I have a request of you, Disney: can you please, for the love of all that is decent and holy, stop making midquels? Here’s my one negative article of the month: how much I despise every midquel I’ve ever seen, particularly when you take movies from Disney’s golden age and try to rewrite them. Now, for anyone that isn’t aware, a midquel is a sequel that takes place during events shown off-screen of the original. Confusing? Here’s an example: Bambi. In the original Bambi, after his mother’s death, the scene cuts to spring and shows him fully grown. Bambi II shows us what happened in the winter after Bambi’s mother’s death, while being raised by his father and growing into a buck. There are very few redeeming factors in a midquel, and i’m going to explain why I hate them so much.
So, as far as midquels go, there are three big offenders the come to mind: Bambi II, The Fox and the Hound II, and The Lion King 1 1/2. Note: I am aware that Tarzan II is also a midquel, but it’s been years since I’ve seen it, and I don’t really remember it, so I won’t mention it in here. To nip this issue in the butt, so to speak, I’ll rip apart these god-awful abominations one at a time. First of all, the best of them by far, and maybe a point of controversy to be belittling in the first place The Lion King 1 1/2. Yeah, yeah, I know there’s some unspoken law that The Lion King series can never, ever, ever be criticized, ever. Oh well, here goes: I hate this movie. To be honest, I’m surprised about the amount of people that aren’t even aware it exists and, trust me, there’s a good reason for that. Even more surprising is the amount of people that defend it, and regard it as one of the best Disney squeals of them all. No. Just, no. Now, that being said, this is by far the best midquel of them all – and, trust me, that’s not saying much. Saying that there is a best midquel is like giving someone the choice of jumping wounded into a pool of hungry piranhas, or walking up to a mother polar bear and kicking its cub. Either way, you’re in for a horrible, painful and traumatic experience.
Anyway, onto the movie. The Lion King 1 1/2 re-tells the events of the first movie from the point of view of Timon and Pumba. It tells us how Timon was ousted from his meerkat colony for being completely incompetent in every way, how Pumba was hated by pretty much every other sentient being on the planet, how they met, how they ended up at the oasis where they raise Simba, and, of course, their life as parents. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. I mean, it’s obvious that this movie is a weak attempt at milking one of Disney’s defining series for more than what it’s worth, but it had some potential. It is very unfortunate, however, that it’s presentation was horrific. The big problem was that half the movie is literally spent trying to convince us that Timon and Pumba played a bigger part in the original besides being Simba’s adoptive parents.
For example, at Simba’s presentation to the kingdom, Pumba rips some major ass that causes half of the animal crowd to faint, leading the others to think that they’re bowing. In another instance, Timon causes the animal tower Simba and Nala are on in “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” to fall, and they are apparently present during the stampede that kills Mufasa. If this movie had focused on Simba’s childhood with Timon and Pumba, this movie would have been substantially better. Also, and probably for comic relief reasons only, the movie is viewed through a theater, with Timon and Pumba constantly appearing as silhouettes and interrupting it. It’s annoying, and not entertaining in the least. Also, one major plot hole that never fails to piss me off: in the beginning, it was the baboon Rafiki that sends Timon on his quest. However, in the original, if you remember, when Rafiki appears after Simba left, Timon has no idea who he is.
Finally, the music is horrible for a part of The Lion King series. “Digga Tunnah” and “That’s All I Need” are two new music numbers. Here they are.
Compare these to the soundtracks from the other two, and they’re extremely disappointing.
I’m not a fan of Bambi. To be honest, I just find it extremely boring, slow-paced, and severely lacking in catchy musical numbers. Literally, there are five major events in this movie: a fawn prince named Bambi is born, he makes friends, his mom dies (and I don’t find that scene the slightest bit sad), he falls in love, he saves the forest from hunters. So, you can imagine how I feel about a sequel that is even slower and more boring than the original. The movies starts after Bambi’s mother’s death, and, literally nothing substantial happens in the entire movie. Even the ending isn’t really a resolution. It is an entire film trying to convey that fact that the Great Prince of the Forest is a deadbeat father, with a stick up his ass as long and as wide as Russia.
We got the point about after ten minutes. The movie tries to make it tie into the first by introducing Ronno, another male fawn that acts as a bully and Bambi’s rival (he’s also the deer Bambi fought in the first over Feline). It fails. Badly. There is literally nothing about Ronno that connects us to the fact that he’s the deer Bambi had to fight, except the fact that he’s a male deer.
I’m just not a fan of either Bambi movies. They’re both boring, in my opinion, but the second is the worst by far.
Ok, Disney, you won. I took this movie as a personal insult, and an obvious attempt to take all my memories from my childhood, and feed them to a starving, ten-foot-long tapeworm. There is, hands-down, no midquel (or sequel, for that matter) in all of Disney’s history as horrible, rage-inducing, and just plain awful in every way as The Fox and the Hound II. From the plot, to the horribly inaccurate characterization, to the absolutely abysmal music, there is literally nothing -NOTHING- redeeming about this movie. I would rather drown myself in a septic tank of elephant feces than sit through The Fox and the Hound II again.
Come now, Ashley, surely it can’t be that bad?
It is. It really fucking is.
Here’s the basic plot of this abomination: before Copper leaves on the hunting trip that turns him into a killer, Todd tries to help him through in emotional struggle, in which he isn’t tracking right and is losing confidence in himself as a hunting hound. Their antics lead them to the fair, where Copper gets a bit big-headed at a new talent he finds, and their friendship is strained. Well, that’s not so bad so far, right? I mean, sure, that idea has been done before, but this is a fine way to deepen their bond right? Yep. Until the Gods of “LOL-NO-FUCK-YOU-UP-THE-ASS-IN-YOUR-CHILDHOOD-WITH-A-RUSTY-MACHETE” rose from the fiery depths of hell and said “You know what? Screw it. Let’s add singing dogs.”
Yeah. Copper’s talent, my friends, is that he can sing.
My reaction the first time watching this movie:
Seriously though. What the actual fuck were they thinking? Let’s take one of the darkest and most powerful Disney movies of all time, and let’s write a sequel with a group of singing hounds, that has almost no relation to the power of friendship. And to be honest, the music is god-awful.
Even the characters are way off. Through the whole thing, Todd is a jealous ass, and Copper is a big-headed diva. If there was ever a reason for Disney to stop making midquels, The Fox and the Hound II is it.