Magical Movies Tour: The Three Caballeros

What a weird, trippy, again kinda racist, delight of a film! I’ve always been a fan of the Cabelloros, from Disney World and from those Disney Sing-a-Long videos, but had never watched the full film.

Again, we have a series of shorts, this time much more connected than Saludos Amigos. Donald receives a gift and it turns out to be a magical film meant to introduce him to his cousins from South America. He learns about some different birds, before making his way to Brasil, where hey look! Jose Carrioca is waiting for him! The two friends happily dance and sing in Brasil, and then wind up in Mexico, where they meet Panchito Pistoles. They hop on their magical sarape (I said, kinda racist) and fly about Mexico, singing, dancing, Donald hits on lots of pretty girls, and then finds his way home.

It’s just delightful, neon colored, displaying early attempts at integrating live footage and animation and seriously, the songs in this one are so much fun. Also, I just adore Jose and Panchito, and I’ve already explained that Donald is my favorite of the Fab Five. So I was just thrilled to watch the movie.

And as it descended into trippy madness, I was even happier. Singers become flowers, with singers faces, Donald skips around a technocolor wonderland while Jose and Panchito look on fondly. All three fly off on a magical serape.

Again, sometimes things just need to be what they are, and this is a silly cartoon about singing birds with some fun songs sung by Mexican singers. And this executes that conceit perfectly. It’s less “educational” than it’s brother production, and all the better for it.

Next week we discuss Fun And Fancy Free, we’re skipping Make Mine Music because it isn’t on Disney+ (bizarrely) and I don’t feel like chasing it down.

Magical Movies Tour: Saludos Amigos

When I went to San Francisco & Napa last year, I had one morning that wasn’t already scheduled with family wedding activities or something my dad had already put on the books for us. I decided to use it visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum.

The production of Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros (The subject of next week’s column) were well detailed in that museum, produced with funds from the US government to promote understanding with our southern neighbors. I don’t know how well they did that, but they are some fun cartoons.

Saludos Amigos doesn’t hide it’s framing device, and is all the better for it. A group of Disney Animators headed on a whirlwind South American trip to get some fresh inspiration. And wouldn’t ya know it? THEY GOT IT.

There’s four shorts. One is Donald learning about life around Lake Titicaca, one is about a little plane named Pedro who flies mail over the Andes. (I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little obsessed with Pedro, he’s super cute.) There’s one where Goofy learns the ways of the Argentine Gauchos. There are few things in the world I love like a Goody cartoon. (If you’re a Disney+ subscriber, watch “How To Swim” or “How to Ski” IMMEDIATELY. They are GENIUS PERFECTION) and then a samba short about Rio DiJenaero where Donald meets the sauve Jose Carrioca for the first time.

All four are delightful, and don’t overstay their welcome and while I’m not sure how much I learned about South America, I very much enjoyed the samba numbers and primo Donald content. (Big fan of Donald around here.)

Next week, we’ll talk about The Three Caballeros, which means even more primo Donald content. And more of Jose!

Magical Movies Tour: Pinnochio

As someone who love Disney in all it’s forms. (All praise to the Mouse!) I found myself stunned by watching Pinnochio another one I hadn’t watched since I was little. While there’s the light through line of Pinnochio wanting to become a real boy, and Geppetto searching for him on his adventures, it’s much more episodic than anything else, we go from scrape, to scrape, thatat Pinnochio and Jiminy get into.

But I was also blown away by how despite not knowing the movie that well, I knew every word to every one of these songs, because they’re used ad nauseum in the parks. “When You Wish Upon A Star” obviously, but also, “Hi Diddly Dee,” and “I’ve Got No Strings” just all over the place.

Jiminy Cricket is an interesting character, I like that he’s a little bit more of a scoundrel than I remembered, or at least, kind of a bum. He’s looking for some level of “becoming real” as well, or at least a place of belonging. The Blue Fairy sees this in him and grants him purpose, he’s a conscience. He’s terrible at this job but he’s trying his best.

The animation is once again, mind blowingly lovely, the transformation of the boys into Donkeys is terrifying, as is Monstro the whale, but in general everything looks so smooth and beautiful, the dancing in particular is a marvel and such a step up from Snow White, which I know was something that Disney himself was very adamant about, he wanted there to be revolutionary and new animation in each film.

While I didn’t enjoy Pinnochio as much as I did Snow White, seeing the way the animation moved forward was cool, and I love the music here, truly love it.

Next week, even more music! It’s time to talk about Fantasia. I actually watched this the first weekend that Disney+ was available, but I’m excited to watch it again. It’s remarkably beautiful.

Ready For The Team: Young Justice: Outsiders Part 1

So, we’re, here you guys. We’re through the first half of Season 3 of Young Justice, and we’re not getting more until summer.

