MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE MAD, MAD WEEKEND #2: SHERE KHAN #mayhemofthemouse

As I go through this process of enumerating awesome Disney villains, I realize how many Disney movies I either never saw or simply didn’t like. The Jungle Book falls into the latter. I ain’t like this one.

The Jungle Book is based on Rudyard Kipling’s stories and tells the story of Mowgli, an abandoned boy raised in an Indian jungle by wolves. Now, I’m not going to even focus on similarities between the Jungle Book and Tarzan; I think they’re two different ideas and two very different stories that both begin with a human baby raised in an exceptionally hostile environment by a group of animals. That’s about it.

In the Jungle Book movie, Mowgli has wolves for brothers, a bear for a friend (there are bears in the jungle? Seriously?), and a black panther as a mentor. I mean, who doesn’t? Besides, this isn’t about Mowgli; this is about the awesome villain of the story, the tiger, Shere Khan.

I automatically like anybody whose name is Khan, and Shere Khan is as sexy as Ricardo Montalban. My man is truly a force to be reckoned with: he moves around the jungle as its resident monarch, is fearless (except for a couple things, which we’ll talk about soon), and is immune to the effects of the only other predator in the movie. Shere Khan is kinda raw.

Let’s break this one down a little. Yes, the jungle is scared of Shere Khan, and they should be. Have you ever seen a tiger? I know we like to think lions are awesome and best predators but check out tigers. They hunt alone (lions don’t), they swim proficiently (lions don’t, at least not often), and have a long and storied history of eating people. Tigers are no joke. The animals in the Jungle Book are not only scared of Shere Khan because of what he is, but they’re also scared FOR Mowgli because they know he’ll be a hot pocket if Shere Khan catches him.

Shere Khan has two real and rational fears: guns and fire. The only things that will kill him. He hates Mowgli because the boy represents both things Shere Khan fears. This idea makes you look at the tiger a little differently: he has a reason for his villainy. He actually has a couple. First, the law of the jungle is a survival of the fittest. That a bunch of wolves took in a human baby and a bear and a panther protect violates that order. When Baloo tries to protect Mowgli, Shere Khan damn near kills him for it. Second, human beings are the authors of the destruction of their environments and the wholesale slaughter of tigers worldwide. Shere Khan has a reason to be mad.

Like Magneto and Hades, Shere Khan has a rationale for what he does. Mowgli, by his very nature, represents a real threat to the social and physical order of the jungle. The protagonist of the story is the real villain, no matter how Kipling or Disney spin it. Shere Khan is doing what tigers do, being what tigers are. That he tries to kill both Mowgli and the animals that protect him is not only warranted, it’s expected. It’s right.

We have one more villain to go out in Day One of the Mad, Mad Weekend: Yzma, from The Emperor’s New Groove.

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE MAD, MAD WEEKEND #2: SYNDROME

We’ve all wanted to be superheroes. Yep, even me. I know I have this rugged exterior and a love for supervillains, but the truth is, on the inside, I wanted be able to fly, block bullets, and save the day. And have a theme song. And a costume. Yeah, an awesome costume.

That secret desire that we all share is the same desire bubbling in the soul of our next villain: Syndrome from The Incredibles.

Little Buddy Pine had a hero once. His hero was an awesome, crime-fighting bundle of muscle named Mr. Incredible. Mr. Incredible stood up for the little guy, had a cool car but he worked alone. And when Buddy realized he wasn’t endowed with the same gifts at Robert Parr (that’s Mr. Incredible’s secret identity), little Buddy Pine built his own powers: he gave himself the ability to fly just so he could hang out with his hero.

You have a tear, don’t you?

In an age where The Avengers can become the third highest grossing film ever and my kids can don Iron Man, Black Widow and Loki costumes for Halloween, little Buddy Pine’s dream isn’t too shabby. Matter of fact, Robert Downey, Jr’s fantastic return to cinematic brilliance is based on the same idea: Tony Stark didn’t have any powers, so he gave himself some. We just saw Christian Bale get his bat-ass whipped by Bane this summer—he doesn’t have powers. Buddy Pine’s just a kid with a dream—a normal dream—who gets played to the curb by his hero.

