Pocahontas Review

Pocahontas

When Pocahontas was released in 1995, it proved to be something of a turning point for the Disney Renaissance era. While Disney gave themselves a huge pat on the back for making their first film inspired by historical figures and events, it ended up being something of a black sheep to audiences and critics, who found it disappointing compared to its predecessors. Today, Disney seems to market the Pocahontas character more than the film itself, a possible sign that the film has even fallen out of favor with Disney themselves. Although many of the critiques are justified, Pocahontas is a better movie than it gets credit for.

Disney’s interpretation of Pocahontas sees the film’s namesake heroine (Irene Bedard), a young Powhatan “princess” who crosses paths with Englishman John Smith (Mel Gibson), as the English make their way into the new world.

PocahontasPocahontas and Smith form a friendship, and later romance, that leads Smith to reevaluate his beliefs of the native people. Meanwhile, tension between the Powhatans and the English is brewing, as the conniving Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) – who is leading the English expedition – plans to ravage the new world of its riches by any means necessary.

Much has been said about the historical inaccuracies of the film (though the presence of a magic, talking tree probably indicates Disney wasn’t aiming for accuracy), but when taken for its own merits, it’s actually a pretty solid story, if maybe not a groundbreaking one.

Pocahontas herself, while maybe not the most unique heroine in terms of personality, is at least a strong enough main character to carry the story. John Smith is similarly unremarkable in personality, falling into Disney’s usual ‘Mr. Perfect’ archetype. But at least he learns a lesson or two before fully surrendering to the trope.

PocahontasRatcliffe is a fun, though terribly underutilized villain. He has a little more purpose for his evil deeds than most Disney villains (he’s described as a “failed social climber,” with his current expedition being his last chance to prove his qualities), but he never gets much time to interact with the heroes. It almost feels like Ratcliffe is part of a sidestory of the film, instead of its primary antagonist.

True to the Disney form, a group of comedic sidekicks are involved, to add a little more humor and personality to the film. Pocahontas is often joined by a raccoon named Miko and a hummingbird named Flit who, along with Ratcliffe’s dog Percy, provide some fun, cartoonish antics. But it’s Ratcliffe’s naive and well-meaning manservant Wiggins (also voiced by Stiers) who is probably the film’s funniest aspect.Pocahontas

The soundtrack to Pocahontas is probably the one piece of the film that even its harshest critics can appreciate to some degree. I would argue that the film’s centerpiece number “Colors of the Wind” is better than any one song from The Lion King, as it sums up the film’s message in one beautiful musical piece. “Just Around the River Bend” isn’t quite as good, but nonetheless catchy. “Mine, Mine, Mine” serves as Ratcliffe’s obligatory villain song, and it’s actually a pretty fun one, until John Smith strangely gets a verse in it and it loses some of its villainous charm. “Savages” serves as the film’s climactic musical number, and is effectively frightening in its lyrics.

PocahontasThe animation is another highlight. The characters in Pocahontas were animated to look a little more realistic than the other Disney film’s of the 90s (with the exceptions of the sidekicks and Ratcliffe, who retain a more cartoonish look to magnify their roles in the story). The characters have detailed facial expressions and a richness in their movements that give Pocahontas a distinct animation style among Disney films. It’s all the more eye-popping during the musical numbers (Colors of the Wind adopts a painting visual style, while Savages utilizes aggressive color schemes).

Despite the visual and musical heights, Pocahontas still has a few bumps in its story. Some elements, such as Pocahontas magically learning to speak English by “listening to her heart,” are a bit too convenient. The overall message, while certainly well intentioned, can be a little too loud for its own good. And as previously stated, Pocahontas and John Smith aren’t particularly interesting, and Ratcliffe, while a fun villain, could have used more screen time.

Pocahontas may not quite live up to its revered siblings of the Disney Renaissance, but it still provides a good piece of Disney entertainment brought to life through lovely animation and songs.

 

6

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The Lion King Review

The Lion King

When The Lion King first hit theaters in 1994, it became a cultural phenomenon. It surpassed Aladdin as the most successful animated film ever released at the time, and the success of its 2011 re-release proved its long-standing appeal. The Lion King remains one of the most popular animated films of all time, as well as one of Disney’s most epic features. But, despite its hefty status and grand scope, The Lion King does suffer from a few inconsistencies in its overall tone and song work.

