Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

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Musically and dramatically, we have here a picture of the struggle between the profane and the sacred.

I know I have already reviewed an animated film with The Corpse Bride, but did you really think I was going to let Horrorfest go by without reviewing a Disney film or TV episode?

NO ONE

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I can’t remember when I first watched Fantasia, but I know I was young because I became very antsy during the watching. In fact I remember trying to leave part way through…

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And my mom stopped me and made me finish watching it.

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Out of all the scenes, there are three that have remained firmly stuck in my memory. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas, of course, as it starred Mickey Mouse. Who doesn’t love Mickey?

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Then the ballerina part with the Hippopotamuses, the Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli.

Reminds me of Degas

Reminds me of Degas

And the part with the Devil.

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I saw that and had only one reaction:

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was an amazing short, but so terrifying. He was just so EVIL.

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And apparently I wasn’t the only one horrified. To this day Disney receives letters complaining about how terrifying this part is for kids. Because of such massive complaints, Disney actually removed this part from the initial video release, but later restored it.

He is probably the scariest of all Disney villains and animated creations.

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I’m getting shivers

So the piece is actually a combination of two musical pieces: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert.

The Night on Bald Mountain is about witches and demons worshipping their master, the Devil, also known as Chernabog. He comes out of the mountain

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And awaken all his supporters. From witches:

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To zombies in their graves:

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To skeletons and ghosts:

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And they all praise and dance around him. His pure evil is terrifying and frightening.

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Nothing can stop him except for one thing. The church bells ring and a choir sings Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. It’s message of hope, Mary, and Christ destroys the power of the devil and sends him back into the Earth.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

The music is fantastic, the animation exquisite, and an all around great experience; check it out.

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To start Horrorfest V, from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to Have You Checked the Children: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

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For more Disney, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

For more animated films, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

For more Classic Disney, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

For more Disney villains, go to There’s No One Like Gaston

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25 More Films of Christmas

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So two years ago I tried to do a Christmas countdown, the 12 Posts of Christmas, but I discovered that it is really difficult as you get involved in Christmas activities. So last year I decided to make it easier on myself and did a singular post listing 25 of my favorite films that were either classified as Christmas movies or had a Christmas scene in it. Since it worked so great last year, I decided why not do it again? So here are 25 more films of Christmas! (Once again these aren’t my my top favorite 25, but randomly picked and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

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25) Holiday (1938)

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Holiday (1938) is a remake of the 1930 film. In it Johnny Case (Cary Grant), a self-made man, is heading to his fiancé Julia Seton’s house for the holidays. While on the surface the two appreared perfect for each other, as Johnny spends more time at the Seton household he finds himself having more in common with Julia’s younger sister, Linda (Katherine Hepburn). Johnny now finds himself in a dilemma, should he honor the commitment he made to Julia? Or should he try to find love with another?

Why it’s Great: Hepburn and Grant made four films together, and anytime you have these two paired up you have pure gold. Grant is his attractive, charming, and at times comical self. Hepburn is the silly, comedic, oddball, and modern woman that she always does great at. A fun film. Plus those scenes of Grant tumbling? Priceless.

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24) The Polar Express (2004)

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The Polar Express is based on the short book of the same name. In the 1950s, a little boy, no longer believes in Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, he hears something outside and goes aboard the Polar Express, the train that heads right up to the North Pole and Santa’s home. He makes new friends on the train, helps control the train, meets a ghost hobo who tries to teach him morals, and ends up in the North Pole coming face to face with Santa Claus.

Why it’s Great: This is a cute kid’s movie. Tom Hanks is pretty amazing at how he plays almost every character in the film. The kids are cute, especially the geeky, know-it-all tattletale. He makes me laugh. It has a good message of faith, believing, leading, etc. It also has a couple great songs: The Polar Express and When Christmas Comes to Town. It does have a few problems though. Mainly it suffers from the same issues all small picture book film adaptions face, extra content to fill the time block. There are a lot  of unnecessary songs, characters, and scenes; that if they had been culled would have resulted in a stronger film. But on the whole it is a cute, family, Christmas film.

