MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE Day 5: CAPTAIN BARBOSSA #mayhemofthemouse

But Chris! You just did a pirate! Yeah yeah yeah, shaddap! Hook doesn’t count as a pirate; he was the Pedobear with a prosthesis chasing little kids. But today’s masterful meanie, now he changes the game. So welcome, boys and girls, to the second installment of our 3-part Saturday! If you ain’t catch it (and yes, my grammar sucks), Barbossa is our sadistic subject.

Once upon a time, back when slavery was still legal and quality dental care was the “wave of the future,” a group of opportunists in a flagging economy decided to make their fortunes “redistributing” the goods moving from North America to Europe in the transatlantic trade. Like how that sounds huh? What can I say, it’s election season—I can spin anything. “Opportunists” is a stretch. So is redistribution. These were criminals hijacking shit in boats. These were pirates.

Long before Johnny Depp made them cool, I was a fan of pirates. I liked the boats, the eyepatches, the swords, saying Arggh! I thought Jerry Seinfled in that puffy shirt was funny. Even my Facebook page is in pirate. So I was a little excited when I saw Pirates of the Caribbean the first time. And what do I get? Pirates that are cursed and can’t die and WALK ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN!! What?

Okay lemme back up. Everybody’s all “Jack Sparrow is awesome,” right? Jack Sparrow sucks as a pirate—he is amazing as a criminal. Got his ship taken in EVERY movie, sunk in the last one, is captured in every single movie, had two mutinies. Jack Sparrow sucks as a pirate. Barbossa, though, led a mutiny, actually stranded Jack on a desert island with one bullet, and stole a casket of Aztec gold. And this is BEFORE the movie starts.

Then he gets better. Fine, they got the curse, right? Can’t die, right? So he has to go across the seven seas to reclaim the gold. And he does it for damn near 20 years. And he does it in style! When the pirates show up at Port Royale, they just bomb the fort and walk on into the town. There is no planning phase or hand-wringing—Barbossa makes it happen. Like Megatron.

But then my man can’t die. He spends the bulk of the first movie immortal and when the curse is finally lifted and he gets shot, Barbossa is resurrected at the end of Dead Man’s Chest. And where is he going? To Davy Jones’ locker to get Jack Sparrow. He knows the way to the end of the world. You’re talking about a man, a pirate, who literally steals life from death. He knows his way around immortality and purgatory but can’t find a decent dental plan to save his life. That’s pretty impressive for a pirate.

Hector’s awesome (we’re on a first name basis now—we’re BFFs) because he commits. For all the hoopla around Jack Sparrow and the multiple attempts on his life, Barbossa’s the only one to actually put a sword through him. And made him walk the plank. Twice. And his shit is solely about apples.

I’m not a fan for what happened to him in On Stranger Tides—I felt like they took a pretty awesome character and toned him down so he wouldn’t make Blackbeard look like a chump. Watch the other movies: Barbossa’s a pimp with a monkey on his shoulder and hat with a feather in it.

And that’s my word! And that puts me back on schedule! Take that!

Also, if you like what’s happening here, remember to join the giveaway over at amandabellestarr.com.

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE Day 4 (kinda): MADAM MIM #mayhemofthemouse

Coupla updates: first, I spent the last couple days at a camp site with no internet access, sparse electricity, and 100 10-year-olds, taking my daughter on a fifth grade camping trip. I’m tired, I’m dirty, I stink and I worship the ground teachers walk on. Seriously. That accounts for the missing days.

Second, because I love you all SOOOOOO much, we’re doing triples today. Now, my wife says I’ve been a lil mean in discussing Disney do-badders (is that a word?) so I’m going to try play softball with the bad guys. SIKE! I’ma do what I do and we’ll get along famously, right? Right. First up in our bevy of Mouse-shaped baddies is Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone.

The Sword in the Stone is Disney’s take on the legend of King Arthur—you know the fable: there’s the magical sword Excalibur trapped in a stone or an anvil and the prophecy that whoever pulls the sword becomes the new king of England. There’ve been a couple versions of the story—one with Sean Connery, another with Clive Owen—and they’re usually pretty gritty. The Sword in the Stone is not.

Arthur, called Wart, is a squire/stable boy/peon in the service of a knight. And he’s not good at it. He drops shit, spills shit, breaks shit, etc and this keeps him in constant trouble. Merlin comes along and sees something valuable in lil Wart and decides to train him. You notice we haven’t mentioned Mim yet. Since this story is predominantly about Wart, his relationship with Merlin, and his growth into a king, we don’t get much Mim. But the parts we do get are pretty cool.

