Friday, September 28, 2012

Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Reviews -- 6. Titanic Animated Movies

Number 6 -- Titanic Animated Movies


(Seriously, MaroBot's a great CG artist. He even made the set pieces and exteriors for Linkara's spaceship!)

Titanic: The Legend Goes On
Release Date: September 15, 2000
Posting Date: March 24, 2009
The Legend of Titanic
Release Date: April 17, 1999
Posting Date: May 17, 2011

If you wanna talk about atrocious ideas for movies, there's a real elephant in the room to that regard. And they're both movies that feel like they shouldn't be movies. They should be comedy sketches satirizing the same "Disney animated formula" trope. (As a matter of fact, TV Funhouse on Saturday Night Live did in fact do a sketch about a fake Disney animated feature set aboard the Titanic, entitled "Titey". Doug actually made a great point about how that skit got it right by making the iceberg the villain.)

When Doug Walker first heard about an animated movie about the sinking of the Titanic, his first impression zeroed in on the fact that the movie has "a rapping dog". (As if this didn't have enough in common with Kazaam.) That alone just begged for a Nostalgia Critic review.

So yeah, the first of these two movies the Critic reviewed (out of three, by the way, but Doug was so exhausted by the movies he did see that he didn't want to bother with the third) was Titanic: The Legend Goes On, which had the rapping dog. Also, it was the last one produced. Another major feature was the sloppy, overtly fluid animation, heavily reliant on footage being repeated in many places to the point of compromising the coherence. Not that there's much to say about the story, since the movie has an over-saturation of characters and subplots competing for attention.

For example, the hoards of animals who come onto the ship. "You'd swear it was Noah's Ark." Amongst their rambling, lame-brained sequences include, surprisingly early on in the film the afore-mentioned rapping dog scene. I promise you, that's something you will never get over. If you can only see how much Jagermister the Critic downs, going all the way up to his now-famous comically large bottle.

In addition, we also have the central love story, which is where the film feels the most like its ripping off that James Cameron movie. In this case though, we swap the genders between the main couple. Originally, Jack was a poor man who won his tickets onto the boat and Rose was a wealthy girl saddled with a jackass fiancee. In this case though, our female lead is the Cinderella type who stumbles across a rich man on the boat. Of course, they instantly fall in love at first sight, and go through the motions despite not really knowing each other. ("Nothing you say can prevent me from loving you." "I'm a man..." "WHOOP! Gotta go!")

This whole movie about what you'd expect from zero-budget, animated mockbuster fare, and I think we can all be thankful nobody about that level of filmmaking is willing to work with this idea. As such, movies like this can only have rumors and clips circulate around the web and attract the suitable amount of ridicule. But this wasn't the only one that was made, or even that the Critic reviewed. And if an insipid cartoon about rapping dogs and meandering subplots was enough for a funny review, how's about we try The Legend of Titanic on for size?

The only compliment that the Critic can pay this movie is that the animation is improved. I gotta say though, I disagree on that point. It's just more limited as opposed to being too fluid. As opposed to dancing with CD-i game territory, it's as clunky and slow-paced as an early DiC cartoon from the 80s, with the somewhat-muffled underscore to match. And even early DiC shows had better gags and character designs than these people, which have kind of an icky coating to them in how they look. We didn't need an eyepatch on the main villain, and the mice characters keep going from sliced-pie eye designs to simple dots in their eyeballs.

But let's ignore the animation. This is a movie that starts out with cartoon mice (again) hearing about how "Nobody died on the Titanic" from their grandfather. We flashback to his time on the ship and hear about another point ripped off from the Cameron movie, a (human) female lead, named Elizabeth is engaged to an evil man she doesn't love. Her fiance, known as Maltravers is also a major whaler looking to make a juicy profit by dominating the ocean through his marriage.

So what happens to fix this all up? Well, Elizabeth drops a single tear drop into the ocean, and that apparently combined with "Magic moon beams" to allow humans to talk to animals.

I swear to god, I did not make this up!

No, really. If the Jager wasn't intense enough a reaction for you, you ought to see the Critic unable to keep anything above a rambling, all-over-the-place response as Elizabeth can suddenly talk to dolphins as they constantly jump up to see her. It all begins with those pressed lips, and a beat that allows him to build up a "Pardon" before struggling to keep it all together. And everything just keeps piling right on, as the dolphins reveal that Maltravers is killing whales "near to extinction" and they're on a mission to save their whole species. At that same time, we meet the sharks who are working with the whalers, and now can talk to each other apparently thanks to that "moon beam" nonsense. After Elizabeth dumps Maltravers, he retaliates by holding her father hostage and forcing him to approve his contract to allow his whaling activities, planning to cover everything by arranging for the sharks to sink the Titanic.

Let me sum all of that up for you, this movie just said that the sinking of the Titanic was all part of a whaling profit scheme. The sharks convince an octopus drawn with a dog's face (needless to say, the single ugliest design in a movie full of them) to hurl an iceberg at the ship to sink it. What follows is a lengthy climax wherein everyone (yes everyone, I remind you that this movie said nobody died) on the Titanic manages to get off in time, and the octopus attempts to fix the situation by holding the ship together. Add more than a few Disney deaths, and you have your movie.

So yeah, the mere idea of an animated comedy about the sinking of the Titanic shouldn't sound reasonable to anybody. And neither of these two movies do anything to help that fact, both going out of the way to talk down to their audience. The Legend Goes On was stupid enough, but it's The Legend of Titanic that really goes into the grotesque territory. It really hits the point where every mention on the "Darth Wiki" section of TV Tropes refers hammers home the "Anti-whaling tract" detail, and still manages to represent that as a horrible thing.

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