Thursday, December 12, 2013



That is all, for now...Wait...ONE MORE THING...


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Chill Guys...Disney's Lying to Us.

Born of cold and winter air
And mountain rain combining
This icy force both foul and fair
Has a frozen heart worth mining

So cut through the heart, cold and clear
Strike for love and strike for fear
See the beauty, sharp and sheer
Split the ice apart
And break the frozen heart

Hyup! Ho! Watch your step! Let it go!
Hyup! Ho! Watch your step! Let it go!


Ice has a has a magic, can't be controlled
Stronger than one, stronger than ten
Stronger than a hundred men! Hyup!

Born of cold and winter air
And mountain rain combining
This icy force both foul and fair
Has a frozen heart worth mining

Cut through the heart, cold and clear
Strike for love and strike for fear
There's beauty and there's danger here
Split the ice apart
Beware the frozen heart.

So...If you have kids...Or are a Disney Freak--er...I mean Wizard...Like me...You've probably been aware of Frozen for a few months now.  

Disney has gone out of it's way to market this film as a goofy little comedy about a talking snowman and a reindeer having wacky adventures.  

Or conversely, they advertising indicates that this film is a cheap ripoff of "Tangled" only with the Snow Queen instead of Rapunzel.  



I'm not joking when I say Elsa is one of the most compelling Disney Canon Characters EVER.

I don't know where Disney's Marketing staff get the drugs that they take before they go to work, but I think they need to check themselves into rehab...

Because if they let the TRUTH about this film be known...They'd have something that all Movie Companies have wanted from the get-go.  A movie that BEGS to be seen, and pulls its audience into the seats.

This, is the most subversive little Disney Film I have ever seen.  

And that is a GOOD thing.  

I've seen some of the (Very surprised, like myself) reviewers compare this film to The Lion King, or other films of the Disney Renaissance.  

They...Aren't wrong.  

This film is at LEAST as good as "The Princess and the Frog", probably better, but I have certain bias towards TP&TF due to the casting of their villain.  

It's superior to last year's Wreck-It Ralph, which, as the archives of this blog will show you, I was VERY fond.

The First act set's up the usual Disney Formula.  

Dead Disney Parents.  

What?  Mom and Dad are going on a trip overseas in a Disney Movie?  Well, I can't see anything going wrong there...


To the Handsome Prince Love interest:  

To the Disney Princess who dreams of something MORE:  

To the goofy Disney Sidekicks

Yes indeed...

This film does a very good job of setting up the usual Disney Formula.  

And then spends the next two acts of the film subverting it and breaking it down in every possible way.  

This film is a Love Story...

But it's not a romance (yes, there IS a romance in it, but it is most definitely a sub-plot.)  

This is a love story about the relationship between two sisters.  

About the bond they share...And the trauma they faced as kids.  It's about them reconnecting with one another, and forging a bond that is, well, frankly, stronger than that between the Princess and her romantic lead.  

I won't spoil anything that happens after the First Act, because it's frankly, TOO damn good to spoil.  I want everyone who goes to see this film to discover it for themselves.  


I hope that this film doesn't get a Cold reception in theaters...

Hey!  Frozone!  ICE to see you!  

Because this chilly movie...Will warm your heart.  

This is the Disney Wizard, signing out.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

If you are not watching Young Justice, you are Wrong.

B'arzz O'oomm
B'arzz O'oomm.

A Martian Beetle.  (As in a Martian wearing a Beetle Scarab like Blue Beetle is.) 

B'arzz O'oomm.  

Your argument is invalid.  


Sunday, January 20, 2013

I am male, I promise!


I'm a Guy!

I swear I'm a guy!

Just because I enjoy W.I.T.C.H. and watch Disney Princess Movies doesn't mean I'm not!

I'm a sucker for a Disney Princess.  

I am...I'm not gonna lie.  

Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Eilonwy, Mierida, I love me some Disney Princesses.  (And I don't care if she's canon, I'm not calling Mulan a Disney Princess.  She's NOT Royalty by birth OR marriage.  She DOES not count.  She's awesome, but she's NOT a Princess)

These women helped shape who I was growing up.  (Okay, less Meirida and Rapunzel since they technically came out AFTER I reached adulthood.) They shaped a lot of who I am and my thinking and even the types of personalities that I like in women.  I've always been interested in girls, even when I was young.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be the Prince who married these strong independent women.  (Which, considering how Beast and Aladdin were the first Princes to actually be anything other than a flat love interest for the more dynamic and engaging Princesses, is kinda sad, actually.)  But in my Heart, I'm a hopeless romantic, and I have these Princesses to blame.

I also love Doctor Who, but that's beside the point.

Sofia the First is a new show on Disney Junior.  I'll admit without hesitation that I have held very little interest in Disney Junior prior to this point, but when made the recommendation that I watch it, I was...Largely dismissive.  

But, I tend to do research on things that tosses my way, so I googled...And found that the Voice Cast was VERY impressive.  


I think my exact words were "Ah...So that's where Disney is throwing their money these days.)  

Wish I had enough money to surf.  

Sofia is the daughter of a cobbler in the most ethnically diverse medieval kingdom I have EVER seen.  

Enchancia, in case you were wondering.  

One day however, her mother is called in to make a pair of slippers for King Roland the Second, who, coincidentally, ALSO happens to be a single parent.  They fall in love, and are soon married.  In a very short whirlwind, Sofia goes from an average commoner, to a Princess.  

And that's the premise.  This isn't Roland and Miranda's (Sofia's mother) story, it's Sofia's story, and her adjustment to life as a Princess, and her adjustment to her new brother and sister.

I watched the Hour-Long movie, as well as the first episode 'Just One of the Princes'.  And I was...Surprised.  

With the voice cast (Ariel Winter as the titular Sofia the First) 

Hmmm...QUEEN Perdita on DC Green Arrow Showcase &...

Young Justice...
And now PRINCESS Sofia the First...That's a step Down Ariel...That's a step down. 

Jim Cummings, and Jennifer Hale are also in it, among others.  Like I said, it's an impressive voice cast.  

The movie was basically setting up the premise of the show, as well as introducing us--And Sofia--To her new world.  Her Step-Brother Prince James and Step-Sister Princess Amber, as well as the villain (a flat, one-dimensional evil bumbling sorcerer named Cedric--Or CEE-drick as Sofia calls him.) Cedric is also the court magician, so his general evilness is ignored by the castle inhabitants.  STATUS QUO IS GOD!!!  

Plucky animal sidekicks (who in a mildly amusing musical number explain that the reason Princesses have animal sidekicks is because the Princesses have all the food, and they'd like some.)  

Upon her arrival, Sofia receives a magical amulet that allows her to talk to animals.  The Amulet of Avalor is an Ultimate MacGuffin that apparently Cedric could use to conquer the kingdom.  Unfortunately for him, it cannot be taken by force, but rather must be given up willingly (I'm having W.I.T.C.H. flashbacks here...) And King Roland asked Sofia to never take it off.  She's one of those girls who keeps her promises, and so you can see where I'm going with this.  

The amulet also provides Sofia convenient access to a Disney Princess to help her out with her problem of the day.  Such as in the movie, when Cinderella helps Sofia reconcile with her Step-Sister Amber, something that--And this also impressed me--Cinderella states that she regretfully never did.  

Sofia also attends Royal Prep Academy, a school for Princesses run by Flora, Fauna, and Merriwhether of Sleeping Beauty fame.

In spite of the lackluster villain, and what I feel was a poor musical showing for a show that intends to carry on the Disney Princess tradition of being a Musical World.  (Fun fact, because of Disney and my mother's habit of randomly bursting into song, I thought that people just randomly burst into choreographed music and dance numbers until I was 9)  This has turned out to be fairly good showing, and overall, I was pleased.  

The first episode of the show proper, 'Just One of the Princes' was better than the movie, though the movie adds flavor to it.  It focuses on Sofia wishing to join the Flying Derby Team (yes, with flying horses) at her school.  

A sport that is apparently only performed by Princes.  The episode does a good job of playing with expectations, examining gender roles, and teaching the youngsters a lesson.  (The music is still terrible though.  Seriously, get new song writers.)  

