Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Shirts

Well, I was watching SID AND NANCY today, and it made me think, why does music influence fashion so much more than literature?
Hot Topic has walls lined with concert Ts from every rock and punk band. Granted, I love music, but as a literature student, poet, and die-hard bibliophile, this irritates me. Why aren't there Sylvia Plath T-shirts instead of Sex Pistols, Zora Neale Hurston instead of The Ramones? So I was delighted to find a series of tops with book-cover images in the June issue of Real Simple Magazine, which arrived in today's mail. Gotta love synchronicity.
They are sold at Shopping on the site, I was reminded of being a kid and getting the Toys R Us holiday catalog, me and my sister, spoiled kids, delightedly turning pages and going, "I want this, and this, and this..."
I was hoping they'd be cheaper than the Catcher In The Rye and The Great Gatsby T-shirts I got from Urban Outfitters at $30 a pop. These are $28.00 each, which frankly, isn't much better. But I'm still planning to buy at least nine of them (there are 25 to choose from).
I'm looking forward to watching people's faces as I walk down the street wearing my LOLITA T-shirt.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog

Tiana is the newest Disney princess-heroine. Her name may be an abbreviation of Christiana, a Greek name meaning “follower of Christ”, or the Russian Tatiana. Much ado has been made about the fact that Tiana is African American. While Dr. Sweet from Atlantis is the first black man in a Disney feature, and while these are proud accomplishments, Tiana’s creed is merely her most obvious trait; it should not be her defining one.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Tiana’s family is poor in funds but rich in love. Her best friend since childhood, Charlotte “Lottey" LeBouf is the daughter of a sugar-mill owner. Big Daddy (most Southern families refer to their patriarch as “Big Daddy” and his wife as “Big Mama”, a term of respect and endearment) LeBouf is the richest man in the Crescent City, and his antebellum mansion puts Tiana’s family’s shotgun shack to shame. However, the LeBoufs are friendly, gregarious, and jovial. “Big Daddy” reflects not only Mr. LeBouf’s station, but his appetite and girth as well. He cannot resist Tiana’s “man-grabbing” beignets, proof that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Big Daddy spoils his oldest daughter rotten, yet Lotte is generous, loyal, and unbiased. She is an utter romantic who loves fairy tales and princesses. Tiana’s mother, an expert seamstress, even made her a series of royal gowns based on storybook illustrations and Lotte’s princess doll collection.
Tiana, however, is much more pragmatic. She too has a dream, but in contrast to Lotte, who resembles more traditional Disney princesses such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, and is fixated on the idea of marrying a prince to become an actual princess, Tiana is dedicated, quick-thinking, and a very hard worker. She waitresses at two different cafes, saving her meager tips in a series of coffe cans, with which she will someday open her own restaurant, Tiana’s Place, complete with a crystal chandelier and a menu full of Louisiana cuisine.
Tiana’s father was a cotton picker with a penchant for cooking, which he passed on to his daughter. He died in a battle in World War One, leaving his well-used gumbo pot to Tiana. He dreamed of owning a restaurant, where he and Tiana would cook together, but his untimely death halted their goal. Tiana’s bid on an old sugar mill she plans to covert into five-star dining is outdone, much to her dismay. Desperate, she resorts to the trick she and Charlotte read about in their story books: she wishes on a star.
A frog sitting on the balcony railing overhears her. Wryly, she asks it, “I suppose you want me to kiss you?”
In his Pepe Le Pew-like Maldonian accent, he replies, “A kiss would be nice, yes?”
Freaked out, Tiana smashes the frog with a heavy book. “The Froggie Prince!” He says excitedly. It was his favorite---Tiana’s too---as a child. He explains that he is the prince, shape-shifted into a frog by a voodoo scam, and says that according to the story, if she kisses him, he will become human again (sound familiar?)
Swayed by his offer of the money which she so desperately needs, Tiana swallows her disgust and does so, but the spell does not work---instead, she becomes a frog as well. The two jump from Charlotte’s room to the Mardi Gras masquerade ball below, upsetting the party. They are chased by the Le Bouf’s dog Stella (named after Stanley’s wife in the Tennesee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire, also set in New Orleans, albeit twenty years later), upset the food, and disgust the crowd, who alternately attempt to squash them and run squealing in horror.
They escape to the bayou beyond, where they are befriended by a hick firefly named Ray, (natch), who has few teeth and a Cajun accent. Ray is in love with a firefly named Evangeline (named after the Longfellow poem) who, it turns out, is not a firefly but the North Star. He and his Cajun kinfolk, who are like an insect version of the Beverly Hillbillies cast, offer to light their way to Mama Odie, the Voodoo priestess who will know how to reverse the spell cast on Tiana and Naveen. Along the way, they are pursued by bayou alligators and Cajun frog hunters who resemble the Hatfield clan with their long beards, shotguns and bare feet.
Their savior is Louis, an alligator reminiscent of the Phil Harris-voiced Thomas O’Malley and Baloo in his big-boned, laid-back demeanor. Louis, named after jazz great Armstrong (though his name is pronounced LouIS, not Louie) aspires to trumpet in one of New Orleans’ famed jazz bands. When he hears their plans, he asks to join them, hoping that Mama Odie will turn him human, as when an alligator attempts to join human bands, people tend to flee or shoot at him.
“Dr.” Facilier’s opposite is Mama Odie, Tiana’s “fairy godmother”, a white-voodoo priestess who is nearly two hundred and blind. Her assistant is Juju (named after the African word for magic or power), an amiable snake reminiscent of The Jungle Book’s Kaa---wide-eyed and accident-prone, but unlike Kaa, benevolent. Snakes are the prime deity in Voodoo. Mama Odie lives in a wrecked ship make into a treehouse atop an old, majestic mangrove tree, just like Tarzan. Magical characters, good and bad, seem to gravitate towards trees, such as Hexxus from Fern Gully, Rafiki, the shaman baboon of The Lion King, and Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. Mama Odie is feisty, and rambles around her treehouse, which is hung with hundreds of colorful glass bottles, narrowly avoiding mishaps like Mr. Magoo. She cooks up gumbo in a bathtub like speakeasy gin, which Tiana doctors, much to Mama’s delight. Seems like everyone in New Orleans keeps a bottle of Tabasco handy..
Mama Odie uses her gumbo tub like a scrying mirror. “Watch the gumbo,” she instructs Tiana and Naveen. She instructs them to “dig a little deeper” (in a gospel number including singing pelicans) in order to be released from their amphibian state. Workaholic Tiana interprets the gumbo to mean she must work even harder, but Mama tells them that she cannot simply conjure some spirits and change them back, and that what the gumbo really means is that maybe what they thought they wanted isn’t that at all.
The Maldonian Prince Naveen had arrived in New Orleans to hear live jazz where it was born, but the naïve man is finagled by Dr. Facilier, the big bad voodoo daddy of the French Quarter. He is transformed into a frog---the very frog who overheard Tiana’s plea. Facilier is a black-magician (there is “good” white magic and “bad” black magic in voodoo, just like the cowboy hats in a Western.) Dr. Facilier wears a shaman’s necklace of animal claws, which represents his ruthlessness. He courts the evil spirits via an amulet shaped like an African tribal mask which acts like a battery, running on human blood.
While Tiana, Naveen, Louis and Ray make their way back to New Orleans like Dorothy and the gang going to Emerald City, Dr. Facilier has struck a bargain with Naveen’s major domo, Lawrence, whose ‘loyalty’ masks his animosity for the prince, whom he thinks a spoiled and shiftless man. Lawerence, who resembles Timothy Spall, craves the riches of the Maldonian court, while the Dr. craves power. In typically villainous megalomania, he plans to use his “friends”, the evil spirits, to take over New Orleans, feeding the souls of the population to them in return.
In the bayou Tiana manages to make a delicious meal with wild mushrooms and peppers foraged from the shrubbery. She teaches Naveen to mince vegetables, who admits that he has never learnt to do anything for himself---his servants even brush his teeth.The foursome hitch a ride on a paddlewheel boat, where Louis is mistaken as a costumed man at the masquerade on board. When the other musicians hear his talent, they usher him into their combo, to his delight. Meanwhile, Naveen realizes that he has fallen in love with Tiana, for her determination, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness. Using a bead from a salvaged Mardi Gras necklace, he fashions an engagement ring, hides it in a nutshell, and creates an intimate dinner for two, complete with candlelight and vegetables he has minced himself. He intends to tell her how he feels, but when they pass the mill Tiana plans to renevate, she describes her dream and he resolves to marry Charlotte Le Bouf so that he, penniless since his parents cut off his inheritance because of his lack of motivation, will have money to give to Tiana for her restaurant.
Back in New Orleans, Lawrence, posing as Naveen via Facilier’s magic, has wooed Charlotte, who, starry-eyed, sets a wedding date. Naveen confesses his feelings for Tiana to Ray, a true romantic, who is delighted. Naveen is aprehended by Facilier, who needs more of his blood to reactivate his amulet to keep Lawrence’s masquerade going. He locks the frog prince in a box and Lawrence\Naveen and the LeBoufs climb aboard their Mardi Gras wedding float. Ray manages to pick the lock and they escape. Ray confesses Naveen’s secret to Tiana, who has come to realize that Naveen is more important to her than her restaurant. He has stolen Dr. Facilier’s amulet.
Facilier tracks them down and, in what may simply be the most malicious act of any Disney villain, steps on Ray. Louis rushes him to Naveen and Tiana, but in a terribly sad scene, Ray actually dies before our eyes (possibly the very first on-screen death of one of the good guys in Disney history). A funeral takes place on the bayou. We are comforted with the fact that Ray’s dream has come true---cloud cover lifts to reveal a second star, namely Ray, next to his true love, Evangeline.
Dr. Facilier catches Tiana and attempts to convince her to side with him, telling her that he can make her dreams come true. Using black Voodoo, he conjures up images of Tiana’s Place, a five-star hit, Tiana in grand flapper attire, exactly as in her daydream. She is almosts swayed, but remembers that her father once told her that all the success in the world is not as important as love. James may not have achieved his dream, but he had love, family, and back-porch gumbo with his friends. Tiana crushes Facilier’s amulet, just like Rasputin’s reliquary, and his “friends” steal his soul, since he did not fulfill his part of the black-magic bargain. Facilier is sucked into the underworld, like Rasputin and Hades before him, and a new gravestone appears in the cemetary, bearing his name and a howling effigy.
Tiana overhears Lawrence with Charlotte and, believing he is Naveen, in human form, is heartbroken. Lawrence, whose camoflage is fading again, flees inside a church, but is discovered by Charlotte. Big Daddy has the fraudulent ‘prince’ arrested. Tiana explains everything to Charlotte, who agrees to kiss Naveen for Tiana, restoring him to human form, for the love of her best friend. She puckers up, but like all fairy godmothers’ spells, it deactivates at midnight, and the clock has struck. Naveen confesses his feelings to Tiana, and tells her he would rather be a frog with her than a human without her. Charlotte is moved by the romance, and they go to Mama Odie, who performs an amphibian wedding, with Louis and all the denizens of the bayou in attendance. Having said their marriage vows, the Frog Prince and Princess kiss. The spell is broken. Human again, they have a human wedding, with Tiana’s mother, Eudora, and the King and Queen of Maldonia in joyfully tearful attendance.
Naveen’s inheritance is restored, and he and Tiana buy the mill, with Tiana’s coffee cans and Louis there for the Mafia intimidation factor. Together they renovate the sugar mill into Tiana’s Place, complete with Art Deco décor, crystal chandelier, and Tiana’s cuisine. The restaurant is a smash. The LeBoufs and everyone else in town attend the grand opening, with live music by Firefly Five Plus Lou, Louis on trumpet.
(The band’s name is a nod to the Firehouse Five Plus Two, a septet consisting entirely of Disney animators, including Ward Kimball and Frank Thomas of the Walt’s Nine Old Men. The group played Dixieland jazz and recorded more than a dozen albums.)
This Clements\Musker-directed film pays homage to many animated films, both Disney and others. Lady and the Tramp inspired the scenery, as no doubt did another Disney flick set in the bayou, The Rescuers. Funnily, King Louie in The Jungle Book is named after another jazz trumpeter from New Orleans, Louis Prima. King Louis too, wished to be human.
Even in frog form, Tiana is left-handed. Pretty as it is, I must say that her blue dress is too much like Brandy’s in the 1997 Disney version of Cinderella. Her yellow dress and green coat suit her much better. And frankly, I’m tired of princesses in pastels. Aurora and Ariel’s princess gowns were pink, Belle’s yellow, Jasmine’s lavender. Tiana ought to wear something bold to suit her strong coloring; red or orange or purple, both of which, incidentally, are traditional colors for the robes of African royalty.
I truly don’t mean to seem biased, but in all honesty, what are the odds of the richest white girl and the poorest black girl in town being lifelong best friends in the 1920’s South? Of course it is admirable, but historically speaking, how likely is that?
I was pleasantly surprised that Dr. Facilier was voiced by the Goliath of voice actors, Keith David (pun intended), because I cannot recall another of his characters ever singing. This marks the occasion of the first time a villain has had a song in several years.
The concept of a magical villain has so long a precedent in Disney that frankly, I’m surprised no one had ever hit on the idea of a Voodoo theme before. The Wicked Queen, Maleficent, Madame Mim, the Horned King, Jafar, Ursula, her sister Morgana, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II’s Scarousch, and Yzma; plus Tzek El Khan from Dreamworks’ The Road to El Dorado, Anastasia’s Rasputin, and The Swan Princess’ Rothbart, were all witches and sorcerers.
I firmly believe that Tiana is a greater achievement for the African-American race than Obama’s presidency. This may sound strange, but think about it: Obama will be president for four years, maybe eight, but Tiana is part of the Disney canon. No other business is as wide-reaching, long-lasting, and diversified as Disney.
Disney as a company has been around since the early 1920’s, meaning that four or five generations have witnessed the company’s span. And Disney characters are more appealing to children than politicians. Plenty of kids may grow up wanting to be president, but how many of them watch campaigns on TV? They do, however, watch the Disney Channel. And seriously, no president, even Honest Abe, has a planet named after him. Pluto, however…

