The Disney 52 Animated Challenge: Year-Long Activity - NOW PLAYING: Princess and the Frog

Discussion in 'DPF Game Room' started by MerlinEmrys, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    (continued from above...)

    2.) Character Analysis: Pocahontas

    Pocahontas is sometimes cited as one of the “stronger” Disney princesses. I would say that’s true, but in a kind of shallow way. Sure, she’s independent, she’s physically active, and she saves her love interest in the end, but her personality is pretty flat. If you asked me to describe her as a character, I couldn’t go into much depth. Again, she’s independent. She values her culture. She likes nature and animals. She… idk. Is really freakin’ good at cliff diving. But that’s more of a skill than a personality trait. So yeah, I can see young girls finding inspiration in her, and that’s obviously not a bad thing! But I personally don’t consider her a “strong female character,” because she’s not a strongly written character. And that’s kind of important.

    I also find her outright annoying at times - she’s kind of a huge hypocrite, tbh. She stops John from shooting a bear and is all sanctimonious about the value of every animal’s life, yet she’s literally wearing an outfit made entirely of animal skins. Pretty sure that’s not vegan leather. You gonna tell me your tribe ONLY eats corn? She also preaches about how trees shouldn’t be cut down, but she LIVES in a longhouse made of wood (and rows a canoe made of wood, and uses firewood… how does Grams feel about all that?) So yeah, get off your high horse, girl.

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    To be fair, this is more of an issue with the movie as a whole rather than her character specifically. The film obviously plays into some pretty offensive tropes by romanticizing Native spirituality and leaning heavily on the whole “mystical connection to nature” stereotype, and it’s obvious they have no idea what they’re talking about. Native Americans are not a monolith; many tribes would historically work/hunt together, share their land, and intermarry, which of course led to a lot of cultural exchange, but every tribe has their own spiritual beliefs, rituals and traditions. Having said that, *in general* the basic relationship between Natives and nature is not "never kill animals or tear down trees because nature is sacred" (or whatever the film is even saying; it contradicts itself so much.) The very fact that animals and nature CAN provide us with food/shelter/clothing/etc is WHY it’s considered sacred in the first place! It’s more a matter of sustainability; don’t take more than you actually need, and waste as little as possible. Be respectful of the land so that these resources will be available for future generations.

    Another big complaint frequently leveled against the film is that Pocahontas is far too sexy. Jeffrey Katzenberg specifically asked the animators to create “the most idealized and finest woman ever made.” The artists based her design on 90’s supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington; more importance was given to her sex appeal than whether or not she actually looked Native American. Given all the non-Natives character models, animator Glean Keane said that he simply “made a few adjustments to add an Asian feeling to her face.” K… He also said that while he did look up a portrait of the actual Pocahontas in a history book, she wasn’t “exactly a candidate for People’s ‘Most Beautiful’ issue.”

    This is a particularly sensitive subject, because the real Pocahontas was eventually kidnapped and held for ransom by white men, who some historians say raped her. (Like I said, the rest of her life was pretty tragic.) There’s also the fact that Native women as a whole are more likely to be sexually assaulted than any other ethnic group, and usually by non-Native men. And indigenous women are just really sexualized in our culture in general - the infamous “Pocahottie” is seen everywhere from magazine spreads, Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, music festivals, music videos (including a Gwen Stefani song literally called “Looking Hot”), and obviously, every Halloween party EVER.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    (Omg why do they ALL have tomahawks tho????????)

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    Seriously, if there’s one single reason to hate this film, it’s for creating yet another justification for white people to dress up in Native regalia (oh, you’re honoring Native culture by wearing a skimpy outfit manufactured in a Chinese factory to make a profit for a bunch of white dudes??? MY BAD.) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a girl say that she’s not going as a "Native American," she's Pocahontas! If you have an actual name to slap on your costume, rather than just playing dress-up with a whole ethnicity, that seems to make it ok. And while the real Pocahontas may not have "made the 'Most Beautiful' issue," Disney’s sexy version could. And we all know that’s the version these girls in fringe mini-skirts have in mind.

    Ok, now I'm veering into much larger societal issues, though! When it comes to the film itself, the root problem with Pocahontas’ appearance can again be traced back to the simple, fundamental error of making this a love story. I mean, it’s understandable for a film to want its romantic leads to both be physically attractive. I still think the specific way Katzenberg and others discussed Pocahontas’ appearance was creepy and objectifying, but to be fair, they gave John Smith a pretty big glow-up as well:

    [​IMG]

    But again, this is just not the right story for sexy people to do sexy things. The first meeting between John and Pocahontas - their big “instant love connection” Disney moment, like Prince Charming spotting Cinderella across the crowded ballroom or Prince Eric awakening to Ariel’s angelic singing - is when he’s POINTING A GUN AT HER. He literally stalks her through the misty waterfall with the clear intent of hunting and shooting her like prey. And what makes him stop right as he’s about to pull the trigger…?

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    "Dayum! Uhhh, never mind... How you doin’, girl?"

    Note how he actually LIFTS THE GUN to stay targeted dead center on Poca as she slowly rises; it's only when her silhouette reveals the contours of a woman's body - long, shapely legs, ample cleavage, and an hourglass waist - that he finally lowers the gun so he can really drink her in.