This is a very family friendly show, and I loved the relationship moments between each member of this mixed Royal Family.  Especially Princess Amber's realization of what a horrid little spoiled brat she'd been in the movie.  

Also Sofia and her mother's relationship is full of Dawwws.  

All in all, Sofia the First was a surprising little gem that I would be proud to let my future hypothetical daughters watch, and I look forward to it having a long life.  

I also look forward to meeting Princess Anna in 'Frozen' next year.  

An adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen".  A favorite book from my childhood.  


I swear to God I'm a guy!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm Gonna Wreck It!!!!!

Wreck-It Ralph.

Sorry I'm so late getting this review in place.  But I didn't actually get to see this movie until this weekend.

And I loved it.

Wreck-It Ralph is the 52st addition to Disney's Animated Canon, and it is a good one.

The story is about the titular "Wreck-It Ralph" an 8-Bit video game 'bad guy' from an arcade game called "Fix-It Felix Jr." (Who is the hero of said game.)

On the 30th anniversary of Ralph's game, Ralph finds himself going through a midlife crisis, and after being berated by the 'Nicelanders' NPCs in his game, departs the game to win himself a medal and hopefully the respect from the other characters in his game.

He enters 'Hero's Duty' a more modern first person shooter game that was just installed at the arcade this week, and hijinks ensue.

On his way back, Ralph accidentally winds up in 'Sugar Rush' a candy-themed racing game (Over by the Whack-A-Mole) ruled by the iron-fisted 'King Candy'.  I won't spoil any more beyond this: King Candy has definitely earned his spot in the Disney Pantheon of Villains.  This guy is seriously evil.

Yeah...This guy.  Evil.  Also voiced by Alan Tudyk.   

Now...I'm not a video game guy.  I wasn't even allowed to play video games growing up.  So...Some of the cameos went over my head.  But that doesn't matter.  I know who Sonic the Hedgehog is, and Bowser, and even I have played Pac-Man.

My point is that the 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' list of video game cameos (which I will not deny is impressive to a major degree.) was mostly lost on me.  But fortunately for me...This movie is not about the cameos.

The Heart of this story is the Characters.  Four Characters.

Wreck-It Ralph himself (voiced by John C. Reilly) :

Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer) :

Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch) : 

Yes...Of Glee fame.  But she didn't annoy me as much as I expected her to...

And Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman):

Ditto for Sarah Silverman...Who I am not a big fan of...But she is perfectly cast here.

None of these characters are from a real video game (until the Defictionalization kicks in, anyway.)  So for those of you out there who don't really play video games, (yeah right) like me there is literally nothing stopping you from enjoying this movie, because the Characters and Story are the Heart of this film.

And those of you who know me, know that that's what matters most to me when I watch a movie.  The Cameos are just flavor.  This story Wrecks-It out of the ballpark on it's own.

Seriously go see this movie, you will not be disappointed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ultimate Spider-man OR Why I Love Sugar Gliders.

I love my sugar glider.

For those of you who don't know; THIS:

Is a Sugar Glider.  They're cute, furry, and they like to climb on you.  It's kind of like having a pet 5 year old.  They're extremely intelligent and curious.

"How intelligent are they?"  You might ask.

Well, the other day, when I watched Ultimate Spider-man for the purposes of this review, mine started crabbing.  Crabbing is a gurgling sound that Sugar Gliders make when they're annoyed or irritated.  It sounds much louder than you'd expect from a creature so small.  It's a defense mechanism that gliders use to make predators go away.

And boy did my little Hypolita want this show to go away.

When Disney Purchased Marvel in 2009, it caused a lot of changes in both companies.

The one that affected me the most, was the cancellation of one of my favorite shows

Which I mentioned before in my "Top 9 favorite Non-Disney Shows."

This was...Disappointing to say the least.  I understand the whole complex story behind what went down, (which I won't get into here, because that's not what this blog is about) but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

The simplified version: Once Disney had Marvel in their pocket (much like Warner Brothers has had DC for years) they wanted their own Spider-man show.  So instead of wrestling with Sony to get full control of SpecSpidey...Or Licensing it, they decided to start from scratch.