Goddess of Chaos: Eris

Goddess of Chaos: Eris

The sensual Goddess of Chaos schemes her way through Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas with a voice supplied by Catwoman herself, Michelle Pheiffer, in all its sultry, purring glory. Larger than life, she is a shimmering, shape-shifting specter dressed in the blues and purples of dusk. Her M.O centers around the Book of Peace, an enchanted tome with quite a fan base: Sinbad is after it because its worth is almost priceless, Proteus is interested as it is a valuable cultural artifact, and Eris wants it for its power. Like most animated villainesses, not to mention life-action ones, Eris uses her wiles and mystical beauty to snare what she wants. And, like most villains, those interests center around wealth and power. Her attempts to seduce Sinbad into doing her bidding backfires when she underestimates him, disbelieving in his change of heart.

Eris Quotes
Eris: Wake up, my beauties. Rise and shine. It's a brand new day and the mortal world is at peace. But not for long. Just look at them; I pull one tiny thread and their whole world unravels into chaos. Glorious chaos.

Lil Ark Angel: Darla Dimple

Lil Ark Angel: Darla Dimple

Darla Dimple the golden-curled, dimple-cheeked, Shirley Temple-on acid child star of Cats Don’t Dance has the distinction of being the youngest animated villain in the canon. She lives in a Barbie-pink Hollywood palace turreted with hearts and decorated with her own film posters and a collection of Darla memorabilia, including a Darla Dimple toothpaste tube which expectorates toothpaste onto the brush out of a plastic Darla-head mouth, similar to a Pez dispenser. When starry-eyed, idealistic Danny arrives in Hollywood to realize his dream of movie-stardom, Darla is amused—until he dares to upstage her opening number. She shrieks for her bodyguard\valet, a huge black gorilla named Max, who proceeds to intimidate Danny. Darla may be a child, but she is a scheming, manipulative brat of who refuses to be outdone. She realizes that the animals, after years of playing degrading bit parts, if anything, are eager for the limelight, and that they have real talent. Something must be done. Darla invites Danny to her pink palace for tea and animal crackers and offers her contacts to Danny. They both know that Darla’s influence could get him into the big time. She makes a veiled threat, biting off the head of an animal-cracker cat, and proceeds to double-check the date of the studio head’s press conference, during which she sneaks into the special effects center and turns on the water valve and thunder and lightning effects, creating a monsoon which leads to chaos for the animals on her loaned ark and drenches the director and press agents. Soggy and furious, the humans tell the animals they will “never nibble kibble in this town again.” Darla can’t resist. She mocks Danny from her limo before collapsing with laughter. Shocked and dejected, the animals feel more oppressed than ever. Danny has let them down. He vows to get them to the premiere of Darla’s film Lil’ Ark Angel, a saccharine quasi-Biblical story where Darla rescues the animal kingdom from Noah’s flood by offering them refuge on her beribboned pink ark, and he does so by forging invitations to the animals. Decked out for the premiere, they sneak in and plan a dance number to perform for the audience. Darla attempts to sabotage them by wreaking havoc with the number, cutting stage-weight sand bags, flipping switches, upsetting flats, and bombarding them with colored light bulbs, all of which actually enhance the show. The audience is floored, and gives them a standing ovation. Furious, Darla shrieks that she “should have drowned them all when she flooded the stage”. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t realize the mic is still until her voice echoes through the theatre, revealing her plot to Hollywood’s elite. Darla’s career is over. The animals go on to star in parodies of famous Hollywood films (from the ‘90’s not the ‘30’s, faux pas) and Darla is relegated to papering the city with their film posters, adding insult to injury.
Darla’s story is reminiscent of all those obnoxiously adorable child stars whose careers evaporate once they’ve hit puberty (or crack.) She dresses like Miss Piggy circa Muppet Babies, and sings like David Bowie or any other androgynous glam-rock star. She is so bizarre as to be fabulous. Gotta love a diva—even if she is only five years old.

Darla Dimple quotes
“How does the kitty cat go?”

Devil Woman: Cruella De Vil

Cruella De Vil is, as her name suggests, a cruel devil, albeit the most stylish. In the original novel she wears her extensive collection with long dresses in red and green, with ropes of contrasting gems around her neck. Her trademark half-and-half hair has been two-toned since grade school, where she was a classmate of Anita’s. A wealthy and spoiled girl, she refused to be refused, and when she wasn’t given what she wanted, she reached out and took it, regardless of courtesy, fairness, or lawfulness. When she visits Anita and offers money for the new litter of Pongo and Perdita’s puppies and is rebuffed, she berates them all and slams out, but not before splotching Pongo and Roger with ink from her jammed fountain pen. Her car is the Dorfenheimer Wildcat, a statuesque European roadster painted lipstick red, which she drives with an utter lack of concern about traffic rules. Cruella may have been as purely spoiled as Veruca Salt, but this selfishness extends to sociopathy when every step of her plot has failed—her money is refused by the Dearly-Radcliffes, her stolen puppies escape from Hell Hall, her decrepit and dilapidated country manor, the dogs disguise themselves and stowaway in a moving van, her car stalls in the snow, and she gets into a collision. She may be crazy and foul-mouthed, but whether blowing smoke in someone’s face from her ivory Tallulah Bankhead cigarette holder or lounging in her round satin-sheeted bed with a fur stole over her negligee, Cruella has panache, glamour, style.

Cruella quotes
Cruella De Vil: [reads one headline] "Dognapping!" Tsk, tsk, tsk. Can you imagine such a thing? "Fifteen Puppies Stolen". They are darling little things. [she looks at the photos in the papers of the Radcliffs and their Dalmatians] Anita. [Cruella laughs] And her bashful Beethoven, pipe and all! Oh, Roger, you are a fool!
Anita: Cruella, isn't that a new fur coat?
Cruella De Vil: My only true love, darling. I live for furs. I worship furs! After all, is there a woman in all this wretched world who doesn't?

Plantation Dalmatian: Perdita (101 Dalmatians)

Plantation Dalmatian: Perdita (101 Dalmatians)

Name meaning: Latin, "Lost."

Perdita, the female half of the canine couple in 101 Dalmatians, is a classy and maternal dog. She cares deeply for her family, and her “extended” family of eight-four other Dalmatians. She is typically British, straitlaced, polite, and loyal. She knows not to trust Cruella, probably having met her before with Anita, and is understandably upset when Cruella arrives and offers to buy the puppies. She is quietly sad when the dogs are stolen, stoic, and like any mother, wishes with all her heart that her children are safe. In a funny scene, she is startled when Patch cusses, and gives Pongo a look—as if to say “you taught him that, didn’t you?” Perdy is sweet and sleek. In the original novel, she is named after a Shakespearean character. She and Pongo are an interesting match, echoing Roger and Anita in canine form—the calm, devoted wife and the fun-loving, slightly irresponsible husband.
Pongo: Perdita, darling, are you all right?
Perdita: Oh, of course, dear. After all, dogs were having puppies long before our time.

Perdita: Why, Patch, where did you ever hear such talk? Certainly not from your mother! [looks at Pongo suspiciously]

Pongo: Perdy?
Perdita: That witch. That devil woman. She wants our puppies. That's all she's after.
Pongo: Don't worry, Perdy. They're on to her. Nothing's going to happen to our puppies.
Perdita: But what does she want with them? She can't possibly love them. Oh, Pongo. I was so happy at first, but now I...Oh, I...I wish we weren't having any.

I love the style of this film. It is slightly mod, but still rather traditional, exactly apace with the period during which it was created—the late fifties and early sixties. The Dalmatians’ spots are the perfect pattern to coordinate the style—black and white on red.

Flaversham!: Olivia (The Great Mouse Detective)

Flaversham!: Olivia (The Great Mouse Detective)

Name meaning: Greek: “Olive.” The olive branch is a symbol of peace.
Olivia Flaversham, the adorable daughter of toymaker Hiram Flaversham, wasn’t expecting quite such an adventure for her birthday—a cake and candles, a few toys, and a rendition of ‘happy birthday’. What she got was a mystery, an encounter with the Sherlock Holmes of rodentry, a battle of wits with the ‘Napoleon of Crime’, a deranged megalomaniacal sewer rat with a grudge.
When Hiram Flaversham is mouse-napped in order to build a robot for Ratigan, Olivia bravely sets out with nothing but a crumpled newspaper clipping to find Basil of Baker Street, arguably the smartest mouse in England. Dr. David Q. Dawson, a portly, kind-hearted mouse who has just returned from a stint in Afghanistan for the Army Medical Corps, happens upon a tearful, shivering Olivia in an alley, he can’t leave her alone. Together they track down the legendary detective at 221B Baker Street (in a mouse-hole in Sherlock’s digs). They are admitted and tutted over by Mrs. Judson, Basil’s much-put-upon housekeeper, who offers them dry blankets and a pot of tea. Both are fascinated by Basil’s chemistry set, his forensics equipment, and his slapdash décor. Basil, eager to examine evidence of his latest case, startles them by appearing in a traditionally-un-P.C. Chinaman’s costume, complete with yellow-faced mask and Fu Manchu stringy mustache. He is un-interested in the Doctor’s indignant rebuttals of Olivia’s pleas, until his hunch is dashed when two bullets from a pistol fail to match, leaving the case at a dead end. Basil is despondent and proceeds to mournfully play the violin, until it comes out that Flaversham was taken, as Olivia saw by peeping from the cabinet she was hiding in, by a handicapped bat. Fired up, Basil realizes this is Fidget, the peg-legged bat lackey of Ratigan himself. They are off on the case, Basil stopping to borrow Sherlock’s faithful Basset hound of the Baskervilles, a goopy, delighted canine named Toby, colossal by mouse standards. To Basil’s resentment, Toby takes to Olivia right away with her friendliness and open-handed offer of cheese crumpets, even sitting for her while he refuses to obey Basil. Thus begins a mystery involving an avalanche of toys, impersonating sailors, the good doctor joining in a can-can kick line at a seedy pub, a Rube-Goldberg maze of murder weapons, a pedal-powered zeppelin, and a battle to the death amidst Big Ben! Heck of a birthday present!
A recurring joke involves Basil’s inability to pronounce Olivia’s name. Yet he sees to have no problem saying it to Hiram…
Dr. Dawson: Scoundrel's quite gone.
Basil: But not for long, Miss Flamhammer!
Olivia Flaversham: Flaversham!
Basil: Whatever.

Basil: Miss Flamchester!
Olivia Flaversham, Dr. Dawson: Flaversham!
Basil: Whatever.

Olivia Flaversham: Goodbye, Basil. [sniffles] I... I'll never forget you.
Basil: Nor I you, Miss... Miss Flangerhanger.
Dr. Dawson: [chuckles] Whatever.

Basil: Now, Toby, sit!
[Toby doesn't sit]
Basil: [sternly] Toby... sit!
Olivia Flaversham: Sit, Toby!
[Toby sits]
Basil: Good boy...

Flaversham!: Olivia (The Great Mouse Detective)

Flaversham!: Olivia (The Great Mouse Detective)

Name meaning: Greek: “Olive.” The olive branch is a symbol of peace.
Olivia Flaversham, the adorable daughter of toymaker Hiram Flaversham, wasn’t expecting quite such an adventure for her birthday—a cake and candles, a few toys, and a rendition of ‘happy birthday’. What she got was a mystery, an encounter with the Sherlock Holmes of rodentry, a battle of wits with the ‘Napoleon of Crime’, a deranged megalomaniacal sewer rat with a grudge.
When Hiram Flaversham is mouse-napped in order to build a robot for Ratigan, Olivia bravely sets out with nothing but a crumpled newspaper clipping to find Basil of Baker Street, arguably the smartest mouse in England. Dr. David Q. Dawson, a portly, kind-hearted mouse who has just returned from a stint in Afghanistan for the Army Medical Corps, happens upon a tearful, shivering Olivia in an alley, he can’t leave her alone. Together they track down the legendary detective at 221B Baker Street (in a mouse-hole in Sherlock’s digs). They are admitted and tutted over by Mrs. Judson, Basil’s much-put-upon housekeeper, who offers them dry blankets and a pot of tea. Both are fascinated by Basil’s chemistry set, his forensics equipment, and his slapdash décor. Basil, eager to examine evidence of his latest case, startles them by appearing in a traditionally-un-P.C. Chinaman’s costume, complete with yellow-faced mask and Fu Manchu stringy mustache. He is un-interested in the Doctor’s indignant rebuttals of Olivia’s pleas, until his hunch is dashed when two bullets from a pistol fail to match, leaving the case at a dead end. Basil is despondent and proceeds to mournfully play the violin, until it comes out that Flaversham was taken, as Olivia saw by peeping from the cabinet she was hiding in, by a handicapped bat. Fired up, Basil realizes this is Fidget, the peg-legged bat lackey of Ratigan himself. They are off on the case, Basil stopping to borrow Sherlock’s faithful Basset hound of the Baskervilles, a goopy, delighted canine named Toby, colossal by mouse standards. To Basil’s resentment, Toby takes to Olivia right away with her friendliness and open-handed offer of cheese crumpets, even sitting for her while he refuses to obey Basil. Thus begins a mystery involving an avalanche of toys, impersonating sailors, the good doctor joining in a can-can kick line at a seedy pub, a Rube-Goldberg maze of murder weapons, a pedal-powered zeppelin, and a battle to the death amidst Big Ben! Heck of a birthday present!
A recurring joke involves Basil’s inability to pronounce Olivia’s name. Yet he sees to have no problem saying it to Hiram…
Dr. Dawson: Scoundrel's quite gone.
Basil: But not for long, Miss Flamhammer!
Olivia Flaversham: Flaversham!
Basil: Whatever.

Basil: Miss Flamchester!
Olivia Flaversham, Dr. Dawson: Flaversham!
Basil: Whatever.

Olivia Flaversham: Goodbye, Basil. [sniffles] I... I'll never forget you.
Basil: Nor I you, Miss... Miss Flangerhanger.
Dr. Dawson: [chuckles] Whatever.

Basil: Now, Toby, sit!
[Toby doesn't sit]
Basil: [sternly] Toby... sit!
Olivia Flaversham: Sit, Toby!
[Toby sits]
Basil: Good boy...

Lion Queen: Nala (The Lion King)

Lion Queen: Nala (The Lion King)

Name meaning: Swahili, “Woman”

With her buff-colored coat and aqua eyes, Nala is an elegant and spirited lioness. Simba’s best friend since childhood, she has been an accomplice in all of his adventures. When Simba runs away, Nala goes after him. She is loyal, both to her friends and to her pride. She refuses to let Scar run Pride Rock and its people into the ground. She is even more independent and headstrong in the Broadway version, where she fends off Scar’s lecherous advances and ventures far into the desert to forage for food for the starving lions. She is the voice of common sense in their group, in contrast to the smark-aleck Timon, dim-witted Pumbaa, and Simba’s stubbornness. She has a sense of humor, but is determined. When Simba takes his place as king of Pride Rock with her by his side, they have a daughter named Kiara. And the circle of life has come full circle.
Nala: Simba's gone back to challenge Scar.
Timon: Who?
Nala: Scar.
Pumbaa: Who's got a scar?
Nala: No, no, no. It's his uncle.
Timon: The monkey's his uncle?
Nala: No. Simba's gone back to challenge his uncle to take his place as king.
Timon, Pumbaa: Oh.

Nala: What's happened to you? You're not the Simba I remember.
Adult Simba: You're right, I'm not. Now are you satisfied?
Nala: No, just disappointed.
Adult Simba: You know you're starting to sound like my father.
Nala: Good. At least one of us does.

Young Simba: I... am a genius.
Young Nala: Hey, Genius, it was my idea.

Baby Mine: Mrs. Jumbo (Dumbo)

Baby Mine: Mrs. Jumbo (Dumbo)

Mrs. Jumbo is perhaps the greatest mother in the history of animation. She wants nothing but to protect her son, who due to the unfortunate size of his ears, is subject to ridicule from just about everyone who sees him. She is utterly maternal, and her pride sometimes demands retaliation for this treatment, slamming the elephant-cage door in the faces of the snide circus elephants who jeer and gossip cattily. Like hard-working blue-collar humans, Mrs. Jumbo is made to perform menial tasks in order to provide for her son. She is subjected to degrading circus performances which give new meaning to the phrase “working for peanuts”. When Dumbo is guffawed at by the circus spectators, an irate Mrs. Jumbo loses her patience. She goes on a rampage, scaring clowns and stomping flats. The circus officials rush in with ropes and proceed to tie her down like Kunta Kinte being captured by the slave traders. The anguished mother is caged in solitary confinement, torn from her baby and abused as a “mad elephant”. Timothy Q. Mouse, a brassy rodent in a shiny marching bandleader’s uniform, empathizes with the elephant calf hiding pathetically under a mound of hay and offers to help him see his mother. Thus comes what is one of the most moving scenes in filmdom, animated or live-action: Dumbo being rocked in his mother’s trunk to the croon of “Baby Mine”, a love song/lullaby so tear-jerking that Michael Crawford included a rendition of it on his CD of his personal favorite Disney songs. Like all unfairly-accused victims locked up and tied down, saddled with the epithet “mad”, Mrs. Jumbo is simply exerting her opinion and her rights when she frantically tries to keep her son with her. Her ‘crime’ was an act of passion, that of a mother protecting her child. Human or elephant, the instinct to shield and defend is second nature to parents, and should be revered.

Dumbo Quotes
Mr. Stork: Oh, one moment, please. This is still part of the service. [blows tuning whistle] Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear...uh--dear... Dear me, what's his name?
Mrs. Jumbo: Jumbo...Junior.
Mr. Stork: Oh, Jumbo Jr. Right, Jumbo Jr. [blows whistle again] Happy birthday, dear Jumbo Jr., happy[he is suddenly snagged on the mail hook at the train station and yanked off the train)!

Rescuer: Miss Bianca (The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under)

Rescuer: Miss Bianca (The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under)

Name meaning: French, “White”

Miss Bianca, the Hungarian representative of the Rescue Aid Society is a sophisticated white mouse with a compassionate heart. Despite her elegant femininity, she is not afraid to get her paws dirty. She will arrive late to a meeting while hurriedly spritzing perfume, pack multiple, bulging suitcases with wardrobe changes (getting someone else to carry the load while she carries only a purse), refuse to fasten her seatbelt so that her dress won’t get wrinkled, yet she thinks nothing of running out of a fancy dinner for the sake of a mission and swapping lavender moiré and pearls for khaki shorts and hiking boots. She is a rodent bombshell straight out of Laren Stover’s Bombshell Manual of Style. She is soft-hearted, charming, and has a sense of humor about life—she is kind about Bernard’s triskaidekaphobia, makes friends with cats, kids, and ornery albatrosses alike, and loves the simple and the sophisticated in life equally. She finds adventure in plane flights and treks in the Australian outback. Bianca is the classiest of the Disney mice (can’t you just see her charming Roquefort from The Aristocats?), less saccharine than Minnie, and a hopeless romantic.
Miss Bianca Bites
Bianca: [watching Orville fly] Doesn't he fly beautifully?
Bianca: Well, after all, waking him up in the middle of the night. Wouldn't you be grumpy too?
Bianca: "I am... In a terrible... terrible trouble." Oh. Oh, dear. It's all watered out. "H-h-hurry! Help! Penny."
Bianca: Captain you fly beautifully. It's just like being on a roller scooter.
Bernard: He just went through a red light.
Bianca: I do that all the time, darling. Now come on, stop worrying.
Bernard: [about the seat belts] Miss Bianca, make sure it's fastened good and tight.
Bianca: I can't. It'll wrinkle my dress.
Bianca: Poor Evinrude. Your carburetor is all pooped out.