This is where things take a sinister turn. Mr. Incredible says 3 words that change everything: “I work alone.” Now, in the movie, when Incredible calls Buddy “Skippy,” I was rollin! But you can’t help but feel a little bad for Buddy. Here’s what nobody thought would happen: Buddy Pine would get smart enough to exact his own revenge.

Buddy becomes Syndrome, a supervillain. Now, on the surface, this is okay. In the world of The Incredibles, there are plenty of villains. But none of them seemed to be murderous ones. Buddy took his exclusion to the left. He dons his suit, uses the new powers he has, and starts killing superheroes.

What? And this is a kids’ movie?

Yep. Syndrome not only lures heroes to their doom, he builds on what he learns. My man uses the scientific method to systematically kill heroes and upgrade his weaponry. He makes buttloads of money in the process, buys an island, builds a secret lair. Then tracks down Supers who exist in a witness protection program. Are you tracking this? This is a kid, a twenty-something who gets played to the left by his hero and goes on a super-serial killing spree that compromises a federal witness protection program. One dude? Seriously? And then he kidnaps and tries to kill Mr. Incredible’s ENTIRE family? Even the kids? Even the baby?

I did mention this is a children’s movie, right?

I’m no fan of sidekicks and certainly not the sidekick poster boy, Robin. I actually giggled a little bit when the Joker laid into him with that crowbar. But it never dawned on me that Robin might get sick and tired of being Batman’s bitch and going on a killing spree against the entire Justice League. And be effective. Hadn’t really thought about that, had you?

This is what makes Syndrome pretty freaking awesome: until his emotions got in the way and he made it horrible personal between him and Mr. Incredible, he accomplished something awesome. Syndrome not only declared war on Supers, not only killed them in a pretty effective campaign, he evened the playing field. About his plan to sell his inventions to the world, he said, “When everyone’s Super, no one will be.” Syndrome became the Steve Jobs of supervillains.

But wait, there’s more in the Mad, Mad Weekend! Next is Shere Khan!

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE MAD, MAD WEEKEND #2: QUEEN OF HEARTS #mayhemofthemouse

Life can take you on some interesting twists and turns if you let it—and sometimes that’s the whole point of a really good story. The problem is, on this journey, you can run into some horrible things: a Day Job, that really pretty woman who’s really a dude, or a homicidal queen with a habit of decapitating her detractors.

This is the second Mad, Mad Weekend or, as I like to call it, CATCH UP TIME! Life continues to throw us curveballs here on the ranch but we’re gonna work through it. The first malevolent miscreant is only one of the horrible things living in Wonderland: the Queen of Hearts.

In the animated film, we first meet the Queen of Hearts when Alice strolls into the garden and sees living playing cards painting white roses red because they planted the wrong colored ones. The Queen, being the level-headed monarch she is, orders their heads cut off. I get the aesthetics but even Martha Stewart is like, “Damn, that’s a little extreme.” Have you ever screwed up at work? Ever forgotten the cover sheets on your TPS reports? Ever had your boss decide the penalty should be you lose your head?

Now I’ve never necessarily been an Alice in Wonderland fan: there’s too much crazy shit going on for me. A cat that grins and disappears. A cryptic, hookah-smoking caterpillar. Un-Birthdays with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. The late ass White Rabbit. Getting bigger and smaller and potions and cakes and everything. This looks like the ramblings of an author on acid. Even with the new movie, I got the mouse that thinks it’s a warrior, a talking dog, still the fucking cat, Professor Snape as the damn caterpillar, crazy ass Johnny Depp, something called a Jabberwocky, and Helena Bonham Carter’s big ass head—which was funny though. They just don’t work for me.

