2013, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee -- download
In the past, Marmy and I would have been into seeing this movie on its first week, in the cinema. We were part of the resurrection of the Disney animation moment. We saw them all, bought them all and she (with me joining occasionally) re-watching them all on a regular, constant basis. That was the VHS days when Disney had its very smart, back-into-the-vault, lucrative business model of selling and re-releasing the expensive tapes. I was even briefly part of the after-market of finding and reselling these movies, often for vast markup. Mulan was the last one we made a concerted effort to see cinema-wize, we did see Rapunzel and rather enjoyed it actually, and we were rather disappointed with Brave. I guess we shall have to see what comes next to determine if we have ended our run of princess cinema viewing.
So, don't like musicals, tired of princesses and already annoyed by the song. So, what did I watch this movie for? World Building!! You have a northern kingdom, obviously wealthy, with a great port but imposing, towering mountains behind it. Part of the plot is someone trying to establish trade relations with the kingdom, so they must have something worth selling. Wood? Fish? Mining? And like all faery tale kingdoms, it seems focused on a single village surrounding a castle. Where is the rest of the kingdom? What is out there? Is this one island in a chain of islands that feed the wealth of its hereditary rulers? And what about the magic? Obviously the fae folk have a place in this world, so is she also of fae blood? Perhaps this kingdom is a last vestige of elfen magic in an increasingly mundane world? Perhaps that was the wealth their southern neighbours were hoping to buy into? Alas, I am always left to my own devices when pondering these dilemmas. Maybe, someday, someone will release a coffee table book about a faery tale movie that answers all these nagging questions.
P.S. Kent's view was less chilly than mine, pun intended.