Bernard: [Climbing the steps to board Orville] …eleven, twelve...Oh no. There, there are thirteen steps on this ladder.
Bianca: [chuckles] Why don't you jump the last one?
Bianca: Oh, look! The little girl's treasures!

Miss Bianca: But you don't understand. A boy needs our help. He's in trouble!
Wilbur: Boy? You mean, little kid, kinda boy?
Miss Bianca: He was kidnapped!
Wilbur: Kidnapped? Oh! That-that's awful! Lockin' up a little kid. Kids should be free! Free to run wild through the house on Saturday mornings, free to have cookies and milk, and get those little white mustaches. You know -
Wilbur: Nobody's gonna take a kid's freedom away while I'm around! Nobody ain't! Hear me?
Miss Bianca: Does that mean you'll take us?
Wilbur: Storm or no storm, Albatross Airlines...[salutes] at your service!
Miss Bianca: I wasn't bluffing. You don't know Bernard like I do. He'll never give up.
Miss Bianca: Oh, Bernard. You are magnificent. You are absolutely hero of the day.
Bernard: Miss Bianca, before anything else happens...will you marry me?
Miss Bianca: Bernard! Of course I will!
Jake: Well done, mate.

Miss Bianca: No, just some khaki shorts and some hiking boots!

A High-Born Lady of Quality: Maid Marian (Robin Hood)

A High-Born Lady of Quality: Maid Marian (Robin Hood)

Name meaning: Variant of Mary Ann. Mary: “Bitter Sorrow”, Ann: “Grace”

Maid Marian, the niece of the neurotic Prince John, is an utter romantic. She has had a crush on Robin Hood since childhood, when they pledged their troth as kids, carving a heart with their initials on a tree in the courtyard. She keeps his wanted poster tacked to the inside of her wardrobe. She is loyal and unconcerned with wealth, unlike her uncle. She likes children, inviting Skippy, his sisters, and Toby Turtle inside when they sneak in to retrieve a mis-fired arrow, and together they act out Robin Hood, with Marian’s handmaiden Lady Cluck playing Prince John in all his comic, ear-tugging, thumb-sucking glory, albeit with a Scottish accent. She recognizes Robin at the archery contest, despite his stork costume, and when he is unmasked she begs Prince John to spare him. Her faith in him is so that he takes a childlike delight, unconcerned, in the ensuing antics of the guards battling Robin and Little John, Lady Cluck body-slamming the rhinos, she herself pitching pies like a Keystone Kop. As he engages in Errol Flynn-esque swordplay, kicking the guards away, they make plans to honeymoon in Spain and have six-plus children (“Six? Oh, a dozen, at least!”) The Merry Men escape into Sherwood Forest, where they put on a sock-puppet play proclaiming Prince John “The Phony King of England”. They dance around the bonfire, the ale flowing, the merriment ensuing. Robin and Marian slip away, Robin showing her the secret passage behind the waterfall and slipping a ring made out of a water lily onto her finger. They embrace in the moonlight. The final scene (the battle between Robin, Prince John and the Sherriff of Nottingham to be discussed on Robin’s page) is Robin and Marian’s wedding, Marian in white lace, Robin in a green jerkin, the church mice throwing rice, the residents of Nottingham cheering. The honeymoon carriage is draped with a “just married” banner, with a heart pierced by Skippy’s celebratory arrow. And King Richard, as he tells Friar Tuck, now has “an outlaw for an in-law.”
Maid Marian quotes
Clucky: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Marian: Or forgetful.
Prince John: I sentence you to sudden, instant, and even immediate death!
Marian: Oh, no. Please. Please, sire. I beg of you to spare his life. Please have mercy.
Prince John: My dear, emotional lady, why should I?
Marian: Because I love him,Your Highness.
Prince John: Love him? And does this prisoner return your love?
Robin Hood: Marian, my darling, I love you more than life itself.

Marian: Oh, he's probably forgotten all about me.
Skippy: Oh, not Robin Hood! I bet he'll storm the castle one day, fight the guards, rescue ya, and drag you off to Sherwood Forest.

Robin Hood: [after just swinging her to safety, he kneels and takes her hand] Marian, my love, will you marry me?
Marian: Oh, of course! [Moves behind Robin Hood so he can continue to fight the Sherriff's men] And you couldn't have chosen a more romantic setting!
Robin Hood: For our honeymoon: London! Paris!
Marian: Yes!
Robin Hood: Sunny Spain?
Marian: [laughs] Why not?

Marian: Oh, Clucky, surely he must know how much I really love him.
Clucky: But of course, my dear. Believe me, someday soon, your Uncle King Richard will have an outlaw for an in-law!

Perfectly Beautiful Little: Lady (Lady and the Tramp)

Perfectly Beautiful Little: Lady (Lady and the Tramp)

Name meaning: English, "A woman of high culture."

Lady, the pretty cocker spaniel of Jim Dear and Darling’s, is a naïve yet classy canine. Living in turn-of-the-century America, Lady was adopted by Jim Dear and given to Darling for a Christmas present, in a beribboned hatbox. Lady is befriended by the neighborhood dogs: Jock, whose real name in Heather Lad O’Glen Cairn, a blue-ribbon Scottish terrier and speaks with a brogue, Trusty, a bloodhound who is blissfully unaware of the fact that, tragically, he has lost his sense of smell: “'Tis time you knew the truth, lassie. It shouldn't have happened to a dog, but... well, Trusty has lost his sense of smell…Aye, but we must never let on that we know, lassie. It would break his poor heart.”
Lady receives her first collar with license for her first birthday, a canine rite of passage. Soon after, she is puzzled by the strange behavior of her humans. The reason: Darling is pregnant. As Darling goes through quirky cravings (chop suey and watermelon), picking out baby names, and knitting a layette, Lady is puzzled by all these changes. To make matters worse, Jim Dear’s Aunt Sarah moves in to help keep house, and brings along her mischevious Siamese cats, Si and Am, who proceed to shred the curtains, break a vase, scoop the goldfish out of its bowl, and blame it all on Lady. Outraged, Aunt Sarah outfits Lady with a muzzle. Terrified by this treatment, Lady flees and is met by Tramp, who takes her to the zoo and cons a beaver into removing the muzzle by telling him it is a log-puller, and it’s free. Tramp takes Lady out for a night on the town, explaining his method of procuring free meals, at a different house every night like Henry Miller; culminating in a spaghetti dinner for two at Tony’s, where they are serenaded by chef and sous-chef. The next scene is unquestionably the most romantic scene in all of animated filmdom: To the strains of “Bella Note”, as sung by Tony on the mandolin and Joe with an accordion, Tramp offers Lady the last meatball, and the pasta comes out in a single long strand. They meet in the middle and kiss. They go for a moonlit stroll where Tramp tries to convince Lady to leave her owners and live ‘footloose and fancy free’ as he does. But Lady’s loyalty is too strong. Like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, she knows that duty is more important than love. Lady is caught by the dogcatcher. At the pound, she meets a band of strays who, despite their matted fur and collarless condition, they are kind-hearted and try to make her feel at home. However, she overhears their gossip: they fill her in on Tramp who, unbeknownst to her, has a reputation as a hound, pun intended:
Boris: Ah, but remember, my friends. Even Tramp has his Achilles heel.
Pedro: Pardon me, amigo. What is this chili deal?
Boris: Achilles heel, Pedro. This is meaning his, uh, weaknesses.
Toughy: Oh! Oh, the dames. Yeah.
Bulldog: He has an eye for a well-turned paw, he has. Let's see, there's been Lulu...
Toughy: Yeah, and Trixie...
Dachsie: Und Fifi...
Pedro: And my sister, Rosita Chiquita Juanita Chihuahua. I think.
When Lady is released from the pound, she is chained to her doghouse, depressed. When Tramp comes by to see how she’s doing, she tells him off. He betrayed her. Jock and Trusty back her up, berating him for hurting Lady. Tramp leaves, dejected, tail literally between his legs. As he walks away, a sinister black rat sneaks into the yard and dashes in the house. Lady strains her lead and barks wildly for help. Tramp comes to her aid, goes in after the rat, and fights with it, the battle reflected in shadow on the nursery wall. Aunt Sarah hears the scuffle and rushes in. The dead rat is hidden. She assumes Tramp was attacking the baby, and furiously shuts him into the basement while she calls the pound. When Jock and Trusty find out what really happened, they attempt to head off the carriage from the pound, coming to take Tramp away. In the confusion, Jock scares the horses, causing the driver to lose control of the reins, and the carriage crashes, collapsing on Trusty. All seems lost, then we hear a soft whimper—Trusty’s still alive. Jim Dear and Darling arrive home in the confusion. Lady leads them into the house. Despite Aunt Sarah’s warnings, they know Lady and Tramp would never hurt the baby. The rat is discovered, and Tramp is forbidden. Sometime later, Jock and Trusty arrive at Lady’s house, skidding on the ice, Jock in a new plaid sweater, Trusty with his broken leg bandaged, for the family Christmas party. Tramp is there, bedecked in a new collar and license, a member of the family. This year, instead of a hatbox, a carton of puppies sits under the tree—three miniature Ladys and a Tramp lookalike who, true to form, is busy unraveling Jock’s new sweater.
Lady Language
Lady: What's a baby?
Jock: Well, they...they resemble humans.
Trusty: But I'd say a mite smaller.
Jock: Aye, and they walk on all fours.
Trusty: And if I remember correctly...they beller a lot.
Jock: And they're very expensive. You'll not be permitted to play with it.
Trusty: But they're mighty sweet.
Jock: And very, very soft.
Tramp: Just a cute little bundle...of trouble!

Beaver: Gotta get this log movin', sonny. Gotta get it moving. Think the cuttin' takes the time? It's the doggone haulin'.
Tramp: [sees the loop at the end of Lady's leash] The hauling! [Sees the large bit of branch on the log] Exactly! [To the Beaver] Now, what you need is...
Beaver: [regarding the log] I'd better bisect this section here. [Starts chewing]
Tramp: What you need is a log puller. I SAID A LOG PULLER!
Beaver: I ain't deef, sonny. There's no need to…Did you say log puller?
Tramp: And by a lucky coincidence, you see before you, modeled by the lovely little lady, the new, improved, patented, handy-dandy, never-fail little giant log puller. The busy beaver's friend.
Beaver: You don't say?
Tramp: Guaranteed not to tear, wear, rip or ravel. Turn around, sister, and show the customer the merchandise. And it cuts log-hauling time sixty-six percent!
Beaver: Sixty-six percent, eh? Think of that! Well, how's it work?
Tramp: Why, it's no work at all. You merely slip the ring over the limb like this, and haul it off.
Beaver: Say, you mind if I try it on for size?
Tramp: Help yourself, help yourself.
Beaver: Okay, don't mind if I do. [Pulls on the muzzle] How do you get the consarned thing off, sonny?
Tramp Glad you brought that up, friend. Glad you brought that up. To remove it, simply place the strap between your teeth...
Beaver: Like this?
Tramp: Kee-rect, friend. Now bite hard.
(The beaver bites the strap hard and removes the muzzle from Lady)
Tramp: You see?
Lady: It's off!
Beaver: [holding the muzzle] Say, that is simple.
Tramp: [preparing to leave] Well, friend, we'll be on our way now, so...
Beaver: Uh-uh-uh! Not so fast, sonny. [Puts on the muzzle] I'll have to make certain it's satisfactory before we settle on a price.
Tramp: Oh, no. It's all yours, friend. You can keep it.
Beaver: I can, eh? [Excitedly] I can?
Lady: Uh-huh. It's a free sample.
Beaver: [very pleased] Well, thanks a lot. Thanks ever so… [He slips and falls, dragging the log along; they land in the pond, where the log fits neatly over the dam spillway] Say! It works swell!