The Lion King tells the story of Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a cub, Matthew Broderick as an adult), a lion ‘prince’ born under king Mufasa (James Earl Jones), who rules over the Pride Lands. All of the animals of the Pride Lands celebrate Simba’s birth, with the exception of his uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons). Scar has long been in the shadow of his brother Mufasa, and now that Simba is the heir to the throne, Scar’s chances of ruling the Pride Lands have all but dissolved. But Scar is an ambitious villain, and he, with the help of a band of hyenas, hatches a plan to murder his brother and nephew so that he can usurp the throne.

This setup leads to some powerful emotional moments, with the bond between Simba and Mufasa being one of the movie’s best aspects. Even though we all know what becomes of Mufasa, the film does a great job at making him feel like an unbreakable force of good, which makes that most pivotal moment of the film all the more impactful and heartbreaking.

The Lion King hosts a large cast of characters, some of them deserving of their popular status in the Disney lineup, others not so much.

The Lion KingSimba is the core of the movie, of course. We see him grow up throughout the movie, starting out as a carefree cub who can’t wait for the day when he rules the Pride Lands. But the tragedy of his father leads him to exile, and he grows up to be something of a careless oaf before finally taking up responsibility. Simba’s friend and romantic interest Nala (Moira Kelly) may knock some sense into the would-be king, but she really doesn’t provide much outside of being the token female character.

A host of comedic sidekicks are spread throughout the film, with Mufasa’s pompous hornbill advisor Zazu (Rowan Atkinson) providing some humor early on. There’s also Rafiki the mandril (Robert Guillaume) who combines his comedy with a good dose of wisdom, and even Scar gets some sidekicks with a trio of hyenas. The most fondly remembered comedic foil of The Lion King, however, are Timon the meerkat (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa the warthog (Ernie Sabella), who befriend Simba during his exile.

The Lion KingWhile the comedic characters do serve to ease some of the tension from the movie, I’m afraid they can be a bit hit or miss. Zazu and Rafiki mesh with the rest of the film well enough, but Timon and Pumbaa – despite being the most popular characters from the movie – rely too heavily on bathroom humor and gross-out gags. In another movie they might have worked better, but The Lion King can feel a tad dumbed down when the duo comes into play. The film goes from a kid crying over his father’s lifeless body to a warthog singing about his flatulence within a matter of minutes. They aren’t bad or annoying characters per se, but they do feel misplaced in an otherwise pretty serious Disney movie.

The Lion KingIt’s Mufasa and Scar who stand out the most, as each gives a strong sense of presence that not many Disney characters can claim. Both were perfectly cast vocally, with Scar in particular being one of Disney’s most memorable villains. And Disney’s is a long line of memorable villains.

The animation in The Lion King proved a huge step up for the studio. Each animal character has a believability and a uniqueness in movement, proving that Disney did a great deal of research when creating this animal world. It’s still one of Disney’s most detailed hand-drawn films.

The Lion KingBut whereas the animation may be top-notch Disney, the song work is actually a bit of a step down from Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. The opening number “Circle of Life” begins the movie on a beautiful note, with a distinctly African vibe to boot. But that opening number outshines the rest. “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” is bouncy and fun enough, but not particularly catchy. “Be Prepared” livens things up a bit as one of the more standout Disney villain songs. “Hakuna Matata” is the weak link of the bunch, as its humor feels a bit shaky and out of place with the rest of the film. Finally, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is a sweet love song, though it never reaches the levels of “Kiss the Girl” from Mermaid or Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.”

When taking everything into account, The Lion King remains one of Disney’s most ambitious and dramatic features. It’s a beautiful film to look at, and it provides a good, Shakespearian story. The misplaced comedy and inconsistent songs have become more noticeable with age, but in terms of its scope, The Lion King is still kingly.

 

7

Aladdin Review

Aladdin

When Aladdin was released in 1992, it arrived at the height of the Disney Renaissance. Coming off the heels of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin was, for a time, the most successful animated film ever. It remains one of Disney’s most popular movies. But while Aladdin may have introduced audiences to one of Disney’s best characters, I’m afraid time has revealed the movie to be a bit of a one trick pony.

