Showing posts from March, 2020

This Little Mermaid Ballet Is a Beautiful Tribute to Hans Christian Andersen

As a result of the virus in Corona, a lot of live experiences that are no longer available to the public are being shared online for free. One such is experience is the lovely Finnish ballet of "The Little Mermaid" produced by Oopera Baletti. Last night, I had the pleasure of watching the show in its entirety and found that it is not only a unique retelling of the fairy tale, but also a beautiful tribute to the story's original author, Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen plays a unique role in this ballet in which he acts as a storyteller as well as a fairy godmother of sorts for the mermaid character. I loved the elegant way that the mermaid ballerinas were portrayed in the show as well as the brief nods to Andersen's other famous works.

Though most of the story is told through dance, there were some short Finnish narrations throughout the show that I was unable to understand, so it's possible that some of my interpretation is wrong. If I'm not mistaken, this …

Review: Cinders

I have a weakness for visual novels. It took way too long for them to become popular in western society, which made me learn about them later in life than I would have liked. Visual novels are a mix of video games and books. You read all the dialogue at the bottom of the screen while watching an image of the character who's speaking over a background illustration set to music. The thing makes them unique is the ability to make decisions for the main character and choose how they react to the situation, which may change the outcome of their story. It's a technologically advanced version of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. Since visual novels tend to cost closer to the price of a video game than a book, I usually stick to free smartphone ones such as Lovestruck: Choose Your Romance. However, since I'm going to be locked in my tower indefinitely, I decided it might be worth dishing out some extra money to play Cinders, a visual novel that lets you enter the fairy…

Review: The Storyteller's Daughter

I was recently offered an advance copy of The Storyteller's Daughter by Victoria McCombs in exchange for my honest review. This book is a retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin," a story I've read a couple other adaptations of. This version was more similar to the way it was presented in ABC's Once Upon a Time than the loose interpretations I've read in the past. The book also seems more appropriate for younger audiences than some of the ones I've read in the past. It is marketed toward fans of Gail Carson Levine and Jessica Day George, which seems appropriate due to the simplistic storytelling style and first person narrative. There were aspects of it that bugged me as an older ready, but I think it's a great book for teenagers who love fairy tales and princesses. It will be released by Parliament Press on July 14th.

The Storyteller's Daughter is set in a world where everyone has a magical power except for the main character, Cosette. The world reminded m…

Princess Shows to Binge in Your Tower

If the recent pandemic has you begging Mother Gothel to tell you why you can't go outside, you're not alone. Sometimes watching your favorite 90-minute princess movie just isn't enough to pass away the hours and weeks you must spend locked in your tower. That's why I've compiled a list of some of the best princess shows that are available to watch right now on Netflix, Disney+, or online. Like my 100 princesses post, this list is in no particular order and is staggered between animation and live-action so you won't skip over a genre you're less interested in and take away your chance to discover something new. You've probably read about most of these shows on my blog already, so now is a great time to check them out in full if you didn't get have the time to earlier. I will also include links to my original reviews for shows that have them. Happy tower binging!
Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders
Where to watch: The Jewel Riders Archive channel …

Review: A Curse of Gems

If you need something lengthy to read during your extended self-quarantine, A Curse of Gems by Brittany Fichter is a terrific option. I was aware of this "Diamonds and Toads" retelling since its release last year but had little interest in reading it until it was offered it as a deal for National Fairy Tale Day and am so grateful I did. The book contained one of the most compelling love stories I ever read and built an incredibly robust world that was like a mature version of the Isle of the Lost from Disney's Descendants. It had a lot of the usual torture and religious subtext that Brittany Fichter is prone to including in her stories, but it didn't bother me as much it did in some of her other books. I was so engrossed in the characters, world, and elegant literary style that I couldn't wait to complete the uphill climb to the end.

Like many people, I was familiar with the "Diamonds and Toads" fairy tale from the adaptation Gail Carson Levine publishe…

Where Did Princess Barbie Go?

