Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lyrics Meme answers

1. That's Not Everything - VeggieTales
2. Sister Act- Sister Act
3. Ah, Men - Alix Korey
4. Me and My Town - Anyone Can Whistle
5. How Lucky You Are - Seussical
6. Ready to Take a Chance Again - Barry Manilow
7. I Know Your Heart - High Spirits
8. Heroes - Wonderland
9. Amazing Gertrude - Seussical
10. Together - Wonderland
11. Where is the Man I Married? - High Spirits
12. Merry Berry Fairy - Strawberry Shortcake (2003)
13. Magical DoReMi theme
14. More Than I Am - Little Women
15. Take a Chance on Me - Little Women
16. First Day of Your Life - The First Class
17. The Cookie Chase - Anyone Can Whistle
18. Next Time You Fall in Love - Starlight Express
19. Pumping Iron - Starlight Express
20. Right Where I Belong - VeggieTales

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lite Sprites again

Dork that I am, I can't help feeling a little excited knowing that there are going to be more Lite Sprites toys, and possibly new characters.  I bought the friggin' Prisma set, Wowwee, now greenlight more episodes of the cartoon!

A Cool Article You Should Read

I found this blog post comparing The Lorax movie with the classic silent film Metropolis, and I thought it was pretty good.  Definitely check it out.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Is The Place fanvid

Someone actually made this.  And it is awesome:

Friday, March 23, 2012

I do this more often than I admit

I was relistening to the OCR of The Secret Garden, which is one of my favorite musicals, despite only ever having listened to it, and it should come as no surprise by now that some of the songs made me think of The Lorax movie.  What did surprise me was the sheer number.  Seriously, I did not think I was going to get so much out of it.  And true, very few whole songs worked, but here's what struck me the most, with the occasional tweaks to make it fit better.

High on a hill sits a big old house lerkim
With something wrong inside it
Someone died was lifted and someone's left
Alone and can't abide it
There in the house lerkim is a lonely man
Still haunted by her it's beauty (the land, that is)
Asking what a life can be
Where naught remains but duty
Ted: Is it always so ugly here?
Grammy Norma: It's the moor.  Miles and miles of wild land where nothing grows on but heather and gorse and broom grickle grass.

A bit of earth
She wants a little bit of earth
She'll plant some seeds
The seeds will grow
The flowers bloom
But is their bounty
What she needs?
How can she chance
To love a little bit of earth
Does she not know
The earth is old
And doesn't care if
One small girl wants things to grow

There's a Man - Transition
There's a man whom no one sees
There's a man who lives alone
There's a heart that beats in silence for
The life he's never known.

The whole friggin' thing!  But here's a few lyrics to give you an idea:
When a thing is wick
And someone cares about it
And comes to work each day
Like you and me
Will it grow?
It will
Then have no doubt about it
We'll have the grandest garden truffula tree ever seen.

A Bit of Earth - Reprise
A bit of earth
A drop of dew, a single stem
Begins to rise
That bit of earth
Is pushed away, the flowers bloom
Before our eyes

When you see a man who's ragin'
And he's jealous and he fears
That you've walked through walls
He's hid behind for years

As a side note, while this doesn't really work with the movie as is, but I envision Quartet being played out with Old!Once-ler as Archibald and Green-Suit!Once-ler, representing his greed, as his brother.  Not sure who the ladies would be, though. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lyrics Meme

Just felt like doing this one.  First lines of the first twenty songs that came up on shuffle (excluding songs whose title was in the first line). Who can guess the most?

1. My dinner's one huge chocolate bar/Diamonds and jet planes, I'm a star!
2. I don't need a spotlight, I don't need a crowd
3. He said, "You've got to be what you want if you want to be with me."
4. Everyone hates me, yes yes, being the mayoress, yes.
5. When the news is all bad/When you're sour and blue/When you start to get mad/You should do what I do
6. You remind me I live in a shell/Safe from the past and doing okay, but not very well
7. I know your eyes by heart/That look of half-surprise/So innocent, so wise
8. Chances, they come and go/But you're afraid and so you run away
9. So she flew to the doctor, the doctor named Dake/Whose office was high in a tree by the lake
10. Every knight who is yearning for a cause that seems lost/Knows a bridge that is burning still can be crossed
11. Who's this wench in my hair?/Who's this lass with the deadly air?
12. Berries take a special kind of caring/Berries need meticulous preparing
13. I got a secret I can't tell/Guess I better cast my spell
14. If you could find it in your heart/If you could love me as I love you
15. I know I have no right, but sometimes late at night/I watch you in the attic
16. You're no one's friend/The world could suddenly end/And you've been spending your time picking daisies and throwing them down
17. Lock 'em up, put 'em away in the jar/Time to start getting the nets out
18. I guess I'm not too good at keeping love alive for long
19. Here comes the diesel train with its steel refrain/Hear me knocking
20. What can I do to get away from my annoying brother?/My own space where I'm not always feeling smushed and smothered?

