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The Nutcracker – Movie Review

There isn’t a great deal of Disney movies that I don’t want to rush out and watch straight away. This is one of them.

It’s a strange thing to make a movie out of I think, what I knew of the Nutcracker before watching this was just what I had seen growing up and basically all I knew was the dance of the Sugarplum Fairy and I am not a ballet fan.  Plus all the press with Keira Knightley doing her bit of ‘Disney Bashing’ sort of put me off watching it. And she does talk in an annoying voice for the whole film.

I was pleasantly surprised by this I have to say. Its festive from the start and I do love a festive movie, I just didn’t realise exactly HOW festive this would be.

It’s a great little story and reminds me a little of Alice in Wonderland. Clara who is the heroine of the movie ends up in The Realms after receiving a mysterious gift from her mother posthumously.  It does very much have the feel of Alice when she is in Wonderland. It looks very similar. And to be honest I was not a fan of those movies.

Clara needs to find a key to open the mysterious gift from her Mother and its her search for that key that brings her to the realm and reveals the secret world her mother was a part of.

Along the way she meets some interesting characters including the titular character ‘The Nutcracker’, the Sugarplum Fairy and some funny ‘soldiers’ played brilliantly by Jack Whitehall and Omid Djalili.

Clara needs to find the key and stop Mother Ginger taking over the Four Realms. Although there is more to her than meets the eye.

The set, the costumes and the general production of this are incredible. It looks AMAZING. And it’s so Christmassy. It’ll be a great one to watch Christmas Eve and a fab Christmas afternoon movie in years to come. BUT. It’s not amazing. It’s not the best film Disney have done. I really struggled watching Keira Knightley I found her Sugarplum Fairy to be incredibly irritating. Some of the acting in this isn’t the best which is a shame seeing as the cast does boast some incredible actors.

Kids will love it but I left feeling a little underwhelmed by this one. It was better than I was expecting and I did enjoy aspects of it but I won’t be rushing to see it again.

For more ‘non disney’ movie reviews check out my other blog..

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Movie Review – Christopher Robin – Spoiler Free

When you’re giving the ‘live action’ treatment to something as beloved as Pooh there’s always a risk you’re going to ruin it a bit and it won’t be as magical as we all know it to be. The hype and excitement around it too could very well have set this up for a fall.

Out of all the Disney movies this year this one is by far the one I was looking forward to the most – this and Mary Poppins – the trailers I’d seen had me all emotional, I don’t know if it was nostalgia or just how magical it all looked.

I went to watch this prepared with tissues.

It was the busiest I’d seen the cinema since ‘The Greatest Showman’.

It’s a great story about the perils of growing up and forgetting how to be a kid and have fun.

It’s a similar idea to Hook – we follow a grown up Christopher Robin who is putting his work ahead of his family.  He has a weekend away planned at his childhood cottage and he ends up having to work and letting the family down.

We find Pooh wandering around 100 Acre Wood on a search for his friends all of whom have disappeared, he finally finds Christopher Robins door and decides he is the one who can help him find them.

Its interesting seeing Pooh in ‘real life’. And it’s done so so well. The special effects in this are wonderful and they capture the essence of Pooh and all his friends beautifully.

I absolutely loved the story and script of this movie. There are so many laugh out loud parts courtesy of Pooh and Eeyore. So many ‘Poohisms’ are included and are a wonderful nod to all the stories we know and love so well.  It’s absolutely everything you would expect from Pooh. You can tell the writers had a genuine love of the originals.

It’s a really emotional film, not in a sad way, but I did find myself welling up at regular intervals throughout this just because of some of the sweet things that Pooh says. I won’t ruin it but his response to Christopher discussing losing something was just too much! I’m so glad I took tissues.

It’s definitely one of the cutest Disney movies I’ve ever seen. If not THE cutest.

I really enjoyed seeing Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore adjusting to being in London. Eeyore has some great one liners. The mostly adult audience were belly laughing through a lot of it.

It’s a great story reminding us that it’s so important to stop sometimes and have fun. Not to take those closest to us for granted and that there is much more important things in life than work.

It hooks you from the start and takes you on a wonderful adventure from London to 100 Acre Wood and back again.  It’s clever, sweet and so wonderfully Pooh.

There’s a few new songs as well,  written by Richard Sherman who of course with his brother Robert wrote all those memorable songs from the original animations. You must stay for the post credit scene. A bit of a tear jerker for any die hard Disney fan as Richard Sherman performs a beautiful song called ‘Busy Doing Nothing’ on the beach with Pooh and his friends all joining in. (of course the Sherman brothers story is the subject of a wonderful musical as well, read my review here)

I cannot speak highly enough of this film. I’m still a little emotional when I’m thinking about it as pathetic as it sounds. It’s perfect Disney.