But the Queen of Hearts does. Now inevitably some die-hard Disney fan or some bored librarian is going to cite me for not knowing that the cinematic renditions of the Queen of Hearts is really an amalgamation (amalgamation—take that Masters’ degree) of the Red Queen, the true Queen of Hearts and the Duchess of Something (I really forgot). But that doesn’t matter, this is about Disney villains and Disney gave us a “fat, pompous, bad tempered old tyrant” (those are Alice’s words, by the way). The Queen holds Wonderland in the palm of her hand by the icy grip of fear: everyone who crosses her—for anything—is in danger of losing their noggin. She’s not a take prisoners kind of gal. She wants what she wants when she wants it and she absolutely gets results.

Whether you appreciate her full-bodied foulness or water-headedness, the Queen of Hearts is 100% mean. She punks EVERYBODY! She has a lil ass husband hat she dogs. She decapitates anybody who looks at her sideways. She wants to kill Alice because she thinks Alice tripped her. Alice is a kid, by the way, she’s a little girl. The Queen wants to cut her head off. Look, in the end, the Queen of Hearts is the person we all secretly wish we could be: tell me you haven’t, for a split second, wishes something horrible on that jackass who cut you off or that manager who keeps calling you into dumbass meetings or DMRH. When you’re the Queen of Hearts, that MF gets cut short. The Queen of Hearts makes it happen.

And…scene! The Mad, Mad Weekend (Part II) continues with Syndrome!

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE DAY IDK: GASTON #mayhemofthemouse

Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast fame, is our vicar of villainy in this episode and presents himself as the preeminent male in Belle’s little provincial town. But, you know, you can only be so hard with a ponytail. It’s even harder if that ponytail has a bow on it. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Chris, Steven Seagall was RAW!” Yeah, I saw him beat a man up with a dish towel and a cue ball too but have you seen Stevie lately? Looking like a stuffed sausage in his sheriff’s outfit? Yeah, not so sexy, now, huh?

Gaston is a thick-necked jackass (so much so he even sings about it). He’s good-looking but not terribly smart, overly-confident but probably over-compensating, and cannot stand that the one woman he wants is the one he can’t have. He’s the dude you KNOW is gonna get killed in the horror movie. You know who I’m talking about: the loud-mouthed bully, jag-off with the expensive car and turned up collar. What’s his name? Blaine? Zack? He deserves a knife through the skull…

There was this movie a while ago, She’s All That, where a pre-Scooby-Doo Freddie Prinze Jr. makes a bet to turn the geeky girl at the high school into a prom queen. Instead of it going into Carrie territory, it becomes a heart-warming teen romance bullshit story. This is the same shit. Gaston thinks he can make Belle into something fitting for a man of his stature (even with the ponytail) so he dogs her every step. More than likely, someone told Gaston that girls who read are secretly freaky (there is some truth to that sexy librarian idea—you know I’m right). But then Gaston finds out Belle is with the Beast and decides to off his competition.

Here is where Gaston moves into the Grade A Chump category. Remember when I said he wasn’t too bright? My man decides a) the best way to win Belle’s heart is to imprison her father and kill her boyfriend; and b) takes on a guy the ENTIRE TOWN calls The Beast. Folks, you know the Beast can roar, right? Like the WHOLE TOWN has heard his animalistic sounds. You also know there are wolves and the castle is haunted and shit? Somehow Gaston manages to convince the entire town to rush the Beast’s castle.

It doesn’t end well. For anybody. I don’t know about you, but fighting haunted shit is not in my job description, with or without the torches and pitchforks. Fuck that. Dressers don’t bleed; clocks don’t bruise. I do. When the candlestick is fighting back, we should reconsider our plan. But they stick with it. And they LOSE! But Gaston is a bitch: he shanks the Beast in the back after the Beast saves him. And then the Beast kicks him off the top of the tower. Gaston go BOOM!

I’m not Gaston fan (can you tell?) He’s a dick, plain and simple and his entire motivation is that he wants what he cannot have. That’s it. He wants Belle, can’t have her, and ends up dead as a result. This is stupid and, frankly, a bit stalkerish. Booo.

We’re gonna do doubles today (for real) and next in the Mayhem is ol Big Head herself, the Queen of Hearts.