Some of these are pretty obscure, others you might get if you've been paying attention.  And none from The Lorax!  I almost got one in, but it had the title in the first line, so it was disqualified.  Guess which one that was, if you want.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 44

It's time for another All Pinkie Pie, All The Time episode, where she faces her greatest challenge yet: someone who won't be her friend, and actually lets her know it.
A Friend in Deed
Pinkie Pie starts her day off with some warm-up exercises, but being Pinkie, these are no mere aerobics, but the basics of being her, with the added bonus of making babies smile.  The Cake twins, however, are not impressed, but as always, a blow to the head brings a smile to their faces.  With that taken care of, Pinkie Pie sets off into town, taking the time to greet everyone, from Daisy Jo the cow to the elderly Mr. Waddles.  She wishes Cheerilee a happy birthday, Zecora a happy day-after-birthday, and an advance happy birthday to Miss Matilda the donkey.  Miss Matilda wonders how Pinkie Pie can remember all that, and Pinkie Pie chalks it up to caring for all her friends.  Which sounds like a song cue to me!
In song, Pinkie explains her philosophy of life: make as many ponies smile as possible, and to demonstrate, she goes about town, cheering up blue ponies everywhere (including herself).

As the song ends, Pinkie Pie finds herself face to face with a dour donkey pulling a cart into town.  Realizing that this is someone she doesn't know, she quickly introduces herself, but when the donkey doesn't reciprocate, she searches his cart for clues.  Finding the initials C.D.D., she surmises his last name is Donkey, and proceeds to try every C name she can think of until she guesses his first name, much to the donkey's annoyance.  Eventually he tells her his name is Cranky, just to shut her up, and even admits his middle name is Doodle.  This, of course, sends Pinkie into a song, set to the tune of Yankee Doodle, about how they're now bestest friends.  She attempts to get him smiling by nicknaming him Doodle, but this has the opposite affect, as he tells her "Nopony calls me Doodle!" and then continues on his way.
Pinkie struggles to comprehend what just went down, and illustrates her thoughts with felt.  Realizing the only way to win Cranky over is to keep trying, Pinkie Pie approaches the donkey again.  The very sound of her voice makes him speed up, but Pinkie is undeterred.  She offers to show him around Ponyville, as a gesture of friendship, but Cranky rebuffs her, telling her that he's made plenty of friends in his travels around Equestria, and he doesn't need any more.  He's come to Ponyville for peace and quiet, which is pretty much the opposite of Pinkie Pie.  Hearing that he just wants to be alone with his memories, Pinkie Pie searches through the things in his cart, much to Cranky's horror.  After she plays with one thing too many, Cranky sends her away, and Pinkie actually goes.
But being Pinkie, she doesn't stay gone for long, appearing with a wagon of her own: a Welcome Wagon, naturally.  She proposes they be Wagon Buddies, which Cranky doesn't even dignify with a response.  She does, however, get him to stop and receive the wagon's welcome with some puppy-dog eyes.
Cranky: Let's get this over with
Pinkie: That's the spirit!
With the touch of a button, the wagon springs to life with music and flags, and Pinkie sings a special Welcome song, which ends with a blast of confetti that knocks off Cranky's toupee.  The wagon then douses them with cake batter, which Pinkie attributes to putting the cake batter in the confetti cannon and the confetti in the oven.  Again.  She takes it in stride, but Cranky just wants to find his toupee.  Which Pinkie mistakes for a hairy spider and pummels.
Trying to quench Cranky's rage, Pinkie Pie calls upon the help of everypony in the square to get Cranky a new toupee, unintentionally calling unwanted attention to his baldness.  In frustration, Cranky just plops a hunk of grassy dirt on his head and takes his leave.  Pinkie begs Cranky to give her one more chance, and drags him to the spa.  While the spa ponies give him the full treatment, Pinkie goes out and gets Cranky a gift, which he is loathe to take, telling her the spa trip was enough.  But take it he does, and it turns out to be a new toupee, hoof-picked by Rarity.  Cranky is pleased, but he still isn't smiling.