It's been almost three years since the last Barbie movie dropped on Netflix. Since then, it appeared as though she retired from her fairy tale princess days in favor of the Dreamhouse Adventures series, which also premiered on Netflix shortly after Dolphin Magic. This was a big disappointment to those of us who loved Barbie's magical and sometimes musical masterpieces that came out two to three times a year between 2001 and 2017. Seeing Barbie hanging out with her sisters in modern-day Malibu in Dreamhouse Adventures isn't nearly as interesting or exciting as discovering an enchanted realm, saving the world, or switching places with a princess. That's why I was elated to learn that she would release a 72-minute feature this year called Princess Adventure. Is Princess Barbie back?
Barbie discovers what it means to be a modern princess in this full-length, original musical when she switches places with her royal doppelganger. Barbie helps a young monarch find her voice …

Review: The Silent Princess

Princess League by Mira Crest was another series I learned about through this year's National Fairy Tale Day. The Silent Princess, a retelling of "The Little Mermaid," appears to be the first book, despite the big number "2" on the cover above the title. The Hidden Princess, which has a number "1" on the cover, is scheduled to come out next month. Princess League series is promoted as "Princesses meet Avengers," which sounds pretty similar to another series I read recently. It appears that all the princesses from the series are supposed to have some sort of superpower and that each book ends with some sort of cataclysmic battle that affects the lives of thousands of people. Though The Silent Princess was not my favorite adaptation of "The Little Mermaid," it did bring a few elements to it that have not been done before.

The Silent Princess starts out with a seemingly ordinary girl on land named Marina who is working at some sort of …

Story Saturday: A Virus in Corona (Tangled Fanfic)

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there during this tough time. I don't usually write fanfiction, but I've heard so many people making Tangled references about the coronavirus that I thought I'd have a little fun with it. This story takes place after the ending of Tangled: The Series and the "Tangled Ever After" short. Enjoy!

A Virus in Corona One sunny day in the kingdom of Corona, Shorty went out exploring and found something he had never seen before. A purple mushroom with green polka dots had sprouted near the area where the Sun Drop and black rocks had appeared. Many people would have been afraid to come near a mysterious new formation in such an ominous spot, but not Shorty. In fact, as soon as he laid eyes on it, he wondered what such a rare and exotic mushroom might taste like. He was disappointed to find that it didn't taste very different from any other mushroom and decided to go to his favorite pub, the Snuggly Duckling, to find a dri…

Can Andrew Lloyd Webber Modernize Cinderella?

This post was inspired by a reader of my blog who informed me of an upcoming new Cinderella musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Modernizing the story of "Cinderella" is more complicated than rebooting a franchise like The Princess Diaries because Cinderella has already been reinvented countless times. Some of these reimaginings are better than others. The most obvious problem with creating a stage musical of "Cinderella" is that the Rodgers and Hammerstein version has evolved into a timeless classic since it was first performed by Julie Andrews on live TV in 1957. The most recent revival of the production added a modern twist by making Cinderella a revolutionary who takes advantage of her close relationship with the prince to help the peasants overcome a housing crisis in their kingdom. Was this element a necessary addition to the story? Not really. Yet, it offered something new to take away from a tale we've already heard hundreds of times. If Andrew Lloyd Webber …

Review: Dragon's Maid

Dragon's Maid was another one of the book deals I took advantage of for National Fairytale Day. It's the 9th book in a series called Love's Enchanted Tales by Kimberly A. Rogers. In't that the most princessy name for a book series ever? I was able to jump right into the story without feeling like I missed eight books worth of content, so it definitely works as a standalone. It's a romance between a human girl and a shapeshifting dragon who takes on the form of a human man. Judging by the descriptions of the other books on Kimberly's website, most of the ones from this series are about human girls falling in love with shapeshifting dragons, so I'm not sure how much variety it has aside from each book drawing inspiration from a different fairy tale. That said, if Dragon's Maid is any indication of what the other Love's Enchanted Tales books are like, I would strongly recommend anything from this series.

To say that Dragon's Maid is a retelling of

I Beat the Most Enchanted Escape Room Ever!

Escape rooms have become a huge trend within the last five years or so. In a culture that's becoming increasingly more dependent on technology, it's getting harder to find recreational activities that don't involve staring at a screen. That's probably why escape rooms have gotten so popular. They give people an opportunity to go out with their friends and exercise their critical thinking skills in a more physically active environment than watching a movie or playing a video game. When the escape room craze began, it was usually horror-themed and required the players to escape a zombie or a serial killer or a bomb or something along those lines. While that may be some people's cup of tea, it isn't that much fun for a princess fan like myself. Fortunately, the craze has gotten so popular that it expanded to many other themes that aren't always about avoiding a gruesome demise anymore. After doing a little research, I discovered Maze Rooms, a company with seve…