Showing posts from March, 2018

A Royal MyZtery: WHY?

If you didn't know that was another Swan Princess sequel released yesterday, you are a very fortunate person indeed. The Swan Princess: A Royal MyZtery (yes, that's the actual title) marks what I believe is the eighth movie featuring the characters from Richard Rich's 1994 classic, The Swan Princess. It was no mistake that I left "The Swan Princess" portion out of the title of my blog post, as these movies are so far and away from what was once an adaptation of the "Swan Lake" ballet that they may as well be on another plane of existence entirely. All of the CGI sequels that started with The Swan Princess Christmas in 2012 have been pretty terrible, but this one might just be the worst yet. Don't worry, though. I went ahead and watched this abomination so you don't have to. Below the image is a description of all the most cringe-worthy things that happened in the movie and why it is objectively terrible and should never have been made, just lik…

Review: The Little Selkie

Mermaids are huge right now. Yesterday, I wrote a short story about a siren. Today, I'm going to a Mermaid Museum to promote Freeform's upcoming Siren series. K.M. Shea, the author of Cinderella and the Colonel from the Timeless Tales series and A Goose Girl from the Entwined Tales series, decided to take the story of "The Little Mermaid" in a new direction with her fifth Timeless Tales novel The Little Selkie. Unlike the Entwined Tales version of the story, A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling, The Little Selkie reimagines the little mermaid and her family as selkies, beings from Celtic mythology who have the ability to transform into seals by putting on seal pelts and taking them off to become human. This obscure mythology was featured in the 2014 animated movie, Song of the Sea.

Dylan is not like other selkies. Instead of a seal skin, she was born with the pelt of a sea lion. In Dylan's world, sea lions are less respected among selkies, but she compensates for it by b…

Story Saturday: The Little Siren

"The Little Siren" Once upon a time, there was a group of sirens who haunted the waters of a coastal kingdom for many years. Anyone living in the kingdom with half a brain knew to avoid the portion of the sea that the sirens dominated, for there were too many stories about men getting lost out there and never returning. This time, however, was different. The kingdom was under attack by a band of invaders. The prince devised a plan to sneak up on the invaders by hiding away near the forbidden part of the sea where no other man would dare travel. If his plan failed, his men would surely be defeated by the invading conquerors. Some nearby sirens overheard his strategy and laughed among themselves at how foolish the prince was to bring an army of men into their territory that they could tempt and drown. The youngest siren, however, had something else in mind.

"It's almost too easy," one of her sisters groaned as she watched the prince's knights kneel in wait b…

What Is Happening to the Disney Parks?

Change is not always a good thing. When it came to the Disney Parks of old, Walt only wanted to make changes that would support the advancement of technology, new movies, and the overall enjoyment of his guests. For a very long time after his passing, his philosophy seemed to remain in tact. In 2013, Walt Disney World did a complete redesign of their outdated Fantasyland in Florida. New Fantasyland was everything a modern princess could possibly want from a Disney park, with gorgeous real-life reproductions of locations from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast along with stunning new rides featuring the latest in animatronic technology. Unfortunately, happy endings last forever, and many of the changes that the parks have made since then have not been for the betterment of the guests. Instead, they came as a result of business partnerships and corporate greed. These changes range from insane price hikes to the recent closing of my favorite restaurant in Disney's California…

Review: Cinderella and the Colonel

Cinderella and the Colonel by K. M. Shea was one of the freebies given away at the Entwined Tales Launch Party on Facebook. K. M. Shea is an independent author who writes fairy tale adaptations. Her contribution to the Entwined Tales series was A Goose Girl, which is based on a fairly obscure fairy tale, but I skipped ahead in that series and only read A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling. I was a bit skeptical about Cinderella and the Colonel because it seemed like such an odd name for a book but figured I might as well give it a shot since it was free, after all. The book turned out to be just as odd as its title. For the first three-quarters of the story, it bore virtually no resemblance to the famous fairy tale. Unlike in other adaptations, "Cinderella" seemed to be the main character's given name, as opposed to "Ella." There were no references to her working by the cinders or being abused by her stepfamily. In fact, she refused to be pushed around by anyone.

