Tag Archives: Disney

Movie Review: Maleficent

Since the first time I heard about the project of the movie Maleficent, I had been looking forward to watching it. Sleeping Beauty has been my favorite Disney movie since I was a child; and Maleficent one of my all time favorite villains, right up there with Darth Vader. I had also believed that Angelina Jolie would be a wonderful actress to portray Maleficent. I was proven right.

I had huge expectations for this movie, so I knew I had the risk to be sorely disappointed. Yet, I was blown away. It went beyond everything I had hoped for. I loved this. It was amazing in every way. Even Elle Fanning who plays Aurora, was great, despite my worries. Neither her nor the actress portraying Aurora in Once Upon A Time are like I picture Aurora in my head, but both of them did a good job.

Source: Disney Wiki.

Source: Disney Wiki.

Starting the narrative when Maleficent was a young girl was a brilliant idea and brought a lot to the story and her personal development. Her friendship with future King Stefan and then his betrayal was horrible and explained a lot of how she got lost in anger and sadness. Seeing her reconsider her choices and want something better not just for her, but for people around her, including Diaval and Aurora, was very powerful.

I loved seeing the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora since she was a baby was one of the best parts of the movie. It was quite a feminist movie and it was positively refreshing. I was particularly sensitive to how Maleficent doesn’t like children and has to get used to Aurora and ends liking her. And the twist of the “true love kiss” was amazing and so powerful. I also had no idea about Maleficent becoming her complete self again at the end of the movie.

There were so many little things, some emotional, some funny, that brought added greatness to the story and the dynamics between the characters. The visuals, costumes and soundtrack were beautifully done. it is a movie that I will rewatch quite many times in the years to come and it wouldn’t surprise me if I end writing papers related to this.

Movie Review: The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride

Source: Disney Wiki.

Source: Disney Wiki.

After recently rewatching The Lion King for one of my papers, I decided to give a try to its sequel, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. I am not so familiar with Disney’s sequels to their movies, as I think the only other one I saw before was Jafar’s Return, the sequel to Aladdin. So, I didn’t really know what to expect with The Lion King II. I was positively surprised.

I somehow like the French title better than the original one, as instead of translating it “Simba’s Pride” they used “The Tribe’s Honor”. I think it works well and includes Nala and the others in the influence they had on Kiara, Simba’s and Nala’s daughter.

This sequel was very faithful to the spirit and characters of the originals. Seeing Simba and Nala as an established couple was a treat and them having a daughter made me very happy. I like how Kiara took after both her parents and struggled to find her place and that she wasn’t good at everything just because of who she was. Kiara being a fighter but not such a good hunter was an interesting idea.

Kovu was also a compelling character and I was relieved they said that he was Scar’s adoptive son as I was a bit scratching my head if he had been his biological one. His development was well executed and I liked seeing his bond develop with both Kiara and the rest of her family.

Rafiki was as awesome as in the original movie. The scene where he “talks” with Mufasa without the viewer hearing or seeing Mufasa was one of my favorite. It was hilarious and added a lot to the story.

It was a great watch and I recommend it to any fan of the original movie!

Guest Post at Princess vs Peril: Fairy Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves: Why Disney’s Tinker Bell Movies Matter

I am happy to announce that my guest blog post at Princess vs Peril was published today: Fairy Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves: Why Disney’s Tinker Bell Movies Matter. For those following my blog, it should come as no surprise that I revisited this movie franchise and went on about why it matters as much as My Little Pony. I also recommend following Princess vs Peril, if you don’t already do!

Source: Disney Wiki.

Source: Disney Wiki.

Movie Review: The Princess And The Frog

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

Continuing on my Disney catch up, I watched The Princess And The Frog. I loved this movie and it now is one of my favorite Disney. Tiana is one of my favorite princesses as well and a great female character! I enjoyed the whole movie and it had many great characters, both human and animal/insect.

I very much liked the opening with Tiana and her best friend Charlotte, and also with her parents. I think it was very important to show this as build up for the rest of the story. Seeing Tiana as a princess who wasn’t born in nobility and a woman of color was great. Her father telling her that wishing upon a star only got her halfway towards the realization of her dream and that the other half was hard work, made me extremely glad. I think that the apology of hard work and dedication in the narrative was a strong point.

Seeing Tiana not give up on her dream, even as it evolves was great, just as seeing her smash the amulet herself to save the day. She was such a great character! Yet, I think that the way the movie showed that she didn’t have to give up on everything else to get her dream to happen was crucial too.

Her banter with Naveen was priceless and I like how they both helped each other to learn new things. If Naveen hadn’t grown up through the experience, I wouldn’t have wanted to see Tiana be with him. The progression was well done. I liked that after the noble wedding, we see them work on (and at) the restaurant together.

I also liked Tiana’s and Charlotte’s friendship. I think that it added a lot, just like the crocodile and the firefly who were among my favorite characters. I found this very touching to see Raymond reunited with his love Evangeline, as he shines next to her after he passes away.