    I will admit, though, that as far as Poca’s appearance goes, she’s totally been my #hairgoals since day 1 (I think a lot of girls would say the same.) I’ve always been kind of obsessed with having long hair, and except for this one time when I got a pixie cut at 14 because I thought it would make me look like circa-2005 Keira Knightley (it did not, I was delusional), I’ve never cut it. It’s nearly down to my hips now. I went through my phone to find a photo but realized I don’t actually have one where the whole mane of hair fits into the frame haha. I guess you kinda get the idea from this one? (I'm too lazy to just get up and take a new photo like a normal person.)

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I totally blame Pocahontas for this fixation AND for giving me such unrealistic expectations... My hair has NEVER blown majestically in the wind, it ALWAYS whips right into my face until I look like Cousin It.

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    LIAR!!!!!! THIS IS AGAINST THE LAWS OF PHYSICS!! WITCHCRAFT, I SAY!!!!

    (continued below...)
     
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  2. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    (continued from above...)

    3.) Scene Analysis

    Kocoum’s death is by far my favorite scene. Not because I have anything against the guy (although his character is definitely super underdeveloped), but because it’s pretty much 100 times more cinematically arresting than any other moment in the film. It’s probably the only moment that actually EARNS the poignancy that the movie *thinks* it carries all along.

    In my opinion, the scene’s greatest strength is its judicious use of sound. When Pocahontas and John Smith begin to kiss, we hear a reprise of “If I Never Knew You,” a song which was ultimately cut from the film before its release; however, the main musical refrain was still worked into the instrumental score of the film (a cover version also plays over the end credits.) Most pointedly, the refrain is heard when John and Pocahontas lock eyes for the first time - you know, that charming little moment when he had his gun aimed at her. Ah, young love!

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    But when used here, to announce their kiss with loud, sweeping instrumentals........

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    ......the refrain is brilliantly reworked. The first few notes are the same, hearkening back to that (supposedly) romantic moment when they first met by the waterfall. However, the music then promptly changes key, making the tender refrain suddenly sound eerie and ominous. This provides a very clever transition as the camera then cuts away from their kiss to reveal that Thomas and Kocoum are each watching in the shadows. Usually it’s the other way around, with a film's musical score following the visual lead, so this creative role reversal adds even more impact to the strange, sinister tone of the scene. The refrain continues off-key, adding another uncanny element; our brains have already been programmed to interpret this instrumental leitmotif as romantic and sentimental, so the dissonance of hearing it like this is very off-putting (in a good way.)

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    Menken's scoring in the ensuing fight between Kococum and John is quite impressive as well, with the two opposing sides’ intro songs (“The Virginia Company” vs “Steady as the Beating Drum”) sparring for control of the melody. Yeah, there are two fights going on in this scene y'all.

    However, it’s when the music ends that the sound becomes most striking and effective - because there’s barely any sound at all. As the gun fires, the music abruptly stops. It's quite jarring in a film which relies so heavily on scoring. In the subsequent silence, there are exactly five sound effects used to punctuate the visual action: first we hear the gunshot; Kocoum’s groan; the sound of Pocahontas’ necklace breaking; her ragged gasp; and finally, a splash. In between the gasp and the splash, there is complete silence as Kocoum falls - the silence lasts for barely 2 seconds, yet feels so much longer, its profound presence stretching his death out.

    And can we please talk about how striking this shot is?

    [​IMG]

    The whole scene is rather dreamlike, and carries an impressive gravity that, as I said before, the rest of the film consistently fails to achieve. It’s so effective, in fact, that it’s the only moment in the movie where the Percy/Meeko dynamic actually works for me (more on that in a sec.) Because Kocoum’s death was so powerful, I actually feel bad when I see poor little Percy cowering in fear under the tree, and feel a twinge of sentimentality when Meeko goes to comfort him.

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    5.) Symbolism Analysis:

    With the exception of the brief moment mentioned above, one of the film’s most obvious and laziest “metaphors” (if you can even call it that, since there’s absolutely no guise or artfulness to it whatsoever), is the conflict between Percy and Meeko - the priggish English dog and the free-spirited American raccoon that just can’t seem to get along! Gee, I sure hope they can overcome their differences and become friends! But oh golly, it's just like Mr. John Smith says, once two sides want to fight, nothing can stop th--

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    WHAAAA??? :O We’re all friends now!!! AND we’ve learned to appreciate each other’s cultures!!! AND we did arts and crafts together!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! :D

    I’m also in agreement with @timeerkat on the arrow/compass symbolism being completely lackluster and halfhearted. As Tess said, the film places such great importance on Pocahontas’ realization that the arrow is pointing to John - it’s the entire catalyst for why she chooses to go save him - yet she DOESN’T GO WITH HIM IN THE END. This is probably going to sound bizarre coming from me, but seriously, she should have chosen the guy. xD It’s not like I want her and John to be together or anything - like I said, I’m not a fan of the love story angle OR Mel Gibson - but her choice to stay is just so arbitrary and meaningless. Your supposed soulmate is on his deathbed and about to embark on a harrowing journey, but it’s your village that needs you? Not the dying man you claim to love? K, just double checking. I mean, your entire inner conflict was built upon a thirst for adventure and exploration, but hey, that was probably just a phase, you're over it by now... It’s obvious the filmmakers wanted this specific tearjerker ending - a Romeo & Juliet style goodbye between tragic, star-crossed lovers - and simply made it fit, like a frustrated child forcing a puzzle piece where it doesn’t belong.

