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Thread: Rank & Reviewing the Disney Animated Classics



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  1. #121
    d=(^_^)z kupomog's Avatar
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    Hahaha Pocahontas was like ... "but...wait...John Smith? Are you...you're serious holy shit!"

    But man Colors of the Wind is some song.
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  2. #122
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    I bow down to the Pocahontas soundtrack, I won't deny it is awesome.

  3. #123
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    The Jungle Book is certainly a really good one, a memorable classic with overall solid songs (which are quite memorable too). I don't think it's fantastic as on a rewatch a couple of years back it felt a little choppy and episodic but it's definitely really good, works as a whole and is one of the better animated Disney films from that time period.

    I also really liked the live-action remake which came earlier this year (which I thought did some aspects better than the original animated version). If you've seen it, what did you think of that one?

  4. #124
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    I saw the live-action Jungle Book earlier this year and really loved it. The CGI animals were very impressive, Neel Sithi played Mowgli very well and the story was very engaging, I do wish they could made it a bit less like the 1967 version but that's only a minor complaint.

  5. #125
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    24. Tarzan (1999)

    The renaissance ends on a solid note with Tarzan - A final hurrah to a wonderful decade of music, animation and storytelling (before the studios tried different genres for movies and mostly failed miserably at it). With the combination of new technology and a familiar story from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan ended up being a brilliant movie showing a perfect blend of story and art. A lot of Disney films often explore nature and how it can be brought to life. The 3D deep canvas technique allowed artists to produce 3D backgrounds which would maintain the look of a traditional painting - it's no wonder that animators chose a story like Tarzan to bring the jungle setting to life - as he swings from tree to tree, every little detail is captured with beautiful fluidity and pace (another piece of good animation done by Glen Keane). The animation on the water also looks stunning and near enough real.

    Visuals are not the only reason why this is one of the better entries in the canon. Tarzan as a character is incredibly deep and complex - growing up with odd surroundings, he tries to find his where he belongs. He does his best to be accepted by Kerchak but wants to find out why he is so different. He only starts to learn of his true kind when he unconventionally meets Jane. Jane is the very obvious damsel in distress figure but because she's so enjoyable and funny, it's not bothersome. Their first encounter starts off incredibly humorous as Tarzan constantly hurts himself in order to save her followed by the lack of personal boundaries to a change of tone in which Tarzan discovers a connection between him and Jane - they are both human.

    Whilst not overall dark, the story certainly enters some very baleful moments such as the attack of the baboons against Jane and the gruesome death of Clayton. However, the narrative is built on a more emotional drive which is why so many people can invest into Tarzan's story. Within the first five minutes, Kala (wonderfully voiced by Glenn Close) loses her infant child to Sabor. There is such a strong relationship between Kala and her adopted son, it can move anyone. Additionally, there's the scene where Tarzan covers his face in mud to try and fit in with the gorillas as well as the the tragic death of Kerchak. However, it's the departure between Tarzan and his mother which really packs the emotional punch. The story is appropriately adventurous with a balance to engage with the growing relationship between Tarzan and Jane. It's a deserved ending as Tarzan stays with his family as well as Jane.

    Tarzan perhaps wasn't more recognized for its brilliance for three reasons. First, the timing of the release in which Pixar and Dreamworks were becoming the more superior animation studios (unfortunately overshadowing Disney). Second is the Phil Collins soundtrack - I personally like his attributions to the film but it is understandable that a movie can be single handedly ruined by one artist's music. And finally, fans were probably getting tired of the same Disney renaissance formula - musical, social outcast, romance, coming of age story etc. - being done for the tenth time. Hopefully though, when people think of the 90s Renaissance, they'll think of Tarzan too which rightfully deserves a place with the rest of the grand set of Renaissance movies.
    Last edited by AngusCastle; 10-11-2016 at 05:27 AM.

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  7. #126
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    One of my personal favorites of the bunch and very likely top 10 material. I think they did a great job bringing the story of Tarzan to their animated canon with a great story and characters, spectacular animation as well as good music and overall solid songs (the latter provided by Phil Collins; the man gets too much hate and I cannot agree with those saying that he ruined a lot of the movie). The perfect film to close the renaissance era with.

