Disney Villain Redemptions
These past few weeks have seen quite the redemption for two famed villains in Disney history. Devious, diabolical, and Dalmatian obsessed Cruella de Vil, infamous from the 1961 animated film One Hundred and One Dalmatians, has received a star-studded prequel story. The crime comedy, Cruella, released 27 May 2021 and featuring Emma Stone as Estella Miller, has garnered praise for its performances and costume design.
Another former villain who has recently taken centre stage is Loki, God of Mischief, who first appeared in the 2011 film Thor. The long-awaited Disney Plus series debuted on June 9th and explores what appears to be Loki after his disappearance in Avengers: Endgame.
Hopefully, this won’t be the end of our beloved villains. A Cruella sequel is in development and the fate of Loki remains a mystery as the series’ finale approaches.
Ahoy There, Castaways!
Another day arrives, and another song has gone viral on TikTok. The recent explosion of the song “Castaways” from the Nickelodeon TV show The Backyardigans is just another example of the power of TikTok. Searches for the show and its trending songs have skyrocketed, receiving revived interest years after its finale (not unlike the stock price of a certain gaming retailer I could mention). It has even topped Spotify’s viral charts around the world.
The Backyardigans followed the adventures of five friends, Uniqua, Pablo, Tyrone, Tasha, and Austin, whose imaginations bring them to far-away lands, granting them superpowers like time travelling. Each episode has unique soundtracks, which over the course of the show’s run during the late 2000s, received eight Daytime Emmy Award Nominations. Many episodes are parodies of other cultural icons like Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones. For example, one song sung by the penguin Pablo called “International Super Spy” is a direct reference to James Bond.
If you’ve found yourself singing about going “Into the Thick of It” and yelling “Ahoy there!” more often than necessary, you aren’t alone. I would humbly recommend Adam Neely’s video on “Why Castaways is a Masterpiece in Songwriting”, linked below.
Google Trends (2021). Generated by author, featuring The Backyardigans songs popularised by TikTok. In Google Trends. https://www.google.com/trends
Marvel Studios. (n.d.). Owen Wilson, Tara Strong, Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Wunmi Mosaku in Loki (2021). In IMDB. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9140554/mediaviewer/rm2904670465/
Neely, A. (2021). Why Castaways is a Masterpiece in Songwriting. In YouTube. https://yt.sniff.cc/watch?v=uVAGjfFmFkw
Viacom International, Inc. – Nickelodeon. (2021). The main characters (left to right): Tyrone, Pablo, Uniqua, Austin, and Tasha. In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Backyardigans#/media/File:The-Backyardigans-characters.png
The Walt Disney Company. (n.d.). Emma Stone in Cruella (2021). In IMDB. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3228774/mediaviewer/rm2813644033/