Top 10 Underrated Animated Disney Songs

Happy Summer guys,

I love Disney. Who doesn’t, am I right? And their songs are one of the reasons Disney dominates the animated genre. Their movies are filled with humor, heart, and important themes on love, family, and sacrifice. Their songs only add to that tradition.

But you’ve heard “Beauty and the Beast” a million times, as you’ve likely heard “Hakuna Matata”, “A Whole New World”, and, of course, “Let it Go.” Over the years, Disney has accumulated a bevvy of songs that don’t get the same constant airplay. Many of these songs come from straight-to-DVD films and sequels.

In this post, I’ll be breaking down my Top 10 Most Underrated Disney Songs from animated films solely, whether they made it to theaters or not. In addition to the songs, the films displayed are also underrated, so watch, listen, and enjoy.

  1. “Fly to Your Heart” from Tinker Bell (2008)

Sung by pop icon Selena Gomez, this sweet ballad from the first Tinker Bell movie hits all the right notes. It feels warm and fuzzy, soaring as high as the titular character herself. For fans of Disney princess ballads like “A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Once Upon a Dream”, you’ll find this underrated gem fits in nicely with her classic siblings.

  1. “Streets of Gold” from Oliver and Company (1988)

While “Good Company” was also considered for this list for its pure simplicity, “Streets of Gold” beats it out for its darn catchiness. This song is Oliver’s introduction to a life of living on the streets for survival. Despite its darker subject matter, its outrageously bold, energetic, and likely to get you up out of your seat.

  1. “Where Do I Go From Here?” from Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998)

The original Pocahontas is well known for its iconic “Colors of the Wind.” It’s sequel features this sweeping tune, catching Pocahontas in the same position she finds herself in when she sings “Just Around the Riverbend” — not knowing which direction to take in life. The delivery is strong, as are the lyrics, which make it worth rediscovering.

  1. “Always There”/”I Didn’t Know That I Could Feel This Way” from Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (2001)

In a movie about finding where you belong, Lady and the Tramp II‘s “Always There” is the thematic center while “I Didn’t Know That I Could Feel This Way” is its romantic Bella Notte equivalent. Are they cheesy? Yes. That doesn’t mean they aren’t tender and heart-warming. And I love this sequel over the original, so maybe I’m biased.

  1. “Stir It Up”/”One Little Slip” from Chicken Little (2005)

Say what you want about Chicken Little, but it has a great soundtrack. REM, Diana Ross, and cute film covers of songs by Queen and Elton John help make the it stand out, but Patti Labelle and Joss Stone’s “Stir It Up” and the Barenaked Ladies “One Little Slip” make this one a winner winner chicken dinner. There’s nothing little about the fun you’ll have listening to these two up-beat tracks.

  1. “No Way Out” from Brother Bear (2002)

“Look Through My Eyes” is a fantastic song and deserves the praise it gets. “No Way Out” deserves a little more than it gets. Phil Collins knows how to craft a solid Disney tune, and” No Way Out” does its job of portraying the despair inherent in the film’s dramatic reveal. It’s as introspective as “Look Through My Eyes”, sad without being melancholy, and overall a great addition to the soundtrack.

  1. “I’m Still Here” from Treasure Planet (2002)

Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls fame sings this strong ballad from the film Treasure Planet. If you love the Goo Goo Doll’s massive hit “Iris”, then this its Disney counterpart. Still within the same moody place, it tells of wanting to be seen, wanting to feel, wanting to know what it’s like to be alive. It’s openly inspiring, and a feel-good anthem that you’ll find yourself singing along to long after the credits roll.

  1. “I-2-I” from A Goofy Movie (1995)

Ah, the 90s! A time of spectacular pop, hip hop, and R&B. Tevin Campbell’s “I-2-I” exemplifies the best of the decade in this fun, lively dance tune that is beyond catchy. Without appearing corny or heavy-handed, it’s slick, it’s smart, and it tells you the theme of the film — love can change our own narrow views on life so that we can finally see each other “eye to eye.”

  1. “Someday” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

I was tempted to put “Out There” on this list since I think it’s technically the most underrated of the mainstream Disney songs, but with this list, I wanted to highlight songs that are mostly forgotten. “Someday” is one of them. This beautiful ballad, sung by All-4-One, is dramatic and deep, a perfect voice for the film itself. Things will get better, in time, they’re just not right now. That doesn’t mean we can’t dream. Quasi’s sentiment exactly.

