Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Daniel » August 3rd, 2022, 1:58 am

What's cool is that she recently reprised Ursula in an episode of "The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse". She still had the voice!

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Evergreen » August 4th, 2022, 5:53 pm

Pat Carroll was divine as Ursula--she will be missed!

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Daniel » August 4th, 2022, 7:00 pm

Welcome, Evergreen! Nice avatar.

Here's Pat on the comedy show "Fractured Flickers", alongside Hans Conried the original voice of Captain Hook:



Pretty cool seeing two iconic Disney villains together!

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Daniel » August 8th, 2022, 3:59 pm

Olivia Newton-John has passed. :( :cry:
Facebook wrote:Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.

Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).

Olivia is survived by her husband John Easterling; daughter Chloe Lattanzi; sister Sarah Newton-John; brother Toby Newton-John; nieces and nephews Tottie, Fiona and Brett Goldsmith; Emerson, Charlie, Zac, Jeremy, Randall, and Pierz Newton-John; Jude Newton-Stock, Layla Lee; Kira and Tasha Edelstein; and Brin and Valerie Hall.

- via John Easterling, husband, Olivia Newton-John
This one hurts so much. Making it worse, today's the anniversary of Xanadu! Talk about eerie. Olivia fought such a good fight against multiple waves of cancer recurrences. Rest in peace, Sandy.

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Ben » August 8th, 2022, 4:08 pm

Tell me about it, stud! ;)

Big loss for those of a certain age here, forever known as Olivia Neutron-Bomb for various reasons! Kinda glad that I added Xanadu to a recent order, though it’s genuinely a terrible film. But she will forever be Sandy, iconic and immortal. RIP.

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Randall » August 8th, 2022, 8:47 pm

Ironic, I had just added Xanadu to my Wish List, and figured on picking it up soon-ish. (This was (due to a recent Gene Kelly discussion I was having with... Ben! Coincidence?)

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Ben » August 9th, 2022, 3:13 am

No coinkidink…I actually got this for the Kelly connection, and not the Bluth moment, as I was pleased just to have that on VHS. But I’d seen Cover Girl again and wanted to "witness" the awful way Gene comes back in Xanadu as Danny, which otherwise has nothing to do with the earlier film and is a totally pointless character "connection". The film is terribly awful, so make sure you get it really cheap (when doing my big "catch up" order to James I think it was six bucks or something, so made sense to bung it in). Might be fun to actually watch it when that all eventually turns up here, in some kind of warped ONJ tribute!

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by EricJ » August 9th, 2022, 5:45 am

Most reviews of Xanadu say "Well, everyone knows it's bad because...well it just IS, that's all!", and then make either some comment about the box office or think that it won the Razzie (which it didn't).
I've never heard anyone go into particular detail about WHY, apart from high dudgeons about "Gene Kelly's last role" (which it wasn't), which only reinforces the idea that the movie was "cursed" by its association with the truly, truly train-wrecked "Can't Stop the Music", which came out within a month of the movie, and was often shown in double-features with it ever since.
Not to mention the movie being branded as a "disco musical" because of its hanger-on, and suffering 80's torches-and-pitchforks accordingly, despite there being no disco music in it.

Like any true cult film, there are as many scenes that hit, if one is in the right mood, as miss--If you can take a Don Bluth cartoon, you can take Gene Kelly dressing in 80's New Wave clothes, and enjoy it. Me, I invoke the Electric Dreams rule that there ARE no bad movies with Jeff Lynne/ELO music in them.
And yes, the 42nd anniversary of Xanadu's premiere makes it that much more wistful. :(

(I should add that those who think Xanadu is, quote-fingers, "bad", have never seen the jawdropping hash of screenwriter-rewrite ideas that was Olivia's reunion with John Travolta in 1983's "Two of a Kind". :shock: )

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Ben » August 9th, 2022, 12:25 pm

Xanadu IS bad, Eric! No story, bad performances, pretty awful songs — at least Can’t Stop The Music had the bonkers "Milkshake!" in there! All of which pales next to the uber-WTF post-Fever-and-Grease Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which you do actually have to be on drugs to even get through! ;)

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Randall » August 9th, 2022, 3:32 pm

Yeah, those are two other films I want to see!!

