4 Disney Villains With Terrible Plans

I’ve been really obsessed with Cracked.com lately, specifically their series After Hours. For those who haven’t seen, four friends sit around at table nitpicking popular culture to hell and back. So, I’ve been in the mood to do the same. And what better franchise to cut to ribbons than the all-powerful kingdom of the mouse.

There have been a number of memorable Disney villains throughout the years. They have great designs, over-the-top personalities, a bumbling henchman or two. The villains are the best parts of Disney movies. But do they always have the best laid plans? You’d be surprised how quickly some of these plots fall apart the more you poke at them. So, I’m here to talk about 4 Disney villains whose plans were bullshit. I’m not disputing their evil-ness or anything like that. I’m just saying that these four plans are stupid and pointless. Here they are in no particular order.

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My Top 5 Favorite Horror Film Franchises

Hollywood only wants franchises nowadays. At least, that’s how it seems when it comes to their horror and action movies. They aren’t interested in a story unless they can make more than one movie out of it. I’ve seen my share of horror movies in my day, but even I can admit when a series is getting repetitive. That’s why it’s so rare to get a legitimately good franchise out there in today’s world. Despite the fact that series movies can get stale, franchises are everywhere. That’s why I have decided to make a list of My Top 5 Favorite Horror Film Franchises! Why only top 5? Because, like any decent horror film, I’m laying some ground rules…

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My Top 10 Favorite Cartoon Shows

Brace yourselves! Longer than normal post ahead! Mostly because I’m passionate about this subject and I’m making up for lost time this week.

As I approach the exact middle of my 20s, I find there is still one constant in my mind since I was a kid: I love cartoons. When I was younger, I just thought the pictures were cool and the stories were fine. As an adult, I find their artistry and story-telling can be phenomenally well done. Sure, there are some stinkers here and there, but isn’t that the case with every genre of TV show? Since I love cartoons so much and have quite a bit of experience watching them, I’ve decided to compile my first list of the new year! These are My Top 10 Favorite Cartoons of All Time! (Note: List is subject to change in the future. Tastes change, people change, new cartoons get made, etc. I may wish to change my list at some point in the unknowable future. This list reflects my mindset during the present, in my mid-20s.)

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My Top 13 Favorite Treehouse of Horror Segments

Despite my absence due to personal work matters, it’s still Halloween Specials Week here at Richard’s Weekly Journal!  The Simpsons has one of the greatest yearly Halloween specials of all time, the Treehouse of Horror.  Even the most hardhearted Simpsons fan admits to tuning into this wonderful special every year.  There are dozens of fantastic segments that have been shown in these episodes.  But which are the best?  I have no idea.  What I DO know is there are quite a few I would consider my favorites.  These are my Top 13 Favorite Treehouse of Horror Segments!

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My Top 11 Eleventh Doctor Moments and Scenes

It’s that time of year again!  No, not Halloween… Not yet, anyway.  The new season of Doctor Who has finally started.  Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor has officially debuted!  Now, I’ve talked at length about how Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor is My Doctor.  I’ve also talked about a few of my least liked episodes of his run.  However, it’s time I finally fulfilled my promise.  In order to officially close the curtain on My Doctor, I am going to list my Top 11 Favorite Moments and Scenes from his run.  This article is going to be long enough without a long introduction, so let’s get right to it.

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My Top 11 Favorite Hero Songs

 I’ve talked before about villain songs.  At least 90% of the time, my favorite song in any musical is the song sung by the baddie of the piece.  However, I have been issued a challenge by Laura, aka the woman I’m engaged to.  In return, I issued her a challenge as well.  It’s the heroes versus the villains today as Laura looks at some songs from our favorite villains and I hop on the opposite side of that train.

Honestly, villain songs are easy.  Either the villain is being deceptive to the heroes or is trying to boost their own ego, talking about how evil they are or the evil things they do/will do.  But what makes a song a “hero” song?  I had trouble even defining the term “hero song” before I realized something.  Hero songs are kind of the same as villain songs, without the deception side.  Usually, a hero song is when the hero is trying to build themselves up to do something great.  It’s about when a hero is trying to get others to believe in them, or even trying to get themselves to believe in themselves.  It’s all about trying to seem like you know what you’re doing even when you’re not sure you do.  And with that, let’s look at my top 11 favorite hero songs!