You must watch it. And then go again!

FOR MORE MOVIE AND DAY OUT REVIEWS CLICK HERE

Movie Review – AntMan and The Wasp

Another month another installment in the seemingly never ending Marvel Universe franchise!!

This one takes place after the events of Captain America Civil War and up until the culmination of the last Avengers movie and follows Paul Rudds Antman as he tries to juggle being his alter ego whilst also being on house arrest.

His bail conditions mean he isn’t allowed out of his house and he goes to great lengths to keep his daughter entertained – the opening scene of the movie I want to do in my house. He’s also used his time setting up a security business with Luis.

Meanwhile Hank and Hope are building a tunnel which allows them to access the quantum realm where Hanks wife (Hopes Mum) was lost many years ago. They are missing a vital component and someone who can shrink small enough to get there and retrieve her. I wonder who that may be?

Ant-Man is one of my favourite heroes of the Marvel Universe and Paul Rudd is so likable as him. It’s full of the humour we always expect from the movies and some of the action sequences are so great to watch. I love all the fight scenes where not only do the titular characters shrink and grow constantly but they also use other objects as weapons or barricades. The scene in the kitchen is particularly good. As is the car chase scene which has the added bonus of Luis having his first ‘shrinking’ experience.

They use some cool tried and tested SFX in this – Micheal Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer as youngsters using the same tech as they did with flashback scenes with Robert Downey Jnr in Iron Man.

There is a villian – The Ghost – who tries to scupper the creation of the tunnel and recovery of Janet and wants to use the technology to rid her of her powers instead. It’s as always predictable in that good trumps evil but the story of getting there is really compelling.

I watched this in 3D.  I always watch the Marvel movies in 3D. It adds so much to the visuals of the film and really puts you inside the movie. I don’t know what it is about Marvel Studios but they seem to do this like no-one else.

All in all its a fun, action packed movie. One of my favourites but then I love Paul Rudd and apart from Mike in Friends this is by far my favourite of all his roles.

After seeing the extra scene at the end I’m even more impatient for the next Avengers movie too can it be May already?

For my other non-Disney movie and day out reviews click here

The Disneylife Challenge..

Those of us in the UK have the pleasure of being able to have pretty much ALL the Disney movies and classic TV shows at our fingertips with the brilliant Disneylife. For a small  monthly fee you have access to watch online nearly everything. I love it there’s things on there I never knew existed so I have set myself a challenge to watch ALL the movies on there that I hadn’t already seen. Obviously I’ve watched all the classics over and over but I never knew there were so many sequels made to those and then you have all the old movies and the DCOMs as well.

As I clearly have nothing better to do with my time I thought I’d keep you updated as to how I get on. I have no idea how long this is going to take me and I’m sure there will be some on there that are a bit rubbish but at least I can be happy knowing I’ve seen all the Disney movies – although Song of the South isn’t on there seeing as it is banned so if anyone has a copy they can lend me it’d be much appreciated…

I fly to Disney in 37 days so I’m hoping to watch as many as I can between now and then…

Todays not seen before movie was THE THREE CABALLEROS seeing as I love Donald Duck and the ride in Epcot based on it I surprised myself that I’d not seen this before. It’s a really odd one and gets slated a lot but I really liked it. It doesn’t have a particularly great storyline and has some questionable bits in it with Donald perving on some live action ladies but it’s Donald doing what we expect and it is pretty funny. Plus it has that great ‘Three Caballeros’ song you come out of the ride singing.

Released in 1944 this was Disneys seventh animated feature and wasn’t that well received with reviews accusing it of having a pretty thin story line and being a little shocked by Donalds reaction to the women. (basically exactly what I thought of it!!)

Watching the older Disney movies has made me realise that they shaped popular culture in more ways than I thought they had. The Three Caballeros features a story all about a little boy who has a flying singing Donkey, now where else have I seen that in the last 20 years….

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Second one today was FUN AND FANCY FREE which is another Disney movie with movies within it, telling a few short stories rather than one main one.  I much preferred this one to the Caballeros, this one is hosted by Jiminy Cricket and he tells a little love story about 2 bears – with one of the best songs I’ve heard in a Disney film all about how bears say they love you with a slap, genius! It’s honestly worth watching for that alone.

Second story in this features Mickey, Donald and Goofy in a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. This section is narrated by famed ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummies Charlie and Mortimer – again one of whom reminds me of something/someone can’t think who…

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Fun and Fancy free was released in 1947 and was their 9th animated feature and got much better reviews that the Three Caballeros!!

The idea for a Jack and the Beanstalk story with Mickey and friends was actually pitched to Walt during the making of Fantasia but was never included in that film and instead kept for this.

Which one of these do you prefer?  Anyone else doing this challenge and watching all the films?