The Little Mermaid

We all know the story of The Little Mermaid. Created by Hans Christian Andersen and animated by Disney in 1989, this beloved classic has finally gotten the live action remake treatment. Over the years, I have come to tread lightly when it comes to these because I’ve been let down so many times (except for Aladdin which was brilliant). So while I was interested in seeing where they’d take one of my top five Disney flicks, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised with the film. The visual effects were stunning – yes there was a lot of CGI, but I wasn’t bothered by it. The vibrant colours of life under the sea was beautiful. I was completely transported away into this world that I almost wanted to pack my bags and become a mermaid myself!

The best part of the film, was of course, Halle Bailey. This is her film. All the people who were skeptical can step aside because she was born to play Ariel. She made the role her own while also incorporating bits and pieces from her origin. The facial expressions, mannerisms and her VOICE. Her fucking voice was perfection! When she sang Part Of Your World I had chills engulf my whole body and I never wanted it to stop.

In addition to Bailey, we had Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric who was a total clone of his animated counterpart. I was one of those little girls who had a major crush on Eric and to see him come to life like this was a treat. I thought the rest of the casting choices fit as well: Javier Bardem as King Triton was powerful though underused, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder was cute and ever so diligent towards Ariel and Awkwafina was laugh out loud hilarious as Scuttle. Unfortunately I didn’t care much for Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula as I’m simply not a fan of the actress herself. The stand out for me, however, was David Diggs as Sebastian. Every single moment of his was pure gold.

While they tried to bring this story into the 21st century, I didn’t care for many of the updates. The only new song I really enjoyed was Scuttle’s (though I might be biased because it had Lin Manuel Miranda written all over it). The added scenes didn’t really do anything to enrich what we already knew and the run time was a little too long.

All that being said, The Little Mermaid was much better than I ever thought it was going to be. Seeing this story come to life was a major nostalgia trip for me in the best way possible. I do think this is a step in the right direction for Disney going forward and hope it sticks.

Rating: ♥️♥️♥️.5


Ten years after the events of Enchanted, the storybook opens once more on Giselle (Amy Adams), Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino). After the birth of baby Sofia, Giselle thinks its time they move somewhere new. Unfortunately, Morgan is anything but thrilled at the idea of leaving behind her beloved New York for Monroeville. When the two get off on the wrong foot in their new home, Giselle makes a wish that changes all their lives forever. Can every day really be a fairytale?

Getting all the gang back for the sequel that fans have been waiting years for was a wondrous sight. Amy Adams is the epitome of Giselle. Her mannerisms and high pitched voice complete with her charming innocence it was makes her so lovable. This time around, it was interesting have her go through a complete transformation unlike anything we’d seen before. Another bright point of the film was having more time with Nancy (Idina Menzel) and Edward (James Marsden). I always felt like they needed more time in the original so this was a treat for me.

Amongst the returning cast were the newbies. Maya Rudolph portrayed the role of wannabe evil queen Malvina. While I’m not a fan of Rudolph’s, I have to say that she was perfect here. The way in which she worked off of Adams made for some really fun scenes. I wish we could have learned more about her and her minions Rosaleen (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Ruby (Jayma Mays).

In typical Disney fashion, I was transported into a land straight out of my dreams. The bright and vibrant color palette really worked and I loved how that only changed as the plot turned into something more dark and sinister. On top of that was the delightful costume designs; I basically envied every single one of Giselle’s outfits. And who can forget the new, catchy soundtrack?

Enchanted is one of my all time favorite films. I remember the first time I watched it and it still makes me tear up at the end. I always thought it was genius to play off of typical fairytale stories and then putting a new spin on them. There was no way that Disenchanted would be better. I hoped it would come close and there were elements I really did like. For the most part though, it seemed like some of that magic was missing. Maybe it was the tired evil stepmother trope that did it. Regardless, I did finally get a glimpse into Giselle and co.’s lives post happily ever after so I guess I can’t really complain.

Rating: ♥♥.5


We all know the story of Pinocchio. A puppet made out of pine comes to life after his maker wishes upon a star. In order to become a real boy, he must listen to his conscience in doing the right thing. The original 1940 animated feature was never one that played constantly in my house. Though it had an important message for children, it didn’t hold up to the likes of The Lion King, Aladdin or Oliver and Company for me. And if I’m being honest, the scenes at Pleasure Island were terrifying.