11)  I Just Can’t Wait to be King – Lion King

While definitely one of the more… naive songs on this list, I Just Can’t Wait to be King is a fun one.  Simba and Nala talk about how great it will be when they are finally in charge.  Sure, it’s all a distraction for Zazu, but this still is a hero song.  Simba just wants to be as great and powerful as his father.  He’s trying to say how awesome he’ll be when he’s king.  We all know how THAT turns out, but this song still catchy as hell.  It definitely sounds like a roar of triumph.

10)  Together Again – Young Frankenstein The Musical

Together Again is sung as Igor and Frederick meet for the first time.  No, it doesn’t make sense.  That’s kind of the point.   The two talk about how it feels natural that they’ve met and they will make the best duo the world has ever seen.  The song is just pure fun and is probably my favorite song in the entire musical.  You really get a sense of comradery from the two even as they just met.  You can tell that they will do great things together, even if those “great” things may not be for the best of humanity.  If there’s one thing that this song does wrong is it seems to “end” about 3 times and still somehow continue.  Still, it’s a song that you’ll have fun listening to for the first time or over and over again.

9)  Make a Man Out of You – Mulan

LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS. TO DEFEAT. THE HUNS.  HUAH!  This is the best song from Mulan, bar none.  Not to mention, it’s just empowering.  It shows us the many trials and obstacles the soldiers go through as they’re training and it shows how the soldiers improve.  It kind of gives the message that, with a little hard work, anyone can be a badass.  It’s the kind of song I would listen to at the gym… if I actually went to the gym, that is.

8)  Poor Jack – Nightmare Before Christmas

Sure, this song starts off sad as Jack wallows in self pity at his failure to take over Christmas.  That’s not what makes this a hero song.  The hero portion is in the second half.  Jack realizes that he can’t change who he is and he is the absolute best at what he does.  It’s just awesome to watch Jack get the wind back in his sails and realize that he is, indeed, the Pumpkin King.  He also realizes that he just screwed up and he’s the only one that can set things right.  Here’s hoping Jack can save that kidnapped Sandy Claws.

7)  Prince Ali – Aladdin

Yes, another Disney one.  What can I say?  Disney’s good at their craft.  Anyway, Aladdin is, without a doubt, my favorite Disney movie.  While this song isn’t outright sung by Aladdin, there’s no doubt that this is a hero song.  It talks about how wonderful he is and brags about all the good things he’s done.  Granted, it’s all a ruse and none of it is actually true.  Still, this song is just too much fun not to include.  To end this little segment, I’ll just say that I agree with the Sultan.  “Splendid!  Absolutely marvelous!”

6)  Let It Go – Frozen

I promise that this is the last Disney song on the list.  Yes, I know it’s been overplayed recently.  Yes, everyone and their grandmothers love to sing it.  I don’t care.  This song is just too good and the visuals are just too fantastic.  It’s empowering, inspiring, and just downright catchy.  It’s all about Elsa really letting loose with her powers, embracing the power within herself and letting it out for the world (or at least the mountain side) to see.  Honestly, I can’t hear someone say “let it go” or any variation there-of without thinking of this song now.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

5)  A Man’s Gotta Do – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog

Dr. Horrible is a villain.  That’s the whole point of his character.  Captain Hammer is his douche-y archenemy hero.  Strange, then, that they get a heroic duet together.  Seriously, I find this song to be a heroic moment for both characters.  The Doc is just trying to do what he considers right and he feels like it’s important to stand up and do something.  Captain Hammer (corporate tool) is making his heroic entrance into the movie.  It just feels like a good duet as they are both doing what they think is right.  It’s not the most conventional of hero songs, but it is one of my favorites.

4)  I Believe – Book of Mormon

Elder Price may not be the ultimate hero of Book of Mormon, but he does have the ultimate hero song.  You may argue that Man Up is more of a hero song.  However, I find Man Up is better thought of as an “end of Act 1” song, which it is.  I Believe has all the makings of a hero song.  It has Elder Price starting off doubting himself and his faith, then goes into reaffirming his beliefs.  Sure, it’s meant to be a parody of sorts on religion, but this song is sung with such conviction.  Elder Price starts firmly putting his faith in his God and, thus, puts faith in himself as he goes up against General Butt Fucking Naked (which the play to get that joke).  Does it work out?  Seriously, you should watch the play… Well, as long as you’re not easily offended.

3)  Defying Gravity – Wicked

Idina Menzel is in this list twice.  And I just realized that all of my top 4 are Broadway songs.  Huh.  Anyway, Defying Gravity is the most well known song from Wicked for a reason.  It has power.  The lyrics are powerful, the message is powerful, and by GOD, Idina’s voice is POWERFUL.  Elphaba realizes that she’s got to fight against the wizard and, even if she has to do it alone, she will fight with all her might.  If this song doesn’t give you chills, I’m not sure we can be friends.  When listening to this song, I swear you’ll believe a witch can fly.

