Link to Last Part: The Disneyathon – Direct to Blog Sequel – Part 9: The Dreaded Return
Link to Tarzan (1999) Review: The Disneyathon Part 14: The End of The Disney Renaissance
Tarzan and Jane is another movie made up of three TV episodes turned into a bargain bin movie. Right, let’s get this over and done with.
Today is Tarzan and Jane’s first wedding anniversary and Jane spends the entire day/movie discussing with her husband’s animal friends how best to surprise Tarzan on said day. The movie is broken up into three segments because the animals remind Jane of the bad experiences Tarzan had whilst doing the things Jane wants to do for the anniversary. There was this one time where Jane’s rich privileged friends visited her in the jungle to have a picnic and are absolutely disgusted by Tarzan’s loin cloth so they make him wear a suit. There was another time where Tarzan helped guide these poachers pretending to be geologists into this volcano full of diamonds, these guys lead Tarzan on by teaching him that women are attracted to shiny objects that can be slipped onto their finger. Finally there was that time when Jane’s hunky next door neighbour crashes his plane in the jungle and proves he can do whatever Tarzan can do, but better because he’s also civilised. All these stories build up to the most jarring ending I have seen for this series where Jane gives up on surprising Tarzan, but this was all planned by Tarzan and his friends in order to surprise her instead and prove he has moved on from those experiences. Happy ending I guess, yay?
Jokes aside, this one has proven to be the most watchable of the movies made up of TV episodes. I was mostly satisfied by the action and tension of Tarzan needing to superhero his way out of situations. It’s refreshing, otherwise they’re pretty predictable side ventures that you don’t really need to see if you’re a fan of the first movie, but I guess it’s a good way to kill time, if all other options for entertainment on Disney+ are removed. The animation is probably the worst part of the movie as most of the time it felt like I was looking at a fan recreation of the 99 Tarzan movie, which is worse when you consider that none of the original voice cast return for this. This is a good segue to note that I think I liked all the new characters that are introduced into this over the originals. Though keep in mind I really didn’t like any of the characters in the original movie besides Tarzan.
Overall it’s watchable, but would I ever rewatch this again? I rather say nothing, in order to avoid embarrassing myself. Though if I did I would get it on DVD, so I can revisit that cool choose your own adventure game that came in the bonus features, as I have stronger memories of playing that than watching this movie. Too bad that feature isn’t on Disney+, which they should get around to adding, so I don’t have to seek out the DVD, and admit to myself that I own a DVD copy of Tarzan and Jane.
Link to 101 Dalmatians (1961) Review: The Disneyathon – Part 6: More Classics
It feels good when you realise younger self did had some good tastes. I have a strong recollection of watching 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure a fair amount of times when I was kid, but I do know it was more so than the original. What I didn’t expect was how much I enjoyed myself on a rewatch. This is the first one of these sequels in a while where I never felt the runtime and I was actually smiling with the jokes and slapstick.
Like the other sequels we have covered, the parents we already like are pretty much ignored in favour of the annoying kids you don’t care about, though so far this movie does it the best. Patch feels neglected by his family because he’s one of the 100 odd Dalmatian puppies. This is more apparent when they pull a Home Alone on Patch and leave him behind due to him sleeping in and a poor head count done by his parents. Though Pongo and Perdita can relish in being the worst parents ever as they don’t even realise Patch is gone until days later after he has already run off and is in the paper with his TV hero, Thunderbolt!
Thunderbolt is this movie’s scene stealer, which is impressive considering Cruella is also in this movie. He’s an egocentric celebrity dog who has a career crisis when his co-star informs him they plan to write him off the show, so Thunderbolt decides to prove he’s still got it by going out into the streets of London to be a real hero. Unfortunately Thunderbolt has no confidence in himself to do anything without a script, luckily for him Patch is a mega fan and can recite episodes to Thunderbolt so he can successfully jump into action and save the day. Though by save the day Thunderbolt just causes chaos and destruction wherever he goes and during these acts his biggest concern is the lack of paparazzi. Thunderbolt is great, he is very dumb, but his enthusiasm to show-off and convince himself he is on top of things is so charming that he is hard to dislike. Also Cruella is in this. She is banned from all the fur coat stores in London and Roger and Anita have a restraining order against her, however, that won’t stop her undying obsession for Dalmatians when she hooks up with this weird painter who has the same obsession for black dots. I don’t know how I feel about this, but it’s mainly just set-up so Cruella can kidnap the puppies again.
I do really like this one as this feels like a proper continuation of the first movie and even the animation feels reminiscent of that film. I say what holds it back is there is a bit too much going on and because of that all of the storylines suffer. Thunderbolt’s sidekick wanting to take over his show feels tacked on, the relationship between Thunderbolt and Patch feels a little underdeveloped and do we really need Cruella to be the villain again? It probably could have been tighter by just focusing on Patch and Thunderbolt or just give Cruella de Vil her own movie. Though keep in mind my complaints here don’t ruin the movie, which is just a relief from this series.
