Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Hard Taco Guide to Disney Sequels

Dear Friends,

   The Hard Taco song for November is a fanfare entitled, "The March of the Elephant and the Bee."  I actually wrote this song when I was 18, but I waited until now to record it so that its release would coincide with the pre-production of Dumbo II. Just in case Disney's new CEO, Robert Iger, has already run out of ideas for songs, I'm offering this one FREE OF CHARGE. 

   In order to get into the mind of a Disney sequel-writer, I hunkered down this week and watched all 25 of the sequels to Disney's "animated masterpieces" in chronological order. If you're not a big DTV (Direct to Video) fan, you may have missed some of these, so I took notes for you...

The Rescuers Down Under (1990) - Bernard and Miss Bianca arrive too late to pull the stingray out of Steve Irwin's chest cavity. 
Return of Jafar (1994) - Jafar is best remembered as one of the many characters not voiced by Robin Williams in the original Aladdin movie. In "Return of Jafar," he is one of the ALL characters not voiced by Williams. Presumably, this is how the movie got its title. ("Robin Williams isn't returning? Crap! Well, who is?) 

Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996) - Aladdin makes a wish with crackers in his mouth, and spends the rest of the movie having to fly around on a magic armpit. 

Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (1997) - After an ill-advised wager at the dog track, Christopher Robin sheepishly returns to the newly-appointed "15 Acre Wood." 

Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World (1998) - Pocahontas joins an expedition to explore the Western United States. Most of the animators realized that head writer Allen Estrin was confusing Pocahontas with Sacagawea.  Unfortunately, as Japanese-speaking indentured slave children, there was little they could do about it.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) - The continued adventures of Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, Nala, Kiara, Rafiki, Nuka, Nili, Zira, Kovu, Zazu, Umbo, Bilo, Obob, Nubob, Umbob, Jambi, Ibo-Wibo, Pupi, and Uuuu. 

Toy Story 2 (1999) - This was the first Disney sequel to use an actual "2", and the result was box office gold. Pocahontas II and The Lion King II, on the other hand, were complete flops, largely because most viewers mistakenly assumed that were entirely in Latin. 

Fantasia 2000 (2000) - This was actually a piece of futuristic exercise equipment that was designed to fit into a VHS case. Consumers were alarmed to discover that they had not purchased a movie, and even more alarmed to learn how easy it was to tone their abs, hips, and buns in under 15 minutes a day. 

An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000) - After the modest success of "A Goofy Movie," Disney masterfully modified their winning equation of Article-Adjective-Noun to Article-Adverb-Adjective-Noun. Unfortunately, prepositions, gerunds, direct objects, and interjections were not part of the magic recipe, and "An Extremely Goofy Movie Running Over Three Hours. Damn!" did not even make it to video. 

The Tigger Movie (2000) - In which Tigger "bounces" Kanga, and learns a valuable lesson about how emotionally needy single moms can be. 

The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea (2000) - Ariel's daughter goes swimming off the side of the royal yacht, and a reef shark bites off her whaddya' call 'em? Oh, feet.   

Lady & The Tramp II: Scamps Adventure (2001) - Those politically incorrect identical cats are back, and this time they're even more disturbing with their song, "We have Lyme Disease, if you please." 

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame II (2002) - This is the unlikely tale of a beautiful woman falling in love with a mentally unstable disfigured recluse. This is also the theme of every Woody Allen movie, but it's more believable when it happens to Quasimodo. 

Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002) - This is mostly exposition for the next sequel, "Sin-derella X - The Glass Stripper" 

Return To Never Land (2002) - Peter Pan reveals that the secret to "never growing up" is a simple surgery followed by regular supplements of estrogen and spironolactone. 

Tarzan and Jane (2002) - You can still buy the "Tarzan and Jane Platinum Edition" for a few more weeks, but the "Tarzan and Jane Restored Masterpiece Edition," the "Tarzan and Jane Two Disc Special Limited Issue Extended Collector's Edition" and the "Tarzan and Jane 3rd Anniversary Widescreen Gold Classic Collection" have all been put back into the vault. 

Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003) - Please identify the person, committee, or computer program responsible for deciding to make a follow-up to "Atlantis." Please fire, disband, or uninstall, respectively. Please do this now before we end up with sequels to "Oliver and Company" or "Treasure Planet." 

The Jungle Book 2 (2003) - This movie has only male characters in it, and the most any of them is wearing is a loincloth. How does that make you feel? 

101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (2003) - In my opinion, this movie is really a rip off of its live-action counterpart, "102 Dalmatians I: One 100 Dalmatians, Too" 

Piglet's Big Movie (2003) - For years, I've been pointing out that If you took off Piglet's arms, legs, and head, he looks just like a funny little red larva. Of course, until I saw this movie, that was only a theory. 

The Lion King 1.5 (2004) - A scathing look at the ethical compromises and improprieties made by the producers of the first Lion King movie while filming on location, including Elton John's involvement with the bloody military insurrections that led to the globalization of the West African slave trade. Featuring new songs by Elton John. 

Mulan II (2004) - A stylish musical set in Paris at the turn of the 20th century about a poet (Ewan McGregor) who falls for a beautiful courtesan (Nicole Kidman) whom a jealous duke covets.

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005) - Disney has always preyed on the insecurities of young women by designing heroines who have bigger eyes than waists. Now, they're telling our children to get breast implants? I am referring, of course, to the hidden message in the title... "Stitch Has a Glitch" unscrambles to "Chic Gals Hath Tits." 

Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005) - After nearly 100 years of wearing that short red T-shirt, Pooh finally realizes that bare midriffs are OUT. Instead, he sports a stunning violet chiffon and lace crew-necked jacquard coat with marabou Coulisse bag by Alessandro Dell'Acqua. $599. 

Bambi II (2006) - In an unfortunate attempt to reintroduce this classic to younger audiences, Disney hired dirty south rapper Lil Wayne to provide the voice for Bambi's rabbit friend, Thumper. Wayne insisted that the character be renamed "T-Hump" and rewrote all of his lines.  Here is an excerpt: 

Shake that cottontail, honeys / Let's do it like what? Like bunnies / The T-Hump wanna hop 'n jump you / bump you where the money is / Let me start tappin' that / Slappin' that / When the foot starts flappin', gonna pop you like bubble wrappin' / Watch it happen / I'll serve you up underhand / Understand? / I'm the white rabbit, follow me to Wonderland / Got your juices flowin' / No slowin', naw / The Hump ain't done / I keep goin' and goin' / Like the Energizer Bun.