“Oh no, they didn’t!”
This was my reaction as I extended my hand to grab the DVD of Titanic: The Animated Movie off the “bargain videos” shelf in front of my teflon-coated, disbelieving eyes. The cover was populated with “clones” of Disney and Don Bluth movies like 101 Dalmatians, Oliver and Co., An American Tail and Anasthasia. I had an unshakeable feeling that somewhere in Italy still resonated the booming curses of a producer not happy that his writer hadn’t managed to work in the dinosaurs from The Land Before Time.
Just a few months before, I had bust a gut watching Robert Smigel’s hilarious TV Funhouse short Disney’s Titey which spoofed both Cameron’s blockbuster and Disney Studio’s resolve at revising stories to make them more “child friendly”.
Holding this refugee from a parallel universe in my hand, I flipped the clamshell over only to have a highlighted notice drive a wedge through my fevered brain with this caption:
“Child-Friendly Ending assures everyone is rescued and lives happily ever after!”
I had to take this puppy home. It’s a medical condition.
Well, the film opens with the ship sinking into the frozen waters of the North-Atlantic (so far so good for historical accuracy). We meet poor wittle Angelica, crying as she rows the lifeboat (there were plenty for all- whew!). That iceberg was a big party pooper.
We then flash back to a few days earlier as the ship gets ready to depart from Liverpool (Again, this is historically and factually correct. I mention this because it’s also the last time the film will be).
We again meet young orphaned Angelica (all smiles and optimism). Flanked by her wicked step-mother and her two stepsisters, she boards the RMS Titanic, bound for America, love , advnture and, perhaps, a reunion with her real mother.
We also meet handsome and dashing young master William, accompanied by his Nanny . It’s a long way to America so he brought along a snack for the journey: The Last Emperor Happy Meal.
Also boarding are a bunch of emigrating animals who fully intend to lie at customs when asked if they visited a farm in the last 14 days. Amongst these is a tiny mouse who dreams of a life in America.
These characters just stand over the legally-defined border of intellectual property violation, taunting lawyers like a bunch of North-Korean soldiers across the DMZ.
According to some reports, producer/director Camillio Teti wanted his animators to get “as close as possible” to resembling established characters as he believed that videos are purchased according to the number of recognizeable stars and names featured on the cover.
Of course, romance blooms but we are spared seeing steamed up car windows on the cargo deck. This is, after all, a child-friendly version.
There are also musical numbers doing what musical numbers do best: kill time. Except these are so excruciating, they do more than just kill time- they talk time into going to K-mart, purchase a rifle, take it home, load it, stick in it its mouth an pull the trigger.
Are you ready for this? Here’s the “Celine” song:
I think I just threw up in my mouth just now.
You may want to get alcohol for this next one. Plenty and plenty of alcohol cuz this next number is “kickin’ it old school” . Yessir, it’s “Party Time!”
Now back to the story…
SPOILER NOTICE: (Go stand outside while you read this)
The ship hits an iceberg and sinks.
(Ok , you can come back in now.)
This regrettable and untimely incident leads to all manners of comical mishaps as passengers scramble to find a good seat. Lifeboats are such a rich vein to mine for humour.
If your heart can stand any more of this phenomenal chunk of diaper stuffing, here is the entire freaking movie (minus the end credits which run for 12 minutes). Just follow the links at the end to move through the oher parts.
But hold on! There is also an UNCUT version available:
Now I know I’m spoiling you kids.
Who’s your daddy?
Pain Level: 10/10
Quality of pain: It’s PARTY TIME!
Are you still here?
If that wasn’t enough to satisfy you appetite for alterate universes, you might want to check out this OTHER animated Titanic movie I came across when researching this one.
Say “Thank you, Daddy.”