Question of the Week: 2/28/16

<–Question of the Week: 2/21/16          Question of the Week: 3/6/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s your favorite animated Disney movie?

This is the first question I don’t have a direct and definitive answer to.  I’ve been chatting with the lovely writer of The Ink Garden, and among other things the topic turned to Disney movies.  After considering this in our last correspondence, I realized I had my QOTW 🙂

I almost feel as though this one needs to be broken up into time periods or even animation styles (traditional 2D or CGI), because Disney has made a lot of animated movies.  This is not even considering the Pixar branch off, which I will be.

Up until a few years ago, if you asked me this question, my answer would have been unequivocally Frozen.

Frozen French Movie Cover 2

It fell into that strange niche of something I had no interest in initially that I loved upon experiencing (it has good company in FFVII, Harry Potter, and ASOIAF among others).  From the opening song “Vuelie” I had chills running down my spine, which is a brilliant meta on their part.

But though I still absolutely adore Frozen, time tends to lend itself to retrospection.  In the grand scheme of my Disney movie watching, I don’t know it it’s my Number 1, though it’s up there in the count.


Picking a 2D animated Disney film is just as difficult, but I can say without impunity that The Hunchback of Notre Dame is high on that list and may very well be my favorite.

I think this was the first time a Disney movie used the term “eternal damnation,” (though Sleeping Beauty did have Maleficent deliver the exquisite line of “Now you shall deal with me, oh prince, and all the powers of Hell), and if you haven’t been paying attention, religious symbolism and imagery is kind of my thing.

Hunchback is about a self-righteous, overly sanctimonious official who abuses his adopted, physically disabled son and eventually attempts to use him to commit genocide against an ethnic minority, one of whom he lusts after.  Oh, and the only reason he has an adopted, physically disabled son is because he murdered his mother on the steps of Notre Dame, and the high deacon saw him and called him out by putting the fear of the very God he claims to worship into him.

Not even mentioning that fact that everything I love is ultra messed up, Hunchback has that very dark undertone at its foundation in addition to the religious aspect, and that’s always been appealing.

Also I love the song “God Help the Outcasts;” it was an inspiration for the church scene in Chapter 4 of Northern Lights.

Just to assure you that I don’t just like Disney movies because of the music (though that is a big part…I love musicals), when it comes to one subset of them, I have a definitive answer, and it has nothing to do with music since there are no official musical numbers.  My favorite Pixar movie is without a doubt Ratatouille.

I can relate the idea of the protagonist who’s been told all his life that he can’t do something because of what he is regardless of his skill level, and Gusteau’s proclamation of “Anyone can cook” is the perfect analogue to so many things.  I’m not the idealist I once was two decades ago, and I know that there are uncontrollable and often insurmountable barriers that stand in the way of success.  The fact that there is a movie with a seemingly absurd concept of a rat cook (and I don’t mean the Rat Cook from ASOIAF *shivers* there are no horror motifs in Ratatouille) and make it believable in its way shows that what’s really absurd is our restrictions on what people can do based on what they are alone.  It’s an important metaphor to portray and Pixar pulled it off perfectly.

So I have a newer CGI film, an late 00s Pixar movie, and a mid 90s traditionally animated one.  I’ll have to think about my favorite early Disney movie, but that will be another story for another time.

What is/are your favorite animated Disney movie(s)?  What do you love about them?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 2/21/16          Question of the Week: 3/6/16–>

13 thoughts on “Question of the Week: 2/28/16

  1. Pingback: Question of the Week: 2/21/16 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Aw, I feel all flattered now. #^_^# If I absolutely *had* to choose one favorite . . . I might have to say Mulan. It’s such a funny yet heartwarming movie and Mulan is a very inspiring, relateable heroine. But I also adore Frozen, which is a great twist on The Snow Queen and the music is so beautiful (I also probably over-identify with Elsa and her introversion). Hunchback is a favorite of mine as well for its bold handling of dark subject matter (“God Help the Outcasts” and “Hellfire” always give me chills), and its uplifting take on Hugo’s bleak source material. Esmeralda is another heroine I really admire for her bravery and compassion.