Lady: Haven't you a family?
Tramp: One for every day of the week. The point is, none of them have me. Now take the Schultzes here. Little Fritzy--that's me, Pige - makes this his Monday home.
Lady: Monday home?
Tramp: [German accent] Ach, ja! Mondays is Mama Schultz cooking der wiener schnitzel. Mmm-mmm. Delicious. [Irish accent] Now, O'Brien's here is where little Mike--sure, that's me again, Pige-Comes ev'ry Tuesday.
Lady: Ev'ry Tuesday?
Tramp: Begorra, and that's when they're having their darlin' corned beef. You see, Pige, when you're foot loose and collar-free, well, you take nothing but the best.

This movie is one of my all-time favorites. I have loved it since childhood—I even had a stuffed Lady and Tramp. Trusty’s accident gave me nightmares for years—the look on his face when he is laying in the street is heart-wrenchingly sad. Interestingly enough, it is also a favorite of the great Paul McCartney, particularly another of my favorite scenes—the beaver with the log-puller.

Lead Dog: Jenna (Balto)

Lead Dog: Jenna (Balto)

Name meaning: Variant of ‘Jennifer’: Welsh, “White”

Jenna, the dog-next-door heroine of Balto, is first and foremost an optimist. She is caring, and values honesty and loyalty over the pretty-boy sultriness of the arrogant husky Steele. She adores her human family, and eagerly plays sled dog to her owner Rosie. When Rosie comes down with diphtheria, she is worried, spying on the humans in the infirmary through a secret passage Balto shows her. The outcast husky-wolf mix lifts her spirits by reminding her that beauty exists in unlikely places, if you look at things differently. By positioning colorful shards of broken glass, he produces a facsimile of the Northern lights. Jenna knows that Balto is misunderstood, kind-hearted and creative. She believes in him, and that he will retrieve the antitoxin in time. She gives him her red bandana for luck—after all, a knight never rides into battle without a trinket of his lady love’s.
Jenna Quotes
Jenna: Steele's lying. Balto's alive. He's coming home.
Balto: See this? It's the Polar Ice Caps?
Jenna: Balto, those are broken bottles, and they're not half-empty, they're all empty.
Balto: The sun, and to the north
Jenna: Oh, Balto. It's beautiful.
Balto: Yeah, beautiful.

Jenna: What? Polar bears who can't *swim*?

Jenna: Steele, stop being such a glory-hound!

Jenna: Is that a new collar, Dixie?
Dixie: What, this old thing? Nah. Do you think Steele will notice?
Jenna: The only way Steele notices anyone is if they're wearing a mirror.

Jenna: Steele, it doesn't matter who's on the team, as long as the medicine gets through.

It’s All So Magical: Jasmine (Aladdin)

It’s All So Magical: Jasmine (Aladdin)

Name meaning: Persian, “Flower”

Jasmine is my second-favorite Disney princess (the first being Ariel) and is, in my opinion, the prettiest. I love her sleek, flowing hair, her big eyes, (“She’s got these eyes that just…and her hair, wow…”) her jewel-toned outfits (though my favorite is the red harem girl ensemble), her elegance. Jasmine is a self-possessed woman with definite opinions and no qualms about airing them. She scoffs at Prince Ali’s showy procession, refuses Jafar’s smarmy advances, and sends Prince Achmed off missing a big chunk of his pants (inadvertently displaying his heart-print undies) courtesy of her Bengal tiger Rajah. She can pole vault rooftops at a single attempt, indeed being “a fast learner.” She may have been naïve in the Marketplace, but she is savvy, a good judge of character, which, if you ask the Sultan, runs in the family. She can tell immediately that Aladdin is trustworthy, just as she could tell when he lied. She is headstrong, independent, and yearns for adventure, bored with the routine protocol and binding laws of palace life. She loves to travel and is a romantic, dreamy and unwilling to marry anyone she doesn’t love. Like Elizabeth Bennet, she is “determined that nothing but the deepest love should induce (her) into matrimony.” She is adventurous and kind, befriending beggars and strangers. She is willing to fight for what she believes in—and can she fight! In one episode she is held captive by a band of Xena-esque female warriors, and learns their skills to perfection, using them to outwit and defeat them. She’s a pretty good actress, too. She and Aladdin are a perfect match. They share a compassion for adventures and people, selflessly coming to their aid. Jasmine’s largesse and grace inspires him and enables Aladdin to live well, instead of “scraping for food and ducking the guards”. They each long for a soul mate who will accept them for themselves alone—he wants someone who can see “there’s so much more to me”, that he’s not just a street rat, and she is looking for someone who doesn’t love her for her looks, money, or position, who would love her if she was a street rat.
Princess Jasmine: [to Jafar] At least some good will come of my being forced to marry. When I am Queen, I will have the power to get rid of *you*.

Princess Jasmine: Let him go.
Razoul: Looky here, men. A street *mouse*. [throws her down]
Princess Jasmine: Unhand him, [pulls off the hood of her cloak] by order of the Princess.
Razoul: Princess Jasmine.
Aladdin: The Princess?
Razoul: What are you doing outside the palace? And with this street rat?
Princess Jasmine: That's not your concern. Do as I command. Release him.
Razoul: Well, I would, Princess, except my orders come from Jafar. You'll have to take it up with him.
Princess Jasmine: Believe me, I will.

Princess Jasmine: Please, try to understand. I've never done a thing on my own. I've never had any real friends.
[Rajah grumbles]
Princess Jasmine: Except you, Rajah. I've never even been outside the palace walls.
Sultan: But, Jasmine, you're a princess.
Princess Jasmine: Then maybe I don't wanna be a princess anymore.

Princess Jasmine: How dare you? All of you! Standing around deciding my future. I am not a prize to be won!

Princess Jasmine: Oh, father. Rajah was just playing with him. Weren't you, Rajah? You were just playing with that over-dressed, self-absorbed Prince Achmed, weren't you?

Princess Jasmine: It all so magical.

Aladdin: Well, a prince walking around the marketplace? Sounds a little strange, doesn't it?
Princess Jasmine: Not that strange.

Man in market: She said she knew the sultan.
Aladdin: She thinks the monkey is the sultan.
Princess Jasmine: [bowing to Abu] Oh, wise sultan, how may I serve you?

Jungle Woman: Jane Porter (Tarzan)

Jungle Woman: Jane Porter (Tarzan)

Name meaning: Hebrew, “God’s grace”

I much prefer the Jane Porter of The Legend of Tarzan TV series than the film version. She is knowledgeable, creative, and mature, as opposed to the clumsy, prissy girl she was when she first arrived in Africa, gussied up and scared of chimps. The TV Jane is streamlined, self-assured, and even a little conceited—she resents it when Bobby Canler mocks her dancing (“Tarzan and the Flying Ace”) and when Terk belittles her ‘unusual’ human behavior and feminine habits. I think her camisole and sarong suit her much better than that frilly yellow ensemble. She bravely stands up to Col. Stockade and Clayton, negotiates with the tribe members, miners, fights Queen La, rebuffs Monsieur Dumont while remaining perfectly polite, and, thanks to Tarzan, knows jungle survival skills, and can climb, swing, and run with the best of them. She claims she is “an accomplished dancer”, is a fair artist and painter, is well-read, can discuss her father’s experiments knowledgeably with him, throws a hell of a picnic (“Anyone who was anyone in English society always looked forward to a Porter picnic”) and flew a plane by following her father’s instruction via radio—with her hands bound. That finishing school she went to must have really been something.

Jane Jargon
Professor Porter: Oh, Janie Jane! What an amazing discovery! A man with no language, no human behavior...
Jane Porter: And no respect for personal boundaries.
Professor Porter: How do you mean?
Jane Porter: [gets extremely close to Professor Porter] He was this close to me, daddy, just staring at me. [Goes back to blackboard and finishes drawing of Tarzan] He was confused at first, as if he had never seen another human before. His eyes were intense...and focused, and...I've never seen eyes like those before.
Professor Porter: Oh. Shall I-ahem-leave you and the blackboard alone for a moment?
Jane Porter: Oh, daddy, stop it.

Jane Porter: Oh, Tarzan, you have no idea what's in store for you. You're going to see the world, and all kinds of people will want to meet you. Leaders, scientists, writers.
Professor Porter: Yes. Darwin, and Kipling. Queen Victoria.
Jane Porter: I haven't met her, but I hear she's awfully nice.

Jane Porter: Daddy, they took my boot!

Tarzan: Tarzan. Tar-zan.
Jane Porter: Tarzan. Oh, I see!
Tarzan: Oh, I see!
Tarzan: [points at himself] Tarzan.
Tarzan: [points at Jane] Oh, I see.
Jane Porter: No, no, no. No.
Jane Porter: [clears throat, points at herself] I'm Jane.
Tarzan: No, no, no. No.
Tarzan: [clears throat, points at himself] I'm Jane.
Jane Porter: No, no.
Jane Porter: [points at herself] Jane.
Jane Porter: [points at Tarzan] Tarzan.
Jane Porter: [points at herself] Jane.
Tarzan: Jane.
Jane Porter: Exactly.

Jane Porter: Oh, look! Bananas!

Jane Porter: [Hanging from a tree] It can't get any worse, can it?
[it starts to rain]
Jane Porter: Obviously, it can.

Jane Porter: [Describing how Tarzan walks] He bent his elbows out, and he walked like this.
Professor Porter: Oh, I see! Just like Aunt Isabel.

Mrs. Incredible: Helen Parr\Elastigirl (The Incredibles)

Mrs. Incredible: Helen Parr\Elastigirl (The Incredibles)

Name meaning: Greek, “Light”

Helen Parr, like her superhero surname, is truly incredible. She can pilot a jet, bend through laser force fields, stretch through evil-villain chambers, fight off armed guards with martial arts, and raise and referee three kids; the quicksilver, boastful Dash, the bubbly baby Jack-Jack (whose own superpowers manifest to terrific effect), and the timid Violet. She is wife to a disgruntled superhero-retiree-cum-insurance salesman, and keeps house—not an easy task when your super-strong husband constantly breaks things, forgetful of his own strength, and her headstrong son literally runs rings into the carpet. In addition to her superpowers, Helen is clever, tough, loyal, and caring. (You don’t undertake continually saving the world if you don’t care about humanity.) She is understanding of her family’s individual frustrations: Bob’s dissatisfaction with his job--a person who loves to help people chafes in a position where compassion is frowned upon--, Dash’s sulking about how he wishes he could unleash his powers and use his extraordinary potential; and Violet’s teenage concerns and self-doubt. Not to mention changing all of Jack-Jack’s diapers. She is not fearless, because you can’t ever be truly fearless when you love someone) but knows that there are more important things than fear. She trusts her children and believes in their gifts, and wants the best for them. She’s not just a superwoman, she’s a super mom.

