I am dead effing serious when I tell you that this is the closest any movie has come to threatening “Theodore Rex” as the most inept, incomprehensible, and terrible movie I have ever seen. It’s just barely less effed up than that “Titanic” animated movie.
This takes us to the magical year of 1992, when we were all sick of hearing about Christopher Columbus. We were also subjected to three different Columbus movies, including this little brain tulip from some German animation studio that really liked the Bronze Age Disney movies. And wood-boring worms.
Columbus isn’t actually the main character here. Instead, the main character is a wood-boring worm named Pico who befriended Columbus when he ate Columbus’ cube-shaped globe into the shape of a sphere. (Yes, the movie trots the old “people used to think the world was flat but Columbus wanted to prove them all wrong” chestnut nobody even bought in Kindergarten. They DO mention the easier trade routes, however, so I guess they have that on their side.) He also asks Columbus to help him rescue a Fairy Princess he loves who was kidnapped and carried over the sea by an evil Whogivesacrap, when she refused to share the secret of her magical Whatever with… yeah. Because why not have Fairies and evil entities in your movie about Christopher Columbus?
Do you know what a Lull Distraction is? You mostly see them (or hear them, rather) in dubbed animation from the 80’s and 90’s. If you grew up with the old “what the hell” version of Nick Jr., you got to hear them a lot. For whatever reason, the people who dubbed animation into English during that time period felt that American children would not be able to handle one single second of silence. And so, you’d wind up with dozens of foreign animated shows and films where the characters NEVER EFFING STOP TALKING.
What I mean to say here is that you are going to want to destroy Pico over and over after the first five minutes of “Wow, that looks cool! Wow, that’s cool! This is so cool!” You can’t just have your characters announce how they feel and how they think everything is cool! That makes me feel angry!
Suffice it to say, there’s no mention of the Taino people of San Salvador or -err- the rather sticky topic of how the Spanish treated them.
The Best Parts:
1 minutes in – “…In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…”
3 minutes in – This is going to be the whole movie, isn’t it?
4 minutes in – SEAGULL CRUELTY!!!
5 minutes in – Dom DeLuis? Oh… ;_;
7 minutes in – There could not have been this much dialogue in the original German cut.
10 minutes in – “This is the Song That Never Ends! / Yes it goes on and on, my friends!”
12 minutes in – I wonder if the person who animated the King and his advisor ever saw “Aladdin”?
By the way, as bad as this movie is, the animation is *slightly* better than it is in “The Christmas Tree”. But not by much.
15 minutes in – I’m sure this is exactly how this happened in reality.
17 minutes in – “But we sang a Song That Never Ends together and it was loaded with Ho-Yay! Didn’t that mean anything to you?” ;_;
19 minutes in – Well, you’ve got the “This is stupid” part right.
21 minutes in – There aren’t enough drugs in the world that would explain why they randomly decided to include magical Fairy Princesses in a Christopher Columbus movie.
24 minutes in – Seriously, WTF?
28 minutes in – But you *are* light enough to float.
30 minutes in – There’s another whole hour of this to endure.
33 minutes in – FURTHER SEAGULL CRUELTY!!!
37 minutes in – Now, between that whole endless bit where Columbus was mackin’ on the Queen, and this scene, and the scene coming up next, you have to wonder how, exactly, this was meant for kids. (For all I know, it probably wasn’t.)
40 minutes in – Oh God… oh God!!! Are we watching Columbus doing what I *think* he’s doing???
42 minutes in – And then, that happened.
45 minutes in – “I know! Another terrible song will make them not want to kill me over and over again!”
48 minutes in – Noooo!!! Please tell me he’s not going to start doing THAT again!!!
50 minutes in – You know, maybe if you STOPPED TALKING for half a second, she’d come back to you again!
54 minutes in – UNWANTED NUDE SCENE!!!
Oh man, this movie is going to scar me for life. I feel bad for the kids who had to watch it.
56 minutes in – ROARING SHARK!!!
It’s almost worth watching up to this point for the sheer hilarious mind-blowing WTF-ery of the Roaring Shark. And it isn’t like it’s your basic “yelling into a glass bottle” cartoon roar, either. It’s amazing.
57 minutes in – Oh, and this thing that is also happening.
1 hour, 1 minute in – We really, REALLY don’t want to hear it.
1 hour, 5 minutes in – Oh. So, this movie IS going to acknowledge the Taino. Huh. This is really awkward. Like, really awkward.
1 hour, 8 minutes in – This is where you can give up on trying to follow the action here.
1 hour, 16 minutes in – “And there’s going to be shopping malls, and theme parks, and Wal-Marts, and fast food joints, and wonderful wonderful billboards as far as the eye can see!”
It’s over? It’s really over. (Ness kisses the sweet ground.)
“Today, the garbage smells just like perfume!” – Columbus
“Hey, that looks pretty cool!” – Pico the wood-worm, enough times that you will want to kill him over and over and over…
“He’s talking to his little worm! And now he’s kissing his little worm!” – Sailor at the 37 minute mark. And the “joke” just goes on and on.
“I got wood! Boy do I got wood!” – Bob the Beaver. And, again, the “joke” just goes on and on.
Things I Learned from this Movie:
* – Columbus went on his voyage because his wood worm friend needed to rescue a Fairy Princess from some evil guy. Also, the King basically made Columbus go because the Queen kept wanting to get in Columbus’ pants. Yeah.
* – Sharks, bless their two-chambered hearts, always seem to get the most hilarious and mind-blowing WTF-worthy scene in any terrible movie in which they are involved. (This one might still be the best. “NOOO!!! We’re being eaten by stock footage!!!”)
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? No
Good Soundtrack? No
Hot Guys? No
Pretty Scenery? No
Nifty Animation/Effects/Art Direction? No
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when there is sexual innuendo in this children’s movie about Christopher Columbus.
Head Movie Potential? There are still not enough drugs in the world.
Jon sailing right over the edge.
A Bavaria Film production released in America by Hemdale Entertainment in 1992. Written by Ute Koll and Scott Santoro and directed by Michael Schoemann.
Dom DeLuis (again, ;_;), Corey Feldman (again again ;_;), Irene Cara, and Mickey Rooney.
IMDB entry – Incidentally, just peering over the comments, it looks like this movie actually did scar a lot of children for life.
Encounter – The official page for Jane Yolen’s very different account of Columbus.
The Nostalgia Critic review of “Titanic: Animated” – That Guy is a braver critic than I.