I know it’s kind of reductive to pit “black” Disney movies against each other, but as I walked out of my Black Panther screening, couldn’t help but think about the differences between the two films, particularly in the way they handled their villains. Both are films with a mostly black cast that use black villains, who are motivated by issues of particular resonance to black audiences. One of these films expresses its themes through the villain in a way that elevated the entire story, and the other botched it so terribly in a tone deaf and borderline offensive way. The main difference that really changed the outcome in how the films conveyed their messages was how they contextualized their villain.
*SPOILERS FOR BOTH FILMS
Continue reading “How Black Panther Succeeds Where The Princess and the Frog Failed”
A big change came to one of the main characters in the live action remake to Disney’s breakthrough animated feature, Beauty and the Beast. No, I’m not just talking about making LeFou gay, I’m also talking about making him “good” too. In the remake to the film, LeFou isn’t the soulless sycophant he is in the original, but rather a confused gay man with a crush on the wrong guy. While this is progress in terms of gay representation, I can’t help but feel like something was loss in the rehabilitation of one of Disney’s most subtly despicable bad guys.
Continue reading “What the Beauty and the Beast Remake Misses in Making LeFou Sympathetic”
I recently saw Moana, and surprise-surprise, it was great. I’m still torn on whether or not it was better than Frozen, but it was definitely a solid film with very little flaws. The thing is though, I’m not here to write a review on this film, I’m more here to discuss its villains. It had two, and only one of them was really a character in the sense that it had a personality and motivations. Right now I wanna talk Tamatoa, who was wonderfully voiced by Jemaine Clements, and what his role in the film was.
Continue reading “Moana and the Future of Disney Villains”
Star Crossed Lovers…
In another edition of cool things that changed in beloved Disney films, let’s talk about The Lion King. Now you should know that this film is my favourite Disney animated feature, and Scar is by far my favourite Disney villain. The love and devotion I have for this film go all the way back to my childhood, and I am not exaggerating when I say this film shaped a lot of who I am today. To me, discussing what this film could have been is like discussing the trajectory of my very destiny (ok, maybe not that dramatic but still…). Getting down to business, the deleted scene I am referring to, is when Scar tries (and fails miserably) to make Simba’s love interest Nala his queen. In the original script, what sent Nala out of the Pride Lands and towards Simba was Scar banishing her when she refused his advances. The scene in which this happens also features an alternate take on how the hyenas were revealed to be working for Scar. Here’s the scene in question:
Continue reading “Scar and Nala: Too Creepy for Kids?”
Man do I love Disney. Their projects just ooze with so much passion and heart that people often characterize them as magic, and lately they have been on a bit of a hot streak both critically and commercially. Tangled (which I shamefully have yet to see), Wreck It Ralph, and of course, Frozen have been successful films to say the least. Frozen in particular was a monster hit that people just kept coming back to since it brought a fresh take on something Disney has done before so well. Meanwhile, Pixar’s last three efforts, Monsters University (which I have yet to see but I hear was decent), Brave (which was essentially a feature length Fairly Odd Parents “how do I unwish this wish” plot), and Cars 2 (which is when Pixar showed the world that they were capable of creating a bad movie), all seemed to produce lukewarm results at best. Maybe after the masterpiece that was Toy Story 3, Pixar needs to recharge before pumping out another one of their greats?
On the topic of Frozen, we know that what they went with was a major success (the highest grossing animated film ever in fact), but what about the potential film it could have been? It is no secret that the film went through several rewrites and plot changes which ranged from Elsa being an unabashed villain with Olaf as her sidekick, to a focus on some prophecy about a queen with a frozen heart, to a plotline featuring Anna’s insecurity about being a “spare princess”. But the most interesting change to me would be what happened to the relationship between the sisters. At some earlier point into development, the two sisters were not separated all their lives, rather they just weren’t very close and often disagreed. That shift alone changes everything about the film, and while I feel it is ultimately for the best that the film did not stay like that, there were a lot of gems that were lost in the transition. Because the sisters knew each other well in this version of the film, a song like this one was possible…
Continue reading “Frozen in development, Life’s Too Short and what could have been”