Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oliver & Company (1988)

My Rating: 80%

I still roughly remember a bunch of trailers to this film from some of the VHS copies of the Disney films we had during my childhood. And even though it was years ago since it was already out. I do remember something about seeing it in a theater with my family around age...either 3 or 4...5 tops. I may have seen it a couple of other times over the years but it was around this year when I finally borrowed it from the library and watched it a couple of times so that I'm all set to write my review to it. It took months to finally get on with writing it after seeing it, but better late than never. So without further ado, here's Disney review # 22: Oliver & Company

Plot: Based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, the movie is set in New York where an little orphaned kitten is left alone after his fellow kittens are adopted by passerby. He comes across a dog named Dodger who helps him steal hot dogs from a hot dog vendor. Dodger flees without giving the kitten his share but Oliver tracks him down to meet Dodgers group of dogs and his pickpocket owner Fagin who after a while give him a warm welcome. The next day the group and the kitten are trying to get money for Fagin to payback a loan shark named Sykes. Things don't go well after trying to break down a limousine and the kitten is caught by a young girl named Jenny and her butler Winston who takes him to her home and gives him the name Oliver.

I enjoyed this movie for the most part. The characters are funny, there are some good songs, it just was a nice film all around.

Oliver: Oliver was good. He definitely was a Disney version of the character Oliver from Oliver Twist.
Dodger: Now Dodger I liked. He was pretty cool and it's really interesting that he was voiced by Billy Joel.
Tito: Tito was very funny.  we was totally the comic relief of the film.
Sykes: He was a pretty nice villain.

Music: "Once Upon a Time in New York City" and "Good Company" were nice. But "Why should I worry" was definitely the best song in the film.

And that's my review for Oliver & Company.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Three Caballeros (1944)

My Rating: 50%

To answer your question as to whether or not this is a sequel to Saludos Amigos, it isn't. Though I agree that in a way it feels like it is. I mean it's roughly taking off where they left off from that film with telling stories about other countries and Donald's time with his friend Jose. But apparently it's not a sequel. So now that we have that pointed out, let's get on with Disney review # 21: The Three Caballeros

Plot; It's Donald Duck's Birthday and he's been given a whole bunch of presents that each start with a story. As the film goes on, we once again meet José Carioca and come across a new character named Panchito Pistoles and so the trio forms the Three Caballeros.

Now this one I didn't really care for. It's not that it was a really bad movie despite that I'm giving it a  50%. But it's just that like Saludos Amigos, it's not really my kind of film. Which made it - for the most part - boring. A lot of the stories where okay and it was still a little interesting in terms of how they intend to educate us. I do personally like watching Donald and his friends actually forming the Three Caballeros because I wondered what it was all about with there being something about Donald hanging out with two other birds wearing sombreros. But what I really hated was the very end was right after Donald gets kissed a bunch of times, the rest of the movies is nothing but a sort of "the Pink Elephants on Parade"  moment or a mind f*ck moment that mostly are all these weird scenes and stuff that usually have to do with Donald having to chase some chick that's appearing in whatever scene is coming up. I really didn't like because it was boring and it did sorta mess with my head which is the point to a mind f*ck but still. 

Music: I really didn't care for anything aside from the actual song The Three Caballeros.

And that's my review for The Three Caballeros. It's not a really bad movie, I mean if you do like it, that's excellent, but considering that it's not my kind of film like Saludos Amigos and adding to the mind f*ck at the end, it's no Disney movie I would ever want to see again.

Saludos Amigos (1942)

My Rating: 70%

Without much introduction here's Disney review # 20: Saludos Amigos.

Plot: This film is split into four segments based on the travels of the Disney artists of at this time.

