The Trailer for Tim Burton’s Dumbo is Heresy

I feel like the internet at large has turned into a howling/stomping ground of enraged fans (or maybe it’s just what you run into once you start getting into following film news)- and I hate to be the one to add to that mess.  But I get so few chances to be an angry neckbeard (given that I’m pretty flush with estrogen) I figured that this was my moment.

That, and the fact that this trailer is blasphemous.

Why? You ask?

I’m no big fan of the original Dumbo. Actually, if you’ve read this blog for any period of time you might be aware that I can’t heard the song Baby Mine without sobbing.  And that’s not the only seen of the movie that drives me to tears.  Add to that the not-so-subtle racism with the jazzy crows and laborer roustabouts, and I can’t really say that the film is vindicated by excellent songs such as ‘Casey Junior’ (the train song), ‘Song of the Roustabouts’ (kind of hardcore for the House of Mouse), and ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ (in which Dumbo gets drunk and hallucinates). No lie, I like all these songs.

But this film promises to one-up (one-down?) my feelings about the original Dumbo with a response of disgusted and mildly enraged ennui.

  • Disney needs to stop making live action remakes. I haven’t liked any of them (maybe you have, if so, sorry) because they’re such bare-faced and obnoxious cash grabs that lose any sincerity of the originals in favor of extensive CGI and poor writing.
  • Where is TIMOTHY MOUSE?!
  • What the fuck is Colin Firth doing in here?
  • Why are these humans… sympathetic? The human world of Dumbo is supposed to be harsh and foreign.
  • Get rid of these simpering children.
  • What on earth is this 50 Shades of Grey-esque cover of Baby Mine?
  • This is a teaser trailer and it’s full trailer length.
  • Ugh, it looks so Tim Burton. The only thing that would make it more Tim Burton is Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp.

Guys, I’m not going to go see it. I only made it through Beauty and the Beast because I was on a plane. I failed to make it through The Jungle Book and Cinderella. Haven’t seen Maleficent.

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Top Disney Lullabies

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I’ll admit that I’m on a bit of a Disney kick lately, but this idea didn’t sprout from some subconscious desire to make up for the pain of the other day’s Disney bracket.
Actually, it was inspired by my inability to fall asleep last night.

So here it is, a count down of the top Disney lullabies, and one honorable mention.

#6: Baby Mine, Dumbo
If this helps you fall asleep there is undoubtedly something wrong with you.  Sure it sounds soft and gentle, but if you pair the actual lyrics with the context of the film it’s absolutely heart wrenching and sob-inducing. I still can’t hear it without tearing up WITHIN THE FIRST FEW BARS. And I still can’t watch Dumbo.
Not soothing, 0/5

#5: So This Is Love, Cinderella
I wouldn’t have included this but apparently my cousin, when she was little, liked for my aunt to sing it to her at bedtime.
Because I love Megan and respect her choices, 1/5

#4: Love, Robin Hood
Robin Hood is one of the lesser known Disney films but I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s under appreciated.  Truly in my opinion there isn’t much to appreciate besides this song, which is lovely and poignant.  But… a lot of musical interludes and somewhat repetitive/oddly spaced lyrics.
Life is brief, but when it’s gone, love goes on and on, 2/5

Notice: We’re now getting into what I consider to be the ~real stuff~

#3: When You Wish Upon a Star, Pinocchio
You don’t need to have the voice of Louis Armstrong for this to sound beautiful (I mean, Gepetto pulled it off pretty well, right?).  Also, it’s pretty hard to argue with this as a classic.  Points docked, however, for a disagreeable message.
Some requests are too extreme kids- life’s not fair, 3/5

#2 is a TIE!

