Patreon Review: The Christmas Tree (1991)

Hey guys, Future Bird here. Sorry this is a little late. I woke up pretty sick on the 23rd and while I did write half of this review then (you’ll notice me mention this in a couple of paragraphs, in fact), it actually got a bit worse on Christmas eve. So I couldn’t finish this in time for Christmas. I’m feeling a little better today though, so let’s do this!

The Christmas Tree is… A weird one. I honestly didn’t expect it to win the vote, but my one patron admitted that he rolled for it. Kinda his loss too because we ended up watching this together.

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It’s free on YouTube if you guys want to experience first hand, but right off the bat: I don’t recommend it. It’s terrible, but it’s not really much fun. It is pretty short though so it’s not gonna hurt you too much to sit through.

It’s two days before Christmas as I write this and honestly, I’m feeling pretty under the weather (don’t worry, pretty sure it’s allergies again), and the only thing I want besides sleep is Stardew Valley, but I’m gonna sit and write this up for you guys. Because you… deserve it?

Okay, I don’t know why you guys keep coming back for crap like this, but I’m not gonna question it, lol.

Before we go into the story of the hellspawn orphans and Mrs. Microsoft Sam… I wanna briefly cover something I found intriguing. Flamarion Ferreira. Now, I don’t usually dig into the names behind the stuff I review. Some things I learn in passing (like the fact Stephenie Meyer has a Bachelors Degree in English) but I rarely go looking into a creator’s background. I want to talk about the art not the artist, but in this case I Googled it because Flamarion Ferreira is a pretty Brazilian sounding name and I was honestly worried about a Video Brinquedo situation (if you don’t know what I mean… Well, maybe I’ll go over those someday), but I actually discovered Flamarion Ferreira worked as an artist in some pretty good stuff, like the original She-Ra, He-Man, The Smurfs, The Ghostbusters, Phineas and Ferb. So… Don’t quit your day job I guess? Because let me tell you the character design and animation in this movie are horrible. And I’m not one to nitpick these things, but oh my God is it terrible. The proportions are weird, the facial expressions are horrible, some scenes are so poorly animated I legit thought the video had frozen when it hadn’t. It’s just that everything is so absolutely static in this movie until it suddenly starts going and it’s jarring as hell.

But what about the story? Well… It sucks too. Nothing happens, then suddenly A LOT of stuff happens… Only to get immediately resolved. And then it ends on a forced positive note.

Let’s go over it anyway. The story start with an orphanage run by the stupidest cartoon villain to ever cartoon villain, named Mrs Mavilda. I don’t know why there’s so much fan art of this stupid character, but I guess she’s memeable or something, because apparently there is a lot.

Yeah, I was pretty shocked about that too, Mavilda. lol

The deal with Mavilda is that she takes the money that’s supposed to go to the children and spends it all on gambling and booze. I don’t know if this is supposed to be portraying an addiction, but holy shit I hope not.

The movie gives us about 5 mins of exposition about Mavilda gambling the orphans’ money away and then Mayor Moneybags dropping literal bags of more money. There’s also a moment where she dresses up two of the orphans to look like they all have new clothes and as soon as Mayor Moneybags leaves she… Undresses the orphans. I would very much like to know who drew this and why they didn’t object.

The real story begins (and yes, the narrator says exactly this… Five minutes into the fucking movie) when Microsoft Sam and family move into town. The dad’s not important, he’s barely in the movie, but even though Imdb says otherwise, he 100% sounds like text-to-speech. The stilted as fuck animation doesn’t help convince me he’s not in fact a robot either. But again, the dad isn’t important, so never mind him.

