Friday, October 24, 2014

Disney's Frozen: My thoughts, questions, and concerns

I am assuming most people have seen this movie (seventeen times) by now, because of it's quality and popularity. If you have not seen this movie, please know, there will be some MAJOR SPOILERS throughout this post.

You've been warned.

I enjoyed the film, for a number of reasons, but as I watched it over and over again, I began to wonder about some things. Certain lines began to annoy me. Obvious questions seemed to pop up. The magic began to wain a little, and now I'm left with a list of thoughts, questions, and concerns. I'm not saying I dislike the move. I still enjoy it. But there are some things I have to understand better.

Does the intro music match the theme of the movie?
This entire movie is located in Norway. Norway. So why does the opening theme sound like a mix between the Lion King and Lilo and Stitch? What am I missing here?

A boy and his reindeer do hard labor, and are then kidnapped by trolls.
First scene, a bunch of mountain men break ice from the river to transport to town, all while singing about the dangers of frozen water. That's good and fine, except none of them seem to notice the young boy with his little reindeer that tagged along, chopping away next to them.
From here, young Kristoff (the boy) and Sven (his reindeer) jump on a sled find themselves with a bunch of trolls, watching as the troll shaman tries to heal a young girl who was struck in the head by her sister's magic ice powers. One of the trolls comments to the Kristoff that she intends to keep him and Sven. Fast forward into the movie and we find out these trolls are now considered his family, suggesting he did live with them for some time.
The only logical explanation here is that Kristoff is an orphan that no one cares about, other than the trolls. His parents certainly wouldn't send him out to do hard labor, and then stand by while he is raised by rock trolls. But it is never explained, and we are left to think it's all perfectly normal behavior.

Was the horse in on it?
Anna finds herself swept off her feet early in the movie by a prince named Hans. We know by the end that Hans is using her to try and become the King of her lands, but the beginning is meant to make you feel it's a spontaneous relationship blossoming through awkward love at first site.
Part of the initial wooing is helped along by Hans' horse, who quite literally has Anna falling into Hans' arms. So, was the horse in on it? because he seemed so nice.
It's also important to point out that when Anna calls for her horse, it looks identical to Hans' horse. And her horse ends up leaving her stranded in the cold wintery night.

How does Elsa get up the mountain so quickly?
In no time whatsoever, Elsa is on the top of a mountain singing her big musical number, Let it Go. It takes the remaining evening for Anna and Kristoff to get there themselves. I guess this can be explained by a couple things, like Anna not knowing right away were Elsa went. They also got attacked by wolves and distracted by a talking snow man, but Elsa seemed to have a direct path to get there within a few minutes. Let's be honest though, cartoons have never been good at setting realistic timeframes for travel.

Elsa gets swagger.
While singing her hit song about finally feeling free to be who she is, Elsa puts her hair down, throws on an evening gown, and begins to walk with a wide hip swing. While understated, why does making herself sexy go with feeling free to be who she is?

Size doesn't matter.
Anna meets Kristoff and is obliged to explain why her sister went ice crazy. The basics, she met a guy (Hans) and they got engaged, after knowing each other for only a few hours. Kristoff immediately begins railing on her for getting engaged to someone she barely knows. During this moment, he lists off a number of questions about Hans to test her knowledge; what's his last name, favorite food, best friend, etc. Lastly, he asks, "what's his shoe size?" Anna's response is, "shoe size doesn't matter."
I recognized this as a euphemism immediately, and can't help but wonder how necessary that was.

Can you truly fall in love with someone in a day?
Frozen receives a lot of praise for not making the true love kiss the miracle act that saves the day. This is deservingly praised, as they highlight a level of selflessness as true signs of love. When Anna meets Hans, she becomes convinced they are in love. Why? Because he shares her interests, relates to her family life, and compliments her. Hans appears to be the perfect guy for her.
When Anna meets Kristoff, he grills her over her decision to marry Hans, whom she only spent a few hours with before agreeing to a wedding. He says you can't marry someone you just met. He agrees with her sister, Elsa, that she can't possibly know she loves him after less than a day spent with him.
After this scene, Kristoff spends several hours helping Anna find Elsa, which results in her heart being frozen. Kristoff rushes her back to Hans (whom he has already argued couldn't be her true love) so he can kiss her and save her with that act of true love.
There is only one problem, Kristoff is showing signs that he cares about Anna deeper than just as the random mountain man who traipsed around the wilderness with her all night. When things go south with Hans, Kristoff rushes to the rescue to kiss her in his stead (though that never happens). Despite the kiss not being the cure, they go through a lot of trouble to dismiss the idea of love at first site, only to have Kristoff and Anna fall in love in a matter of hours. So, was it stupid for her to fall for Hans? was it stupid for her to fall for Kristoff? What's the lesson here?

The Trolls don't understand anything.
Kristoff touts his troll friends as being experts on the subject of love, but as soon as they see Anna, they throw an impromtu wedding, asking the couple to recite vows on the spot. They do this despite knowing Anna is engaged to someone else, but insist that can be fixed by getting rid of the fiancee. Let's not mention that they are attempting to put Kristoff in the same situation he rebuked Anna for, by having him marry someone he just met.
Furthermore, they counsel Anna that she shouldn't try to change Kristoff (which sounds like good advice) but say the reason is that people don't really change. Don't they? It aggravates me that we would teach children that some things about them cannot be changed, and are, therefore justified. The idea that we are all who we are flies in the face of every sociology experiment ever attempted.
And let's not forget, at the beginning of the movie the trolls kidnapped a boy and his reindeer because, and I quote, they were cuties. I'm not sure their judgement is to be trusted.