Upcoming Blog Series Progress, Tumblr Questions, Links: Diversity, Writing, Social Media, Tinker Bell

Preparations for my upcoming blog series A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom are going well. The logo is ready, as previously mentioned and I have the musical “theme” for the short videos. I have now done more than half of the scripting for the introductory video segments. Once they are all ready, I will move on to the preparation of the actual posts. After much deliberation, I have decided that I will work on having everything prepared before the launch of the series (posts and videos). I will of course edit certain posts as time goes by if the characters I’m analyzing undergo significant changes, but with much up in the air in my life, I don’t want to see the quality of this series diminishing or lacking time. This is why I am unsure of when exactly this series will be launched, though it will be this summer for sure. The more I work on it, the better it is coming along, so I am pretty optimistic about the final results and am looking forward to all the discussions it might spark.

Photo Credit: Sonja Langford.

Photo Credit: Sonja Langford.

In the past months, I brought up the possibility of expanding my online presence to another platform (I am not willing to add more than one as it is important that I can really engage with people without spreading myself too thin). I am still debating over it, but I might decide to go for a Tumblr account. The one time I tried it, I ran away screaming (and this isn’t stretching the truth much). I tend to love how it looks and I know quite a few people I interact with are also there. So I would be interested in having feedback from you Tumblr users. How flexible is the platform? Any recommendation for a theme/place to find free ones? How easy (or not) is the tagging/queuing system? I’d set up automatic shares on Tumblr like I have on LinkedIn and Twitter, but I’d look into being a bit active there. I also wonder how the sourcing aspect of Tumblr works. I know that I could just simply Google all of this, but being able to have actual input from users would be extremely useful. Thank you!

Links: Diversity, Writing, Social Media, Tinker Bell

Movie Review: Atlantis: The Lost Empire

PlotAtlantis06I am still catching up with Disney movies I didn’t get to see before. This time, I watched Atlantis: The Lost Empire. I recommend to read Rose B. Fischer’s post about it, because I agree with all points she made, including about Kida and her relationship with Milo. So, I’m going to try not to repeat too much as I go through my own review. I also couldn’t help thinking about so many parallels between this and Stargate.

I checked the movie for research purposes, and I admit that I was tempted to just fast forward or give up on it during the first forty minutes (basically until the mission reaches Atlantis and we see a grown up Kida). The story was great but the execution was laborious. I liked the opening a lot but everything following until the aforementioned moment made me yawn. It was so slow. On the other side, all that happened in Atlantis in the last 40-50 minutes felt rushed and could have benefited from a longer and better screen time. This blatant imbalance in storytelling was damaging to the movie.

I would have really loved to see more of Atlantis (and of Kida too) because it is part of the heart of the movie and it would have been very beneficial to the end when the small group works on saving the city and its people. It really feels as if we have like a fraction of time discovering and actually seeing Atlantis before all hell break loose. In terms of timing and execution, prologue and epilogue are the ones best handled.

There was a lot of potential with the very diverse cast of characters, in terms of ethnicity, gender, age. That was well done, including how Audrey Ramirez was the first one to decide to side with Milo and give up on the mercenary operation, but that Helga Sinclair remained with the captain of the expedition – even as they end having a big confrontation. I also liked Joshua Sweet a lot. This movie had so many good things in it but suffered from how it was actually done. It really is sad because it could have easily been a favorite of mine, but I admit that I don’t really plan to rewatch it, unless I need it for further research.

 

Blog Updates + Links: Feminism, Diversity, Alien, Batman, Star Wars, Tinker Bell, Tolkien, Wonder Woman

The upcoming blog series A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars & Fandom is coming together bit by bit. I now have a logo/banner, music for the video segments, a model for the script writing of said segments and I hope to soon start preparing the first actual posts. I’m so excited about this project and I’m relieved that this is coming together the way it does so far. I’m still nervous about the actual taping, but I hope that it will go fine, since the editing will be easy in comparison!

ID-100188595 - Laptop Computer With Books, Isolated On White Stock Image - cooldesign

Links: Feminism, Diversity, Batman, Star Wars, Tinker Bell, Tolkien, Wonder Woman

 

Why #WeWantLeia Is Another Proof Of Why We Need #YesAllWomen and #YesAllGirls

LeiaSupportsGunRights-ANH

One could think that tying a “toy issue” to a hashtag created in the aftermath of a misogynist and tragic event is far-fetched. It isn’t. All of this is linked.

#YesAllWomen and #YesAllGirls denounced how misogyny is hurtful in our culture, and is since childhood when wrong and damaging “models” and “behaviors” are learned, if not outright encouraged. A better mindset, a better culture, which encourages equality between all, must be attained, no matter how long and trying this can be.

The fact that Disney Stores don’t plan to include Leia in upcoming Star Wars products is heartbreaking and extremely disappointing. I encourage you to read the article on the Daily Dot, whether you are familiar with the topic or not. Checking the #WeWantLeia hashtag on Twitter is also extremely telling.