Any good will Pinkie may have garnered is put into a precarious position when she shows up at Cranky's new home to help him unpack.  She peppers him with questions about his things, and is intrigued when she hears he lived in Manehatten while trying to find a special friend.  She spots a scrapbook and takes a peek inside, but when she turns to ask Cranky about what she saw, she accidentally causes a lantern to fall, setting the book on fire!  She douses the fire, but the damage is done.  Cranky flips out on her, telling her that he will never ever ever ever ever be her friend.  Which equals forever, for those of you keeping score at home.
At the library, Pinkie Pie laments her inability to make Cranky her friend, and Twilight, though sympathetic, tries to help her understand that Cranky just wants to be left alone, with Rainbow Dash (hanging out reading more Daring Do books) adding that Pinkie's crazy antics probably sealed the deal on his non-friendship.  And Pinkie does understand, but she just can't let Cranky alone without properly apologizing for the scrapbook incident.  Twilight head-desks.
And so the next day Pinkie Pie sets off for Cranky's cottage, where the donkey is still crestfallen over his ruined scrapbook.  The very sight of Pinkie sends Cranky heading for the hills at a breakneck speed, but Pinkie manages to keep up with him, apologizing as they run.  Cranky, however, refuses to accept her apology, no matter how many "reallys" she places in front of it.  But there's no escaping Pinkie Pie, especially when she needs an answer from you, and she manages to pop up wherever he goes.  Finally, he makes it back home and barricades the door.  Pinkie knocks, but then all goes silent.  Cranky dares to think he might be safe, until Pinkie comes down the chimney.  Which has a grate, thankfully, so it's back to the door for her.  The pink pony pleads for Cranky to forgive her, saying she'll do anything to make it up to him.  But with the scrapbook ruined, there's nothing to be done, Cranky tells her, as that was all he had to remember "her" by.  Having said too much, Cranky tells Pinkie to leave, and she turns to go.  But then all the pieces fall together, and she rushes off.
Cranky removes his toupee, ready to wallow in his memories, when there's a knock at the door.  It's Pinkie yet again, ready to leave Cranky be forever if he'll just accept the one thing that might just make up for ruining his scrapbook.  He refuses, until he hears another voice from the other side of the door.  He unbars the door and pushes Pinkie aside to see who else is with her.  It's Miss Matilda from earlier in the episode, and seeing her, he quickly redons his toupee and asks if it's really her.  Matilda replies that, yes, it is, and they have Pinkie Pie to thank for this reunion.  And so Pinkie reveals how she used Cranky's mention of a "special friend" and the things she saw in his scrapbook to realize he was talking about Matilda.  And all because Matilda had a matching scrapbook with the exact same things in it, which she'd shared with Pinkie Pie.
Seeing that scrapbook, Cranky begins to reminisce about the night they met, all those years ago at the Grand Galloping Gala.  He remembers going to her room the next day, only to find her already gone.  Matilda tells him she left a note, but he never saw it.  And he tells her how he spent the rest of his life going from town to town trying to track her down.  He had, in fact, come to Ponyville to give up the search, and it turns out that's where she was all those years.  Matilda then calls him Doodle, which Pinkie tries to warn her about.  But Cranky just says that Matilda is the one exception.  They share a donkey embrace, and Matilda kisses Cranky on the snout.  This, at last, gets Cranky to smile.
With the two donkeys so happy, Pinkie feels the time is right to ask if her apology is accepted.  And Cranky informs her that not only is it accepted, she's earned the right to be his friend.  Which makes Pinkie so happy that she takes to the sky and ignites with fireworks.  She immediately starts planning all the fun activities they can do together, but realizes that she should maybe dial it down a little.  Cranky sends her off gently, so that he and his newly-found lady love can have a little quality time, while affirming that they're still friends.  And so Pinkie Pie writes her letter to the princess, about how she's learned that there are different ways to be a friend.  But she can't resist finishing off the episode with one last song, this time set to Yankee Doodle Boy.  Neither Cranky nor Matilda appreciate this.
So yeah.  If you're not a big fan of Pinkie Pie, you're not really going to like this one, and watching her just trample all over Cranky's personal space and things was a little rough the first time through.  Watching it again, it didn't seem so bad, but maybe that came from knowing it would all work out right in the end.

