One man’s dabbling in filmmaking is another man’s treasure. We live in such a privileged age, where we can exchange information almost as quickly as we can create ideas in our head. Could you imagine a world without YouTube? It is hard to believe that nearly a decade ago that this was far from reality. Luckily for us, we can surf the web for funny videos, everything from piano-playing cats to giggling babies. Many can agree on one common search as entirely entertaining: the ever-popular Disney spoof or parody. Whether the creators are teenagers or professionals, almost everyone offers an ounce of creativity in poking fun at the fantastic world of the Mouse.
In this edition of Disney In Depth, a new recurring feature on the column, check out some of the latest and funniest Disney-themed web videos.
“Beauty and the Beat”
Former American Idol contestant Todrick Hall bestows a popular YouTube channel, titled todrickhall, full of songs and humor.
When he put his spin on the tune that establishes Beauty and the Beast on his newer channel, Toddymobs, YouTube viewers took notice. In its first month alone, “Beauty and the Beat” has been watched by around 4.5 million viewers. And for good reason; though this largely African-American-populated piece could be seen as offensive by many in exaggerating certain stereotypes, Hall inserts a heavy amount of good-hearted teasing to deflect negativity. Others seem to agree, as an overwhelming amount of “likes” overshadow the “dislikes.”
When I watched this for the first time, I thought of the MadTV clip that featured the “Disney girl,” a Snow White-like personality who emerges from her quaint house to a rude awakening of less-than-friendly individuals in the inner city. The lyrics are distinctly different from “Belle,” but the melody is much the same. Everything here inspires a laugh. Instead of reading a novel to a herd of sheep, the title character shares details of an Ebony magazine article to some guy on the street. Who cannot roar with hilarity after a gunshot stirs a group of people to flee away, with a wig falling off of one of them? Interesting to find the ghetto version of Gaston, too, who says, “I’m makin’ plans to leave my momma’s house.” “If you got good credit, you can be my wife,” he chants with such gusto.
Major applause goes out to the entire team behind this elaborate production, including the uproarious actors. Make sure to download the free MP3 version of this song, when you check out the video on its YouTube page. This is one tune worth listening to again and again on your playlist. “What’s good!” Certainly this video, that’s what.
“How Tangled Should Have Ended”
The folks at How It Should Have Ended are responsible for developing some of the most ingenious alternative takes of some of the most popular films of today. Through blending sharp writing, right-on-point voice talent and well-done animation, they have become a YouTube mainstay for consistently making viewers laugh and take another look at the movies they love.
In the case of Tangled, it seems like it was not too challenging to find an attribute to exaggerate just a little: Rapunzel’s 70-plus-foot-long strands of golden hair. The scene, replicating when Flynn first takes the sheltered girl out of the tower, nicely accomplishes in taking aim at something we may not have considered at first when watching the movie. How could Rapunzel have run through the forest without dirtying her hair? This is a one-two punch of humor, as we watch various nature finds become trapped on her conveyor belt-like line of locks. “This is getting gross,” Flynn says, as the objects become progressively more offensive. “Now there’s mud… at least I hope that was mud.” Up to the last second, when Flynn encounters yet another princess with crazy curls, “How Tangled Should Have Ended” amuses with keen observations on the fiftieth film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
“(Not So) BRAVE – Parody of Disney Pixar’s “The Prize” Trailer from BRAVE”
ReelyVideos is a newer channel on YouTube, but don’t let its novelty deceive you. Already they are producing fresh and funny original content.
When I descended upon this nearly dead-on take of the trailer for Pixar’s Brave – you know, the preview that shows the Scottish girl defying her parents and demonstrating her archery skills – I instantly knew I had to include this on my list. Full of clever little lines interspersed with bits replicated from the film, this mock trailer’s high-fun value indicates ReelyVideos has much ingenuity in store for even more videos.
“What happened to the Scottish accent?” asks the king. “Shut up,” replies his wife. Just an example of the quick, modern dialogue found in this clip. One of my favorite parts is when the fan dressed in a red hat cannot control herself when she glances at the supposed stud about to use his bow and arrow. All of the little touches in here work, from substituting Merida’s dog with a stuffed animal, to the unique take on how the last archer manages to strike the arrow in the center. I love the line, “I am Shrerida.” The actress says it with such conviction. Though they alter the ending to give this a sharper edge – and even targeting The Hunger Games – I love how we see the behind-the-scenes crew with Shrerida dancing offstage. Here’s hoping we see even more great things from ReelyVideos.
“The Lion King parody: The Lambing King (Farmers Weekly Wellywood)”
One would not expect to find a “Circle of Life” spoof on a channel filled with videos about topics like spreading fertilizer and spinning wool, but MyFarmProject has riotously generated a different take on the opening of one of Disney’s most iconic scenes.
Chickens scurry around a patch. Sheep sleep on a field. Ducks flap their wings. Such are the moments found in “The Lambing King,” which uses the title track of The Lion King, but set to a different environment. We’re not in the savannas of Africa, but rather a ranch in the United Kingdom. Who is not a sucker for videos of adorable animals with Disney music in the background? I love when the handler lifts off the little creature, to showcase to the swine jumping up from their corrals and the older sheep respectfully “bowing” their heads. The filmmakers must have either trained these creatures to leap and nod, or timed their cameras perfectly to match the animals’ actions from the movie. This is one spoof that warrants a cheer.
““The Dark Knight Rises” Trailer 3 Disney/Pixar The Incredibles style”
A variety of fake movie trailers fill the YouTube archives, where talented individuals perfectly edit scenes from one movie to match the audio of another. I can imagine this process being difficult and perhaps even tedious, but the end product definitely must warrant all the trials.
One user, art4life15, has created a bunch of trailers following this format, to nice results. As The Dark Knight Rises greets audiences in theaters, this user helped build the buzz by mashing clips from Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles with the audio track of the trailer for the last installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
I guess it only makes sense for Batman to take the form of Mr. Incredible, and Catwoman be embodied in Elastigirl. I laughed immensely when I heard the muffled voice of Tom Hardy’s Bane in everyone’s favorite Pixar villain, Syndrome. This trailer possess many wonderful tads of inspiration, using aerial scenes from The Incredibles to offer a more menacing, but dreamlike vibe. What a compelling preview.
This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Check back into Disney In Depth next week for even more fun inside the world of Disney!