Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Unicorn Store, Toy Story Four, and Dora the Explorer: The Lost City of Gold.

Unicorn Store: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwx3gxdxsxg

Katie: Hmmmm ok, I am more than a little confused by this trailer. The thing that first jumped out of me was the Captain Marvel (2019) dream team pairing of Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, which will be exciting to see again. Everything else, though, I am confused about. The movie  seems to be about a woman who is lost in life, as her love for the creative and whimsical is deemed unacceptable by the serious nature of the adult world. She receives an invitation (?) to a “unicorn store,” and she had always wanted a unicorn as a kid so she tries to build a house for one. I am assuming somewhere on this journey she finds herself and love, while wearing some pretty A+ outfits and body glitter on the way. Will I see this movie? No, probably never. It looks a little bit ridiculous, yet maybe a well-meaning and good representation of life? This takes it to the extreme, but we can all relate to the struggle to grow up, especially when we begin to realize that a lot of our childhood dreams are just not plausible, things don’t work out the way you plan them to be, sometimes people don’t believe in you, and adulting in many ways sucks. Also I love the idea that even as an adult we all need some childlike magic in our lives (see next trailer take). I encourage people to watch the trailer, at least, because it is interesting and a wild ride in itself.

Sam: Unicorn Store (2019) seems like every inspirational story about a young woman who isn’t happy with her life trying to find herself, but quirky. While the concept seems fun and uplifting, it wasn’t unique enough to grab my attention. Disjointed and confusing, the trailer did not give me a clear idea of what the movie was really about. There were moments where it was serious and relatable and other times it was whimsical and fun. I found myself wishing it had commited to one theme instead of trying to include both. Either show me a fun and colorful film about a young woman and her quest to acquire a unicorn or give me a serious film about the struggles of being yourself in a society that wants you to be anything but. While there is a chance this film can pull off both elements, the trailer didn’t give me much hope. Unless I hear some really positive reviews, I don’t think Unicorn Store (2019) is the movie for me.


Jack: Any time I write these trailer takes, I have to preface what I say with a caveat: I don’t normally see more than a few movies a year. This spring break, my mom and brother really drove the movie-watching train, so I watched a few more than normal. But even then, we just watched them on the TV. The theater is too far away.

And that might make Unicorn Store (2019) seem mildly interesting. It’s on Netflix, so what’s my excuse not to watch it? This could be great plane/train/bus material. But let’s all remember how you choose Netflix movies: You watch the 30-second auto-played trailer that comes up as you scroll. Given the average movie quality on Netflix, my crap filter is tuned to be pretty sensitive. I’m afraid that anything with the word “unicorn” in the title will get stuck in it, never to emerge.

But what kind of a trailer take would this be if I didn’t give my honest opinion, crap filter more tame than usual? (It would be a bad kind of trailer take, for those keeping score at home.) See, I could conceivably, actually, possibly, maybe-ly watch this one. It seems unlikely (infra), but hey—anything’s possible.


Toy Story 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmiIUN-7qhE

Katie: Ok I feel like I should start out by saying that yes I will absolutely see this movie, but that’s because it’s Toy Story not because the trailer was good. Also confession time—I legit cried so hard during Toy Story 3 (2010) and had a fear of stuffed bears for a while because A) that’s the type of person I am and B) these movies are emotional, okay? Toy Story added a whole new dimension to my childhood and what it means to have an imagination! It also makes me wish that I will one day do something with as much honor and purpose as the toys have, to help children and to bring them joy. So pure! Gotta love Disney. The trailer itself is pure nostalgia, which is why I went down the rabbit hole of my thoughts above. It does seem to reveal literally the whole plot of the movie, but it still looks sweet. I feel like these ventriloquist dolls are the next Lotso (Ned Beatty), so catch me leaving the theater with a whole new phobia, and the Antique Store setting is kind of giving me Toy Story 2 (1999) vibes. Actually this kind of looks like a combination of all three Toy Story films in one? Woody (Tom Hanks) seems to be doubting his purpose as a toy, and that might be new I am really not sure. Regardless if the plot is fresh or not, this movie will undeniably be popular, for nostalgia more than anything.