Judy, the wife, and their two kids go live in the orphanage… For reasons (I’m sure they say but I honestly don’t remember) and Judy takes a job as Mavilda’s assistant. So here’s the thing, right… You’d think that someone who hates children as much as Mavilda does would be glad to have someone else deal with the little snot monsters and keep them out of her hair, but… NOPE. Because see, Mavilda has no real motivation, she just antagonizes everyone for the sake of it. You could say she doesn’t like Judy being there because she might find out she’s taking the orphanage’s money, but honestly? Judy is such a moron that the only reason she finds out anything is Mavilda’s own incompetence.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about these little demons:

Alright so the deal with these orphans is that they’re supposed to be cute and innocent and you’re supposed to feel sorry for them, but… They suck. Their character design is so uncanny and they didn’t have enough voice actors, I guess, so they chipmunk a random kid’s voice in several scenes and I can’t understand a word of what these little shits are saying. Like, there are several moments where it’s supposed to be like “aw, now the kids are sad!” but honestly, I was glad, because I didn’t want to see the little creeps dead-eyed-stare-smiling at me again. The little shits made the pine tree outside into their imaginary friend and think it’s going to somehow give them a mom and dad. Yeah, I know, it’s pretty stupid.

There are a multitude of reviews of this movie. The story isn’t what sells it. I think morbid curiosity is the only thing that sells it at this point. The movie itself is a bunch of scenes. Things sorta happen, but… It isn’t really a story. Judy comes in with her kids, they befriend the orphans (none of them have names btw, they’re just ‘the children’), Mayor Moneybags brings more money so there this lackluster back and forth of Judy telling the kids about Christmas and Santa and then Mavilda spending all the money in a poker game.

This lady’s def cheating by the way.

So the next morning Mavilda is hungover—and yeah, they explicitly say she’s hungover, in a kids movie, gotta love it—and Judy finds out she spent all the money. Well, actually, Judy is like “You spent all the money didn’t you?” and Mavilda kinda tries to deny it, but then immediately admits it. For no reason. She could just act offended and fire Judy, but instead she admits it and decides she needs to get her arrested to get rid of her? Don’t worry though, that doesn’t go anywhere. At all. She tells Judy to go pick something up with one of her friends and schemes with him to plant something valuable and call the police on her, but there’s a convenient snowstorm and she never even goes there. So, yeah, that was completely pointless.

The little demon spawn overhear Mavilda talking about sending Judy to prison and cutting down their stupid mom-tree (because it knows too much, I guess?), and they try to warn Judy. And the dumbass tells them to “talk to Miss Mavilda about it” because yes, the woman who unabashedly steals money from orphans is totally going to help with whatever this is. While Judy is off pointlessly trying to go get framed for theft, the little shits are trying to come up with a plan to help… The tree. Yeah. Even Judy’s kids are apparently more concerned about the tree possibly being cut down, okay then. They discuss a bunch of plans; one of which is to go talk to Mayor Moneybags about the situation; which is actually a decent plan, but what the inevitably settle on is going to the North Pole to ask Santa for help. So Judy’s little brats go off in the snow with the dog (there’s a dog, his name is Licorice), run into a bear and one of them gets hurled off a goddamn cliff (I’m not joking, that’s literally what happens). Why that bear wasn’t hibernating? Where the fuck did it come from? We don’t know and will never know.

Cut back to Judy and she’s getting back to the orphanage and finding out that her kids are missing. She sounds as emotional about it as a plank of wood. Meanwhile Mavilda fires Judy because it’s her fault she lost her children, I guess? Logic wtf is that. And one of her friends comes around to chainsaw the mom-tree.

Judy’s response to this is to be ten times more pissed than she was when she found out her goddamn kids were gone (guess that runs in the family then) and put herself and the children in the way of the fucking chainsaw. Lady, just because the brats believe the tree is magical doesn’t mean it’s worth fucking dying for!

The mayor is passing through I guess and sees this go down. So finally he realizes… Hey, I only ever see two kids at a time wear the exact same ‘new clothes’ every time I give this orphanage money! I guess I suck at my job. Half the town shows up out of nowhere I guess. Microsoft Sam comes around just in time for one of the brats to come back and say the other is probably dead in a ditch. In the middle of this whole mess, Mavilda just goes “YOLO, bitches!” and tries to chainsaw the mom-tree herself. At which point…

SHE GETS STRUCK BY MOTHERFUCKING LIGHTNING BY MOTHERFUCKING SANTA CLAUS!

Again, I’m not joking. Santas rolls around and zaps a bitch. No she doesn’t die, but holy shit, Santa!

You get the fuck away from me, Santa!

Santa, zaps Mavilda with lightnint, magicks some new clothes for the children, parachutes some presents into every chimney and hooray, Christmas is saved!

Oh yeah, he brings Judy’s missing brat back too. Guess she didn’t die in a ditch.

The Mayor makes mom-tree the town’s official Christmas tree so no one can cut it down now and… In the stupidest move in this film yet, Microsoft Sam tells Judy she can’t take Mavilda’s job because they’ll be too busy raising 9 children! He wants to adopt all of the children, hooray! Instead of getting paid to take care of them, they’ll do it for free!

But then she takes the job anyway, so I guess there was no point to him saying that. He could’ve just said “Hey, let’s adopt all the children, honey!”

Then the narrator tells us Mavilda is Judy’s assistant at the orphanage, but don’t worry, she’s good now. He says it’s because she learned you always win when you’re good, but I think the lesson here is, “Be good or Santa will come and electrocute your ass”.

Merry Fucking Christmas. 😐

In all seriousness, Merry (late) Christmas, Happy Holidays. Hope you’re as happy as I am to see the end of this hell year. Hopefully the next one will be better.

B.B

Disney Revisited Part 05 – Cinderella (1950)

Hey, guys! Been a while. Not my fault this time, swear. Last time I released one of these I said I was going to make this series into a collaboration with Plotstains (aka Doomed, for those of you who know him by that name), and… I did do that.

Basically how this is going to work is, we’re each going to watch the movie, post our own review on our respective blogs and if we find something worthy of discussion afterwards we will co-write a follow-up post and have it up on both our blogs as well.

At least, that’s how we figured out we want to do this so far. If we think of something else that works out better in the future, we’ll change it up as we go.

Movie Title: Cinderella

Release Date: February 15, 1950

Based On: Cinderella by Charles Perrault

First Impression

I remember watching Cinderella, but I don’t have that many fond memories of it as a kid. It doesn’t really set off any nostalgia.

Maybe I should point out that I was never one of those little girls who wanted to be a princess. I grew up with three older brothers. I played with their GI Joes and He-Man figures. The whole Cinderella fantasy wasn’t something I was particularly drawn to. I guess that’s why, even though I watched it back in the day, this wasn’t a movie I picked out at the video store (remember those?) very often. If I did go for the fairy tale princess classics, I’d often favor Sleeping Beauty over this one, but… we’ll get to that one when we get to that one.

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Disney Revisited Part 04 – Bambi (1942)

Movie Title: Bambi

Release Date: August 9, 1942

Based On: Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salten

First Impression

Meh. That was pretty much my first impression of this when I watched it. I think I was too old to really care about cutesy animals and too young to appreciate some of the darker moments in this. Much like Dumbo and Pinocchio, this is one of those movies I watched because my mom loved it. But I’d already seen things like The Lion King, Pocahontas, and Aladdin then and Bambi was fairly unimpressive in comparison.

I do remember being scared of this goddamn owl, though.

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Why, Disney? Just, why. 😐

My Impression Now

If I wanted to describe this movie in one word it would be ‘inoffensive’. I’ve watched it three times in a twenty-four-hour period and I’m still not entirely sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. I feel I have so little to actually talk about with it. Mostly because, say what you will, I don’t feel like Bambi holds up as an actual story. It’s more like cute animal clips with random moments of things happening in between.

