Monday, 8 April 2019

Musical Monday #201

Today's number comes from the 1994 movie Thumbelina, which I recently watched as part of #Cramuary having seen it advertised a lot as a child.  It is, in case you were wondering, complete garbage.

I think its main problem is that the writers didn't do much work to rewrite the rambling fairy tale, and pretty much the plot of Hans Christian Andersen's original tale made it to the screen.  A rambling little adventure works fine in a fairy story - they are supposed to be a journey where the hero overcomes different obstacles - but it doesn't work in a movie.  Films need a proper structure, recurring characters and some kind of overarching moral so that it builds to something interesting.  Instead what we get is Thumbelina, a completely fickle nitwit, being handed about between different monstrous creatures because they all think she's hot, while she does nothing to save herself, or even really to complain about the situation.  The fairy prince is introduced at the start rather than the end, but since Thumbelina pretty much instantly assumes she has to live a life without him when she is kidnapped, it doesn't really make much difference to the story, other than make her come across as not very likeable.  He meanwhile spends the film very ineptly looking for her, while her friend the swallow just as uselessly looks for him in return.  Winter comes along and kills the prince, although he does get better later, and Thumbelina spends the last third of the movie chronically depressed because the only person she loves is dead.  Great movie guys.

So this is the only okay song in the movie (and visually at least is clearly ripping off 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin).  See that bit at the end where she blows a kiss to that creepy toad?  If she hadn't done that, none of the awful things that follow would happen.

Let Me Be Your Wings from Thumbelina 
Performed by Gary Imhoff and Jodi Benson
Written by Bruce Sussman, Jack Feldman and Barry Manilow

Actually there's a perfect example of what a passive idiot Thumbelina is in that song.  See the bit where Cornelius accidentally drops her and she DOESN'T EVEN NOTICE, or if she does, doesn't mind in the slightest?  That is what she is like for the entire movie.  UGH.

And here's a lovely reprise in which Thumbelina sings about how winter killed her boyfriend.  Yay.

Let Me Be Your Wings (Sun Reprise) from Thumbelina 
Performed by Jodi Benson
Written by Bruce Sussman, Jack Feldman and Barry Manilow

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