Tag Archives: Disney

The Little Mermaid “Les Poissons” (1989)

As a general rule, I pride myself on having a pretty good memory where Disney’s animated films are concerned. Having grown up on them, and seen most of them dozens of times each, I can quote most of the songs in each film, if not entirely then at least their general premise. That’s why I’m so ashamed to say…I completely forgot about “Les Poissons” in The Little Mermaid. And when I say forget, I mean I completely forgot this sequence even existed (except for a vague memory of Sebastian being coated with flour).

Today I’m rectifying this lapse in memory by looking at a short song that would be purely funny in any other film, but actually takes on aspects of horror given the audience (Sebastian). The premise is simple: Sebastian, sneaking into the castle to keep an eye on Ariel, finds himself (to his horror), in the kitchen, where Chef Louis is happily preparing food for Prince Eric and company. Chef Louis was voiced by the late René Auberjonois, and at first appears to be a completely harmless character. That is until he starts chopping fish. Given how Sebastian has already sung a song to Ariel (“Under the Sea”) hinting at what happens to fish on land, this song is like all of the crab’s worst nightmares brought to life.

 

Nouvelle cuisine
Les Champs-Élysées, Maurice Chevalier

Les poissons, les poissons
How I love les poissons!
Love to chop
And to serve little fish.

(*Chop, chop, chop!*)

First I cut off their heads
Then I pull out their bones.
Ah mais oui, ça c’est toujours délice.

(Sebastian gags)

Les poissons, les poissons
Hee-hee-hee, hon-hon-hon
With a cleaver I hack them in two.

(Sebastian examines a dead fish’s head and gasps)

I pull out what’s inside
And I serve it up fried.
God, I love little fishes, don’t you?

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(Louis adds cooked fish to a platter)

Here’s something for tempting the palate
Prepared in the classic technique.
First you pound the fish flat with a mallet.

(Louis pounds the table hard)

Then you slash off their skin.
Give their belly a slice.
Then you rub some salt in
‘Cause that makes it taste nice.

Wow, for being a mere chef, Louis really does like to swing that cleaver around doesn’t he? Given how most of this song is scene from Sebastian’s perspective, the shadows, the entire scene really does come across as something like horror (and for a crab like Sebastian, that’s exactly what it would be). And like any horror film, it only gets worse for our little crab…
(Louis removes a leaf from the counter and finds Sebastian hiding underneath)

(Spoken) Zut alors ! I have missed one!

(Louis picks up Sebastian)

Sacrebleu ! What is this?
How on earth could I miss
Such a sweet little succulent crab?

Quel dommage, what a loss!
Here we go in the sauce.
Now some flour-I think just a dab.

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(Sebastian sneezes)

Now I stuff you with bread.
It don’t hurt, ’cause you’re dead
And you’re certainly lucky you are.

(Sebastian spits out the stuffed crab filling)

‘Cause it’s gonna be hot
In my big silver pot
Tootle-loo, mon poisson, au revoir!

In fitting Disney fashion, Sebastian quickly gets his revenge on Chef Louis, and a hilarious chase ensues, bringing the brief episode of “Les Poissons” to a close. Having rewatched the video several times, I can’t believe I ever forgot about this scene and I’m glad I finally revisited it. Let me know what you think about this song in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Little Mermaid “Daughters of Triton” (1989)

The Little Mermaid “Part of Your World” (1989)

The Little Mermaid “Poor Unfortunate Souls” (1989)

The Little Mermaid “Vanessa’s Song” (1989)

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

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My Thoughts on: The Mandalorian, Season 1 (2019)

As much as I love Star Wars, I will admit to being slightly dubious when I first heard about The Mandalorian, a show that is exclusive to Disney+. It’s not that I didn’t doubt the casting or talent behind the production, I was just more interested in learning if there would be any new productions featuring Ahsoka. Any doubts I did have quickly vanished once Disney+ arrived. One season in, The Mandalorian is a brilliant addition to the Star Wars universe, albeit one that’s currently left me with more questions than answers.

Let’s start with a few background details. First there’s the timing of this show: in the grand scheme of things, The Mandalorian is set 5 years post-Return of the Jedi. So the Emperor is dead, Vader is dead, there’s no Death Star, and nominally the New Republic is in charge of the galaxy. In truth though, taking out the Empire has left a power vacuum in large chunks of the galaxy, leaving many to scramble to get by as well as they can, which is where the titular Mandalorian comes in. He’s a bounty hunter, a good one too. But his bounty hunting lifestyle is turned upside down when he accepts one particular job.