So Mim is a witch that lives in the forest. Merlin is teaching Wart how to fly and turns him into a sparrow. When Wart accidently flies down Mim’s chimney (that sounds nasty, doesn’t it?), Mim challenges Merlin to a duel to get the boy back. This is honestly the best part of the movie and I LIKE this one!

The Magnificent Mad Madam Mim (her full name) is both cocky and powerful: she says she’s more powerful then Merlin. And actually tries to kill him! She becomes an alligator, a tiger, a rattlesnake, a rhinoceros and a dragon. She makes the rules (“Rule One: No mineral or vegetable, only animals. Rule Two: No make-believe things like, ooh, pink dragons and stuff. Now, Rule Three: No disappearing.”) and then summarily cheats by turning into a giant purple dragon—talking about “I didn’t say no PURPLE dragons, did I?”

In the end, this is what makes Mim an awesome villain: she cheats. Blatantly. She takes advantage of the situation, puts her power on full display, and is willing to do what it takes to get what she wants. And she hates the sun. Seriously.

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE Day 3: CAPTAIN HOOK #mayhemofthemouse

Number three in our line up of Disney’s usual suspects is the big-hatted, blouse-y shirted, fisherman-friendly prosthetic-wearing original Disney pirate: Captain Hook.

I usually go into movies either strongly in the hero’s column (like Rocky or Spidey or Iron Man) or at least hero-neutral: rarely do I have strong negative feelings about a hero. Except for Peter Fucking Pan. I hate the fairy, I really do, and I’m not entirely certain why. He’s just kinda creepy to me and when a yellow sweater vest-wearing, ET-loving, Macaulay Culkin-hugging Michael Jackson said ol Petey was his favorite, that was the nail in the coffin. And I love Michael Jackson but…I just didn’t feel right.

So knowing that I HATE Peter Pan, you can imagine I was pretty excited about Captain Hook. Oh, you hate his lil ass too? Great! I’ve only seen this movie once and it was a long time ago and I hope I never see it again. Yes, it was that fantastic. Captain Hook spends the movie chasing Peter Pan and his band of Bebe kids because Peter cut off his hand. Now, Hook has his own issues: aside from his infatuation with a group of perpetually 8-year-old boys, Hook lives in terror of a crocodile that thinks he’s a two-piece dinner and stalks him because he tastes good.

Now, I’m a little concerned about the man’s obsession with a Justin Beiber lookalike in green tights. I get the kid cut off his hand and everything but does it not strike anyone as a lil disconcerting Hook’s perpetual focus on a group of small boys? This obsession leads him to attempted murder, kidnapping, imprisonment—and none of his focus on adults. Captain Hook is a poor pirate; he’s an angry schoolbus driver in frilly clothes. And, the truth is, the foulest villain in the whole movie was Tinkerbell. That chick got so jealous of Wendy, she tried to get Hook to kill her.

The whole movie is a hot mess and the catalyst for everything is that Wendy has gotten too old to be sleeping in the same room with her brothers. I’m a parent: the end of this story is Wendy gets her own freaking room and everybody grows the fuck up. The End, right? But no, we get Peter teaching people how to fly, evading Captain Hook, leading an expedition against the “Indians” that live on the island (one of which Captain Hook kidnapped). Peter Pan refuses to grow up, Captain Hook is both jealous of Peter and eager to see him dead, Tinkerbell is in love enough with Peter that she’s willing to kill. And the crux of the movie is the kids really want parents and structure and Peter Pan wants to deny them what they need.

In the end, Captain Hook has one redeeming quality: he is so vehemently opposed to not growing up. Peter Pan is his enemy because Peter Pan represents a level of immaturity that the movie seems to reject—ever Peter’s own people reject it. The entire movie is about time and maturity and growing up: Peter’s immaturity hampers Hook by cutting off his hand and the inevitability of Hooks eventual death is chronicled by the ticking clock in the crocodile. Geez, I got deeper than I wanted. I’m still not a fan but Hook’s a winner because he hates Peter Pan more than I do. And I HATE Peter Pan.

And that’s the deal! I will catch you guys tomorrow! And, don’t forget, join the giveaway! Swing by amandabellestarr.com and submit your entry!