Sam: I will most definitely see this movie. However that had nothing to do with the trailer and is purely out of nostalgia. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I think the Toy Story movies should have stopped after the second one and anything further is purely a money grab. I will continue to feed into the scheme because Toy Story was my childhood, but very few Pixar movie sequels live up to their originals. That isn’t to say that the sequels are bad in and of themselves, but they are never quite as good as I want them to be. The trailer seemed to give away the entire plot of the movie and I already have my predictions for the ending. I am intrigued by Bo Peep’s (Annie Potts) story line, but I wasn’t surprised to see her in the trailer. Who knows if Toy Story 4 (2019) will add anything significant to the story, but regardless I’m sure it will be enjoyable and full of nostalgia.


Jack: Damn. This is a tough one. I mean, it’s got the number “4” in its name (apparently, I definitely judge movies by their posters), so that can’t be good. And it’s animated, and I think the last time I liked an animated movie, I could neither define nor spell the word “animated.” Here are the good points: It’s got a cool soundtrack and it seems like it’s actually got a cool plot, which is unusual for a kids’ movie.

I have to admit I haven’t seen Toy Story 3 (2010), and I don’t think I’ve seen Toy Story 2 (2009), so I’m not in a great position to judge this fourth installment. But it seems like a shockingly good balance between funny and meaningful, which, if memory serves, is what made the first one successful. I’m not one for the kind of appeals to duty that Woody (Tom Hanks) makes in the second half of the trailer—I’d rather he demonstrate his commitment to duty rather than say it outright, but I’ll let that slide. In keeping with my aversion to horror movies, those parts of the trailer are not winning me over. So maybe I’d watch this movie. I mean, I’m not shelling out $13 for it, but, down the road, there’s an outside chance I’d watch the first half on Netflix.


Dora the Explorer, City of Gold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cPmx-FZmRY

Katie: Dora (Isabella Moner) is all grown up and facing the greatest jungle of all—high school. This is the plot of every teen movie ever; also, I didn’t even realize that Dora the Explorer was still a thing. I was never into Dora as a kid, but I just feel like she is past her prime! I wouldn’t exactly describe high school as “life or death,” so I really don’t get this “high school hell” clichѐ in so many children’s movies. Also should they not be trying to spread the opposite idea? In the trailer, Dora and her whole field trip group gets kidnapped, which seems so ridiculous because first of all, there are no field trips in high school, and second of all, really come on now, they would not transport these children in a giant wooden box there are so many better ways. Of course it is ridiculous though, because this is one of those Disney/Nickelodeon movies that I would have worshipped at 6 years old, and that is what makes this genre successful. I hope that some kid somewhere loves this movie as much as I loved A Cinderella Story (2004) but I hope I am never forced to see it.

Sam: Why does this movie exist? Who thought this was a good idea? From the trailer, the plot looks like every other teenage action drama. It’s like they took a generic plot and tried to spice it up by adding Dora, which is a horrible idea really. I can’t see anyone who watched Dora as a child wanting to see this movie, because, let’s be honest, does anyone still like Dora? There are so many cliches in this trailer. Main character who doesn’t quite fit in? Check. Quirky family? Check. High school mean girl? Check. I feel like this movie is trying to channel Spy Kids (2001) vibes and ended up being more like the live-action Kim Possible (2019) movie that I personally wish didn’t exist. There is nothing about this that makes me want to watch the movie, and I can’t see it being a huge success.


Jack: Here’s a list of the best parts of the Dora books: that a character was actually named “Swiper” and responded to diversionary tactics which basically amounted to being like, “Go away;” the talking map; the talking backpack; and that you got to learn about six words of Spanish. The trailer seems to indicate none of those parts are present in this movie. Most things, absent their best parts, are not good. That rule does not bode well for this movie.

I’ve gotta love teenager-saves-the-world movies—see, e.g., Harry Potter—so this movie might have been on a good path. But a live-action remake can’t substitute a more ~modern~ approach, strip out the sentimentally valuable parts, sprinkle in some over-done, innovative-in-the-’80s high school tropes and call it good.


Katie Woodhouse
Katie Woodhouse is a junior in the college studying psychology, chemistry, and music. Her great loves are cooking, baking, and her fish Edward Cullen. Her very realistic life goals include becoming a low key reality TV star and spending her winnings on a petite cafe/wine bar in the outskirts of Paris. Come to her with thoughts on food, the Midwest, British television, and prospective donations towards the aforementioned ventures.

Jack Townsend
Jack is the Voice's executive news editor.

Samantha Tritt
Samantha Tritt is a junior in the college studying linguistics and psychology and is a Contributing Editor. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and all types of dogs.

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