While I have been having giddy excited brain exploding fangirly squee fests over the episodes as they’ve dropped (usually on Twitter!) this weekend, Aless came over and we watched the whole season and found ourselves, giggling, and gasping and clapping and forming more inside jokes about this. (Aless and I already have a lot of Young Justice based inside jokes. It’s that kind of show. And we’re those kind of friends.)

Here’s the thing, I love Young Justice. I think it’s completely wonderful. The first two seasons have everything I like about superhero stories. Team work, legacy characters, awkward real world metaphors, shipping, Nightwing…season 3, freed of the need to please network people, since it was on DC Universe, took those things and destroyed any barriers that may have previously been holding them back.

Team work? There are like six different teams happening on this show. There’s the Justice League, which Kaldur (now assumed the role of Aquaman,) and Wonder Woman are leading. The Team, which gives the show it’s name, being led by M’gann and Conner. Batman, Inc. lead by Batman, and Batman Inc. Jr (as I’m calling it) being lead by Tim Drake, and Super Secret Spy Team, lead by Dick Grayson.

Legacy Characters? Sure, Kaldur’s Aquaman now, so there’s that. We’re still dealing with Tim Drake as Robin, but we catch glimpses of resurrected Jason. (It’s wonderful) Bart Allen is both Kid Flash and helping his grandmother Iris West-Allen raise his dad and aunt. Conner is very concerned that Clark’s been spending a lot of time off world, so he now has to step up as the Super-being in chief.

OH, right, also we see Talia holding a baby in one episode, and Lois Lane with her son Jon. So you know, the Supersons are coming.

Real world metaphors? Well, this world is dealing with a refugee crisis as Quarac has merged with Bialya and people are trying to escape Queen Bee. Also kids are being kidnapped and tested for meta-genes and being deployed as weapons. (Dick is trying to end this. To be fair.)

Shipping. My god, this show gives good ship. Dick and Barbara are a couple. (Oh, also she’s Oracle now.) M’gann and Conner are engaged, but kind of having some problems. Clone!Roy (who goes by Will) is living with Artemis and there are vibes there, but he’s not really over Cheshire and Artemis’s morning routing still involves waking up to a picture of Wally. (The show has NO CHILL about a lot of things, and one of them is Wally’s death. They’re going to make you sad about whenever possible.) Jaime and Bart are still chilling (They are my out there not really a ship, but yes they are.) Tim and Cassie are still together but strained, and he’s leading a squad that includes Steph. (My heart belongs to Tim and Steph.) New characters Violet (Halo) and Brion (Geoforce) and falling for each other, but she’s also strongly drawn to Cyborg. And Beast Boy is dating Queen Perdita of Lativa (they met at Wally’s funeral.)

Nightwing. There’s so much Nightwing. He’s leading a secret black ops crew to break up a metahuman trafficking ring. He’s bailing on his friends because he’s having trouble connecting since Wally’s death. He’s bringing Black Lighting along on missions where lots of teenagers die, because, I don’t know, he hates Black Lighting? (YOU KILLED A KID! Is one of said new inside jokes.) He’s making out with Barbara, and making bad puns so she rolls her eyes. He’s fighting Jason but he doesn’t know it’s Jason. He’s training the new kids and being kind of a jerk about it. There’s just so much Nightwing. It’s really great.

Straight Arrow

Also, this happens. It brings me great joy.

This is just scratching the surface of all the things that make Young Justice: Outsiders really great, and a good continuation of two seasons of very good TV that came before.

I’m pretty much incapable of putting together coherent thoughts on what makes it great, and I’m not sure why.

Dick and Babs

Oh, wait, that’s why…

Not Pony Tails, Or Cotton Tails

ducktales-disney-xd-2017

When I heard that there was going to be a Duck Tales reboot, my initial response was, “but why though?” I had fond memories of the original, but saw no pressing need to bring it back.

Then they announced the cast.

Then the cast sang that adorable version of the theme song.

Then came the panels. (And my new crush on Ben Schwartz. Did I think I would ever swoon for Jean-Ralphio? No. Am I glad that I now do? You betcha!)

Then came the double length pilot. Then came the Youtube videos, and now, I am fully 100% OBSESSED with this new show.

Here are some of the things that I love:

Genuine Sense of Danger and Adventure

Something I’ve noticed a lot since Steven Universe pulled me into the magical world that is superior children’s cartoons (I’m trying with Gravity Falls at the moment, it hasn’t quite gotten me yet.) is that I really love the “big adventure” feeling of the shows, that I haven’t gotten from adult oriented genre entertainment in a while. I love my Berlanti-verse shows, but mostly for the interpersonal dynamics and awesome casting. Once Upon A Time I’m basically watching because I have Stockholm Syndrome, I think? Game Of Thrones was never about adventure, but Duck Tales really is. Scrooge is dead set on it, the Triplets & Webby (WHO I WILL GET TO) are aching for it, and even worry wort Donald is exceptionally GOOD at it.

