Thursday, April 05, 2018

The Guardians and the Future King

Began a cloudy morning with lemon ginger pancakes and one of the funnier Sailor Moon episodes to cheer me up before a long day at work. When the Sailor Guardians are under the weather, it's Nurse Minako to the rescue in "Venus: Minako's Nurse Mayhem!" Minako's attempts to take care of them just cause chaos rather than making things better. When she and Chibi-Usa go to the hospital to get drugs, they discover that it's all a Dark Moon plot...and that even when they're sick, the Guardians still have each other's backs.

Minako's cat Artemis is tired of Luna teasing him about his clumsiness in "Artemis' Adventure: The Monster Animal Kingdom." Determined to prove that he's able to handle an assignment on his own, he follows a man who has been rounding up stray animals for a local shelter. The man and the animals were targeted by the Dark Moon Kingdom and are attacking everyone in sight, including Artemis.

Today was my eight and a half hour day. I wasn't looking forward to it. On one hand, I managed to get two carts of returns done this morning and did get about half the candy done. I wish I'd had more time to do both. We were on-and-off busy all day, a lot more than I thought we would be. We had a tiny snow shower this morning...but once those clouds vanished, we were sunny and blustery all day. This morning was also the second championship parade in three months in Philadelphia, this time for college basketball champs Villanova. Once the parade ended around noon, a lot of people who were off for the day may have gone shopping. Not to mention, it's still the beginning of the month. I even got stuck in the register a few times because we simply didn't have enough people to deal with the lines. Spent most of the last couple of hours doing carts and the outside trash.

When I got home, I did one last Sailor Moon episode while eating leftovers for dinner and making Chocolate Coconut Almond Bars. Backed up a few episodes for "Magic of Darkness: Esmeraude's Invasion." Esmeraude, with her annoying laugh and vain and spoiled attitude, replaces Rubeus as the main villain for the next couple of episodes. She takes over a pastry shop in the Guardians' neighborhood that's offering free goodies, turning everyone into icing and using cake to bind the Guardians! It takes a little help from Sailor Mercury to freeze her sugary plans.

Did some Wii Sports after the bars were in the oven. Doing carts in heavy wind wore me out too much for boxing. I mainly focused on tennis and golf. I just can't aim the darn ball! It's a problem with baseball too, and bowling to a lesser degree. I can hit...but I can't seem to time my hits or swings right. I do well when I'm just hitting the ball onto the green or a target in golf, or bowling to hit spares or pins. But I just can't seem to aim the ball right in tennis, and I have trouble with timing my swings in baseball.

Switched to Lego Star Wars for a few quick rounds. Finally figured out how to get that one last piece in "Defense of Kashyyak" and got True Jedi on "Escape From Echo Base."

Finished the night with The Sword and the Stone, Disney's retelling of the early days of King Arthur. Arthur, or Wart, as he's known to his guardian Sir Ector, is a page and scullery boy who is hoping to become a squire. He encounters the eccentric wizard Merlin while retrieving his brother Kay's arrow. Merlin knows everything...including Arthur's future. He's determined to teach the boy everything he needs to know to be a good king, including turning him into animals and scaring the living daylights out of Ector with his spells. At one point, they even encounter wacky Madam Mim, a witch who can also turn herself into animals, and get involved in a Wizard's Duel with her. Arthur does finally become a squire, to the disappointment of Merlin, who wants him to focus on his studies. It's his squire job, however, that leads Arthur to the famous sword of the title...and to his future as the rightful king of England.

This is one of Mom's favorite Disney movies, but I'm not as big on it as she is. The plot meanders, and when you get down to it, neither the animal shenanigans nor the entire sequence with Madam Mim have much to do with teaching Arthur what he'll need to know when he's king. The animation is ok for the era but not spectacular.

Separate it from the rest of the movie, though, and that "Wizard's Duel" and Madam Mim herself are by far the best part of the film. Mim is a burst of wacky air in slightly dull surroundings, and the scene itself is one of the funniest in any Disney film. There's also some decent Sherman Brothers songs, including "Higltus Figltus" and "That's What Makes the World Go 'Round." And while it may not have taught Arthur much about ruling a kingdom, the sequence with him and the girl squirrel actually ends up being rather touching.

Not bad if you're looking for an animated movie for older boys or have fond memories of seeing this in the theater or on cable or video like Mom does.

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