  1. “Love Will Find a Way” from The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride(1998)

Finally, we’ve arrived! My absolute favorite film as a kid was always The Lion King, which ultimately spun off into a sequel and a prequel. The sequel is the good one. Whereas The Lion King has clear ties to Hamlet, The Lion King II is seemingly Romeo and Juliet in form of Kiara and Kovu. “Love Will Find a Way” is their love ballad which shows that, despite their different backgrounds, they will make it together.

This is my favorite film of all the ones mentioned on this list, and its main song is far too underrated. If I may be so bold, I think it’s better than “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and I love Elton John, so that’s saying a lot. And the romance is also better than Simba and Nala’s. . .seriously. So, if you’ve never seen the second Lion King, or heard “Love Will Find a Way”, you’re in for a lion-sized treat.

Disney really knows how to pull at the heartstrings and get you up on your feet. I hope they keep making quality movies (and music) in the decades to come.

See you next time!

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5 Most Anticipated YA Novels

Hi everybody,

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love YA, particularly fantasy. Although I can’t say it’s been a lifelong love, somewhere along the line I started finding a crop of great YA with interesting characters, plots, and delicious detail. Today I’ll be presenting the books I’m most looking forward to coming out in the next year. If you’re a fan, you might find a surprising new book to add to your reading list. And if you are familiar with some of these picks, then we’re both excited (and I’d love you for to tell me all about it in the comments!)

Now, onto the countdown!

5. Carols and Chaos

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I put this one here at number 5 because it just seemed to have a lot of the elements I love — historic periods, romance, and Christmas (hello!) Now that’s a lethal combination. Set in 1817, the plot revolves around a maid and valet who find a little Christmas connection at Shackleford Park in the midst of a surprising counterfeiting scheme. Doesn’t it make you want to say — Aww?

It comes out October 9th 2018. Just in time for the holidays!

4. Strange Grace

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Just because I’m not familiar with an author’s work doesn’t mean their newest book can’t be one of my top picks. Case in point Strange Grace. Anytime the devil may have a good side, I’m always intrigued. This story centers on three friends, one of which is a witch, and an ancient deal. At the rising of the Slaughter Moon, a young man must be sacrificed in order to maintain peace in the village. Who will be sacrificed? And how will these three friends cope when they come face to face with the devil himself?

We’ll find out September 18th, 2018.

3. Stain

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Author of one of my favorite YA series ever, Splintered,  A.G. Howard retells another classic tale, this time The Princess and the Pea. A voiceless princess must bridge the worlds of daylight and night by proving her heritage and saving the prince. We’ve all heard the princess-that’s-not-a-typical-princess line before, but in Howard’s capable hands, this could be something worthy of its title.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come out until January 15th, 2019. Darn!

2. Legendary

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Caraval was my favorite book of 2017 so you know I was coming back for seconds. And this one sounds Legend. . wait for it. . . .Dary! Stephanie Garber crafted a blissful, dark, world in Caraval, with magic and deceit around ever corner. Now, Tella, Scarlett’s sister, who made a deal in the previous book with Legend,  the master of Caraval, must fulfill her obligation by discovering his true name or lose everything in the process. Hopefully, it will be as lavish and spectacular as its predecessor.

Releases May 29th. Ooh, that’s soon!

1. Lie 

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Just found out the plot of this one a few days ago, and it soared right to the top of my list. In my 4 Underrated YA Fantasy Novels post, I listed Trick as my favorite underrated novel. This is the third in a series of books called Foolish Kingdoms, revolving around the kingdoms of the four seasons, each with a unique love story at its helm.

Here’s a link to the post for a description of this third book, Lie, from the author herself. Boiling it down, it centers on a female liar and and the knight who sees right through her. Oh, and did I tell you it’s inspired by Pinocchio? With another great romance to delve into, this is sure to be another excellent entry into the series.

It comes out Fall 2018 (fitting since the story takes place in the Kingdom of Autumn.)

 

What do you think? What are your most anticipated YA novels? Tell me in the comments.

Until next time, adieu!

 

Top 5 Favorite Music Videos

Hi everyone!

Music videos. They’re opportunities to witness our favorite singers step in front of the camera and give us a visual interpretation of their songs. Sometimes we’re rewarded with stunning technical achievement (as in Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”.)  At other times we’re treated to dramatic storytelling (Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me”) or comedy (Eminem’s “Without Me” — always hilarious!)  They invite us to view the song and the musician in a whole new way, opening up incredible avenues of creativity and imagination.