Aladdin sees its titular hero (Scott Weinger), a peasant of the streets of Agrabah, cross paths with Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin), who has fled the palace for the day to avoid any more pompous suitors. Before their romance can blossom, they are separated by the forces of Agrabah’s corrupt Grand Vizier Jafar (Jonathan Freeman).Aladdin

Jafar plans on taking over Agrabah, and seeks the aid of a magic lamp, with which he can summon a powerful genie to grant his wishes. The lamp is located in an ancient chamber known as the Cave of Wonders, which is cursed to all but the “Diamond in the Rough.” It turns out Aladdin is this Diamond in the Rough. Aladdin finds the lamp and, hoping to reunite with Jasmine, frees the Genie (Robin Williams). And that’s when the fun begins.

AladdinThe Genie was a revelation of a character. He’s a non-stop barrage of visual gags and ad-libbed one-liners. Robin Williams’ performance was so full of energy that the animators must have had some trouble trying to create visuals that could keep up with it. But the end results couldn’t have been better. The Genie is still one of Disney’s best characters: his vocal performance is a thing of utter hilarity, and his supernatural qualities (as well as Williams’ improvisations) allowed for the character to break the fourth wall, impersonate celebrities, make references to (and even poke fun of) other Disney films, and provide a visual energy that Disney has rarely matched since.

It’s a shame then, that the rest of Aladdin simply can’t keep up. The movie does have good intentions, with a sweet message about being honest and true to yourself (Aladdin uses his first wish to become a prince, only for it to blow up in his face later), and the songs are memorable. But aside from that wonderful Genie, the rest of the characters are a bit bland, the and the story doesn’t match up to some of Disney’s better films.

AladdinAladdin himself is a cookie cutter hero. His character lacks any standout traits, and he more or less is just filling out the ‘main character’ position. Jasmine is equally uninteresting. She at least has a more standout character design, but her personality doesn’t differ much from any other princess character. The relationship between the two never comes off as anything more than your standard “poor guy meets rich girl” setup, with the exception of the film’s signature song. Even Jafar, who has since become one of the more iconic Disney villains, can kind of feel like a stand-in villain. He’s just here because the movie needs a bad guy.

But about those songs. Aladdin features a pretty great soundtrack, even if it never quite matches up to Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. The previously mentioned signature song, “A Whole New World” is one of Disney’s better duets, and provides a moment of beauty in a film that otherwise relies on the laughs. “One Jump Ahead” serves as a basic but catchy introductory song for Aladdin’s character. “Prince Ali” is sung primarily by Williams’ Genie, and is appropriately one of Disney’s liveliest songs. But it’s Genie’s iconic number “Friend Like Me” that truly brings the house down.

The movie is also a visual delight, as it well utilizes its Arabian setting to provide an Earthy color scheme, only for things to burst with colors every time Genie’s antics take place. The characters are all well animated, and showcase both Disney’s expertise with the craft as well as their production values.Aladdin

Aladdin is an entertaining movie thanks to the catchy soundtrack and, of course, the irreplaceable Genie, who keep the whole thing afloat. But whenever there’s a break in between songs and Genie isn’t providing the laughs, I’m afraid Aladdin can be more than a little bland. Genie may be one of the Disney brand’s greatest creations, but take him out of the equation and Aladdin would be downright forgettable.

 

7

Beauty and the Beast Review

Beauty and the Beast

Few Disney films are as beloved as Beauty and the Beast. Originally released in 1991, Beauty and the Beast polished the format laid down by The Little Mermaid to its peak, and it is often recognized as the best film from the Disney Renaissance era. In all the years since its release, Beauty and the Beast hasn’t lost a step. It remains one of the studio’s finest achievements.

Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle (Paige O’Hara), a young woman known throughout the village for her beauty, as well as her “peculiar” behavior (such as her fascination with books and fairy tales). After her father is kidnapped by the titular Beast (Robby Benson), she takes her father’s place as a prisoner in the Beast’s castle in exchange for her father’s freedom. But what starts off as a noble sacrifice becomes the story of romance and transformation.

The Beast was not always so beastly, at least not in physical appearance. He was once a handsome prince, but he and his castle were cursed by a mysterious enchantress as punishment for the prince’s unkindness. He became the Beast, and the staff of his castle were changed as well (though into more charming forms), the only hope of breaking the curse is for the Beast to learn to love another, and to earn their love in return.