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE – MAD, MAD WEEKEND Part II: DAVY JONES #mayhemofthemouse

Pirates again? Aw, mom! Yeah yeah yeah, I’m pressing this pirates theme one more time—honestly, this is the last one. Promise. But it’s the best one. Part 2 in the Mad, Mad Weekend is ol’ Squid-face himself, Davy Jones.

In nautical lore, few folks are more feared, and more ambiguous, than Davy Jones. I don’t know what the basis of the fear is or what’s in his locker: I always assumed you’d be trapped in there with old socks, incomplete assignments and dirty gym clothes. But whatever it was, it’s enough to terrify sailors for a couple hundred years. In the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Davy Jones and his ship, the Flying Dutchman (not the same thing as on Spongebob, youngins) is a terrifyingly real entity to be reckoned with.

When we first see Davy Jones and his octopus-clad face, he is giving sailors from a destroyed ship a choice: death or 100 years on the Dutchman—and then death, I guess. Right off the bat, we see the Davy Jones is a little deeper than most other characters in the POTC movies: life and death are pretty clear ideas but Davy Jones appears to be the captain of everything in between.

That my man has an octopus for a face, a crab claw for a hand, one missing leg and a thick Scottish accent (along with that FANTASTIC hat!) is one thing. That he cut out his own heart is something else entirely. You know what I’m talking about, right? To be the captain of the Flying Dutchman, to act as that ferryman between life and death on the seven seas, means he gets to live forever but he can come on land for one day every 10 years. Dave is in love with the goddess of the sea, Calypso, and, on his one day on land, your girl doesn’t show. No call, no letter, nothing. Just doesn’t show. So Davy cuts out his own heart and locks it in a chest.

What??

Remember back in middle school, or maybe highschool for you late bloomers, passing that “Do you like me?” note with the Yes or No checkboxes? Remember the minutes or hours or days before you ever heard back? Remember how that felt? That’s limbo. Now multiply that by like a million and you get how my man felt standing on the beach, broad smile, flowers, champagne, waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Nothing. Your girl NEVER shows. EVER.

She ain’t even sorry. We actually get to see her pseudo-apology on screen, talking about, “That’s just my nature.” Grinning and shit. You know this wasn’t the first time, right? It’s bad enough she stood him up for his one day on land but you know his response wasn’t based on that one time—“It’s like the fifth time, Caly. What the fuck?” So he does what any quasi-immortal, purgatory-granting, goddess-loving, heartbroken individual would do: he sells her out to the Brethren Court of the pirates and teaches them how to bind her to a human form. Bet you’ll show up next time, huh?

Davy Jones is more than a giant squid-controlling, raggedy ship sailing villain: he’s a heartbroken soul with immense power. His personal tragedy is both his greatest source of power and his Achilles heel. And watching the aftermath of his unrequited love play out on the big screen is damn fine cinema.

Part III is coming! Next is Gaston!

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE – MAD, MAD WEEKEND PART 1: Mother Goethel #mayhemofthemouse

Sometimes Oil of Olay is not enough. Sometimes all the Regenerist and Botox and plastic surgery in the world doesn’t get it done. Time waits for no man—or woman—and sometimes you gotta take matters into your own hands. In the world of Disney, that means putting young girls to sleep, poisoning them with apples, or, in the style of Mother Gothel, our Mad, Mad Weekend Part I villain, snatching them as infants and locking them in towers.

Mother Gothel is a desperate woman.

In the movie Tangled, Gothel is a witch (surprise, surprise) who discovers a flower with incredible healing properties, even up to reversing the damage of healing. Just when she gets her hand on it, the king’s people snatch it from her grasp to save the queen and her unborn child. Not to be deterred, Gothel decides the next best thing works. She pulls a Nicolas Cage in Raising Arizona and jacks the kid, Rapunzel, instead.

Now, I get it. Aging is frightening; you have to do whatever to maintain that bounce in your hair. Makes sense. Immortality is a human idea and a common theme in Disney movies—hell, it’s why Jack Sparrow does what he does for FOUR movies. What’s messed up is what Gothel does afterwards. Rather than just fess up and tell Rapunzel “hey, you’re special and you have the really cool powers and I need you,” or some other Lifetime shit, Gothel packs Rapunzel up in a tower with no stairs, no elevator and turns her into an agoraphobe. With 3 books. And a lizard.