    Honorable mentions include Tangled, The Emperor’s New Groove, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. I have a weird affection for The Black Cauldron, probably because it got me into the book series by Lloyd Alexander (which is vastly superior), and am a bit miffed that Eilonwy is left out of being an official princess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started crying the first time I heard “Let It Go.” I identified with Elsa so hard, and I was unsurprised when I found out her characterization was a metaphor for depression. It was so brilliantly done. Obviously, the younger crowd wouldn’t pick up on that directly, but they would be able to see and relate to the affects of such restriction. The poor queen was terrified of being judged for who she really was. It was a very intimate and powerful message.

      I haven’t read Hunchback (as I’ve mentioned before), but I know the extremely bleak ending. While I’m okay with sad endings (Les Mis doesn’t have the happiest one…I guess bittersweet could be considered and FFVII [game wise] was very ambiguous), Hunchback is just without any hope whatsoever.

      EEEP The Black Cauldron! Ahhhh! I LOVE the Prydain Chronicles. I’m pretty sure I talk abut them at some point in my editing blog. I wound up buying The Mabinogion, a compendium of Welsh Mythology and where a lot of his ideas come from. While TBC watered down that story a lot (and it’s YA anyway so that’s saying a bit), I still enjoyed the movie. The Horned King’s portrayal in that makes him one of the most if not the most terrifying Disney villain. Honestly, I don’t think there’s one that’s scarier. I mean he is almost literally death and he brings forth the deathless.

      I believe (I’d have to recheck upon reply) that there’s a reference to The Black Cauldron in one of the summons in FFVII. I forget which one, but the image is that of a horned and hooded skeletal figure that may or may not have a crown) stirring a great black cauldron. I remember I used to check this website called the Final Fantasy Compendium that was all about compiling the myriads of mythological/religious references used in the games (it’s where I first discovered the meaning of Sephiroth…a glorious day lol), and you could submit ones that weren’t there. Well I sent in the one about The Horned King being the potential inspiration for that summon. I had to look it up…it was driving me up the wall. It’s Hades…which would make a lot of sense for the potential connection. They disagreed and I was quite annoyed, but I think there’s a connection there. The game may not have gotten it directly from Arawn/The Horned King, but I’m fairly certain they had a simiar source.

      Eilonwy SHOULD be an official princess. If there are “princesses” that really aren’t (like Mulan) then she can be in the pantheon. It’s probably because TBC was considered a flop :\ It was in that valley between golden ages of Disney animation, but I enjoyed it, too. Dating myself, but I actually still have it on VHS. Yeah…not that I have a VCR to play it on, but I have the VHS 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s funny; I can’t believe I didn’t make that connection! And yes, along with Frollo I think the Horned King is among the scariest Disney villains. I wholeheartedly agree about the Disney princess classifications too (Eilonwy and Kida are more royal than many of them). And if Mulan is considered a princess then why not at least include Esmeralda too for some more diversity? I guess it’s all for commercial reasons.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think Tiana may one of the few princess of color. There’s Pocahontas, too. Would you count Kida among that? I haven’t actually seen Atlantis. I know she has darker skin. Esmeralda was an awesome heroine. One, she had her own agency and agenda, and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for injustice.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. * That was supposed to be “maybe count her”, not “may”. That’s what I get for typing on my Kindle. Anyway, I’m really excited for Moana because she’s another POC and has a different body type than the usual Barbie-ish princesses. I’m not trying to be nitpicky about the other princesses (obviously I love many of them), but I think it’s important to portray more diversity, especially in things marketed to kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree. I’m super excited for that too. I also love that they’re giving Barbie a more realistic body type. Whew, I was reading about the qualifications to be a Disney princess at the park, and boy is it rough. They have to keep to a certain measurement. Tinkerbell is the most petite between 4’10-5’2″

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Question of the Week: 3/6/16 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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