Showing posts from July, 2018

How To Be a Princess in Kingdom Hearts Union X

Kingdom Hearts Union X [cross] is a cell phone game that was originally released in America under the name Kingdom Hearts Unchained. It allows you to create a custom avatar and travel through the Disney movies to become a keyblade master. Even though it takes place within the canon Kingdom Hearts universe, it has many distinctive differences from the other games. First, this game is completely free to anyone who has a smart phone. There are certain bonuses that you can spend real money on, but it is absolutely possible to master the game without spending anything. Also, instead of playing as one of the main heroes from the Kingdom Hearts universe, you can essentially be anyone you want. You can name your character, decide if you want them to be male or female, choose a face and skin tone, and unlock tons of hairstyles, costumes, accessories, and descriptive titles throughout the game. Since I had so many options, I did everything I could to make my character as princess-like as possib…

Review: The Autumn Fairy of Ages

The Autumn Fairy of Ages is the sequel to The Autumn Fairyby Brittany Fichter. It's pretty similar to the first book aside from a new setting. Where The Autumn Fairy took place in the human world where Katy was raised and fell in love with her childhood friend, Peter, The Autumn Fairy of Ages takes place in the enchanted world of the fae where Katy hopes to find her new home. I appreciated that the book contained a brief in-universe explanation of why the spelling of the word "faeries" was changed to "fairies" in most contemporary prose even though it was derived from the word "fae" because "humans have trouble pronouncing it."  For the most part, I would say that anyone who enjoyed the first book will probably enjoy this one as well. It introduced a lot of new characters, but not a whole lot has changed for the ones we know. Katy and Peter are still fighting against societal norms to prove their love for each other, and Katy still feels lik…

Review: A Beautiful Curse

A Beautiful Curse was the last book I read in the Entwined Tales series, and it might just be my favorite. The sample I read from author Kenley Davidson at the launch party was a novella called The Countess and the Frog. I liked the progressive characters as well as the humor, but it was lacking in magic and whimsy. A Beautiful Curse contained all of that and more, which made Davidson's writing truly shine. It was based on the fairy tale "The Frog Bride" by the Brothers Grimm, which, though similar, is not exactly a reverse telling of "The Frog King." Instead of teaching a message about responsibility, "The Frog Bride" is about embracing your differences. It tells the story of three princes who must pass a series of tests to inherit the throne from their father. The youngest prince, who is considered the good-for-nothing runt of the family, passes the tests by taking advice from a talking frog he meets in the woods that turns out to be a beautiful pri…

I Reread The Princess Diaries After Revisiting the Movie

I have kind of a strange relationship with The Princess Diaries. I saw the Disney movie when it came out in 2001 and more or less forgot about it for at least five years until I had several hours to kill at Barnes & Nobles one day and read the a handful of the books by Meg Cabot. So, unlike many fans of the series, I didn't get into the books as a result of the movie or vice versa. I simply happened upon them at different times because I was bored and looking for entertainment. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against The Princess Diaries. It just isn't one of my favorite live-action princess movies. It wasn't until at least another five years after I read the books that I saw the movie again, so there had been too much time between viewings for me to properly compare the two mediums even though I knew Disney had changed a lot of the source material. I decided to remedy that yesterday and by rereading the first book shortly after another viewing of the film on Ne…

Review: A Bear's Bride

Of all the samples I read from the six authors who attended the Entwined Tales Launch Party, I liked the works of Shari Tapscott the least. Therefore, it did not come as much of a surprise that A Bear's Bride was my least favorite book in the Entwined Tales series. "East of the Sun and West of the Moon", the story it was based on, is an obscure and somewhat odd Norwegian fairy tale about a girl who gets engaged to a polar bear who turns human at night, but she is never allowed to see him in human form. It has rather loose morals compared to the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm in which characters usually get rewarded for doing good deeds and punished for doing bad. The heroine clearly defies the wishes of her betrothed but still defeats the witch who cursed him and gets her happy ending. The fairy tale was turned into a live-action movie in 1991 called The Polar Bear King, and it is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Everything from the acting to the s…

Disenchantment Has a Trailer!

This has been a pretty good weekend for princess fans. Maleficent IIofficially began production, and I started a new playlist on my YouTube channel about princess TV shows. The biggest news, however, is that Matt Groening's upcoming Netflix series just dropped its first full-length trailer. I am so excited about Disenchantment, and the trailer did not disappoint. It looks like everything I was hoping it would be. Bean is incredibly easy to relate to. Even though she does turn many of the princess tropes on their head, she still inherently wants to be a good person, which is very important for princess parodies, which can easily lose their focus if they try to be too malicious. I'll let you check out the trailer below before delving into it further.