A while back I talked about how Scar emotionally abused Simba by telling him he was responsible for Mufasa’s death. (Before I go any further, I have to dial back the intensity—these are Disney movies after all.) I thought that was pretty fucked up for a kid’s movie. Then my daughter begs to see Tangled and, as much as I enjoyed it (the horse was HILARIOUS!), it actually gets worse. Scar makes Simba run away, hopefully to die; Gothel keeps Rapunzel alive to take advantage her. Daily.

When you really think about it, Rapunzel becomes a really messed up example of emotional abuse. In an age of Elizabeth Smart and people locking mothers and daughters in rooms for decades, this is kinda fucked up. Look at it this way: Rapunzel’s whole existence is stolen and she lives in the company of those thieves for her ENTIRE life! Gothel steals her childhood and the power that makes her live, then steals her freedom and individuality, then steals her intelligence and life experience by tossing her in the tower. She turns Rapunzel into Nell so she can live forever. And who sets Rapunzel free? Another thief! A cat who has stolen the one thing that will make her free.

Gothel is foul because she makes Rapunzel a prisoner and calls it love. She’s extra raunchy because she’s keeping Rapunzel alive like a cow to take from her. She’s despicable because she keeps Rapunzel too stupid and naïve to figure out there is more for her. And she’s awesome because she makes Rapunzel call her Mother and Mother Knows Best.

Part 2 is coming…with Davey Jones!

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE Day 7: HADES #mayhemofthemouse

Hi Ho everybody! Christopher Starr here—your emissary of wickedness, your host of hostility—THIS is Mayhem of the Mouse! I know I’m early for American Idol but I felt like channeling a lil Ryan Seacrest. Anywhoo, yes, we’re still behind; yes, I’m still working through some Real Shit; and yes, I fully plan on getting things back to where they belong. As you know, I tend to be pretty honest here at the Crooked Letterz blog so you have to know that when I say it’s “real shit,” I mean it.

But I owe you something and this installment is about our happiest villain ever: Hades—from Greek god infamy and the Hercules movie.

Every culture has some version of the devil and, for the ancient Greeks, Hades is it. You know that’s my thing. The version of the Devil you and I know is banished to Hell for showing his ass in Heaven. Hades, though, is the victim of a trick by his brother, Zeus. Hades, Poseidon and Zeus overthrow their parents, imprison them in the ass-end of Earth and divvy up the spoils, right? Zeus gets the Heavens, Poseidon gets the seas, and Hades gets Detroit.

You’d be pissed too.

So the version of Hades we see in Hercules is a jaded, scheming, James Woods with a flaming pompadour who is determined get his brand of justice. Since he spends eternity surrounded by death, why not share the wealth? The plan is to release the Titans (his parents, who are gonna be little upset) and, as a personal dig at Zeus, kill his son, Hercules

Well, damn, right?

For all his valid rage and justified revenge, Hades fails on execution: he leaves the heavy lifting to Bobcat Goldthwait. I don’t know about you, but my man sounds like he has some kind of syndrome—he’s like a cerebral palsy Jack Bauer (yes, I know I’m going to hell for that). These two clowns, the demons Frenzy and Panic, not only fail to actually kill Hercules, they neglect to tell Hades they fucked up. So what happens? Hades’ 18-year plan becomes unhinged because Hercules is still breathing.

This is the point where the movie stops being a kids’ movie and moves into bow-chicka-wow-wow territory: Hades figures the best way to bring Hercules TO HIS DEATH is by a woman. Do you get that? For 60 years, Disney been telling us that folks live happily ever after if the princess can get her prince, then we get a freaking demigod—an immortal with unlimited strength—and him falling for this woman is gonna kill him?

And then it does!!

Hercules actually sacrifices his soul for this woman—the same chick who dogged him and damn got him killed, Hercules trades his soul for hers. There is a fundamental piece to Hades that makes this dynamic kinda deep: Hades understands humanity. He understands that a man will not resist a willing woman, even to his detriment. And he understands that, at base, we’re all self-centered. Hades exploits these fundamental pieces to the point he nearly succeeds in his plan. The only thing that hampers him is that Hercules decides to be more than human and be self-LESS.