When it came to choosing my absolute favorites, I picked the videos that I’ve watched and re-watched multiple times, the ones that exemplified my favorite aspects of music videos — light, darkness, humor, insanity, and of course, good music. Here’s hoping you find your new favorite among mine.

5. Nine in the Afternoon – Panic! at the Disco

This is one of the first music videos I ever really fell in love with, thanks to a kooky Brendon Urie seriously mugging it for the camera. A light-hearted, feel-good song, a Beatlesy-vibe, and a unique aesthetic made this one stand out from so many other songs on the radio at the time. I never get tired of the moment when Brendon looks at the clock and has a Yikes! moment (it happens at 2:07 in the video.) Overally fun video and song that lifts your spirits.

4. We Are Golden – MIKA

What’s better than watching MIKA dance around in his underwear? Not much, as this video goes to show. “We Are Golden” is my favorite song of his and rather than do anything elaborate in his video, MIKA keeps it simple — dancing around, lip-synching to his own song. It’s manically paced and bursting with brights colors and bedroom hijinks. If this song doesn’t get you hyped for the day, nothing will.

3. Partyman – Prince

Prince embraces his inner mischief-maker in this song from The Batman soundtrack. In it, he lives it up, wreaking havoc at a party as the nefarious clown prince of crime. He’s both sexy and funny, playing tricks on all the party guests.

It’s only recently I discovered this video, but I fell for it immediately. Not only do I love the video; I love the make-up. Half-Prince, Half Clown, All Magic. The extended version (which I’ve provided) adds a few more laughs into the mix. And if you can’t get enough of Prince Joker over here, you can catch him again, sporting a half-Batman side in the Batdance video.

2. Don’t Come Around Here No More – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

One of Tom Petty’s best, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” is a crazy Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired video with Tom playing a mischievous mad hatter in a quirky black-and-white-checkered setting. Alice is in over her head dealing with Mad Petty, seeing herself become a pig, getting shrunk into a teacup, and finally turning into a delicious cake. It’s twisted, creepy, trippy, and all kinds of devilish goodness. Dig in!

1. I’m Going Slightly Mad – Queen

I’ll admit, when I first heard “I’m Going Slightly Mad”, it kind of creeped me out. Freddie sings in a distant voice as though he’s lost in a cloud of his own madness. Not the most uplifting listening experience.

And then I saw the video.

Of all the music videos I’ve watched (and re-watched) over the years, nothing beats this one (and Queen has a lot of contenders for that title.)

So what does this video have that makes it so special? Humor. Playfulness. Freddie looking like a twisted vampire clown.  A zippy, loopy production that takes (most) of the scary out of the song and replaces it with goofy charm.  I love this video because we get to see Freddie, late in life, having a ball, engaging in silly antics and teasing his fellow bandmates. He wears a bunch of bananas on his head, people!

Do yourself a favor. Watch this video. And laugh. Just laugh. ‘Cause it’s pure joy.

 

What do you think? What are your favorite music videos of all time? I’d love to know!

 

Until we meet again!

4 Underrated YA Fantasy Novels

Hi guys,

One thing you should know about me is that my favorite genre in books is fantasy. When I read, I love to see princesses in peril, magical powers, and romantic entanglements. No other audience in literature seems to understand what I want more than Young Adult. I used to fluff YA off as childish and cliched, but when I looked deeper I found many more great stories lying beneath the surface.

These 4 fantasy novels are some of my absolute favorites and they exemplify that searching a little bit harder can yield remarkable results.

 

4. Lips Touch: Three Times – Laini Taylor

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Fans of Strange The Dreamer should check out this collection of three separate dark fantasy stories that surprise as much as they make you swoon. In each tale, a dark-haired, blue-eyed female is faced with the magic of a kiss and the ramifications thereafter.

“Goblin Fruit” (my personal favorite) opens the collection. Kizzy is warned not to be tempted by goblins, but when the allure of a new boy at school (who may or not be a goblin himself) calls her, she has to decide whether to embrace her desires or deny her passions, all for the sake of one, tantalizing first kiss.

“Spicy Little Curses Such as These” centers on Anamique who is cursed at birth never to speak a word lest she kill all of those within earshot. When a soldier falls for her, she has to choose whether to believe the curse and stay silent or risk destroying the man she loves.