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE Day 2: URSULA #mayhemofthemouse

And you came back! Look at you got a little streak going and everything! I’m so proud! So welcome back, friends and foes, to another FAN-tastic episode of Mayhem of the Mouse—the place where we look at some of our favorite Disney villains and then talk about what’s wrong with them.

Now, I fully planned on talking about Captain Hook today and, if you’ve been paying attention, you know I am no fan of Peter Pan. But that sounded too much like right so I decided to switch things up to Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Why the switch? In the litany of disturbing Disney deaths there are some doozies: Mufasa getting trampled by wildebeests in The Lion King; the boy having to shoot his own dog in Old Yeller; Clayton getting hung by vines in Tarzan. But I have to say Ursula’s death in the Little Mermaid takes the cake.

That chick got stabbed. By a boat.

Go back and read that again. Stabbed. By. A. Boat. I’ve seen some big MFs in the movies in my day—you know I’m a Godzilla fan. I love some Jaws. I’ve even read Moby Dick (see! I can read!) In exactly none of those instances was the gigantic beast impaled by a nautical vehicle. That’s a Jenny Craig ad for your ass. Stabbed by a boat.

Anyway, I figured since I was so stuck by her death, I might as well explore her living years too, huh? So, if you’ve never seen the Little Mermaid, you’ve missed the cutest lil thing in a clam bra since Mary Ann danced a hula on Gilligan’s Island. This is the classic “the grass is always greener” story, right? Ariel’s a mermaid who wants to be human and, after watching some fireworks, pulls a Baywatch and ends up saving a dude named Eric from drowning and sings to him. He falls in love with her voice and vows to find this girl. Ariel vows to be human. Her father disapproves and, like a teenager, runs off into the arms of the chunky chick down the street: Ursula.

Ursula has eyes on the throne and makes a deal with Ariel: she’ll make her human in exchange for Ariel’s voice.  Now this is the beginning of the bait-and-switch all men have fallen victims to at some point in their lives: you meet someone and they sound real good, only to meet them in person and be horribly disappointed. Keep in mind, Ursula now has Ariel’s pretty ass voice but no neck (it’s all chin and chest). Ariel still makes it happen with Eric anyway and just as they fall in love, Ursula comes back to ruin the party.

Ursula comes back as this sexy-ass woman named Vanessa with the voice Eric fell in love with and gets him all hot and bothered enough that he wants to marry her. Like the next day! My PSA: when you do meet that special someone, let it marinate: symptoms of crazy can take up to the 3 weeks to manifest. Ariel’s all heart broken (but she can’t tell nobody cuz she has no voice), the creatures of the sea break up the wedding and part 2 of the bait-and-switch happens: when things go awry, Ursula transforms from the sexy girl in the club who said “no, it’s ok, I like watching you play that game” into a REALLY big girl (still with no neck) who’s ragging on him and ruining everything (“you never pay attention to me anymore! All you do is play that game!”) and screwing up the family and shit.  And then he stabs her with the boat.

The End.

I guess I took Ursula a lil more personal than I should (hey, highschool was tough!) and it is just the Little Mermaid. I’ll add that to my therapy group discussion topics. Tomorrow, tomorrow, we’ll do Hook tomorrow, you’ll have to swing by and see! But before you do, if you haven’t joined the Amanda Belle Starr giveaway, click HERE and get on it!

See ya!

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE Day 1: JAFAR #mayhemofthemouse

Well, Hellooooo Boys and Girls (you have to imagine this in the Mickey Mouse voice)!

Welcome to Day One of the Mayhem of the Mouse damn-Disney-makes-some-messed-up-villains extravaganza. If you’ve been here before, Welcome Back! You know the deal: take off your coat, kick your feet up and get your giggle on. If you’re brand new and are thinking, “well, he said Disney, it must be family-friendly,” heh heh heh, you are in for a surprise. What we do here is hold our favorite villains up to the light, shake them real hard and hope something gooey falls out.

And our first Mouse-y miscreant is Jafar.

You guys remember Jafar, right? Tall, skinny dude, supeeeerrrr-slim goatee, had the Aflac duck on his shoulder? Jafar is the adviser to a fat little king who isn’t smart enough to question why the parrot is named after one the most deceitful characters in literary history; and the disgruntled protector of a big-eyed, big-haired, Tiny Dancer, Jasmine. Folks, Jafar is CLEARLY the smartest kid in school: the sultan can’t figure out a) that the parrot can hold complete conversations; and b) he is NOT interested in any of those dry-ass crackers.

