Single, my glass.
October 29, 2013 10:03 AM   Subscribe

That was nicely executed.
posted by likeatoaster at 10:11 AM on October 29, 2013

Great singing and photography, but I would have preferred if the crimes didn't parallel so close to those in the original song. They tried to make them fit and only half succeed.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:12 AM on October 29, 2013 [6 favorites]

I really like the Ursula one. The "he walked into my tentacles 10 times" is great.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:13 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah I saw this earlier and wanted to adore it, but having the stories not really match the characters and stories turned me off; I didn't even finish. Amber Riley makes a great Ursula though!
posted by yellowbinder at 10:18 AM on October 29, 2013

I. wow.

That was way more professional then I was expecting.
posted by The Whelk at 10:22 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

There was some further updating of lyrics that should have been done, but it was great anyhow. Ursula and Scar were amazing.
posted by jeather at 10:31 AM on October 29, 2013

I did enjoy Prince Eric prancing his way in.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on October 29, 2013

There is the beginning of an idea there, but it seems awfully underdeveloped. Sorry to sound like such a snob.

At the risk of murdering to dissect, it might be worth thinking about why this feels off-target.

The basic problem is that the original has a single theme that unites all the songs, i.e. that these are women who have been mistreated by men, and the men deserve what has happened to them, because all men are bastards, right? And of course the men didn't deserve the horrible deaths, even if some of them were bastards, and much of the humour comes from the women minimising what they have done.

But the female Disney villains don't exactly have a coherent track record of being wronged by men. So they don't really "work" as stand-ins for the original murderesses. At the same time, they aren't different enough from the murderesses for it to be an amusingly different way of seeing them to put them in this musical number. As an idea, this is bad because it neither acknowledges a clear (but unseen) similarity, nor does it juxtapose two wildly different things and see what can be made of bringing them together.

Replacing the murderesses with the Disney divas doesn't show you something amusing and new about either the murderesses or the Disney divas. The Disney Villains are already self-justifying violent sociopaths and the murderesses are already living in a vibrant fantasy world.

What would be funnier would be to have the Disney Princesses as the murderers. They could all tell the story of how their "happy ever after" situation degenerated into them killing their husbands. Pocahontas could fire two warning arrows into John Smith's neck, the Beast could be caught in flagrante with a bison, Mulan would deliver her account of her wrongful arrest by state authorities in Mandarin, Tiana murders philandering Prince Naveen with her cookery, Rapunzel hangs someone with a noose made of her hair etc.

I'm sure that with a bit of thought, anyone could come up with better ideas about how to execute this idea than the ones I just rattled off. But my point is that as a basic idea, using the Disney Princesses is better, because this would actually be doing something - it would be reframing the sweet and innocent Disney princess as a violent self-justifying psychopath. It would be a potentially comic transformation. It might not be worth the effort, I don't know, but it there would be a novelty, a deviation, a swerve into new territory at the heart of it.

Although there is always this example of something similar.
posted by lucien_reeve at 11:13 AM on October 29, 2013 [21 favorites]

I think what REALLY bothered all of you sub-consciously was the lack of a real Bandeoneon. I mean it was a tango right?
posted by boilermonster at 11:26 AM on October 29, 2013

Lucien, go email Todrick that idea and implore him to do the sequel. Seriously, those are fantastic ideas!!
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:32 AM on October 29, 2013

Scar is camp and all, but I don't think he really applies as a "murderess".

(I agree the lyrics fell short of the mark, but the performances were excellent.)
posted by Gordafarin at 11:46 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow I was all ready to be "Oh come on lucien stop overthinking it and just enjoy the silliness" but that was really a great insightful comment combined with a positive suggestion for how it could have worked better. A nice reminder of why I love Metafilter. Also "murdering to dissect" is a wonderful turn of phrase I had not previously encountered (Google tells me it's originally Wordsworth?).
posted by Wretch729 at 11:49 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, though I totally agree with the criticisms above, I am also now pretty much on board to the Amber Riley stars in the story of The Little Mermaid from Ursala's perspective in a Wicked-esque way so hard that I can't focus on much else.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:50 AM on October 29, 2013 [8 favorites]

I wanted to like it - the execution was great and I loved Ursula - but the stylistic contortions to make the premise fit sapped a lot of the energy out of it for me, especially the Italian/French/?? queen of hearts, if that's what she was... and the queen of hearts was a straight psychopath, hardly the innocent one!
And the dude was great but somehow a male voice just didn't work, again maybe just for me.