    The rest of the symbolism in the film is equally trite and poorly thought-out. We get the hackneyed “ripples of water” metaphor we’ve all seen a hundred times before, plus a vague “water=freedom” theme, which is expounded on during “Just Around the Riverbend,” and kind of just means the same thing as the arrow metaphor: Pocahontas is struggling to find her path in life. Things get especially unimaginative with the water version of this metaphor, as Pocahontas comes to a literal fork in the road while paddling down the river. (Although I suppose having an arrow literally point you toward a decision is pretty on-the-nose as well...)

    The only kernel (pun intended) of anything thematically intriguing was that fleeting moment where Pocahontas suggests that corn is gold. And that was just a passing comment that I don’t think the filmmakers intended to ascribe much symbolic meaning to; it felt more like a joke on their part. But man, had they given THAT idea more focus, the film could've been exponentially more original and compelling. What if this miscommunication between John and Pocahontas had happened much earlier in the film and wasn’t immediately resolved? What if he told her they were looking for “gold” (something yellow and valuable that comes from the ground) in one of their very first meetings, and she responded by confirming that it existed nearby? (Of course, in this alternate version she isn’t conveniently carrying a bag full of it when he asks.) Although we as the audience have seen the Powhatans harvesting in the cornfields, we obviously don’t make the assumption that this is what Poca is thinking of; our lack of information allows for a suspenseful and mysterious narrative to take shape. The tension mounts over the cryptic whereabouts of this enigmatic gold that a Native has alluded to (making Ratcliffe’s obsession, despite no evidence, seem more understandable.) The eventual reveal that Poca was referring to corn all along is the twist. This would be an infinitely more subtle and inventive way to impart the message of “the earth is more valuable than material possessions” (especially if they put more emphasis on the fact that the English were running dangerously low on food), as well as the themes of communication, interpretation, and perspective. It would have shown instead of told.

    10.) Best Pin:

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    Stray thoughts...
    • Wiggins is by far the best character in the entire movie. Oh, Wiggins. Sweet Wiggins. You deserved your own direct-to-DVD spin-off.
    • Jim Cummings, the voice of Winnie the Pooh, does the singing for both Chief Powhatan and Kekata (the tribal elder.) There, now you can never unhear that. I bet “Savages” will sound a little different from now on.
    • Sorry Disney, but we all know who had the BEST version.....
    • [​IMG]
     
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  3. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0

    Great catch :)

    Have you seen Soldier Blue? The end is really shocking. :( (Well, not only but it is the relevant part)

    Don't forget Ed.
    And the advantages of not watching it with the original dub.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  4. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    477   0   0

    Yikes! DnD went muuuuuuuuch too long yesterday (SEVEN HOURS) and I didn't get home til really late. So I can count this as my own late one if need be XD

    (fair warning, my Stray Thought is really more of a rant...)


    1. Overall Impression
    I enjoyed this film quite a bit—much more than the DuckTales movie, which I’m shocked to say, hahah! Certainly, this one had a bigger budget, was done by a larger studio, and had a more complex (if still hackneyed) plotline. It was a nostalgia trip on a lot of points, which explains in part the sudden resurgence of love for the film (those of us who grew up on it are now in a position to spend money on it, hence the absurd amount of Fantasy Pins for it….); from the technology we see in the film, to watching Max grow up, there’s just a ton of nostalgia.

    While the film relies entirely too heavily on stereotypical tropes, it was still a solid buddy movie that I would definitely watch again, at pretty much any opportunity. And hot dang the music is catchy… So overall, my impression is nostalgic for this one.


    2. Character Analysis
    One of the most exhausted tropes in this film is Max’s pining over Roxanne. I get it—it’s a high school romance. There’s pining. But we actually do get ANY characterization of Roxanne beyond the simplest hair twirl and standard, stilted, awkward high school conversation. She’s entirely objectified. Her friend, the student class president, has more character for crying out loud!! It’s almost as if Max is worshiping her… OH WAIT HE IS!!!!

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    In his dream sequence, she is literally raised on a pedestal. Raised up and in a pure white flowing gown like some Grecian goddess. She is an idol—and not like Powerline. Like, I bow down to you, idol. He sees her visage in the clouds, in the water:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And since we, the audience, don’t actually know anything about Roxanne beyond she’s objectively pretty (counter her lanky and braces-wearing best friend or monstrous father), twirls her hair in a cute way, and has shown interest in Max, this comes off as obsessive rather than romantic.

    If you’ve ever read James Joyce’s short story “Araby,” this is exactly the vibe I get from Roxanne. Hahah!


    3. Scene Analysis
    This could just as easily go under the “Symbol” question, but I’ll put it here. There aren’t many really spectacular moments in the film artistically speaking. But one that was really neat was when Max (and later Goofy) accidentally popped open the glovebox and the map falls out, illuminated by this haunting red light.

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    That shot is just so chilling, sinister, and reeks of “temptation.” From the camera angle (looking up, so everything is just a little distorted) to the eerie red light (DANGER WILL ROBINSON!), it was one of the few shots that struck a chord both in terms of significance to the story and any sort of symbolic resonance.


