Tag Archives: Frozen

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

Joining The Tinker Bell Party Part Four: Tinker Bell: Secret Of The Wings

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

I loved Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings, to the point that I think this is my favorite! It could have easily been just one mess of a too quick info dump but the movie was beautifully done, which is all the more commendable as I believe this is the shortest one! It could have easily been a cheap “pre-Frozen” production, but while I see similarities in the design, this is the only thing. Both movies are very different. I love the look of the Tinker Bell movies. The animals in this one made for a cuteness overload! I wanted the Lynx every time I saw the feline on screen!

I think that the story was very well handled, both about the personal and the larger scales. I was happy to see Tinker Bell find out she has a sister. I like how she and Periwinkle look alike and yet are very different. I think that working on how they were sisters but had their own personalities regardless, was clever, including in looks. It was also interesting to see the Winter Woods beyond a couple of locations and characters. I think it did a lot to how well executed the movie is. I liked how we even got to see them little, albeit for very brief moments.

It was also nice to see both their groups of friends, as it would have been too easy to just show Periwinkle in Tinker Bell’s world without a hint of her own environment in terms of relationships. I liked the Keeper a lot! He was a great character. Finding out about the history behind the separation between Pixie Hollow and the Winter Woods was a beautiful scene, especially in light of the confirmation later on about this story truly being about Queen Clarion and Lord Milori. Lord Milori was a great character and I liked how his disability was part of who he was, but shown as just one of his many facets, not in a reducing fashion, especially as it was only truly revealed late in the movie. I admit that I didn’t think twice about the fact that he flew on a bird most of the time. I just thought that it was pure Winter Wood fashion, especially as he is far from the only Winter fairy to do that!

The whole ending with relationships being rekindled or new ones blossoming with the two seasons now interacting more was great especially as seeing many of the recurring characters now making contacts and forming bonds with Winter fairies added a lot to the movie. I like that while Tinker Bell is the main character, many others have room for screen time and development too.

TV Reviews: Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time 3.21 – Snow Drifts and 3.22 – There’s No Place Like Home: This two part finale was a very strong episode and concludes a great season. I liked how it focused on relationships and family a lot. While it is a common pattern in the show, I like how it was done in it. There were so many emotional moments, from the beginning. Time travel can be tricky and I was starting to fear that this show was trying to do my head in as normally Continuum does! I liked how Emma could see the story, the fairy tale, and not just through the book. I still don’t like her much anymore, but if she could only have some thing now drilled into her head, I would be grateful. While she eventually kissed Hook, I still feel rather bad for him given how she has treated him until then. Hook is a very compelling character and it was great to see him talk more with Charming in the past, as they had only begun to talk more in recent episodes. Regina was really great as always and her moments with Robin melted my heart. I am angry at the script writers for suddenly bringing his wife back into the story. That was an extremely cheap move, but I have an upcoming post about Emma, Regina and their love interests that comes up soon, so I’ll leave it at that now. I loved the Star Wars reference, with Emma being “Princess Leia” in the past. It was great, and Hook was very fitting as the scoundrel! It was also great to see Ruby/Red Riding Hood again as I adore her. And I didn’t see Snow’s and Charming’s new baby’s name coming. It was a beautiful choice and definitely made me rush for the tissue box. Regarding Rumplestilskin and Bella, I loved their wedding ceremony but I am still uncomfortable with how he had duped her about the dagger. I think it was counter intuitive. Finally, the choice of bringing Frozen in Once Upon A Time? Brilliant! Is it season 4 yet?

Source: Once Upon A Time Wiki.

Source: Once Upon A Time Wiki.

Feminist Friday Discussion: Children and Youth Media

Even before I discovered the actual term feminism and what it could entails (in good and problematic depending on people’ definition), I was always interested in what it meant to be a girl, what representation of being a girl I saw on television or in books as I grew up. It was always on the back of my mind, even prior to my decision to engage into media studies. I do consider myself a feminist, but in an egalitarian and positive way. I don’t hate men and consider that accepting women as an equal part of the society who deserves same respect is a goal that needs to be attained so we all live in a better world, no matter our gender.

