Thursday, March 08, 2018

Love Is the Reason

After the storm yesterday, I was so happy to awaken to glorious early spring sunshine! The snow was already melting, even as I put on "That's Snow Ghost" from the first season of Scooby Doo, Where are You? during breakfast. Mystery Inc's skiing vacation is put on hold when they learn that the ghost of a Yeti is terrorizing the hotel they're staying at. An old man claims that the ghost followed him from Tibet, but the kids think he's after something far closer to home.

Worked on my story for the rest of the morning and early afternoon. I wrote Luke's first appearance out of the scene where Leia finds her parents dead. She doesn't think he's dead, but has no idea where he's gone. Obi-Wan does. He too was attacked by Palpatine and his monsters, but he was able to fend them off. He believes Palpatine is holding him at his Death Star Fortress on the Salt Cliffs of Crait. The ancient crone wants Luke's pure Force magic. He also reveals that he believes Prince Henry, Queen Jania's supposedly deceased son, to be alive as well.

Just as they're ready to leave, the duo are attacked by three orcs. Leia manages to kill the female one. Obi-Wan transforms the male ones into flowers before they finally take off in her cart.

Got off for lunch at one. Ran another Backyardigans episode as I ate. "Knights are Brave and Strong" is the first of three episodes of the series to revolve around sword-and-sorcery tales. Tasha tells Uniqua she can become a knight, if she can get past the Moose of the Mist and the Guardian of the Gate to deliver a letter to King Austin!

Work was a breeze after yesterday. I oiled the bike gears right before I left, and they worked just fine. The roads were mostly clear. While the parking lot does have some snow left, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it had been. I was able to round up carts normally. Also did inside and outside trash, gathered baskets, checked the bathrooms, and shelved a few returns before I left. We were barely busy at rush hour; otherwise, I think most people probably did their shopping before the storm.

Decided to try something different when I got home. Made a Hummingbird Cake from The Cake Doctor cake mix cook book after dinner. It's pretty much yellow cake mix with cinnamon, pineapple, and bananas. Yum! Came out very tasty, sweet and moist.

Returned to The Backyardigans while I had my soup. Pablo and Tyrone are Mounties guarding "The Snow Fort," the home of the world's largest snowball. Ski Patrollers Uniqua and Tasha think they need to be rescued. The boys think they're after the snowball and do everything they can to keep them out.

Did Duck Tales as I cleaned up from dinner. This is a revival of the beloved early 90's Disney TV show. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are thrilled to be staying with their ultra-cool Uncle Scrooge while their Uncle Donald goes to a job interview. Uncle Scrooge isn't happy with being stuck with him; they can't believe an old guy like him every went on exciting adventures. Webby Vanderquack, the granddaughter of Scrooge's housekeeper Mrs. Beakley, is happy to prove them wrong. Scrooge has a whole garage filled with artifacts from his previous trips. Scrooge is determined to show the kids just how cool he still is by taking them and his perpetually crashing chauffeur/pilot Launchpad McQuack to find the lost city of Atlantis. Meanwhile, Donald was hired by Scrooge's rival Flintheart Glomgold, who will stop at nothing to find the treasures of Atlantis first and become the richest duck in the world.

This was awesome. It so brought me back to my childhood. This used to be one of my favorite shows in the early 90's. I even loved the updates to most characters. My favorite change was to Webby. In the original show, she was a cutesy little girl who chased after the boys, played dollies, and could be annoying at times. Here, she's the boys' age, and is just as adventurous as they are. Also glad to see Donald's part of the story now, and not just shunted off into the Navy as he was in the 90's.

While it moves a lot faster than the original show and some characters are changed or eliminated (Mrs. Beakley is a composite of her nanny role and the butler here), this mostly seems to be a good start. (And I believe Dewey made a reference to Cape Suzette at one point, so...hey Disney, how about reviving Tale Spin next?)

Ran a couple of animated fairy tales from the 90's tonight as I worked on the cake. Happily Ever After was the final production from TV animation studio Filmation. In this follow-up to Snow White, the Prince is kidnapped by the Queen's brother, Lord Maliss, who wants revenge on his sweetheart. Snow White is aided by the seven Dwarfells, who control the weather when they're not bickering with each other. Mother Nature wants them to prove that they can use their magic to promote harmony. Meanwhile, an Orko-like Shadow Man follows the women, trying to aid them in any way he can.

This has become a guilty pleasure of mine since I dubbed it a couple of years ago. The music is terrible, the animation is poor, and Lord Maliss' animal sidekicks are utterly useless, but it does have a few good ideas. The Dwarfelles can be pretty funny at times. The relationship between the Shadow Man and Snow White is rather sweet, especially if you guess who he really is before she does. Lord Maliss is a genuinely good villain, and certainly much better than his henchmen, and Snow White comes off as a bit more proactive than she does in most versions of this story.

Unfortunately, the DVD was edited to remove violence, destroying the movie's continuity. If you can find it in its original form on video or online, it's kind of fun.

Ended the night with another 90's fantasy, The Swan Princess. Swan Lake gets the Disney musical treatment here, with Princess Odette being turned into a swan by the evil sorcerer Rothbart. She rejected Prince Derek, whom she had been visiting since childhood, for only noticing her beauty. Now she has to show him what's happened to her and get him to make a vow of everlasting love, before Rothbart can make his claim. Good thing she has the help of three animal friends, Speed the Turtle, Captain Puffin, and Jean-Bob the Frog (who thinks he's a prince) to help her.

This is another old favorite my family's. We used to rent this a lot in the mid-90's. Odette is a strong heroine, her animal buddies are a riot, the music is a lot of fun, and I love Derek's snarky older page Rodgers, who gets some of the best lines in the film. I'm not a big fan of Derek himself, however - he can come off as bland and a bit obnoxious, to the point where you occasionally wonder why Odette changed her mind about him so quickly.

I'm not the only one who loves this movie. It's popular with many girls who grew up in the 90's, to the point where it has seven direct-to-home-media sequels to date. I haven't bothered with any of them. If you're into Disney-style fairy tales, the original is probably all you need.

No comments: