Marzgurl Loves Don Bluth:Thumbelina
Marzgurl Loves Don Bluth: Rock-a-Doodle
Marzgurl Loves Don Bluth: A Troll in Central Park
(Clips from Thumbelina are shown along with the Warner Bros.logo)
Marzgurl(vo): Oh man,after Rock-a-Doodle,just about anything actually doesn't seem so bad. Thumbelina was Don Bluth's animated picture in 1994 under Warner Bros. It's something else that's already been visited by other ThatGuywiththeGlasses reviewers,but I think it's worth looking at again,especially directly after Rock-a-Doodle.
(Clips from Rock-a-Doodle are shown.)
Marzgurl(vo): I'm serious,I was so disappointed in Rock-a-Doodle after watching it as an adult and not having seen it since childhood,but just about anything was better than it and frankly,yes,yes,Thumbelina IS quite a bit better than Rock-a-Doodle.
(Clips from Thumbelina are shown again.)
Marzgurl(vo): That's not to say it's amazing or anything because it's not,but my God,is it better than Rock-a Doodle! The only real problem with the movie is that it's incredibly generic. When you start working with bigger studios,they start wanting to work with a formula that's tried and true,so basically,copy and paste the Disney format. In this case,it didn't work so well,but that's also mostly because that year it had to compete with...
(Posters shown for The Lion King and Batman:Mask of the Phantasm.)
Marzgurl(vo): ...The Lion King and Batman:Mask of the Phantasm,the latter being one of my favorite animated movies and remains my favorite Batman movie,animated or not,as you can plainly see.
(Shows picture of her dressed as Phantasm. Back to Thumbelina clips.)
Marzgurl(vo): It's worth noting that this adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's story is one of the more relatively accurate adaptations available and any plot holes that show up are usually the same as those found in the story. Of course that doesn't actually make the movie feel any better,it still feels stupid in some places,but we'll cover that shortly. Barry Manilow composed the music for this movie,in fact,he was originally signed on to do a trio of Don Bluth movies,but the only other one he ended up composing for was The Pebble and the Penguin. The music mostly isn't bad,in fact,a couple of songs are quite good.
(The song,Let Me Be Your Wings plays.)
Cornelius(singing): Let me be your wings,let me be your only love,let me take you far beyond the stars
Marzgurl(vo): Some people think that the song Marry the Mole is one of the worst musical numbers ever written for a movie.
Ms.Fieldmouse(singing): Dearie,marry the mole!
Marzgurl(vo): And yeah,okay,it is pretty bad,but my God,I'd take this over the songs from Rock-a-Doodle any day.
(The song,No Batteries from Rock-a-Doodle plays.)
Grand Duke of Owls: Twiddle-dee-dee! (owl chorus:Twiddle-dee-dee!)They're running out(owl chorus:They're running out)They're running out of batteries! (owl chorus: Of batteries!)
Marzgurl(vo): Anyway,about the movie,we have Jacquimo,a French bird who believes in overcoming the impossible who's remarkably similar to the French pigeon in An American Tail. I really wish they hadn't added in this CG,but oh well,there's no taking it back now. The bird tells us the story of Thumbelina,you know how it works,right? An old woman has no children and then she's gifted with a flower that births a little girl no bigger than a thumb. Yeah,that's the story. The first song is probably my least favorite,it could've been better if it weren't for those damn chickens throughout.
Goat(singing): She's a funny little squirt
Cow(singing): Tiny angel in a skirt
Marzgurl(vo): Well,Thumbelina's displeased that she's the only person her size.
Thumbelina: Are there any stories about...about little people?
Marzgurl: What,you mean like...
(Shows poster for the movie Willow.)
(Back to Thumbelina.)
Marzgurl(vo): Oh,you mean like REALLY little. Well,she learns about fairies and she wishes they were real so she could have somebody else her size to interact with. I'm rather a fan of the musical number that follows.
(The song Soon plays.)
Thumbelina(singing): After the rain goes,there are rainbows
Marzgurl(vo): Meanwhile,the Court of the Fairies are flying around turning summer into autumn. The 16 year old prince Cornelius is riding around on his bumblebee when he happens across Thumbelina. Love happens instanteously.
Cornelus(singing): Anything that you desire,anything at all
Marzgurl(vo): They're already jumping to the big stuff!
Thumbelina: Do not forget me.
Cornelius: Oh,forget-me-knots. Oh,I'll never forget you,never!/Will you meet my parents?
Thumbelina: And then...we'll live happily ever after!
Marzgurl(vo): I'm actually curious,a lot of fantasy kingdoms frown upon things like marrying outside of royalty. On top of that,Thumbelina isn't even a fairy,won't the king and queen have a problem with that? If not,well,cool,that's one tolerant fantasy royal family. But suddenly,Thumbelina is stolen away in the middle of the night by Mrs.Toad,who is voiced by none other than...
(Words appear on screen as she says them.)
Marzgurl(vo):...Maria del Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Gutierrez de los Perales Santa Ana Romanguera y de la Hinosja Rasten. (caption: I can't Spanish) Better known as Charo.
(Shows photo of Charo.)
Marzgurl(vo): Wow,they look surprisingly similar.
Mrs.Toad(singing): The panes and windows falling with the diapers changing,with the roof she's leaking,and the enchiladas spoiling
Marzgurl (vo): See,one of her sons insists that he's in love with her and so Mrs.Toad insists that Thumbelina marries her son. They then proceed to leave her there...alone. Oh don't worry,so long as she's on this lily pad, there's no way she's going anywhere. Oh,I was wrong,here comes Jacquimo to take her home.
(Instead of that,Jacquimo dives and cuts the root of the lily pad Thumbelina is on.)
Marzgurl(vo): Oh,wait,that's what he's doing?
Jacquimo: Ah,ze shore,you mean if you can reach ze shore before you go over ze waterfall?
Marzgurl(vo): Oh,that's no problem,right? Why don't you just pick her up?
(Two fish fling and catch the lily pad and bring Thumbelina to shore.)
Marzgurl(vo): Oh,oh,okay,that's cool.
Thumbelina: It's impossible.
Jacquimo: Impossible? Nothing is impossible!
Marzgurl(vo): Oh,great,NOW you're gonna take her home.
Jacquimo(singing): You don't need a guiding star,trust your ticker,get there quicker
Marzgurl(vo): No,see,the heart isn't a very reliable GPS,Jacquimo. Now if you'll just take me home!
Jacquimo: Bon voyage,Thumbelina! Never fear,I will find ze Prince!
Marzgurl(vo): Oh...alright,okay. She's walking along when a sudden Gilbert Gottfried appears!
(Jitterbug kids scream and run off. Mr.Beetle appears out of nowhere.)
Mr.Beetle(laughs obnoxiously) Hiya,toots!
Marzgurl(vo): Actually,he's just about my favorite part in the movie. There are points where you can tell they just let him ad lib and animated it in. I kinda wish that they just let him do more of that and it might've made the movie a little better. He tells Thumbelina she's beautiful and loves her singing voice,so he takes her to go perform at his nightclub...where she doesn't ever sing at all. Huh,okay. Well,her beetle disguise fails and everybody calls her ugly. Jacquimo shows up and promises to find the Vale of the Fairies so he can therefore find Prince Cornelius for her. A day passes and what was once autumn starts becoming winter. Wow...well,that was one short autumn. Jacquimo gets a thorn in his wing and while the prince is out looking for Thumbelina,he falls into water and freezes stiff. Thumbelina passes out at some point and is dragged underground by Ms. Fieldmouse who then gently breaks the bad news of the prince's death.
Ms.Fieldmouse: That he was found stone cold frozen DEAD in the snow.
Marzgurl(vo): Thumbelina takes it well.
Ms.Fieldmouse: You knew that.
Marzgurl(vo): It's soon suggested that she marry her neighbor down the tunnel,Mr.Mole who just needs some companionship. I mean,he's rich,so it's every girl's dream,right? Well,not Thumbelina's. When walking down the aisle on what seems to be the next day,she realizes that even if the prince is dead,it doesn't matter,she only wants to marry for love. All the while,the prince has been captured in a block of ice,then melted out and is still fighting for the sake of his love. Jacquimo comes along and brings Thumbelina to the Vale of the Fairies which looks like nothing,so Thumbelina begins singing and for awhile,it still kind of looks like nothing,it just starts looking like spring. Wow,an entire year seems to have passed in the course of about 4 days. Thumbelina and the prince get together and Thumbelina sprouts wings...somehow and finally...
Jacquimo(vo): They lived happily ever after.
Marzgurl(vo): Again,there's really not that much wrong with this movie,it's just incredibly bland,predictable and uses storytelling methods long overused by other studios. The animation again is really quite beautiful and at times uses old lighting tricks from old black and white romance movies and while Don Bluth has always been really good at animating animals,I always loved the fluidity of his human animations. If any of it is rotoscoped,it's a little less noticeable than,say,stuff animated by Ralph Bakshi and that's what leaves it still feeling like a cartoon,animated just the way I like it. If you turn your brain off for this movie,you might even be able to enjoy it for a few minutes. It's one of Bluth's more forgivable pieces from the 1990s. But there's still a couple more from this decade to tackle. A Troll in Central Park is coming up next.