When you hear that a movie is getting a reboot or a remake, you expect an updated version of its predecessor. Something that will take it into a modern age so that today’s generation can enjoy it right along with those who grew up with it. Unfortunately, this new version missed the mark. So many things were lacking and while I finished watching it only twenty four hours ago, I can tell you that I’ve already forgotten a lot of it.

Although this fairytale was never one of my favorites, there was something about it that kept even me glued to the screen. The same cannot be said this time around. That Disney magic that we have all come to know and love was nowhere to be found.

For a movie that was supposed to be live action, that aspect was severely lacking. I understand that Pinocchio needed to be CGI, but the animals and some of the backgrounds just did not look realistic enough to me. On top of that, the additional scenes that were included did little to nothing to add to the overall story.

If it wasn’t for Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo and Keegan Michael Key, I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself to finish it. It may not be the worst Disney remake I have ever seen (I’m looking at you Mulan), but it is definitely in the top three.

Rating: ♥♥

Turning Red

Turning Red follows the story of Mei (Rosalie Chiang), who is torn between being her mother’s dutiful daughter and all the chaos that adolescence brings. When the women of the Lee family turn thirteen years old, an ‘inconvenience’ falls on them. Now, if Mei gets too excited, she turns into a big red panda.

The fact that this movie took place in Toronto was a huge plus for me. It was fun spotting all the the Easter eggs. Thank you Disney for putting Canada on the map! The casting choices came hand in hand with the location. With the voice talents of Sandra Oh and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, the Asian Canadian representation was perfect.

Mei has to be one of the most relatable cartoon characters ever. Her obsession with boy bands and boys in general was something I could appreciate. I also loved the depiction of her relationship with her mother Ming. At the forefront of the film, it ticked all the right boxes for me. Mei wanting to embrace who she is and Ming afraid of letting her daughter grow up was so on point.

Yet another Pixar hit, Turning Red is an uplifting film about growing up and being true to yourself. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it. There truly is something in it for everyone.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥


The Madrigals, a family who live in the Columbian mountains, inhabit a magical house. The magical house has given each child a gift over the various years, from super strength to the power of healing. The only child who never received a gift was Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). Always feeling as if she was left out, Mirabel finally sees purpose in her family when she discovers that the magic is in danger and she takes it upon herself to save it.

I had no idea that Encanto would leave such an impression on me, nor that it would touch me in the way that it did. The story was intricate and unique with many captivating characters. Pepa (Carolina Gaitan), Bruno (John Legizamo) and Isabela (Dianne Guerrero) were among my favorites, but I connected the most with Mirabel. Her desire to fit in and establish her place in her family was all too familiar to me and I loved how realistic she seemed.

Lin Manuel Miranda was behind the soundtrack and he once again excelled in the department. The songs were fun and catchy and I appreciated the fact that there were some Spanish pieces thrown into the mix.

The colorful pallet of the film was unlike anything I had seen before. The house, in particular, seemed to come from a dream. Having the chance to see into each child’s room added to this feeling.

Disney has done it again. I don’t know how they keep me coming back for more and yet here we are. Encanto really had it all. Not only was there an exciting story, it also reinforces the importance family and being proud of who you are. I highly recommend it!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5

Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings

The much anticipated Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings premiered in cinemas this Friday. Shang Chi, or Shaun (Simu Liu) as he goes by most of the time, is a seemingly normal guy who works as a valet driver with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). But when his past comes back to haunt him, he is forced to confront it as well as his father who just so happens to be notorious villain Mandarin (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung). Being the master of unarmed weaponry in Kung Fu, Shang Chi hopes his skills will help him in combating the Ten Rings organization all while saving the world at the same time.

I had such high hopes for this movie. Origin stories for superheroes can be very hit or miss and they hyped this one up like crazy. I am happy to say that it completely and totally exceeded my expectations! I can’t get over how good it was or how much I liked it. I was transfixed the whole way through and at times I found myself shaking my head at what I was seeing unfold in front of me.