Voice Cast

David Tennant. Kate Miccuci. Danny Pudi. Bobby Moinaghan. BEN SCHWARTZ.

Obviously, Tennant is the perfect choice for Scrooge, the Scottish accent, the quick temper, the thirst to find something new out there. It’s all in my favorite doctor. (Frankly, Capaldi could have done it as well!) And it’s creating a new version of Scrooge McDuck that we all should be grateful for, there’s a playfulness to him that I adore.

Kate Miccuci is voicing Webby Vanderquack. You know…the girl. But thank god they’re doing more with her. Webby is enthusiastic, nerdy, bright, lonely, odd, and puts glitter on her notebooks, because it is both pretty and functional (she can tell when the boys have gotten into her stuff by their sparkly feathers.). Miccuci is a treasure, and brings a sort of annoying but sweet energy to Webby’s manic pixie dream duck.

Danny Pudi’s work on Huey has been fine. He hasn’t gotten his spotlight yet, but the sense is that as the oldest (by however brief a margin) he feels the need to be the responsible one.  His dorky sea chanty mix tape and road trip itinerary reminded me of someone…I won’t say who. (*clears throat, closes touring plans and stares at floor*)

Bobby Moinaghan’s Louie is also kind of great. Louie is identified by his brothers as the “evil triplet” but he comes across less as evil and more as lazy and little bit entitled. His attempts to teach Webby to lie are kind of precious, and his overall belief that as Scrooge is old with one foot in the grave he is entitled to a fair share of treasure is hilarious.

And then there’s Ben Schwartz as Dewey. Clearly, Duck Tales has decided to focus on the middle triplet. And Schwartz is more than up for the challenge. Dewey is frustrated with is limited experience, especially his Uncle Donald and Great-Uncle Scrooge’s attempts to further limit it. He’s teamed up with Webby to find out the truth about what happened the boys’ mother Della, and he’s just overall the best. (Seriously, his dance through the death trap laser beams in Atlantis is BEAUTIFUL. “DEWEY Dewey, how does he Dewey it?”) It’s weird for me at the moment because I’m also re-watching Parks & Recreation and being this endeared to Jean-Ralphio is bizarre. But Dewey’s done it, and Schwartz is adorable so there’s that.

So far we’ve also had guest spots from Margot Martindale as Ma Beagle, Jim Rash as Gyro (which teased the arrival of Gizmo-Duck, who we already know is coming, who will be voiced by LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, because God, or Disney, or whatever, loves me)   and Mark Evan Jackson (ONUS!) as one of Scrooge’s board members. I’m sure every voice actor I love will pop up at some point, and I look forward to it.

Ship’s Ahead! AHOY!

On Saturday, Crystan and I discussed our favorite game, “why am I a horrible garbage person today?” My reason this week? I’m shipping Webby and Dewey.

Yes.

I know.

It’s terrible.

They are cartoon duck children.

I don’t care.

They’re adorable together. Dewey defends her to his brothers when they think she’s too weird. She enthusiastically signs on to help him find his mom. I love them together. Fanfic will be written. Tumblr gif sets will be searched. Every moment they are on screen together will be analyzed.

Seriously, you guys, I’ve been doing this for well over six years, you get how I am when I find a new ship, right?

The Girl

I want to give special attention to Webby Vanderquack. I barely remembered Webby from the original show, which sort of speaks to her importance there. Luckily, in the spanning decades, many entertainment companies, and Disney especially have come to understand the market power of young girls, so Webby’s been given prime billing along with Huey, Dewey and Louie! Hooray!

Of course this is an action adventure show, which gives some pitfalls, that it seems at the moment Duck Tales is sidestepping. She’s still the only girl around. (Though her grandmother, Mrs. Beakley also there…) But, she’s not a tomboy. Her head is adorned with a bow. She wears a dress. She coats her notebooks in pink glitter.

She’s imaginative, a little naive, very eager to please and a total weirdo.

I adore her.

Overall, I really can’t wait until to see what the new series brings.

Watching Wonder Woman: A Primer

wonder_woman_ver5

So, maybe you live under a rock and you’re wondering, “Hey, what’s this movie coming out this weekend? You know, that one with the lady and the sword?”

Or maybe, you’re like me and you just cannot wait another day for this movie. (Aless and I are going Thursday night.) So, you’re looking for something to watch to hold you over, or introduce you to Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Also known as Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman

A good a primer as any if the 2009 animated movie. Co-Written by Queen of All Superhero Awesomeness Gale Simone, and starring voice talent like Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Virginia Madsen, Rosario Dawson and Alfred Molina, gets you up to date on Diana’s traditional origins, as well as having a really cool battle in the streets of Washington D.C.

Justice League: Season 1: Episodes 1-3: “Secret Origins”

Meet the Justice League as they join forces. Diana leaves home here and it’s a fun alternate origin for her. Plus it has a really great scene where she is baffled by a department store.

Justice League: Season 1: Episodes 14 & 15: “Fury”

Diana and Sheyara (Hawkgirl) team up to save Themyscira from a rogue Amazon, and while I don’t remember the episode in detail, I believe this is the one where Hawkgirl makes fun of Wonder Woman for being a virgin, which is why I included it. Also, I like watching ladies team up to fight other ladies.

Justice League: Season 2: Episodes 7 & 8: “Maid Of Honor”

While this episode is a big ol step in the Wonder Woman/Batman ship that I hate so very much, it is also a Diana spotlight episode that comes as close as any non comics anything to confirming Diana’s bisexuality. (Although Gal Gadot has stated that Diana in the films is. SQUEE!) It’s also really, really good.

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 4: “Hawk And Dove”

Diana fights Ares. This is important because Ares as an enemy is pretty important to the overall mythos of Wonder Woman, and this is definitely the only time in JL or JLU that it happens…I think.

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 5: “This Little Piggy”

OK, so Wonder Woman isn’t actually in this episode much, and it showcases the dreaded ship, but it’s also a really fun episode, where she gets turned into a pig. And then Batman has to save her by singing a song for Cersi. It’s great, and Kevin Conroy croons “Am I Blue?” Also, Zatanna is in this episode a lot and so it showcases both of Aless’s top cosplays. (Also, I know it’s one of her favorites and she’d be mad if I didn’t include it.)

Justice League Unlimited: Season 1: Episode 18: “The Balance”

Diana learns her heritage, and also she and Hawkgirl make up after having a fight. And that’s where this picture, that is my favorite comes from.

Wonder Woman Sword

SWORD!!!!

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Grand Total of 20 minutes or Whatever that have Wonder Woman in Them.

I went on HBO go last night and fast forwarded through the boring and kind of terrible rest of the movie and just watched Wonder Woman’s parts, and they are great. I would never suggest anyone watch the whole movie, but just watch the Wonder Woman parts. Gal Gadot is awesome and she and Affleck are good together. (I am less opposed to this ship here. I hate it in the DCAU, however, I WILL ALWAYS HATE IT!)

I’ll be back on Friday after seeing the movie. Guys, I’m really excited for this one. Who’s ready for the

Cosplay Corner: A Galaxy Far Far Away

Hey guys! Remember that I sometimes do this? So, last week to gear up for Rogue One, I did some Star Wars themed closet cosplays, and I was really happy with how they came out!

I started off with Saturday and dressed as my favorite Star Wars character (before You Know Who showed up) Obi-Wan Kenobi. I love Obi-Wan for a lot of reasons, but mostly because he’s the best and you’ll never convince me otherwise. So, I wore a white tee shirt and brown leggings and a tan jacket, because Jedi wear robes.

obi-wan

The next day, Sunday, I had no intention of leaving the house, but I realized I had lounge ware that would let me channel Anakin Skywalker pretty well. I went with a black yoga pants, a brown tee shirt, and a black cardigan with grey trim. Poof! Instant Chosen One. (Brooding and Fall To The Dark Side not included.)

anakin

On Monday I was back at work, so I had to get a little more creative, as leggings and yoga pants based outfits were not really an option anymore. I realized though that with my brown skirt and cream fair isle sweater, I could easily channel Luke Skywalker. (Not pictured Uggs! I’m very much back into my Uggs this winter!) I feel like the sweater gets across the idea of Luke’s innocence very well and that’s like 80% of his character in the first movie.

luke

Tuesday I decided to go off the main movie path, and decided to dress up as Ahsoka. A maroon cardigan, like her clothes, an orange skirt, for her complection, grey leggings, like hers, and a blue scarf for her horns.

ahsoka

A LOT of planning went into this costume, which I think is appropriate as Ahsoka’s voice actress is a geek girl fashion icon.

ashley

Me with Ashley Ecksten at NYCC 2014! HerUniverse ALWAYS the best.

Wednesday was a little bit lazier, and it was time for Kylo Ren. Kylo’s easy, black sweater, black pants and a black scarf. I also wore red earrings to be his lightsaber. (I thought about it at least a little.

kylo

Thursday was movie day, and I was planning on wearing my Hoth Leia costume to the movie, but first I had my company’s Christmas party and these people don’t know me and also I wouldn’t wear a costume to a Christmas party. So, I needed to figure out a way to wear the base of the Leia costume, and have it be something else. Enter, the true hero R2-D2. Blue sweater with my white leggings. TA DA! My hair was in my Leia braids though, because those need to be done while my hair is wet.

r2

Anyway, that’s what I did to celebrate Star Wars!