I previously talked about gender representation in children and youth media, and I am a firm believer in inclusiveness for gender, ethnicity, generation and disability. In this case, Disney Stores show a misogynist stand that I don’t understand on so many levels. Not only is Princess Leia one of the most emblematic characters in the Star Wars franchise, but Disney has presented very engaging female characters in the past while, and others can even be traced earlier in the company’s production history.

I am still sitting on a blog series about the media characters I considered role models when I grew up. The first name on the list is Princess Leia (right before Dana Scully. I mean would you suddenly decide to create X-Files products that only feature Mulder and totally forget about Scully’s existence?!) Up to this day she is a great inspiration to me and is another reason why I have wanted to see more female characters in Star Wars, which was also another concern raised up even now that Episode VII cast welcomed two more actresses with Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie). I even chose to open my upcoming book Women in Science Fiction Television with a Leia quote from Star Wars: A New Hope, because she was the starting point for me, just as Star Wars altogether was the starting point of why I went to media studies and have a strong interest in female character representations.

Just a few days ago, the official Star Wars blog  featured an article about the influence of Star Wars on parenting. It once again shows a disturbing dichotomy with what is going on in Disney Stores. This situation also looks contradictory with the whole Force for Change initiative that supports the UNICEF.

Not including Leia in new Star Wars products in Disney Stores is a big deal. It erases one of the most important characters of the whole universe (no matter whether you include just canon or what is now called “Legends”). It sends out a very wrong signal to both boys and girls. All children needs to have interesting characters to engage with. Narrowing their options to (often white) male characters isn’t right.  By erasing Leia, you tell not just these children but also their parents and any fan who might still have a kid’s heart (I would still buy new Leia products if I liked them, and I’m turning 30 at the end of this year) that Leia only exist in the movies or elsewhere, but isn’t “good enough” to have her own dolls or assorted products.

I have several Leia items and would love to see more. After all, other Star Wars female characters had toys and products too in the past decades (and I hope to see such things develop even more in the years to come, once again to gain better represenation), so why erasing Leia as Disney does?

We speak up through #YesAllWomen and #YesAllGirls about how everyday sexism is hurtful. #WeWantLeia isn’t just a random hashtag that has little to contribute to changing minds. It is one of the countless ways when we choose to make ourselves heard and ask for what is deserved to happen: equality.

There is Balance in the Force. We need Balance in Representation.

EDIT: Natalie Wreyford let me know that Time announced that we did it. We said #WeWantLeia and Disney announced that there will be Leia items in the upcoming new products. I still stand by everything I said in this post, and seeing results come from this comforts me in my choice to join those who spoke up.

Blog Updates, Links: Feminism, Science Fiction, Disney, The Lord of the Rings, Writing

ID-10048468 - Book On Wooden Floor Stock Image - Kookkai_nakFor the past couple of weeks, I have been able to write and schedule posts in advance, which has been very practical for my other projects. I have also continued to plot my upcoming blog series A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Star Wars and Fandom, and I hope to test taping the video segment for introductions this month. I’m not worried about the editing, but I have little experience in actual taping, so I hope it will  go well and that my computer webcam will behave!

I have also updated my Appearances page with the recent book cover project and my two guest blog posts. This blog reached a milestone I didn’t see coming so quickly! I am past the 200 posts now! I am very happy of how my experience on WordPress has been so far and am looking forward to celebrating one year on this platform end of June!

Links: Feminism, Science Fiction, Disney, The Lord of the Rings, Writing

Movie Review: Mulan

Source: Disney Wiki.

Source: Disney Wiki.

I am surprised how I never got to see the Disney movie Mulan before this year. It had picked my curiosity before, but after seeing Mulan in Once Upon A Time, and adoring the character, I just had to check this movie. Once again I have to say that I hope we see Jamie Chung return as Mulan in the next season of the show, because she is one amazing character.

I very much enjoyed the Disney movie. I liked the character as much and thought that her journey was a very interesting one – though once again I am not particularly well versed in the source material that inspired it.

Seeing her struggle with wanting to make her family proud and being true to who she is was very compelling. When she was all dolled up to be considered as a suitable future wife, I was reminded of Sleeping Beauty, not because of the actual scene but because of Mulan’s outfit. The fact there was blue and pink as part of her clothing, especially with the too long pink sleeves reminded me of the first (failed) attempt at a hand made dress by the fairy godmothers for Aurora’s birthday.

Mulan enrolling in the army and posing as a man to save her father, no matter how she had already put back in the place that a woman normally keeps, was touching and meaningful. Her transformation was interesting and reaching the points when she was accepted by some of her comrades and later on praised and rewarded for her heroism was great. I liked that she returned to her family to reassure them. Seeing her transform and find her place, including when facing significant misogyny makes her a great female protagonist.

Besides Mulan, the other character that I liked best was Mushu! This dragon was absolutely amazing! Quirky, hilarious, crazy and totally awesome! It is one of the best magical non human companions I have seen in all Disney movies!