Misc. Screenshots:
Government ponies
What just happened?
Miss Pie, are you trying to seduce me?
Pinkie as beaver

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Late Night Video - Portuguese Making of The Lorax

Another thing I totally love: foreign versions of songs from animated musicals.  Even if I can't understand them.  Which explains why I'm posting this next video, despite it being in Portuguese.
Granted, only parts of it involve the music, but it was enough to make me happy.  Especially hearing part of "How Bad Can I Be?" (despite it being partially talked over).  Kinda makes me wish I knew Portuguese.
Here's the rundown, in case you just want to skip ahead:
2:49 - The chorus of "Let it Grow"
4:43 - "How Bad Can I Be?"
5:12 - The O'Hare Delivery Guy (Cy)'s part of "Let It Grow"
6:05 - Grammy Norma's Portuguese VA tries her verse of "Let It Grow"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Late Night Video: Well, that was quick

While I love me some Inception trailer mash-ups, I was very surprised to find a Lorax one up already.  Considering the limited clips available, this actually came out pretty well.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


So I caved and got a tumblr.  No clue how often I'll update it, but feel free to check it out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Even More Lorax Featurettes

Should have held off on my previous post, as today I discovered Xfinity has a bunch of Lorax featurettes and other types of clips.  Most of them have already turned up elsewhere, but there are a few in there that I haven't seen anywhere else.  One in particular fills me with joy, but since there's no embed option, you'll have to check it out at the link: A look at the songs.  It leaves out "These Trees" and "Let it Grow" (instead looking at the credits version), but what makes this a must watch is the footage from "How Bad Can I Be?"

Now maybe the fanartists will remember to add his sunglasses (which really make the whole outfit, don't you think?).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lorax Featurettes

Here's a couple of featurettes on The Lorax movie that I didn't post before, but they're worth watching.  First, a look at adapting the book:

And second, the basic story of the movie as told by the cast:
These are the only sources for images of The Once-ler in his green suit, by the way.  (For the time being, anyway.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lorax Soundtrack Thoughts

Having now seen The Lorax movie, I am exceedingly glad that I didn't give in and listen to the soundtrack ahead of time, because that definitely would have lessened their impact in the movie for me.  Especially since I have been listening to the soundtrack pretty much nonstop since seeing the movie.  Now, while most semi-musical movie soundtracks would mix the songs and score, the score got its own release (as I mentioned before), and so the soundtrack is bolstered, not with songs inspired by the movie, as I thought, but with demos of songs that ultimately weren't used.  Which is pretty cool.  So here are a few of my thoughts on the tracks, which will include some unmarked spoilers.  If you haven't seen the movie yet, you might want to skip this post until you do, though nothing I mention is all that huge.

1. Let It Grow (Celebrate the World)
This is the song that plays over the end credits, and truth be told, I skip it more often than not.  It's not a bad song, but just kind of generic, and it doesn't blend in with the rest of the movie's songs that well.

2. Thneedville
I was not prepared for this song to be as insanely catchy as it was.  When I first saw the track titles, I thought this song would be kind of lame, but it seriously blew me away.  And I freaking love the melismas all over the place.  It does a very good job of setting up the world of Thneedville as a nice place, but not quite right.  As far as I can tell (i.e. remember), there's only one difference between the soundtrack version and the movie version, which is that O'Hare gets a slightly longer part.  I suspect that this was cut not for time, but to alleviate some Fridge Horror, as he sings "Everyone 'round here works for me."  And since he's pretty much put out of business by the end of the movie, that would be a lot of people out of jobs...

3. This Is the Place [Tricky Version]
Now this track right here is a very good reason to be glad I didn't listen to the soundtrack before seeing the movie, since what ended up in the movie is very different (which is probably the credits refer to it as "These Trees").  In the movie, The Once-ler pretty much just la la's, na na's, and doot do's with the animals while he unpacks his cart, pissing off the animals with his haphazard throwing.  This version has the Once-ler recruiting the animals as his back-up singers while he attempts (in song) to find material from their homes (and the animals themselves) for his thneed, before discovering the truffula tufts.  As a song, it's very catchy, but the movie version gets points for being truer to the book (as in, immediately knowing the truffula tufts were what he needed).

4. Everybody Needs a Thneed
I go back and forth on this one.  I mean, as a song it's really just serviceable, but sung by the crowd it's just so full of energy that I can't help but smile when I listen to it.

