Recent (ish) Disney

I picked up on the Disney animation again, hitting a couple of the somewhat more recent films that I missed at the theater.

First, Moana. I’m not sure why I didn’t see it at the theater, since I’m usually all about the musicals. I think the Thanksgiving release date may have been the challenge, since it came at a busy time of year, and Rogue One came out not long afterward, so I would have been distracted. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It’s another one of those “no villains” movies. There isn’t really anyone truly evil who’s working to thwart our heroes, other than maybe the crab, but he’s not a movie-long villain, just a minor obstacle. Otherwise, there’s conflict between Moana and Maui and Maui has to get over himself, but he’s not a villain.

The animation is beautiful and vivid and makes the islands and ocean look inviting, even though I’m very much not a beach person. As a bonus for me, a tiny bit from this movie sparked an idea that was the answer to a problem I was having with the book I’m working on, so watching it counted as work. The music is catchy, with a few songs I’ve caught myself singing around the house.

There’s a trend in some of the modern-era Disney movies that I think I’m picking up on, so I’ll have to watch more and see if my theory holds together.

Then I was in the mood for an adventure story, so I went with Atlantis: The Lost Empire. This should have been right up my alley, with an adorkable hero and a steampunky aesthetic, but I didn’t find it very engaging. I may have just been tired. This was a last-second selection when I was planning to watch the live-action Little Mermaid but found out that it was two hours and twenty minutes long, and I wanted something a lot shorter. It was a sharp contrast to the no-villain Moana, with a very obvious mustache-twirling evil villain who had to be defeated.

I couldn’t tell you what about it didn’t fully engage me, but I kept drifting off and thinking about other things, then I’d snap out of a daydream and realize I’d missed a chunk of the movie. Lots of stuff happened and it had a lot of action, so maybe it was just the frame of mind I was in. I think perhaps it was just uninspired and I didn’t connect with any of the characters. It did have an impressive voice cast and it looked great.

I’m not sure what I’ll watch this weekend. I spotted something I’d never heard of that looks interesting, so I may try that. But then they’ve also added a lot of the DC superhero movies to Prime Video and I never saw the second Wonder Woman film. I’ll have to see what mood I’m in and what my focus level is. I had my flu shot this morning, so I probably won’t be at my best this weekend.

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