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23) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

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The sequel to Home Alone (see #2 on the list). Home Alone 2 has Kevin McCallister once again finding himself spending Christmas on his own, but this time he’s in New York! How did this happen? Well this year instead of going to France, the McCallister clan is heading to Florida. Once again they find themselves running late to the airport (but this time being sure they have Kevin) and have to run to catch their flight. Kevin stops for a moment to get batteries out of his dad’s bag and accidentally follows the wrong man onto a plane to New York City. He starts living it large at the Plaza and using all his dad’s credit cards and cash (as he has his bag). Everything goes well, until he runs into the two thieves he harassed the year before and sent to prison. They come after him, but luckily he has rigged his uncle’s townhouse into one giant trap.

Why it’s Great: I have to say how he gets alone again was done really clever. The scenes of him just spending the dough and buying pizza, ice-cream, going on huge toy shopping trips, etc is fantastic. That was all the things that kids wished they could be able to do. Tim Curry plays the hotel manager who notices the lack of an adult and is awesome in being evil and trying to trip Kevin up. Unfortunately, the second half the film falls a little flat. I mean what are the odds of the thieves running into Kevin in New York City? There are a gajillion people who live there. Also the traps aren’t as clever as in the original film. It wasn’t nearly as great as the original, but still one fun holiday film.

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22) Elf (2003)

Go here to see who you are

Go here to see who you are

One Christmas a baby boy accidentally gets on to Santa Claus’ sled and is transported to the North Pole. One of the elves adopts him and raises him as his own child, naming him Buddy. One day, Buddy overhears some elves mention he is a human. He goes to his elf father and discovers the story of his adoption. They tell him who is real father is, and Buddy travels to New York City to meet him. When he firsts meets his father Walter Hobbs (James Caan), Walter doesn’t believe Buddy’s story to be true. After a DNA test confirms it, Buddy is introduced to the family. Buddy befriends his stepmother, stepbrother, and makes new friends. However, he doesn’t fit in well with “humans” and after an argument with his dad, decides to return to the North Pole. On his way he runs into Santa who is having trouble using his sleigh and magic as people don’t believe in him anymore. Now Buddy has a bigger problem to solve. How can he save Santa?

Why it’s Great: Now let me say that I am not that big a fan of Will Ferrell. I only like a few of his films, and this is one of those. The story is silly, but the reason it works is that Ferrell goes all in to the character of Buddy. Unlike everyone I know, I do not watch it over and over, but I do think it is definitely worth checking out and viewing around the holidays. And I do have to agree that I am as crazy about Christmas as Buddy.

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21) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

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Dr. Seuss’ beloved book finds itself heading to the big screen with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jim Carrey plays the Grinch, the beloved grump who hates the Whos and hates Christmas. He terrorizes Whoville, and all are afraid of him. Except one girl, Cindy Lou Who. Cindy Lou is eager to find out all she can about the Grinch and why he is the way he is. She discovers his sad childhood and decides making him the Holiday Cheermister will repair everything. When her idea has disastrous results, the Grinch decides to head down to Whoville and steal Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Jim Carrey really is the only reason why the film is great. Like The Polar Express, it suffers from being stuffed with extra scenes, characters, and things not needed in order to fill the time block. And I absolutely hate the song “Where Are You Christmas?” But as I said, Jim Carrey is a great Grinch. His makeup is amazing, I mean look at him! He’s looks just like the illustration. The backstory of why he is mean loses ground, but the film really picks up once he starts stealing Christmas. I love how they illustrate the song and copy the scenes from the original film. It’s worth watching the film to see that scene. It may not be as great as the Boris Karloff version, but it is still a fun Christmas film.

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20) The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

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This is the sequel to The Santa Clause (see below #6). Eight years has passed since the original film and Scott Calvin, AKA Santa Claus, has just discovered that if he is to remain being Santa Claus he has to have a Mrs. Claus. Scott also discovers that Charlie has been having a lot of problems and and acting up. So the elves create a robot Santa to fill in for him, and Scott heads back home. He stays with his ex-wife’s family, trying to reach Charlie, and becoming an uncle figure to Charlie’s sister Lucy. When talking to Charlie’s principal he finds himself falling for her, but will she believe him and go with him back to the North Pole? Also, while Scott has been gone, his robo-Santa has become and evil dictator. Will Scott be able to stop him in time to save Christmas?

Why it’s Great: I like how this film deals with real issues. Charlie is having problems as he misses his father, has the stress of having to lie about his dad’s job, etc. I loved how realistic it was as this are issues a boy who’s father has to be away for his job would actually deal with. I also enjoy the scenes of Scott and Principal Carol Newman. There were real dates and actually showed them falling in love over a period of time, it wasn’t instantaneous. And the Principal’s reaction to “I’m Santa” talk was completely real. Some scenes are definitely cheesy and silly, but I have to say this is one of the better Disney sequels and one great film to watch at Christmas.