Helen: Now it's perfectly normal...
Violet: [interrupting] Normal? What do *you* know about normal? What does *anyone* in *this* family know about normal?
Helen: Now wait a minute, young lady...
Violet: We act normal, mom! I want to *be* normal! The only normal one is Jack-Jack, and he's not even toilet trained!
[Jack-Jack bursts out laughing]
Dash: Lucky...
[Violet and Helen look askance at him]
Dash: Uh, I meant about being normal.
Helen: Bob! It's time to engage! Do something! Don't just stand there, I need you to.. intervene!

[Helen is feeding Jack-Jack and making baby noises at him]
Dash: Mom, you're making weird faces again.
Helen: Noo, I'm not...
Bob: [not looking up from the paper] You make weird faces, honey.
Helen: Jack-Jack doesn't have any powers.
Edna: No? Well, he'll look fabulous anyway.

Helen: I think your father is in trouble.
Violet: If you haven't noticed, Mom, we're not doin' so hot either.

Helen: Dash... this is the third time this year you've been sent to the office. We need to find a better outlet. A more... constructive outlet.
Dash: Maybe I could, if you'd let me go out for sports.
Helen: Honey, you know why we can't do that.
Dash: But I promise I'll slow up. I'll only be the best by a tiny bit.
Helen: Dashiell Robert Parr, you are an incredibly competitive boy, and a bit of a show-off. The last thing you need is temptation.
Dash: You always say 'Do your best', but you don't really mean it. Why can't I do the best that I can do?
Helen: Right now, honey, the world just wants us to fit in, and to fit in, we gotta be like everyone else.
Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone's special, Dash.
Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.

Helen: While what? I watch helplessly from the sidelines? I don't think so.

Helen: Hey, c'mon. We're superheroes. What could happen?

Helen: [on getting no response from the island's air tower, Helen reaches for her superhero costume, then pulls back] Easy, Helen, easy, easy girl. You're overreacting, everything's fine, they're just...all getting coffee! At the same time. Yeah.

Elastigirl: Settle down, are you kidding? I'm at the top of my game! I'm right up there with the big dogs! Girls, come on. Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don't think so.

Helen: Dash got sent to the office again.
Bob: [Not paying attention] Good, good.
Helen: No, Bob. That's bad.
Bob: What?
Helen: Dash got sent to the office again.
Bob: What? What for?
Dash: Nothing!
Helen: He put a tack on the teacher's chair. *During* class.
Dash: Nobody saw me. You could barely see it on the tape.
Bob: They caught you on tape and you still got away with it? Whoa! You must have been booking! How fast do you think you were going?
Helen: Bob, we are not encouraging this!

Helen: *What*? You knocked down a building?

Helen: I'm calling to celebrate a momentous occasion. We are now *officially* moved in.
Bob: That's great, honey. And the last three years don't count because...
Helen: Because I finally unpacked the last box. Now it's official! Ha ha ha! Why do we have so much junk?

Dash: You want to go *toward* the people that tried to kill us?
Helen: If it means land, yes.

Helen: Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.

Helen: Remember the bad guys on the shows you used to watch on Saturday mornings? Well, these guys aren't like those guys. They won't exercise restraint because you are children. They *will* kill you if they get the chance. Do *not* give them that chance.

Helen: [sobbing] Now I'm losing him! What'll I do? What'll I do?
Edna: What are you talking about?
Helen: [stops crying] Huh?
Edna: [shouts] You are Elastigirl! My God...[swatting Helen with a newspaper] Pull-yourself-together! "What will you do?" Is this a question? You will show him you remember that he is Mr. Incredible, and you will remind him who *you* are. Well, you know where he is. Go, confront the problem. Fight! Win! [normal voice] And call me when you get back, darling. I enjoy our visits.

Helen: Stop it! We are not gonna die! Now, both of you will *get a grip*! Or so help me, I will *ground* you for a month. Understand?

Elastigirl: Oh, you're referring to *me* now?

Helen: Of course I have a secret identity. Can you see me in this at the, at the supermarket? Come on! Who'd want to go shopping as Elastigirl, know what I mean?

Helen: What on earth do you think the baby will be doing?
Edna: Well, I am sure I don't know, darling. Luck favors the prepared.

Princess of Llyr: Elionwy (The Black Cauldron)

Princess of Llyr: Elionwy (The Black Cauldron)

Name meaning: The name Eilonwy is in fact not a historical Welsh name. Lloyd Alexander invented it himself, based on elements borrowed from actual Welsh names."Eilonwy" is most likely based on period names such as "Eilfyw" (m), "Eiludd" (m), etc. and "Euronwy" (f), "Goronwy" (m), "Llifonwy" (m), "Tegonwy" (m). Alexander may have used these names as his starting-point in inventing "Eilonwy". As the above examples show, the ending "-onwy" appears in both masculine and feminine names, so the name "Eilonwy" could be either masculine or feminine.
Eilonwy, of the Royal House of Llyr, comes from auspicious stock—the men in her family are warriors, the women enchantresses (I am of the blood of Llyr Half-Speech, the Sea King.”) As such, she wears a silver crescent-moon, her family’s crest. She also has a pendant called a bauble, a little gold sphere which can cast light and float. She is dressed peasant-style, with strawberry-blonde hair. She is stubborn, sarcastic, and smart, and reminds me of Hermione Granger. She has a hot temper, and is a fighter. She first meets Taran when she tunnels under his cell by the light of her bauble, moving a stone she knew was loose, having explored the property underground. This scene, I believe, shows the dynamic of their relationship, immediately established.
Eilonwy: I'm Princess Eilonwy. Are you a lord, or a warrior?
Taran: Uh, no. Uh...I-I-I'm an assistant pig keeper.

Taran: What does a girl know about swords, anyway?
Eilonwy: "Girl"? "Girl"? If it wasn't for this *girl*, you would still be in the Horned King's dungeon.

Eilonwy: Aren't you charming?
Gurgi: And pungent, too.

Everybody Wants to Be A Cat: Duchess (The Aristocats)

Everybody Wants to Be A Cat: Duchess (The Aristocats)

Name meaning: English, “Woman of Nobility”

The sleek Parisian Persian is well-named. She is graceful, classy, and truly genteel, treating everyone from the horse Frou-Frou to a recalcitrant, drunken goose with the same respect. One might think it is because she has been so pampered that she is unaware that there are distasteful things in the world, but even when dirty, tired, and down on her luck, Duchess remains adaptable. She graciously accepts the offer of spending the night at O’Malley’s ‘pad’, and where another, snootier cat might have turned up her little pink nose at crumbing stucco and a torn, lumpy mattress, in doing so discovers trash-can buffets, hitchhiking, and jazz. Yet despite being used to bowls of cream and Bizet on the gramophone, she is open-minded and even curious about the jazz band’s romantically bohemian lifestyle. She never fails to show her love, concern, or a brave face she might not feel to her kittens. I am curious as to whether another smooth-talking alley cat might have been in Duchess’ past—after all, of her litter, only Marie resembles her purebred mother, whereas Toulouse is a Calico, and Berlioz and black shorthair. Yet technically Duchess is a single mother, and while love-‘em-and-leave-‘em is the way of the cat, surely in elite Edwardian-era France such behavior would be discussed behind gloved hands in parlors only in whispers. Duchess is charmed by the rakish, good-hearted Thomas O’ Malley, or as I prefer, Abraham DeLacey Gieuseppe Casey J. Thomas O’Malley the alley cat, who, streetwise and independent, falls for the sophisticated Duchess and her opinionated kittens. From Duchess and Mme Bonfamille (“good family”-get it?) the kittens learn impressionist painting and piano concertos, but they admire O’Malley’s exotic the-world-is-my-backyard freewheeling, and in experiencing their adventure, they find that the most rough-and-tumble are the most kind (Scat Cat), the most obedient the most two-faced (Edgar), and how to “think goose”.
Duchess quotes
Duchess: Aristocats do not practice biting and clawing, and things like that. It's just horrible.

Speak, Memory: Dory (Finding Nemo)

Speak, Memory: Dory (Finding Nemo)

Name meaning: Greek, "Gift."

The comically scatterbrained blue Tang Dory is a quirky, friendly soul who is simply looking for a friend who will stick around. She is fun-loving and eager, always glad to lend a fin. She loses her train of thought constantly, and is always moving on to the next experience—mostly because she’s already forgotten what just happened. Due to her forgetfulness, she can never get around to making a point, which gets annoying. Unlike most fish she can read. Marlin finds her constant chatter irritating, but eventually comes to find it endearing—probably because his own constant worrying, though quieter, isn’t all that different. While not implied, Dory most likely makes widower Marlin a great partner and Nemo a terrific stepmom. Her scatterbrained easygoing-ness compliments Marlin’s neurotic anxiety, and since he’s always around to remember and remind her, she can simply play with Nemo, who shares Dory’s childlike curiosity, wonder, and sense of fun.
Dory Quotes
Dory: What is it with men and asking for directions?

Marlin: Dory, listen to me. We're going to play a game.
Dory: A game?
Marlin: Yeah, a game.
Dory: I love games! Pick me!
Marlin: We're gonna race. First one out of the jellyfish wins.
Dory: Out, got it!
Marlin: Rules, rules! You can't touch the tentacles, only the tops...
Dory: Something about tentacles, got it.
Marlin: No, it's not something about them, it's all about them.
Dory: On your mark, get set, go!
Dory: [in her sleep] Hey, careful with that hammer...

School of Fish: You like impressions?
Dory: Mmm-hmm.
School of Fish: Okay, just like in rehearsal, gentlemen.
[School takes form of swordfish]
School of Fish: So, what are we? Take a guess.
Dory: Oh, oh, I've seen one of those.
School of Fish: I'm a fish with a nose like a *sword*.
Dory: Wait, wait, umm...
Marlin: It's a swordfish!
School of Fish: Hey, clown boy! Let the lady guess.
[Takes form of lobster]
School of Fish: Where's the butter?
Dory: Ooh! It's on the tip of my tongue...
Marlin: [Coughing] Lobster!
School of Fish: Saw that.
Marlin: What?
School of Fish: [Takes form of octopus] Lots of legs, swims in the ocean.
Dory: Clam!
School of Fish: Close enough.
[Takes form of pirate ship]
School of Fish: Oh, it's a whale of a tale, I'll tell you, lad...
Dory: Oh, they're good.

Dory: How about we play a game?
Marlin: All right.
Dory: Okay, I'm thinking of something orange, and it's small...
Marlin: It's me.
Dory: Right!
Dory: I'm thinking of something orange and small...
Marlin: Me again.
Dory: All right, Mr. Smartypants...
Dory: .. It's orange and small, and has stripes...
Marlin: Me, and the next one - just a guess - me.
Dory: Okay, that's just scary.

Dory: I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy Come on, little Squishy. Ow. Bad Squishy, bad Squishy.

Marlin: Dory! This is not whale. You're speaking like, upset stomach.
Dory: Maybe I should try humpback.
Marlin: No, don't try humpback.
Dory: Woo! Woo!
Marlin: Okay, now you really do sound sick.
Dory: Maybe louder. Rah! Rah!
Marlin: Don't do that!
Dory: Too much orca. Did it sound a little orca-ish to you?