    4. Song Analysis
    This is just a quickie, because most of the music in the film, while tons of fun to sing along to, is rather on the nose with its message. But the “Open Road” song was just sooooooo over the top!! And just really leaned into the film’s overall motif of opposites or defying assumed expectations. From the Big Bad Wolf as the prisoner, to the very little and massively grotesque couple (“Very odd!”), to the grandma in the hotrod full of cats. It was just all too much and ran the film’s theme into the ground. I found myself rolling my eyes at the big show stopper rather than tapping my foot.

    [​IMG]

    Also!!! THERE’S A KIDNAPPED GUY IN THAT TRUNK WEARING CEMENT SHOES!?!?!


    6. Dialog Analysis / 7. Overall Goal
    Similar to the above answer, this film doesn’t try to be subtle with its goal/theme. One thing that is, at least a little, subtle is how much Max is actually like is father. In the opening scene of Max’s bedroom (don’t even get me started on the effeminized Goofy….), Goofy breaks out and sings “Everybody Mambo!!” Just a little later, when Max is genuinely happy after Roxanne said “yes,” he starts dancing and yells “Everybody Mambo!!” It was a quick, little touch that drew the two characters together.

    Another line that did it nicely was in the “Open Road” song when Goofy sings “When I see that highway, I could cry!” and Max responds, “You know that’s funny, so could I,” and they move into a unison line. Certainly they’re having the same response for different reasons, but it does connect them.

    And, of course, the fact that Roxanne liked him ever since she first heard him “hyuck,” something Max has been ashamed of the entire movie. So the two are very similar, “And that’s a good thing!” the film shouts over and over again. But sometimes they were just a little more clever in their delivery. Hahah!


    8. Connections/Progressions
    As I said earlier, this was a very nice progression from the DuckTales film. It was great to see a Disney Afternoon “property” (this isn’t exactly Goof Troop, but close enough) get a better shake. Now all I need is a Darkwing Duck movie to be complete ;P


    9. Iconic Shot
    I’m sure most people will go with the big concert scene at the end of the film—and for good reason, it’s amazing and probably more iconic than my choice, hahah! But one of my favorite shots is when Max is dressed as Powerline and looks into the audience and we see Roxanne’s reflection in his visor:

    upload_2018-8-6_11-17-57.jpeg

    Max pretending to be Powerline is more in line with the film’s opening motif of being something you’re not. But the way Roxanne looks at him in that visor, and how Max is able to respond to her, are I believe all genuine response to each other as themselves, not Roxanne v. Powerline, or Max/Powerline v. Roxanne. I think it’s a spark between Roxanne and Max, helped along by the pretend motif. Something similar happened in Aladdin with Jasmine and Prince Ali. So maybe that’s why I like this moment so much.


    10. Representative Pin
    Not a whole lot to choose from, and nothing with Max as Powerline (other than the new Flair set that just dropped). So I’ll go with this one:

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    Pin 8115 – 100 Years of Dreams #62 Goofy Movie 1995

    I like the polaroid style as it’s definitely nostalgia and road-trip. And of course the Bigfoot scene is pretty standard for this movie. XD



    Stray Thought/Tirade/Rant

    *Okay, this is something that has bugged me forever about the Goofy/Max franchise. What the heck is up with Max’s mother? And I don’t mean “who is she” and all that. I don’t care who she is. What I care about is this film’s (and by extension Goof Troop’s) deliberate avoidance of any mention of her. That is a GAPING HOLE in this family-driven story—at least for me. Disney has come forward and said that they will not provide any information about Goofy’s wife / Max’s mother. Whether it’s because they don’t want to “taint” Goofy’s happy-go-lucky attitude with a dark past, or because it’s too “heavy” of a topic, both excuses are total crap. It’s situations like this where storytellers feel like they need to “protect” the child audience from something they deem as “too troubling” for them to handle. Fun fact: kids can handle more than you think, and are smarter than you think, and can use complex elements to processes trauma better than you think—even if it’s on a subconscious level.

    But to leave her completely absent of any sort of mention is ridiculous. She could have died at birth, with Max never even having met her. But her absence from his life and family would shape both him and his dynamic with his father. If she had left them, or died later, or otherwise was removed from the picture when Max was young, that would have affected him and Goofy and their family. And that effect is important because it’s something every kid can relate to on some level. And that relation is what will give a story substance.

    But instead, we have a gaping hole in the plot filled with an effeminate Goofy, whose first appearance is him wearing a towel wrapped around his upper chest (like he’s hiding breasts???) and with a towel wrapped around his head (like he’s drying his long hair!?). Rather than address the elephant in the room, they dress it up drag and play it off as a gag—Goofy is an inept father because he’s too feminine.

    What could have been SO MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT is Goofy is seemingly an inept father because he feels like he has to play both roles (mother and father) which stretches him too thin. Let Max tell him he just wants Goofy to be his Dad. OR EVEN FREAKING BETTER. While they’re both floating on the car down the river, one of them says something like “I miss her” and the other responds, “I miss her too.” And they realize they have something in common, and thus begins their determination to make what remains of their family as incredible as possible.