The result:

Ultimate Spider-Man.

This show sucks big time.

Now, I'm the first to admit that I'm not a comic book fan.  I've approached Young Justice and The Spectacular Spider-man from an outsiders perspective.  But I've enjoyed both so immensely that they--combined with Linkara, one of my favorite internet reviewers--Has definitely intrigued me, and made me consider picking up a few issues of some comics.

Now...I wanted to approach this show with fresh eyes.  I didn't want the fantastic SpecSpidey to color my perceptions about what makes a good Spider-man show.

Well, I fear that I failed in that regard.  Because...I really wanted SpecSpidey back after this...


Imagine for a moment, that someone decided that Spider-man should be more like Family Guy.

Let me repeat that because it bears repeating.

Imagine for a moment that someone decided that Spider-man should be more like Family Guy.

"With Great Power comes Great Responsibility" and Family Guy.  Let it sink in...

I've given the briefest hints on how I feel about Family Guy in a previous post...But for those of you too lazy to go back and look it up...The answer is "Not favorably".   Perhaps I'd be a lot more forgiving of Family Guy, if people of my generation didn't use it as their ONLY source of information about politics, religion, history, etc...You know...Important stuff.  (I am not joking, I know at least two people who have openly admitted that they rely on Family Guy for their opinions on politics...We live in this world people)

Family Guy (For those geckos in my audience who have decided to peek out from underneath their rocks) basically runs like a ADHD kid, jumping randomly to cutaway gags.

And...That's what Ultimate Spider-man does.  That's EXACTLY what it does.

There is no Fourth Wall.  Spider-man addresses the audience all the time.  Often to get people up to speed on what's happening in the episode.  

Yes...It IS a bad sign.

The words "Show Don't Tell" are utterly lost on the writers of this show.   Every thirty seconds Spider-man (or Peter Parker) turns to the audience to explain something that could just have easily been shown to us.

But by far, the WORST example was when the Frightful Four was attacking his school cafeteria.

Spider-man begins explaining who each member was...And this quote happened:  "And Thundra, Genetically altered human from an alternate future timeline.  Don' ask".


NO.  NO YOU DON'T GET TO DO THAT!!!  I am NOT a comic fan, and I don't understand these backstories.  You CANNOT MAKE A NON-SEQUITUR STATEMENT LIKE THAT, and NOT EXPLAIN IT!!!!

I'm just appalled that he said something like that, and then went "Don't ask"  You CANNOT do that to a NON-COMIC geek in the FIRST EPISODE!!!

And she's from the future, then why the HELL is she (SPOILER ALERT) working with Norman Osborn? She has FUTURE technology and knowledge.  Why would she use that to be a super-villain?  Why not, oh I don't know, exploit that knowledge and get rich that way?  Maybe I'm just too used to SpecSpidey and their logical progression of events that even explained how something as ridiculous as the super-criminal even came into existence.

But damn it, things like that RAISE so many questions and give us NO goddamn answers.  It's like watching Lost or Alcatraz.  On the surface, the writers look like they know what they're doing.  But they're really just making crap up as they go along.

But I am digressing as much as an episode of Family Guy.

Episode One was appalling enough...

But then...

Then there was episode two...And the BAD just got worse.

(Yes, this actually happened in the episode...And yes, the Emperor's New Groove Jokes are impossible to resist)

Nick Fury (Voiced by Chi McBride an actor I'm actually quite fond of from his "Pushing Daisies" days) informs Spider-man that he's putting together a group of young Super-Heroes his own age.

AFTER meeting a two-armed Dr. Connors (even a non-comic guy like ME knows THAT'S WRONG) and being presented with his own "Spider-Cycle".

Ah...The first of what I can only assume will be many Toys that USM tries to shill.

After Fury stupidly allows Spider-man to try out the cycle (Seriously, he figured out that Spider-man was Peter Parker, but he didn't know that he didn't have a driver's license?)