:D

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by EricJ » August 9th, 2022, 4:56 pm

While it would be the easy gag to say "Sgt. Pepper and Can't Stop make Xanadu look good", the fact is...they DO.
The other two are sprawling attempts to pitch their soundtrack deals at the cutesy-overproduced level of a Donny & Marie episode, and throw as much money and editing at it as possible, where Xanadu eventually figured out what it was doing (after four wildly different story ideas that each contributed a piece of the story):

It was always going to be 40's sentimental--after an earlier draft where a brief craze for swing dancing replaced roller skating--but once they got Gene Kelly in the cast, the movie was CONVINCED it was a "nostalgic salute" to what we naively thought MGM musicals were, before the VCR was invented.
And let's be honest: Just how "tightly plotted" were Singin' in the Rain or Cover Girl? A musical isn't there to tell a story or deliver Oscar performances, it's there to slap a few variety numbers together with enough context to make it entertaining, and if the singers can sing and the dancers can dance, they've done a good day's work.

Seeing some of the cutesy-bizarre musical numbers in Sgt. Pepper will literally make you WISH you had Gene Kelly teaching low-impact tap to USO-girl Olivia again.
(I'd shown Xanadu to another giggling skeptic who hadn't seen it since the theater, and while it wasn't a 100% conversion, we both spotted the Gene & Olivia number as having all the vintage-MGM earmarks of a number Kelly directed/cinema-choreographed himself. Which, here, he probably did.)

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Ben » August 9th, 2022, 5:56 pm

EricJ wrote:
August 9th, 2022, 4:56 pm
Just how "tightly plotted" were Singin' in the Rain or Cover Girl? A musical isn't there to tell a story or deliver Oscar performances, it's there to slap a few variety numbers together with enough context to make it entertaining, and if the singers can sing and the dancers can dance, they've done a good day's work.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

Eric has never seen Singin' In The Rain! :lol:

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by EricJ » August 9th, 2022, 6:07 pm

Ben has never read up on the MAKING of Singin' in the Rain! :lol:

(Uh, what was that about "Slapping enough random self-contained musical numbers together with just the minimum amount of story context to pass muster for making sense"?
In Singin's case, they went through about three or four musical-number ideas before they finally found one for Donald O'Connor, and still couldn't find one for Rita Moreno...And yes, the original story without Gene Kelly's outdo-American-in-Paris ballet would have made more sense.)

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by Ben » August 9th, 2022, 9:33 pm

Oh, you mean Be A Clown? Jukebox musicals were no new thing even in '52, but Cole Porter wouldn’t let Freed use it, so Freed wrote a "new" song that sounded just like Porter's. The title track was, of course, a standard since the 30s. As with Casablanca, a movie's production history and tortured path to the screen (and most of them can be pretty "tortured", to varying degrees) means nothing if the result is so sharp. And as frothy as it is, SITR is nothing less than sharp and is, actually, "tightly plotted", more so than most other musical films of the time. Even the end *is* better than the previous year's AAIP. It’s the end result that counts.

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Re: Animated Views Celebrity Obituary Thread

Post by EricJ » August 10th, 2022, 3:54 pm

Xanadu's path was no less tortured:
- When the stars originally signed on, Olivia thought she was playing an arena rock-roadie whose rock-'n-roll passion inspires artist Michael Beck to follow his dream. (Beck's goofy buddies at the art studio were going to be the major supporting characters, and walking out on his main-antagonist Jerk Boss to open his new club was going to be the main climax of the movie.)
- The second script rewrite tried to cash in on a nostalgic (and short-lived) craze for swing-dancing, and all of a sudden, artist Beck now had an old sentimental ex-nightclub real-estate benefactor to teach Da Kids about the old big-band days, and the two fantasize a nightclub where 80's rock meets Zoot-suits...
- The third script tried to find a visual symbol for all that 40's nostalgia, and Sonny was now an artist smitten with antique 30's art-deco LA architecture, which is how the Pan-Pacific Auditorium now becomes the arena for Sonny and his muse to run into each other...Of course, since she's no longer a rock-roadie, and there's nothing playing at the PPA, she goes from being his spiritual muse to being his literal one, and the Greek-mythology fantasy comes into the story.
- By the time they had the fourth script, Gene Kelly had signed on, the old big-band-sentimental ex-nightclub real-estate mentor/sugar-daddy became Danny Maguire In-Name-Only (hey, he could be the original...), and the movie was now convinced it was MGM For the Disco Era, complete with the old-fashioned Universal opening and closing cards.

So, no. It's NOT tightly plotted. But I like Xanadu for the same reason I like Singin' in the Rain, and will often jump to the Don Bluth cartoon or the "Drum Dreams" number on the DVD, just as I might jump to "Make 'Em Laugh".
Any movie that can make me do that is a good day's job done. It's the end result that counts. :P

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