Showing posts from September, 2019

Review: The Dragon Princess

The fairy tale retelling/reimagining genre is huge in novel world right now. I realize that most of my reviews cover books in this genre, but putting the word "princess" in the title or having a princess as a protagonist is still enough to compel me to read a book. When I wrote my last novella, The Stolen Jewel, I didn't want to make another adaptation because I wanted to tell my own original fairy tale. In the case of The Dragon Princess by Lichelle Slater (not to be confused with The Last Dragon Princess, which I also reviewed), I would say that the subtitle "Sleeping Beauty Reimagined" is a detriment. I've read other "Sleeping Beauty" adaptations that stray far from the original fairy tale, but here, it felt so forced that the story would have actually benefited from not including the reference at all. The Forgotten Kingdom series stands perfectly well on its own as an original princess fantasy series.

The Dragon Princess starts very slow and to…

Frozen 2 Trailer 2

The Frozen 2 hype comes to a crescendo today with with the second full-length trailer that gives us more information about this upcoming sequel than ever. Other sources reveal names for several new characters from the movie, including Honeymaren, a young woman who was in the first teaser, and her brother Ryder, who is similar to Kristoff in both appearance and personality. This trailer also reveals footage of Anna and Elsa's parents, who were reported to be part of a flashback sequence at this year's D23 Expo. Couple that with some adorable Anna dialogue and more epic footage of the Nokk, and we have the best trailer Disney has released for this movie so far!

It starts out with a traditional narration that foreshadows the Enchanted Forest that Anna and Elsa would travel to later on. The narrator is then revealed as their father, King Agnarr, who tells them a bedtime story in a flashback from when they are children. We also briefly see their mother, Queen Iduna, even though sh…

Review: Disenchantment - Part 2

I had high hopes for the second season, or "part," of Disenchantment, even though I was mildly disappointed with the first set of episodes. Having a show about a princess who wants to be a good person but constantly makes bad decisions is pretty ground-breaking for a genre of characters who always do the right thing as second nature. Princess Bean follows in the footsteps of Fry and Homer Simpson from Matt Groening's other shows, but she stands out as his first female protagonist. After these new episodes of Disenchantment, I'm beginning to think he does a better job making his side characters interesting than his protagonists. All of his leads tend to be simple-minded drunkards whose sole purpose is to give the average viewer someone to relate to. I might be biased, but I think the most interesting character in The Simpsons is Lisa Simpson, not Homer, and the most interesting character in Futurama is Leela, not Fry. In the case of Disenchantment, I would give that a…

Elena Is Coming Back in a Big Way

Last week, I wrote about how Tangled: The Series would return to Disney Channel on October 7th with a new episode every weekday for two weeks. As it turns out, Rapunzel will not be alone in this endeavor. I'm not sure why it wasn't announced at the time, but we now have official confirmation that new episodes of the third and final season of Elena of Avalor will air alongside Tangled starting October 7th. This news accompanied other announcements about the final season of Elena, such as a list of upcoming guest stars that includes Auli'i Cravalho, the leading voice of Moana, who will also star as Ariel in the upcoming November 5th live special to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid. Is this girl living the princess dream or what?

Elena of Avalor began as a spin-off of Sofia the First and broke boundaries as the first Latina Disney Princess. She currently does regular meet'n'greets at Walt Disney World alongside Cinderella. The show had a rocky star…

Review: A Captive of Wing and Feather

Melanie Cellier had been on hiatus from her Beyond the Four Kingdoms series of fairy tale retellings to work on Elena's adventures in The Spoken Mage books. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she went back to her fairy tales sooner than I was expecting with A Captive of Wing and Feather. This adaptation of "Swan Lake" is set in Melanie Cellier's extended fairy tale universe, where Princess Adelaide takes on the role of Odette. Adelaide is the sister of Prince Dominic, the "Beast" character from her book A Tale of Beauty and the Beast, linking her story to the rest of the books in the series. Unfortunately, Melanie has a tendency to shy away from full human-to-animal transformation sequences, which took some of the magic and mystery out of this version of "Swan Lake."

A Captive of Wing and Feather is hard to follow at first because there is so much information to digest about Adelaide's situation. Little by little, we learn that…

Review: Frozen Live at the Hyperion

It took me quite a while to get over the fact that Disney's California Adventure shut down their stellar Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular show that contained my absolute favorite Princess Jasmine solo to replace it with more Frozen hype. Frozen is not one of my favorites, but I tried to keep an open mind when I entered the newly renovated Hyperion Theater for Frozen Live. Gone was the beautiful Arabian architecture surrounding the stage in favor of a basic screen setup designed for CGI background projections to transform it into any Arendelle locale. I personally prefer the concrete sets of Aladdin that looked like you could reach right into them and enter the world of Agrabah. Hiding Arendelle behind a CGI mask only served as a reminder that the digital age is taking even more artistry away from us than just traditional animation.

