Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Enchanted is this mix of animated/live action onscreen?

One of the big family films coming out soon is Enchanted,about your typical animated Disney musical characters being trapped in modern day New York. Amy Adams stars as Giselle,who is destined to marry her Prince(James Marsden) before the evil queen(Susan Sarandon,who is pretty unrecognizable here) pushes down the dimensional portal to our world.

Interestingly enough,Giselle and her fellow former cartoons seem to possess some of the abilities they had back home,like bursting into song at a moment's notice and commanding woodland creatures to help with the housework.Oh,and Patrick Dempsey's the straight man for this story:

While it sounds like a sweet little satire on the whole live action/animated movie crossover genre that's had it's ups and downs over time,it could also be a sticky sapfest of a flick as well. Nevertheless,I do hold a special place in my heart for this type of blending of movie magic,particularly if the animation is of the old school hand drawn variety(every time I see a trailer for Beowulf,it looks more and more like a video game).

With that in mind,let's go over a few good,bad and"oh well,why not?" takes on When Film Worlds Collide. To start things off right,we have to pay tribute to Who Framed Roger Rabbit,the most successful of these hybrids,not only technically but in terms of plot and entertainment as well. Part of the fun was watching Warner Bros. and Disney favorites appear together,like Daffy Duck and Donald have that devilish piano duel at the Ink & Paint Club.

Both birds wind up being shown up,however,by an original character,Jessica Rabbit,who is still one of the biggest icons of that film. By the way,even tho Kathleen Turner did the voice of Jessica,it's Amy Irving who croons "Why Don't You Do Right?" in this memorable movie entrance:

Another hard to forget cartoon siren is Holli Would,the seductive star of Ralph Bakshi's Cool World(voiced by Kim Basinger),who lures jailhouse cartoonist Jack Deebs(Gabriel Byrne)into the "Doodle" realm in order to become human herself via a little bedroom metamorphosis. Baskhi's animated films were real groundbreakers(I highly recommend American Pop)but this foray into the live action/cartoon mix suffered from compromise and loosey goosey plotting.

It is something to see(definately not for the kids),especially Brad Pitt as a human cop who monitors the Cool World and longs to truly be with his cartoon lover. Too bad that the whole movie was as fulfilling as a bowl of Cool Whip in the end:

While some movies only had one animated crossover sequence,they were still effective in making genre points. One of the more amusing levels of TV Hell in the movie Stay Tuned had hapless leads Roy and Helen(John Ritter and Pam Dawber)become cartoon mice fleeing for their lives from a persistant Robo-Cat. Chuck Jones was the supervisor of this section of the film and it is a great tip of the hat to his work:

The scary side of being a human in a cartoon world was briefly but well captured in one of the sections of Twilight Zone: The Movie. In the retelling of the classic episode "It's a Good Life",Anthony doesn't send those who displease him into the corn field-instead,they wind up on television as meat for the animated beast onscreen. The girl in jep here is played by Nancy Cartwright,the future voice of cartoon bad boy Bart Simpson. Bon Appetit!:

And finally,to round things out is the Don Bluth created animated scene for Xanadu. One of the most odd moments in a movie that has plenty of them,it's amazing to me that not only is this sequence completely random,the leads never ever mention it to each other for the rest of the story! You'd think Sonny would've said to Kira"Was it just me or we did share some crazy dream about turning into cartoon fish and birds last night?" Oh,well,the song is nice:

1 comment:

Pop Culture Diva said...

I remember thinking Who framed Roger Rabbit was genius by the same token I bought the Xanadu soundtrack but the movie made no sense to me.