog" is a bad movie, as well. But, I did liked "Tangled" a little bit more. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I have huge nostalgic feelings for older Disney films. But, I have re-watched many of those films, and they are excellent films. The animation is gorgeous and still hold up after all these years, that stories are well told and the characters are lovable, and the songs are very memorable and they fit into the story like a piece of a puzzle. I know people have already called these films as the start of the Third Golden Age for Disney, but, for me, it hasn't arrived yet. To me, they are a good start in leading towards, what I hopefully will be soon, the Golden Age of Disney Animation. For now, these will have to do.