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19) The Toy That Saved Christmas (1996)

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So this film is part of the Veggietales series. Veggietales was a series of Christian films that lasted 30 mins and told two stories that were either a retelling of a bible story or had a strong biblical message. And all the characters were fruits and veggies! The Toy That Saved Christmas was the first Christmas Veggietale video and starts with a green onion, Grandpa George, telling his granddaughter Annie a Christmas story. In the Veggietown (or wherever they live), December is here which means CHRISTMAS!!! All the kids are excited. They see a commercial on TV for a new toy Buzz Saw Louie and everyone wants them. Besides having a saw, Louie talks and tells people that the true meaning of Christmas is getting stuff. This was planned by the toy factory owner as he wants to sell more toys. When more Louies are being made, something happens to one, and it comes to life. It starts to wonder if getting stuff is the true meaning of Christmas. Louie escapes from the factory and gets stuck in the snow. The next day Bob the tomato, Larry the cucumber, and Junior the asparagus all go sledding and come upon the toy. They also run into Grandpa George who tells them the true meaning of Christmas. After the hear the message they want to tell the world the good news? But how? They get the idea to use the factory owner’s equipment and make a commercial. Will their plan work? Will everyone get to know the true meaning of Christmas?

Why it’s Great: It is an incredibly funny and adorable film. This is one that my family has to watch every year. Besides the comedy, adventure, and fun it also has a lot of great songs. One of my favorites is Can’t Believe It’s Christmas! as it truly captures being a kid excited about the holiday. And then there is the hilarious silly song Oh Santa!If you don’t watch the film at least check out that song.

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18) Lady and the Tramp (1955)

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The classic story of a rich girl who meets a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with one major difference-dogs! Lady is a cocker spaniel is a Christmas gift to “Darling” by her husband Jim “Dear”. She grows up in the household, becoming a real “Lady”. Everything changes when Darling gets pregnant. With a baby coming Lady is unsure of what her life will be like. The baby comes and Lady realizes that she loves him as much as her other masters. Things seem to be great until Darling and Jim Dear have to go away on business. Jim Dear’s Aunt Sarah comes to watch the baby, and brings along her two siamese cats that cause problems for Lady, and gets her a muzzle. Lady embarrassed, scared, and confused; runs away and straight into a mutt, Tramp, from the other side of town. He not only frees her, but the two have a romantic dinner, a moonlit walk in the park, etc. However, when the Tramp gets Lady to chase chickens, she winds up being sent to the dog pound. There she hears all about Tramp’s sordid past. She is freed from the pound but chained up outside by Aunt Sarah. The Tramp visits to apologize, but Lady won’t hear anything. Then a rat tries to get into the nursery. Will Lady be able to save the baby? Will Lady and the Tramp get back together?

Why it’s Great: It is an old story that has been done before, but the choice of dogs is great. I love how the dog thinks Jim Dear and Darling are their real names as that is only what she hears, and there are also some great dogisms. The We Are Siamese song is really catchy and the pasta scene is just adorable. This film actually has two Christmases in it; one when Lady is first introduced, and the second at the end of the film. Making this a great film to see round the holidays or any time of the year.

For more on Lady and the Tramp, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

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17) Chasing Christmas (2005)

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This abcFamily film, part of the 25 Days ’til Christmas countdown, tells the story of A Christmas Carol in a completely new way. Jack Cameron is a modern day Scrooge. He caught his wife with another man at his daughter’s Christmas play. Not only is the marriage over, but so is his love for Christmas and Christmas spirit. At the Bureau of Yuletide Affairs (BYA) the company is reviewing which holiday grumps need a little Dickens spirit. He assigns Christmas Past (Leslie Jordan) and Present (Andrea Roth) to take care of him. Past has started to become disgruntled with life. Every year it is the same thing over and over again. So he decides to do something about it. After taking Jack to his childhood in the ’60s he knocks him out and takes off. Present is then sent back to catch Past and help Jack find his Christmas spirit. As they travel through time Jack discovers a lot about himself and his family. When they reach the ’70s, they accidentally break their time machine and are desperate to find Past in order to get back to the future. Will they ever catch up to Christmas Past? Or are they doomed to stay in the ’70s? And more importantly, will  they be able to save Jack’s love of Christmas?