It’s one of Disney’s best stories, and one of the few from the studio that emphasizes character as well as plot. The relationship between Belle and the Beast is a far more fleshed out romance than most of those found in Disney features. The movie takes the time to develop the main characters, so the film’s core relationship – despite being a fairy tale romance – feels believable.Beauty and the Beast

Belle is one of Disney’s stronger heroines, displaying a sense of independence that outshines any of her predecessors, while the Beast is far more interesting than any Prince Charming for being a tormented, and often antagonistic character.

They are joined by a parade of some of Disney’s most endearing sidekick characters: Lumiere the candlestick (Jerry Orbach) is romantic and rebellious, Cogsworth the clock (David Ogden Stiers) is pretentious and uptight, and Mrs. Potts the teapot (Angela Lansbury) is kindhearted and nurturing. There’s also Chip (Bradley Pierce) a teacup and Mrs. Potts’ son, as well as Belle’s father Maurice (Rex Everhart), a cooky and eccentric inventor.Beauty and the Beast

Along with the memorable heroes is an equally memorable villain in Gaston (Richard White), a man from Belle’s village who is beloved by the townspeople for his good looks, despite his ugly personality. Gaston is one of the more underrated Disney villains, showing a greater range of character than most of the baddies in the Disney canon. Gaston starts off as little more than a buffoonish oaf and a nuisance, trying to win Belle’s hand in marriage simply for her beauty, but by the third act, vanity and jealousy turn him into a monster.

Beauty and the BeastBeauty and the Beast boasts one of Disney’s best casts of characters. The main characters having a bit more to them than most Disney heroes, the sidekicks are all funny and charming (not to mention they actually have an integral role in the plot, and are never distracting from it), and its villain proves to be just as entertaining. Of course, it’s the songs that bring out the best of Beauty and the Beast’s story and characters.

The soundtrack to Beauty and the Beast has long-since become iconic. Its self-titled theme song – sung by Angela Lansbury’s Mrs. Potts – being hauntingly beautiful. “Be Our Guest” is among the most fun and smile-inducing Disney songs. “Belle” serves as one of the best ‘introductory songs’ in the studio’s history. And few Disney songs come close to the hilarity of “Gaston,” in which its titular villain and his sycophants sing of his manly accomplishments.

The animation, while maybe not quite matching up to the later Disney Renaissance films, remains colorful and full of detail. This is especially true during the aforementioned musical numbers, which gave a whole new life to Disney features. There are some small instances during close-up shots where the animation isn’t always so consistent, but on the whole Beauty and the Beast is still a lovely film.

The character designs are still some of Disney’s best. Belle is an appropriate beauty, while the Beast couldn’t look more beastly if he were live-action or rendered through a computer. The supporting cast all boast simple, charming designs, while Gaston is a walking parody of masculinity. Beauty and the Beast

The Little Mermaid began the Broadway musical-style of Disney songs and storytelling, but with Beauty and the Beast, Disney perfected their craft. It would remain unmatched in the Disney canon until Frozen was released over two decades later. Beauty and the Beast was, and is, one of Disney’s most entertaining, romantic and magical animated features.

 

9

The Rescuers Down Under Review

Rescuers Down Under

The Rescuers Down Under is often seen as the ‘forgotten’ film of the Disney Renaissance. Released in between fan favorites The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers Down Under had the unfortunate honor of being the bridge from one beloved classic to another. While The Rescuers Down Under does have some merits to boast, its status of being in the shadow of its predecessor and successor isn’t entirely unfair. In the end, it’s just not as memorable as Disney’s other offerings of the time.

The Rescuers Down Under does have the distinction of being the first ‘true’ Disney sequel, and one of the select few sequels that are considered part of Disney’s official canon of animated films, being a sequel to the 1977 film The Rescuers. At the time of Down Under’s production, The Rescuers was the last hit Disney had made, so a sequel was seen as a means to get the studio back on track. Little did they know that The Little Mermaid – which was in production at the same time as Down Under – would be the movie that revitalized the Disney brand. The Rescuers Down Under ended up being an honest effort, but a misdirected one.