2)  Who I’d Be – Shrek the Musical

Shrek isn’t one of my favorite movies.  Heck, when I found out that it was turned into a musical, I mostly went into it thinking it would be terrible. I was wrong.  Who I’d Be is the most beautiful song from this play.  It’s all about Shrek talking about the life he’d want to live if he weren’t an ogre.  He’d want to go out adventuring, see the world, be the hero of his own story.  Alas, he knows this is just wishful thinking, because, as he says, “an ogre always stays in the dark and all alone.”  Still, while he sings this song, you can’t help but want to see him find that glory he longs for so much.

1)  Who Am I – Les Miserables

While Who I’d Be is about someone dreaming to be something more, Who Am I is about someone facing their inner demons and BECOMING something more.  Jean Valjean argues with himself, trying to choose whether to save an innocent man’s life at the price of his own.  Who Am I is about a man choosing to do the right thing even at the expense of his own freedom.  THAT, my friends, is a true hero.  Colm Wilkinson, while at times having a thick accent, is one of the best Broadway singers I have ever heard.  Who am I?  I’m huge fan of this song.

And that’s my list!  I know that there are differing opinions out there, so, please leave some of your favorite hero songs in the comments!  I’m eager to read them.  Now, I’m off to suddenly break into song somewhere.

My Top 10 Favorite Video Game Franchises

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a gamer.  The first console I remember owning is the SNES and the first game I remember playing is the Duck Hunt/Super Mario Bros. combo game.  (And yes, I want to shoot that Duck Hunt dog right in the eye just like many of you.)  Nonetheless, as I’ve played more and more games over the years, I’ve developed certain gaming tastes.  For example, I am not a fan of First Person Shooters/war games.  Still, I have come across certain video game franchises that I have grown to love.  These are my Top 10 Favorite Video Game Franchises.

10.  Pokemon

I remember when their were only 150 of you.  Well, technically, 151 if you are counting Mew.  But I digress.  I guess I spent the best years of my little life playing these games.  I wanted to be the very best like no one ever was.  To catch them was my real test.  To train them was my cause.  While Pokemon will always hold a place in my heart, I feel like the franchise has gotten a bit bloated and stale.  Nintendo has tried to add things to Pokemon (like the characteristics, beauty contests, and such) that I just don’t like.  Plus, each game just feels the same to me.  Catch Pokemon, train them, fight a boss, move to the next town.  Rinse and repeat as needed.  Still, there’s no other games quite like the Pokemon series and it will always be remembered as a big part of my childhood.  Pokemon, what happened to you?

9.  Portal

Portal is one of the most interesting and creative puzzle games I’ve ever come across.  Honestly, I’ve only ever played the second game myself.  However, I have seen multiple Let’s Plays of the first game.  And I have loved what I’ve seen.  The puzzles are all intriguing and get tougher (but still fair) as the games go on.  I always have a sense of great satisfaction when I find the solution to a particularly daunting puzzle.  Of course, the games are also very well written.  I find the second game hilarious and the characters are particularly well developed and always are entertaining to watch.  Now and forever, I’ll be thinking with portals.

8.  Soul Calibur

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Soul Calibur is my favorite fighting franchise, bar none.  Really, the reason stems from a fond memory I have regarding a cruise ship arcade.  Soul Calibur 2 was the most popular machine on that ship and I would play it as often as I could.  The characters for the games are very creative, along with their stories of trying to find the cursed sword that the series is named for, Soul Calibur.  I also love that each new game in the series has added popular characters, like Link, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Spawn.  In case you’re wondering, my character is and always will be Nightmare.  His design is awesome and I just love playing as him.

7.  The Super Mario Bros. platformers

As I said above, Super Mario Bros. is one of the first games I remember playing as a kid.  I have fond memories of sitting on the couch and passing the controller back and forth with my dad.  Even to this day, I love the new games coming out, including the 3D platformers.  Heck, Super Mario 64 is probably my most played Nintendo 64 game of all time.  I think I’ll always find these platformers fun.  Yes, Mario has expanded to other games.  Tennis, board game parties, puzzle games, and the like.  For me, though, nothing will ever beat his platforming roots.  They’re challenging, fun, and easy to pick up and play.

