Mulan (2020)

Disney’s live-action remake of their 1998 original was not much better than all their other live-action remakes. A little better than or on par with Beauty & the Beast, but not better than Aladdin. (Just realised I haven’t reviewed Aladdin! I should get around to that.) I haven’t seen The Lion King remake but I bet this is way better than that one. So it has some things going for it.

So far, none of them have surpassed their originals.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I have a rather long list of complaints but first, a disclaimer of sorts: My dissatisfaction with this live-action remake can be attributed in part to my great fondness for their originals. While I attempt to keep some objectivity when watching these, I find that it’s very difficult to not compare them when the originals are vividly stuck in my mind.

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Japan 2016 – Day 5 (Part 1)

23 February 2016


I have nearly zero resistance to spending a day in Disneyland, especially when on my own in Tokyo.

Arrived at Disneyland with time to spare before the “Happiness is Here” parade so I bought myself a snack and settled down to wait.

“I feel like I’ve seen that duck before…”

People-watching at Disneyland is always fun.

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Beauty & the Beast (2017)

Disney made a live-action version of one of its best-loved animated features, put Bill Condon at the helm and Emma Watson in the starring role. (It’s not the first live-action remake – there was The Jungle Book and even much earlier on, 101 Dalmatians.) Was it worth it?

Maybe. The movie had a built-in audience: primarily Beauty & the Beast fans and Harry Potter/Hermione fans. It was hardly going to be a financial flop.

Was it necessary? I say no.

NOTE: This is going to be a markedly biased review because I was not keen on this movie from the outset despite being fond of the 1991 original, and it did nothing to impress me or change my mind.

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Remembering Cinderella

Several days ago I drove past a billboard advertising the latest live-action adaptation of Cinderella and I found myself reciting the lines:

Oh, that clock. Old killjoy. I hear you! “Get up!” you say. “Time to start another day!” Even he orders me around.

*stares at self in mirror*

Why – how – do I remember that?? I really must have watched the 1950 Cinderella a gazillion times when I was little…

Big Hero 6

I think I like the abbreviated format I used for the last two Rurouni Kenshin movies. I shall apply it again here.

The Story (based very loosely off a little-known Marvel comic of the same name):

Hiro Hamada (and I’m struggling to not write “Hamada Hiro” instead of “Hiro Hamada”…) is a teenage robotics genius who lives with his elder brother, Tadashi, under the care of their aunt. Hiro gains entry to the same university as Tadashi when he presents his latest invention – microbots – at the university’s exhibition. Tragically, Tadashi is killed in an accident on the same day. But Tadashi leaves behind his invention – a robotic healthcare assistant named Baymax. Hiro accidentally activates Baymax one day but doesn’t think much of it until Baymax (following and Hiro’s last remaining microbot) leads him to discover that a mysterious masked man is making more microbots just like his. Hiro forms a team with Tadashi’s university friends – Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Gogo and Fred – to track down the masked man, whom he suspects of having started the fire that killed Tadashi.

Rating: ★★★½

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Critics are hailing Frozen as being Disney’s “return to form.” Hmmm. Well, it’s better than Brave, possibly better than Tangled. Not quite sure if I would rate it higher than Princess & the Frog. I think Princess & the Frog was the real return to form for Disney’s fairytale movies. Without that, Tangled and Frozen would have had a much harder time getting approved for production and release. But anyway, this is a review of Frozen, not a comparison so let’s get to it!

Frozen takes the story of the Snow Queen and makes it a tale of two sisters, one born with the gift (or curse, depending on how you look at it) that will later turn her into the Snow Queen. Elsa, heir to the throne of Arendelle, has spent most of her life trying to learn to control and hide her powers of ice and snow after accidentally injuring her younger sister, Anna. On coronation day, a shock in the form of Anna’s engagement to Prince Hans causes Elsa to inadvertently reveal her powers and she flees the country, unleashing apparently eternal winter in the middle of summer.

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