What Do You Think Of Disney’s New Mulan Trailer?

So. The trailer for Disney’s live-action Mulan was just released a couple of days ago; and honestly? I have mixed feelings about it.

As a kid, Mulan was one of my favourite Disney heroines. I remember coming home from school and watching it religiously every other week on VHS (Yes, I existed in the era of VHS. lol). Being somewhat of a tomboy myself, I completely related to Mulan’s struggle to conform to what her parents wanted for her, but still stay true to who she was on the inside. She was also one of the few Asian characters in Disney, and I loved everything about the film – the art, the characters (Mushu and Cri-kee’s dynamic), the humour (Mulan’s ragtag gang of soldiers, ie Yao, Chien Pao and Ling) and of course, the music.

Disney has been in the habit of making live action remakes lately, like Beauty and the Beast which played it pretty safe by following the animated film’s storyline, and Aladdin, which screened earlier this year to mixed reviews. Of course, another Disney remake that has gotten a lot of flak lately is the Little Mermaid, after it was announced African-American actress Halle Bailey would play the titular character of Ariel, who has always been portrayed as white with red locks – launching the #NotMyAriel hashtag on Twitter.

Coming back to Mulan, the less-than-two minute trailer seems to indicate that the film would depart significantly from the original animation, with most of the notable characters missing (aforementioned Mushu, Cri-kee, grandma, and Mulan’s team in the army). There is apparently no love interest either, as we don’t see Li Shang.

All accounts considered, the upcoming Mulan seems to more about her own journey, which would fit the feminist element which Hollywood is pushing strong these days with films like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel (I fkin hate that film and nothing you say will dissuade me). While I can’t necessarily say it’s a bad thing until I’ve watched the actual film, if this is how it’s going to be, I can’t help but feel a pang of loss and nostalgia – that Disney would take away so many elements that essentially made the original animation such a well-loved, everlasting classic.

Sure, we all want a strong and confident Mulan who doesn’t need no man, but we also want all the other stuff that made us laugh and relate so much to the 1998 version. Perhaps the argument is that Mulan is based on a Chinese legend, and they want to stay true to the source material, but there are plenty of other films out there that have already covered that angle – like the excellent 2009 Hua Mulan starring Vicki Zhao Wei. I want my Mushu and Cri-kee!

Another argument is that concepts/values in old animations have changed, and in order to showcase diversity and the values of today, they should be updated to reflect the current times (eg how Jasmine ended up ruling Agrabah in Aladdin rather than in the original where she was just a ‘princess’).  The thing is, Mulan has always been a strong, independent and badass character – heck, the Emperor bowed to her after she saved China – and she still had time to go home and bring honour to us all. I find there is little need to change what was essentially a perfect film on its own.

Disney’s need to ‘push diversity’ is a bold move,  but it risks alienating a large group of Disney fans who have waited for years to see their favourite films come to life in live action reenactments, only to find they’ve been changed to the point that they lose their essence. For me, I’d love to see more original Disney films with new and fresh characters promoting diversity (like Moana) – rather than trying to shoehorn stuff into what is supposed to be a ‘remake’.

BTW one of my favourite scenes from the original. Pure, raw, powerful emotions – no dialogue needed.

Also this:

Time to go rewatch the cartoon!

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Celebrates A Magical Christmas With Disney

*So. As you can probably tell from my week-long absence from the blogosphere, my ’30-day writing challenge’ for November failed. Miserably. :’D On the bright side (?), I have a tonne of posts to update, which I’m excited to share – as soon as I can make time to pen them down. 

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Christmas in Malaysia is more a commercial affair than a religious one – at least in the Klang Valley / Kuala Lumpur, where malls try to outdo each other with grand decorations. In fact, they’re so OTT at times that people have likened them to being more Christmas-y than Christmas decos in the West, lmao.

Among the malls, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in Bukit Bintang has always trumped the competition, and this year is no exception. Working with Disney to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the brand’s iconic Mickey Mouse character, they’ve created a splendid theme – “Celebrate the Magic” – featuring all things Mickey and friends!