Now, I will give it this much… The animation is miles above and beyond Dumbo. Everything in this movie screams ‘effort’, every character is extremely expressive and it is rather easy to connect with them because of it. However, considering the whole of what this movie is, it kinda feels wasted. I get that this is supposed to be something like a coming of age story but it also feels like it got distracted from actually telling it at some point along the way because the part where Bambi actually gets to grow up… Is just skipped over. His mother gets shot, his father takes him… SPRING! And he’s a teenager now. Oookay.

And yes, let’s talk about that transition, everyone loves to. I get that from an adult point of view it’s jarring. Heck, I actually laughed out loud when it went from “Your mother can’t be with you anymore, Bambi” to the happiest fucking birds you’ll ever see in animation, but you know what? It’s very clearly a “Look, small children in the audience, everything is okay, please stop crying now, we’re sorry” on the part of the movie. And honestly, considering the number of people who I’ve seen mention being traumatized by Bambi’s mother getting shot as a child, I’m okay with that. It was clearly necessary.

The climax of this movie suffers the same problem as the rest of it; the animation is impressive, but from a story standpoint, I don’t care enough. There is a lot of death of background characters and it builds a good level of tension, but at that point, I felt like I still knew next to nothing about anyone involved considering that, aside from Bambi himself, his father, and his soon-to-be mate, none of the main cast was actually involved. There was no Flower, no Thumper, not even that stupid fucking Owl.

This is the second time I break my own rule for this series, but I was curious to look at the plot synopsis for the book this was based on and yeaaah… I get that Disney couldn’t go all out on how every day in a deer’s life is constantly trying not to get shot, but the book actually has something this movie lacks. It shows Bambi actually learning what he needs to survive from his father. And this is the reason Bambi 2 is going to be one of a few ‘sequels’ I’ll eventually cover in this series. Because apparently, it covers that missing chunk of the story. Sadly, it’ll take a while to get there chronologically. It came out in 2006. That’s 60+ years after the original Bambi. That’s a lovely time to wait for the greatest question about this movie to get finally answered, huh?

Songs Overview

The songs were kinda forgettable in this. Think one of them might have been about love. And one about the spring rain or something. They were pleasant on the ears, but I don’t really remember them anymore.

Overall song rating for Bambi: 3/10

Racist Moment Spotlight

I can’t say I actually found anything in this movie. Huh. Wait, can calling a skunk ‘Flower’ be considered racist? Food for thought there.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, guys. My review of Bambi. And, full disclosure, this was the fastest I’ve written a review for this series. It took me five minutes. The reason it took me this long to post it was that my co-writer, Mr.Doomed (aka Plotstains), was supposed to come in and collaborate with me on this. And, hopefully, he will on the following entries in this series. However, right now, his computer died. So he wasn’t able to deliver his part of the review. And the reason it took me this long to post this is that I’d been waiting to see if his computer would be fixed. As you guys may be aware, that’s a pain I’m very familiar with.

Since making this series a collaboration is something I was looking forward to doing, I may give it more time before the next entry comes out, but I’ll find other things to look into in the meantime, don’t worry. >.>

As for where Bambi ranks compared to the previous entries in this series? That’s hard to say. I didn’t find as much wrong with it as I did Pinocchio and Dumbo but at the same time, it was pretty boring. I think as it is I’d rank it above Dumbo and below Snow White and Pinnochio. So my favorites list at this point would be:

  1. Snow White
  2. Pinocchio
  3. Bambi
  4. Dumbo

Up next is Cinderella though. That should be interesting. It’s been a while since we had a princess on this show. 😛

Later, guys.

B.B

Disney Revisited Part 03 – Dumbo (1941)

Movie Title: Dumbo

Release Date: October 23, 1941

Based On: Dumbo by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl

First Impression

I was really, really young when I first saw this movie and it honestly made no impression on me. I mean, I vaguely remembered it being cute and that was about it.