The first thing we see is Bean's wedding, but just like the opening wedding in ABC's 2015 comedy Galavant, things do not go as expected for our adventuresome heroine. When Bean is given the opportunity to say "I do"…

Review: An Unnatural Beanstalk

I finally finished reading the rest of the Entwined Tales series, starting with An Unnatural Beanstalk by Brittany Fichter in anticipation of the sequel to her Autumn Fairy book, The Autumn Fairy of Ages, coming out on Tuesday. I hope to have the rest of my reviews for Entwined Tales up by the end of next week. An Unnatural Beanstalk didn't have the same light-hearted comedic tone as the others in the series, but that wasn't too surprising considering that both of the other books I read by Brittany were pretty dark. It followed the same structure about one of the woodcutter's daughters receiving an unwanted magical gift from her fairy godfather Mortimer and turning her entire life upside-down as a result.

An Unnatural Beanstalk is an adaptation of "Jack and the Beanstalk," but without the fantastical elements from the fairy tale. There are no man-eating giants, no golden eggs, and no beanstalks that tower into the sky. It's quite a shame because those are the…

New Release Date and Concept Art for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power!

Last December, we were all eagerly anticipating news about the upcoming reboot of She-Ra: Princess of Power under the slightly different title of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Today, that wish has finally been granted! The show's official Facebook page was just updated with a new interview from showrunner Noelle Stevenson as well as some concept art that gives us an idea of the look and feel that the new Netflix series will have. As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, there's also a release date, which is something I knowI've been wondering about for a while. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is scheduled for broacast on Netflix on Friday, November 16th! Are you as excited as I am?

The new design for She-Ra appears to be more whimsical and loose than the original with more of a focus on movement lines than the stiff straight-edged style of the '80s. Her heroic stance and flowing hair, cape, and skirt imply that the series will be action-packed with…

Elena Is Back and Better Than Ever!

After another indefinite hiatus as Disney is prone to do, Elena of Avalor finally came back this weekend with a new episode called "The Race for the Realm." When we saw her last, Elena had recently learned that her nemesis Shuriki was still alive. She embarked on a quest to find the pieces of the Scepter of Night, the antithesis of her Scepter of Light, before it fell into the wrong hands. They recovered the first piece of the staff just before the hiatus began. This weekend's episode accelerated that storyline, improved Elena's character development, and explained some unanswered questions about her past. Suffice to say, I think that the series has really found its footing and shown great improvement since the first season.

"The Race for the Realm" has Elena donning her adventure clothes and teaming up with her friends to return to Vallestrella and solve the remaining two riddles to complete the Scepter of Night. Unfortunately for them, Shuriki, Victor, an…

Is the Daughter of the Village Chief a Princess?

Being a princess can mean different things to different people. Being a Disney Princess gets a little more complicated. There's a joke from Disney's 2016 Moana about what makes a Disney Princess when Moana tries to tell Maui that she isn't a princess, and he claims that if she wears a dress and has an animal friend, she is, which is pretty much on par for Disney standards. Even though Moana isn't listed on the official Disney Princess page due to her movie being recent enough to market off its own name instead of the Disney Princess name, she was still included in the Wreck-It Ralph 2 trailer. Moana is pretty clear about how she sees herself is in the song "I am Moana" in which she states "I am the daughter of the village chief." The lovely Auli'i Cravalho who lends her voice to the spirited protagonist is also rather vocal vocal about how she considers Moana more of a heroine than a princess. Of course, with the way princess culture has evolved…

Ode to the Most American Princess of All

This Fourth of July, I'd like for us all to take a moment to appreciate the most American princess of all--Tiana from Disney's 2009 feature, The Princess and the Frog. Disney decided to put a very unique spin on the story of "The Frog Prince" by having it take place in 1920s New Orleans instead of medieval Germany and turning the spoiled princess into a studious entrepreneur who also happened to be their first animated black heroine. The risks they took paid off greatly because the movie is incredibly entertaining and unique, even if it wasn't a huge box office hit like they were hoping. There are so many reasons I love and relate to Tiana. I was glad to see her return briefly in the final season of Once Upon a Time as Jacinda's best friend, Sabine, even if they didn't do the best job with her fairy tale counterpart.

The Princess and the Frog celebrates many of the same ideals of freedom that we do for America on the Fourth of July both literally and metap…

Why I'll Never Do a Top Ten List

It's a fairly common thing for blogs or YouTube channels like mine to do rankings of the "best" characters, movies, etc. I put "best" in quotes because it's entirely subjective. I've seen plenty of "top ten" lists online before, and every time one of two things happen--I either agree with it or I don't. That's going to be the case for anyone who sees such a list. It's just one individual person's order of favorites, and it doesn't say anything about the quality of the movie or impact of the character. Now, if you were to ask me who my favorite princess is, I would have no problem answering that (Ariel), nor would I hesitate to tell you my runner-ups (Tiana, Mulan, Rinoa Heartilly, Anastasia, Sofia, Rapunzel, and Belle). I could even give you a list of articles I wrote about one hundred different princesses if you're having trouble keeping track of them all. The only thing I won't do is go through each runner-up for…