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I have been a subscriber of Disney+ since the very beginning. And I have been a Disney fan longer than that. I gotta say, this show was a huge surprise when I saw it released. When I go to sleep, I prefer listening to ambient new age music alongside relaxing sounds. When this series came out, not only did I find every episode relaxing, it also made me really appreciate the hard work of both the sound designers and animators. I really hope Disney plans on doing more of these, maybe throwing Pixar films in the mix. There's definitely a lot to churn out with Wall-E.
This show should have run longer on Broadway!
This was a great representation of the incredibleness of the brief run of the SpongeBob musical! However, it was not filmed at the Palace, and to make room for more ads, they had to cut a few minor things. Plus, this didn't include any of the Rube Goldberg devices that were on both sides of the stage, which was a bummer. On the plus side, we were finally able to hear some of the things that were left off the cast album, like Plankton's speed rap in "When the Going Gets Tough". Another plus was having Tom Kenny not only voice the French Narrator, but also perform Patchy.
The Last Five Years (2014)
Better sung than visualized
I became a fan of L5Y when I saw a regional production in the Berkshires. I instantly fell in love with the songs and the concept. Since then, I have also seen the recent off-Broadway production directed by Jason Robert Brown himself and have listened to the original cast album non-stop. When I heard they were making a movie of this, I was skeptical, because in the show, neither Jaimie nor Cathy ever share scenes together save for one wedding scene in the middle. I was further skeptical when I heard that they were going to have them in every scene together.
Well, I saw the film on demand last night and I have to say, first let's speak about the music. The reason I loved the music so much was because it had such small orchestrations and no drums. I was afraid that adding drums, more strings, and more electric guitar would take away the chamber feel of the sound, but on the contrary, it actually enhanced it. Second of all, they chose two great singers who were able to sing most of the score live, and I have to give props to Anna Kendrick, who is probably the best Cathy I have seen and heard. Also, props for not cutting a single musical number, and they didn't have to because the show was an hour and a half to begin with.
Now for everything else. The new dialog between the songs hardly added anything to the film. I'm mainly concerned with Cathy's dialog during the Shmuel Song. Also, in the play, every song Cathy sang took place when she was going backwards, but a few parts of her songs, mainly "When You Come Home..." and the final part of "Climbing Uphill", seemed to take place in chronological order. Also, that whole fantasy sequence in Shiksa Goddess with all of Jaimie's Jewish girlfriends was way too unnecessary, as was that brief dance scene during "Moving Too Fast".
Other than those things, I thought it was very well done.
Rainbow Rocks rocks!
Last year when Equestria Girls was announced, there was some outcry among the fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that they were turning our beloved ponies into human teenage girls in high school. When it was released, it got mixed reviews. I personally thought it was simply good, but flawed in that it put a little too much focus on Twilight and Spike. Normally, that would be a good thing because Twilight is my favorite character, but the film was simply too much exposition and not enough story.
Rainbow Rocks, however, is a completely different animal altogether. This film is definitely a thousand times better than the first. One part of the genius of this film is the emphasis on the music, which has been part of FiM since the beginning thanks to songwriter Daniel Ingram and score composer William Anderson. Another improvement over the first was having the villains keep with the music theme by making them sirens. Also, Sunset Shimmer works so much better as a protagonist than as an antagonist. Another benefit of this film is there is an equal amount of emphasis between each one of the mane six, as well as giving some background favorites the spotlight. All in all, if you excuse the cliché, this film ROCKS!
Worst stand-up special ever
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Kristen Schaal's work as an actress and voice actress from her work on Flight of the Concords, the Daily Show, and Bob's Burgers. But as a stand-up comedian, she falters. The only reason I'm not giving this one star is because the first half of the special was all hit while the rest, after she does a lazy eye joke, fell flat. Not even a cameo by her Bob's Burgers co-star Eugene Mirman could save this. I know a lot of people are defending her and saying she was flopping on purpose a la Andy Kaufman, but at least Kaufman was able to save his set by ending on a dead-on Elvis impression. All Schaal has got is being upstaged by a 7- year-old girl and doing a bit about her absent dancing horse.