A castle made of ice, and no one slips.
Yeah. This speaks for itself. Climbing steps of glass like ice, and the only one who can't manage is the reindeer. People are running through the castle with no thought to the floor. At all.

Are her clothes made of ice?
As Elsa lets it go, she runs her hands over her arms and creates a new gown with frilly sleeves and a cape. Do her powers include the ability to create clothes, or are they made of snow and ice? And if they are ice, can she really not be bothered by the cold?

How do you spell Weasel-Town/Wesselton?
I really just want to know if they are being mean, or if the dude doesn't understand phonics.


Have any answers, or maybe some questions of your own? Let me know.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hey, EA, Why Not Tebow?

Some friends and I started an online Madden league when Madden 13 came out two years ago. I picked the Jets as my team. Why? Because Tim Tebow was on the roster.
Over the course of three seasons, Tebow lead my Jets to a 41-7 regular season record, and a 6-2 playoff record, with an AFC Championship and Super Bowl victory (in which I dominated my opponent 31-7).
Last year we took the league into the next generation with Madden 25 on PS4. Taking over the Eagles, I brought on Tim Tebow for two consecutive undefeated seasons, though I was only 2-2 in the playoffs with an NFC championship and a Super Bowl loss.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How Reading Gene Wolfe Makes Me Feel Like I'm Dreaming

Occasionally I have vivid dreams.Sometimes I enjoy them, sometimes not so much. Most of these dreams tend to follow this pattern: I start out someplace specific with a clear objective (like get from point A to point B). As I begin my journey, I often find I have forgotten something, am without an important piece of the puzzle, or need to accomplish another task before I can reach my destination. Sometimes, it's someone else dragging me to something they have deemed more important, or more necessary, than what I am currently attending to.

This is where things get rough.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Small World Story

In September of 2010, my brother and I went to MadCon, a writer's convention for those in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres. The goal was to meet Gene Wolfe, my brother's favorite author, and who now happens to also be my favorite author.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Martian Chronicles Review

I thoroughly enjoyed The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. I only just read it recently, as a way of cleansing my pallet after a not so great book based on a video game. I knew I liked Bradbury, and that this was one of his classics, so I figured it'd be a great opportunity to read quality literature.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

All My Love and Happy Anniversary

Diane,

One day you may learn the truth about me. That I am not everything I seem to be. Perhaps it will turn out that I am a time traveler sent back by future overlords to look for resources. Perhaps it will be that I am actually from another planet, scouting earth in preparation for a secret invasion. Perhaps I am a crime fighter who goes out while you sleep, making sure no one knows my secret identity. Perhaps it will be something else, equally as plausible as these options above.

Whatever the case may be, it is important you know this one fact before you find my deep space communication device, or see my picture in the paper with the headline, "vigilante saves city." It is a simple message that carries a gravity heavier than that of the seven suns of my possible home planet. It is three words, which are tossed about in current society as easily as hello or goodbye, despite having more power than any wormhole that could cut through space and time. My message is this:

I Love You.

Over the past nine years, you have redefined the phrase for me, teaching me daily what it means to truly love and be loved by someone. The gifts you have given me; your passions, your companionship, your joys, and your fears (not to mention two beautiful reflections of your greatness in our children), these have been more valuable than any resource a future regime may require for their ongoing subjugation of human kind.

Whatever may come in the days ahead, remember that I love you. If you find yourself kidnapped by a criminal mastermind claiming to be my nemesis, know that I will come for you. If flying saucers appear in the sky, poised to destroy and invade the planet, know that I will defend what I have found in you with my life. When the overlords come after me for no longer reporting in, there will be no time they could send me to that would remove you from my heart or dash my hopes of seeing you again.

Perhaps nothing will happen. No criminals, future rulers, or hostile aliens ever appear. Know this truth still remains. I will continue to love you through the dull monotony of modern life, ever seeking to be what you deserve in a husband and companion. I fear I may fall short from time to time, but I will never stop loving you.

Thank you for being awesome. Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving me in return. And if it turns out that you are the secret crime fighter who saves the city, know that I do not fear your nemesis, as he cannot take from me the love you have given. Also, I would love to be your spunky sidekick.

All my love and happy anniversary,

Tim

Thursday, July 10, 2014

NaNoWriMo is coming. And I have ideas.

This November will mark my fourth venture into National Novel Writing Month. It's July now, so I should get my ducks in a row.

The past two years I took on projects that would require extensive writing beyond the month long challenge. This year, I'm going to focus on keeping the story under 60k, only 10k over the goal.

I also have to come up with a story idea, but I think I have that covered. The only trouble is deciding which idea to go with. I've got a series of previous ideas I've generated, but I'm uncertain if they can fit in the target word count. I also have a new idea. This new one will require a lot of work before it's ready, but I really like the concept. It's also more sci-fi, where my previous works were fantasy or supernatural. Most of my saved ideas right now are in the fantasy genre as well, so it might be nice to mix that up.

I'm sure I'll have more updates as we get closer, and plenty of progress checks throughout.

If I could recommend, if you've ever wanted to try your hand at writing a book, give NaNoWriMo a go. It's a good motivator to get you moving. You can also check out my previous post on suggestions for how to approach NaNoWriMo. It isn't for everyone, but you won't know unless you try.