The deco starts from outside the mall itself, with a giant Frozen-themed snow globe, and Christmas trees flanking the entrance. The mainstay, however, is in the Centre Court, where visitors will be greeted by presents ‘tumbling down’ from the ceiling, a giant Christmas tree, and a smaller, 18-foot version with thousands of mini Mickey figurines.

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Lots of props for dem Insta photos

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The viral factor, which has been making its rounds on social media and drawing crowds to the mall, is the hundred or so 2-feet-tall Mickey Mouse figurines on display, each decorated by a Pavilion KL tenant. It was fun to see the different ‘costumes’ Mickey wore, some of which have been customised with a local flavour.

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Lol I like the teh tarik (pulled tea) one on the left. It even has the mamak moustachio and flip flops down to a tee

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Mickey and Minnie in traditional Peranakan (Straits Chinese) costumes. The Peranakan are a community of immigrant Chinese prevalent in parts of Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, who integrated their culture with local practices, to form unique customs of their own.

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Crystal-encrusted Mickey showing off that bling

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More colourful Mickeys. There isn’t much to say so pictures:

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Another center piece is the Mickey Christmas tree, decorated with hundreds of mini Mickeys.

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The thing about this is that there are soooo many Mickeys that you’ll probably spend a long time staring up at the tree and sprain your neck lmao. I wanted to look longer but there was a big crowd and I didn’t want to get in the way of any selfies.

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I spotted this rather creepy (but creative!) nasi-lemak Mickey – which had peanuts for eyes, a fried egg /sambal/cucumber and anchovies on his ears,  and rice bits for a face and hands.

The Disney x Pavilion KL’s Celebrate The Magic campaign will be on for the rest of December, so if you’re looking to snap some selfies with Mortimer, head on down to the mall! They also have daily snow fall outside the mall, as well as light shows.

More info: Pavilion KL 

 

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Movie Review: Disney’s Moana

 

I’m gonna get a lot of flak for this, but I think Frozen was one of the most overrated Disney films of all time. 

There, I said it. No doubt the fans will be calling for blood lol.

It wasn’t bad, but I just didn’t understand the whole hype surrounding it and how people were going on about how ‘original’ and fantastic it was. I asked a friend (who watched it five times! who watches a movie five times at the theatre?) why she liked it so much and her answer was that it was ‘different’ from the usual Disney films about being rescued by Prince Charmings – it was about ‘sisterly love’.

Er… nope. If you want to talk about ‘original’ Disney movies that have moved away from the mold, there was Atlantis, which remains, in my book, the best Disney animation ever. There was also the Emperor’s New Groove. But audiences back then weren’t prepared for something that wasn’t about Princesses and their Happily Ever Afters, since both those films didn’t do so well.

Giving credit where credit is due, Frozen did introduce a ‘new’ generation of moviegoers to more diversified story lines. Zootopia was a big success, and now we have Moana, which is set to repeat the steady pattern Disney has set for its future animations.

I wasn’t expecting much going to watch this film, but I left surprised and pleased, because this is easily one of the best animations that Disney has churned out in some time.

Synopsis: 

The story begins with a background legend – that of Te Fiti, an island goddess who created life and raised islands. Her heart powered these abilities, but it was stolen by the shape-shifting demigod Maui, who wanted to give it to humanity as a gift. When the stone was removed, darkness descended and Maui was attacked by a lava demon, Te Ka, causing the heart to be lost in the ocean along with his magical fishhook.

A thousand years later, we meet Moana, the daughter of a chieftain on the small Polynesian island of Motunui. She grows up in this beautiful, paradise-like place. Her village is a peaceful one, where everyone helps each other and all is provided for thanks to the island’s abundant resources. But Moana yearns for the sea and wants to see what lays beyond ‘the reef’, the horizontal line of ocean she often gazes wistfully at even as she readies herself to take over leadership of her community.

Moana seems resigned to her fate, until one day when the fish become scarce, vegetation starts to die and the coconuts begin to spoil. Moana suggests to go beyond the reef to get more fish, but her father angrily rejects her, saying it is the law of the elders. Moana’s mother reveals that the chief is afraid of the ocean as he lost his best friend to it when the pair attempted to sail beyond the reef.

