(The caption "2020" is shown, before showing a quick image montage of all the events that occurred in the year, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, and then ultimately showing footage from various Disney movies, including ones made by 20th Century Studios, formerly known as 20th Century Fox)
Doug (vo): Wow, what a year. I mean, it was just...what a year. I think we can all agree we've never quite had one like it, and...I think I can agree I really need some Disney right now. Fairy tales, superheroes, cartoons, bring it on. This is the world I want to live in, man. Well, as you may have heard, even more has been going on. I mean... (An image of a coronavirus cell is briefly shown, before showing the 20th Century Fox logo) ...outside of all that. Disney has recently bought 20th Century Fox. So I guess this year, the thing to add is the 20th Century Fox films, but not only are there more than I can probably do in a lifetime, but...I don't know. (A made-up thumbnail for a Disneycember review of Alien is shown) Something about seeing the Disneycember logo on Alien just doesn't feel right. So, the compromise is, I'm gonna do every 20th Century movie that came out after Disney officially bought Fox. Yeah, I know Disney probably didn't have much impact in a lot of these movies that came out, there wasn't enough time, but I'm pretty sure they were under their ownership when they came out, so I think they count. But, on top of that, I'm gonna be looking at the usual stuff, too; Movies, TV shows, live-action, animated, 2D, 3D, and now we can include 20th Century into that collection as well. As I stated before, some of these you might've heard my opinion on already in other videos, but, again, time has gone by. I wanna see how I react to it when it isn't just right after the viewing. There are TV shows and movies that I change my mind on the more I think about them. So, once again, we're gonna look at the good, the bad, the... (A dance sequence in Zombies is shown briefly) ...whatever this is...and see if any of them have changed overtime, because I don't know if you need it this year, but, by God, I know I certainly need it. This is Disneycember: 2020. You couldn't have gotten here soon enough.
(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Spies in Disguise)
Doug (vo): Let's talk about one of the first films that came out once Disney bought Fox, Spies in Disguise, and if you were like me, you saw the trailer to this and said, "Oh, fuck, no." I mean, don't get me wrong. I love Will Smith, I love Tom Holland, I'm even open to 20th Century doing animation, but...a spy that turns into a pigeon? It sounds like one of those fake movies you'd see in real movies. (Images of various fake movies starring Adam Sandler are shown) You know, the ones you see a snippet of and go, "Ha-ha! I'm sure glad that doesn't exist!" Except it does, and I so wasn't looking forward to seeing it. So, I popped it in, took a watch, and...uhh, actually had a pretty good time. I'm not even joking. This was actually a...very delightful movie. I'm as shocked as you are.
Story[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Will Smith plays Lance Sterling, a James Bond-style secret agent who's way too good and way too cocky. Though his skills are amazing, he takes them, and the people around him, for granted, particularly a young gadgets expert named Walter, played by Tom Holland. His big thing is creating weapons that don't actually hurt anybody, which, to the super-violent Sterling, doesn't mean much. In fact, he even fires him because he's just too sick of his goofy ideas. But all of that changes when Sterling is framed for a crime he didn't commit, and, of course, the only one to help him out is the one he treated the worst. He goes to Walter's house to actually steal some of his gadgets...I think that's pretty funny. I actually kind of like how much of a jerk he is...but Walter says he has a device that can make him practically invisible. That device, naturally, turns him into a pigeon. As annoyed as Sterling is, it does seem to technically work. He constantly escapes death by everyone around him not even being aware he was ever near it. Along the way, he's chased by another agent, played by Rashida Jones, befriended by some other birds that are so stupid, they sometimes supply more trouble than help, and, of course, they have to stop a supervillain that Sterling has a tie to, as well as form a friendship that has many ups and downs.
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Sounds...very standard, even...lame. Very...very lame. But similar to something like Lilo & Stitch or How to Train Your Dragon, it takes a very familiar premise, actually annoyingly familiar, and adds something kind of new to it. The animation is very funny, the action sequences are super-energized and really imaginative. The acting is also pretty good. I mean, it's Will Smith and Tom Holland. They're very, very charming people. Their likeable personas add a lot of comedy and heart.
(Several clips focusing on Walter's inventions and some of the film's action sequences are shown)
Doug (vo): And I also really like the subplot of trying to come up with ideas that don't always need violence. Yeah, I know it's ironic, 'cause there is a lot of violence in the movie, and it's funny, and in some ways, it's very glorified. But it's not quite Pokemon: The First Movie. They don't learn that violence is bad and then instantly forget it by the end. It shows in a clever way not only the downsides of always using fighting as the only solution, but it also shows the pros and ingenuity of finding ways around it. Now, this clearly isn't the first time this idea has been tackled in kids' media, but it's the first time in a while I've seen it focused on this much and this cleverly. The ways around not fighting are very imaginative, and perfect for animation. The way it ties into the villain's backstory is also very clever.
(Footage focusing on the supporting characters of the non-talking pigeons is shown)
Doug (vo): I really like, too, that they don't have the other pigeons talk in this. That would've been such an easy cop-out, give them some goofy voices, now that he's a pigeon, he can understand the other pigeons, but, no. You have to imagine what they sound like, you have to guess what's being said to him whenever he has a strange reaction like, "Oh, my God, was that really just said?" It surprisingly made them more memorable and funny. On top of that, the slapstick is fast, the funny lines are fast, and when it needs to slow down, it can do that, too. Everything feels the exact right speed.
(Clips focusing on the film's villain, Killian, is shown)
Doug (vo): If I did have a problem, I'd say the villain is a little too stock. It's not bad, it's just not that interesting, with the exception of his backstory and how he connects to Sterling. But he just kind of looks like a typical spy villain, he says the typical spy villain lines, and the typical spy villain lair, and, yeah, we've seen all this. In a film that seems to be mocking the genre, wouldn't it be more fun if the villain was kind of part of that joke, too? I actually feel like I would get more invested in his backstory if he was comical, if I was kind of having fun with him, and then I found out this kind of tragedy that happened, but, no. They just kind of play it for straight-up drama, and...it's fine, I guess. I mean, God, if that's my biggest complaint about this movie, I truly am fortunate.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): So, yeah, Spies in Disguise surprisingly works. Is it a big game-changer? No. Would I watch it several times? Probably not. But if I was, say, with a family that had young kids and they were trying to figure out what to watch, I'd probably recommend this. It's not great, it's just...likeable. It's really, really likeable. I don't know how they did it, but I do find myself saying, check it out.
(A scene showing Sterling and Walter suiting up to face Killian is shown)