The story revolves around an Australian boy named Cody, who befriends a rare golden eagle named Marahute, after saving the bird from a poacher’s trap. Said poacher, who goes by the name McLeach, then kidnaps the boy as to find out the eagle’s whereabouts.Rescuers Down Under

The animals of the outback then send a message to the Rescue Aid Society (the organization of international mice from the first film), who recruit returning heroes Bernard (Bob Newhart) and Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) for the rescue mission to save Cody. Along the way, Bernard continuously tries to work up the courage to propose to Miss Bianca.

It’s a simple enough setup, but the stories never quite mesh together. The Rescuers themselves aren’t even introduced until after a good chunk of the movie has passed, and when they do show up, they don’t seem nearly as important as Cody or any of his animal friends. It almost feels like the Rescuers were shoehorned into an entirely different movie, forcing an otherwise unrelated film to become a sequel.

Just the same, the storylines involving the Rescuers seem underdeveloped as they get lost to the bigger story. Bernard and Bianca’s relationship never gets the attention it needs. A kangaroo mouse named Jake even joins the duo in the outback, seemingly setting up a possible rival for Bernard over Bianca’s affections, but nothing really comes of it.

There is one charming sidekick character in Wilbur the Albatross (John Candy), who serves as the Rescuers’ transport to Australia, but he gets stuck in an unnecessary subplot involving a back injury that only serves to further distract the story. This is a shame, since a Disney character voiced by John Candy could have been gold if used properly.Rescuers Down Under

There are additional sidekicks with the various animals McLeach has kidnapped, who also try to help Cody escape, but they lack the humor and charm needed to make them memorable. This is echoed by the movie itself, as these animal characters seem forgotten by the plot as quickly as they’re introduced.

Cody may not be the most memorable character either, but he’s capable enough to not detract from the film. McLeach is also pretty forgettable, which is all the greater of an offense when you realize he’s one of the few Disney villains who can be described as such. Disney usually excels at creating villains you love to hate, but McLeach is the kind of mustache-twirler you boo solely on principle. He’s neither evil or entertaining enough to give him any real sense of presence.

By now this all seems largely dismissive, but The Rescuers Down Under does have its qualities. The animation is a delight, boasting a richness in detail and motion that proudly displays Disney’s production values. The action sequences are also well executed, with the flying scenes with Cody and Marahute in particular holding up to those of today’s animated films, which always seem to be trying to ‘out-flying sequence’ each other.Rescuers Down Under

As a whole, The Rescuers Down Under is one of Disney’s lesser animated features, and certainly the weakest of the Disney Renaissance era. Its animation may be top notch, and its action scenes well paced, but its characters lack the endearing qualities we associate with the Disney brand, and its story is never quite sure what to do with itself. It includes bits and pieces of a sequel that are seemingly forcing themselves into another movie, which only hurts both of its halves.

As a sequel to The Rescuers and as its own movie, The Rescuers Down Under is too unfocused to soar alongside Marahute.

 

5

The Little Mermaid Review

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is one of the most beloved of all Disney movies. Released in 1989, The Little Mermaid breathed new life into the Disney brand, creating the broadway musical-style Disney movies we still see today, as well as kickstarting the Disney Renaissance – a period that saw one Disney hit after another – that continued throughout the 1990s. In terms of pure entertainment value, The Little Mermaid remains a highlight in the Disney canon. In regards to its message and narrative, however, I’m afraid that The Little Mermaid shows a bit of age.

 

We all know the story by this point: the titular Mermaid Ariel (Jodi Benson) is the daughter of King Triton. Ariel is too free-spirited and rambunctious to be confined to the sea, she dreams of seeing the world above the waves. She finds the human world to be a more fascinating place, collecting so many human trinkets that she needs a treasure trove to store them all.The Little Mermaid

Ariel ends up saving the life of a human, Prince Eric, and she immediately falls in love with him. The sea witch Ursula (Pat Carrol) has the power to grant Ariel’s wish to live on land with Prince Eric, but at the cost of the mermaid’s beautiful voice. But Ursula has ulterior motives, and plans on using Ariel to get revenge on King Triton.

The Little Mermaid features some of Disney’s most memorable characters. Ariel is one of the stronger Disney heroines, showing a sense of ambition and drive that her predecessors such as Snow White never did, and Ursula is one of Disney’s most iconic villains with reason. She’s effectively scary and equally charismatic, making her a villain you love to hate.