Moana’s grandmother, Gramma Tala finds Moana dejected on the beach and reveals a hidden cave to her behind the island’s waterfall. There, she discovers a rig of canoes, which her ancestors had used when they were seafaring voyagers. Tala also gives Moana the heart of Te Fiti, which she has kept safe for her granddaughter ever since she was chosen by the ocean, and shows her that the darkness unleashed by Maui’s theft is now consuming the island.

Tala falls ill suddenly and with her dying breath, tells Moana to save her people. She departs in a sailboat to look for Maui so that he can restore the heart of Te Fiti. After braving a storm, she finally reaches an island where she finds the demigod, but he is reluctant to do what is asked of him, and constantly tries to trick her and steal the boat. Along the way, the pair encounter numerous obstacles, and eventually Maui agrees to help set the heart back in its place. What follows is an epic adventure – reclaiming Maui’s hook from a giant coconut crab in the realm of Monsters, Maui teaching Moana how to sail and navigate by stars, Moana encouraging the demigod to reacquaint himself with the powers of his magical hook. The two forge a close bond and face Te Ka, but during the fight, Maui is overpowered and damages his fish hook weapon, while the boat is thrown far out to sea. Fearing it would be broken forever, Maui abandons Moana and tells her that the ocean chose the wrong person to save her people…

Of course, this being a Disney movie, audiences should know what outcome to expect but I don’t want to spoil it further. XD

Thoughts: 

Disney has really put a lot of thought into creating the movie based on Polynesian culture, and this shows in the rich colours and textures, as well as the uplifting songs (sung in the Tokelauan language). The sweeping vistas of turquose waters and rolling green hills evokes a feeling of freedom and vivacity, which is synonymous with island life.

Moana’s character, torn between duty to her people and her yearning of her heart, is one that I feel many young people can relate to. Unlike many Disney ‘princesses’, she doesn’t have a love interest (even Anna in Frozen stuck to that, even though she did choose a commoner rather than someone of noble blood), in line with her image as a strong-willed, independent woman. Her interactions with Maui are hilarious, but it’s quite clear from the get go that this is a story about the titular character. One can’t help but marvel at the values of courage to follow your dreams that Moana embodies.

Here’s an interesting Buzzfeed article about the development of Moana: the original focused on Maui, and Moana was merely a secondary character out to rescue a love interest. But during research trips, the directors started focusing on the theme of Navigation instead. I’m glad they did, because it truly set Moana apart.

Verdict:

9/10. One of the better Disney films, and I’m including this to my favourites! 🙂

 

10 of my Favourite Cartoons/Animated Movies of all time

The idea of watching cartoons/animated films these days no longer excites me. Which is kinda sad.

Why, you ask? It’s not coz I’m all ‘grown up’, it’s simply coz the storytelling is so weak these days. Bland, boring, blah. Sequels abound. Take Frozen, for example (I’m gonna get a lot of flak for this). I found the story okay – not bad, but not very good either – but I have friends who praised it like it was God’s animation gift to man, who watched it 5x at theaters and bawled their eyes out at all the ‘touching’ scenes.

Idk. All I have to say is, they dont make them like they used to. 

Nw I sound like an old-timer!

Maybe it’s nostalgia talking, but I miss those animations and cartoons they used to make in the early 90s and 2000s.Not just the mainstream ones, but the underrated ones that for some reason (either bad timing during the release or people just didn’t appreciate them) didn’t do well at the box office. I bet they hold a special place in many a heart of people my age.

So here’s a trip down memory lane: 

10) Chicken Run (2000) 

Painstakingly done in stop motion, this English classic has the Mr.Bean-esque, self-absorbed (yet very relatable) British humour down pat. The story chronicles a bunch of chickens on Mrs Tweedy’s farm, who plan to escape before their owner turns them into meat pies. Led by the smarter-than-your-average-chick Ginger, the bumbling crew (they are chickens, after all) try to escape with the help of an American circus stunt rooster, Rocky, whom the group believes can fly.

The story is hilarious, especially when it comes to the very ‘creative’ ways the chickens try to escape: attempting to pass off as Mrs Tweedy, catapults, etc., and when Rocky ‘teaches’ them how to fly. The characters are fun and engaging, like Babs, who loves knitting, Colonel Fowler a former cock in the air force, and Mac, who has a Scottish accent.