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  9. #127
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Yes, all the movies left on my list are all fantastic (in my opinion) which is why this ranking gets harder as it goes on.

    23 remaining:
    Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    Pinocchio (1940)
    Fantasia (1940)
    Bambi (1942)
    Cinderella (1950)
    Alice in Wonderland (1951)
    Peter Pan (1953)
    Lady & The Tramp (1955)
    Sleeping Beauty (1959)
    101 Dalmatians (1961)
    The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
    The Little Mermaid (1989)
    Beauty and the Beast (1991)
    Aladdin (1992)
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
    Hercules (1997)
    Mulan (1998)
    The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
    Lilo & Stitch (2002)
    Tangled (2010)
    Wreck-it Ralph (2012)
    Big Hero 6 (2014)
    Zootopia (2016)

  10. #128
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    23. Fantasia (1940)

    Part of the reason why Fantasia is regarded with high praise from many is because of how experimental and risky the project is. Considering this is only the third animated movie released from the studios, it's so unique to what came before and what would follow up afterwards. It's unbelievably artistic and way ahead of its time, utilizing special effects, synthesized sound which interacted with animated motion and colour enhanced collage authentications without any computer technology used. It's a celebration of classic music and art, blending the two together and encapsulating the beauty of both so effortlessly. It's also a representation of Walt's ambition and innovation. Each segment is a simple imagination from a group of artists who create images in their mind of what might go with a musical piece. Some pieces may follow a narrative whilst others would just be images that you'll see in your head. And they may evoke various emotions by seeing these images. It's brilliant to see a film with no dialogue or narrative which can also be so thematically rich with subjects of faith, religion and our own place in the world.

    Unfortunately, Walt's vision for Fantasia to be a continuum with new segments brought in each time you revisited and old ones taken away never came to life due to the untimely event of World War II in which the very expensive masterpiece never made all its money back. As a substitute, we were given two very lazy package films, a cheap Fantasia video game produced in the 90s (I'm not joking, look it up) and one sequel to appear 60 years later which was not half as fantastic as the original.

    As I've mentioned before, I'm not overly fond of Fantasia but it is a movie which I can APPRECIATE for its experimentation, grandeur and artistic direction. I probably would have put this film a lot higher if I was crafting this ranking from an objective view (but obviously, my personal tastes have got in the way). With all that said, there are some musical pieces from the movie which I do really enjoy. My personal favourite would be Night on Bald Mountain - it's incredibly captivating for its dramatic orchestration by Mussorgsky as well as the wonderfully terrifying Chernaborg. The Nutcracker Suite has some gorgeous visuals as well as an amazing score, The Rite of Spring is very interesting to watch thematically and the most famous piece from the movie - The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which is visually fun. Now reflecting upon it, all the segments are individually interesting to engage with (apart from The Pastoral Symphony, which I have to confess I skip any time I watch Fantasia). As a whole viewing though, it can be a little bit heavy. Nevertheless, it deserves to be called a musical masterpiece by anyone, no matter what their opinion is on visual symphonies.
    Last edited by AngusCastle; 10-17-2016 at 02:55 AM.

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  12. #129
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I was wondering when you was gonna post the next one; nice job once again. I haven't seen Fantasia in ages but I do remember liking it quite a bit and as you say it's very ambitious, grand and artistic (furthermore, I heard that they are gonna do a live-action remake of the Bald Mountain sequence).

  13. #130
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm getting a little bit slack with these reviews (including the fact that I don't proof read). But I am gonna finish this thing if it takes forever

  14. #131
    The Blue Files OldSchoolerSimpsons's Avatar
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    You have even more patience than I do! On top of that, your reviews are well-written. And although disagreeable at times, you explain your points perfectly.