During the past months, I had the chance to read interesting materials that sparked not only my thinking about life in general, but also made me realize of how I have been working more and more on female characters in my research and writing. It had happened on a subconscious level, but it was there. I am grateful for Gene’O Gordon at Sourcerer for having been hosting Feminist Friday Discussions over the past few weeks, and to all the people who contributed. These have been compelling and thought provoking. There is still so much work to do to change mentalities but talking about it is a way not to sweep the issues beneath the carpet.

One topic that has been mentioned a few times in other discussions, such as Rose B. Fischer‘s discussion about Disney Princesses and Diana Gordon’s at Part Time Monster A to Z posts about children and young adult literature, is children and youth oriented media. Exploring girls’ representation in mainstream media, not just from the most recent years but other older creations which remain of significance either from a historical point of view or due to a still existing consumption is important. It gives input in what exists and what needs to be upgraded for a better and more substantial representations from girls.

A few years ago, I discovered that besides her work as an actress, Geena Davis had also created an institute with other professionals from different fields, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Covering all the work that is happening there would take me more than a post, so I invite you all to check the website to get a better idea. I love how Davis started to form the idea of this project while watching television with her daughter. The motto that is mentioned on a regular basis about how to develop more and well layered female characters in youth media (and in overall media as well, as the Institute is interested in female representation in any age bracket media) is telling, especially for children: “If she can see it, she can be it.” I also found that her guest column about easy improvement of female representation in media narratives, was a clever way to help change happen, should people follow it:

Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?

Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.

And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue.

Nothing is going to be a magic wand that fixes everything at once, but I believe in how various small things can help. I admit for example that the thought provoking Bechdel Test doesn’t really appeal to me for example. I think that the idea behind it is great, and that it helps us identify the issues of lack of female representation in popular fiction. Yet, it tends to put aside some works that give solid and layered female characters, but that don’t pass the test because there is only one significant female character. In that, I believe that the Bechdel Test reaches its limit, as I personally prefer a single female character that is well executed than two or (let’s be crazy) three that are barely engaging.

Regarding children television, I grew up watching things made in my home country (I am French) as much as French dubbed versions of American programs. Beyond the obvious example of  the Disney princesses (which have been knowing a good evolution but that still had qualities in the titles I watched when a child, and I was also familiar with the Grimm tales and other original versions of the fairy tales used by Disney), I also watched a good many other things.

One Japanese anime based on an English children book that I loved to pieces, was Story of the Alps: My Annette. I admit that I don’t know whether it was ever shown in the US, but I loved the story and the female portrayals. Annette is a young girl who lives in a small Swiss village with her family. Her mother dies upon her young brother’s birth, and they are raised by their father and their great-aunt. I like that Annette has to deal with all the tragedy and later drama the best she can, but she isn’t made a saint or just a miserable being. I rewatched it a few years ago and I liked it as much. The show also gives room to other female characters with her great aunt Claude, her friend Julien’s mother (who raises her own children on her own), his elder sister Marie, and a few female classmates.

I admit that maybe this will come across as weird to Americans or any English native speakers but when I used to watch Tom and Jerry when a child, I always thought that Jerry was a girl. It was only a few years ago that I realized that Jerry Mouse is supposedly male. I still don’t buy it in my personal Tom and Jerry bubble. I still find it quite neat that Jerry is a girl.

Over the past few years, I have seen some children/family oriented movies and television series that I’ve found as good steps towards a better representation and space for female characters and viewers.Beside the ground breaking Frozen movie, another obvious mention is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I honestly didn’t plan on watching this, but after hearing a presentation about it at a conference, and what a few friends of mine were saying, I tried it. I was surprised in a very positive way. The characters are all different and none of them is perfect, making them more credible. The fact that some of them can be outright annoying also adds to the credibility in my view, or maybe this is just my personal perception.

While not all of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series is kid friendly as it tackles some heavy storylines and themes at times, this show has also participated in better female representation in my view. Ahsoka Tano is one of the most compelling female characters I have seen in a long time and to me she is a game changer in how layered she is and all the character development she sustains throughout the show.

I also find it interesting how the voice actress portraying Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein, decided to embark on her own journey to promote positive female characters and also fangirls of every age, from toddlers to grown up women. In 2013, she launched “Year of the Fangirl” and the blog of her website Her Universe, was more than an online shop featuring female kid and grown up fannish fashion, but also a showcase for fangirls, with a different one featured every day. It was so successful and such a praised idea that it has been carrying on in 2014.

Questions:

  • Which children and youth programs do you believe give a good place to female characters?
  • What do you think could be done to improve the current situation?
  • Which other institutes, organizations, groups, do you know of that work towards promoting better female representation in children and youth media?

Link of Interest:

 

Sunday Music and Links

Today, I realized that I mentioned music a few times on my blog, and not just when talking about movies, TV and vidding. I had an idea of a music related post for a bit, but I never came around to do so. So today is the day! I even am working through older posts and still have more work to do, to add the new Music category and related tags.

The idea for this selection came from International Women’s Day. My post about Frozen yesterday, and mentioning Let it Go brought the idea back to mind. All the songs posted below are inspirations to me as a woman. I also stayed away from any songs that might have to do with romantic relationship for this specific post. There are only titles that clearly speak about women, and even like that I feel like I am forgetting others. There are many other songs that inspire me a lot of course, and you might see further posts about this.

There are songs in both English and French. Yes, there are more chances I bring up some French music than French movies or TV shows these days!

Ève, lève toi by Julie Pietri. This is one of my earliest memories of music, because my mother had taped a live version of it on TV for me when I was little. This is a beautiful song about Eve and feminism and how important women are and all the possibilities they can seize. It remains a powerful inspiration to me.

I walk alone by Cher. I wouldn’t say that Cher’s latest album is my favorite of hers, but there were still songs that captivated. This one went straight to my soul. I love the lyrics and Cher has been a huge inspiration for me since I was a teenager. In media figures, you could say that Cher and Gillian Anderson are both equally important to me. Just like Julie Pietri’s Ève, lève toi, there is something in the lyrics that remind me so much of Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. which is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. This book and her ideas resonate in all my work about female characters.

Juanita by Shania Twain. I have vidded it twice already, for Chiana in Farscape and the women in Star Wars. I also like Twain’s She’s not just a pretty face song, from the same album, but Juanita always resonates more in me.

Stand in the rain by Superchick. (Yes I am thinking about One Path and even Vala right now, Rose.)

Let It Go by Demi Lovato. Since I posted Idina Menzel’s version yesterday, I’m sharing Lovato’s today. After having seen the movie, I have a softer spot for Menzel’s though. This song has become extremely inspirational for me, and along with the Throne Room score from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope by John Williams and Let Your Light Shine by Bethany Dillon, it might be the song I can listen on repeat for the longest time while writing.

Sa raison d’être by Ensemble. In 1999, many French artists collaborated for this song speaking of a nurse dedicating her life to help patients suffering from H.I.V. It was released on the national H.I.V. awareness day. It speaks of dedication, compassion and celebrating all the little things that can make things progress.

This one’s for the girls by Martina McBride. I always connect this song with Rose’s video for the Stargate SG-1 ladies. (Thank you for finding it again, sweetie!!) Just like Stand in the Rain, I think of Evil Genius conversations when listening to it.

Avalon by Lunatica. Since I first watched The Clone Wars movie in 2008, I always associated the song with Ahsoka, and Star Wars in general. I’m thinking about maybe redoing the song for a second Ahsoka video once I have all the show on DVDs, and not just the movie and the first season. I love the determination and hope that can be felt in this song.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. I love this song and I remember the official video clip (which I couldn’t find for this post) being as amazing as the two legendary singers. This song also inspired my book’s introduction and afterword titles. I thought that this is a perfect way to close this selection.

Links: Movies, Female characters and Religious Purity

Writing, Website Content Musings, Frozen Review And Links

To start this weekend post, I had to share music I have been listening to for a good part of the day, while working on the introduction of my contracted book Women in Science Fiction TelevisionTranscendence (Orchestral) by Lindsey Stirling. I love Stirling’s music and this new version of a beloved title was another great one. I also like what she explains at the end of the people she collaborated with at the end of the video. It is always nice to see people support worthy causes and projects.

On the writing front, I have started the introduction for my upcoming book, as mentioned right above. I am very happy with the Leia (Star Wars) and Ivanova (Babylon 5) quotes I have picked to open it. I believe it sets the tone and idea for the whole volume. I am so happy that I now have written 95% of this book. I started it in October last year. Knowing I will be done with it this month is wonderful. Once all is polished after going through my usual amazing proofreader, I will first work on the screen capping for the illustrations (a little over twenty, plus a personal graphic about Science Fiction hybrid nature). Then it will be formatting time. I am grateful I have specific and clear guidelines about how I shall set things. I am planning to send everything to the collection’s director at the publisher before the end of April.

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I have been thinking about ways of improving the website content in the near future. I have been more actively networking and interacting both on WordPress and Twitter and am glad that I was thus introduced to quite a few very interesting people. I am looking forward to continue to get to know them as well as future new persons.

I have an upcoming blog series for this Spring if all goes well. I have regular content between my writing and also some media reviews: TV, movies, book and sometimes video games. Making sure to have some link roundups of interest is something else I am trying to do on a regular basis.

I’m not sure of what else I could do. I considered the possibility of inviting some other bloggers for guest posts but I am not exactly sure how it works or how I would go about it. I feel a bit shy about this, just like I have always found podcasting fascinating but very daunting. I know it might be ironic because I have extensive video editing experience, but this seems something completely different. I guess that I also consider podcasting something that needs a team behind, so unsure of what little sense me working on something like that would do.

Anyway, I am open to suggestions and input if any of you has any, as a lot of you have very interesting blogs! I am not set on anything particular besides the usual type of posting I am doing, minus that future blog series, so the thinking process is full blown these days, as I find that WordPress and actual blogging give me more room to bring worthy content than how my old website did.

This week, I was able to finally watch Frozen. I was blown away. I admit that past the first sequences between the sisters as little girls, I had about 10-20 minutes when I wasn’t so sure about whether I’d like the movie. From the moment Elsa freezes things again and runs away, soon followed by Anna going after her, I was won over. I had already listened to “Let It Go” way too many times (wait, is there such a thing?!) before even watching the movie and had been curious about it. I didn’t have that many expectations, though I had read some interesting pieces about it (which also made me aware of the other clever idea of the film of having gay characters featured!). I loved it. It is really smart that Elsa wasn’t made the villain as I read it was the original idea. The fact that the sisters are able to rescue each other and their people is brilliant and empowering. I laughed at some of the banter between Kristoff, Sven, Olaf and Anna. It had brilliant moments.

Elsa and Anna were compelling characters and seeing them able to fix things on their own, without belittling others’s support (such as Kristoff’s and Olaf’s) was very positive. To me, that was well thought feminism and egalitarian thinking. Elsa and Anna are both layered, they make mistakes, they learn from them, they are strong and yet have weaknesses. Neither of them needs a man to get things done, but it doesn’t mean they spit on them when they are positive figures, such as Kristoff. Elsa doesn’t need a king to be a queen. Anna learns that rushing into things can be trouble, as with the so called prince. Yet, Anna and Kristoff actually start a relationship at the end, without rushing into marriage right away (which was a good thing to see them both willing to take their time). Elsa and Anna make their own choices and deal with them, in the bad and the good.

And just because I can, sharing the Let It Go sequence from the movie, because this is still such a strong song and also sequence. It gives me so many goosebumps!

Links: Video Games, Writing, Feminism