The casting for Shang Chi himself was always on point for me. Simu Liu seems like such a down to earth guy and I couldn’t imagine anybody else in this role. He’s become a little Toronto treasure and I am proud to live in the city from where he hails. Awkwafina brought the much needed comedic relief and I just loved watching her friendship with Shang. I really hope they don’t make them go down the romantic route because it’s so refreshing to see a healthy boy girl friendship for once. Mandarin is possibly one of the most heartbreaking villains to ever come out of the MCU. Learning about his backstory and what his motives were really made you feel for him. A highlight for me was Shang’s sister Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) who I knew nothing about beforehand. Not only was she a complete badass, but she had a lot of depth too and I hope we see more of her in future films. And to have Michelle Yeoh in this as well was just a treat. She’s such a queen and her role here was no exception.

I cannot get over the special effects that were used. It seemed to be on a whole other level this time around and I don’t know how Marvel does it. The fight sequences were also impressive. In particular, the final one in Ta-Lo was like nothing I had ever seen before. Everything about it was A+ and deserves awards.

Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings was the first superhero movie to have proper Asian representation. It really was beautiful to be able to witness that. Everything about it was flawlessly executed that I can’t say anything to fault it. It’s no secret that I’m more of a DC girl but even I have to say that Marvel smashed it here. I think it’s my favorite one to date.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


Estella (Emma Stone) has always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. A grifter, she meets Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and the three of them build a life for themselves on the streets of London. When Estella lands a job working for Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), she believes that she has finally made it. Unfortunately for her, the Baroness is not who Estella was hoping she would be and desire to rivel the Baroness grows. Before she knows it, Estella is no more and Cruella has taken her place.

The newest addition to Disney’s live action remakes, Cruella has been taking the world by storm. A lot of build up and anticipation for fans of the original classic, I have to say that this was a solid movie at the end of the day. It wasn’t perfect, but it definitely is one of the better films Disney has put out lately.

One of the things that worked best was the cast. They were all phenomenal and that says a lot because I wasn’t sure what to think of Emma Stone at first. I love her, but the idea of her as Cruella didn’t seem to fit. She proved me wrong though and I am so happy about that. Emma Thompson is a queen and she was fabulous in this. Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry were exactly how I pictured Horace and Jasper to be and the additions of Mark Strong as John, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Anita and Kayvan Novak as Roger were also well done.

I cannot get over the beautiful costumes that were created for this movie. Heavily influenced by punk rock, it was different and edgy. I coveted all the looks! I also appreciated the music choices and thought that they fit well into the various scenes.

The only thing that I didn’t like was the length of the film. It felt too long and could have certainly been cut down a bit, especially in the beginning. The story took some time to really lift off though I have to admit that once it did, it didn’t let up for a second.

Cruella was a movie that I had been looking forward to ever since it was announced. I remember loving 101 Dalmatians as a child and so I was excited to see the origin story for its villain. I’m really glad that it delivered. It kept me thoroughly entertained and yes, I am hoping for a sequel.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Raya and the Last Dragon

Raya and the Last Dragon is the latest Disney masterpiece. I say this confidently because I loved absolutely everything about it. It doesn’t happen often that I dislike something by Disney, however, over the more recent years, I feel like they have really stepped up their game in regards to modernizing their stories. Before it was standard procedure for a princess to sit around and wait for her prince to come and rescue her, but now these princesses are bad asses and don’t take shit from anybody. It’s amazing! Because of that, this latest addition was a stand out.

Many years ago in the land of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together harmoniously. However, when a group of monsters called the Druun threaten everything, the dragons sacrifice themselves to save the people. In the aftermath, Kumandra split up and became separate kingdoms, sparking a rivalry between one another.

Five hundred years later, the Druuns are back. Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) must embark on a journey to find the last dragon. By doing this, she can save humanity and hopefully put Kumandra back together in the process.

Everything about this story was flawless. There were twists and turns, ups and downs and never a dull moment. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through.

Raya herself is a feisty young lady warrior. She is the perfect role model for girls everywhere. Her determination to bring Kumandra together once more and save the people is truly inspiring. Kelly Marie Tran really helped bring her to life. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Raya now. Similarly, Gemma Chan was brilliant as Namaari. The misunderstood antagonist made you root for her and her chemistry with Raya was off the charts. Other standouts included Izaac Wang as Boun, Benedict Wong as Tong and Thalia Tran as little Noi. Without these three, the movie would not have been what it was. I have to say though that the best part of all for me was Sisu, the infamous last dragon. Voiced by Awkwafina, she brought a new dimension to the role and stole the show.

Raya and the Last Dragon was everything I hoped it would be and more. I am simply stunned by the world that was created for this special story. I cannot sing it’s praises enough.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