Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Why I Saw This Movie:
            Some friends from work invited me along with them, and I’m pretty much game to see anything.  If I had needed extra convincing, Whisky Prajer’s unqualified recommendation of this movie would have pushed me over the edge.

Positive Points
* Likeable characters that are easy to cheer for.
* Beautifully animated
* A Ruritanian romance story in the fictional German Duchy is beautifully animated, and with enough loving details to make you really immersed in the setting.
* The Mickey-Mouse short at the beginning is a great tribute to the era of “Steamboat Willie” cartoons.
* As my friend pointed out to me upon leaving the theatre, the film does a brilliant job of creating expectations for a cliché fairy tale ending, and then turning that cliché on its head—I can’t say more without spoilers.

Negative Points
* This is one of those annoying stories in which the whole premise revolves around a simple misunderstanding and a contrived reason for why one character can’t just simply explain to the other character what is happening.

* The movie is overloaded with songs—a couple of which are good, and the rest of which are just filler.

* This is probably because I’m not in the target audience, but the humor of this film felt desperate, like the writers were flailing just a little bit too hard to try and land the jokes.

The Review
          I won’t lie, this film had its irritations (listed above in the Negative column).  But mostly those irritations were trumped by the film’s ability to create a beautiful, magical 19th Century Ruritanian (W) environment, and my desire to get immersed in that environment. 
7 Stars (Based purely on watchability factor, not on the film’s status as high art.)

Other Things I Would Talk About If I Wasn’t Limiting Myself To 100 Words
* The experience of seeing this movie in a theater together with the citizens of a tropical country


Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky University Commencement Address 1999 Speech to College Students


dpreimer said...

If I didn't have kids -- daughters, especially -- I'd have been hard-pressed to see this movie. Glad you liked it as much as you did.

Joel Swagman said...

I probably wouldn't have gone to see this on my own initiative, but friends from work were going and I get to the cinema here so rarely that I was game to go along and see any movie. That, plus I had read your review before going, which reassured me that it wouldn't be a complete waste of time.

Joel Swagman said...

Update: Although I was initially charmed by this movie on the first watching, I am rapidly losing my patience with the cultural phenomenon that it has became. If I hear any of the songs in this movie one more time, I'm going to tear my ears out. And I'm beginning to think my 7 rating was way too generous