Tagged: disney

5 Great Food-Based Films

With the release of the animated comedy Sausage Party (definitely not for kids), film and food lover Harry Casey-Woodward discusses five movies based on things we love to eat.

Ratatouille (2007) 

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When I first saw this in the cinema, I thought this was one of Pixar’s best. The story is charming enough, with a rat fulfilling his dream to be a chef in one of the most esteemed restaurants in Paris. However, the film also invited us to share in his passion for food and cooking, even the simple dish of the title. Let’s just forget the fact that everyone in Paris has American accents.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) 

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I’m not a huge fan of this movie, but it’s such a celebration of our food lust I couldn’t afford to miss it off the list. An ambitious young scientist, trapped in a small town where all there is to eat is sardines, achieves surely everybody’s greatest wish and invents a machine that makes food rain from the sky. The film goes one step further, showing yet again how such a fantastic scientific achievement can get dangerous very quickly.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) 

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In honour of the late, great Gene Wilder this musical chocolate banquet surely earns a place here. Based on one of Roald Dahl‘s most imaginative and celebrated children’s books, the film follows a little blond angel named Charlie who wins one of the fabled golden tickets to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Although I’m sickened slightly by the Americanised sappiness thrust into the story, the filmmakers did a great job of recreating Wonka’s factory with the finest of 70s effects, as well as keeping Dahl’s dark streak of humour intact.

Chocolat (2000) 

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Let’s keep up the literary-inspired choc fests shall we? Based on the novel by Joanne Harris, a mysterious woman arrives in a small French town during Lent and promptly sets up a chocolate shop. When she starts awakening the townspeoples’ repressed desires, this does not sit well with the local priest and he and the woman begin a battle of ideologies. This is an exploration of the emotional power of food and Johnny Depp is dishy as a guitar-playing gypsy pirate.

Delicatessen (1991)  

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Let’s stay in France, except we’ll travel into the future a bit. From visionary director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, Alien: Resurrection) came this dystopian romantic comedy about an ex-circus performer moving into a flat. Unfortunately, in post-apocalyptic France food is scarce and the landlord, who happens to be a butcher, is eyeing up his tenant. But his daughter is nice. Cue a lot of comic action about human desperation for food, including some vegetarian revolutionaries.

Images from themovieman, amazon, space538.org, snoskred.org and fact.co.uk.

Five Best Disney Films

The new Jungle Book is out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, so in celebration movie-consumer Harry Casey-Woodward is going to tell you his five favourite Disney films.

5. Pinocchio (1940) 

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This makes the list for being possibly the scariest Disney film. There’s child kidnappers, the most monstrous whale ever put on screen and one truly horrific scene where a boy transforms into a donkey. All this somehow went over my head when I was a kid. Maybe I was too distracted by the cricket.

4. The Jungle Book, (1967) 

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The one Disney film with jazz music! Sadly this was the last movie Mr. Disney produced while he was alive, but it was a genius stroke to mix Rudyard Kipling‘s story of a boy raised in the jungle by animals with foot-tappin’ tunes. I have yet to see the 2016 remake and in my opinion it’s going to be hard to beat this original feast of songs and great characters.

3. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) 

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This film is a breath of fresh air in the Disney canon. It has one of the most original plots (an ancient emperor gets turned into a llama by the fiendish Yzma and the loveable Kronk, possibly the best villainous duo ever) and thus this is definitely the funniest and breeziest of the Disney animations. There’s also no forced songs or romance either, unless you count the growing bromance between the emperor and the peasant Pacha.

2. Finding Nemo (2003) 

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Pixar have surely saved Disney and this has to be their best effort. Inspired by the oceans’s beauty and variety of life, Pixar made a truly epic Odyssey that’s still funny and charming, of a clownfish facing down the dangers of the deep to find his son. I am just a little excited about Finding Dory.

1. The Lion King (1994) 

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Another nature-inspired epic, this time set on the African plains and with a more Shakespearean plot, where Simba the lion has to avenge his father’s death at the paws of his sly uncle Scar and fulfil his destiny as King of the pride. Why is this my favourite? Maybe I just like African wildlife, but everything about this film is damn near perfect: the songs, the animation, the equal amounts of humour and tragedy. There’s also hyenas, and Timon and Pumbaa. All together now, ‘hakuna matata…’.