Why it’s Great: The twist on the classic is extremely hilarious, fun, and adorable. In fact, the film is almost a parody of all the films and TV episodes that rip of Dickens’ work. The characters are lovable as you have the sarcastic, unhappy, stick-in-a-rut Past that wants to relive the good times instead of just visiting. Then there is Jack, the average guy who gets pulled into this adventure and really starts having a great time.  Then there is Present, who knows nothing about the past and has to educated by Jack. This is actually pretty adorable, as it awakens his love for different things as he explains why they are important or special. A truly great film, loosely based on one great book.

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16) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

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The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer started out as a short poem, then transformed into the hit song, and ultimately (like everything) found its way into film. Rudolph is the son of Santa’s flying Reindeer Donner. Everyone bullies him and doesn’t want him around because he has a blinking, red nose. Rudolph ends up not being able to deal with it and runs away, hoping to find a place for misfits. As he heads out, he runs into an elf named Hermy. Hermy is also a misfit as he doesn’t want to make toys, sing carols, or other elf-y things; he wants to be a dentist. As the two journey out they run into a miner named Yukon Cornelius, hunting for silver and gold, who joins up with them. They have to fight the Abominable Snow Monster, when running from him they hitch a ride on ice and end up on the Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph, conscious that his nose almost got them attacked by Abominable, he takes off on his own. He later returns home to find that his family has been captured by the Abominable Snow Monster while searching for him. It’s up to the team to save them from the monster. Everything seems like it is going to be a great Christmas until the fog rolls in and Santa won’t be able to see where he is flying. That is until Rudolph steps up to the plate.

Why it’s Great: My earliest memory of this cartoon was when I was three years old. My family was visiting my aunt’s house, and being kids, us cousins were running around everywhere. I ran smack into my cousin Sean, and began bawling. I was bruised, so I did have a reason to be sad, but I wouldn’t stop crying. I kept going and going, until my mom told me that I could watch Rudolph if I stopped crying. I stopped immediately. My favorite character as a kid actually wasn’t Rudolph. I loved Yukon as I thought he was hilarious and I loved Hermy as I too wanted to be a dentist (which everyone thought was weird). Watching it as an adult, I still love it. Happy Anniversary Rudolph! Here’s to another 50 years!

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15) Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991)

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It’s Christmas time at the Hundred Acre Woods and Christopher Robin is writing a letter to Santa Claus. As he is finishing the letter, asking for a sled big enough for him and a friend, he asks each one of his friends what they want for Christmas. Rabbit needs a new fly swatter; Tigger a snowshoe for his tail; Eeyore an umbrella to keep snow off his house; and Piglet asks for whatever Santa wants to give him. Christopher Robin sends his letter off into the wind and to Santa. The next day, Christmas Eve, Winnie-the-Pooh is drawing his Christmas tree on the wall when Piglet comes in and tells him that Pooh forgot to ask Santa for something. They chase after the letter, find it, and take it to Rabbit’s house to add on Pooh’s request for honey. As they are doing that everyone asks for an upgraded present: Rabbit a super bug sprayer, Tigger a special bouncing boot, and Eeyore a mobile home. They send the letter out, but when Pooh gets home a southern wind has sent the letter the same way. Pooh and Piglet don’t want Christmas ruined so they set out to fix everything. They try to create the gifts asked, suit up, and head out. Will their homemade gifts work? Will Christmas be ruined? Or will everything turn out just right?

Why it’s Great: First of all it’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Secondly, the story is amazingly sweet. Once Pooh realizes that Christmas might be ruined, he tries to do everything in his power to make it right. A great story of friendship, love, and Christmas!

For more on Winnie the Pooh, go to Heartbreak Hotel

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14) Christmas Every Day (1996)

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Billy hates Christmas! For him it is always the worst day of the year and this one is no different. It starts off with him tripping, his uncle coming to visit and crashing into the garage, the pies burn, he misses his basketball shot, he loses the jellybean thousand dollar contest, messes up the Christmas pageant, and gets socked in the eye. To top it off, his uncle is bringing his monster conglomerate store, Value Mart to town, and will be putting all the smaller businesses, (including his dad’s store) out of business. Billy sarcastically wishes it was Christmas everyday, and gets his wish granted. At first he is in denial, then he makes it the most selfish Christmas, then tries to make it the most unselfish Christmas, but still remains stuck in the day. After he has been going through all those days, he finally stops thinking about himself, but tries to make it the best Christmas for his friends and family. Will it be the best? Will he finally get to December 26th? Will he be able to stop his uncle from bringing in his Value Mart?

