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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Judy Hopps is Zootopia’s first ever rabbit police officer, and she wants to change the world (as many fictional protagonists do). But Judy finds it hard to have an impact amongst her bigger and more intimidating colleagues, and she gets assigned to menial parking duty. She meets a smooth-talking con-artist by the name of Nick Wilde and soon both Judy and Nick find themselves entangled in the midst of a mystery of missing Zootopia citizens…

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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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Japan: Day 9 – Disneyland (7)

The Disneyland Electrical Parade.

Last Disney post. Ye-ah. I’m just trying to get this all done as soon as I can…

I grabbed a snack for dinner and went to find a place to sit down more than an hour before the parade. Guess what? The best spots were already gone. Were those people sitting there from two, three hours before? I have no idea. :| Since I couldn’t get the same spot I had in the afternoon for the Jubilation parade, I settled for next best thing – right opposite that.

The castle was right behind me.

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Japan: Day 9 – Disneyland (6)

There will only be one more blog post on Disneyland after this, I promise! ^_^;

I happened to be near the parade route in the late afternoon and decided to hang around for the Easter Wonderland parade. I hadn’t taken any pictures of the parade itself in the morning so I decided to dedicate this round to photos.

Waiting for a parade to start meant people-watching first. Saw another fellow dozing on his mat.

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Japan: Day 9 – Disneyland (5)

I considered ignoring this set of pictures altogether and going straight into the next batch because I thought that I must be boring my friends with incessant Disney. But then… this is my blog. So I might as well. haha

Space Mountain. Was closed for upgrading. :(

I headed for Showbase in Tomorrowland to try and catch the One Man’s Dream II stage show. It was a collection of short performances – singing and dancing – featuring the Disney characters. The description of the show on my Disneyland map says: “Walt  Disney’s dreams were behind his well-loved films and characters. This colorful musical show brings to life scenes from popular Disney stories.”

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