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October 9th, 2004


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04:55 am
Black tea is very very delicious, especially if you get black tea with black raspberry and/or black tea and honey. But perhaps one should not be on one's fourth cup at 5 in the morning. Know the scene in Big Trouble in Little China where Jack and Wang and their pals drink Egg's magic potion? ("What's in the flask, Egg?" "Magic potion." "Good, thought so, what do we do? Drink it?" "Yeah." "Good, thought so.") Yeah, that's how I feel right now. Ready to shake the pillars of Heaven.

I got the Aladdin 2-DVD set tonight. It was on sale at Stah Mahket, of all places. I can't remember the last time I saw the film. Definitely during Clinton's first term, that's for sure. Watching a favorite movie you haven't seen in a long time is like meeting an old friend you haven't seen in a long time. You smile giddily, you share some old favorite jokes, you may tear up at parts, but overall you're so glad to renew the old acquaintances. And you also begin to slowly recall nuances.

(Paul Reiser, Diner: "Know what word I'm not comfortable with? Nuance. It's not a real word, like gesture. With gesture you know where you stand. But nuance? I don't know...")

I forgot how rich Aladdin's colors were, especially in the Cave of Wonders chase sequence. The purples and oranges have every possible chance (and every right) to clash in a horrible fashion, but they end up being glowing and warm together. The golds used are just beautiful.

I forgot the wonderful way Aladdin and Jasmine play off one another when they're flirting (Jasmine's facial expressions are very well-crafted.) There's a scene after the "Whole New World" number where they're sitting together and she reaches over, playfully flicks the feather in Prince Ali's cap, and then puts her head on his shoulder, sighing happily. Her sigh sells the scene, but it's his bewildered-leading-to-"whoa hey a girl!" expression that seals the deal. Whatever that means. (shaking the pillars of Heaven, I am.)

I forgot the Genie's manic intensity -- well, I remembered the character, but not the absolute abandon Robin Williams gives the role. This is the "I Can't Believe He's Not on the Coke Again" Robin Williams we all know and love, not that Patch Adams schlockmeister. The Genie does get to express his desires for freedom with great pathos and feeling, sure, but it doesn't feel artificial or forced down our throats. And the songs! I got those wonderful goosebumps of familiarity while watching the musical numbers, and I had to go back and watch "Friend Like Me" a few times just because.

It's not all perfect, of course. Some things simply haven't stood the test of time. Iago the parrot spits out an early 90s "Not!" which made me cringe, and with the exception of the texture-mapped Carpet and the Cave of Wonder's entrance, the CG looks very outdated. Mostly due to the textures used, I think. (The tower that nearly rolls over Aladdin and Abu on the snowy peak? It's just a hollow cylinder, dammit! Kids can model that at home these days.)

The DVD extras are pretty decent, too. The Making-Of featurette on the second disc is a lot of fun, even if there's too much Gilbert Gottfried for anybody's good. Getting to see Eric Goldberg's pencil test of the Robin Williams schizophrenia routine, which I'd heard about but hadn't ever seen, was worth the price of admission.

If it weren't for Lilo & Stitch and The Emperor's New Groove (yes, I admit, I'm a sucker for Mark Dindal and yes, I realize I'm probably the only heterosexual male in America who owns up to liking Cats Don't Dance) then Aladdin would be my favorite traditionally-animated Disney film. As it is, it ranks very high, which is more than I can say for that dreadful Pocahontas or the godawful Hunchback.

Though I liked the gargoyles in Hunchback. Okay.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lillibet
Date:October 9th, 2004 01:22 pm (UTC)
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One of my favorite Robin Williams' quotes is when he said that he did a lot of coke until he realized that paranoia and impotence weren't really the effects he was going for.
From:elynrae
Date:October 9th, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)
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The Aladdin DVD is the only thing on my Christmas list at this point. I want it so much! Fucking Disney release stuff on DVD here and then delete it a year later so I've missed out on the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast - but not this year! Oh no.
[User Picture]
From:weds
Date:October 10th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Gossip has it that a 2-DVD Little Mermaid set (the last release was a single disc) comes out next year.
[User Picture]
From:littlegirltoast
Date:October 9th, 2004 02:41 pm (UTC)
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okay wait you don't like hunchback

but you DO like the gargoyles from it

okay wait

..what?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:October 9th, 2004 09:08 pm (UTC)
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The gargoyles were in Victor Hugo's first draft, you know. And boy, the scathing wisecracks he wrote for them were perfect.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:October 9th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. We'll take her out back and work her over with a syphilitic camel, don't worry.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:October 9th, 2004 05:02 pm (UTC)
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It's funny because every time my little DVD selector thingy goes near that part it mysteriously won't hit the Jessica Simpson video at all.
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From:annilita
Date:October 9th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC)
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I'm so torn about buying the DVD, because I used to date a guy who, if he had a cartoon drawn of him, would look just like Aladdin. It's kind of creapy and it's all I can think about when I see the movie now. That and why I never should have dated that guy in the first place.
[User Picture]
From:duchez
Date:October 9th, 2004 10:15 pm (UTC)
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Aladdin is my favorite movie, Disney or non-animated, and I am really really trying to be good and not get the DVD-set. Reading your description, though, I am thinking I may just as well as go for it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 10th, 2004 02:21 pm (UTC)
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Wow, do you remember how much we dug Aladdin back in the day? That and Wayne's World? Seriously, we thought about going to WW in costume. And we schemed a way for us to star in the stage version of Aladdin, either with us playing two Genies, or taking turns as the Genie and Jafar.

Somehow, Hunchback completely got me when I saw it. I had some sick and dying relatives at the time, so I may have been in an emotional state. But, since I never read the Hugo, it really didn't bother me how much they diddled with the story. Compare this to how I sat through Wicked last night, getting increasingly grouchy about how much they were screwing with Baum's world -- I still loved the show, though. So it's all relative. 'Course, I haven't seen the Hunchback movie in ages, so I may hate it now. It was a little embarassing when Amanda and I visited Notre Dame this summer and the Disney movie was my only frame of reference.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 10th, 2004 02:23 pm (UTC)
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crap, I always forget to sign these. It's Noah again.
[User Picture]
From:rosalux
Date:October 13th, 2004 02:37 am (UTC)
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The opening credits of Hunchback are beautiful, you have to admit. All swirly and colorful and fast-moving.
Too bad they couldn't hold onto some of that sensibility under all the heaving bosoms and cute sidekicks.

Lilo and Stitch, though, totally rocks. We went and saw it like 5 times in the theater and each time all the kids around us were transfixed into total stillness during the chase scenes.

Though I wish they'd get over thinking cross-dressing is funny. Especially when its aliens-of-undetermined-gender in a wig and a falsetto voice. Grrr.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 13th, 2004 06:06 pm (UTC)

Keith

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There are those of us in an alternative lifestyle that still find cross-dressing quite amusing.

Love Aladdin, love Cat's Don't Dance, love Lilo & Stitch, love Emperor's New Groove, and also love Hunchback, as well as Hercules. What can I say?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:October 13th, 2004 06:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Keith

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Oh, I forgot about Hercules! Regrettably it was the first feature since The Little Mermaid that I didn't see in the theatre, mostly due to my disappointment with Hunchback. Then I got it on video and enjoyed the music as well as James Freakin' Woods. It's one of my favorites, too, but not as good as Aladdin.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:October 13th, 2004 06:18 pm (UTC)
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I dunno, the hula joke was one of the funniest parts of The Lion King, mainly because it just came outta freakin' nowhere.

"What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?!"

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