Lake Titicaca: Donald Duck explores the sights and people of Lake Titicaca
Perdo: a little plane from Chile goes on an adventure to collect the mail to and from Mendoza

El Gaucho Goofy: Goofy as an American Cowboy travels to the Argentine Pampas.
Aquarela do Barsil: the film ends with Donald Duck befriending a new character named Jose Carioca

Now The problem for me with this film is that it's not really my kind of film in any way whatsoever. but that doesn't make it any less interesting in terms of that fact that Disney has made one of it's animated films as a way to show us foreign countries with our beloved characters. The stories where nice. nothing super original but it's still nice. I think the best parts were really just anything with Donald and Goofy's Donald and Goofy.

Music: It was nice. I know I'm saying that probably too often with this review but still, there was nothing that really stood out as really good or super bad.

And that's my review of Saludos Amigos. It's an okay films that's a nice way to know a little bit about other countries and to see more of Donald and Goofy, the rest is probably best understood if you see it for yourself.

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

My Rating: 70%

Well fellas, It's been some time since my last Disney review for my Disney theatrical animated feature films marathon. But considering that I intended to finish it and make the last review to it my 200th review long before Christmas, it's high time I get get right back on track to the marathon and start with a movie I wondered for many years how it is after repeatedly seeing a trailer to it from when I had a VHS copy of 101 Dalmatians. So without further ado, this is Disney review # 19: The Great Mouse Detective.

Plot: This is based on the book series: Basil of Baker Street (yeah didn't see that coming.) Toymaker Hiram Flaversham is celebrating his young daughter Olivia's birthday when a crippled bat with a peg leg named Fidget kidnaps him leaving his daughter alone and searching for him. Eventually she comes across a mouse named  Dr. Dawson who helps her find Basil of Baker Street to find her father. When they find him and tell him what happened, Basil tells them that Fidget is working for the evil Professor Ratigan whom Basil has been working for years to put behind bars. So Basil, Olivia and Dr. Dawson go on a quest to find Olivia's father and find out what evil plot Ratigan's up to.

I can't really explain why I say this in a way that makes sense to all of you. But for a fair amount of personal reasons I really wonder how I would've viewed this movie if I grew up with it as well as many of the Disney films. Now that I'm older thought all I can kinda say is...huh. Most of that that has to do with the idea to the story in general, with the fact that it sounds like Disney just decided to adapt Sherlock Holmes and turn it into a cartoon with animals. But then it turns out that they based this off an actual book series. I mean gee...a Disney animated film that's based off just a book series roughly from around that film's current time instead of a legend, fairy tale, play, or book/book series from the 19th or early 20th century (The Jungle Book, Tarzan and The Hunchback of Notre dame if you're wondering about the last one) ...didn't see that coming. And what's stranger is that they actually include Sherlock Holmes and Watson in this film. I mean they weren't main characters but still. Other than that, it was...nice. It was decently dark, the characters were good it was a little funny. But really I think this is more or less just another one of those movies where the villain steals the show hands down. (which I will get to) which isn't really a bad thing but I'm sure that's not what they were aiming for. 

Basil: He was nice...I guess. There's nothing really super positive to say about him since I never grew up with him, but he certainly wasn't terrible. He was fun, smart, witty...but  the only down was that his weakness was pride. Not the best weakness to have. And it's interesting how much he really is a mouse version of Sherlock Holmes with things like doing all these experiments and actually saying "Elementary my dear Dawson" about two-ish...maybe three-ish times. 
Dawson: He was nice. A decent, cartoon mouse adaption to Watson.
Professor Ratigan: like I said, this one of those movies where the villain steals the show. Ratigan had this unique way from how the moves, how he talks, how he tries to control his emotions, and how he especially loves every. single. minute. of being evil that made him a really cool villain. And his song helped point that out with how his minions talked about all his evil deeds such as drowning widows and orphans. I'm really curious as to how the Professor Ratigan from both this movie and the book series is similar to this so called Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes that we're soon to learn more about in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. So yeah. Good job on the villain.
Hiram Flaversham: there's nothing to really say about this character. I just want to say that it's interesting that Alan Young (the voice actor to this character) has done something voice acting wise in Disney that's not just being Scrooge McDuck.
Toby: funny dog. nuff said.

