On the other hand, people were very talkative during church today, to the point where it almost seemed like, "For the closing hymn, we'll sing number 36," was code for, "For the closing hymn, we'll be talking to our neighbor!" It's just a pet peeve of mine, as the Relief Society pianist. I mean hello, we sing hymns in church for a reason, and that reason is not to provide extra time for people to stop paying attention and start socializing again. Oh well.
We watched Beauty and the Beast last night, finally (remember back in December when I said we needed to watch it? ...well I did), and it was totally awesome. Watching Disney movies is sometimes weird for us, because sometimes we watch and we're like, "What is up with these characters?" and sometimes we watch the same movie and we're like, "These characters are so well done!" I think it depends on our social situation. Friends affect your opinion more than you realize sometimes.
For example, the first time we saw the first episode of GTO, we liked it pretty well, and we thought our friends would like it, so we showed it to them. But they ended up not liking it, and one of the girls watching even went to sleep during it. I don't know if their reaction came from a predetermined idea that they wouldn't like the show (I'm pretty sure the girl who went to sleep didn't even try watching it), but the show was a lot less enjoyable. I even thought I didn't like it until we interned at TokyoPop and we had to quality check a few episodes, and I realized that it actually is a pretty fun show. At least in my opinion.
By the way, QCing is one of the best jobs at TokyoPop, because all you do is sit in a nice, air conditioned room, with comfy chairs and a very big TV, and watch a DVD to make sure it doesn't freeze anywhere. The only drawback is that you have to watch the dub.
So anyway, watching Beauty and the Beast last night was totally awesome. Watching Belle, I kind of got the feeling that she was that world's equivalent of a comic book geek. Or maybe I just like to think that because in our family, Belle's my princess and I like to be able to relate. But she obviously wasn't reading the books because she's an intellectual, or she would have been reading more books about science, and a wider variety. We could totally relate when she started telling the baker about this awesome story she just read, and he's like, "That's nice, but I'm going to go back to what I'm doing now."
I realized when she was singing to the sheep that one of the main things that probably made her fall in love with the Beast was cut out of the original movie. We had decided to watch it without the additional Human Again animation, but now I want to watch it. I don't remember how they did it when they animated it, but we have the Music Behind the Magic CDs, so we've heard the demo track like a million times (well actually, we heard it on cassette copies of Aurora's friend's CDs, but we do have our own copies of the CDs now). And it's during that song that Beast starts asking Belle about what she's reading, and really starts to be genuinely interested in what she has to say. She said to Maurice toward the beginning that she didn't have anyone to talk to, and now that the Beast wasn't going crazy, she finally did.
Speaking of the Beast, he is so adorable! Watching it this time, he made me think of Kyo Sohma a lot. It's not that he can't get along with people, it's that he doesn't know how, so when he tries and fails he gets very frustrated. I was still totally with Belle on refusing to go to dinner, though. You don't ask people like that. Can you just imagine Kyo Sohma with the enchantress disguised as a hag though? I think it would have been about the same, only more humorous. Not because he can't be a nice guy, but because he wouldn't see any reason why he'd have to. And then she'd probably annoy him.
Well, I'm amused, anyway.
The enchantress intrigues me because she only shows up in the opening narration. I wonder if she hangs out with the Blue Fairy. She should show up in Kingdom Hearts III! That'd be awesome.
I think that Glen Keane is an amazing animator, even if it is probably his fault all those little rumors keep floating around about like how the leaves spell out "sex" in that one scene in the Lion King. The perv. Apparently he tried to pull something similar in Pocahontas by slipping a frame in when Pocahontas and John Smith were shaking hands and John Smith was in agony because Pocahontas was squeezing his hand too tightly, but the director caught it.
I feel like Andreas Deja gets all the credit for being a totally awesome animator (and dude, he totally deserves it, and I really have no right to complain since he was the head animator for Hercules in Hercules), and that Glen Keane gets almost no credit at all, but I might just be watching the wrong behind the scenes specials. I do remember Glen Keane being interviewed for animating Tarzan and talking about using his son's skateboarding as a model for all the tree-sliding type stuff that Tarzan was doing.
Anyway, the Beast was very, very well animated, I felt. I was especially amused when he was trying to get Belle to come to dinner and he's like, "It would be my great pleasure..." and you can see how tense and annoyed he is, and as just the perfect touch, his tail twitches. It was awesome. Though we did both feel that when he was tearing up the portrait of himself at the beginning, he didn't seem angry enough. But we're weird like that.
And, since I'm on the subject of animators, I have to talk about Tony Anselmo. We know he's (maybe was?) a Disney animator, so we kept an eye out for his name in the credits, and were happy to see that he animated the Wardrobe, and he didn't have a team, so it was all him! Why do we care so much? Because he also happens to be the current voice of Donald Duck, trained by the original Donald Duck, Clarence "Ducky" Nash himself. So technically, the Wardrobe was animated by Donald Duck. That's pretty awesome. Athena wonders what he thought watching the Wardrobe in Kingdom Hearts II. Did he have fond memories, was he like, "That's all wrong!" or did he not care or what. I would love to see an in-depth interview with this guy. Of course, to get all the information I want, I might have to conduct the interview myself. I wonder how I could swing that.
I think that's it for my ramblings about Beauty and the Beast. I kind of think maybe I should feel bad reviewing stuff like this, because we were reading an overall review of the works of William Steig the other day and it was actually pretty annoying how they're so intellectual about children's books. But I justify it by saying that I do it in a way that I wouldn't be annoyed (I think?) and that it's my quest to get more intellectual people to realize that Disney movies are more than just children's entertainment or a way to make a quick million bucks. I mean, the executives might think it's a quick way to make a million bucks, and the sequels may very well be, but films like Aladdin, for example, have a lot of love put into them. When we got the Aladdin special edition a couple of Octobers ago, one of the special features was talking to the...directors? I don't remember who was talking, but they said that to motivate the animators, they had to get them to really love the characters, because the animators were artists--they weren't working for money. And they probably weren't just thinking, "Well, at least my kids'll probably like it," either.
And that's my short "the Disney execs may be (have been? they did get new management recently) pure evil, but that doesn't mean their movies are evil, because the execs aren't the ones who made them" rant. Now, the quality of recent movies is still in question, but according to someone at the AX forums quoting some report from somewhere, Disney will be making fewer movies per year now, which will hopefully mean they can focus more attention into making the movies good. And maybe, just maybe, they'll bring back classical animation.
Today I'm thankful for having manga-reading time for the first time in a while, having the air-conditioning on right now (but not too cold), dispelling the confusion involved with getting home from church today, Beauty and the Beast, and LiveJournal updates.