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By the time the first episode was over, I was completely hooked on this show. The Mandalorian feels like Star Wars in a way that’s hard for me to put into words. From the gritty details, to the many, MANY hidden Easter eggs throughout the season, everything in this season just fits into the existing mythos. That being said, there are a few things this season left me thinking about, the first of which is baby Yoda.

I wish a camera could’ve recorded the look on my face when baby Yoda was first revealed (yes, I know that isn’t actually Yoda, but the name is cute). Of all the things I thought the asset could be…this wasn’t it. This is one of the details I have so many questions about: where did he come from? What is his name? What did the Client want with him? Was baby Yoda originally a youngling at the Temple? (hey, he’s 50 years old, that last one is technically possible) I’m hoping that at least some of these questions are addressed in season 2, because I need answers!

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Another major question, and one that I suspect will be answered next month: what the frack happened on Mandalore? Better question, what happened to Mandalore? I ask this question for several reasons. The first is that the Mandalorians are revealed to be few in number and in hiding, something that was not true the last time we saw any Mandalorians. The fact that the Darksaber is in the hands of an Imperial Moff (more on that in a moment) means that something really bad happened. Keep in mind, the last time we saw the Darksaber, it was about a year before the Battle of Yavin and it had been given to Bo-Katan Kryze by Sabine Wren. The latter was going to unite Mandalore against the Empire, a plan that obviously failed spectacularly. I’m hoping that the upcoming last season of The Clone Wars will give some insight into part of what happened to Mandalore, or at least lay the foundations for it.

Another thing, holy crap the Darksaber has made its live-action debut and I still can’t quite believe it. For those who might not know, the Darksaber is a legendary lightsaber made by a Mandalorian Jedi named Tarre Vizsla thousands of years ago during the Old Republic. Unlike traditional lightsabers, the Darksaber has a black blade, one shaped to look like a sword. The Darksaber eventually became associated with the rule of Mandalore itself, with would-be leaders challenging for the right to wield the blade and rule the planet. It cannot be overstated how important the Darksaber is to any surviving Mandalorians. Once it gets out that Moff Gideon has the Darksaber….oh heads will roll in an attempt to get it back.

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And speaking of Moff Gideon…who is he? How did he get his hands on the Darksaber?? And am I the only one who noticed that his armor bears a distinct resemblance to Vader’s? I’m secretly hoping Gideon gets introduced in the last season of The Clone Wars, because I need to learn more about this character as soon as possible.

Hopefully all of these ramblings demonstrate that I really, really liked The Mandalorian and I’m really excited for season 2 when it arrives this fall.

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

See also:

TV Reviews

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Frozen II “Into the Unknown” (2019)

*warning: spoilers for Frozen II below

The other song that I really liked the most in Frozen II is “Into the Unknown”, Elsa’s first big solo in the story. In this song, Elsa addresses the mysterious voice that has been calling her in a voice that only she can hear. The song takes place late at night when everyone is asleep, everyone except Elsa, who can’t sleep due to the voice’s incessant calling.

Ah ah, ah ah
Ah ah, ah ah
Ah ah, ah ah ah ah

I can hear you but I won’t
Some look for trouble
While others don’t
There’s a thousand reasons
I should go about my day
And ignore your whispers
Which I wish would go away, oh oh

Ah ah, ah ah

Oh

Ah ah ah ah, ah

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Now what’s interesting about this song is that Elsa is turning the conventions of this song-type onto its head. Most Disney characters would simply sing about how they’re curious about this voice and want to go on an adventure. But Elsa openly defies this idea, saying “I’ve HAD my adventure (i.e. the first Frozen), go bother somebody else.” And yet, at the same time, Elsa also verges into traditional territory, admitting that she wants to follow the voice, but she’s afraid of the consequences. And this fear is understandable, since Elsa is queen and she has an entire country to think about.

You’re not a voice
You’re just a ringing in my ear
And if I heard you, which I don’t
I’m spoken for, I fear
Everyone I’ve ever loved is here within these walls
I’m sorry, secret siren, but I’m blocking out your calls
I’ve had my adventure, I don’t need something new
I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you

Into the unknown
Into the unknown
Into the unknown

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah

Ah

Ah ah ah ah, ah, ah

What do you want? ‘Cause you’ve been keeping me awake
Are you here to distract me so I make a big mistake?
Or are you someone out there who’s a little bit like me?
Who knows deep down I’m not where I’m meant to be?
Every day’s a little harder as I feel my power grow
Don’t you know there’s part of me that longs to go

Into the unknown?
Into the unknown
Into the unknown

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Another detail I like about this song is how Elsa imitates the voice at the end of each verse (the third time she sings “Into the Unknown” her voice ululates like the voice, showing how it’s slowly but surely influencing her).

Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah

Whoa oh oh
Are you out there?
Do you know me?
Can you feel me?
Can you show me?
Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

I also really like the sequence where Elsa…for lack of a better description enters the magic world where her ice magic seems to come alive around her. Apparently this somehow grabs the attention of the spirits (according to Elsa’s own explanation moments after this song ends) but I still don’t entirely understand how that happened. Storytelling issues aside, the “magic world” is beautifully rendered, and provides a brilliant example of how Elsa is literally getting lost in her magical abilities.

Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah

Where are you going?
Don’t leave me alone
How do I follow you (Ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah)
Into the unknown? (Ah, ah, ah!)

Having listened to this song a number of times, I can see why people are comparing it to “Let it Go” from the first film. It’s definitely a similar song in style, but the tone, to me, is different. “Let it Go” was about Elsa proclaiming her new identity and letting go of the past. “Into the Unknown” is about Elsa hesitating to follow a destiny that might take her away from all that she knows and loves, quite a different story than the first song. But while different, I don’t love it any less, and in fact I really enjoy the back and forth that Elsa has with the voice by the end of the song.

Let me know what you think about “Into the Unknown” and Frozen II in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Frozen II “All is Found” (2019)

Frozen II “Show Yourself” (2019)

My Thoughts on: Frozen II (2019)

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

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Frozen II “Show Yourself” (2019)

*WARNING: major plot spoilers for Frozen II. DO NOT continue if you haven’t seen the film yet!

Of all the songs featured in Frozen II, one of my immediate favorites was “Show Yourself”, a song that comes late in the film as Elsa sets off to discover just who has been calling her and upending her life as the queen of Arendelle. After (literally) harnessing the Nokk, the water spirit, Elsa rides across the Dark Sea to Ahtohallan, a river of memory preserved in the form of a glacier.

Every inch of me is trembling
But not from the cold
Something is familiar
Like a dream I can reach
But not quite hold

I can sense you there
Like a friend I’ve always known
I’m arriving, it feels like I am home
I have always been a fortress
Cold secrets deep inside
You have secrets too
But you don’t have to hide

Show yourself
I’m dying to meet you
Show yourself
It’s your turn

Are you then one I’ve been looking for all of my life?!
Show yourself!
I’m ready to learn…
Ah-ah-ah-ah

Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah

So far so good. This feels like we’re finally reaching the true climax of the story and rightly so. This voice has haunted Elsa since the beginning of the story, and now it appears that we’re finally going to see who this voice belongs to. And it appears that the owner of the voice is close at hand as Elsa chases it farther into the ice.

I’ve never felt so certain
All my life I’ve been torn
But I’m here for a reason
Could it be the reason I was born?
I have always been so different
Normal rules did not apply
Is this the day?
Are you the way
I finally find out why!!?

Show yourself!
I’m no longer trembling!
Here I am
I’ve come so far!
You are the answer I’ve waited for
All of my life!

Oh, show yourself
Let me see who you are…
Come to me now
Open your door
Don’t make me wait
One moment more!

Right about now, however, is where things began to go slightly sideways for me. On its own, I absolutely love every moment of this song. However, taken in context with the film, this part doesn’t make too much sense. Of course I see the revelation they’re going for, that Elsa is the 5th spirit, but at this point in the story I have no idea how we’ve gotten to that point. And the fact that I’m aware of this during the song made it lose just a little something for me (beautiful moment though it is).

Oh, come to me now
Open your door
Don’t make me wait
One moment more!

Where the northwind meets the sea

(Ah-ah-ah-ah)

There’s a river

(Ah-ah-ah-ah)

full of memory

And of course this is the moment where I (temporarily) put aside my confusion and just completely teared up. This moment is beautiful, with the song coming in, and Elsa somehow coming face to face with the spirit of her mother. I don’t understand how this is possible (and it could have been slightly better explained), but it is.

Come my darling, homeward bound

I am found!

Show yourself!
Step into your power
Grow yourself
Into something new

You are the one you’ve been waiting for

All of my life

All of your life

Oh, show yourself

You

Ah-ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah!!!