Music: It was okay. the songs were nothing special aside from "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind". And I really did like the music in the beginning of the Big Ben fight. It really worked to set things at a really dark mood.

And that's my review for the Great Mouse Detective. It's a decent film that's nothing extraordinary outside of the villain.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Top Voice Actors

If there's one thing I've begun to appreciate in the movie and slightly more to the TV show world in the past couple of years or so, it's voice acting. The lovable talented voices we hear from many of our favorite characters throughout our lives without a lot of us knowing who are the people behind them. I mean if I say the names of some of them, most people will not hesitate to say "I don't know who that is." So today, I'm going to honor them with announcing my favorite voice actors.

10) Bruce Campbell

 now he's only done a fair bit of voice acting as well as many other works in film, but this mostly has to do with three of his particular works. Which are really just his work as The Narrator in the video games to all Spider-man films. Because straight off the bat, he was hilarious. I mean here's a few examples from the games to the first and third movies:

[after upgrading to the 5-hit melee combo] We can make you better, stronger, faster. Well, better and stronger anyway.

[after you charge your jump] Ok, you won't be able to jump tall buildings in single bounds. You can't be like that other guy 

[during basic training] Web swing over to your next objective. If you can't find your next objective, I can't help you. Turn off the machine and walk away.

[finished the training level] Okay, if you want to go over this again, or if you just plain missed me which, Hah! Who could blame you? You can access basic training from the menu anytime you want. Now follow your compass to the exit. Good luck! I said... good luck. Good luck means 'Good bye'. See, there's nothing more to see here... you're done, that's a wrap, it's over, got it? I want you to understand, accept, move on with your life! For crying out loud, these people! 

He was just so funny and that kept me entertained as I played spidey to my hearts content in the games and to me that's enough to put him on this list.

9) Tim Curry

Now this guy has a pretty good voice for particularly being the villain in movies and TV shows.

The first time I heard his voice as a villain was as Mistro Forte in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. I mean I know there's not a lot of people who saw that movie or even care, but to me he was a pretty cool.

And then I heard him voice as Professor Calamitous in Jimmy Neutron who while he wasn't really evil, Curry did still hive him a pretty nice voice.

and I thought he was pretty cool as Hexxus too in Ferngully.

now he's done some other voice acting outside of playing the villain. Such as being the voice of Lemony Snicket in the Series of Unfortunate Events video game and also as King Maximilian Acorn in Sonic The Hedgehog (Sat AM)

Now the only thing I've know he's done since being Calamitous is voicing as Stubbings and Dr. Wexler in Phineas and Ferb, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a talented voice actor and has done pretty well with all this and many other works as a voice actor.

8) Mark Hamill
Yes, Mark Hamill as in Luke Skywalker. apparently since even before his days of being our lovable Jedi, Mark Hamill has done a fair amount of work in voice acting. but it wasn't until after Star Wars that he began to do a really big amount of voice acting. Do you know what he's most known for being the voice of? well I'll tell you.

Okay are you ready?

 Seriously are you ready?

I really don't think you're ready.

but I'll tell you anyway.

he's most known...

...for being...


That's right. Our lovable farm boy who was learning the ways of The Force and discovered that his father is one of the best villains of all time and later becomes one of the most powerful Jedi in the entire galaxy far, far away, is pretty much the primary voice actor for the Clown Prince of Crime himself; The Joker.

So yeah if you grew up with any of the animated TV shows of Batman, that was Luke the whole time. and if you are big fans of the Arkham Asylum games, guess what, you're technically playing a game where your main goal is to beat the crap out of one of your own childhood heroes. It's horrific, but it's the truth.