Despite my caveats, I enjoyed the performance I saw yesterday due largely to the performers themselves. The actresses who played Anna and Elsa were on p…

Everything Princess So Far on Disney+

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, you've probably heard about Disney's upcoming streaming service that plans to give Netflix a run for their money. I already signed up for a three-year subscription to Disney+ at the D23 Expo this year, but like most people, I will have to wait until November 12th before I can access it. That is not the case for the lucky residents of the Netherlands, who woke up this morning to a free trial of the service. They must have felt like they won the lottery as Dutch residents now have access to a vast library of Disney movies and shows spanning across generations. Word spread like wildfire about this, and many sources are already listing some of the content that is confirmed to be on the app now through the November 12th launch date. I made sure to gather as much information as I could about the princess-related content that was released in this trial. The biggest news is that the service has its very own "Princesses…

Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders 25th Anniversary Celebration

Three princess anniversary celebrations within roughly two weeks? Yes, please! Today marks 24 years since one of my favorite cartoons of all time, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, debuted. My friends over at the Jewel Riders Archive are kicking off a year-long 25th anniversary celebration in a big way. Instead of attending a panel or screening, I celebrated this princess anniversary with a Skype party in which I got together with the Jewel Riders Archive, the founding member of the original Avalon fansite, and a prominent fan artist from the early days of the fandom to record a podcast where we discussed our favorite memories of the show. It was a huge honor to be included in this elite group of fans. The world of Jewel Riders has been a major inspiration for many of the stories I have written in the past, leading up my most recent one, The Stolen Jewel. The Princess Blog recently celebrated its two year anniversary, and I owe some of its inspiration to the Jewel Riders Archiv…

These Two Princesses Are Coming Back With a Vengeance!

It's been a while since we've heard from Rapunzel or Bean, and their creators seemed to be perfectly happy leaving us hanging. The previous seasons of both Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure and Disenchantment ended on cliffhangers. Luckily, the story gods have finally heard our desperate pleas as both these shows are coming back from the dead with new episodes less than a month from now! The third and final season of Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure will premiere on October 7th, and Disenchantment will be back with what they are referring to as "Part 2" on September 20th. We've been theorizing and worrying for a long time about the fate of these two princesses, so it's a huge relief to know that it won't be much longer before we learn how they overcome their shocking betrayals.

When we last saw Rapunzel, she was feeling hurt and anguished by Cassandra's untimely betrayal. Just when Rapunzel was about to grab the Moonstone Opal and potentially liberate …

The Princess and the Frog 10th Anniversary Celebration

It's a big year for princess anniversaries. I recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid at the D23 Expo with Jodi Benson, where they teased the upcoming live TV special with Auli'i Cravalho. To my delight, another one of my favorite princess movies also celebrated an anniversary last night at the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Theater, which is used to screen films for Oscar consideration. In honor of the 10th anniversary of The Princess and the Frog, the theater opened to the public for the Marc Davis Celebration of Animation. Countless members of the cast and crew attended the screening, including Anika Noni Rose, who played Tiana, Keith David, who played Dr. Facilier, Jennifer Lewis, who played Mama Odie, composer Randy Newman, and director Ron Clements (John Musker did not attend this screening or The Little Mermaid celebration at D23). Can you believe it's already been ten years? It feels like just yesterday that I drove to my local Florida movie thea…

Princess Brea's Journey in Age of Resistance

The Jim Henson Company is no stranger to princesses. There have been a number of fairy tale specials featuring princesses alongside his famous Muppet characters. However, the princesses in these specials are usually human women interacting with puppets. The reason for this is probably that princesses are generally perceived as elegant graceful women, while puppets tend to be used for comic relief. That was not the case, however, in Jim Henson's 1982 classic film The Dark Crystal. This movie created a much darker and more serious take on the original puppetry style of storytelling he became famous for in an epic fantasy setting. This weekend, Netflix premiered its Dark Crystal spin-off series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, which marks the first time that I have ever seen the Jim Henson Company use puppets to portray fantasy princess characters.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance contains three princess sisters named Seladon, Tavra, and Brea. Each one wears a different colore…