Dory: No. No, you can't...STOP. Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave...if you leave…I just, I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two... forty-two... I remember it, I do. It's there, I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And-and I look at you, and I...and I'm home. Please... I don't want that to go away. I don't want to forget.

Dory: [dreaming] Uh…the sea monkeys have my money...yes, I'm a natural blue...

Dory: Wow. I wish I could speak whale...

Marlin: Wait a minute! You can read?
Dory: I can read? That's right, I can READ!

Dory: Hi. I'm Dory.
Anchor, Chum, Bruce: Hello, Dory.
Dory: And, uh, well... well, I don't think I've ever eaten a fish.
[the sharks applaud]
Chum: Wow, that's incredible!
Bruce: Good on ya, mate!
Dory: Whew. Glad I got that off my chest.

Dory: DUCK.
Marlin: [looks up] That's not a duck, it's a...PELICAN.

Dory: Okay, he either said, "move to the back of the throat," or he "wants a root beer float".

Dory: [reading a door] Hey, look. "Esc-a-pay". I wonder what that means? That's funny, it's spelled just like the word "escape”.

Dory: [to Bruce] Sorry. Could you come back later? We're trying to escape.

Marlin: I promised I'd never let anything happen to him.
Dory: Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
Marlin: What?
Dory: Well, you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him.

Dory: Yes, trust, it's what friends do.

Dory: I suffer from short-term memory loss. It runs in my family...At least I think it does.

Magic Movie: The Emperor’s New Groove

The Emperor’s New Groove

Chicha, in my opinion, is a frontrunner for Coolest Animated Parent. She is a canny, hardworking, and supremely maternal figure who even while endlessly pregnant, always looks stylish. Her piled curls, headbands, yellow tunics and big earrings are so reminiscent of 1970’s chic that I almost wonder if the animators were influenced by Halston or some other designer, rather than Peruvian weaves and Pre-Columbian jewelry, a la Frida Kahlo.
Chicha always knows what to say, and has a subtle sense of humor, such as her dialogue when she has locked Yzma in the closet. She is a good match for her husband, the docile and seemingly passive Pacha.
Pacha is a water-off-a-duck’s-back type; it takes a lot to rile him. He is good-natured and, like most big guys, unusually gentle. He is mild-mannered but will stand up for what he believes in with rock-hard firmness. He loves his family, and it shows, is affectionate and playful. Somehow Chicha and Pacha manage to take things as the come, with aplomb. You can’t really speak disparagingly of a guy who entreats a spoiled prince not to raze his home and village, is selfishly and off-handedly rebuffed, then not only saves the prince’s life but leads him back to town on a long journey where he is baited, teased about his weight, forced to sleep out in the rain, gets scorpions shaken onto him, is jammed into a crevice, tied to a log and thrown over a waterfall-and takes it all in his stride.
Pacha is a gentle giant with a sweet sense of humor and a genuine concern for mankind: he protests the development of a valley with sublime natural beauty, he helps a man thrown from a window, he even lends Kuzco his homemade sweater. He and Chicha willingly open their home to a guy who has no sense of propriety and shirks responsibility and morality at every turn.
I must mention that John Goodman and David Spade are perfectly suited to their characters, which are basically animated representations of roles they’ve previously played. Like Dan Conner on Roseanne, Pacha is a fiercely loyal, hardworking family man; while Kuzco is a childish, charming ne’er-do-well who foists himself upon, and comes to love, an extended family, like CJ Barnes on 8 Simple Rules.
Goodman seems to be following in the footsteps of Phil Harris, who also voiced big-boned, jovial Disney characters: Little John in Robin Hood, and Thomas O’Malley in The Aristocats. In addition to Pacha, he also portrayed gentle giant Sulley in Monsters, Inc. and fat, friendly Big Daddy Le Bouff in The Princess and the Frog. In fact, O’Malley, like Pacha, leads a lost aquaintance back to their home, and grows close to him in the process.

Captain Amelia (Treasure Planet)

Captain Amelia (Treasure Planet)

Name meaning: German, "Industrious"

Captain Amelia is a fierce feline, who, unlike most cats, has no problems being around water. As the captain of the ship R.L.S. Legacy, she rules the roost (crow’s nest?) with a sharp wit and an iron paw. She is tough, no-nonsense, elegant taskmaster who values cooperation like any military person yet is intelligent enough to see when creativity is an asset, especially in a crisis. She possesses a quick mind and a quicker tongue. Graceful and sardonic, she is slow to trust but once she does, she is utterly loyal. She is fearless, an excellent markswoman, and refuses to leave a task unfinished, even when wounded.
Captain Amelia: Doctor, you have... wonderful eyes.
Doctor Doppler: She's lost her mind!
Captain Amelia: I'm Captain Amelia. Late of a few run-ins with the Procyon Armada, nasty business, but I won't bore you with my scars; You've met my first officer, Mr. Arrow? Sterling, tough, dependable, honest, brave and true.
Mr. Arrow: Please, Captain...
Captain Amelia: Oh, shut up, Arrow. You know I don't mean a word of it.
Captain Amelia: Let me make this as... monosyllabic as possible. I... don't much care for this crew you hired. They' did I describe them, Arrow? I said something rather good this morning before coffee.
Mr. Arrow: 'A ludicrous parcel of driveling galoots,' ma'am.
Captain Amelia: There you go, poetry.
Captain Amelia: Doctor. To muse and blabber about a treasure map in front of this particular crew, demonstrates a level of ineptitude that borders on the imbecilic! And I mean that in a very caring way.
[Doppler shoots through the cable of a large air canister, it crashes down on the walkway below, sending the pirates falling into space]
Captain Amelia: Did you actually aim for that?
Doctor Doppler: You know, actually I *did*?
Captain Amelia: Ah, Doctor Doppler, I presume?
Doctor Doppler: Uh, yes...
Captain Amelia: [Knocking on helmet] Hello! Can you hear me?
Doctor Doppler: Yes I can! Stop that banging!
Captain Amelia: You know, doctor, this works so much better when this...[Turns device in front of spacesuit]... is right side up, and...[Pulls out a power cord and plugs it into the back of the suit…plugged in. Lovely, there you go.
Doctor Doppler: If you don't mind, I can manage my own plugging, thank you!

Blue Fairy (Pinocchio)

Blue Fairy (Pinocchio)

The ethereal, glamorous fairy is a perfect contrast to the sweet, old-fashioned characterizations of 18th-century Italy in Pinocchio. Based on a cautionary-morality tale by Carlo Collodi, the mythical\enchanted creature-turned human plot device is extremely common in fairy tales, as well as animated films, where the source material is often one and the same: The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, even Aladdin’s genie, prove that being a fantastical creature or having magic powers can be a burden. Another common device is that attractive people are usually dim, like Gaston (although he is conniving). In Pinocchio this is proven untrue. The Blue Fairy is striking and smart. She sees through Pinocchio’s fibs and humors Jiminy Cricket. A wise and beautiful person is a rarity in fairy tales. The Blue Fairy is powerful, and she has a sense of whimsy, like when a bird’s nest, complete with flowers and an egg inside, appears on Pinocchio’s extended nose. I love her shimmery blue gown, and while her blonde curls and red-lipped, long-lashed beauty are too pretty, unrealistically so, it suits her, and the film itself. The look is popular in pre-1950’s Disney fare—Sluefoot Sue, some characters in Silly Symphony shorts, Snow White’s face.
Pinocchio: I can move. [Covers his mouth in astonishment] I can talk! [gets up] I can walk! [Stumbles and falls]
The Blue Fairy: Yes, Pinocchio, I've given you life.
Pinocchio: Why?
The Blue Fairy: Because tonight, Geppetto wished for a real boy.
Pinocchio: Am I a real boy?
The Blue Fairy: No, Pinocchio. To make Geppetto's wish come true will be entirely up to you.
Pinocchio: Up to me?
The Blue Fairy: Prove yourself brave, truthful and unselfish, and someday you will be a real boy.
Pinocchio: A real boy!
Jiminy Cricket: That won't be easy.
The Blue Fairy: Now, remember, Pinocchio, be a good boy. And always let your conscience be your guide.

The Blue Fairy: A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face.

The Blue Fairy: Little puppet made of pine, awake. The gift of life is thine.

The Blue Fairy: A boy who won't be good, might just as well be made of wood.

The Blue Fairy: Monsters? Weren't you afraid?

The Blue Fairy: Perhaps you haven't been telling the truth, Pinocchio.

The Blue Fairy: Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy.

The Blue Fairy: I dub you Pinocchio's conscience, lord high keeper of the knowledge of right and wrong, counselor in moments of high temptation, and guide along the straight and narrow path. Arise, Sir Jiminy Cricket.
Jiminy Cricket: [Admiring his new clothes] Well! Ho-ho-ho! My, my! Mmm! Say, that's pretty swell! Gee, thanks. But, uh, don't I get a badge or something?
The Blue Fairy: Well, we'll see.
Jiminy Cricket: You mean maybe I will?
The Blue Fairy: I shouldn't wonder.
Jiminy Cricket: Make it a gold one?
The Blue Fairy: Maybe.

Something There: Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

Something There: Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

Name meaning: French, “Beautiful”

Belle is one of my favorite characters. We are a lot alike. Belle is a smart, strong-willed, imaginative dreamer. She is a romantic who loves fantasy stories and gardening. She is a realistic portrayal, kind yet opinionated, and bulldog-loyal. She believes in her father’s talent and that he will one day be a success. She seems to have inherited his creativity, though not his scatterbrained quality.
Belle is somehow elegant and naturally beautiful at once, a quality which is admired by her neighbors, particularly the self-centered Gaston, Adonis to the village, where beauty counts for more than brains. Belle is unfulfilled there. She is lonely but can’t relate to the small-minded, gossipy townsfolk. While everyone seems to like her, or at least admire her for her looks, her only friend seems to be the proprietor of the tiny town bookshop, an elderly man who shares her enthusiasm for good stories.

When Maurice goes missing, Belle searches for him, and fearlessly offers herself to the Beast to save her father’s life. She nurses him when he is sick, and befriends the enchanted objects of the castle instantly. While literally self-sacrificing, Belle stands her ground when opposed, refusing to dine with the Beast and fighting Gaston to keep the Beast and Maurice safe. She sees through Gaston and is disgusted by his vanity and pigheadedness. She can’t bear the thought of marrying such a ‘boorish, brainless’ man, despite the ideas of the townsfolk, Gaston himself, and even her own father. She considers him “handsome, all right…and rude and conceited.” In other words, being handsome doesn’t excuse you from being a butthead.

Belle longs for a life outside of the pretty, stifling French village, a life of travel and adventure and romance instead of simply raising kids and keeping house. She is a girl ahead of her time, headstrong, unconcerned with people’s perceptions of her, a feminist.

Her clothing and hairstyles are simple yet classy, and her golden-yellow gown is stunning.

Belle bon mots
Gaston: How can you read this? There's no pictures!
Belle: Well, some people use their imagination.

Belle: Dogs?

Belle: It is you!

Belle: Gaston, you are positively primeval.

Belle: Take me instead.

Belle: You have my word.

Belle: If you'd hold still, it wouldn't hurt as much!
Beast: Well if you hadn't have run away, this wouldn't have happened.
Belle: If you hadn't frightened me, I wouldn't have run away!

Belle: [singing] I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand, to have someone understand...I want so much more than they've got planned.