#2: Second Star to the Right, Peter Pan
I have to admit that this is one of my all time favorite Disney songs and I also have to admit that it probably sounds better if you have The Disney Chorus on hand.  But one voice could also do this pretty beautifully, with the exception of that very high pitched interlude, the main cause of docked points. You’ll have to work your way around that one.
Upshot: Dreams, stars, Neverland, mention of ‘twinkle, twinkle’, but still not basic. 4/5

#2: Bella Notte, Lady and the Tramp
As sung by the Disney chorus as opposed to the offensively stereotypical yet still lovable Italian pasta chefs. Seriously, can I just rent out the Disney Chorus when I give birth? Maybe not, they must be pretty old now.  Some charming and profound lyrics like “This is the night, it’s a beautiful night, and they call it ‘beautiful night’, but in Italian”. It may not turn your baby into Einstein like some Mozart arguably might, but it sure is soothing.  And at east chances are your baby will learn at least two words of Italian along the way.  I feel bad being so sardonic because I truly do love this song (its another of my favorites) and the rest of the lyrics are, to borrow a word from the song ‘enchanting’.  Short but sweet.
Can be repeated as necessary, 4/5

The BEST Disney Lullaby of ALL TIME
#1: La La Lu, Lady and the Tramp
*whispers* little star sweeper
My Mom sang this one, 5/5

————————

Honorable Mention: That’s My Lullaby, The Lion King 2
Parents, don’t try this at home

It’s Links Friday But There’s A Disney Bracket

And you know how I feel about Disney.
Which is to say, everything else takes a backseat and your not so regularly scheduled programming will return at a later date (maybe tomorrow?)

So here’s the bracket:

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It’s tearing both the internet and my soul apart, so I thought I would share it because misery loves company.
Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Round One Disney:

  • Lion King v Tarzan: I love both of these but only saw Tarzan for the first time a few years ago, while I grew up with Lion King. And everything about Lion King is ‘modern classic’.
  • The Princess and the Frog v Lilo and Stitch: Both movies I’ve seen only once, both I like quite a bit.  I’m going to go with Lilo and Stitch this time.
  • Tangled v Big Hero 6: I honestly don’t really like Tangled.
  • Frozen v Moana: Moana wins handily.
  • Aladdin v Hercules: I love Hercules but didn’t watch it much as a child (I don’t think we had it on VHS), while Aladdin is one of my all time favorites.
  • The Little Mermaid v Pocahontas: I keep coming back t this one and keep surprising myself by picking Pocahontas. Guess I just can’t get over Colors of the Wind.
  • Mulan v Zootopia: Agh, hard. The wonderfulness of Zootopia just can’t compete with something I sang along with in preschool and danced to at my first ballroom performance.
  • Beauty and the Beast v Nightmare Before Christmas: Maybe not the way everyone would go but I’m not hugely fond of Beauty and the Beast, save Lumiere, Philippe, and Angela Lansbury.

Pixar Round One:

  • Up v Brave: Kind of indifferent, honestly. Up has that one beautiful montage that puts it over the excellent animation of horses throughout Brave. I have my own priorities.
  • Toy Story v Toy Story 2: Toy Story 2 was always too dark for me as a child and the one time I revisited it I was nonplussed.
  • Coco v Cars 2: I’ve never seen Cars 2 and I don’t plan to.
  • Toy Story 3 v The Good Dinosaur: Duh.
  • Ratatouille v Bug’s Life: Why am I doing this to myself? Bug’s Life. The first film I ever saw in theaters. Sorry Ratatouille!
  • Finding Nemo v Inside Out: Honestly either of these will probably lose to whatever it goes up against in the next round. Both disqualified! More memories with memo but I like Inside Out better as a film.
  • Monsters Inc v Cars: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!
  • The Incredibles v WallE: The Incredibles is a masterpiece, Edna Mode is an icon and I am so hyped for the sequel.

Round Two Disney:

  • Lion King v Lilo and Stitch:
  • Big Hero 6 v Moana:
  • Aladdin v Pocahontas:
  • Mulan v Nightmare Before Christmas: All easy choices this time through. It’s the calm before the storm.

