Disney’s Dark Side and Maleficent

We’ve previously shared with you a list of not widely known Disney short films and animations that are unlike what you would expect or at least… well, weird. But the weirdness stems from originating somewhere into the past while the things they addressed have considerably changed in the meantime.

What we want to talk about today is a different trend in Disney movies that seems to be ongoing and growing: Disney is getting darker, it seems. Some see this as something to be concerned about, since the movies are meant for children, while others are enthusiastically embracing the change, arguing that the Disney movies haven’t been solely for children for a long time now.

Disney’s Dark Side

First of all, let us all take a moment to remember Bambi (1941). After witnessing his mother killed by the hunter, Bambi cries and just wanders through the forest, in the snow, calling for his mother, until he runs into his dad. The dad then says: “Your mother can’t be with you anymore”. The end. Bambi is literally the go-to nickname nowadays when one wishes to call someone a sad, sad, sad face. The countless pop culture references to the heart-breaking deer all speak of how kind of horrible the movie was. And that was only the beginning. Disney didn’t stop there, oh no it didn’t.

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How about The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)? Sure, it’s based on one hell of a book that included many cruel and sad scenes in the first place, but Disney managed to not tone it down as much as one would expect from a company producing children’s movies. The beginning of the movie features Frollo killing Quasimodo’s mother in a pool of blood and attempting to drown him in a well like “the demon” that he is. How lovely, right?

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But nothing is quite as depressing as Up (2009): in the 4 minutes opening the film, a couple falls in love, marries, dreams of children and adventures and travelling together, only to have their hopes crushed by miscarriage and heartbreak, followed by the wife’s illness and dying. If that’s not enough to plant the seeds of commitment issues in the new generation, I don’t know what is.

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Maleficent: A Masterpiece of Darker Disney

Maleficent seems to be a masterpiece to crown Disney’s dark side developed so far. Watch the trailer and it’s almost guaranteed to make you look forward to it if you haven’t seen it already. Even if you’re not usually into Disney movies so much, there are still two compelling reasons to watch it: Angelina Jolie and Lana del Rey. One cannot think of a voice more suitable to accompany Jolie’s face and the eerie beauty of Maleficent’s background story.

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The original song of Disney’s original Maleficent version is actually a cover of Tchaikovsky’s main theme of the Sleeping Beauty ballet. Probably all former kids that were Disney fans knew it, but the words and the tune seemed a bit silly ever since we grew up. Well, thanks to the gorgeously darkened Lana del Rey intense cover, not any more. I’ve known this song to melt even people who weren’t Lana del Rey fans, previously. Now that’s a really cool way to show off Disney’s dark side; listen to it a couple of times and you’ll probably find it strangely intense and haunting and addictive.

Exploring slightly darker themes like a villain’s background story or making said villain more complex by showing what drove them to become who they are isn’t the onset of an ambiguous moral compass for Disney, as critics claim, but merely a more realistic approach to the complexity of human character. Since simple black-and-white stories were kind of boring, we should hope to see more of Disney’s dark side, especially if it comes with lovely goth aesthetics and more Lana del Rey.

5 Game of Thrones Turning Points that Shocked Everyone

Game of Thrones – or everything based on Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire universe – is currently a huge franchise that is all the rave. Hardcore fans are dressing up as characters from Game of Thrones, or attempting to learn Dothraki, or at least making some nice artwork and memes inspired from it.

Since the new season’s debut brought on another shocker (but one most people were looking forward to; warning: spoilers ahead), we thought this was a good moment to reminisce about all the previous turning points of the show that managed to shock or outrage us. If you have different opinions about what should make it to this list of 5 somewhat chronological dramatic moments, let us know in the comment section below. Meanwhile, let’s take a look.

1. The Beheading of Ned Stark

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Sure, there were things that shocked us before that moment. How about the double shocker in the episode where Bran discovers the golden twins in their incestuous relationship and gets shoved out the window? Many things that shocked us right there, in a 5-minute interval. But it was only with the beheading on Ned Stark that we finally understood that the author and the show’s producers really meant business. We had to unlearn the lesson from every other show – that if you’re made to build up your hopes for a character or if said character is a main, that is some sort of a guarantee that the character will make it. Well, there is no such guarantee here.