    I feel pained trying to march through the Land Before Time series, although that might have to do with the fact that most Disney movies are solid while most Land movies are not...
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  15. #132
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    22. Zootopia (2016)

    The latest entry in the canon, Zootopia is a movie which steps away from tugging at our heart strings but instead provokes our minds. It's more than just a talking animal movie, it goes beneath the surface to portray the issues we see in our own society such as stereotypes, sexism, racial profiling etc. And the way to do that is to create a world which is parallel to our own. The land of Zootopia has incredible attention to detail and depth, it helps that the CGI today is so advanced to fully flesh it out. The civilization of Zootopia is incredibly similar to ours with its infusion of culture, modern references and technology (I do have a small concern that this may age the movie in later years to come). Furthermore, there is a lot of humanity brought to the animals whilst they still retain their animal-like traits. I also love the defeating of stereotypes used through each species - a Cheetah could be fat and slow, an elephant can have a bad memory etc.

    The story is cleverly written in that it doesn't directly link any animal to a certain race. As the narrative begins, we're lead to believe the oppressed one of the movie is Judy as she is assigned to Zootopia through affirmative action and is unaccepted by Chief Bogo. However, the prejudice is later switched on to the predators. Overall, it's an example of how everyone no matter what gender, race, age can be a victim of discrimination in some sort of way. As well as the racism allegory, it reinforces Disney's powerful theme of working hard to achieve your dreams. Judy strives to "make the world a better place" by becoming a police officer - she's told by several people, including her parents, that she shouldn't be a cop and yet her determination and strength allows Judy to live her dream career. It's refreshing and inspiring to see a female protagonist motivated by her own work and not romance - something we haven't seen since Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.

    But even if you don't engage with the complex themes of the movie, it's still equally enjoyable. The story has a very strong case-solving aspect to it, full of twists and turns, such as the attack of Mr Manchas. The relationship between Nick (Jason Bateman) and Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) is both hilarious and tender, showing how their unlikely friendship grows throughout the story line. The film also has a lot of humour through word play and visual gags. But what really makes the movie is the distinctive and realized world of Zootopia.

    I will say Zootopia is not quite as flawless as it's made out to be. The story sometimes feels very rushed - Nick and Judy reconcile, Weasleton is discovered and the reason for predators going savage is resolved within the space on 10 minutes. Bellwether, as a villain, is so very underdeveloped - yes, she wanted to frame Lionheart but after that why would she carry on? At least with all the other Disney villain reveal twists, for however predictable they were, the antagonists were well built up throughout the movie and had a clear motivation to act the way they did. The metaphors, at times, felt very heavy-handed and unsubtle - was it seriously necessary for a DISNEY MOVIE to make a reference to the N-word. The obvious metaphors are excellent for its demographic - children - as it's an easy and simple form of conveying the dangers of prejudice and how we still haven't overcome this issue despite the progress in society. But because the allegories made from Zootopia are so muddled, they can't be applied to the real world in which case, it's better to suspend your disbelief in order to see it as a generalized allegory for the universe its created. And overall, there's something inherently un-Disney about the story of Zootopia (I am being really nit-picky, I know).

    A movie with a timeless message, humour, exquisite visuals and a great lead duo but just lacking some of that trademark Disney heart and warmth.

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  17. #133
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Another one of my favorites and thus far definitely my favorite from Disney's new renaissance; it was a while since I saw an animated Disney film that I liked as much as this one (and I did find much heart and warmth in this despite it being darker, more serious and drawing inspiration from real life more than most of the other modern ones, if not all of them).

  18. #134
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    If I'm being honest, Zootopia is one which I appreciate more than I have down as a favorite. For some reason, I couldn't warm to it the same way I could to Tangled, Wreck-it Ralph and BH6. That's just me though

  19. #135
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I completely understand your point of view; it is very likely the least easy of Disney's recent CGI efforts to warm to, especially if one is leaning more towards the Disney formula.


  20. #136
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    21. Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    It's amazing to think how much Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs has influenced film and entertainment. Walt Disney wanted to expand his passion for animation by moving on from the cartoon shorts he created and produce a full length animation feature. Walt took a fairy tale and adapted it into a full length animation movie. Many didn't believe in his vision and thought he would bankrupt the company. Uncle Walt, as he was known, placed the entire company's financial future on making Snow White. They explored several different animation techniques and the actual process of animation was pain-staking. Walt had the last laugh though against all those who didn't have faith in his vision as Snow White was a huge hit both critically and financially. It is a marvelous achievement in animation and a milestone in cinema. Unless you were there at its first release (which I obviously wasn't), it's basically impossible to comprehend just how mind-blowing and impressive it was when first viewed. The entire film was more or less a lofty experiment. It was absolutely vital that the feature sustained audience's attention hence why there are so many different sequences which explore depths of animation such as the Queen's transformation or the With a Smile and a Song sequence which shows use of the multi-plane camera technique. If Snow White didn't turn out to be a huge success, it's highly doubtful we would have gotten some of our more beloved features that we have today.