Watching this as an adult also got me thinking about poultry slaughtering practices. I wonder if that was what the animators intended for kids to watch and remember into adulthood. 😡

9) Dinosaur (2000)

This movie is a feast for the eyes, thanks to its beautiful animation. It was one of Disney’s first live action – CGI incorporated animations, which saw the crew travelling around the world to record nature backgrounds and blending them with CGI dinos. Even today, the graphics still stand well against newer animated films.

Storywise, the plot has been described as ‘dull’ by some critics, but I loved it. It’s one of those feel good films with the right amount of action and fun. And you just can’t help rooting for the socially awkward hero.

Aladar is an iguanadon that got separated from his herd as an egg, and was raised by lemurs. Raised on an island with no other dinos, his world is thrown into turmoil when an asteroid hits the planet and his lemur family drift to the mainland, where they meet other dinos. They cross the wasteland in order to look for a fresh source of food and water, while running from a pair of carnivorous Carnatauros.

8) Help! I’m A Fish ! (2000) 

My brother and I loved this show so much, we watched it almost every other week on tape (you know, that big black square thing? Ring a bell?). I’m not surprised people haven’t heard of it coz it’s actually a Danish-German-Irish film, and they dubbed it in English to make it more accessible to a wider audience.

Three kids visit a (somewhat mad) scientist studying ocean life, and in the process, the little girl Sasha accidentally drinks a potion which turns her into a starfish. She is sucked into the sea and in order to save her, big brother Fly and his cousin Chuck drink the potion themselves to bring her back before it’s too late. What follows is an epic adventure under the sea, and trying to outwit a mean fish who has gotten its hands on the ‘human’ potion and wants to become a man.

For such a good film (the animation style is really pretty and fluid, especially the underwater scenes – able to rival Disney films any day) it’s sad that it only brought in 5.6mil in the domestic market.

7) FernGully (1992)

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Before Avatar made blue aliens sexy and before John Smith fell in love with Pocahontas, there was FernGully. Similar in theme, the story talks about how a white (ha) man comes in contact with the natives, falls in love with their way of life/culture and attempts to protect the community from greedy, evil forces.

Zack works for a logging company, but is shrunk down and meets tiny fairies, protectors of the rainforest. He learns to love nature and its powers, as well as the fairy way of life, which he now must help to protect against Hexxus – a manifestation of human greed and evil in the form of polluted sludge that poisons everything it comes into contact with. Lots of humour (from the batty character, Batty. Lol), fairy mischief, fun adventures, a bit of romance (Zack and the heroine fairy, Crysta) and you have a great recipe for a story. Animation is pretty, and Hexxus legit scared the sht out of me as a child.

This was another film I had on VHS (parents used to buy lots of these for me to watch. Thank you parents, I had a magical childhood filled with imagination).

6) The Prince of Egypt (1998)

I watched this on a bootleg CD, coz Malaysia banned the film (boo, Malaysian censorship board) for its depiction of Moses. The film tells the story of Moses’ life – how he was adopted into the Egyptian royal family, how he eventually found God, and led the Israelites to the promised land. Even without religious connotations, the story of Moses is a good one in itself, and the people behind the film (DreamWorks) did an amazing job of bringing it to life. I feel like it would be great educational material for religious classes. And who wouldn’t be moved when Moses cries “Let my people go” ?  The animation is sombre but beautiful.

Also, amazing musical score. That opening song where Moses’ mom floats him onto the river still moves me as an adult. Now that’s a timeless classic right there.

5) The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

Another Disney film that somehow flopped at the box office for reasons unknown. I thought it was a very clever story with witty narrative and good lessons on friendship, appreciation and humility.

Kuzco, the spoiled emperor of an ancient South American civilisation, is turned into a llama by his evil advisor, Yzma. He seeks help from Pacha, a peasant whom Kuzco has just rudely turned down and evicted so that he could build his summer mansion. The pair travel to the palace to look for a cure, whilst avoiding traps laid out by Yzma and her bumbling assistant, Kronk. The material is hilarious, with lots of slapstick humour done just right, snarky dialogue, and loads of fun.

Kuzco in human form is really cute, by the way.

4) Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) 

I think one of the reasons why Atlantis didn’t do as well as its counterparts is due to its radical departure from the ‘classic’ Disney storyline. It is Disney’s first science fiction animation. While funny at times, it’s humour is more subdued, more adult-like. For the most part, it was an epic adventure story, with darker themes such as death, betrayal and greed.

The story starts off with the fall of Atlantis, an advanced civilisation for its time, and its sinking into the depths of the ocean. Thousands of years later, Milo Thatch – nerdy linguist-turned explorer – is funded by an eccentric millionaire on a bet made with his grandfather, who discovered the ‘Sheperds Journal’, said to lead to Atlantis’ whereabouts. Leading a team of experts, Milo heads underground and finds that the inhabitants of Atlantis are not so dead after all; and have continued living under the earth’s surface. However, the power that holds them up is dying, the city decaying and its people wasting away. Meanwile, Milo discovers that the team expedition that came along has a personal agenda of their own.

The art style is amazing. Beautiful, rich with culture and historical research, and with an equally awesome music score to boot. And those underwater chase scenes.. it’s made for 3D. I think it’s one of the most underrated Disney films of all time. Wish people could appreciate great films like these instead of Frozen and that infernal Do You Want to Build A Snowman song.

3) Land Before Time (1988) 

I cried like a baby when Littlefoot’s mum died. Nuff’ said.

That friggin score still tugs at my heart strings *wipes eye with sleeves*

2) Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)

My top two favourites are both from Dreamworks! It’s really sad because after this film (in which they suffered a loss), they abandoned traditional cartoons and started doing CGI stuff instead. 😡 A pity, coz this was brilliant. From the art style to the storytelling and the characters, everything was amazing.

Sinbad, pirate/sailor used to be best buds with Proteus, a prince. When Sinbad tries to steal the Book of Peace which Proteus is protecting on its way back to his kingdom, they are attacked by a sea monster, summoned by the goddess of discord, Eris. As a result, Sinbad is dragged down to Eris’ lair, and tempted to steal the Book of Peace in exchange for riches. When Sinbad ultimately refuses, Eris impersonates him and steals the book on her own, causing Sinbad to be sentenced to death. Proteus takes his place, sending Sinbad to retrieve the book from Eris at the edge of the world. Along tags the feisty Marina, Proteus’ fiance. Hilarity, adventure and romance ensue. Danger at every corner! Running from giant creatures! Tidal waves! Everything an evil goddess can throw at them !

**If you’re wondering… yes, I loved this cartoon and the Eris character so much that I adopted that name.

 

and last but not least….

1) The Road to El Dorado (2000)

My favourite cartoon of all time. It’s everything that a good cartoon, heck, a good film – should be. Feel good and funny, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously but still manages to pull off a meaningful story.

In 16th century Spain, con artists Miguel and Tulio are caught out while playing a game of dice, and escape by stowing away on a ship to the New World. Once there, they run away and stumble across a rich ancient civilisation, only to be mistaken for Gods. With the help of native bombshell Chel (Chel Dorado hahahaha god I saw that joke somewhere), the pair plan their escape back to Spain with all the gold they can carry. But there are obstacles – an overzealous shaman Tzekel-Kan insists they prove their powers and constantly pushes for human sacrifice; as well as the ruthless Spanish ship captain, Cortes, who is inching closer to discovering the city.

Tulio and Miguel are the best of buds, and their exchanges are both hilarious and dynamic. They also live life on the edge, trusting most things to luck and getting away with it (it’s a cartoon, duh). The jokes are punny, and Tulio’s pessimistic, snarky demeanour contrasts well with Miguel’s more upbeat, kinder nature.

But again, this was a box office bomb, losing money for Dreamworks. It also got negative reviews for a ‘thin’ plot and ‘flat characters’. But fk it, I love it so 15/10.

 

Now excuse me, I want to go re-watch El Dorado. :–D

What are some of your favourite childhood cartoons/animations? Share in the comment box below!

 

 

 

Four Hunky Childhood Crushes from Cartoons

I was scrolling through my newsfeed the other day and there was a post about childhood cartoon ‘crushes’. While many that made the comments section were Disney princes, I realised that even then, I had rather… unconventional tastes; which I thought of sharing here.