2. Chopping Off Jaime’s Hand

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By the time we managed to begin liking him, the cruel fate stole from him his one ability that made him strong and somewhat invulnerable. After such a weary and long road and after we were taught to start seeing his humane vulnerabilities, to chop off the hand of knight suddenly more noble than he seemed was just cruel.

3. The Red Wedding

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Don’t even get us started on this one. The moment on the show was so shocking and upsetting, that when the episode aired G R R Martin was actually compelled to retreat for a while in order to avoid the throngs of angry fans. Obviously, the ones who had such a strong reaction were the ones who relied on the show to know what was happening in Westeros, as the ones who read the books already knew it was bound to happen sooner or later.

The Red Wedding is yet another example of the perverse law of hope that seems to function in the Game of Thrones universe. After Ned Stark’s sad death, we were expecting the character’s oldest sun to pick up his father’s sword and avenge him. Well, Robb did pick up the sword and… ended up betrayed and killed and mocked up the point where they did that whole thing with his body and the wolf’s head. Simply sad and outrageous.

4. Sansa ending up married to Tyrion

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Ok, maybe this one doesn’t really deserve the 5-list feature since it’s more of a sub-plot than an actual turning point. But it’s surely as shocking to you as it was to us. It was the most unlikely combination and because the princess-like character’s expectations get mocked by the author in a strange way. And because, in the Game of Thrones universe, we suddenly realize Sansa could have ended up much, much worse.

5. The Purple Wedding

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Joffrey dies, though there wasn’t much sadness for us viewers. Well, maybe a little sadness for Cersei, if you manage to like her, or for Jaime, since there’s a better chance of you liking him. However, not much sadness for Joffrey himself. In the Game of Thrones story, there are few purely black-and-white characters and he was one of the darkies and therefore won’t be missed terribly by fans, but his death still was a shocking event and a major plot turning point.

The 5 Most Racist Movies of All Time

The cinematic world has seen many bizarre movies over the years, but none as disturbing as these racist as these ones. As you may already know, African-Americans and Jews weren’t the most beloved people a couple of decades back, and the irrational hate for them has fueled quite a few movies. Nevertheless, one would think that the line would be drawn somewhere. It was not the case with the following movies. Let’s take a look at the 5 most racist movies of all time.

1. The Passion of Christ

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The Passion of the Christ is a perfect example of history depiction gone wrong. There is a common misconception that somehow Jews have caused the death of Christ, and this is exactly what transpires from the movie. Of course, Mel Gibson’s over anti-semitism doesn’t help, but the fact that people actually believe that the Jews are somehow connected to our Savior’s death has lead to many unfortunate deaths throghout the years. In the movie, antagonists which force Pontius Pilate’s hand are depicted as evil schemers, thirsty for the blood of Christ, and the Jews who are not part of the group are seen as uneducated, stupid people who can’t accept Christ as their Messiah.

2. The Little Rebel

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The idea of the movie doesn’t sound so bad: Shirley Temple plays the role of Virginia, a young daughter from a plantation-owning family during the civil war. In the meantime her father becomes a scout for the Confederate and she remains with Uncle Billy (one of the slaves) and her mother, at the plantation. Her father is arrested so she struggles to talk to President Abraham Lincoln about the story. Her father is later pardoned. Sounds innocent, doesn’t it? The movie has two fatal flaws. First of all, Uncle Billy is actually an Uncle Tom because he is the kind of slave that doesn’t really mind being a slave, and will happily submit to his master’s wishes. Secondly, the other slaves in the movie are afraid of the Union soldiers and reluctant to leave slavery behind.

3. Gone With the Wind

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Recommended Read: Interesting Facts About Gone With the Wind

As much as I loved this movie (and not a year goes by without re-watching it), it would be hypocrisy not to point out the racism found in it. Gone with the Wind is basically a romanticized portrayal of the war between the South and the North, so it also shows how black people, slaves or free, were treated. The image of African-Americans is very narrow. Take Mammy for example (who has played an excellent role). She simply cannot function without her white masters. Also, most of the slaves in the movie are very happy with their situation, while the “bad” blacks are seen as mindless apes who would attack anyone in sight.

