Showing posts from August, 2018

Review: A Crown of Snow and Ice

A Crown of Snow and Ice is the third book in Melanie Cellier's Beyond the Four Kingdoms series. It tells the story of Princess Celine, a character who has been present in many of her previous books. Celine is the little sister of Celeste from The Princess Game, Clarisse from The Princess Fugitive, Cordelia from A Midwinter's Wedding, Frederick from The Princess Search, and the best friend of Sophie and Lily from The Princess Companion, A Dance of Silver and Shadow, and A Tale of Beauty and the Beast. After reading about her so much in the past, I already felt like I knew her pretty well, but this book still had some surprises to offer. Like Melanie's previous books, it takes many liberties with "The Snow Queen," the fairy tale it's based on, and places more focus on Celine's relationship with Prince Oliver than the on the chillingly dangerous Snow Queen herself. As such, it is a very different retelling of the story than Crown of Ice by Vicki Weavil or Di…

Review: The Little Mermaid (2018 Indie Flick)

Of the three live-action adaptations of "The Little Mermaid" that were announced within the past couple of years, only one of them has already finished filming and has a limited release in AMC theaters as of last weekend. Many of us who are fans of the original fairy tale took issue with Armando Gutierrez's The Little Mermaid trying to market itself as a new take on Hans Christian Andersen's story when the trailer bears virtually no resemblance to it. I liked when their Facebook page had the title A Little Mermaid, as that was more honest and made it sound like an original story, but it was soon replaced with the attention-grabbing title that would hopefully confuse people just enough into thinking it was made by Disney and convince them to go and see it. Ordinarily, I wouldn't even bother reviewing such a mediocre low-budget production that was made by someone without any prior film experience, but the fact that it had a theatrical release and marketing campaign…

Princesses Are From Disneyland!

"That's From Disneyland!" is a free pop-up exhibit at the Van Eaton Galleries all this month. It's now in its final few days, but you can still pop by for a quick look if you're local to Los Angeles. The display is an impressive collection of park paraphernalia from a man named Richard Kraft, who somehow managed to store wall-sized paintings, ride vehicles, and more in his home before offering it to the gallery for a limited time public display. When I got in the long line to see it, Richard made his way all the way down to the end to greet everyone and welcome them to see his collection. He asked what we were most looking forward to seeing, but no one was prepared to answer that since none of us had been inside yet. So, he gave a pop quiz and asked which of the following three items was not part of his collection: A Dumbo ride vehicle, a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride vehicle, or an Autopia ride vehicle. The lady behind me correctly guessed the Autopia one, and then h…

Review: Disenchantment - Season 1

Today is the day! The first season of Disenchantment is now on Netflix, and I'm here to tell you all about it. The trailer for the show contained lots of clips from the ten-episode season, which can be good or bad. It gave a pretty accurate portrayal of the tone, but it also revealed a lot of the jokes in advance. For that reason among others, the last two episodes of the season were the best because they were the only ones that had just barely been hinted at earlier on, including a most likely unintentional Mysticons reference. The rest of the episodes had their ups and downs. There were a few fractured fairy tale references, but most of the stories were original. The pacing was pretty good overall. Any violence was there purely for the sake of comedy, and it never got gratuitous. That said, I think I still prefer Futurama overall thanks to its colorful cast of characters and clever story ideas. Still, it was refreshing to see a Matt Groening show with a female lead, even if she …

Disney Princess Designer Dolls

We all had lots of fun playing with princess dolls as kids and brushing their hair until it became ratty and tangled. For those of us who are older, there has is the option of purchasing pricier collectible dolls that are made with finer details in their hair and clothes and come with their own stands for display purposes. While princesses have never exactly been lacking in options for collectible dolls, the Disney Princess Designer Collection that was revealed at the D23 Expo in 2011 was the start of something special. Each princess had her own designer dress that looked like it came straight off a modern-day runway. The collection was released alongside lithographs, cards, mugs, and other paraphernalia featuring beautiful matching artwork. The dolls themselves weren't sculpted from your typical Barbie mold. They had fully articulated wrist and elbow joints, salon quality hair that stayed perfectly in place, bigger painted eyes, and long realistic eyelashes that you could actuall…

Disney Princesses Break the Internet!

With only three months to go until the highly anticipated Wreck-It Ralphsequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, the Disney gods have taken pity upon us mere mortals and graced us with yet another screenshot of the highly anticipated princess scene that was previewed at the D23 Expo last year. This preview shows us what happened after the first official screenshot that was released, in which Vanellope unexpectedly invaded the princesses' private dressing room, making way for the hilariously defensive antics that we see clips of in the trailer. This newly released image from Entertainment Weekly reveals the resulting antics of Vanellope getting on the girls' good side and convincing them that she is a Disney Princess as well.