Despite a few storytelling flaws, “Show Yourself” remains a powerful song and one of my favorite moments in the entire film. Let me know what you think about “Show Yourself” in Frozen II and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Frozen II (2019)

Frozen II “All is Found” (2019)

Frozen II “Into the Unknown” (2019)

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 Thoughts on: Frozen II (2019)

*warning: potentially minor spoilers for Frozen II below

I’ve been looking forward to Frozen II for a really long time, so much so that the first teaser convinced me to sit down and watch the first Frozen film earlier this year. Given how much the original film blew me away, I was really excited to see if the sequel would do something similar. And while Frozen II is a great film, I will say right from the start that it is not as good as the original.

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I say that because Frozen II, a great film as I said before, doesn’t quite hit the mark with its plot. In broad strokes the story is great. Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven are pulled into an adventure that threatens the very existence of Arendelle. Going to the far north, they find an enchanted forest locked away by a barrier of mist due to something mysterious that happened over thirty years earlier. Our heroes must uncover what really happened and make it right in order to free the forest and the people trapped inside. Thus far, the story is great. It’s in the details though, where things begin to slip. The story takes some…unexpected turns. Some of them make sense, others don’t, and if you’re not closely following along you might lose track of what’s going on.

One twist that isn’t explained very well is what happens with Elsa. The film almost explains why these things are happening to Elsa, but it doesn’t quite get there. I think I understand what happened where Elsa is concerned, but I don’t know for sure, and that’s a problem. One twist in particular, at the end of “Show Yourself” (a beautiful song by the way, I was crying by the end), had me wanting to scratch my head because I didn’t understand how we got to this point. It’s almost like the filmmakers skipped over a plot point in their haste to get to an admittedly beautiful moment.

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Those issues aside, Frozen II is beautiful to look at. The animation has evolved by leaps and bounds, with some startling and amazing effects that make everything feel so alive. I really like the “moments in time” and I thought it was a cool (no pun intended) concept.

As much as I enjoyed Frozen II, I hope there is not a Frozen III. There really is nothing more to add to the story at this point. We know, mostly, why Elsa has her powers, no plot threads remain unresolved. At this point, Arendelle should be left in peace. As I said before, the film isn’t perfect, but the brilliant animation and songs (especially “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself”) pretty much make up for it.

Let me know your thoughts on Frozen II in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Frozen (2013)

Animated Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

After all these years, I finally knocked a long-standing entry off my “to watch” list by sitting down and watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. Please don’t ask me why it took me so long to watch this classic, I honestly think it’s just a case of “I simply never got around to it”  believe me there was nothing personal keeping me from watching this film. And now that I’ve finally seen what all the fuss is about, I’m so glad I did, because The Nightmare Before Christmas is amazing and holds up extremely well for being made in 1993.

To quickly summarize, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stop-motion animation film set in a world where each holiday resides in their own distinct “land.” Most of the story is set in Halloween Town, where Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, is lord and master of all things Halloween. However, after overseeing Halloween festivities for more years than he can count, Jack is tired of doing the same old thing and becomes enamored of the Christmas holiday when he accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town. As you might expect, chaos ensues.

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I’ve been a fan of stop-motion animation since almost before I can remember, and this film does it so well it makes the concept look easy (would you believe it took them THREE YEARS to take this film?) The movements are so fluid and lifelike, there’s no trouble believing that characters like Jack and Sally are very much real. I found myself fascinated by Sally in particular, the idea of a living rag doll that can stitch herself back together impressed me. Of all the characters in Halloween Town, she’s the only one that I don’t find “scary” in any sense of the word. Even though Sally is stitched together, the fact that she’s only stuffed with leaves inside makes it completely not scary when her limbs come off.

One sequence that especially impressed me is “Oogie Boogie’s Song” which apparently takes place in a blacklight environment that brings out a slew of colorful details in Oogie Boogie’s lair. And speaking of Oogie Boogie, I absolutely love the moment when the would-be villain comes face to face with a pissed off Jack Skellington at the climax of the film. All of that bravado is OUT the door and it is too funny to see how quickly it happens.

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All told, I love The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I hope with all my heart that the proposed sequel/reboot/remake/whatever Disney is trying to do never, EVER happens. This film is pure magic and it would be a shame to ruin its perfection by creating a sequel or, God forbid, a live-action remake. The soundtrack by Danny Elfman is a lot of fun also, and I loved all of it.

Let me know what you think about The Nightmare Before Christmas in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

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

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

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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.”

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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 Reviews

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