Friday, July 18, 2014

Character Analysis: Oogie Boogie

Character Analysis: Oogie Boogie

By: Brian Cotnoir

     So a while back I asked my friends to vote on which character from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” I should do a Character Analysis on.  Much to my surprise the winner was not Jack Skellington or Sally, or even Dr. Finklestein, but the Mayor of Halloween Town who they chose.  Well, I was actually hoping that my friends would vote for my favorite character from the film, Oogie Boogie, but he only came in 3rd (Lock, Shock, and Barrel came in second).  Well this is my blog, and I really want to do an Analsyis on Oogie Boogie so I’m doing it.  So kick back and enjoy my character Analysis on Oogie Boogie from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

CHARACTER: Oogie Boogie from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

That's Mister Oogie Boogie to you!
In a town that is full of witches, goblins, zombies, werewolves, and other paranormal beings, Oogie Boogie is a social outcast.  While everyone in Halloween Town appears to be friendly and kind, Oogie Boogie is a pariah.  He lives on the outskirts of town, and is rarely ever seen (but can be heard early throughout the movie).  The only contact he has with the outside world comes from his three trick or treating minions, Lock, Shock, and Barrel.  After his minions kidnap Santa Clause, for Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, Santa is brought to Oogie Boogie’s lair (against Jack’s request).  It is that this point that we finally see the Boogie Man.  He is short, portly, and his external appearance consists of a green burlap bag.  He dances and sings about his apparent gambling addiction to Santa Clause and informs him that he is a “gamblin’ Boogie Man” and that his favorite time to gamble is when “life’s are on the line”.  However, Oogie Boogie is a sore loser with a bad temper and Santa Clause’s life is on the line unless someone comes to his rescue.


Voice Actor Ken Page
Oogie Boogie in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is voiced by actor Ken Page.  Page has an extensive Broadway acting background, and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is one of his few appearances on film.  Most of Page’s dialogue consists of song.  Even when he’s just saying his lines, he’s so loud and bombastic, it sounds like he’s singing his lines.  Besides Oogie Boogie Ken Page is also known for being the voice of King Gator from Don Bluth’s 1989 Animated film “All Dogs Go to Heaven” (aka the scene that gave birth to the “Big Lipped Alligator Moment”).  Kevin Page has wonderful deep singing voice to compliment the showmanship and theatrics of Oogie Boogie in “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.


     While researching Oogie Boogie’s character, I found something rather interesting on-line.  It turns out that his character was inspired a character from a Bettie Boop short in the 1930’s.  Oogie Boogie’s voice is inspired by Big Band Jazz leader Cab Calloway’s character the Old Man of the Mountain from the short “The Old Man of the Mountain” (1933).  Hell, they even quote the Old Man of the Mountain in “The Boogey Song”.  The line where Santa Clause asks Oogie Boogie “What are you going to do?” and he replies “I’m going to do the Best I can”, comes from the short.  
4:50 mark was used in the film.
     Besides being a close distant relative to Cab Calloway’s, Old Man of the Mountain, I also think that Oogie Boogey shares some similar qualities to Audrey II form “The Little Shop of Horrors”.  I don’t think you can deny that Kevin Page and Levi Stubbs have very similar singing voices.  Hell, for the longest time I believed that Audrey II and Oogie Boogey had the same voice actor.  Plus, both characters are somewhat flamboyant, over-the-top, and have insatiable appetites.



After a failed attempt to free Santa Clause from Oogie Boogie’s clutches, Santa and Sally lives are now in grave danger.  Oogie Boogie tries to send both of them to their deaths, but he is thwarted by Jack Skellington.  After a brief battle, Jack manages to get Oogie Boogie’s burlap skin caught in a trap ripping off his skin, and revealing his true form:  Oogie Boogie is comprised of thousands of tiny insects controlled by one master insect.  As this master insect tries to escape with the others he is squished to death by Santa Clause, thus ending the life of Oogie Boogie.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I think I finally get the appeal of Iggy Azalea