Why it’s Great: My sister and I loved this movie so much. We would watch it every year on the 25 Days ’til Christmas until they stopped showing it. I just rewatched it a week ago and love it as much now as I did then. I thought Billy was pretty realistic in how he dealt with being stuck in Christmas, sort of the preteen version of Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day. He gets over his Christmas hate much quicker than in Groundhog’s Day, but he is a kid and hasn’t been jaded as long. The best part, of course, is the fact how Billy learns from his past mistakes, and ultimately does create the best Christmas for himself and everyone.

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13) Batman Returns (1992)

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The Joker may be gone, but Batman is back to the big screen in his film Batman Returns. It’s Christmas time in Gotham, but even though it is supposed to be a time of good cheer, crime still abounds in the city. Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito), who as a baby was thrown down the sewers by his rich parents because of his deformity only to be saved and raised by penguins, has returned 33 years later as the Penguin and leader of the Red Triangle Circus Gang. He kidnaps businessman, Max Shreck (played by Christopher Walken) and blackmails him about his dirty business dealings into making the Penguin a citizen of Gotham. Shreck agrees and promises to do even better, promising to make the Penguin mayor. Shreck has some plans he wants to put in motion, but knows the current mayor would not approve. Unfortunately, Shreck’s secretary, meek Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) has discovered them. Shreck does the only thing he thinks he can do, he kills her by throwing her out the window. Unbeknownst to him, Selina is revived by nine cats and granted “9 lives.” She goes home having fully transformed in her personality, creating a black leather outfit, and becoming Catwoman. She returns to work for Shreck, planning on destroying him when he least expects it, and runs into Bruce Wayne. The two begin dating, while at night their alter egos begin fighting. The penguin and Catwoman team up to destroy Batman. They sully his reputation, but Batman is able to outwit the Penguin and disgrace him. Upset, the Penguin renounces humanity and kidnaps the first sons of all the wealthy families of Gotham during Shreck’s annual Christmas party. Bruce takes Selina as his date to the party and the two discover that they are Batman and Catwoman. What does this mean to their relationship? Will Batman be able to stop the Penguin? Will Catwoman get her revenge?

Why it’s Great: So Christmas does play a role in this film as a little more than a backdrop. There is a line about mistletoe that is the key in discovering each other’s identities. When Batman and Catwoman are fighting the first time Batman says, “You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.” In which Catwoman replies, “But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” When Bruce and Selina are at the party, Selina tells Bruce ,“You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.” In which Bruce replies, “But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” But that’s not the reason why I like this film. First of all Michael Keaton has to be my favorite Batman, he just gets the stoic and serious, along with debonair and slightly fun side correct. I mean out of all the actors I think he captured the duality of Batman’s character the most. Then we have Michelle Pfeiffer who has been the best Catwoman to date. Morally ambiguous, vengeful, focused on her goals, but still having a heart of gold. No one could have played her better. Plus Christopher Walken as the bad guy? Perfect. The only thing I don’t like is that the Penguin was much sillier than I would have had him be. Danny DeVito did a great job and he looked great, but a lot of his lines and obsession with birds of all kinds were just a bit too silly. Otherwise, this is one great film to watch anytime.

For more on Batman Returns, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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12) The Year Without a Santa Claus (1975)

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Santa Claus is sick and tired, and has decided that he does not want to do Christmas anymore. After all, no one believes in him anymore. Mrs. Claus is determined to prove Santa wrong and sends out two elves, Jingle and Jangle. The two get into some scrapes and end up in Southtown, USA. Their mistakes cause Santa to come down and try and help out. The two elves and a small Southtown boy, Ignatius, end up getting the Mayor to agree to giving Santa a holiday, only if it snows in Southtown. The chance of that happening, -100%. The elves go to Snow Miser, but he it isn’t his territory and he can’t do it unless his stepbrother Heat Miser agrees. Heat Miser will only let them, IF he gets the North Pole. Something that Snow Miser will never give up. Will they be able to get the two to compromise? Will Santa get his holiday? Will we have a year without Santa Claus?

