Category Archives: Disney

My Thoughts on: Flubber (1997)

*This review was requested from a Patreon subscriber as part of his monthly reward

I first watched Flubber years ago (I don’t think I saw it in theaters, but it was still pretty new when I did see it), and I was excited at the chance to get to see it again.

For those who haven’t seen it, Flubber is actually a remake of The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), a film starring Fred MacMurray as the titular professor who discovers “Flubber.” The remake starred the late Robin Williams as Philip Brainard, a brilliant if absent-minded professor who is trying to save the college he teaches at while also trying to hold on to some semblance of a social/romantic life with his long suffering fiancée Sara (Marcia Gay Harden). His life changes when he discovers the miraculous (and seemingly sentient) substance he dubs “Flubber.”

9f0b3a60-25e4-0134-0af0-0629623c6db9.png

Considering the film is 22 years old, the CGI for Weebo (Brainard’s floating robot assistant) and especially for Flubber holds up extremely well. Even though Flubber is only a digitally created ball of green stuff, there’s so much life imbued in its movements, that I at least had no problem accepting that it was real, both then and now. And Weebo…I knew there was a reason I remembered that character so much. Weebo (voiced by Jodi Benson no less) is just awesome, and baby Weebo? Melts my heart every time.

That’s not to say that all of the effects held up as well as I remembered. The last fight, for example, where Brainard uses “sprayable Flubber” wasn’t quite as good as I remembered, though I’m not sure how seriously we were supposed to take it. However, one of the things I still found immensely funny was all of the things that Flubber allowed you to do, everything from jumping unnaturally high to helping cars to fly. And Flubber is such a mysterious substance that you really can believe that it can do all of these things.

As much as I enjoyed this film as a child, and still do, it was bittersweet watching Robin Williams do what he did so well, playing a brilliant part and making me laugh as only he could. It’s been almost five years, but it still hurts that he’s gone.

Overall, Flubber holds up as a fun Disney film that you should definitely see if you haven’t already. A big shout-out to @reaperofdarkn3s for requesting a review of this film. Let me know what you think about Flubber in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Advertisements

Oliver & Company “Good Company” (1988)

As with the Oliver Twist story that inspired this film, our feline Oliver finds himself taken in by a wealthy family after a robbery attempt goes bad. More specifically, Oliver is happily adopted by Jenny Foxworth, who is feeling very lonely since her parents have just let her know they won’t be home from an international trip in time for her birthday. If Jenny seems familiar, that’s because she was originally supposed to be Penny from The Rescuers (1977) who, if you remember, was adopted at the end of the film. An early concept was for Oliver & Company to pick up and continue Penny’s story, but the idea was eventually abandoned.

In “Good Company,” Jenny takes great delight in spoiling her new pet, getting Oliver a collar, and taking him around the park, much to the increasing jealousy of the family poodle Georgette.

You and me together we’ll be
Forever you’ll see
We two can be good company
You and me
Yes, together we two
Together, that’s you
Forever with me
We’ll always be good company
You and me
Yes, together we’ll be

(Instrumental break)

You and me together we’ll be
Forever, you’ll see
We’ll always be good company
You and me
Just wait and see

“Good Company” is the literal definition of a feel-good Disney moment. It’s simply heartwarming to watch Oliver and Jenny enjoy being with each other as they have fun throughout the day. Of course, being a Disney film, you know this won’t last (not if the jealous Georgette has anything to say about it), but it’s fun to enjoy it for now.

What do you think about “Good Company”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Oliver & Company “Why Should I Worry?” (1988)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Lady and the Tramp “He’s a Tramp” (1955)

Most Disney films that have a romance sub-plot tend to follow the following pattern (in broad strokes): guy meets girl; they fall initially clash; they fall in love; they have a potentially relationship ending fight; they reaffirm their love and live happily ever after.

“He’s a Tramp” comes not long before Lady and Tramp have the aforementioned fight. Having ended up in the pound after trying to chase chickens with Tramp, Lady ends up finding out a lot more about Tramp. According to one sultry canine (voiced by Peggy Lee), Tramp is a notorious womanizer, and Lady is far from the first to succumb to his charms.

He’s a tramp, ba boom boom
But they love him
Breaks a new heart
Ev’ry day
He’s a tramp
They adore him
And I only hope
He’ll stay that way
He’s a tramp
He’s a scoundrel
He’s a rounder
He’s a cad
He’s a tramp
But I love him
Yes, even I
Have got it pretty bad

 

You can never tell
When he’ll show up
He gives you
Plenty of trouble
I guess he’s just a
No ‘count pup
But I wish that he
Were double

He’s a tramp
He’s a rover
And there’s nothing
More to say
If he’s a tramp
He’s a good one
And I wish that I
Could travel his way

Finding out that she’s not even Tramp’s first love is naturally heartbreaking for Lady, who is taken home shortly thereafter. This song actually went over my head when I was little. I realize now that Tramp is being described as someone who is a rogue, unfaithful, etc., everything that Lady doesn’t want to hear about someone she’s just fallen in love with. This nearly leads to the end of Lady and Tramp’s relationship, but thankfully Tramp proves himself in the end.

What do you think about “He’s a Tramp”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Lady and the Tramp “The Siamese Cat Song” (1955)

Lady and the Tramp “Bella Notte” (1955)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Lady and the Tramp “Bella Notte” (1955)

Apart from “The Siamese Cat Song,” I think one of the most memorable scenes from Lady and the Tramp is “Bella Notte” when Lady and Tramp have a romantic spaghetti dinner while the chefs serenade them. Unbelievably, the iconic “spaghetti kiss” almost didn’t happen because Walt Disney was inclined to cut the moment out. Thankfully for us, he changed his mind.

This is the night
It’s a beautiful night
And we call it bella notte

Look at the skies
They have stars in their eyes
On this lovely bella notte

Funnily enough, even though Lady and Tramp are dogs, for years this scene was my idea of the perfect date (up to and including having my own version of a “spaghetti kiss.”) It’s simple, it’s romantic, and who wouldn’t like being serenaded under the stars?

So take the love of your loved one
You’ll need it about this time
To keep from falling like a star
When you make that dizzy climb

For this is the night
And the heavens are right
On this lovely bella notte
On this lovely bella notte

After all the bad things that happened to Lady with Aunt Sarah and her devilish cats (who are never seen again as far as I know), this scene provides a nice breather for our canine heroine (which is good because things are about to get bad again in a little bit).

What do you think of “Bella Notte”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Lady and the Tramp “The Siamese Cat Song” (1955)

Lady and the Tramp “He’s a Tramp” (1955)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Pocahontas “Just Around the Riverbend” (1995)

Before the arrival of John Smith and the rest of the English settlers, Pocahontas already has a dilemma to deal with: her father Powhatan returns from a lengthy war against a rival tribe and lets her know that Kocoum, a mighty warrior, has asked permission to marry her. Pocahontas is not exactly thrilled with this development (just listen to how she utters the line “but he’s so….serious.”) but it seems clear that Powhatan expects his daughter to acquiesce to the marriage, reminding her that as the chief’s daughter she needs to take her place among her people. He tries to tell Pocahontas that she needs to settle down by saying she should be more like the steady river that flows next to their village, the river which is “steady as the steady beating drum.”

Pocahontas loves her father very much, but she doesn’t agree with his lesson in the slightest. For her, the river isn’t steady at all, and this sets up “Just Around the Riverbend.”

 

What I love most about rivers is:
You can’t step in the same river twice
The water’s always changing, always flowing
But people, I guess, can’t live like that
We all must pay a price
To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing
What’s around the riverbend
Waiting just around the riverbend

I look once more
Just around the riverbend
Beyond the shore
Where the gulls fly free
Don’t know what for
What I dream the day might send
Just around the riverbend
For me
Coming for me

Pocahontas simply can’t imagine living a life where she isn’t free to explore and learn new things. Everyone she knows is content with a steady life, but Pocahontas prefers to go where the wind takes her. And THAT is the source of her dilemma, how does she reconcile being who she is with obeying her father’s wishes? CAN she obey?

I feel it there beyond those trees
Or right behind these waterfalls
Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming
For a handsome sturdy husband
Who builds handsome sturdy walls
And never dreams that something might be coming?
Just around the riverbend
Just around the riverbend

Just_Around_the_Riverbend.png

I look once more
Just around the riverbend
Beyond the shore
Somewhere past the sea
Don’t know what for…
Why do all my dreams extend
Just around the riverbend?
Just around the riverbend…

Should I choose the smoothest course
Steady as the beating drum?
Should I marry Kocoum?
Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver
Just around the riverbend?

Pocahontas seems genuinely torn as to what she should do. By rights, she should obey her father and marry Kocoum, who, while very serious, does seem to genuinely care about her (as briefly seen later on in the story). On the other hand, due to the stronge dreams that Pocahontas has been having, she genuinely believes that she may not be meant to settle down and get married. Since she doesn’t know which way to go, Pocahontas has traveled to speak with Grandmother Willow about what she should do.