Anyway, Jafar gets the line on a genie’s lamp and that it’s buried in the gullet of a huge, man-eating tiger cave. So what does Jafar do? Does he brave the cave himself? Does he send the freaking bird? Nope. Remember when the city of Austin got all that flack for turning homeless people in hotspots? Yeah, that shit came from Jafar: he has an entire racket of grabbing homeless people and bribing them to go into this cave that looks like a giant stone tiger mouth. AND THEN THEY DIE!! And this is a Disney movie! This is how it starts!

Jafar gets Aladdin and that greedy-ass monkey to go into the tiger cave to get the genie lamp. It ain’t enough that he’s endangering the lives of the boy and the monkey—no, when they finally do bring back the lamp and need a leg up to get out, he tries to kill them instead. Jafar doesn’t get nicer: he’s a power-hungry megalomaniac who escalates from wanting to be king to wanting to be the most powerful thing in the world. This makes him do stuff like make a deal with the king to marry his daughter and conspire to kill him at the same time. Or toss Aladdin into the bottom of the ocean for trying to woo Jasmine. And he sent him to freeze to death in the Himalayas in that lil vest and puffy pants.

Before the movie is over, Jafar has the lamp and is using his wishes to become king and then a sorcerer. Jasmine tries to use her feminine wiles to lure Jafar away with a sexy lil dance number and, in response, he puts her in an hourglass and tries to smother her, then turns into a cobra and tries to squeeze her to death. Perhaps she should get on that Yoga Booty Ballet.

Jafar ends the movie as a slave to the lamp, trapped with the damn bird, both awesomely powerful and powerless. He’s an incredible testament to the power of a good Disney villain and a great way to start the festivities: he’s power-hungry for no reason, takes full advantage of every opportunity to try to kill both the hero and the princess, and he has some killer one liners—“You’re speechless, I see. A fine quality in a wife.” Classic! Though Iago (the parrot) had the best line when he called Jasmine a “chump.”

And that ends our first installment of October’s Mayhem of the Mouse (brought to you by Amanda Belle Starr–while you’re at it, go and enter her giveaway!). There’s plenty more where that came from so tune in tomorrow, same Bat time, same Bat channel. And for you Type-As out there who hafta know what’s coming next, here’s the whole list:

Captain Hook Ratcliffe Hades
Madame Mim Chernabog Judge Frollo
Yzma Madame Medusa Sykes
Gaston Big Bad Wolf Hopper
Ursula Clayton Sykes
Queen of Hearts Stromboli Sabor
Shere Khan Prince John Davy Jones
Syndrome Shan Yu Sid Phillips
Barbosa Ratigan Randall Boggs
Mother Gothel Lady Tremaine Maleficent

Coming this October: Mayhem of the Mouse!

You might remember a year ago I was chomping on my nails, fretting about the coming October. For those of you who skip that lil Archive link on left, my wife LOVES horror movies. I do not. I do not like them Sam I Am. So every October I gird my loins for 31 days of blood and guts, ghosts and goblins, hack and slash supernatural nonsense.

Until this year.

This year, I got smart. See, in addition to horror movies, and the Lifetime Channel, my wife LOVES Disney. Disney movies, Disney parks, Disney body spray—you name it, if it has the Mouse on it, she’s all over it. So this year, I figured I’d balance the horror with some hilarity and Disney-up October with MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE (imagine that with booming echoes and stuff)!

What is Mayhem of the Mouse, you ask? Great question. We’ve spent the last 6 months looking at all kinds of villains, haven’t we? Supervillains, galactic terrors, giant monsters, soap opera baddies, Kardashians—okay, no Kardashians (yet) but you get it. Disney has an awesome array of bad guys waiting for the Crooked Letterz treatment—we’ve already had Scar, the Evil Queen, and Cruella DeVille grace these lovely pages. So for the 31 days in October, it’s all Disney villains.

But wait, there’s more! As an added bonus/incentive, hop on over to amandabellestarr.com and join the giveaway. She’s got a BEAUTIFUL Limited Edition Maleficent statue and a Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghost Figurine for you Disney lovers—all for the low, low cost of some Facebook Likes and some Twitter Follows. And if you book a vacation with her, you get some extra entries.

So swing by amandabellestarr.com, join the giveaway, and hang out with me throughout the month of October to get my take on your favorite Disney villains. It’ll be a scream! (You know I am legally obligated to say that for any Halloween-related post, right?) It all starts Monday, October 1st!