5. How Bad Can I Be?
Okay, this song is just pure, unadulterated awesome.  While watching it in the movie, I was honest-to-goodness smiling so wide the whole time.  Granted, part of that was because of the visuals (especially the Once-ler in his awesome suit and sunglasses!  Why are there no clips of that online?), but also because the song itself is just so great.  I fervently hope that the official site (or at least the official youtube channel) will put the song up, because I need screenshots!

6. Let It Grow
Again, I was surprised by this song, and how gospel-y it ended up being.  And O'Hare's "Let it die" bit was very funny; I'm glad it made the soundtrack.

7. Let It Grow Gospel Ending
Optional ending for Let It Grow, letting Ted's Mom have a big solo bit.

8. Thneedville 
The original version was a bit harsher and painted the citizens of Thneedville less as content with the status quo and more as mindless consumers, with lyrics like "In Thneedville, you're never alone/'Cause you've always got the stuff that you own" and an interlude of Ted trying to convince his mom to get him a whozit, ending with "All I've ever wanted in my life is the stuff that I don't have."  Musically, though, it's essentially the same as the final version.

9. Once-ler's Traveling Madness
This one is less a song and mostly just Ed Helms ad-libbing.  I assume that this would have been a scene of the Once-ler traveling before he got to Truffula Valley (as the movie dubs it).

10. I Love Nature
An alternate take on The Once-ler's reaction to first seeing the valley.  I like the music parts, but the lyrics are a little too silly, IMO.

11. You Need a Thneed
The full version of The Once-ler's thneed jingle, which in the movie is continually cut off.

12. Nobody Needs a Thneed
The dark reprise of "You Need a Thneed."  In the movie, unlike in the book, The Once-ler doesn't immediately sell his thneed, and is about to throw in the towel, which is probably when this song would have occurred.

13. Biggering
When I first saw the songs in the movie, "How Bad Can I Be?" was the one I wondered the most about.  I figured it would be about the Once-ler justifying himself to the Lorax, but I wasn't sure which direction it would go in.  That is, whether it would be an upbeat number, which it ultimately was, or if it would take a more melancholy route.  If it had, it would have been this track, which shares some elements of the song that ultimately replaced it, but is a little more intimate.  And in the end, a little boring.  Not bad, mind you, but let's just say I'm glad it didn't make the final cut.

It was definitely interesting to hear different takes on the songs in the movie.  Makes me wish more movie soundtracks did that. And no doubt we'll see some of the demos show up as deleted scenes on the DVD/Blu-ray.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rewatching Better Off Dead

I recently picked up an external BD-rom drive (I'm not getting an HD TV until my current set bites the dust, so it's useless to get a regular blu-ray player), which means I can now take advantage of my library's blu-ray collection.  And they just happened to have Better Off Dead, which I watched a few years ago when I was going through a "watching movies with John Cusack in them" phase, and have been meaning to rewatch ever since I learned that Curtis Armstrong, the voice of Dan in Dan Vs., was in it, yet I didn't remember his character at all.  So here are just a few observations I wanted to share.
  • First off, CBS Blu Ray, I am disappoint.  Seriously, the only special feature on this disc is the theatrical trailer, when I distinctly remember the DVD I rented before having at least a director's commentary, if not a featurette or two.  They didn't even hide a commentary track under the audio options.  Would it have been that hard to copy the special features from the earlier DVD release?  I mean, the main reason I got a BD-rom is because all the good special features are on blu-ray nowadays.  Way to drop the ball, guys.
  • Any time Curtis Armstrong's character, Charles, was on screen, I was filled with the desire to make Dan Vs. dubs.  It didn't help that a lot of his lines were things that Dan would say (i.e. "I've been going to this high school for seven and a half years! I'm no dummy!")
  • I wasn't sure whether to save this for another Surprise Crochet post or not, but since I have no idea when I'll be making another of those, and since it isn't exactly flattering, I'll just post about it here.  Lane's neighbor, Ricky Smith, is twice defined as a typical loser nerd type because he crochets (among other things).  And for Christmas, he crochets a picture frame (for a picture of himself) for Monique, the foreign exchange student his mother is trying to hook him up with.
  • I don't remember whether or not I knew the first time I watched this movie that David Ogden Stiers was Lane (John Cusack)'s dad, but it surprised me this time.  Though that's because I mostly know him from his voice acting. He definitely did not look the way I pictured him.