4) Aladdin 

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Most of my fellow tweens back then were all over princes like Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty and Eric from The Little Mermaid.

I, on the other hand, fan-girled over Aladdin. The messy long hair, thick eyebrows, big eyes, cheeky grin. I was attracted to Aladdin’s carefree attitude, genuine persona and kindness (when he gives bread to orphans) even though he’s just a ‘street rat’. The bad boy appearance but a softie at heart always gets me. Also, he felt more real because unlike the other Disney princes, Aladdin wasn’t born a prince. He comes across as someone who is smart, resourceful and appreciative of things because he wasn’t born with a silver spoon and has had a hard life.

3) Hans from The Nutcracker Prince 

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The only ‘good’ boy on the list, Hans from the classic 1990 cartoon The Nutcracker Prince has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard (it’s Kiefer Sutherland, people). As the protagonist Clara shrinks to a small size and enters the land of the dolls, Hans brings her around his kingdom, fights off a big, mean rat and protects our heroine from all sorts of dangers. Now who wouldn’t want a prince charming like that?

2) Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) 

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By day a trickster who gets himself into all sorts of trouble at the X-men academy, by night a superhero with teleporting powers. Kurt Wagner or Nightcrawler from X-Men: Evolution was the guy I would have crushed on for real in high school, the goofy class clown that’s always getting detention for pranking the teachers. I’ve never been one for jocks or athletes; guys that got along with me (and that I crushed on) were usually types like Kurt. Also his ‘German’ accent in the cartoon is way cute.

And last but not least….

1 ) Eduardo Rivera 

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Eduardo; the sarcastic, pessimistic slacker from Extreme Ghostbusters. His penchant for cutting comebacks, witty one liners and jokes (and that goatee!) made him extremely hot to my prepubescent self. Also his love hate relationship with Kylie; he cares for her but despite all his brashness, is not really open about his feelings. He is also loyal to his friends, despite his constant bickering with teammate Garett.

**Extreme Ghostbusters was one of the most underrated series in my opinion, and it was good. It catered to a teenage/more mature audience since the stories and ghosts were genuinely scary for an 11-year-old.

And there you have it – four of my childhood cartoon crushes! I can say that this taste in ‘men’ can actually be seen even until today – I tend to like bad boy-looking guys who are softies at heart, who can make me laugh rather than Prince Charming types. Did you also notice that most of them had long hair? Lol.

Who are some of your childhood crushes? Comment below! 😀

The Movies – Disney & Pixar’s Inside Out

I’ve seen the posters for Disney & Pixar’s Inside Out for some time now, but I still hadn’t watched it even though it came out a couple of weeks ago in Malaysia. Since it’s a long holiday weekend here, Noel and I went to catch it at One City, Subang, last night.

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It was my first time at the Premium-X cinema here. I was surprised to see that they didn’t have a conventional concessionaire. Instead, they had electronic counters with touch screens, so you simply had to pick your seats and make payment by slotting in cash. Pretty convenient!

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There were 12 movie halls, which were considerably smaller than the big name moviehouses like TGV and GSC. But since not many people go to One City (it was so quiet for a Friday night!) and if you live around the area, it’s as good as any other place since you don’t have to jostle with the crowd and worry about not being able to get any seats. 🙂

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Synopsis: 

Riley is an 11-year-old girl from Minnesota. We are introduced to her five emotions: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. They operate from Headquarters, ie Riley’s mind, and control her emotions and the outcoming memories through a console. Each of these memories arrive in Headquarters as an Orb, which is then kept away in a vast storage of ‘Long term Memory‘. The important/core memories power five islands, each a pillar of Riley’s personality. Joy is the dominant emotion in HQ, so Riley’s memories are mostly happy – something which Joy intends to keep that way.

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When Riley moves with her family to San Francisco, the ’emotions’ are thrown into turmoil, so to speak. Sadness, which up until now had always been isolated by the other emotions, started behaving strangely – touching memory orbs and turning them blue/sad (Joy’s ‘memories’ are yellow/happy). Joy tries to keep Sadness away but in the process, they accidentally cause Riley to cry in class – creating her first sad core memory. While the two struggle over the orb, they get sucked into the tube and into long term memory storage area – leaving Anger, Disgust and Fear to maintain Riley’s emotions (which they inadvertently mess up, destroying relationships with her family and friends and causing her personality islands to crumble). Desperate, Anger inserts an idea into the console of running away from SF and back to Minnesota where they could create more happy memories.

