#Musical Monday Review #15 Mamma Mia (The Movie)

Overview: Sophia is getting married and wants to invite her dad. Problem is her mom never told her who he was, because she secretly doesn’t know. So she sends an invitation to the three possible candidates, not explaining the reason behind it. Thinking she will automatically sense the right one when they show up. When the men arrive, without mom’s knowledge, Sophia doesn’t feel a fatherly connection with just one but all three. Hidden from her mother, the men set out to find her and are surprised to find she didn’t know they were coming or why they were there. Laughter ensues as the wedding draws closer and minds are changing. In the end there is a wedding, and a few unexpected connections are made leaving the “Little Island” a bit upturned.

Opinion: Love it! But who doesn’t love ABBA? Throw in a girl who wants her dad for the biggest day of her life? It just makes your heart melt. Then who knew Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and Pierce Bronson could sing? Meryl Streep’s rendition of “Winner Takes It All” was heartbreaking.

“S.O.S.” was also frustrating and resonates too truly. So close to each other, and yet so far apart they can’t see each other right in front of them.

Of course ABBA’s most iconic song (at least for me and I wasn’t acquainted much with them before the movie), “Dancing Queen,” is in it. Performed by every extra woman they could find.

However, my favorite would happen to be “Honey, Honey.” Sophia reading her mother’s diary is so sweet and devilishly childish.

A close second would be “Does Your Mother Know?” A little secret about myself, I’ve always had a thing for older guys. So this song featuring a young man being spurned by an older woman is hilarious.

The scenery is beautiful, a Grecian island. Turquoise water everywhere and fantastic multi-colored buildings. Always wanted to go and the movie just entices that urge to travel again. While the songs don’t seem to depend on a specific local, I’m glad they chose Greece when it could have been filmed anywhere.

#Musical Monday Review #13: Hercules

Before I start, I’d like to say today is my one year anniversary!! 1 year ago today, I started this blog. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Overview: The narrators of the musical are 5 muses and open with the story of the gods and how they came into power. Then jump to the birth of Hercules and learn about his uncle wanting him dead and ties to turn him mortal. As Hercules is now mostly mortal, he has to live on Earth and go through his childhood. He learns that he is a demi-god and his father is king of the Gods, Zeus. In order to shed his mortal life, Hercules must become worthy of being a god and Hades wants to stop him so he can be the next ruler. Throwing different monsters at him, Hades tries his best to kill Hercules, who has been trained by a satyr named Phil, a famous (or infamous) hero trainer. In trying to destroy him, he finds a weakness and exploits for everything he can almost bringing an end to Hercules and the fall of the gods. Hercules saves the day, but decides to stay on Earth instead of joining his parents on Mount Olympus.

Opinion: While it is a good fish out of water and under dog story, I also see elements of other Disney movies in it. Tarzan, boy found and adopted by another species (humans instead of gods), Lion King (Uncle has to kill nephew to rule), Mulan (clumsy protagonist has to train to prove himself), Aladdin (becomes so cocky its a downfall). I don’t know a lot of Greek mythology, but this is a sweet story. Of course the true story may be darker, as Disney made a reputation for taking dark stories and making them light. I don’t know Hercules’ true story, but this version is better geared toward children than the other incestuous, bestiality-filled Greek god stories. Disney usually has hidden meanings or a moral behind their movies, an in this one I’m not quite sure what it is. With hero stories it is normally that anyone can be a hero, but here the hero is a god turned mortal. It could be love is worth fighting for  but that doesn’t sound right either. Or that famous isn’t the same as being a hero.  So history aside, the songs are pretty good for a kids movie. I particularly like “Never Admit I’m in Love.”