Overall Dalmatians II was a hit and is probably the first movie since King of Thieves or A Goofy Movie 2 where I could happily watch this again without a complaint. That is my biggest compliment for a direct to DVD cash grab, let’s hope they keep it up.
Link to Jungle Book (1967) Review: The Disneyathon – Part 7: The End of an Era
Thanks Jungle Book 2 for reminding me that my past self is often not a very reliable source when it comes to quality. Like Return to Neverland I probably should have included this in the original Disneyathon series as Jungle Book 2 also had a theatrical release, however, the quality of both of these movies more suit this unwanted gang of direct to DVD films so I’m not too fused. Though unlike Return to Neverland, Jungle Book 2 does a great job at highlighting the worst traits of these direct to DVD Disney sequels.
Mowgli is living quite fine in the man village, but seriously misses the jungle, and about 10 minutes into this thing you really feel his pain of having to put up with a loud annoying kid and an equally obnoxious song. Meanwhile Baloo really misses Mowgli’s company too so he decides to break into the village to get him out of there, and Shere Khan is also on his tail as he is still out for that damn man cub. Pretty much from there it becomes a bro vs hoe story for Mowgli as sure he likes hanging out with Baloo again, but this Shanti girl gives him some weird vibes and now he doesn’t know what to think. Wacky set pieces also ensue and Shere Khan shows up occasionally to remind you that somewhere in this kids movie there is some unheard of stakes.
I should note that when I rewatched the original Jungle Book I was also disappointed that it wasn’t as good as I remembered, though I’m debating which one of these JB movies is worse. It’s probably JB2 as not only is it more irritating, but I recall the first movie having a story that made a good point of the dangers of the jungle and being out of your element. While this one is like there is no danger here and you can also have the best of both worlds. The conflict is also non-existent as Mowgli’s wanting to be with Baloo in the jungle and then all of a sudden wanting to return to Shanti felt very contrived and rushed. Shere Khan is also way less intimidating mainly because there is no build-up like the first movie and the only characters who know he is back all think he is a big joke. I would almost consider it myself if it wasn’t for Tony Jay’s perfect recreation of this character and is the only reason why Shere Khan is the best part of this movie.
There is some other good casting choices here such as John Goodman as Baloo and Jim Cummings playing a variety of characters like he always does. I especially like his Winnie the Pooh impression. For the most part I find this movie very watchable, but it can become unbearable at the drop of the dime when it wants to be. That little kid who is Mowgli’s little adoptive brother is hands down the worst insertion of a little kid in these movies. Every musical number that isn’t Bare Necessities are also the worst things I had to listen to for this series.
Overall Jungle Book 2 is pretty bad, and this will be one I will definitely never revisit again for nostalgic reasons. The original has a shot though as it’s looking better in my memory thanks to Jungle Book 2.
Although one last good thing about Jungle Book 2 is it’s the signifier that we’re past the halfway point in this series. Woop! Another 15 movies to go! *Barfs!
Link to Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Review: The Disneyathon Part 15: Post Disney Renaissance
Think this will be another one we’ll fast forward through as I’m going to be repeating myself a lot.
Atlantis: Milo Returns is about the Atlantean woman, Kida, wanting to fix up her city after whatever happened in the first movie. (I honestly can’t remember because that movie was so boring.) Anyway the sidekicks from the first movie inform Milo and Kida that there is a sea monster wrecking things in the Atlantic and this thing is loosely connected to Atlantis so they should stop it. 20 minutes later that is resolved, now they need to go to the wild west because there are some wind coyotes trashing this old man’s life and it’s eventually they’re somehow loosely connected to Atlantis. 20 minutes later they resolve that and some crazy tour guide thinks he’s Odin and wants to destroy the world using, you guessed it, an artifact that is loosely connected to Atlantis. 20 minutes later that drama is all over and Kida apparently learns something from this movie and wants to bring Atlantis up to the surface. The End and there is no sequel.
A surprise to no one at this point this movie is also based off unaired TV episodes, yet this one doesn’t bother to form a narrative to tie these unofficial episodes together. So not only is the ending very jarring, but you never get used to being thrown from one disconnected adventure to next. It’s weird as the premise starts out as quite promising, but it feels wasted on these irrelevant adventures that probably would’ve worked fine for a television show, unfortunately for a movie it’s just unsatisfying and abrupt.
To give this movie some credit the team dynamic works quite well in these one off adventures better than they did in that proper Atlantis movie. Not really for Milo and Kida as they feel like an afterthought, but it works for making the side characters such as the Russian demolition expert and the Latina mechanic more fleshed out personalities. (Still not a fan of the mole man.)
I’m not going to elaborate anymore on this because I don’t care to. The first short with the Kraken (or Kray-Ken, as they say it) was the best of the lot and each one after that just got worst. Atlantis 2 could have been an interesting sequel, but they squandered their opportunity, oh well.
Link to Next Part: (Coming Soon)