    To blatantly ignore Max’s mother is a slap in the face to the audience. Saying either “You can’t handle the truth!” or “We don’t trust you enough to give you something heavy to digest” or “We’re too lazy to deal with a big problem—here’s a disco Bigfoot instead.” They’ve tiptoed around Pete’s rather abusive relationship with PJ (the difference between respect and love), but they can’t be bothered to address how Goofy has a kid because a) that means Goofy had sex AND WE CAN’T HAVE THAT and b) his wife is gone somehow? Get over it and have some faith in your audience… /endrant

    PS - AND THIS IS EVEN MORE PROBLEMATIC BECAUSE GOOFY GETS A GIRLFRIEND IN THE SEQUEL OH GEEBUS I FORGOT ABOUT THAT

    PPS - And this film is in the same breath as Pocahontas which DOES very deftly deal with a dead mother; and on the heels of Lion King where we SAW Mufasa die. Like, WE CAN HANDLE IT. We made it through Bambi and Lion King. We can deal with dead parents...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  5. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    477   0   0

    In addition to a killer analysis, congrats on posting our 1000th response! :D
     
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  6. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    We've kind of unofficially moved to Sunday evening as the cut-off as my Sundays are basically locked up from about 2pm to midnight, so I won't be able to post the "cut-off" until Monday morning. Having gone more than half a year, and only squeezing out one day extra on the weekly schedule, I'd say that's a solid job of staying on task. ;P
     
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  7. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

    Rating - 100%
    18   0   0

    Here, instead of thinking about Mel Gibson, just think he's Blake Shelton instead :p

    This video cracks me up, so now whenever I see this character, I just think "My man, Jooooohn Smiiiiiith"
     
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  8. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    256   0   0

    "Joooooohn Smiiiiiith, from Disney's Pocahontas, voiced by actor Mel Gibson!"

    "Come on, man, that's not gonna help!"
     
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  9. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    I know for me, at least, Sunday evenings work better as a cutoff time. My life has become increasingly busy on the weekends and weeknights, so that bit of extra time is helpful in watching the movie and posting my analyses.
     
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  10. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

    Rating - 100%
    18   0   0

    So after reading everyone's analysis on Pocahontas, I think I'm the only person who LIKES the version where they added the full song of If I Never Knew You.
    Regardless of the romance being hokey or not, it's one of my favorite love songs. I really liked that we got the full fledged song, since as Nutmeg pointed out, we hear it constantly in the background during the film. I also like it as an added in song, compare to say "Human Again" or "Morning Report" since they didn't animate and record it specifically for the new release to be added to the film, it was part of the film and was cut. So no jarring change in animation or anything.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  11. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

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    2   0   0

    I like it as a song I loved how it lurked in the background but I didn't feel like it added anything to the movie :) It's definitely much better than Morning report (for me at least, I can't say anything about human again as I saw the extended version first and didnt know that scene was added untill later)
    I'm also unhappy because they didn't do the hundub for this song :'( I remember reading that they thought it's just not worth the effort. There are some really beautiful versions of the song out there .
     
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  12. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

    Rating - 100%
    18   0   0

    I felt like it actually solidified their relationship for me, I mean it was a very first love at first sight, typical of any other Disney film, but this song just strengthened the bond for me. I like how it extends the scene of her going to say goodbye. I feel like it shows how John Smith changed, he's prepared to die, but he doesn't regret the events that led to this moment. I even like how it ends with Pocahontas returning to the river, which is now still.
     
  13. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    I completely forgot to include this in my analysis, but I had the same thought! The idea had never occurred to me before, but during this rewatch, I suddenly took more notice of how the wind comes sweeping over to Pocahontas' father when he's deciding whether or not to kill John Smith. I guess I've always considered the film's visual motif of blowing leaves to be purely aesthetic, but I do think there's an argument to be made for it representing the mother. When Pocahontas says that she misses her, Chief Powhatan replies, "But she is still with us. Whenever the wind moves through the trees, I feel her presence." He also says that the tribe looked to her for "wisdom and strength," which is exactly what that gust of wind seems to provide him when it comes magically blowing out of nowhere right as he's trying to decide what to do:

    [​IMG]

    And then when he announces his decision and lowers his weapon, all of a sudden the wind just stops, like "k my work here is done." (I love how even in death, apparently moms still have to step in to clean up our messes and fix everything.)

    [​IMG]

    There's also the fact that the first description we hear of Pocahontas, right before the camera cuts to the first shot of her, is "She has her mother's spirit; she goes wherever the wind takes her." And then we see her standing on the cliff with the wind blowing through her hair. So there is a vague connection between the "mother's spirit" and the wind.

    But at the same time, like I said in my analysis, the film is really shallow and stereotypical when it comes to Native spirituality. It's hard to tell if the filmmakers actually intended for the wind to be perceived as the mother, or if it's just "~the colors of the wind~" being magical and whatever. It's funny, my main complaint with all the other symbolism in this film was that it's way too heavy-handed and lacks subtlety, but this is the one exception where I think there's actually *too much* subtlety, lol. If they truly did want the audience to interpret the wind as the mother, they needed just a little more emphasis to get this point across. Because even if you take this theory as fact, the wind still comes across too much as a simple prop/visual effect to make Poca's hair look majestic.