Round Two Pixar:

  • Up v Toy Story:
  • Coco v Toy Story 3: That hurt a little.
  • Bug’s Life v N/A: That didn’t.
  • Monsters Inc v The Incredibles: This fight went the other way when i did it yesterday.

Round Three Disney:

  • Lion King v Moana:
  • Aladdin v Mulan: Sobbing.

Round Three Pixar:

  • Toy Story v Toy Story 3:
  • Bug’s Life v Monster’s Inc: To whoever created this sadistic bracket: Who hurt you?

Round Four Disney:

  • Lion King v Aladdin: UPSET (in many senses of the word)

Round Four Pixar:

  • Toy Story 3 v Bug’s Life:

THE FINAL:

  • Aladdin v Bug’s Life: ARABIAN NIIIIIIGHTS

Just glad they didn’t put in Peter Pan or Lady and the Tramp because then I might have jumped from the window.

Links Actually on Friday: 3/23

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I’m getting out a links post actually on Friday, pre-classes, pre-full-day-of-smelling-synthetic-raw-materials.

  • Welcome to space. Meet Steve.
  • Congratulations to John Oliver (and best wishes to Marlon Bundo and Wesley).
    Love is love.
  • …There’s going to be a live-action Lady and the Tramp.  Can someone please explain why CGI counts as live action? And can someone also please explain why, in general?
  • The beauty and power of fandoms. Read it for the first, introductory segment alone.
  • A super interesting read on the ‘brand-influencer power struggle’. An examination of the rise of Instagram influencers and bloggers as fashion personalities, how they’re compensated, what it means, and how it’s changing.
  • Honest Trailers does it again.  On the slate this week: every Wes Anderson movie. One of my pet favorite directors and they get his idiosyncrasies so right.
  • “Visitors are encouraged to create drawings, one of which will be interpreted into a personalized Diptyque scent.” Diptyque is opening an interactive shop in Soho! I’ll have to visit once I’m back in the US (because lord knows there aren’t enough Diptyque shops in Paris).  Don’t want to miss out on the fun? You can also submit online.
  • “I will insist on my grandchildren referring to me as Grandmamá, with extra emphasis on the á.” All the Glamorous Things I Will Do When I AM A Rich Old Lady. Honestly- goals. But also, don’t wait! Get that Burmese python now! Or, you know, perfect your posture).
  • Roland Mouret on his scent preferences and his newish perfume, Une Amourette.
  • Olivia de Havilland, 101, alive, and very much kicking. I watched In This Our Life, featuring her and Bette Davis, this week while studying. Not the best movie ever but watching them was like visiting two old friends of mine.

Animated Crushes

 

Inspired by this video and this list, I decided to own up to the crushes I had on animated characters as a child.
It was only after doing a little thinking that I realized I either a) didn’t have any or b) have selectively forgotten all of them.
But what I do have is potentially even worse- current animated crushes. I’m 22 and there is potentialy something wrong with me.

  • Nick Wilde, Zootopia
    This is definitely the most disturbing one because not only is Nick animated, Nick is also a fox. In my defense, foxes are very cute animals. Add a sardonic sense of humor, sly resourcefulness (i.e. criminal behavior), and a softly mushy heart tender as a steamed dumpling and it all makes sense. Really.
  • Jack Frost, Rise of the Guardians
    He has pretty silver hair and a shepherd’s crook with ice powers.  He also loves fun, died protecting his sister (Whoops spoiler), and has a troubled past and sensitive soul- causing him to be a hero of the brave but reluctant variety.
  • Haku, Spirited Away
    Haku has Dora hair and can also transform into a dragon, which is really what we should all look for in a partner.  Unlike the previous two, he does not have a traumatic backstory because he can’t remember his past and has thus forgotten that he is a ~river spirit~.

Mkay, I will write to you all from therapy.

Links 2/17

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A links post with a one day delay. I’ve officially started on a two week break (but can’t get too excited because we have two exams the week we get back) and I’m debating whether I should go to The Catacombs today or take a joint trip to Maison de Balzac and the Monet Marmottan Museum. It’s a rough life full of hard choices.