We are introduced to the other four heroes Nova (Or as I shall now call him "Nova Creep" the ONE joke in 44 minutes of USM that made me laugh) Power-man, Iron Fist (Oh Voice Actor of Caleb of W.I.T.C.H. how the mighty have FALLEN) and White Tiger.

Being a non-comic guy, I didn't know who any of those characters were.

Okay, that's not true.

I did know who White Tiger was.

Sort of.

A random googling I did a while ago (for reasons I shan't explain here) brought up White Tiger.  And...I was intrigued.  This character--Or at least what I read--Interested me.  There have been four--apparently--The version of White Tiger that I was interested in was an actual White Tiger that was transformed (BY SCIENCE!!!) into an indian woman.

In a serious show, (Like say...The Spectacular Spider-man or Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) this could be very interesting, a simple animal having to learn to deal with complex human emotions.  Something that I believe was a big part of her comic persona.

But this is Ultimate Spider-man.

If this version of White Tiger is the one that was once a big cat, then it will be played as a gag, undoubtably.

Or perhaps not...

The biggest problem I have with this show is that it doesn't know what it wants to be.  At times it's played Ultra-Serious.  Like Spider-man should be.  (Yes, I know the irony of playing a ridiculous concept like super-heroes as serious, but the thing is, the source material is often quite serious.  Spider-man is who he is because he made a mistake that cost his Uncle's (father-figure) life.)  But at other times, it is played exactly like an episode of Family Guy.  Complete with cutaway gags and asides to the audience.

There is a fight sequence in the second episode.  It's a pretty good fight sequence too.  I was actually getting into it.  Then, about four minutes into the fight--BAM-Another Family Guy cutaway.  It was so jarring, that it took me completely out of the moment.  I couldn't suspend any disbelief after that.

Now, before I finish up.

Let's take a brief look at Spider-man's supporting cast.  The people who surround his life.  They were the important part of his life in the Spectacular Spider-man, so I want to do a little comparison to see how they hold up.

First up:  Aunt May

She's apparently very busy, and out most of the time, allowing Spider-man the ability to come and go from the house as he pleases.

This actually made me cry...Because Spider-man himself said this.

A far cry from the responsible Aunt May from SpecSpidey who wanted her teenage nephew to be home by 9:00pm.  Note that neither one knows that Peter is Spider-man.

J. Jonah Jameson.

You'd think that J.J. would be a fairly one dimensional character.   And in most versions that's true.  Most writers simply don't have the chops to give him MORE than just his "I hate Spider-man" rants.  SpecSpidey did.  Ultimate...

Well we've only seen him on gigantic jumbotrons throughout the city, so that's a "Time will tell" type of deal.  But SpecSpidey actually built J.J. UP into hating Spider-man, instead of just starting there.

Mary Jane Watson.

Let me be clear.

Mary Jane Watson has only appeared in ONE medium outside of the comics.

The Spectacular Spider-man.

All other versions of MJ have been the soft-spoken quiet, girl-next door type of Mary Jane.

Only that's NOT who MJ actually IS.

That's Gwen Stacy.  Peter Parker's first love.  MJ's name and body.  But Gwen's personality.

And...Ultimate Spider-man is no different.

Only USMMJ is interested in being a photographer (Instead of an actress) and is a Journalism student.  But this doesn't stop her from being Gwen Stacy.  She is.  Exactly Gwen's personality.

The other members of the supporting cast are Nick Fury (as I previously mentioned) and the Super-hero team that Spider-man is being placed on.  As well as Agent Coulson (Of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fame) as Spider-man's principal.  Since there has never been a team up like this before, time will only tell what that lead to, but, odds are, I won't be watching.  These first two episodes were so bad, and so jarring, that I have lost any desire at all to continue watching.

The end of the second episode (where Peter goes into the principal's office to ask for a transfer away from the school--Because Fury's super-hero team has shown up there as students) was...Actually kind of amusing.  But it was far too late to really make me chuckle.  And far, far, too little in the grand scheme of things.  Too, little, too late.

So next time, folks, if a Sugar Glider tries to warn you that a show isn't worth watching, listen to her will you?  The sanity you save, could be your own.

This is the Disney Wizard,
Signing off.