Images from amazonplaybuzz.com, and movies.disney.com.au.

The Five Best Cats in Film

Hobbyist reviewer Harry Casey-Woodward compares some of the fluffiest, scratchiest performances in cinematic history….

Cats have dominated our media- acting cute and idiotic before cameras was surely a key part of their world invasion plan, and nowhere have they been more amusing and beguiling than on film. So here is a short list of the best cats to claw, spit and hiss their way across our screens. Possibly an idea for an Academy Award category?

5. The alley cat swingers from AristoCats, 1970

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It might not be correct to feature animated cats but I couldn’t pass off the most feline of all family films. This classic has a gallery of colourful cat characters, but the most enjoyable are the controversially named ‘swingers’ or alley cats, musical squatters who play raucous swing music in abandoned Paris buildings. Their most famous ditty is about how every individual desires to attain feline status. They may be threatening to the mouse character, one of them is a racist Asian stereotype and who knows what street crime they indulge in to fund their catnip habits. But dang, do they know how to have a good time.

4. The Siamese twins in Lady and the Tramp, 1955

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A couple more Disney characters in one of the studio’s most bizarre and racist scenes. In this canine romance, a dog hating old matron takes over Lady’s house and leaves a basket in the lounge. Out of it slither a perfectly choreographed pair of head-bobbing Siamese cats singing in high pitched Asian accents. In typical feline fashion, they go on to cause as much trouble as they can find, with Lady frantically chasing after them. They even manage to frame her for their mess. As fiendish as these negative racial stereotypes are, their song is still damn catchy years after viewing.

3. Spiteful farm cat in Babe, 1995

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An actually villainous cat this time, rather than just comically evil and none get more evil than the fluffy farm cat in Babe. She scratches our porky hero’s nose simply for trying to make friends with her. She’s put outside in the rain by the angry farmer, but she slips back in and at first appears to be kinder to Babe. Then she lets slip that people eat pigs, causing him to run away from the farm. Not only is her behaviour viciously spiteful for no reason, it also feels horribly cat-like. Plus she sounds like she’s voiced by some psychotic grandmother.

2. Mr. Tinkles from Cats & Dogs, 2001

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Everyone knows the white fluffy cat essential for the lap of every spy villain. But what if the cat was the villain? The result is horror and hilarity, as the power-hungry white fluffball in Cats & Dogs finds the megalomaniac image he wants to build for himself somewhat spoilt by his name: something his adoring nanny never refrains from reminding him of. Nevertheless, it is funny and scary to see the villain’s lapcat making ridiculously genius plans for world domination. Let’s not forget his most adorable and deadly henchman, the Russian kitty. There’s something unnerving about an armed kitten with a thick Russian accent who can cough up dog poo.

1. Yzma from Emperor’s New Groove, 2000

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Is Yzma, the power-hungry bad-tempered crone from Disney’s Inca comedy The Emperor’s New Groove, one of the best Disney villains ever? She gets even better at the end of the film, when she literally gets a taste of her own medicine and is transformed into a cute, cuddly cat by one of her potions. Turning into a fluffball does nothing to affect her diabolical personality (although she is disgusted at her new squeaky voice). It does, however, make hilarious viewing.

Images from disneywiki, cinemacats, TNTforum, saygoodbyetoto, and ohmydisney.

Artistic Disney Princesses

Artist jirka väätäinen has created images of how Disney Princesses would look in real life. Of course they are a beautiful reflection of patriarchal ideals.

Innocent and curious Alice

Whimsical and delicate Snow White

Jasmine has a Kim Kardashian look about her

Youthful and alluring siren of the sea Ariel

Fiercely sexual Pochantantis

And then there’s Ursula in all her villainous glory

 

Disney Princesses like you’ve never seen them before…

Canadian artist Sakimi Chan has given the classic Disney princesses a gender make-over turning the traditional feminine ladies into new masculine characters. Albeit it very beautiful, chiselled, hairless men.

Our favourite being the complete gender role reversal, with a masculine Belle and feminine Beast.

Images from Sakimi Chan’s Facebook