Courtney does Titanic: The Legend Goes On

titanic_2001_DVD_cover“If it hadn’t been for you I would now be in someone else’s digestion!”

The Scoop: 2001, directed by Camillo Teti, starring Lisa Russo, Mark Ashworth, and Caroline Young.

Summary Capsule: Take Titanic, Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians, An American Tail, Sherlock Holmes, Looney Tunes, Anastasia, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Now viciously kill all that was good about them. For good measure, add a rapping dog.

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Courtney’s Rating: An animation disaster of titanic proportions! (Don’t give me that look.  That’s twice as funny as any intentional joke in this junk.)

Courtney’s Review: I really did not expect anything good from this. A kids’ cartoon about the sinking of the Titanic – it just has to be awful. I’d heard about the rap song and the inappropriate ethnic stereotypes and the attempt to give the tale a happy ending. I dove in with below-low expectations. But the experience was worse than I could’ve possibly prepared for. Far, far worse.

This movie goes beyond stupid – it’s insulting to viewers with discerning taste, it’s insensitive to several cultures, and it’s just plain tasteless in its portrayal of a major tragedy. Director Camillo Teti is apparently the most shameless “filmmaker” this side of Uwe Boll. Titanic: the Legend Goes On is one giant piece of crap that manages to keep none of the enchanting elements of the films it rips off, instead highlighting all the horrible parts. It’s so bad that I think I felt 1,517 of my brain cells die watching it – one for each victim of the real Titanic‘s sinking.

(A head’s up – this is gonna get real spoiler-y.)

Where to begin with this calamity? The story is totally unfocused – I suppose the main plot involves Rose Cinderella Anastasia Angelica, who is young, pretty, and kind to mice, so you know she’s the paragon of goodness. Her parents had to give her up as a baby because they were poor, so she’s been forced into servitude by her evil stepmother guardian, who just so happens to have 2 ugly daughters. All Angelica has of her true family is a honkin’ diamond a necklace that says “Together in Paris” a locket with a picture of her mother. You’ll notice that Angelica’s character design is similar to that of Anastasia and the 3 abusive Evulz look an awful lot like Cinderella’s stepfamily (although one daughter is now “hilariously” obese as to allow for as many cheap fat jokes as possible.) The resemblances are just coincidences, I’m sure.

The members of this dysfunctional quartet are passengers on the Titanic‘s maiden voyage with Angelica in third class and the Evulz in first. Also in first class is Jack Prince Charming William, a young man easily into his 20s traveling with his nanny. It is revealed that the nanny has a long-lost daughter who would be around William’s age, but she had to give her up as a baby because she was poor. WAITAMINUTE…

William soon crosses paths with Angelica, and because music twinkles softly as their gazes meet, they are forced by the Law of Plot Contrivances to fall in love. They have an awkward conversation during which no names are exchanged, but William very creepily molests Angelica’s hand with his. But how can they be together when they’re not even in the same class on the Titanic? (And no, this shouldn’t sound at all familiar.)

This clichéd plot could be enough to carry the whole movie, but then Teti would have to attempt that whole “development” thing, and frankly that’s just asking too much of him! So instead we’re treated to a gigantic supporting cast awkwardly shoe-horned in. We have Molly, the sexy lounge singer who dons (not-at-all-anachronistic) backless gowns; Gaston, the over-confident French dude who’s totally schwing!ing for her (OHHEY, that’s not familiar;) Cruella De Ville a thief and her two cronies; Sam the Sherlock Sham, the only detective who could make Clouseau look like he has finesse; and that guy who I presume is first officer Murdoch, though his portrayal here as a cowardly bastard is far less flattering than the Cameron version in which he shoots himself.

But this wouldn’t be a proper Disney/Bluth rip-off if there weren’t at least as many talking (and singing, and dancing) critters as humans! We have characters like Fievel Maxie, the mouse of undetermined heritage (what is that accent called? Stereotypical Jewish Immigrant?) and his family; Molly’s Dalmatians, who pretty much fail to serve a purpose; a cat and a Chihuahua, who are depraved by virtue of breed; a thieving magpie, because there weren’t enough crooks on the damn ship; 3 Speedy Gonzalez knock-offs; and of course Fritz the Rapping Dog, wh0se apparent purpose is to guarantee a PaRtY tImE!