I really love this song, especially the moment when she rides down the waterfall. To this day, I giggle when I see the expression on Meeko’s face when he realizes they’re not only approaching a waterfall, they’re going down it as well!

Let me know what you think about “Just Around the Riverbend” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Pocahontas “Virginia Company” (1995)

Pocahontas “Steady as the Beating Drum” (1995)

Pocahontas “Listen With Your Heart” (1995)

Pocahontas “Mine, Mine, Mine” (1995)

Pocahontas “Savages, Part I” (1995)

Pocahontas “Savages, Part II” (1995)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My (spoiler-free) Thoughts on: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Wow.

Wow, wow, wow, and once again, wow.

That was BEAUTIFUL.

Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of a story that began all the way back in 2008 with the first Iron Man. The MCU has since grown to consist of 22 films (including Endgame) and has redefined how comic books can be brought to life. While covering the rise of various heroes (and villains), the MCU had also told, piece by piece, the story of Thanos the Mad Titan. Endgame is the final result of EVERYTHING that has happened in the MCU, even more than Infinity War. There were so many plot threads that went into making this story that it could have easily become overwhelming or confusing.

But it didn’t.

Endgame does an admirable job of setting up the stakes for this final battle. It is made clear what needs to be done and WHY it needs to be done. There is some beautiful cinematography along the way, I would even dare to say that some of my favorite shots in the entire MCU belong to this film. The last act alone is a dream come true. If the film has one flaw, it’s that you need to have seen most of the MCU prior to seeing Endgame, or certain little moments in the film aren’t going to make sense.

Musically, Alan Silvestri knocks it out of the park once again. If you listen carefully, you can hear musical callbacks to multiple past MCU films, reprises of certain themes, all building to the perfect climax in the last act. Just like Infinity War, the music of Endgame takes you on an emotional roller-coaster ride, but in a good way.

I said at the beginning that Endgame is a culmination of everything that’s come before, which also means it’s, in many ways, an ending. The film does an excellent job of resolving all of those plot threads. And yet, at the same time, the door is left slightly open for several stories to continue. The MCU will definitely continue (it makes way too much money to end now) but it will never be like it was before. That story has come to an end.

But what a story it was. I’m not sure we’ll ever see anything like it again.

And that’s my spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you had just as much fun watching the film as I did. Let me know your spoiler-free thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Avengers: Infinity War-Review (no spoilers)

My thoughts on: Black Panther (2018)

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

 

Robin Hood “Love” (1973)

There are few love stories I enjoy more than the one between Robin Hood and Maid Marian, no matter which iteration of the story I’m watching. The Disney version is no different, with Marian revealing that she and Robin were childhood sweethearts. Both initially believe that a relationship is impossible, since they haven’t seen each other in years (not to mention the slightly important detail that Robin is an outlaw). However, despite their denials, the moment they see each other at the archery tournament, all their feelings come rushing back and Robin ends up proposing marriage (which Marian happily accepts).

 

After the chaos following the tournament, Robin and Marian wander the woods together, and this is the setting for “Love.” Unlike some Disney love songs, neither character actually sings. Rather, like “So This is Love” from Cinderella, the song is taking place inside the character’s thoughts (presumably Maid Marian’s since it’s a female singer).

Love
It seems like only yesterday
You were just a child at play
Now you’re all grown up inside of me
Oh, how fast those moments flee

Once we watched a lazy world go by
Now the days seem to fly
Life is brief, but when it’s gone
Love goes on and on

Love will live
Love will last
Love goes on and on and on

Once we watched a lazy world go by
Now the days seem to fly
Life is brief, but when it’s gone
Love goes on and on

It almost feels like an unusual sentiment for a love song. Instead of talking about how Robin and Marian are going to run away together, or how happy they’ll be together, “Love” talks about how love will remain even after people are gone. It’s a beautiful song, and one I like to sing to myself sometimes. It’s also a nice change after the madness of the archery tournament. This song was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (though it didn’t win). One detail I really like about this scene are the glowing fireflies that flit around in the background (though I’d never heard of fireflies being pink before, but this is Disney we’re talking about). I hope you enjoyed learning a little about “Love.”

Let me know what you think about this song in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Robin Hood “Oo-De-Lally” (1973)

Robin Hood “The Phony King of England” (1973)

Robin Hood “Not in Nottingham” (1973)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