Be cultural Movies

Movie Monday ~ Animated Movie Marathon (Movies 32-36)

April 25, 2016
Twinkly Tanya ~ Animated Movie Marathon | How To Train Your Dragon (2) | Mulan | Brave | Up | Movie Review

I can’t believe I haven’t posted the article about my animated movie marathon yet! I could have sworn it was already on my blog but I found out it wasn’t. It was silently slumbering on my iPad, waiting to be posted. Oops! It has been over four (!) months ago when Ruud and I watched five movies on one day. Which, as you may remember, was one of my 101 goals! I mentioned briefly that I had accomplished this goal in my monthly update of December, but I never shared my thoughts about the movies or about the marathon in general. Let’s do that now!

How to train your dragon

In the Viking village on the island of Berk becoming a dragon slayer is the most prestigious thing. One dragon has never been slated before: the Night Fury. Hiccup is not allowed on the battlefield, because he’s too clumsy. However, he wants to prove himself and decides to take down the Night Fury. When he successfully hits him though, he discovers there is more to this dragon than meets the eye…

This movie had been suggested to me by a friend years ago. The title didn’t really appeal to me at the time and I hadn’t heard much about it either, so I never bothered to watch it. I never forgot her recommendation though, so when we had to choose our movies for our marathon, I decided to finally see this movie.

It was totally worth it. I can’t believe this movie isn’t more popular (or have I been living under a rock perhaps?). It’s about trying to fit in society while at the same time fighting for a cause no-one else believes in. Hiccup may seem just a clumsy little kid, but during the movie I watched him grow to be a brave young man who fights for his beliefs. The message the movie is trying to convey is powerful, the characters (especially Hiccup) are people you can relate to and Toothless the dragon is super cute. My friend had been right. This movie is awesome.

How to train your dragon 2

Five years after the first adventure, the peace of Berk is being disturbed by ruthless dragon hunter Drago Bludvist. Fighting against a huge army of dragons, Hiccup, Astrid and Toothless try to save their Island from destruction.

Just in case Ruud and I would happen to like the first movie, we had made sure that the second movie was up for grabs. We didn’t hesitate for a second. After the first movie, we just had to see this sequel. And while a lot of sequels are not even half as good as their predecessors, this one totally topped it!

The graphics were so much more amazing, the story was solid and tears were guaranteed. The movie had action, as well as sensitive moments. Real, tear-jerking, sensitive moments. How To Train Your Dragon 2 in my opinion was the best movie we saw in this marathon. Good news: this appears to be a trilogy! How To Train Your Dragon 3 will be in theaters in 2018, and so will I!


When Queen Elinor tells princess Merida that the time has come for her to marry a prince, Merida is determined to change her mind. When regular negotiations don’t have the desired effect, Merida decided to ask a witch for help. However, all magic comes with a price. And the price Merida had to pay, might just be a bit too high.

I had come to know Merida in the series Once Upon A Time, where I totally loved her character. She is such a powerful, strong woman. I was very pleased to see that in the Disney version, she was everything I had expected. And not only her, also her father, the princes, the entire kingdom, really. Kudos to Once Upon A Time for casting their actors so well.

But although I knew the characters, I didn’t know much about the story. I loved how the relationship between Merida and her mother was portrayed. They both wanted the other one to listen to them so badly, but they lacked the skill of listening themselves. It was kind of heartbreaking to see them struggle so much.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Disney movie without a funny, adorable sidekick, which in this case, was multiplied by three. Merida’s three little brothers were super adorable. Can you imagine them being even cuter after they got turned into little baby bears? It was seeing three little clumsy teddy bears walking about. If you have t seen this movie yet, then definitely do!


Mulan’s father has been summoned for battle. However, his health is poor, so his daughter Mulan decided she will take his place. She dresses up like a man and reports for duty, before her father has the chance to do so.

Mulan, yet another character I’ve met for the first time in Once Upon A Time. And again a woman I admired for her strong and powerful attitude. I really love her in the series! So I couldn’t wait to see the animation version.

That one kind of disappointed me, though. She was nothing like the character I had gotten to know in Once Upon A Time. She was not that power women I had come to know, the one that doesn’t let anything get to her. I love the fact this movie tries to break with sexist ways of looking at women. The movie tries to send a message that being a woman isn’t all about being pretty and serving a man. And not only men can be powerful and brave. But somehow I was missing something here. Mulan was too insecure about her own strength and bravery. She wasn’t so much fighting for it. It was something that just happened to her.

Also, what’s up with all the racial stereotypes? Wow. Ruud and I were both totally amazed by this. If this movie was made in this era, we doubt it would be allowed in theaters. Every Chinese stereotype we western people have created over the years were there. All in all, I was a little bit disappointed in this movie. It was still okay, I guess I had just expected more.