“Hatchling”, the longest and most complex of the collection, focuses on Esme and her mother, as they attempt to outrun and outwit the wicked, inhuman creatures known as Druj. When one Druj shows just a semblance of emotion, a torrent of questions are raised about the origins of the Druj and what lies at the source of their eternal brutality.

After reading the collection, you can’t help but be impressed by Laini Taylor’s skill (as well as the gorgeous illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo.) “Hatchling” alone is an intricate story, with an incredible depth and a vast knowledge of mythology. If none of these stories get you in the heart, then you may be just as heartless as a Druj yourself.

3. The Magic Toyshop – Angela Carter

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Fervent readers of fairy tales will likely be familiar with Angela Carter. Her short story collection The Bloody Chamber, and most notably its tale “The Company of Wolves” is her most popular work.  However, they might have passed over this wonderful little gem. That would be a shame.

The Magic Toyshop follows Melanie whose parents are killed in a plane crash. Her and her two siblings are taken to live with their estranged Uncle Philip, his wife Margaret, and her brothers Finn and Francie. While staying with them, she begins to develop a tender relationship with Finn while uncovering the disturbing secrets of her extended family.  It’s this story’s ambivalence that makes it work so well. The back and forth of Melanie’s feelings for Finn, the unsettling characters and atmosphere, along with the peculiar puppets that represent those involved create a unique story that isn’t going to be for everyone. And its revelations will have you reeling for days.

But if you’re willing to do into darker territory with your reading, this is a high recommendation from me. Not in the mood to read? A movie version is available on YouTube that’s really good; in ways, it even improves upon the book.

2. The Songweaver’s Vow – Laura VanArendonk Baugh

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Not only do I love a good fairy tale, I love mythology, particularly Greek and Norse. Both have such fascinating characters and stories that I don’t know which one I like more. With this book, I didn’t have to choose.

It follows Euthalia, a young woman captured by viking raiders and forced to marry a dragon god. Despite how this sounds, Euthalia actually comes to discover the dragon god, named Vidar, is quiet kind and gentle. Yet, their love is unconventional. Stricken by a curse, Vidar warns Euthalia never to look at him in the light. Euthalia breaks this promise and he leaves her. She eventually goes on a quest to find him, all while preventing the prosphesied Ragnarok from ever occurring.

Along the way, Euthalia tells Greek tales to the Norse Gods, making the story a unique blending of the two distinct mythologies. The execution of Loki’s character, a primary force in the novel, is exquisite while other gods and goddesses are also fleshed out. Don’t know the myths? Don’t worry. You don’t need to. Just enjoy the surprising, sweet, and bonkers journey this takes you on.

1. Trick – Natalia Jaster

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Set in a world ruled by the kings and queens of the four seasons, this entertaining and thoughtful romp pivots between the dual viewpoints of Briar, the level-headed princess of autumn and Poet, a jester of spring whose clever wit is matched only by his deviant bedroom antics. Considering his reputation, Briar instantly takes a disliking to the charismatic jester. After a creature attacks them in the forest, Briar gets wounded attempting to protect Poet and is taken back to a cottage where he reluctantly reveals his biggest kept secret. She starts to gradually lower her guard down while Poet also begins to see her in a new light. Like a flower in spring, a romance slowly blossoms, even at the risk of losing the things they hold dear. Are they willing to risk it all for true love?

I’m going to be honest with you. Brace yourself. This is the best book I’ve ever read. Hands down. While it is more NA (New Adult), than it is YA due to the mature content, it nevertheless is a funny, charming, steamy novel with two leads whose chemistry is off the charts. It’s not Disney-friendly, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great princess story.

Honorable Mention: The Perfect Fool – Bethany Zohner Herbert

If Trick turns you on to jesters, this romantic (though much cleaner) story is still incredibly funny, lighthearted, and swoony. Fans of The Princess Bride will really get a kick out of this romantic medieval tale.

Fantasy, fairy tales, and mythology are all well-represented in modern YA. These 4 tales are examples of crisp, intelligent writing, intriguing characters, and fascinating plotlines. Look for them at your next visit to the book store. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

See you next time!