My Impression Now

I’m not sure what to think of this one. It feels like such a step back in terms of… Everything… compared to Snow White and Pinocchio. And seeing as it came out following something like Fantasia (a movie that I honestly couldn’t place on this list, but I will come back to eventually), it’s so unbelievably underwhelming. The music feels so incredibly dull and generic that it even pales in comparison to When You Wish Upon a Star; which you may recall I referred to as boring in my review of Pinocchio. The animation style looks much older than something like Snow White. This is especially apparent in the sections with the circus train. The way the train moves honestly made m think back to that Steamboat Mickey Mouse cartoon from 1928. Overall, while there was such love and attention to detail pouring out of every single frame of the previous entries in this series, Dumbo honestly feels… Very half-assed. :/

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Friday The 13th (2009) Review Follow Up: Alright, Let’s Get Serious For A Moment

I feel the need to clarify some things.

Uh, guys, you do realize I exaggerate a lot of my anger during my review posts, right? I’m not one to get insulted to the point of mindless rage by any form of fictional media. I’m really not. It’s just a style of review that I find entertaining, that I like to watch on YouTube and read on humor sites. When I dislike something I play it up either for laughs or because it’s entertaining to see someone suffering through something they hate (don’t pretend that’s not the reason you all read my Christian Potter Commentary, you sadists >.>).

More and more lately though it’s come to my attention that since these are strictly written reviews some people might not quite get the point, and I don’t blame them for it. It’s not always easy to truly ‘sense the tone’ in writing and it is the writer’s responsibility to get that across to the reader. So, if anything, this is entirely on me.

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Disney Revisited Part 02 – Pinocchio (1940)

Guys… Idon’tlikethisone.

There I said it. >.>

Now, like I said I’m going to be fair when addressing a movie’s shortcomings, but I just want to let you guys know right off the bat; Pinocchio gave me nightmares as a child and as an adult… It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Now, I can’t say there aren’t things I love about this movie. Because there are. There are things that make this movie still enjoyable; sure there are. Unlike Snow White though, my adult perception hasn’t done much in regards to my feelings towards this movie.

I don’t like it.

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The Purge (a non-review, featuring Luckas)

I’m rewatching The Purge; because it’s on and I have about 30min until something I actually want to see starts… and well… While I don’t believe this movie to be worthy of a review, I do want to talk about some things. And to help me do that, since the movie is mostly about one of his favorite activities, I’ve summoned Luckas.

“Why did I agree to this?”

Because I bribed you with cake.

“Fine… What do I need to do?”

I just need the opinion of a violent murderer on some of the scenarios in this movie. Just answer some questions for me and you’ll get your cake.

“Seems simple enough. Okay.”

Alright, first of all… You’re a violent criminal, right?

“Uhm… Yes.”

How long have you been killing people?

“On purpose? I was seven or eight the first time, so I guess twelve, thirteen years.”

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Disney Revisited Part 01 – Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Hey, guys. Let’s get started with the Disney Revisited mini reviews!

Before we begin, let me just give you my overall opinion of Disney so you’ll know what to expect of these reviews.

Yes, there’s the stereotypes and the racist connotations and the shady morals, but even with all of that… It’s impossible not to enjoy these films. It can’t be done. And believe me, I tried. When it comes to Disney even their worst is fucking amazing; there’s just no denying that.

So, while I don’t shy away from the things I dislike in some of these movies, I’m never going to be one to bash Disney for its mistakes and shortcomings. I mean, it’s freaking Disney!

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Disney Revisited Part 0.5 – Intro And Honorable Mention

Hey, guys!

Remember I said I would do a Disney movie list and a musical film list? Well, I’m still trying to get some of the musicals I put on my list to rewatch, so that’ll be a while, but I started rewatching my Disney films last night.

I realized that there are so many of them and they are all so noteworthy really, at least to me, that I’d do well to make these mini-review posts for each one and then just make a short list of my favorites afterward. The main reason is that there are a lot of these movies and I plan to revisit a great deal of them. Watching them all to only then write about it might make it so I forget some important details about a movie or another. Not to mention some of these movies I’m watching for the first time as an adult and I want to share my ‘first’ impression of them with you all. That if you don’t mind. ^^’

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