    I do believe people need to get out this mentality of 'first means best'. Yes, it is the first Disney movie ever made and I'm not one to deny the movie's legacy or influence but everyone seems to whitewash the problems of Snow White and forget its flaws. Perhaps what hasn't held up best over the past 80 years is the story. At the time, it was probably very entertaining to watch the antics of the dwarfs but now, it really shows how thin the plot is. The vocal work on Snow White (voiced by Adriana Caselotti) does seem like a bit of a product of its time. And whilst I usually don't mind the 'love at first sight' romance that we usually see in the earlier movies, it seems somewhat disturbing for the prince and Snow White to barely share a conversation or even a moment together and yet, they end up happily ever after anyway.

    In hindsight though, these flaws don't affect the legacy of the movie or the overall quality and enjoyment of it. There is plenty to love about Disney's first full-length feature. The animation looks well ahead of its time with some superb shots of the forests and such fluidity in the movement of the characters/animals. The scarier scenes work effectively - Snow White's escape through the forest and the queen's transformation are clear examples of the turmoil and effort that went into the production values of the movie. One of the personal favourite scenes, in terms of animation, is the With a smile and a song sequence. It's a enchanting view thanks to the detail and colour of the forest, not to mention the utilization of the multi-plane camera technique. As well as this, we're given an iconic soundtrack - from the stand-out Heigh Ho to Someday my Prince will come which has set a precedent for all future princesses.

    What makes the movie so memorable is the characters. The evil queen sets a high bar for all future villains and is an example of menace, evil and magnificence. The dwarfs absolutely steal the show with Doc's constantly mispronunciation of words - "Search every cook and granny...uh..hook And cranny...err...crooked fan-....search everywhere", Grumpy's character development as he learns to care for Snow and Dopey's hilarious clumsiness. I also feel as though people have given Snow White's character way too much hate over the years. She's only 14 and she's found out that her wicked step-mother wants her dead and she remains in a positive light (hence the songs With a smile and a song and Just whistle while you work) and presents herself as polite and kind - not all princesses have to be with an attitude and decisive. At that age, of course she'll be somewhat vulnerable. Furthermore, she asserts her dominance over the dwarfs so clearly she can handle herself - give her some credit! Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs is a marvel for cinema, an achievement in animation and a well-earned classic which will go down beloved by many, including myself. Even if you're not a fan of the movie, at least appreciate it.
    Last edited by AngusCastle; 10-23-2016 at 04:11 AM.

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  22. #137
    Hole in My Head Telso's Avatar
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    wow This movie is almost 80 years old

    wow


  23. #138
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    The one that started it all. I remember rewatching it several years back I thought it was really good and has held up quite well for an animated film of it's age even though it was never a favorite (and I bet I'd still like it about the same if I saw it again).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 10-23-2016 at 01:36 PM.

  24. #139
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Snow White is a lot of fun to watch and it's the one which 'started it all'. But the plot isn't at tightly drawn together as some other animated features.

  25. #140
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    20. Lilo & Stitch (2002)

    We're now entering the Top 20 in which all the Disney classics remaining are of an incredibly high standard meaning this ranking comes down to splitting hairs and personal preference because all these movies, I believe, are each as magnificent as the next.

    The 2000s were not kind to the studios and fans of Disney didn't help. People were so fed up of the 90s renaissance formula but also dismissed the producers attempt to try something outside the fairytale norm. But there were two near-masterpieces to arise out of a very underwhelming decade for animation - the first was The Emperor's New Groove (more on that later) and the other was the quintessential story of sisterhood (sorry, Frozen) - Lilo and Stitch. The reason why this movie was such a hit is because it combined old Disney techniques with the new. It is Sci-fi mixed with drama, It's classic blended with contemporaries. It was an ambitious idea to bring in aliens as characters in a Disney movie but directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois pulled it off brilliantly. The secondary story with Jumba and Pleakley is a bit distracting but it's easily overlooked in an otherwise wonderful tale. It might seem easy to decline Lilo & Stitch for being a children's alien story but at its heart, it's right up there with all the other magical Disney classics.