I think I finally get the appeal of Iggy Azalea

By: Brian Cotnoir

I don't think we'll ever see your name in that category
So Iggy Azalea has become quite popular with fans of Rap/Hip Hop, and all I can ask is; “Why?”.  From the first time I ever heard her sing, I didn’t think she was anything special, and did not get what was so appealing about her...but then again I’m a guy who believes that Rap/Hip Hop died in 1997 with Notorious B.I.G. (May he Rest in Peace). I still don’t get what her appeal is?  Yes, she is an attractive young woman, but physical beauty doesn’t compensate for lack of musical skill or ability.  She’s an Australian born Rapper who moved to the U.S. when she was 16 and lived throughout the Deep South, and when she raps she sounds like she’s trying to mimic how a black southern woman would rap.  That’s a poser in my mind (and the minds of others) and I am surprised that she even made it far (let alone has had two #1 hits as a rap artist, which in a d@mn impressive feat even today).  I’ve frustrated myself so much trying to figure out how the hell Iggy Azalea not only has a rap career, but has also found success with that career.  Then it hit me:  she’s not meant to be taken seriously because she’s a not a real rap/hip hop artist...she’s a parody rapper! :D           
I'm so Gangsta!
I can’t believe it took me this long to realize, I feel so stupid for not realizing it sooner.  I mean, it just makes so much sense to me.  I mean, since the earliest days of Rap/Hip Hop we have had white rap artists try to mimic black rap artists by trying to sound like them or singing about a similar subject matter, but even when a white rap artist finds success by mimicking black rap artist they are often later ridiculed.  Look at the Rap Artist known as Snow:  He was a white Canadian who rapped like a Jamaican and had a top hit with the song “Informer” in the early 1990’s.  Twenty Years Later we have Iggy Azalea who has the found similar success with her song “Fancy”.  Iggy’s just this generation’s equivalent of Snow, and I can guarantee that ten-twenty years from now we’ll probably see “Fancy” on a list of “The Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever”.      
#SoSerious lol
I came to this revelation while being forced to hear her song “Fancy” for the (what seemed like the) thousandth time. The beat to the song is almost identical to the beat from Tyga’s “Rack City”; nothing unique or original about it whatsoever. Then I actually paid attention to the song’s lyrics and I began to realize there was more depth to the song.  The opening line to the song is “First thing’s first/I’m the realest”: she is clearly making a jab at every rap artist whoever claimed that they were “Real” and “street cred”.  Even the chorus sung by Charli XCX is making fun of most rap songs: “I’m so Fancy/you already know/I’m in the fast lane/from L.A. to Tokyo/I’m so Fancy/Can’t you taste this gold?/Remember my name/’bout to Blow”.  It’s referencing every rap song where a rap artist is bragging about all the fancy things they own and how much gold they have.  Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX even make fun of how the irony in the rap songs when they sing about doing all these “Fancy Things” that are not the least bit fancy (I.E. “Trash the Hotel/let’s get drunk on the mini bar”).  Oh and another sign that this song is a parody: Charli XCX is British...that’s about the most Un-Gangsta thing you can be as a rap/hip-hop artist.  British people aren’t Gangsta, they never have been and they never will be, and remember that Iggy Azalea is Australian, and the first Australian immigrants were the she has very little Gangsta credibility as well.                           
Even the music video for “Fancy” is a parody.  They’re parodying the 1990’s cult classic “Clueless”, which is one of the whitest movies ever made, so the fact that they chose that movie as the inspiration for their music video just vouches my belief that this a parody track from a parody artist.  Now, I’m sure many of you don’t believe me when I say that Iggy Azalea is a Parody Artist, I ask you to consider this:  take Iggy Azalea’s recorded track and replace her in the music video with a female comedian like Tina Fey, Lisa Lampanelli, Melissa McCarthy, or even one of the Wayans Brothers in the costumes from the movie “White Chicks”...wouldn’t you laugh your a$$ off if you saw that?  I don’t think I need to say any more to prove to you that Iggy Azalea is a Parody Rapper, who is not meant to be taken seriously.  She is just on the stage to perform, entertain, and make us laugh just like Vanilla Ice.