Stuck in long term storage, Joy and Sadness must now work together to get back to Headquarters, navigating the dangers of Riley’s mind and the crumbling personality islands before all is too late.

Thoughts:

Inside Out is one of the best Disney/Pixar movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a movie audiences will enjoy if they want something different, other than a constant diet of saccharine singing princesses and talking animals. There is also no conventional ‘antagonist’ – other than Riley’s emotions (What comes to mind is the term, we are our own worst enemy).

While there are five emotions in Riley’s head, the story is really about Joy and Sadness. I think everyone will be able to relate, as we all have gone through the emotions Riley feels at some point or other in life. Pete Docter, the film’s director, got the idea for the film from himself (after a major move in his childhood, he became shy and reserved) and from his own pre-teen daughter.

What I really liked about the message behind the film is embracing Sadness. 

Sadness was, from the very beginning, treated like an awkward stepchild. Joy, who was at first pushy and dominant in her quest to make sure Riley is always happy, will not allow any room for Sadness at all.  However, like how everyone must know, being happy and optimistic all the time is impossible – sadness must be allowed for us to hurt, learn, and grow. As they put it in the film, Sadness’ true importance was to alert others when Riley needed help. Joy soon realises this, and the emotions work together to make sure everything is well with Riley again.

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There were many tear-jerking moments in the film, and the overall idea and storytelling was very creative and engaging. The writers/animators have made something as complex as a mind into something that audiences can understand – by re-imagining it into colourful, creative landscapes. When Joy and Sadness wound up in Riley’s ‘subconscious’, it was pictured as a deep, dark cavern with scary things that Riley was afraid of, like a giant clown and her grandma’s vacuum cleaner. ‘Imagination Land’ had things like glittering castles and a french fry mountain, while the long-term memory storage consisted of rows and rows of different coloured-orbs neatly stacked up on shelves.

I highly recommend watching Inside Out for the original storytelling, quirky characters, and relatable feels. Also, get ready with a bucket for your tears when watching the scene with Riley’s imaginary friend, Bing Bong.  8/10.

I have a question though. Does Riley’s emotions have little voices in their heads too?

#mindblown

 

Of Dolls and Disney Princesses

So I got home from work yesterday and my mum showed me a (rather crumpled looking) Toys R’ Us paper bag.

“Open it.” she chirped enthusiastically.

“Uh, sure.”

So I opened the bag….. and found a bunch of Disney princess dolls with clip-on dresses, complete with plasticky dressing table and a flower-patterned changing screen.

“So wtf is this.”

“One of my kids gave it to me,” said mom. She refers to her kindie children as ‘her’ kids.

And since I had nothing to do, I decided to be five again.

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Even as a kid, I was never one for dolls – so it was funny that I was playing with dolls as a grown-ass 25-year-old woman.

“Do you remember your Barbies?” my mum said as I fiddled with the sparkly dresses for Ariel, Belle and Elsa. “You drew over their faces with blue pen and cut off their hair. We never got you any more dolls after that.”

“It wasn’t my fault. They were supposed to be Amazon women, fighting against Ninja Turtles.”

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Many little girls dream of becoming Disney Princesses.

Although I watched a lot of Disney cartoons as a kid, I never dreamed of becoming a princess, because I was never a a girly girl who liked skirts and pink and sparkly things. My toys were mostly gender neutral like Lego and Play-Doh.

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Kids will love dressing up the princesses in different costumes.

Well, it beats playing on the computer all day, right?

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It’s now my third day at my new workplace. Haven’t had much to do yet but the stuff is coming in fast. Going out for my first interview tomorrow. Anyway, if you’re wondering how my workplace looks like:

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Yeah….looks like someone’s house. The publishing arm is actually an offspring of a property company so we used their showroom because there wasn’t enough space. I really like it though – I can rest on the sofas when I’m tired and it just feels a lot cosier than a rigid office environment.