After a long life of stalling his biggest dream, at 78 year old Carl Fredicksen finally decides to do whatever it takes to travel to Paradise falls. Getting there is not as easy as he had hoped though. A little boy, a crazy scientist and a talking dog all keep getting in his way of reaching his dream destination. 

Over a year ago, Ruud and I already attempted to watch this movie. But we couldn’t manage. At one point (if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll all know which point) we cried so hard we had to actually pause the movie. We are both quite the crybabies during movies, so normally this wouldn’t have been a reason to discontinue watching it. But at that specific time, Ruud had a major cold, so all the sniffing was just not something his poor nose could handle. He simply couldn’t breath anymore. And as much as I love breathtaking moments, they shouldn’t last longer than just a few seconds.

So, a bit scared off by the first attempt, we finally tried watching it again. In retrospect, we could have easily watched the whole thing the first time. There not much crying material later on in the movie, although it still has its sensitive moments. But the overall feel is much more light-hearted than the beginning. To be honest, that disappointed me a bit. That beginning is so capturing, I had expected the rest of the movie to have at least the same depth.

Things changed so much in this part of the movie. The man we had come to love so much had changed into a grumpy old man. That could have been quite nice, if the new kid character they introduced wasn’t so annoying as well. Although at the same time, this combination of characters makes it funny as shit. I also found the dog a bit annoying, although at certain points it was so hilariously spot on how much of a real dog it actually was. The flying away in a house attached to balloons was magical and the stubbornness of the old man, wanting to get this house to the exact same spot as the picture he was holding, was hilarious. Also a bit sad, as it was the one dream he had left to live for.

The evil character of the game and his whole corporation was a bit far-fetched to be honest. Yes, I realize I only just said that flying in a house attached to balloons was totally perfect. That’s the thing with fantasy though. Some things are just so easy to believe because you want them to be true. Others just don’t have that same magical feel and just seem weird. I understand that it’s totally subjective. But that’s what I thought of it.

Even though I found the second part of the movie quite far-fetched and I’d expected to see more depth in the story there, I still loved the movie very much! The message to chase your dreams before it’s too late was really strong and powerful. But while doing that, it’s also important to keep your eyes open for everything you encounter along the way, or you might miss some beautiful moments and opportunities. Hey, that is a message fitting right to this blog! How about that!

My movie goal

This animated movie marathon helped a lot in my movie count for my goal #77: Watch 101 movies. But even more importantly, it means I completed one of my 101 goals:

#72: Have a movie marathon of at least 5 movies.

And it was quite fun to do too! I hardly ever take time to see a movie (hence the goal), but doing a movie marathon really forced me to set my mind to relax mode all day. I am planning on doing another movie marathon soon, although that one might consist of less movies.

At this moment I have seen 41 movies out of 101. I know the title of this article said movies 31-36, but that’s because I already blogged about movies 37-40. And #41 will have to wait until my next Movie Monday. So I am a little bit behind (as more than half of the time of my Day Zero Project has already past), but I am still making good progress on this goal!

Have you ever done a movie marathon before? Which movies would you recommend me to see in my next one? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to stay updated on my goals.

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  • Reply Liz April 26, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I agree with you on so many levels and then there you go, burning one of my favourite disney movies ever xD A question comes to mind, if you are insecure, does that automatically mean that you are not brave? I don’t think so! She’s doing it right? She got out her daddy’s war stuff and got into that shit. She figured out a way to climb that pole with the weights hanging from her body, she did take a stand, and I think she’s awesome. Plus, I really do think the whole film is meant to be pro-emancipation, and that the flaws are due to the time period it was made in.

    Shame on you though to meet Merida & Mulan in Once upon a time first :p

    Anyway, love toothless too XD


    • Tanya de Kruijff
      Reply Tanya de Kruijff April 26, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      You’ve got a point there. And I definitely agree with you that the flaws I mentioned are due to the time period it was made in. I don’t think being insecure necessarily means your are not brave, but in the case of Mulan i think her insecurity stood in the way of her bravery quite some times. That was just not something I’d see happening to OUAT Mulan. So I guess in the end my expectations just weren’t quite met. I do understand Mulan has to go through some sort of character development though, otherwise it would have been quite boring. But I guess I had expected her more to be like Merida. A strong, grounded woman who confidently fights the anti-feminine beliefs of her community. In the end, Mulan does this, but it really had to grow on her, whereas within Merida, this was a strong intrinsic, already existing thing. 🙂

  • Reply Terry - Cookin\' With A Terry Twist May 4, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    I’m going to save this post for when I have my grandsons for the night! BTW I love your website!!

    • Tanya de Kruijff
      Reply Tanya de Kruijff May 5, 2016 at 2:33 am

      Yes, these movies would do awesome on a sleep-over! And I’m happy to hear you love my website! Thanks so much for the compliment. Let me know what your grandsons thought about the movies!

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