Most Underrated Song of 2017

Hi guys,

One of the features on my blog has been highlighting songs that tend to go under the radar. Last year, there were a few songs that just didn’t get the air-time they deserved, including The All-American Rejects’ comeback song “Sweat” and Foster the People’s Vegas-sounding “Sit Next To Me.” While those are great tunes, neither gets the title of what I feel is 2017’s most underrated song — “Stroll On” by MUTEMATH.

 

 

You may be more familiar with MUTEMATH’s song “Typical“, which, while not charting on the Billboard Hot 100, did reach #33 on the Alternative charts. This song is so laid-back and easy-going, it’s almost dream-like. The tune is psychedelic, a little funky, and soars in the most perfect spots. It’s like the group is singing from a distance, out in space with their guitars, hypnotizing you with their melodic sound. “Stroll On”  is that transportive. If you think I’m over-selling it, just listen to it. You’ll see what I mean.

 

What do you think? What’s your most underrated song of 2017? I’d love to know so tell me in the comments. See you next time!

10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018 – Part 2

Hey everyone,

It’s part 2 of my 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018, served up hot and ready. These are my Top 5 hyped flicks of the year. Let’s see what they are, shall we?

5. Incredibles 2

Incredibles is one of Pixar’s more memorable flicks, even among its impressive line-up. The adult humor mixed with the lovable Incredible family packs a punch and offers something for every age. The trailer definitely shows this same slant, as Mr. Incredible is forced to be the parent to Jack-Jack while mom’s away saving the world. Honestly, I’m not sure how the franchise will do as it’s aged so much since 2004, but the fact that it starts right where the last one left off, with the Incredibles pitted against the Underminer is a great way to transition audiences back into the action and move us forward in time. Will it be Incredible? We’ll have to wait and see.

4. Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom

For me, Jurassic Park has fallen — from grace. I hated Jurassic World. Uh, that movie irritates me. The climactic dino fight was epic, I’ll give it that. But the kids in those pods? C’mon! And I’m sorry, neither Chris Pratt nor Bryce Dallas Howard did anything with their roles. They just stood there, basically. So why is this #4 on my list? It’s Jurassic Park, people, okay? Regardless of how the last movie went, there’s so much potential for this action-packed series to make up for its missteps. Dinosaurs don’t get old. Well, okay, they do get old, they became extinct, but they’re still fascinating to watch on screen. And I’m praying the return of the charming Dr. Ian Malcolm can save this franchise (we love you, Jeff Goldblum!)

3. X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Superhero movies blow me away these days. Whether it’s the hilarious humor and heart-pounding action of Thor: Ragnarok, the ragtag adventures of the Guardians of the Galaxy, or the incredible multi-hero brawl in Captain America: Civil War, we’ve got some heavy-hitting moments over the last few years. X-Men is the dark horse superhero franchise in all of this, and so is its next film (literally), Dark Phoenix. I really enjoyed the original X-Men of the early 2000s, but when the franchise went back in time, I wasn’t thrilled.

X-Men: Days of Future Past changed all of that. I loved how fun that entry was, the way it played with time, and the addition of the adorable Quicksilver (not to be confused with the less adorable version we got in Avengers: Age of Ultron.) X-Men: Apocalypse took a step down again, but this third (prequel? sequel? reboot? huh?) may just be able to make up for the mistake that was X-Men: The Last Stand. Jean Grey deserves a better ending. Fingers crossed this Phoenix rises from the ashes (had to do it!)

2. Bohemian Rhapsody

Finally, finally, finally. Ever since 2010 when the first inklings of this movie came about (when Sacha Baron Cohen was attached), I have been dying to see this picture. Queen is my favorite band of all time, and Freddie Mercury, the greatest male voice this world has ever known. His campy, flamboyant nature only added to his mystique, and I’ve wanted to see someone portray his larger than life persona to the fullest. The minute I heard Rami Malek was chosen to replace Sacha, I cheered. I was excited about SBC, but the project drastically changed in tone since his involvement, and I couldn’t have chosen anyone better than Malek. He clearly looks like Freddie and we haven’t seen all he’s capable of yet as an actor. This could be just the role he needs to break out. Thank God it’s Christmas Day 2018 that this baby comes out!

Before we get to number 1, here are some of my honorable mentions:

Ant-Man and the Wasp

  • Liked the first one; didn’t love it. Still curious to see how the story expands.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!

  • This would have made the list if not for that trailer. Meryl’s dead! No, just no.