Why it’s Great: This is a cute film that tries to revitalize the Christmas spirit. It has some great numbers like the Miser Brothers’ SongI Believe in Santa Claus, I’ll Have a Blue Christmas, and Here Comes Santa Claus. A cute film that old and young will love.

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11) The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)

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In The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow, Lucas a shepherd boy is blinded by lightening. Nearby is the nunnery, who takes in the orphan boy. He befriends a girl Lisa, who helps him. Sister Theresa, one of the nuns, takes care of Lucas, even describing the snow that wishes would come. Lucas is chosen to be an angel in the play, and as it starts snowing, a Christmas miracle occurs. The snow falls in Lucas’ eyes and grant him back his sight. He remains with the nuns and the priest, finally having a family.

Why it’s Great: This is a cute and cuddly Christmas film with great songs. You’ll enjoy this half hour production, along with their version of White Christmas and The First White Christmas. It is a great addition to your Christmas lineup.

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10) Borrowed Hearts (1997)

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Sam Field is a millionaire who is trying to negotiate the biggest deal of his life with Javier Del Campo. The only problem, Del Campo only likes to do business with family-orientated people, and Sam is a confirmed bachelor. He hires a family to pretend to be his, but that doesn’t work out very well, and he is unsure of what to do. Enter Kathleen, single mother and worker at Sam’s plant. She is trying to save up money to buy a house, but so far does not have as much as she needs. A chance meeting, winds up with Kathleen and her daughter Zooey pretending to be his family for a few days, which expands into weeks as Del Campo wants to spend Christmas with the Fields. As they spend more time together; Sam, Kathleen, and Zooey all learn more about family and learning to love again.

Why it’s Great: I love this film sooooo much. It’s one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. I will not go to far into it, as I have written a separate blog post on it that you should check out.

For more on Borrowed Hearts, go to On the 9th Day ‘Til Christmas: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

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9) Rise of the Guardians (2012)

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In Rise of the Guardians, Jack Frost (played by Chris Pine), is created in the depths of a pond and suffers from amnesia. He doesn’t know how or why he was created, but just goes around having fun. One day Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin) discovers that the Boogeyman Pitch, has returned and notifies the other Guardians: Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Australian Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Sandman. They learn that their creator, the Man in the Moon, has chosen Jack Frost to join them as a Guardian of Children. Pitch goes about trying to destroy the children’s beliefs in these characters, and attacks the Tooth Fairy’s home, stealing her helpers. The other Guardians pitch in to help her out, doing the same for the Easter Bunny. Will they be able to defeat the Pitch? Will Jack finally learn who he is and why he was chosen? Will they secure the children’s belief in Jack Frost, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman?

Why it’s Great: When the film first came out, I thought it would be really dumb, but then I saw it and loved it. It is funny, cute, sweet, everything you’d want in a family film. The characters are amazing and just perfect as they bring your childhood to life. I just love this film and could watch it over and over.

For more on Rise of the Guardians, go to Dreaming of the Sandman 

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8) Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

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It tells the story of the Robinson family, (they are Swiss), who are traveling to New Guniea but end up getting stuck in a storm, abandoned, and stranded on their broken ship. They pack up every bit of supplies they can and travel to the nearest place, a little island. The family consists of the father, mother, and three boys; Fritz (my fav the cute one), Ernst (the smart one), and Francis (the baby). The family creates a tree house and lives on the island going through many adventures; dealing with wild animals, saving a young teen, fighting pirates, etc.

Why it’s Great: This was a favorite of mine as a kid, although more beloved by my sister than me. It has everything you could want: action, adventure, pirates, etc. Plus, like Supernatural, you have your pick of which brother to chose from. Do you like a brawny man of action? Or are you more interested in a thinker and planner? And let’s not forget their amazing treehouse. I wanted one like it so bad growing up. It used to be in Disneyland, but they replaced it with Tarzan. And yes, this film does have Christmas in it. The Robinson family has sent out Ernst and Fritz to explore the island, and are sad that they won’t all be together for Christmas. The boys surprise them with a zebra for Francis, and a rescued hostage. It is classic Disney at its best, and a worthwhile checkout any time of the year.