4. Goodbye Uncle Tom

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If you’ve seen Goodbye Uncle Tom, then you must know why we are putting it at the top of the list. The film is so racist and depraved that it was slammed by almost every critic. Producers stated that it is a documentary about slavery, but in reality it was a racist farce about how black people are horrible monsters that deserve what they got. In addition to this, the movie was actually pornographic, and the funny thing is that the producers were actually real-life racists. What would you expect? Although the depiction of slavery is 80% accurate, the racist views of the directors can be seen easily.

5. The Birth of a Nation

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You may or may not know about this movie, but it it was the highest-grossing film until Gone with the Wind Came Along. The story is about the Civil War and the reconstruction after it. It is basically a portrayal of racism in the highest form. Black people were actually played by white men with masks (and seen as brutal savages), and the movie also talks about (and actually romanticizes) the origins of the Ku Klux Klan.

4 Famous Movies That Were Banned Outside the U.S.

While some movies were box office hits, gaining great revenue and ravenous fans in the United States, other countries used their power to censor. These nations have their reasons for choosing not to show these movies. Some movies are just too violent. Others are offensive to the beliefs, culture or traditions of that nation. Then for other movies, there is a fear of the film presenting “inappropriate” ideas or behaviors to their citizens. While we can get into a deep analysis over the freedom of speech, freedom of art, and the dark side of censorship, today we will simply present four famous movies that were banned outside the U.S.. Feel free to ponder on the sensitive matters that such decisions encompass. 

1. North Korea banned 2012

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The disaster movie 2012 was quite impressive. Even if it wasn’t the best movie in the world, it certainly made a good impression with fans and critics alike, particularly for its special effects. However, in 2010, North Korea banned the movie from the country’s cinemas based on a superstition:

The year 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-sung, and has been designated by the North Korean government as “the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower”.

You can imagine why the movie was banned. What is harder to imagine is the fact that some people, who managed to put their hands on pirated copies of the movie and see it, were arrested and charged with “grave provocation against the development of the state”.

2. New Zealand banned Maniac

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Maniac is a first person slasher movie featuring New Zealand’s favorite Hobbit – Elijah Wood. However, the 2013 movie was banned in New Zealand because it was too graphic, too personal, and was invited viewers to vicariously participate. In other words, the country believed that the peaceful population of the country would have been enticed to violent behaviors against their will. Still, the Kiwi audience was able to see the movie, as “Maniac” was restricted only in festivals’ screenings and we’re sure that alternative means have been found since then.

3. Vietnam banned The Hunger Games

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Why did the Vietnam Government decide to ban The Hunger Games in their country? Because it depicts too much violence and the Vietnamese can’t stand to see youngsters fighting each other in an arena. There is just too much death to handle in this movie. We didn’t check this out, but how about the original Old Boy? Did the Vietnamese even hear about it? There were some rumors that Vietnam banned the Hunger Games books too, but this still needs further investigation.

4. More than one country banned Bruce Almighty

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We are talking about Egypt, Malaysia, Myanmar and Iran and the reasons for taking such decisions revolved around the movie’s depiction of God. It’s portrayal of God as a simple, ordinary man (although Morgan Freeman is far from being ordinary), is something that offended the religious views of said populations. According to the sources,

the director of artistic censorship, Madkour Thabet, said the American film “Bruce Almighty” was banned because “it harms the Almighty by daring to have him incarnated by an actor.”

Among the most famous movies that were banned outside the U.S., we can objectively pick the ones that have a pretty powerful display of violence and understand why such movies are subjects of controversy. We also can understand that some audiences should be kept safe from nudity and other touchy issues. However, banning a movie out of a superstition or because an actor interpreted the role of the Almighty, that is perhaps a bit too much. What do you think?

25 Interesting Movie Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

There are many great movies that have graced the cinemas in the past 30 years. While you may know the stories in most of them, you definitely don’t know the stories behind them. A large mass of interesting factoids about our favorite flicks have been shared on social networks, and most of them are actually true. Here are 25 of the most interesting movie facts that you can pass off in pubs and social settings.

