Blog

Disney, Film

Review: Toy Story 4

It has been almost 25 years since the first Toy Story release, and beloved characters Woody and Buzz were introduced, and the fourth instalment of the franchise sees them cross paths with a scary, and very unloved doll, as well as a very loveable piece of trash.

The majority of Toy Story 4 is great, ish. It’s animation is next level, something the Toy Story franchise has always been known for. The film is filled with jokes that have not only the children but the adults laughing along too, and of course, this is a Pixar film, so there is always something that will hit you right in the feels. This movie is exactly what you would expect.

Toy Story 3 seemed to give the franchise the perfect, rounded ending, but you should never expect anything to be over in sequel-happy Hollywood.

This film sees the addition of several new characters, and a proper introduction of some that were barely introduced in the third film. Forky (Tony Hale), is a fantastic and hilarious addition to the gang, and serves well as a tool for teaching children to discover who they really are, and their purpose. Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), Giggle McDimples and the Combat Carls (Carl Weathers) also make great additions to the film, adding to both the story, and humour. Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele) take the jokes to another level, but be fooled by their fluffy exterior.
It is Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and the Vincent Dummies (Steve Purcell) that add a truly creepy element to the story. Not only are they terrifying, they want to harm precious Woody, but it is for good reason.

Whilst the addition of these new characters helps along the plot, and adds new humour, it does mean that old favourites such as Slinky Dog, Hamm and even Jessie take a back seat.

For many, Toy Story is a franchise that they have grown up with, with the main character Andy, going though similar situations in his own life at the same time as those watching the films, giving even more meaning to each of them, and hitting everyone in the feels. It is believed that the toys being passed on to toddler Bonnie at the end of film three is the passing on of the franchise to a new generation, and after watching the Toy Story 4, it is easy to see why.

Whilst this is a great film, that pushes the boundaries of animation once again, it takes a perfect ending, and opens it right back up. With that being said, it is still heartwarming, funny, and everything you would expect from Pixar. Take tissues!

Have you been to see the film yet? What did you think? Do you agree or have I completely missed the mark?

Amy xo

Background
Disney, Everyday

Beating the Disney Trip Blues

Leaving Disney can be the worst feeling in the world, particularly if you don’t know when you will be able to get back to the happiest place on Earth. As a poor student, with 488 days until her next trip, I totally understand, it’s been six months since my surprise trip to Disneyland Paris, and those blues have hit like a train. For times like this, there are several things you can do…

Instagram, it gives me a huge case of FOMO, but I also live vicariously through everyone else’s trips! Some of my favourite accounts such as GregoryGaige, AnnaofAgrabah, and Bishop_Please have been posting some amazing Disney parks content lately, and I’m so here for it!

Disney movie marathons! It’s not quite the same as wandering down Main Street, but it definitely gives your taste of the magic. Sometimes getting cosy with a drink or two, and maybe even some Disney snacks can cure anything!

Visit some Disney spots closer to home. If you’re in the UK a trip to Birmingham could always be on the cards, their new Disney Cafe is adorable, and you can get your Mickey waffle fix too!

How about a Disney store trip!? If you’re lucky enough to live close to an Imagination store, go early and help perform the opening ceremony, you get a lovely little keepsake key, and it’s so much fun! You could always travel to a new city and make a day of it if you aren’t local!
Imagination stores are located in Aberdeen, Glasgow, York, Blackpool, Milton Keynes, Stratford, Oxford Street (London), Belfast, Bromley, Sunderland and Dublin!

Try to recreate your favourite Disney snacks and drinks. There are so many videos on the internet with recipes and challenges to try. Whether they are accurate, is another thing, but at least you’ll have fun giving them a go!

If nothing else, book another trip! Of course this is an expensive option, but definitely the best cure. It brings back the excitement (or stress) of planning, and you get to go on a little spending spree of all your favourite Disney essentials!

What are your favourite ways to get a Disney fix? Do you have a current trip that you’re counting down too?

Amy xo

Film

Review: Live-Action Aladdin

This live-action remake of the 1992 hit, Aladdin is a hit, filled with flamboyant musical numbers, and lively performances. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film had a lot of people nervous. Particularly as some of Ritchie’s previous films have lacked the awe required to leave an audience feeling fulfilled. However, Aladdin is filled with clever special effects, some political debate and enough pizzaz to certainly wet the audiences appetite.

The iconic role of the Genie is played by Will Smith, another element that had fans of the animated role worried, but Smith takes the role with a cocky bravado, and many wisecracks, making the role lovable and truly his own. There are definitely some nods to Smith’s previous role as The Fresh Prince, which is a subtle nod to the 90’s, and keeps the sassy nature of the Genie without cloning Robin Williams’ take on the character.
Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is first introduced whilst picking pockets, and Massoud manages to capture his cheeky personality perfectly, whilst also adding depth and a likeability that is difficult to explain. Naomi Scott stuns throughout in her role as Princess Jasmine, again there is a depth added to the Princess that was difficult to depict in the animated character, and certainly a new air of power to her words. The terrifying Jafar, is brought to life by Marwan Kenzari, and he does not disappoint. There is just the right amount of sneering and scheming, topped with more than a touch cunning malevolence.

Whilst the live-action does feature songs from the original film, such as ‘Prince Ali’, ‘Friend Like Me’ and of course ‘A Whole New World’, it doe put its own revamped spin on the classic tracks. There are also some new tracks, and ‘Speechless’ sang by the Princess herself is musically stunning.
Whilst this is a musical, there are at times, moments where the music simply slows down the telling of the story, particularly ‘Speechless’. It comes in at a key scene, and whilst it gives Scott a chance to display her incredible vocal ability, add to the determination of her character and dedicate a moment to the political elements of the film, it completely stops the flow of the film, and makes the scene confusing.
The iconic ‘A Whole New World’ felt lacking in the Disney magic that flowed through the original, and the same can be said for ‘One Jump Ahead’, but, they were still enjoyable.

Aladdin had the potential, and for many was expected to be, a cynical repackaging of a Disney classic, but it is actually a joyful ride. It is certainly a nice was to introduce the classic to a new generation of Disney fans, or a lovely way to revisit an old favourite.

Overall, this live-action Aladdin deserves 4 stars. It was fun, enjoyable and a fantastic visual but just didn’t capture the magic of the original.

What are your thoughts? Did you love it, or is this review too kind?

Amy xo

Header
Welcome

Welcome to CastleTalk!

Hello everyone,

CastleTalk is a place for everyone, somewhere your inner child can be set free. I hope you’ll settle in just fine.

As a person that has often been given funny looks and some silly comments for wearing Disney clothes as an adult, watching Disney films and even being excited about holidays to the parks, I understand. I wanted there to be a space online that I could fill with my love of Disney, be it in my every day life, my holidays or on a screen in front of me, and I wanted to be able to share that space with anyone who may need it.

I don’t remember when my love of Disney started, but I know that it’s something I couldn’t be without, and everyone deserves to express themselves.

And so, here we have it. CastleTalk. A place where you can love Disney no matter your age, or your background. That is after all what Walt himself intended.

I’m going to post film reviews, my park planning and how I fit Disney into my everyday life.

You can also find me on Instagram. Come and say hello!

Amy xo