For more on the Swiss Family Robinson, go to Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

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7) Jingle All the Way

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Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a workaholic. His wife and child are very upset with him, and the only way he can get back in their good graces is to pick up a Turbo-Man doll. Only problem is, EVERYONE wants one and EVERYONE is sold out. This causes him to go on one crazy adventure involving a faux toy factory, a postal postman, a mall doing a Hunger Games to sell off their remaining doll, battling a reindeer, storming a radio station, bombs, fistfights, etc. Howard even goes as far as replacing Turbo-Man in the Christmas parade in order to try to get a doll. Will he be able to do it? Will his family be reunited for Christmas?

Why it’s Great:  This movie is so freakin’ hilarious. I just love it so much. All the crazy things that happen to Howard as he tries to achieve success in his quest to get the doll. And that end fight scene is just great. A true holiday classic that I watch every year I can.

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6) The Santa Clause

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Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a self-absorbed and selfish toy designer. This Christmas Eve he gets to have his son spend the holiday with him, while his ex-wife and her husband celebrate elsewhere. Of course he is not only extremely late (too much partying at the office), but he burns their Christmas Eve dinner. Things are not going as planned. That night Charlie hears something, and the two go out to investigate, surprising Santa and causing him to fall off the roof! Scott puts on the suit, and the two go out to deliver the gifts. After the deed is done, Scott discovers that when he put on the suit he entered a clause, that is a decree, making him the new Santa. He doesn’t believe it, but as the year passes, his body starts to become more Santa-like. Will he have enough faith to become Santa? Will he be able to change his ways so he can be more like Santa?

Why it’s Great: Like Borrowed Hearts I have done a post on this, so I’m not going to talk too much aout it. It is a truly hilarious movie with some truly memorable lines and scenes. I love this movie so much that I don’t even always wait for Christmas to watch it. Defintely worth seeing again and again.

For more on The Santa Clause, go to On the 11 Day ‘Til Christmas: The Santa Clause (1994)

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4) Christmas With the Kranks (2004)

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Based on the John Grisham novel, Christmas with the Kranks shows how one can never truly skip Christmas. After Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) discover that their beloved daughter Blair won’t be coming home for Christmas, they decide to forget it entirely. No decorations, no Christmas cards, no Christmas party, no Christmas tree, zip. Instead, the two will go on a lovely cruise. It starts out a great plan, until they start getting upsetting calls from the neighbors who want to win the best decorated street contest; tickets from policemen who are used to them buying multiple calendars, charities who expect their yearly donation, etc. As they are getting ready to go on Christmas Eve, they get a call from Blair who is surprising them by flying home-with a fiancé. They have to rely on their neighbors for help in making this the greatest Christmas ever.

Why it’s Great: I just realized that this is the third Tim Allen movie on this list. Guess it was a good thing I decided to save Toy Story for another time, or else there would be four. Anyways this is just a hilarious film, from beginning to end. Grisham is a true master and the actors really bring his work to life. This is a truly great addition to you Christmas lineup as it is funny, heartwarming, and covers the true meaning of Christmas.

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3) Goodfellas (1990)

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A film based on the real life of gangster turned FBI witness, Henry Hill. Half-Italian, half-Irish; Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) has always wanted to be a gangster. He is taken under the wing of mob-boss Paul “Paulie” Cicero, to work under James “Jimmy the Gent” Conway (Robert De Niro) alongside Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). The trio hijack cars, commit insurance fraud, and the famous 1967 Air France Robbery. They spend most of their time at the Copacabana, hanging out with women. Hill meets Karen, Jewish and upper class, and the two eventually marry. At first Karen is alarmed at Hill’s lifestyle, but eventually becomes enamored with the perks. They continue to live the criminal lifestyle, ultimately having to serve a stint in prison. There Hill discovers how “real” money can be made in drugs, and his life starts to take some real twists and turns.

Why it’s Great: Now this film isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of the gangster genre then you need to check this out. It covers the life of Hill pretty accurately, and of course the actors they chose are just amazing-De Niro, Liotta, & Pesci. In fact if this wasn’t a Christmas list countdown, I probably would have it even higher. And for the Christmas part of the film, well this is no Christmas film but the holiday does play into a crucial part of the film. My friends and I used to have “gangster film and spaghetti” parties, with this one always being one of the main courses.

