ThumbelinaThumbelina is one of those fairy tales that Disney didn’t make a movie for and yet oftentimes gets credit for. Maybe it’s because their Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson, voiced the titular character.

Thumbelina 1

Thumbelina is a cute movie about a young girl who is the size of a thumb gifted to an old woman who wants nothing more than to have a child of her own. Born of a flower, Thumbelina is small, curious, and beautiful and loves nothing more than learning of the great big world out there around her. She is also an adept singer, and it is this voice which attracts the attention of several figures, most importantly Cornelius, a young fairy the same size as her. Thumbelina 2Unfortunately, another figure has heard her melodic voice, Mrs. Toad the vivacious toad who owns a river boat troupe and wants Thumbelina to perform for her and marry her son, Grundel.

Just as unfortunately for them, Cornelius has already promised to return for Thumbelina, having declared his unyielding love for her and he refuses to give up on this love for a young lady he literally met yesterday. No wonder people think it’s a Disney movie, that right there is like… a trope of theirs.

Thumbelina 5Having taken cues from her last animated adventure (the voice actress of course) Thumbelina steadfastly believes her fairy boyfriend will come and save her at some point but she takes the initiative and escapes captivity first. Along the way she meets the swallow, Jacquimo, who actually is the one to inspire her to escape by releasing her and sending her on her way. So while she had a man’s help to cross the raging river about her, she did go off on a long journey almost entirely on her own, which is more than most animated characters can say.

THUMBELINA, from left, Thumbelina, voiced by Jodi Benson, Berkeley Beetle, voiced by Gilbert Gottfried, 1994, ©Warner Bros.

Thumbelina goes through many trials and tribulations, from the Berkeley Beetles who want her to perform at their Beetle Ball to the Mr. Mole, the blind rich mole who wants to marry her and solve all of her woes. Of course, he has the aid of his kindly housemaid, Miss Fieldmouse, but that’s beside the point.

All this time, of course, Cornelius is a gallant hero who will apparently stop at nothing to save a girl, as already established, he only met yesterday. But this is alright, because she returns his feelings.

Thumbelina 3Thumbelina is a cute, adorable movie and, in my opinion, is one of Don Bluth’s best pieces (A Troll in Central Park, of course, being one of my all-time favorites after this). One of these days I’ll have to introduce you to this other animated feature favorite of mine, The Princess and the Goblin.


Fired Up!

When thinking of cheerleading movies, Bring It On is always on that list. However, one movie that’s always on my list is Fired Up! which always plays up the FU of its title.

Fired UpStarring Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen as Shawn Colfax and Nick Brady, two football players who apparently are able to sleep with every woman in their school, have decided that they are tired of the women at their school. So they join the cheerleading squad just before their huge competition for the sole purpose of sleeping with every chick on the premises. Yes, straight men actually took advantage of the concept of joining a team almost entirely made up of women to hang out with women and sleep with them. Thankfully the ladies know their reputation and are wary, but desperate, because they want to win this competition for the first time and know that they need male cheerleaders for some of the more difficult stunts.

Fired Up 3So yes, “Fired Up!” is a movie about two guys wanting to sleep with a lot of women, but are then used by those same women to get their own goals met. Yes, people, we finally have a movie where men and women are mutually using one another for their particular skills with little or no hesitation on either gender’s part.

Fired Up 2This is a hilarious comedy with a moral, as one would hope it would have of course. The cast includes Sarah Roemer as Carly Davidson the captain of the cheeleading team being infiltrated, AnnaLyne McCord as Gwyneth their opponents head cheerleader, Daneel Harris (now the wife of Jensen Ackles of Supernatural fame!) as Bianca, fellow cheerleader to Carly Fired Up 5and best friend, Margo Hershman as Sylvia, another fellow cheerleader of Carly’s and other best friend, and Molly Sims as Diora, the coach’s wife and the woman of Shawn’s dreams.

This film relishes in its humor and doesn’t let its plot be derailed by such silly things as character development at the end of its movie (it actually has the guys slowly changing throughout the whole movie and they don’t realize it until the end). Fired Up is a good movie for a fun time, filled with people you may or may not know but who are nevertheless entertaining in their own right.

Fired Up 4Much like Bring It On, a healthy amount of the runtime is devoted to the actual cheerleading portion of the premise, and the elaborate stunts are treated realistically in the same vein. So, take bowl of popcorn, throw in your DVD or Bluray and sit back and enjoy this movie while you can still handle laughing!