I mean this particular thing is so messed up that I'm currently going through the original animated Batman series to try to accept it. Looking at the credits and everything. and in a way I do accept that it's true...and yet it's impossible...yet it's right in my face...but there's no way I can truly plant it in my head...yet I've seen a brief, live, clip of him doing the voice...but...I DON'T KNOW!!!!! IT'S LUKE SKYWALKER AS THE JOKER!!!!!!! I MEAN DOES ANYBODY NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I'M REPEATEDLY CONTRADICTING MYSELF AS TO WHETHER OR NOT I EMBRACE THAT!?!?!?!!? ANYONE!?!?!?!?! ... ANYONE!?!?!?! ... BUELLER!?!?!?!?! ...BUELLER!?!?!?! ... FRY!?!?!?! ... FRY!?!?!?! ... FRY!?!?!?!?!?! ... I DIDN'T THINK SO!!!!!

but that's not all he's done. he's also the Fire Lord in Avatar:The Last Airbender (the tv show, not the disgusting movie)

which is kinda funny when you think about what this particular poster points out.

I've also heard him as Undergrowth from Danny Phantom. And while I've never seen the show, he does voice as Red Skull and a couple of other characters in The Super Hero Squad Show.

So while this particular bit of voice acting is messed up beyond relief, (believe me) that doesn't change how old Luke isn't so bad at this field and just the Joker alone is enough to seriously put him on this list.

7) Frank Oz
 I forgot completely to put this on the list right away because it's been so long with most of his work. But thankfully I was reminded by a guy from my college group. And who can blame him? I mean Oz has done a lot of voices that we love.
 Cookie Monster
Miss Piggy (I did not know this up till now. it's kinda weird to me.)
Fozzie Bear
And you guys could make all the angry comments in the world if I left out THIS particular character when talking about Frank Oz's voice acting. I mean...YODA!!!!!

Now I understand that he's not doing any of the voices for the upcoming Muppet movie which is pretty lame. But that doesn't change the fact that this is a talented voice actor and I for one am glad to have put him on the list right in the nick of time.

6) Corey Burton

Now this voice actor is one of the guys that you don't know but have heard his voice in plenty of things that you have seen. let's review:

Ludwig Von Drake in some of the Mickey Mouse stuff

Mole from Atlantis

Ziro the Hutt and Cad Bane in The Clone Wars tv series. And also The Narrator in several Goofy appearances.

But the work I and plenty of others personally like the best, is in work in The Transformers, mostly for his work as the Decepticon Shockwave. He just gives him a really cool, robotic, sounding voice that it pisses off Shockwave fans like me that they've never used his voice with the cold, emotionless, logical personality that he has in the comics that well all love.  

I especially love how he uses his Shockwave voice in the animated series where it sound much darker to me.

And in my opinion, ha also gave Megatron the best voice next to of coarse, Frank Welker.

Now it's a big shame, and a perfect example of the up most retarded amount of stupidity that Michael Bay hardly needed a voice actor at all for Shockwave in Dark of the Moon which I would guess is why Burton turned down reprising the role for that film. But even though he isn't, we can all agree that this is a talented actor to do so much work and that there is no one better for Shockwave's voice than Corey Burton.

5) Jim Cummings
Now here's a guy who you have especially heard several times in your life without even knowing his name. let's mention a few shall we?

Long John Silver in The Pagemaster
Darkwing Duck
Razoul in Aladdin
the current voice of Pete
Cortez in The Road to El Dorado
Ultra Load in Jimmy Neutron
Ray in The Princess and the Frog
Nessus the River Centaur in Hercules
current voice of Taz
the singing voice for Powhatan and Rasputin in Pocahontas and Anastasia respectively  

and is also the current voice of Pooh and Tigger

Now the sort of up and down thing with this voice actor is that he roughly uses the same voice or particular types of voices in his work. So he's not always having various voices for various characters. But at the same note because of that, as a fan you can notice and be all "ah sweet it's Cummings" when you're watching who knows what, which is a little nice. He's particularly good at having a really dark evil voice. One good example that I haven't mentioned yet is his performance as Robotnik in the SatAM series of Sonic the Hedgehog. In that particular show, the story is much more darker than you'd usually get from anything in Sonic the Hedgehog. I mean I never watched it growing up but when I heard about it via the Nostalgia Critic, I checked it out and I have to admit; it is still fairly cheesy and some of the episodes are nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to cartoon shows to begin with. But regardless, it's a nice turn from the usual when it comes to Sonic.And Robotnik is no exception.
I mean in the games and the TV show that came out the same year as the SatAM show (yeah i know, that is pretty weird) Even if he comes up with something more evil than capturing little animals and trying to get the chaos emeralds, he's often an easy push over for Sonic and his friends no matter what. I mean I'm talking about times like Sonic Heroes where Amy and her friends can beat him...AMY!!!!
and yet in the SatAM show, he's actually a fairly cool villain who has already taken over the world in this series and Cummings' voice turned out to make him even cooler.