6.  Prince of Persia

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How do I define Prince of Persia?  Action platformer?  Action adventure game?  Action game with puzzle elements?  How about all of the above?  The Prince of Persia games are a perfect blend of platforming, puzzle, and action elements combined with an interesting story.  If I had to pick a favorite element of these games, I would have to say the platforming segments.  There’s just something so satisfying about climbing around obstacles and up walls like a monkey.  The action elements, while fun, are at times frustrating, especially if you’re out of sand, low on health, and you have to get past THOSE DAMN BIRDS WHO WONT LEAVE YOU ALONE.  I’M JUST TRYING TO CROSS A BEAM HERE, YOU LITTLE… Ahem.  Still, it’s a fun series that makes me really want to take up parkour.

5.  The Rayman reboot

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I wasn’t really into Rayman as a kid.  I never even really played the original games.  However, when Rayman Origins came out, I was hooked from Press Start.  The artwork for both it and Legends is bright, colorful, and extremely bizarre.  Right up my alley.  The platforming gets so much harder as you progress through the game.  Honestly, it gets frustrating as heck.  However, that just makes it all the more satisfying when a level is beaten.  The series has also been very creative so far with its level design.  For example, I absolutely love the musical levels of Legends.  They are without a doubt my favorite part of the franchise so far.   I can’t wait to get more fun from this little… aardvark?  Dog?  Rat?  Well, whatever he is, he’s one awesome… one of those.

4.  Batman:  Arkham

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What’s not to love about the Batman:  Arkham games?  It’s got stealth elements, fighting elements, puzzles, fantastic characters, intriguing and compelling stories, a wonderful sandbox game feeling.  These games have it all, AND Batman.  The first game, admittedly, felt a little too linear.  For the second game, though, the developers really pushed the limits and let the players really feel like the Dark Knight.  Plus, the voice acting is absolutely phenomenal.  It’s one of the only franchises I feel really makes you feel like your favorite hero.

3.  Sly Cooper

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Out of all the classic cartoon platformers (such as Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet and Clank, Jack and Daxter, etc.), the Sly Cooper franchise is my absolute, all time favorite.  The artwork is sleek, cartoony, and fantastic.  The characters are funny and loveable.  This game, when I was younger and still today, really make me feel like a thief.  The stealth elements are done very well, making me almost hold my breath while trying to pick a thug’s pocket.  The villains are all very creative, having their own personalities and designs.  It is just an all around awesome game.  The first trilogy was so good that I went so far as to buy the HD collection when I bought a PS3.  It’s one of the only series I would ever intentionally buy twice.  I think that definitely counts for something.

2.  Professor Layton

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Professor Layton is a mostly text driven series of hand held games and probably the best—

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Ah, yes, I almost forgot.  Entry number two is a tie.  It’s the Professor Layton series and…

2.  The Ace Attorney series

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The Professor Layton games and the Ace Attorney games are very similar to me.  They are games that rely heavily on stories and (simply fantastic) characters, they involve a lot of reading, and they rely on the players using their knowledge and wits to win the game.  Honestly, the best parts of these games are the stories and characters.  Absolutely no other game has a story quite like these.  They are very smart, intriguing, and simply mind boggling.  I am certain you’ll never see one of the many twists and turns coming.  And, honestly, that makes for a very interesting and compelling mystery series.  I had to put these both in the number 2 spot because I couldn’t talk about one without the other.  And, yes, I VERY much want to play Phoenix Wright vs Professor Layton.  BRING IT TO AMERICA, CAPCOM, PLEASE!

1.  Kingdom Hearts

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Are these the best made games?  No.  Do they tell the most coherent story?  No.  Do I love them?  With all of my heart.  (Ah?  See what I did there?)  Kingdom Hearts is my favorite franchise of all time, and that’s due in no small part to my love of Disney.  When I heard that a game was coming out that would explore multiple worlds from the Disney movies, I just had to check it out.  And what I got was an action packed, emotional, and awesome story.  Admittedly, the story is a bit convoluted, especially as the series has gone on.  But I still get extreme satisfaction when I board my gummi ship and head for a new world filled with characters from my childhood.  And getting to summon the Genie and Stitch, two of my favorite Disney characters, as helpers in battle?  Well, that was just icing on the delicious cake.  Kingdom Hearts is a wonderful treat for any Disney fan.

That’s the end of my list.  I’m sure there are different opinions out there.  Please share some of your favorite franchises in the comments.  Perhaps your ideas will give me new games to check out.  Until next time, I’m off to play some old, familiar favorites.