If you’re feeling lost already, good! Because this little flick never stops to make sense of itself! There are countless crappy storylines, and Teti tries really, really hard to weave them together. He probably would’ve done well to euthanize this project around the point where Gaston accuses Angelica of stealing her own locket. The whole thing is highly contrived and annoying. Let us skip the nonsense and get to the good part:

The ship hits an iceberg and sinks. Surprise! Crew members struggle to salvage the boat by collecting water in buckets and throwing it in the air next to them. Shockingly, this is not super-effective. William runs down to third class to save Angelica and displays amazing feats off strength, such as crashing down an iron grate and breaking a glass window with a chair, because this will impress the chick. But OHNOES! A broken automaton of a ship officer repeats some dialogue about how they can’t go that way. Unfortunately they do make it to the lifeboats eventually. As it’s women and children first, Angelica jumps right in to save herself, abandoning William but also lamenting his imminent death like a good girlfriend.

All of the animals make it off the boat in a box and are guided to safety by some friendly North Atlantic dolphins. All of the humans we’d been following have made it into lifeboats except for William, Sham, and Molly. Angelica, who is reunited with her long-lost mother because they’re on the same lifeboat, insists they search for her beloved, ignoring the fact that it will put everyone on the boat in danger, but it’s TWULURV so they have to find him. They end up saving Sham and William (note: neither of their immune systems seems to have been bothered by drifting in icy water.) So they all live! (Except for Molly, who died ’cause she was too busy singing to save herself. No, really.)

And then we get an unsatisfying Animal House-“where are they now” ending, which is how I’m sure the survivors of the real Titanic would want their stories told.

It should be noted that this movie is an import from Italy, a country with a rich live-action film history, but it’s not really known for its animated features (and I think I know why.) At least two English-dubbed versions of this monstrosity are floating around out there. I watched the uncut version, and apparently the main differences between this and the abridged translation are that not as much footage was reused but twice as much audio was. And I really mean that – actual line from the movie: You can’t come… you can’t come. You have nothing to wear… nothing to wear… to wear. Just like that. It’s pretty trippy, really.

There is not a single nice thing I can say about the creation of this movie. I mean, there’s not even a not-bad thing I could say about it. The creators evidently threw it together with as little effort as possible and didn’t have a single care other than da moneyz. The animation is horrid – the characters are such clear rip-offs it’s sad, the movement is sloppy at best, and the CG used for long shots of the ship is atrociously primitive. The music fails to fit any definition of “good” (how someone with a voice like Molly’s got a prestigious singing gig is beyond me.) The content is handled with such ineptitude it actually feels like Teti set out to disrespect the real-life crew members and passengers of the Titanic. I mean — Wow.

The only positive thing I could say about this movie is that it’s so darned easy and fun to mock! It’s just plain dumb, and could potentially be the worst movie I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen some doozies.) In order to make it through this thing, you need to be in the proper mindset – that is, prepared to tear it to shreds and maybe start a drinking game with some pals.

Maybe now I’m ready for Manos: the Hands of Fate.

'Cause it's not like you can FIT THROUGH THE BARS or anything.

Because it's not like they can fit through the bars or anything.

Intermission!

  • There are rumors that the animators of Titanic: the Legend Goes On were actually told to model their characters closely after popular animated characters for audience appeal.
  • Not to be confused with The Legend of the Titanic, another Italian animated film loosely based off of the real-life disaster. It was made just a couple years before this piece of cinematic garbage, and is supposed to feature a similar love story and a secondary cast of anthropomorphic mice. Allegedly, an octopus saves the ship from sinking. Right now I’m thinking Mutant Viewing.

Groovy Quotes:

Maxie: If it hadn’t been for you I would now be in someone else’s digestion!

Fritz: You know there’s something you should know/So I’m gonna tell you so/Don’t sweat it; Forget it; Just enjoy the show!

Sam: Special Detective Sam Bradbury, Sam to my friends, threat to my enemies.

William: I knew you existed!
Angelica: I would have thought you’d be upstairs, listening to that wonderful singer.
William: I was too busy looking for someone. Someone with unforgettable eyes, and now that I’ve found her I’m not going to let her get away from me.
Angelica: Please don’t make fun of me. I don’t belong in your world. I could never compete with the young ladies that surround you.
William: What are you saying? I’m dead serious. The most wonderful thing about this trip to America was meeting you.
Angelica: I don’t know whether to believe you or not. Please don’t be cruel. Don’t hurt me. I’ve had so much disappointment, and I’ve always managed to see the positive side.

Unnamed Officer: Can’t go through this way. Don’t make me resort to violence. Can’t go through this way. Don’t make me resort to violence. Don’t make me resort to violence. Can’t go through this way.

If You Liked This Movie, Try:

  • The Legend of the Titanic
  • In Search of the Titanic
  • Any of the countless movies it ripped off, if only to see those stories done right.
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