Belle: [singing] Oh, isn't this amazing/ It's my favorite part because, you'll see/ Here's where she meets Prince Charming/ But she won't discover that it's him/ Till chapter three.

Bambi’s mother (Bambi)

Bambi’s mother (Bambi)

While Bambi’s mother is featured for a very short time in the film, I think the nameless doe deserves a spot on the heroines list for her heroic martyrdom, and the fact that despite the actual amount of screen time, Bambi’s mother is one of the most memorable characters. Hey, both Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Judi Dench won Oscars for roles with approximately less than twenty minutes of screen time (The Silence of the Lambs and Shakespeare in Love, respectively.) She may not be as publicized as Mickey Mouse, but arguably no animated scene is as effectively moving as Bambi’s mother being shot: Bambi, leaping through a field to outrun the hunters. The screen is dark for a split second. A single gunshot. The doe falls. Bambi calls pathetically for his mother, like Scarlett O’Hara. Even the most hardened viewer tears up here. While Faline has a bigger role, only Bambi’s mom has a more subconscious effect on us.

Once Upon A Dream: Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)

Once Upon A Dream: Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)

Name meaning: Latin, "Dawn."

The statuesque, golden-haired princess with the violet Liz Taylor eyes is a naïve and charming girl. Unbeknownst to her, she was spirited away to a cottage in a glen and given the identity of Briar Rose, countryside peasant, when Maleficent cursed her in retaliation for being snubbed at her christening. She spends her days picking berries and talking with the woodland creatures who are drawn to her by her singing. Aurora is a daydreamer, sweet and romantic, with a big imagination. She cares deeply for her “aunts” and is a natural beauty. She is a graceful dancer, and eager for excitement, if not exactly adventure. When she meets a mysterious man in the forest, she is drawn to his easy confidence and his own romanticism. Both Aurora and Phillip are romantics who want to meet their soul mate and marry for love, not position. Granted, she doesn’t know she is a princess until midway through the film, but even so, she is not willing to marry someone she isn’t utterly crazy about. Aurora is a victim. Through no fault of her own she is cruelly cursed, not once but twice. The threat of one day pricking her finger on a spinning-wheel spindle hangs over her head since infancy, and is accomplished once she is hypnotized by Maleficent’s eerie green light. Though Aurora seems passive, she works through her obstacles. When she is lonely, she imagines her true love, and he appears. In New Age philosophy, this is known as creative visualization. Her entire life is turned upside down with the revelation that she is royalty, but she deals with it with her customary grace.

Aurora quotes
Princess Aurora: Well, I'm really not supposed to speak to strangers, but we've met before.

Prince Phillip: But don't you remember? We've met before.
Princess Aurora: We...we have?
Prince Phillip: Well, of course. You said so yourself. Once upon a dream.

Princess Aurora: Oh, dear. Why do they still treat me like a child?
Owl: Who?
Princess Aurora: Aunt Flora and Fauna and Merryweather. They never want me to meet anyone.[Giggles] But you know something? I fooled them. I have met someone.
Owl: Who? Who?
Princess Aurora: Oh, a prince.
[Birds chirp]
Princess Aurora: Well, he's tall and handsome, and… and so romantic.
[Birds chirp]
Princess Aurora: Oh, we walk together, and talk together, and just before we say goodbye, he takes me in his arms, and then... I wake up. Yes, it's only in my dreams. But they say if you dream a thing more than once, it's sure to come true, and I've seen him so many times.

Two for Flinching: Audrey Rocio Ramirez (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)

Two for Flinching: Audrey Rocio Ramirez (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)

Name meaning: English, "Noble strength."
The talented teenage mechanic of the Atlantean expedition is a feisty, wisecracking Hispanic girl. With her choppy bob, overalls and work boots, Audrey definitely doesn’t fit the typical image of an eighteen-year-old girl circa 1914. Instead of a corset, she dons a cap and a Henley thermal, and instead of kidskin gloves, she gets her fingers dirty with auto repairs. Audrey is the younger daughter of a garage mechanic, and is something of a prodigy. At only a few months of age she managed to dismantle and repair clocks, leading to a job at the Ford motor plant in her hometown of Detroit, assembling vehicles. At eighteen, she is the youngest worker there. Despite saying she took her father’s place on the crew for the money, Audrey is the first member of the crew to defend Milo from Rourke, forgoing her share of Atlantean treasure to help him. She is tough, hardworking, and clever. As she told Milo, her tomboyish tendencies arose because her father had planned on raising two sons in order to fulfill his dreams of being a professional pugilist, as well as having an heir to run the garage. Audrey became a crackerjack mechanic, while her sister Ana, the boxer, is “24 and 0, with a shot at the title next month.”

Audrey Axioms
Audrey: Two for flinching.
Audrey: 'Bout time someone hit him. I'm just sorry it wasn't me.

Annie Hughes (The Iron Giant)

Annie Hughes (The Iron Giant)

Name meaning: Hebrew, "Favored grace."

Annie Hughes, the harried, caring mother of the gifted Hogarth, is a protective and hardworking woman. Mr. Hughes is long out of the picture, leaving Annie to struggle as a waitress and raise their son. Because of this, she is suspicious of Hogarth’s schemes, which range from adopting a squirrel and tracking patterns of the Cosmonauts. She knows all too well that being talented can be problematic. With her thick red hair and bright green eyes, Annie attracts Dean McCoppin, the hep-cat bohemian artist who sculpts with scrap metal. They first meet when Hogarth hides the Iron Giant in Dean’s junkyard. Annie is classy, warm, and has an ironic sense of humor—the tougher your life is, the more you need to be able to laugh.
Annie Hughes: For some reason the army is parked in our front yard, Mr. Mansley.
Kent Mansley: Please, call me Kent.

Animated Profiles

The following posts are excerpts from my work-in-progress about animated films. Character profiles featuring movie quotes.

In A World of My Own: Alice (Alice in Wonderland)

In A World of My Own: Alice (Alice in Wonderland)

Name meaning: French, "Exalted nature"

Alice is either the most or the second-most popular children’s fantasy story in history (the rank is between Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.)
Alice’s appearance, in my opinion, is too precious. With her spun-gold hair, rosy cheeks and spring-blue eyes, she looks like a painting on a china cup. Her attire of blue pinafore, hair bow and Mary Janes, while period-appropriate for a child, seems impractical for exploring Wonderland.
Featuring Mary Blair illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s impossible-to-forget characters, the film is a crayon-box colored gem of a film. I love the Disney Technicolor films of the 50’s for their artistry.
Alice is an imaginative, stubborn, fearless child. Her personality is sharply caught between the Victorian-era regulations of society and the youngster’s impetuosity.

Alice: Well, after this I should think nothing of falling down stairs.

Alice: If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can't help that. Most everyone's mad here. [laughs maniacally; starts to disappear]You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself.

Alice: It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change.

Alice: Well, when I was lost, I suppose it's good advice to stay where you are until someone finds you. But who'd ever think to look for me here? [sigh] Good advice. If I listened earlier, I wouldn't be here. But that's just the trouble with me. I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it. .

Alice: Curiouser and curiouser.

Alice: But I didn't think...
March Hare: Ah, that's just it. If you don't think, then you shouldn't talk.
Alice: I can't put it any more clearly, sir, because it isn't clear to me.

Alice: In my world, the books would be nothing but pictures.

Alice: When I get home I shall write a book about this place.

Alice: Why, why you're a cat!
Cheshire Cat: A Cheshire Cat.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Magic Movie: Doctor Doolittle

Doctor Doolittle with Sophie the Seal in cognito

Sophie the seal illustrations from the book Doctor Doolittle's Circus (The plot of Dr. Doolittle is an amalgam of episodes from the book series. Circus is the one where the infamous Pushmi-Pullyu--a two-headed dancing llama--is introduced.)

The doctor treating a cow
Fitting the General's horse with glasses for his astigmatism

Checking the horse's eyesight with a special equine-themed alphabet chart
Straightening a mouse's bent tail with a specially designed device

A Dr. Doolittle lunchbox and a Great Pink Sea Snail ring, memorabilia sold when the movie came out

This movie just plain makes me happy.
And I don't mean the remake with Eddie Murphy, which seemed to be an excuse for animals voiced by hip comedians to make childish jokes about body parts and functions. No, I'm talking about the original 1967 musical in all its glory. A non-Disney "children's" movie musical in the same vein as Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Sound of Music. (Editor's note: why do most of the '60's musicals feature British performers--Juie Andrews, David Thomlinson, Angela Lansbury, Rex Harrison--is that a trend or a coincidence?)

I'm not going to write a synopsis-review, because that would mean spoilers for those of you who haven't seen it (go rectify this problem immediately. Netflix!) So I'll just mention some of the memorable details which make it so enjoyable, and my thoughts therein:

I love Dr. Doolittle's comfortable house, where animals have rampant run of the place. Cats lounge on scrolled Greek columns, rodents nest in Oriental vases, in the linen closet, in the cupboards, in the desk drawers. There are not merely cat-flaps and dog-doors but fox-, sheep-, and horse-doors.
(This reminds me of that woman I love whose name I can never remember, much to my consternation, who lives in South America and has a rehabilitation center for injured and abandoned river otters. Her house has a huge blue pool for them to swim in, ramps so that they can climb up onto countertops, and so forth. She is a Dr. Doolittle in her own right, hand-feeding the pups, teaching them their lost instinctive behavior like hunting and gathering food...if any of you know the public television special I'm referring to, please let me know.)
This charmingly slapdash arrangement suits the doctor and his patients just fine, but not his high-strung, neat-freak sister, who keeps house and seems to be rodent-phobic...

The shiny, bubblegum-pink Great Sea Snail--"The only snail in the world with four bedrooms!"--I want to live in his shell, a huge, watertight Nautilus equipped with a winding staircase and circular couches strewn with throw pillows. Apparently the Great Pink Sea Snail is prone to head colds and bears an impressive lineage, being cousin to Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.
I also love "The Flounder", their schooner. Dr. Doolittle has a windowbox garden and a fishtank which can be released to provide the fish with fresh seawater.
I love the whimsicality of this film, the wordplay of the song "A Devoted Vegetarian", and never fail to be moved by "When I Look In Your Eyes". This song reminds me of Paul McCartney whispering to harp seal pups with his wife (Paul, how could you go from Linda to that gold-digger?)

What does Emma Fairfax have to do to get the doctor's attention? He's a misogynist (so it's no surprise that Rex Harrison played Henry Higgins afterwards. In fact, both characters are tactlessly male and optimistic), but really, when a girl adapts to vegetarianism for your sake and bakes you a spinach pie...Frankly I think she'd be better off with Matthew Mugg, who expressed interest in her from the start, seems closer to her age, and is a romantic. He paints carousels, calls cats "darlin'", and is utterly loyal, plus he has a sense of humor. (His nickname for Emma is "Fred".)
Which leaves the good doctor for myself. His methods may be a bit reckless, but he is creative and inventive, he treats kids like Tommy with respect, and any guy who smuggles a depressed seal (sea lion, technically--I think they are generally used in films because they are easier to train. Proof: I have seen upwards of three or four dozen sea lion performances at aquariums in my life, and only once was there a harbor seal in the performance) out of a circus to reunite her with her husband is my kind of guy.
Note: Doctor Doolittle is one of Jane Goodall's favorite books.