  • Yara Shahidi was on Stephen Colbert, is turning 18, having a voting party, and is an amazingly well-spoken individual. I know it’s a cliche to say this, but we need more people like her in the world.
  • In spite of my issues with The Shape of Water, I do think it’s a bit unfair to sum it up as ‘the film where the woman has sex with a fish’. That being said, someone designed a dildo inspired by Fish God. You can find anything on the internet and this is why we don’t deserve nice things.
  • The inspiring knitwear of Prabal Gurung’s Fall 2018 collection.
  • The Obamas’ official portraits have been unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. They’re both pretty amazing, both from an historical and artistic standpoint.
    Buuuut: here’s a counterpoint and a deeper reading.
  • Wisecrack on how Monty Python shaped modern comedy (via postmodernism, the comedy of the absurd, and political satire).
  • A thought-provoking personal essay about an ‘accidental wedding dress’ and accepting that life rarely/never comes with the closure of a settled and final happy ending.
  • Similarly, this comic on the numerous ways to fill your heart and live a meaningful and love-filled life.
  • A surreal video of a very fluffy doggo swimming underwater.
  • The Louvre has created a Valentine’s-inspired Pinterest board. I’m particularly in love (no pun intended) the Antonio Canova’s sculpture of Cupid and Psyche.
  • I’m not planing on watching the newly reimagined/animated Peter Rabbit film ever, but there’s been a bit of a kerfuffle about a scene involving food allergies. I don’t think there’s much to be upset about but part of the reason I am steering clear of the film is that even from the trailer it struck me as being crass and mean-spirited. And I wasn’t even a Beatrix Potter kid.
  • And… a Disneyland social club is being sued for using ‘mafia-like’ intimidation tactics. What even is this world and what are people? Watch out for the White Rabbits or you’ll be swimming with the… flounder?
  • Reaffirming my goal to spend less time on my phone and computer.
  • I didn’t cry at this animated short, but I won’t lie- it did give me the feels.

My Oscars Predictions as Promised

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And yes, I know that I also promised links posts on Friday an I do indeed have links, but they will need to be saved for another moment.

Why?

I finally saw Phantom Thread last night. Damn son, that was stunning.
And I just finished an abominable test today (the studying for which was preventing me from posting, so now I’m ready to unload some writing and knowledge and thoughts of a non-links variety).
So let’s talk Oscars predictions.
If you lose any money betting on this I am not accountable.

I’m only going to go into the big categories because even I can’t pretend I’m qualified to discuss best original screenplay or cinematography.
Like last year (at least I think I did it this way last year- it’s been so long!) I’m going to point out which film I think is the likely winner and which film I personally think should win.

Let’s do it.

Best Picture:
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

This was really difficult for me and if I could have chosen CMBYN, Three Billboards (Panels of Vengeance, here in France), and Dunkirk, I would have. Actually I had all three highlighted in blue until a few minutes ago, when I surprised myself by picking CMBYN rather than Three Billboards, which I was thinking would be my top pick. Maybe my mind will change tomorrow, but right now I’m really feeling CMBYN, looking back on my experiences watching all of these. Why CMBYN? The beauty, the atmosphere, the tender love, the heartbreak. Why Three Billboards? Because it’s powerful and kick ass and true but bizarre. Why Dunkirk? I love a good war film, I love Nolan, and this is honestly both at their best. The timeline and story intersections were beautifully done and the humanity of it all was devastating. And you have to love the ‘solidarity’ moments, which dad has trained me to love in films (and to look over to see if he’s crying- we watched Dunkirk together in the theaters, he was.)
And why Shape of Water? Let’s do process of elimination first.  CMBYN is obviously going to turn off conservative voters (but they’re okay with fish god bestiality (tune in to my upcoming links post for more on that)) and missed nominations in a few key categories (notably Best Supporting Actor). Darkest Hour was a long, dull, plodding film (I didn’t finish, I’m surmising from the first fifteen minutes and reviews that I’ve read/watched). Dunkirk: No acting or screenplay nominations, came out a while ago, not a lot of buzz. Get Out, like CMBYN, is probably a bit to political to pull through. I was excited to see it was even nominated and would be kind of shocked if it won Best Picture. Lady Bird could potentially win (it and CMBYN are my backup choices for actual Best Picture winner) but I haven’t heard as much about it recently, while the hype for Shape of Water seems to be only picking up.  Phantom Thread and The Post don’t have many nominations in other categories- it seems the nomination in these cases is the reward. And Three Billboards, while one of my favorites, has created a lot of controversy re: the redemption of a certain racist cop character (I didn’t have trouble with the way it was done but can see why some might).
What does The Shape of Water have on its side?  It has some Hollywood self-promotion- which the Academy loves- in terms of throwbacks to silent films, musicals, old creature features (of course), and the film industry as a whole (the heroine lives above a cinema).