    Ummm please, they have a freakin' SPLASH FIGHT. Of course there's something going on between them. Disney's Pocahontas: the story of a young woman's sexual awakening as she experiments with a dude but ultimately realizes that the love of her life was her best friend all along. (And then she gives the guy some lame excuse about her village needing her or whatever to let him down easy.)

    Seriously though, she was WAY sadder about having to leave Nakoma in the sequel than she was when saying goodbye to John..... I'M JUST SAYIN'.......

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #pocoma4everyall

    I just rewatched the scene on Youtube for the first time in years, and I agree with both of you. Lol. I mean, the scene is great in theory - it's a really pretty song, and I agree with Omi that it adds more emotion to their goodbye/helps flesh out the emotional arc of their relationship. But what the filmmakers actually came up with feels like the cinematic equivalent of treading water. To be fair, there wasn't much to work with visually; the animators were basically boxed into a corner. John Smith is tied to a pole, so there's not a wide range of motion available to the characters, and since they're inside an empty tipi, there's also no props or scenery to incorporate. The song starts on a shot of John tied up and singing while Poca just sits there and slowly starts to lean on his chest, the camera creeping toward and then around them... this first shot alone lasts for 35 SECONDS. And then the animators throw Meeko and Percy into the tent just to have something happen. And then apparently they were just like "%$@# it" and gave up, and that's how they ended up with a flashback montage... You know they're officially out of ideas when they just start recycling old footage.

    So yeah, it's too bad they couldn't figure out how to make the song work, but it wouldn't have been a huge improvement on the film anyway. Although I also really liked when she returned to the river, and when she saw John Smith's reflection appear/disappear next to hers like Kocoum's in Just Around the Riverbend. That was a nice touch.

    Also, not to pile on with all the Mel Gibson hate-- wait, hell what do I care, screw him lol.

    [​IMG]

    But seriously, his singing in this... my God. He was ok in "Mine," but he's just completely toneless here. It's so weird how he can actually be on key and hitting the right notes and yet still sound like a bored Rex Harrison speak-singing his way through My Fair Lady. Gibson sounds like he'd rather be doing anything else. He's not singing "to" Pocahontas, he's singing AT her. He had 1,000 x more warmth and passion in his voice when he was singing about "claiming and taming" land than he does singing about a love so powerful it's worth dying for... but I guess you actually need a heart to be able to sing about that convincingly.
     
  14. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    Wednesday Addams approves of your sick burn.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    [​IMG]
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    Monday/Tuesday is our "wrap-up" discussion on Pocahontas and A Goofy Movie. So you're welcome to respond to other analyses throughout the day.

    However, you may not post any more full analyses for Pocahontas and A Goofy Movie to count for completion toward the 52 Challenge. No late homework. ;P

    ~Merlin
     
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  16. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Your time has finally come, @NutMeg ;P
     
  17. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

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    So, @Addicted to Alice Pins , @NutMeg - it's time! :D

    EDIT:
    I forgot to add the quote that encouraged me to do this, so here it is:

     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  18. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    Oh, one thing I forgot to add to my Goofy Movie analysis - it was wonderful to hear Pat Buttram again as the Possum Park employee. In fact, this move was not only his final Disney appearance, it was his final appearance in any movie, as he passed away in 1994 and Goofy Movie didn't come out until the following year.
     
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  19. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

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    OH NO SHE DI'INT JUST WHIP OUT QUOTES FROM 6 MONTHS AGO

    [​IMG]

    Looks like it's your move, Ann.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

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    Eyeroll. I don't need challenges, I need reminders. For which I sincerely thank @Meritre! :)

    (Seriously. My boss called a meeting of a new group at work last week, I'm supposed to be her right-hand personage, and when meeting time rolled around, where was I? In my car, on the highway, singing along with Moana, on my way to the mall to buy nail polish. But seriously WHO CALLS A MEETING THAT OVERLAPS WITH LUNCHTIME?!)

    Anyway, I keep my promises, my little @NutMeg, so I'ma figure out how to watch this (hopefully the words "illegal download" will not be involved), and I'ma post a riveting commentary filled with repressed Catholicism. :D
     
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  22. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

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    But of course. Been waiting for this since then :)

    You're very welcome!:) I hope you can find it and watch it.

    Actually I'm beeing very selfish with this, I want lots of analysis' to read. *goes back to the bottom of the lake to watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame*
     
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  23. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

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    It *was* available to stream on Netflix AND Hulu for the longest time, but of course now that we've actually gotten around to it it's been removed from both sites. :rolleyes: But you're welcome to fly over to my house and watch it with me! :D

    [​IMG]

    I just got the special edition Blu-ray about a month ago, excited to finally watch it in all its HD glory! Should be interesting to see how many posts I can keep my analysis limited to this time. Pocahontas took 3 and I don't even like that movie. xD
     
  24. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

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    Am I really the first one? So here goes the first part:

    1. What is your overall impression of the film? Some possible talking points include: what you did or did not like about it; what about the film has stuck with you; what did you find different on this viewing; how would modern audiences respond to this (for the older films)… The list goes on. Hahah!
    I haven’t seen it in a very long time although I listened to the soundtrack. Watched it with mainly hun dub but switched from time to time to the English dub, I also rewatched some parts needed for my analysis. This language switching is a difficult thing – I pick up different meanings from the different dubs and I love how that enriches the story for me.
    I felt that this one is a much sadder, darker movie than the ones before it. I also found it more upsetting, I had to stop it during the festival part when they were torturing poor Quasimodo (and I had no problems watching the scene where Bambis mother dies or Mufasas death) to gather strength to go on watching. (It brought up a lot of bad memories - it's not that I think it's a bad scene or anything)
    It is very different from the source material which is much darker and sadder than the movie so they had to tone it down but still address all the questions and problems – acceptance, difference, what to believe and standing up for others and more.
    I’ve also seen it on stage as a musical – well it was a mixture of the original book and Disneys version – it used Disneys music (the theatre already had a contract with Disney because of Beauty and the Beast so it wasn’t difficult to make this happen) but at the end they all die – Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quasimodo and I think even Clopin. Quasimodo saves Esmeralda from the fire but not in time and she dies from the smoke she inhaled and Quasimodo stays by her side and starves himself to death. The family relations were also changed, Frollo had a younger brother whom Frollo thought foolish and Quasimodo is the younger brother’s and a gipsy woman’s child whom the brother loved. Frollo takes Quasimodo in because his brother asked him to do it before his death.

    2. Choose one specific character to analyze. You can explore how a character acts, what they say, how they dress, etc. to explain what they may represent or their function and meaning in the narrative. Try to avoid obvious "plot" stuff (ex: the Evil Queen is a villain, so her purpose is to be bad...), but explore unique and specific elements about the character (ex: the EQ is surrounded by images of peacocks, further suggesting her obsession with vanity). You may also use these elements to explain why you connected or disconnected from the character.
    I wanted to go with Esmeralda but I’ll talk about her in the song analyse so I think I’ll go with Frollo, her opposite. He is her opposite in everything: he is old and ugly, unjust, misuses his power and is very cruel. His black attire with red bits indicate the same, the red bits show that he has power over life and death, and the black main part strengthens the idea that he’s evil. (devils colors) Black is often associated with evil, Zordon with his black mane was also the villain. Esmeralda also has black hair – maybe that’s what Frollo sees and think it’s evil. He only sees black because he is all black and Esmeralde is a gem. True, she can trick you if she feels you are a threat to her but she’s colorful and has those shining green eyes. Hers are big and bright and open and trutful while Frollos are small and dark. And the eyes are the mirror of the soul or so they say. :)
    But with one thing, he was right – the world is cruel. The world is very cruel, Frollo included.
    He’s also someone who doesn’t change his opinions and doesn’t think imagination is a good thing, more like the devils work or at least very stupid.
    He also thinks he’s better than the rest of the world, he thinks very highly of himself – a typical trait for bad, power hungry, selfish leaders.
    I’ve heard that those in a high position with power often accuse others of the very thing their own crime is – Frollo tells the world is cruel and he himself is cruel, tells Quasimodo that he’s responsible fir the fire and that Esmeralda bewitched him – and he did all these things, it’s Frollo who started the fire and who was bewitched by her beauty. (Quasimodos heart was won with kindness, not looks)


    3. Choose one specific scene or sequence to analyze—tell me what response is it trying to evoke from the viewer and how does it go about getting that response? Your analysis could include the scene’s use of color, action, camera angles, music, character development, setting, backdrop, style, etc. If you can justify it with evidence from the scene, then it’s an analysis!
    The fight at the top of the chatedral seemed like an interesting choice. It reminded me a bit of the fight from the end of Beauty and the Beast between Beast and Gaston. Frollo falls to his death just like Gaston.
    The colors of the scene are quite dramatic, too, the dark, bluish colors of the chatedral and the reddish purplis fiery collors of Paris, of the battle are very much in contrest with each other, indicating this is the fight that decides everything. Frollo looks more devilish than ever with his black outfit and reddish fire in his eyes, his overall appearance is more frightening.
    [​IMG]
    He also goes on about that „He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!
    He doesn’t know how true the word he spoke are. He doesn’t know either that he was at that moment his own judge. And as he said, so it shall be. He falls down into a fiery pit.

    4. Choose one song to analyze—tell me what response is it trying to evoke from the viewer and how does it go about getting that response? What purpose does this song have in the film and does it succeed in that purpose?
    I have to go with Esmeraldas Prayer. The song really is a prayer but not for herself (although she is in a tough situation and needs help) but for her people.
    It also shows that she deeply cares for her people, for those in need and is everything Frollo isn’t: kind, understanding, not a bit greedy or power hungry and is on the side of justice.
    The song also shows a softer side of Esmeralda – so far, we saw her happily dancing, fighting and more but not yet deeply sad because of the situation of her people.
    It also shows again (after the fool’s festival scene) that Esmeralda is very unlike the common people, those who come to the church. She wishes for different things and her wishes are not selfish unlike the other people’s wishes. This is further indicated with her walking in the opposite direction as the others:
    [​IMG]
    (Also a quick analyse of her colors: purple and gold are connected with rich and noble people – indicating her noble soul. White stands for purity – no need to say anything. Green and greenish blue are colors of the nature, indicateing her free spirit and that she is a child of nature, wild and free so to speak. When she has only a white underdress – it also shows the because of her purity she’s vulnerable – people like Frollo will hunt her – the scene towards the end when she tries to pull up Quasimode and doesn’t let him fall although she sees Frollo raising his sword and is trying to kill her and with that Quasimodo as well.)