Ready Player One

  • Wreck-It-Ralph brings the cameos, and so does this one. But the trailer is so dark, it’s hard to see any of them. Hey, is that the Joker and Harley Quinn? Yes!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

  • Not a Harry Potter fan, but I did like Fantastic Beasts (like, not love.) With Johnny Depp on-board (he still is, right?), this could be an exciting new outing for Newt and his pals.

 

1. Avengers: Infinity War

You had to know this would be #1. After setting up an epic showdown between good and evil, the Avengers vs. Thanos, this will be the culmination (well, the culmination before the real finale in 2019) that brings in the Guardians of the Galaxy for a superhero mega-battle. Look at all the superheroes just on this picture alone. Everybody’s here to kick intergalactic booty, and I for one cannot stand the wait! Luckily, the release date moved up a week to April 27th, so that helps.

Who’s good? Who’s bad? Who’ll live? Who’ll die? What will happen to Loki? To Bucky? To Tony? Who knows? This clash of the titans is going to be the blockbuster of the spring and will likely break some major box-office records, so be prepared for a mind-blowing experience! To Infinity and Beyond!

 

Well, that’s the list! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did compiling it. What are you looking forward to this year? Tell me in the comments. And have an awesome time at the movies!

10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018 – Part 1

Happy February, everybody!

Yeah, not the happiest of months, I know. So in order to liven it up, I’ve compiled a list of my 10 Most Anticipated films of 2018. Last year, I had a pretty rockin’ list and those movies turned out great, better than expected. So, I decided to do it again. Like last time, I’m splitting it up into 2 posts. Look forward to part 2 in the coming weeks. For now, let’s start off the list. . .

10. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Unlike many people, I was not a big fan of Wreck-It-Ralph. I loved the concept and the numerous video game references, but it just didn’t have that special sauce and I soon forgot about it. So why am I excited for the sequel? Princesses! I’m not joking. Wreck-it-Ralph 2 is reportedly going to have every single Disney princess in the film. Not only that, it’s also going to feature Star Wars characters and even have appearances by a few Marvel characters (because, you know, Disney owns everything now!) Honestly, the amount of cameos is why I’m hyped about this one. Sorry, Ralph!

9. Mary Poppins Returns

Similarly to Wreck it Ralph 2, I’m also not a huge Mary Poppins fan (although I kind of dig “Let’s Go Fly a Kite!”.) This sequel however has me pumped for 2 reasons:

1.) Emily Blunt is stepping into the iconic shoes of Julie Andrews (and I wouldn’t have chosen anyone else.)

2.) Lin-Manuel Miranda is starring in it! With his natural talent for song, I can’t wait to see what he’s going to add to the film.

Hopefully this one soars to the highest heights this December.

8. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Okay, you had to know it was coming! This isn’t called Pop Culture Grinch for nothing, folks. This year, we’ll be treated to the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch voicing one of my favorite characters of all time. Why is it so low on the list then? It’s animated, that’s why! I love Jim Carrey’s manic portrayal in the live-action version, and no matter how excited I am to hear Cumberbatch’s deep voice give life to the Grinch, it’s still not the same as seeing the person in the fur (uh, flesh.) Plus, Illumination Entertainment is behind it and while I love Despicable Me and its sequels, they have not had a good run with Dr. Seuss (*cough* The Lorax *cough*.) But, I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll be half as fun as the live-action film. If anything, I like the Grinch’s design.

7. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Drac and the gang our back in this third outing in which the group heads out on a luxury cruise ship for monsters. While on board, Drac meets its captain Ericka and a relationship blossoms. Turns out Ericka is actually a descendant of the great Van Helsing. Obviously, the “stakes” are high in this one! I joke. No, but I love the concept. We all want Drac to find a match, and who better than a relative of one of the most notorious vampire-killers of all time? The inherent romantic tension makes this entry an interesting one in the franchise, and one that may prove to have more bite than its predecessors.

6. I Feel Pretty

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Originally, this would have been the Barbie movie, but since that got pushed back, I decided to put this clever feel-good comedy about inner beauty in its place. After hitting her head, an insecure woman named Renee (Amy Schumer) forgets how she feels about herself and suddenly discovers she is as beautiful as she sees other women. Inspired by her new outlook, she starts embracing life, and finding out how great it can be when you’re secure in your own self-image. Great concept, excellent casting in Schumer, this one’s going to be the movie all women need to see.

 

Get ready for part 2 next time!