Ariel’s sidekicks include Sebastion, a charming crab who serves as Ariel’s perpetually nervous caretaker, and Flounder, a fish who fills the ‘little buddy’ role better than most. There’s also Scuttle the seagull, who gives Ariel information on her human trinkets with less-than accurate knowledge.Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid boasts an appealing cast of characters, but its main stars might just be the musical numbers. Most Disney animated films have songs in them, but The Little Mermaid is one of the few (along the likes of Beauty and the Beast and Frozen) where the songs feel so integral to the narrative that it can truly be labelled a musical.

The movie’s centerpiece song, “Part of Your World” remains one of the most beloved of Disney songs, and the Oscar-winning “Under the Sea” is still one of the most fun. While the other featured numbers may not be as iconic, they are nonetheless just as entertaining (Ursula’s musical number “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is an underrated highlight).

On top of it all, the animation is lively and colorful, and expresses such quality that it’s hard to believe the movie was made during one of Disney’s rougher periods. There were no cut corners in bringing Ariel to life.

However, as entertaining as the film still is, there are elements in the story that haven’t aged so gracefully. The major drawback to the film is, strangely enough, Ariel’s infatuation with Prince Eric. As sweet and well meaning as the film is, the love story at the heart of it all feels a bit naive. That is, when it isn’t outright eye-rolling.

The problem is that Ariel, who on one hand was Disney’s first attempt to make their female characters interesting, basically falls head over heels (pardon, fins) for Prince Eric based solely on the fact that he’s the most attractive human she encounters. Before he even knows she exists, Ariel is ready to leave behind her life and family just because, well, he’s hot.The Little Mermaid

Sure, Eric ends up being a nice enough guy. In fact, he may be a little too perfect for his (or more accurately, his movie’s) own good. Prince Eric is, unquestionably, the most boring and bland character in the movie. Granted, he never needed to be as interesting as Ariel or as fun as Sebastion, but Eric’s cardboard personality only make Ariel’s infatuation with him seem all the more questionable. The Little Mermaid was supposed to be a sweet and timeless love story, but Ariel’s “love” for Prince Eric more often than not comes off as little more than a juvenile crush.

Perhaps The Little Mermaid isn’t the most meaningful Disney movie then. But it still is one of Disney’s most fun offerings. Aside from Prince Eric, the characters are memorable, the animation is lovely and the soundtrack remains one of Disney’s best. Its idea of love may be misguided and outdated, but in terms of sheer entertainment value, The Little Mermaid holds up. Swimmingly.

 

8

 

Most Wanted Smash Bros. DLC Characters

Nintendo has officially opened up a character ballot for potential DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. For the first time in forever, Nintendo fans can officially make suggestions for characters they’d like to be added to the series, with the possibility of some suggestions becoming a reality.

If you want to vote for your favorite characters, you can do so by going here. Nintendo’s setup is simple enough: Name the character, the game/series they appear in, and give a brief reason why they should be in the game.

Naturally, I have already voted a number of times. There are some characters I wanted for a while that actually ended up in the game (Rosalina, the Duck Hunt dog), but there are some other favorites that didn’t make the cut. Some of my choices are a little more obscure, but some are characters who should have been in the series by this point. At the very least, they all make more sense than Dark Pit.

 

Dixie Kong

Dixie Kong

From: Donkey Kong series

Why she should be in Super Smash Bros: A better question is why hasn’t Dixie Kong been in Super Smash Bros. already? The Donkey Kong series, despite being Nintendo’s earliest franchise, as well as one of their most popular, is grossly underrepresented in Super Smash Bros. With DK and Diddy already in the game, the next logical choice would be Dixie Kong. She debuted in the second (and most beloved) Donkey Kong Country game, was the star of the third entry, and has remained a series mainstay. She was even the most useful partner in Tropical Freeze!

There really is no reason why Dixie hasn’t been in the series yet. She’s a fan favorite and represents one of Nintendo’s biggest series. Best of all, her prehensile hair could give her an incredibly unique moveset.