Fun, recognizable, Jim Cummings is a fine addition to mention as one of the top voice actors.

4) Peter Cullen

you really can't go wrong with this voice actor being put into a list about the best voice actors. I mean he has to be one of the most famous there is.

really he's primarily known for repeatedly being the voice of two particular characters. Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, and Optimus Prime from The Transformers.

With Eeyore he did just a wonderful job of giving us a depressed donkey that everyone that's young at heart about Winnie the pooh from the youngest Winnie the Pooh- loving generation to date, to some of it's oldest fans like my grandmother, can love. In fact, it really pisses me off that he didn't reprise his role for some reason in the brand new Winnie the Pooh movie. They had Bud Luckey do Eeyore's voice instead. It's not that he wasn't bad, but we want Peter. We want Peter to be Eeyore on any Winnie the Pooh thing to the day he dies. I mean it's bad enough that Tom Kenny did Rabbit's voice in that film.

Now Optimus... *chuckles* where do I begin? He was born and practically raised for all I know to be the voice of Optimus Prime. It's big enough when practically everybody loves Optimus to the point of making a Jesus figure out of him from comedy posters to the Nostalgia Critic, or other ways to show their love to this character like my friend Jimmy once having his religious views on his Facebook as: "In Optimus Prime I trust." But with Peter Cullen's voice... well let's put it this way: one time while commenting on my friend Xandi's facebook status about the idea of choosing character voices on your GPS, there was one Transformers fan who commented that having an Optimus Prime voice would be too much because EVERYTHING he said would fill you up with a whole bunch of hope and pride.

Peter Cullen on the GPS:"In a quarter mile, take a left." 
Driver: [filled with hope beyond his/her dreams] yes...yes...YES!!!! I SURE WILL OPTIMUS PRIME!!! I WILL!!!!! I WILL OPTIMUS !!!!  I!!!!! WILL!!!!! (joke dedicated to Tim Yoshikawa. thanks.)

But seriously, The thing a lot of people love about Optimus is how he's a noble and valiant leader that plenty of people would want to look up to. Who never gives up and dies or goes through a near death experience if that's what it takes to defeat the Decepticons or to just let the idea of freedom and all that endure for another day. And Peter Cullen gives us that character wonderfully with his voice.

now sure there are downs to the character, mostly from Bay's movies with Optimus not sounding pissed earlier in DOTM and saying really bad lines like "Give me your face!!!" but hey, with both being the voice of Eeyore and Optimus Prime for our time, we couldn't have a better voice actor.

3) Dee Bradley Baker
Now yes he's done plenty of voices we are familiar with such as being the voice of Appa and Momo in Avatar: The Last Airbender and pretty much all the Clone Troopers in the 2008 Clone Wars TV series. but there's only one job he's done that's enough to be honored in this list. One voice for a little greenish, blueish character with mad skill, a beaver tail and a bill. Do you know anyone like that?

The Audience: *singing*
Dooby dooby doo-bah, Dooby dooby doo-bah, Dooby dooby doo-bah, Dooby dooby doo-bah


Yes. Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb.  And this little guy doesn't say much. all an he says is an "aggravated purr"sort of noise as they put it. It's original, it's fun, and we all wish we can do it. I've been trying it because it's #3 in my small list of voices I wish I can do, my brother has been practicing it, and we only know that Thomas Sangster, the voice actor for Ferb is the only known person to come the closest to the noise .So what else is there to say except that it's catchy, original, and a voice we all dream we can do.