Lead Actor:
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

I mean, obviously the Oscar will go to Gary Oldman in a fastest acting his fastest ass off as a curmudgeonly Winston Churchill.  He’s an actor the Academy wants to reward for previous work. He’s in a period drama about WWII. He’s acting aggressively. Physical transformation.
Were I a one-woman Academy, the Oscar would certainly be in the hands of Timothy Chalamet. And not just because I think he’s adorable and dreamy.  His work in CMBYN is just fantastic. I can’t say so much about it beyond “watch the film”.

Lead Actress:
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Frances McDormand delivers a powerful performance as the lead in Three Billboards and I think she absolutely deserves this win- and it’s even more likely if we accept my poems that Three Billboards is unlikely to win Best Picture. Additionally, she’s been coming out on top in the awards ceremonies leading up to the Oscars.
Could go to Soirse or Sally Hawkins, I find wins by Margot Robbie or Meryl Streep unlikely.

Supporting Actor:
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

This is I think the most difficult category to call.  There are significant reasons why the Academy might go for any one of these nominees. Willem Dafoe is a great actor representing a powerful project largely regarded as one of the more significant snubs. He’s never won before and he definitely seems like a man who could be an Oscar winner.  Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are both excellent in Three Billboards but are likely to split the vote.  Harrelson gets less screen time but Rockwell plays the character at the center of most of the controversy affecting the film. I don’t know that Academy voters are going to want to be the one to suggest rewarding the ‘racist cop with a heart of gold’ role. Richard Jenkins is touching and sensitive in The Shape of Water, which leads in terms of number of nominations. All the Money in the World hasn’t been getting much positive press, but Christopher Plummer was called in last minute to replace Spacey after his ignominious fall from grace, and it’s quite possible the Academy will want to reward that. Two weeks for filming a significant part in an already completed film is no mean feat.

Supporting Actress:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

First I just want to say that all of these options are fantastic and there is no possible way to be displeased with any outcome.  Least likely to win is Octavia Spencer, simply because her role was less significant than the others and so has been getting less of a push and less attention.  Mudbound also hasn’t gotten much publicity (perhaps because it comes from the house of Netflix?) but Blige was potentially the best part of the film.  Lesley Manville is rather the dark horse and though her work in Phantom Thread is fantastic, I don’t think she’s likely to steal the award away from the two favorites- Janney and Metcalf.  Janney has been coming out on top more often than not and her portrayal involves more strenuous/exuberant acting. And on a personal level I liked I, Tonya more than Lady Bird.

Director:
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

It was a bit of a heartbreaker for me personally to choose between Nolan and del Toro.  Neither have Oscars and both have significant bodies of beautiful work that deserve to be rewarded.  In the end I think the Academy is more likely to give it to del Toro, who seems to be their darling this season.  I prefer Nolan. Apart from my issues with The Shape of Water, I think Dunkirk was a beautifully planned and beautifully realized tour de force.

Animated Feature:
“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Coco will and should win.