    It's a great combination of style and story. We're given a flavour of Hawaiian culture as well as visuals which don't go out of their way to show off but still look amazing. Because it was on a budget, it was much more cost-cutting to use watercolour backgrounds and art work like that couldn't be more perfect for the setting of Hawaii. Additionally, the character animation looks superb against these types of backgrounds, allowing them to have more curvy bodies rather than sticks. Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu's song attributions - Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride and He Mele No Lilo - have a distinctive Hawaiian sensibility about them through the use of the epic Kamehameha choir and Pahu drums. It doesn't hurt either to have an Elvis soundtrack either.

    But the main reason why Lilo & Stitch stood out is because it contains some of the most organic, two-dimensional characters in any movie and the drama which occurs is treated with earnest and seriousness. Lilo is a complex character because she's been orphaned at a young age. Furthermore, no one apart from Nani understands her mind and interests. Meanwhile, the burden of foster care looms over Nani as she cares deeply for her sister and does not want her taken away. It's not until Stitch comes along in which Lilo finds companionship with someone similar to her and the story shows their growing friendship. The script as an entirety is both complex and moving and contains one of the most well-known Disney phrases - "Ohana means Family". In the end, everyone gets a well-deserved happy ending after some stressful turmoil and the entire movie remains one of the funniest, most heart-warming Disney features ever. A rare high point for the post-renaissance era, Lilo & Stitch is not one to be missed.


  26. #141
    d=(^_^)z kupomog's Avatar
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    You knew it was gonna be a good movie when Lilo false cracked that white girl in the beginning

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  28. #142
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    @kupoltergeist

    Fuck Mertle. She deserves her punches and her bike stolen


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  30. #143
    d=(^_^)z kupomog's Avatar
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    God I die laughing every fucking time when Stitch just throws her off the bike

  31. #144
    Hole in My Head Telso's Avatar
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    Havin a lil' sis, gotta say Lilo is the closest to a real little girl Disney has ever archieved. She's turbulent, sometimes quite mean-spirited and really stubborn, but she can be such a good-hearted sweatie and she's extremely joyful as well.

    In short, Lilo rules



  32. #145
    d=(^_^)z kupomog's Avatar
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    You know that first scene with Lilo and Nani where she's trying to scold Lilo and get answers out of her, and Lilo is just like NO over and over and then suddenly mumbling something face down into the ground?

    I know that damn feel now.

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  34. #146
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    When I was younger, I thought Nani was Lilo's mother (lol). Even watching Lilo & Stitch today, it's easy to forget that Nani is Lilo's sister and not a mother figure. Honestly, her character is underrated

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  36. #147
    الذهاب المغيرين hanna hilton's Avatar
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    love the joke where she's struggling with her sister and yelling and she suddenly just face plants herself into the ground. pretty sure i tried that tactic a few times myself as a little kid with my mom.

  37. #148
    d=(^_^)z kupomog's Avatar
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    I love Nani because she just feels so damn real and relatable in her struggles. And Tia Carrere did a perfect job as Nani, right down to her sad delivery of Aloha Oe.


  38. #149
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    Now this one is pretty great (no wait, it's close to fantastic) and definitely one of the best. It's a wonderful tale that perfectly combines both drama and comedy, has great animation and designs & several great and memorable characters (maybe especially Stitch who I think is one of the best Disney characters but also the likes of the colorful Lilo and the comically serious Cobra Bubbles). I even really like the Jumba & Pleakley plotline (not only do I think they are great, fun characters but I think they bring that necessary levity since the rather realistic Lilo and Nani plotline, while great, gets really quite dramatic and serious and I think it needed some lighter stuff to balance the overall story out).

  39. #150
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Jumba & Pleakley are quite funny, especially when fighting over that wig



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