2) Margaret Wright
Now I know for a fact that a lot of you, if not all of you have never even heard of this woman at all. And right now you are wondering what in the world could she have possibly done that would put her in this list. Well she's done the voice of one particular character that I grew up loving from the bottom of my heart and practically idolized as a kid from impersonating the sound effects for this character to making drawings of him. and that particular character is...

 CASEY JR!!!!!

I. just. LOVE. Casey Jr. Seriously, I grew up as a kid just loving trains to death. Whenever my mom was driving us to some errands when I was little and we would occasionally be stopped by a passing train, my eyes would just widen the moment I see it. And even as I've grown up, I did enjoy watching trains pass by whenever I took classes at this Community College that is just right next to a couple of tracks.  So when we got Dumbo, it automatically became my favorite Disney film for just one reason only; Casey Jr. He was fun to watch the whole time and it was no exception when the ringmaster shouts "All Aboard! All Aboard!" and Casey replies with his train-like voice via his whistle: "all abooooooooaaaarrrd! Let's go!" and later telling himself "I think I Can, I think I can, I think I can" when he was going up that hill. I"m just plain old jealous of Margaret Wirght being able to do the voice and I can't. I can impersonate the sound effects for when Casey starts moving the train earlier in the film, but that's kind of easy since I've been roughly able to do that since I was like, 3.  Casey's # 2 on my list of voices I wish I can do. It's fun, creative and more than worthy in my mind's eye to be put on this list.

now I'm sure you're wondering, "those are some pretty good voice actors, who could be number one?" well for those of you know are familiar with voice acting, it should be pretty obvious. Because there's one particular voice actor who is talented beyond belief. A person to look up to for future voice actors everywhere. And the number on voice actor is...

1) Frank Welker
FRANK FREAKING WELKER!!!! This guy is one of the most remarkable, talented voice actors that you never heard of in your life!!!  You don't know who he is, but you've heard him doing so many characters with so many voices that you really should. I mean here's some good examples of the work he has done.

Figaro in Pinocchio
Fred from Scooby-Doo
Nana from Peter Pan
The Doormouse in Alice in Wonderland
Butch the Bulldog in various Disney shows

Abu, Rajah and the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin
Flit in Pocahontas
Thumper in a Bug's Life
Kahn and Cri-kee in Mulan
Max in The Little Mermaid
Iceman in Spider-man and his Amazing Friends (never seen it. just found it interesting to mention)
Bulls-eye in the Toy Story movies
Pegasus in Hercules
Johanna from The Rescuers Down Under
George in Curious George
Stella in Princess and the Frog
Goddard and Poultra in Jimmy Neutron
Sultan in Beauty and the Beast
Horror in The Pagemaster
Pal in Arthur
Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II in The Simpsons
Maximus in Tangled
Nibbler in Futurama (both noise and voice)
Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget

and he's the original voice of several Transformers (mostly Decepticons) and also voiced in the live-action version of other Transformers in the films for example


the live-action versions of several Decepticons including Barricade, Devestator and Shockwave
and the two Transformers he's most known for being the original voice of: Megatron
and my favorite Soundwave. I love this one the most because he gives Soundwave the best robot voice ever. it's #1 of the voices I wish I can do. 

Now when it comes to voice acting, you can do a ton of jobs throughout your life. Movies, video games, tv shows, whatever. Corey Burton has done 279 jobs, and Jim Cummings has done 362 jobs, but Frank Welker *chuckles* Frank Welker has done a total of 673 jobs in his life as a voice actor. That's way more than twice the amount of work Christopher Lee has done. Seriously!!! You've never seen him but you've heard him voice so many of your favorite characters throughout the years. There's no reason why Frank Welker should be doubted as the number one voice actor.

So that's my list of My Top Voice Actors. I hope you enjoyed it and seriously, learn to appreciate teh people behind the voices of your favorited characters. I know I do.