The m…

Story Saturday: A Princess in Time

"A Princess in Time" Once upon a time, there was a young millennial lady named Alex who was fed up with her life after her boyfriend dumped her for being too old-fashioned. She decided to distract herself with random internet memes, but quickly got bored of that. After some more clicking, she soon found herself looking up her ancestry online. To her surprise, she learned that she was descended from royalty and found an old painting of her ancestor, Princess Alexandria III. Alex stared at the painting for what felt like hours. It was as if she was looking into a mirror version of herself in a beautiful Renaissance dress. There was something not quite right about the image, though. She tried zooming in and inspecting it closer. The next thing she knew, her monitor began glowing brightly and humming. Alex rolled her eyes, hoping she wouldn't need to buy a new computer. Suddenly, she felt a strong force sucking her into the screen. No matter how she tried to resist, she cou…

The Magic of True Love

Today is a very special day for me. It's the one year anniversary of the day I married my true love. My wedding was truly magical and made me feel like a princess because I was surrounded by all the people I love. Love is an important theme in princess stories. Even though they have shifted direction somewhat in recent years, it is still very much relevant to the princess genre. In fact, love is probably the biggest defining factor of a princess story. It is what gives them their strength against the bad guys and what ultimately allows them to achieve their goals. Of course, I'm not just talking about romantic love. Many people take issue with the unconscious kiss in "Sleeping Beauty" that gives the cursed princess new life. Though that particular act itself may be problematic due to issues of consent, it is still significant because it represents a universal idea--Love will set you free.

Of course, that doesn't mean that everyone must fall in love and get marrie…

Review: A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling

One week after the Entwined Tales Launch Party that I attended on Facebook, the book I was waiting for finally became available to read! A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling is the fifth book in the Entwined Tales series, but I cheated and read it first because I was less interested in the fairy tales that were adapted in the previous books. If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that I have a very strong affinity to the story of "The Little Mermaid."A Little Mermaid is a very unique take on it. It has the same basic premise of the youngest mermaid princess giving up her voice for legs so that she can get closer to a human prince she rescued from drowning, but this time, Princess Clio is not in love with the prince she rescued. In fact, she deems him rather foolish for managing to fall off his own ship during his birthday celebration. Clio does, however, have a huge crush on a merman with a similar name to the human prince. Due to a misunderstanding, the incomp…

Story Saturday: The Secret Prince

"The Secret Prince" Once upon a time, there was a lonely little maiden living with her stepmother, stepsister, and stepbrother. They treated her well enough until her father died, and their true nature was revealed. The maiden's stepfamily had been jealous of the gifts and attention granted to her by her father, so they took it all away and began treating her like a slave. Every week, they demanded that she go to the market and purchase everything they desired, leaving her no extra money for herself. She would spend her mornings making her family breakfast, tightening her stepsister's corsets, and helping her brother with his debt. All the while, she dreamed of the days when her beloved father was still alive. If she ever uttered a word about him to her stepfamily, though, they would force her to scrub the floors until her hands became cracked and raw.

One day, when she was out at the market, a young man she had never seen before caught her eye. He heard her singing…

Elena's New Quest

Over the past five years, Sofia the First has shifted gears from meeting past Disney Princesses, granting happy endings to unfinished stories, becoming a protector of the whimsical Mystic Isles, and stopping the efforts of an evil sorceress from obtaining collecting magic trinkets of former Disney villains. The series has done a fantastic job of staying interesting by constantly changing the direction of the story before it gets too tedious. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for its spin-off, Elena of Avalor. The big twist in last week's episode, "Rise of the Sorceress," is that the series is regressing back to its roots by returning to the conflict that was introduced in Sofia and the Secret of Avalor, the special that revealed her backstory. Shuriki, a sorceress who trapped the teen princess inside an enchanted amulet for forty years, has predictably returned in a twist that has been a long time coming.

While Sofia's biggest fault is a lack of confidence in h…

Review: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast

All good things must come to an end. Thus, I have completed the last book released so far in the Beyond the Four Kingdoms series by Melanie Cellier. There are more books coming out later in the year, so I will be reviewing those in time, but this will be the last one for a while. A Tale of Beauty and the Beast is directly linked to its prequel, A Dance of Silver and Shadow. It is told from the perspective of Sophie, Lily's twin sister, who was introduced in the first Four Kingdoms book, The Princess Companion. As a direct result of the events from A Dance of Silver and Shadow, Sophie is forced into an unwanted engagement with a "Beast" who was once called Prince Dominic and must live in his mysteriously isolated castle. The story draws inspiration from the original fairy tale, the Disney movie, and the mythology that Melanie has developed within her series.

In A Tale of Beauty and the Beast, Sophie still possesses the same ability to telepathically communicate with her t…

Story Saturday: The Secret Princess

"The Secret Princess" Once upon a time, there was a happy peasant couple living in a small village. Each morning, the husband would plow the fields, and each afternoon, the wife would sew the loveliest of garments to sell at market. They barely remembered a time before they were together. The two met when they were very young while the peasant woman was traveling to sell her wares. Once they were wed, she never left the village and their lives remained as constant as ever. Nothing new or exciting happened to them, and that was the way they liked it. Of course, even those with the simplest of desires do not always get what they want.

One day, there was an announcement that an ambassador from a nearby kingdom would be coming to visit the small village. When the peasant woman heard the announcement, she told her husband that she could not sell her wares at the market that day because she was feeling ill. However, his worry and concern for her made her hesitant to keep up her r…