1. The Tangled/Frozen/Little Mermaid Theory

Tangled was released three years before Frozen. What if the King and Queen of Arendelle were on their way to Rapunzel and Eugene’s wedding when their boat sank? That must be why Rapunzel and Eugene felt the need to come to Elsa’s coronation ceremony. The boat is also present in the Little Mermaid Scenes. The stories supposedly happened at the same time.

2. Casablanca

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Number two on our interesting movie facts list is from the Casablanca movie. In the Casablanca movie, Humphrey Bogart never said “Play it Again, Sam.”

3. E.T.

Actress Debra Winger helped with the voicing of E.T. In the movie “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” in 1982.

4. 13 Going 30

This movie is about a 13 year old girl that wishes to turn 30. Jenna’s birthday scene was shot two times, with different wardrobes. This is why in the trailer she is wearing a multi-colored and has her hair down, and in the movie she is wearing a blue top with her hair up.

5. 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan

As if there weren’t already enough subliminal messages in Disney’s movies, 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan are actually the only animations in which parents of the protagonists don’t die throughout the movie.

6. Gone With the Wind

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Over 1400 actresses were interviewed for the role of Scarlett O’Hara. Vivian Leigh happened to pass in front of the director’s window and he immediately fell in love with her and pleaded that she take the role.

More Gone With the Wind Facts

7. Notorious

Alfred Hitchcok came under CIA surveillance for his use of Uranium as plot element in Notorious (1946).

8. Fight Club

Fight Club was one of the best movies in the history of movies. During its making, Brad Pitt managed to chip his tooth but he didn’t get it capped until the movie was done because he thought it would look better that way.

9. Django Unchained

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Django Unchained is the first time for Leonardo DiCaprio to not receive the top billing, in 16 years.

10. Cannibal Holocaust

The Director of Cannibal Holocaust had to prove in court that the actors which participated in this movie didn’t die during filming.

11. The Watchmen

Fox refused to screen The Watchmen because they say it is “the most unintelligible piece of s#$t they have read in years”.

12. Lord of The Rings

Can you imagine any other actor playing the role of Aragorn? If Viggo Mortensen’s son wouldn’t have insisted that his father play in the series, we would never have seen him in this incredible role.

13. Harry Potter

Professor Severus Snape is one of the most controversial good guys in the history of movies. To make his character seem believable, Alan Rickman was the only one beside J.K. Rowling to know that he was actually trying to defend Harry.

14. The Lord of The Rings #2

Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King has won all the eleven Academy Awards that it was nominated for.

15. Avatar

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Were you impressed by the CGI scenes from Avatar? We know we wore. Apparently each frame took 47 hours to render.

 16. Django Unchained #2

The world “nigger” is pronounced 113 times in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

17. Paranormal Activity

Talk about incredible income from movies. Paranormal Activity cost 150.000$ to make, and it grossed over 210$ million so far.

18. Pirates of the Carribbean

The cast and crew of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was evacuated to Los Angeles because of Hurricane Wilma.

19. Pirates of the Caribbean #2

To get a real surprised reaction out of Orlando Bloom in the small kissing scene between Elizabeth Sawn and Jack Sparrow, directors cut it out from his script.

20. Pulp Fiction

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All the Clocks in “Pulp Fiction” are stuck on 4:20.

21. Star Wars

Jodie Foster was George Lucas’s second choice to play princess Leia in the 1977 movie.

22. The Story of Mulan

Mulan’s story has been told in China for almost 1.500 years before Disney decided to make a movie out of it.

23. Shawshank Redemption

IMDB’s #1 movie, the Shawshank Redemption was the 51st highest grossing movie in 94′, behind Street Fighter.

24. Assassin Creed movie

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It is rumored that Michael Fassbender will produce and star in the Assassin Creed movie.

25. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

We may have never seen Robert Downey Jr. star in the Iron Man were it not for his his amazing performance in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He was a black-listed actor.

We hope you enjoyed our 25 most interesting movie facts list.