    5. Choose one specific symbol in the film to analyze. A symbol is typically something inanimate, an object, rather than a character. So don’t say “Brer Bear represents dumb people,” as that’s more of a character analysis than a symbol. Rather, think about specific objects (jewelry, clothing, houses, food, weapons, etc.) What does this symbol mean and how does that meaning impact the film?
    The bells stand for the Notre Dame for something that is above judge Frollo yet he tries to seize it.
    It stands for everything they say in the movie – Sanctuary, a place to hide, home but also a prison for both Esmeralda and Quasimodo. The bells just like the Notre Dame are beautiful but still they are binding Quasimodo, it is a prison for him, good and bad at the same time. It’s kind of like there is no light without darkness.
    During the middle age, those huge cathedrals were built relying on experience – no plans or anything – they just started to build it and if it crashed they started over and did things differently relying on the experience. They swallowed lots of lives during their buildings although they are incredibly impressing and beautiful. The same double role they play in the movie: sanctuary but prison at the same time.
    Quasimodo is deaf in the book because of the bells, they are too loud – once more, they are twosided.
    Edit: corrected some typos I found and added a thought or two where I thought it can be misunderstood what I meant.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  25. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

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    part 2:

    6. Choose a single line of dialog that you find to be the most significant/impactful line in the film and why. You can be a little loose with the “single line” bit, but let’s not go for Maleficent’s entire monologue to Philip... Rather, something like Stitch’s “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah – still good.” (brb weeping).
    Quasimodo shouting “Sanctuary” right after sacing Esmeralda striks me as a very important part. It refers to the Notre Dame where Esmeralda should be safe. But I think it is also the moment when Quasimodo accepts Esmeraldas love for Phoebus as long as she is safe and vows to protect her, no matter what and he does that so everybody hears and knows, Phoebus included. (He doesn’t really approve their relationship, that comes at the end but he accepts Esmeraldas decision) He says he’ll protect Esmeralda a moment later but that’s no longer heard by anybody as he quietly tells that an unconscious Esmeralda.

    7. What is this film’s overall goal? Is it to teach a specific lesson (what is it) or get an emotional response (such as)? Or both? And how well or poorly does the film succeed in that goal? Be specific!
    It teaches about acceptance that we shouldn’t judge by appearances and shouldn’t think that something is bad because it’s different. And that we shouldn’t accept everything we are told without thinking (Like Quasimodo trusted everything Frollo told him) even if it comes from someone we look up to. Fight for what you believe in.
    We see all the bad that comes from that and because Quasimodo doesn’t become magically beautiful in the end, I thinkk the message comes through better than with Beauty and the Beast.

    8. What connections or progressions do you see in this film to past films? Example: how does Sleeping Beauty progress (or digress?) the princess archetype built in Cinderella? Be specific! Also, consider what use there is in returning to or re-imagining those elements?
    It is a bit like a Beauty and the Beast story altough the “Beast” doesn’t change his appearance at the end and the “Beauty” doesn’t fall for him, either. But they are friends and friendship is just as valuable.
    Although Esmeralda is not part of the Disney Princess lineup she is strongly connected to them, she progresses building the strong leading lady. She fights, stands up for justice and others and also acts and helps, not only talks.
    Quasimodo is in some ways similar to Rapunzel – both are raised hidden from the world by a cruel person who practically is their only parent they know at the beginning of their movies. (I’m reading a comic that is a retelling of some beloved Disney Movies, The Hunchback of Notre Dame included in wich Frollo married Goethel and one of them brought Quasimodo, the other Rapunzel into the marriage and the kids are practically shut in their rooms)
    Also Achilles seems like a prototype for Maximus. A step forward from Samuel, Prince Philips horse.

    9. What is the iconic shot of the film? What single frame of animation do you find to be the most memorable and why? Post it! You can check out this link to find some great screencaps to help!
    I think the Notre Dame itself is very iconic from movie.
    [​IMG]

    10. What single pin do you think best represents this film for you? Why? Give us the pin number and post a picture!
    The Festival of Fools was a very memorable scene for me (sadly in a bad way but still the most memorable) so I choose a pin representing that scene:
    Pin 7417 Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    [​IMG]

    I don’t want to end it wit such sad thought and I couldn’t really choose sh here is another one:

    Pin 27929 History of Art Final - The Bells of Notre Dame (1996) Quasimodo Esmeralda
    [​IMG]
    This represents the freindship and the light Esmeralda gave Quasimodo, also a very important aspect, it heals the wounds of the scene the other pin is from.

    Runner up is this one, the bell representing the Notre Dame and another very important aspect of the film but as I already choose Notre Dame as iconic shot I wanted to go with something different as iconic pin.

    Pin 5164 Bells of Notre Dame

    [​IMG]

    Stray thoughts:

    I love how Esmeralda both literally and in a symbolic way leads Quasimodo from the darkness into the light. (At last I see the light – wait wrong movie)

    The child coming to Quasimodo at the end is there at the very beginning, listening to Clopin:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The three stone figures are supposed to exist only in Quasimodo’s imagination and I think that’s something very interesting. I’ve never seen such characters anywhere else or at least I don’t remember seeing characters like these anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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