The new screenshot portrays the classic characters converting to Vanellope's casual style of clothing as they lounge on bean bag chairs for your average teen slumber party, only with princesses. Missing from this particular image are Jasmine, Aurora, Merida,…

Review: Queen of Athelia

Only a few short months after I had finished her addictive Unfinished Fairy Tales series, Aya Ling released a surprise bonus novella called Queen of Athelia to bring Kat's story to a full close. Even though the book is listed as the fourth in the series, it is actually the fifth, as there was another novella that took place in between the first two books called Princess of Athelia. Like that one, Queen of Athelia takes place entirely in the kingdom of Athelia with no references to goblins or trips back to the modern world that Kat grew up in. As a result, the story is surprisingly realistic, focusing on her responsibilities as a mother and heir to the throne with her husband, Prince Edward. It felt less like a fairy tale than the others did, but Aya Ling included a tongue-in-cheek joke about that in the narrative in which Kat points out that fairy tales always end with the wedding because no one wants to hear about all of the messy non-magical things that happen afterward.

The pre…

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Just Dropped a New Trailer!

Eight months after the first trailer for Disney's upcoming movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realmsand my foray into the origins of "The Nutcracker," Disney finally released a second trailer. The new one is visually similar to one that was released last December, but it contains significantly more dialogue, giving us a glimpse at the story changes to original fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffman. Just in case anyone was concerned about the validity of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms as a live-action princess movie as opposed to a regular fairy tale adaptation, Disney makes Clara's status crystal clear by showing a soldier, who is probably the Nutcracker in human form, refer to her as "princess" after being told that her mother created the magical realms and is considered their "queen." Was it really necessary to solidify Clara as a Disney Princess? Probably not, but it was a clever marketing move considering how big of an impact princess culture has h…

The Princess Blog Is Celebrating Its First Year!

One year ago today, I decided I needed a better outlet for my writing. I hadn't released any new books in a few years, and I was on an indefinite hiatus from my screenwriting. I needed a way to share my love of fairy tales and dreams that would be easily accessible to a wider audience. It needed to a place where I could share my knowledge with the world without getting too personal. Thus, The Princess Blog was born.

A princess-themed blog seemed like the obvious choice, given that once upon a time, I ran a large Disney Princess fan group on LiveJournal, produced a hefty number of princess music video mash-ups, and later earned the nickname "Princess" at one of my office jobs. Around the time I started my blog, I was a fan of the women's news site HelloGiggles and noticed that they had been posting fewer princess articles than they used to. The Princess Blog needed to be a resource that people could depend on for the latest princess news, so I developed the tagline &q…

Review: Princess Academy

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale is the first Newbery Award-winning princess book I've read since Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. To me, it felt like the book was trying a little too hard to become a modern classic, even though it obviously succeeded. It's not quite what you would expect from a princess book, as it is not a fairy tale adaptation and doesn't contain any familiar characters. For the first few chapters, it seems to take place in a completely non-magical world. I didn't enjoy the beginning of the book very much, but it grew on me as I went along. Though it is not one of my favorite princess books, I can understand how it won so many awards. If I had to compare it to something I've read in the past, it's most similar to Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Princess Academy tells the story of Miri, a simple mountain girl whose village gets selected by the king's priests for the prince to find his future bride. Per Danlandian tradition, all girls in the mo…

Medieval Times Has a New Queen

At the beginning of the year, I made a post comparing Medieval Times to the similarly themed Pirate's Dinner Adventure. Shortly afterward, I learned that the dinner show at Medieval Times was being rewritten with a queen serving as hostess to replace the king and princess who had led the event in the past. The new plot revolved around the king dying in a war and his daughter taking over the kingdom as queen. It replaced the old version of the show little by little throughout the year at the various Medieval Times castles throughout the country. The actors who played the king retired and the actresses who played the princess were promoted to queen. I knew I needed to see this feminist revival of the story that boasted a new script, new costumes, new lighting, and new music, so I made plans to go back for my birthday. Today, I watched Queen Doña Maria Isabella take her place on the throne to assert her power during the traditional jousting tournament.

Most of the changes to the show…

The Evolution of the Disney Princess Anthem

Yesterday, Disney released a new music video of Auli'i Cravalho performing the latest incarnation of the Disney Princess anthem, "Live Your Story." The video looks like your average Disney Channel pop remix even though it's performed by an actual Disney Princess instead of a Disney Channel pop star. It works to Disney's benefit that the actress they cast for Moana was so young, considering their obsession with creating teen pop stars. The music video contains clips of a magical bedroom with subtle nods to Disney Princess movies, a balloon-filled bubble room and some shots that look similar to The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, hearkening to Belle's library. This video is the latest in a long line of Disney Princess anthem songs that date as far back as 2004.

The first Disney Princess anthem, called "If You Can Dream," was released as a bonus song on the Disney Princess Sing Along Songs Volume 1 DVD in 2004. The song was alongside a video made entire…