I tried to fall in love but only got meh all over my shoes.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:30 PM on October 29, 2013

Haven't watched this yet. However, I must say that I've become a bit of an Amber Riley fan this fall, between her DWTS work, and her touching solos on The Quarterback episode of Glee. I would luv to write a musical for her.
posted by NorthernLite at 12:33 PM on October 29, 2013

Although there is always this example of something similar.

That's a repost by someone. Here's the original.
posted by jedicus at 1:00 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

This was fantastic. Thanks for posting.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:49 PM on October 29, 2013

and the queen of hearts was a straight psychopath, hardly the innocent one!

Yeah, that bugged me, too. Because the character in Chicago (Hunyak) is a real tragic figure and it's just jarring and nonsensical to see it done this way.
posted by lunasol at 10:17 PM on October 29, 2013

Just taking the Disney Princesses idea a little further, it would be logical to have the replacement for Hunyak be a villainess.

You could, for example, have Maleficent deliver a speech in Latin or old French, in which she says "They accused me of drugging the princess and the entire royal court - and then imprisoning them using topiary - and finally turning into a dragon - it is absurd! (C'est impossible! C'est incroyable!)" or something like that.

Doing "The Little Mermaid" from the point of view of Ursula would be quite easy, really - the rejected sea-witch, always regarded as a goth geek by her friends (until she comes across some fat-acceptance whales who sing her a cheerful whale song about self-esteem?), developing a kind of weird abusive relationship with King Triton in which she uses her magic to help him get the throne, but then he goes back on a deal - and so she vows never to be cheated again - and decides to strike back against him through Ariel, the clearly bubble-headed daughter of privilege - except Ariel has a gawky geeky side that reminds Ursula of herself and so Ursula forgives everyone and is forgiven in turn...

Sheesh. It's all getting a bit sentimental. Maybe Ursula is more fun as a horrible person. Although one thing that is wrong with Disney is that a large proportion* of its villains are female grotesques - Izma and Cruella de Ville are ghastly skeletons, Ursula is obese, the Ugly Sisters are, well, ugly (and jealous), the Wicked Queen is beautiful but vain - and it would be nice to see some of that turned on its head... I guess that's actually one reason why I like Maleficent, actually - she's green but beautiful, and doesn't really seem to give a toss about how she looks.

* Not all, obviously. There are quite a few male villains, although most are fairly camp (Scar, Jafar, arguably Gaston, arguably Hades).
posted by lucien_reeve at 4:55 AM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

This was hit-or-miss for me. Some very well done, and ingeniously incorporating elements of the Disney stories into the Chicago song, sometimes with minimal changes. Best were Cruella de Vil ("Spots") and the Queen ("Six," which had me wondering how that would fit in...and was quite impressed with the cleverness when they did.) The change from "arsenic" to "apple juice" for the Queen's final line is one of those little things that works so well.

Ursula's and Maleficent's stories were pretty good, but their keywords ("fish" and "wishes" respectively) don't really relate to their stories.

The Queen of Hearts has been discussed above (and I generally agree with what's been said already), but the worst of the adaptations is Scar's, and not because he's male. "Figaro?" Where does that come from? There's no Figaro in The Lion King; the only Figaro I know of in the Disney canon is the cat from Pinocchio, which has nothing to do with Scar's story. Might as well just have kept "Cicero" from the original, for all the relevance it has here. And the narration seems to have virtually no changes from the original save for mentioning Mufasa and Sarabi, and it doesn't fit the characters at all. Contrast Cruella's tale, which is changed enough from the Chicago original to fit the character, yet still has a strong resemblance to the original, and it's exactly the sort of thing you could see Cruella doing.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:54 AM on October 30, 2013

I totally didn't see this somehow and actually doubleposted - but this is fantastic and amazing and I'm glad that everyone here gets to see it. Not perfect, maybe, but for fan service, I think it's the best we could expect.
posted by corb at 10:33 AM on October 31, 2013

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