Like Magneto, Hades is not all bad: he got a raw deal and is itching for justice. His machinations, though, are for more devious than anything we’ve seen so far: he uses humanity against itself by exploiting our inherent weakness. That he chooses that approach makes him foul; that he knows them at all is what makes him scary.

So, still trudging along (we are gonna catch up, Promise!) next in the Mayhem is Mother Goethel from Tangled!

MAYHEM OF THE MOUSE Day 6: LADY TREMAINE #mayhemofthemouse

In the aftermath of the first presidential debate and the messed up comment about cutting PBS’ funding (ON PBS, mind you—that’s ballsy) and threatened layoff of Big Bird, a bunch of internet memes proliferated (big word of the day). One of them had a picture of Big Bird with a tie on, looking for a job with a caption that read, “Shit Just Got Real.”

And that’s precisely what happened folks. In my zeal to hit you day in a day out with Mickey Mouse-themed villainy, we had a little bout of “real shit” here on the ranch. And that real shit threw me off my game. So, I’m playing catch up here and somewhere between fighting the Day Job Dragon, working through that real shit, and taking the Honey Badger to a Justin Beiber concert tonight (yes, you read that right), I’m getting back on track. And first, we have Cinderella’s evil Stepmother, Lady Tremaine.

On the surface, your girl isn’t all bad: she looks okay (she ain’t the Evil Queen), she’s taking care of her two butt-ugly daughters and child that ain’t hers, Cinderella. That’s noble, right? She didn’t make Cinderella a ward of the state—she just treats her foul and kicks back and collects that SSI. Cinderella becomes more Natalie and less Blair, life isn’t fair, yada yada yada.

That’s actually not what makes Lady Tremaine foul to me. I have 2 issues with this chick: first, they have a cat and still have QUITE the rodent problem. Second, seriously can you not see how whopped AND untalented the daughters are? Come on, man!

I don’t know what Disney’s affinity is for rodents—one mouse is fine. Mickey’s a bucktoothed redneck who walks around with no shirt and just pants. I can deal with that. But when you make a whole movie about a rat cooking 5 star meals IN A RESTAURANT, I want to vomit. Ratatouille was freaking disgusting! And there are rodents everywhere in Disney but notably in Cinderella. What is the value of the cat? The cat’s name is LUCIFER and he is shittiest mouser ever! Even Tom made a valiant effort—this clown is so poor the mice can come and go, take sewing lessons at JoAnn Fabrics and manufacture an ENTIRE DRESS under his nose. My problem with Lady Tremaine is, she HAS to know she got mice and is oblivious. And it is this oblivousness that leads me to my second issue.

Her daughters are shook! I mean seriously! SHOOK! They look and sound ugly, cannot sing nor play their instruments, dress like a LaBelle’s catalog threw up on them. And your girl cannot see it. Look, as a parent, you know your kids. When I turn on the news and see something blow up I immediately do an internal account of the Honey Badger’s whereabouts. If I hear screams in the middle of the day, it’s entirely possible The Boy has seen his shadow. You know your kids. And this woman sticks these whopped ass women in front of the prince like they are some kind of catch. She knows they’re all gonna live together with a bunch of cats. She knows the best future for her daughters is the Sisters of Saint Something or Other.

You know what’s really foul about Lady Tremaine? She’s a cockblocker. Seriously. She knows Cinderella is the hot one. She does. So she keeps her dirty and in Kmart clothes. She knows who Cinderella is at the ball and hates on her, throwing them boogerwolves at the prince. And when the dude comes by looking for the other shoe, she knows damn well her sugar-foot daughters can’t fit the shoe AND she knows who can. And sends Cinderella to her room. Cockblocking! Cinderella got one chance to get out that rat-infested house and Lady Tremaine tries to block.

Foul, man. Foul.

Next up, God of the Underworld: HADES!!

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 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!