Fawful

Fawful

From: Mario & Luigi series

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Fawful, having appeared in the first three Mario & Luigi games, is one of the more recurring antagonists in the Mario series. Smash Bros. could use a few more villain characters (Bowser, Bowser Jr., Ganondorf and King Dedede being the only ones in Wii U and 3DS), and Fawful is a great candidate. He quickly became a fan favorite due to his odd characteristics and bizarre speech patterns, and he can represent the ‘spinoff’ side of the Mario series proudly. He to, could have a unique moveset (imagine Wario meets Snake from Brawl) that could add some extra humor to the series.

Also, he has fury.

Geno

Geno

From: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Few characters have been as requested for Smash Bros. as Geno (especially by me). The reasoning is simple enough: He’s the most popular character from one of the most beloved Mario games, and he, like the rest of Mario RPG’s original characters, have yet to return in another game. People want Super Mario RPG to be acknowledged, and Geno becoming a Smash Bros. fighter would skyrocket that game’s recognition.

Plus, Geno’s moveset writes itself! He could be a very unique, and very effective addition to Super Smash Bros.

Of course, we must address the elephant in the room: Square-Enix. Square still owns the character, and they’ve never been the most compliant of developers. The fans can request Geno all they want, and Sakurai could listen, but Square also needs to give the okay.

I certainly hope enough people request Geno as to open the eyes of both Sakurai and Square-Enix.

 

King K. Rool

King K. Rool

From: Donkey Kong series

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Again, Super Smash Bros. seriously needs more Donkey Kong representation. And it needs more villains. King K. Rool therefore fills two holes in the roster. Similar to what happened with Dedede in Brawl, he has a moveset more or less ready and waiting for him from his various boss fights throughout the years.

Also, if K. Rool were to make the cut, he needs to have a Kaptain K. Rool palette swap. Because pirate crocodiles.

Granted, it’s hard to say just how good K. Rool’s chances would be, considering he hasn’t even appeared in a Donkey Kong game in years. But if he were to make it, he’d be a great addition.

Nights

Nights

From: Nights series

Why he/she should be in Super Smash Bros: While most Sega fans clamor for more Sonic characters to be added to the mix (God help us all if the Shadow fans have their way), the other Sega character I would like to see would be Nights. Given the nature of Nights’ games, I could easily see him/her being an aerial-based character.

Nights is a bit of a long shot, but no doubt he/she would make for a fantastic addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster.

 

Paper Mario

Paper Mario

From: Paper Mario series.

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: First thing’s first… NOT A CLONE!

With that out of the way, I have to point out that Super Smash Bros. doesn’t exactly shy away from having multiple versions of the same character on the roster (Mario and Dr. Mario, Samus and Zero Suit Samus, etc.), and Paper Mario seems like one of the few characters who would fall under this category who would be a welcome and unique addition to the series.

He could have something of a Game & Watch style visual look, and his moves could be based around his partners from the Paper Mario series or something. Just don’t ruin him with a Sticker star gimmick.

Toon Ganon

Ganon

From: The Legend of Zelda: The wind Waker

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: There are two primary reasons I want to see the Wind Waker iteration of Ganon added to the mix. The first is that The Wind Waker is, bar none, my favorite of the 3D Zelda games (Ocarina of Time be damned). It was like a culmination of what Ocarina started, with a style that was distinctly its own. Twilight Princess felt creatively restrained as it pandered to fans, and Skyward Sword branched out in some creative ways, but the results could be a mixed bag. But Wind Waker had it all figured out, and its only got better with age. Clearly, I just want more Wind Waker representation.

The other reason I’d like to see Toon Ganon is, well, I still can’t stand that Ganondorf’s moveset in Super Smash Bros. is cloned from Captain Falcon. Sure, Brawl and the Wii U/3DS games have ironed him out a bit, but the core of his character is still a Captain Falcon clone. Ganon deserves much better. Given Ganon’s penchant for duel-wielding swords in Wind Waker, I can only hope that could be used to make him a more unique character.

There are a few other characters I’d love to see, and maybe I’ll write about them later. I obviously do not expect more than one or two DLC characters to come out of Nintendo’s character ballot, but it’s fun to think of all the possibilities. Some of these characters should already be in the series. And given some of the characters who have made the cut, it makes the character ballot seem all the more desirable. Because seriously, Dark Pit…