For more on Goodfellas, go to Sucky Sequels: Mean Girls 2 (2011)

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2) Home Alone (1990)

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Kevin McCallister’s whole family is getting ready to fly to Paris for Christmas, spending the holidays with his uncle and aunt. The night before they leave, Kevin is punished (unfairly) to sleep up in the attic by himself, where he makes a wish that his family would just disappear. When a tree limb crashes on the powerline, the McCallister’s find themselves waking up late and rushing out the door to the airport, in order to catch their plane. And…completely forgetting Kevin. At first being home alone is just fun and games, but when two robbers try to get into his house, Kevin finds himself defending it, in very imaginative ways.

Why it’s Great: This movie became so popular, almost every family pic after it tried to recreate it’s success. It is funny, memorable, and the scenes where Kevin is just wolfing down junk food was every kid’s dream. It is one fantastic movie, great for Christmas or anytime you want a laugh.

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1) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)

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In Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, postman Special Delivery Klugman (Fred Astaire) is prepared to answer all questions about Santa Claus. In Sombertown, the Burgermeister Meisterburger discovers a baby on his doorstep, with a tag saying Claus. He sends one of his stooges to take the baby to the orphanage, but a wind blows the baby away. The forest creatures take the baby to the elf family Kringle, where he is raised as one of their own, Kris Kringle. The Kringles used to be toymakers for the King, but an evil man, the Winter Warlock, keeps them from continuing this tradition. Kris resolves that when he is old enough, he will brave the forest and Warlock, in order to give their toys to the children in the nearby town. He manages to slip the Warlock and heads to the town. Unbeknownst to Kris, toys are outlawed in Sombertown. He meets the school teacher, Jessica, and convinces them all to take toys. Kris almost gets arrested, but runs away, only to be captured by the Winter Warlock. When he gives the Warlock a gift, it melts his icy heart and removes his evil. Winter Warlock teaches Kris a few tricks, like magic snowballs that allow you to watch anyone. Kris keeps coming back and giving more toys, first handing them out to kids, then leaving them at night, lastly putting them in the children’s stockings. The Burgermeister Meisterburger lays a trap and catches Kris. In order to free him, Jessica gets the Winter Warlock to give reindeer his flying corn, and thus Kris’ eight flying reindeer were born. Jessica and Kris get married and move to the North Pole, Kris reverting to his given name of Claus.

Why it’s Great: This film is absolutely adorable and Christmas is never the same without at least one viewing of this film.

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Merry Christmas All!

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For more on Christmas, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

For more on Christmas movies, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more quizzes, go to Simply Fantastic

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Dreaming of the Sandman

Fantastic Fantasies

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Well here we are with part three of my fangirl posts. As shown above, I am obsessed with quite a few things and fangirl over them hard core. To make this easier on me and you, I have decided to break this up into a series of posts, with each fandom listed alphabetically. For post one, go to Fanning All Over the Place. For post two, go to Simply Fantastic.

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Alfred Hitchcock

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Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite absolute favorite director. I just love how the man thinks and what he creates. He is a true genius. Now I know he has some serious issues, like the way he treated the women he worked with, (especially Vera Miles and poor, poor Tipi Hedren); but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a true revolutionary. He not only created the psychological thriller genre, blending horror and mystery; but the first slasher horror genre, and influenced millions of writers and directors. Oh his works are just glorious. I’ve seen nearly every film he’s ever made and I just love him and all his work.

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This past year I reviewed three of his films for Horrorfest III and that is just the beginning. I hope to one day completely review every film he has ever done. For those of you who don’t know him, here is a short list of my favorites (that I recommend watching): Blackmail (1929), The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1942), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rope (1948), Under Capricorn (1949), Strangers on a Train (1950), Dial “M” for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Trouble With Harry (1955), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Torn Curtain (1966), and Frenzy (1972)

Besides films you also have his TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents in which he picked some of the greatest writers of the day, for example Ray Bradbury. And as mentioned before many great actors were on his show: such as Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, etc. In fact, one of Steve McQueen’s early gigs was on that TV show. The show was similar The Twilight Zone, but unlike that show, you never knew if things would turn out good or bad for the main characters.

He is an amazing artist, using film as his medium, and I strongly recommend checking out anything that has his name on it.

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

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Criminal Minds

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Ah this show. How I love thee. Every Wednesday I would watch the new episode. It was set on stone. At least until my sophomore year at college, when classes I needed to take got in the way. 😦 Teachers just don’t understand.

So when I saw previews for this show, I was like I so gotta watch this. And for three reasons.

1) I was deeply interested in behavioral analysis. I mean you have just read how obsessed I was with Alfred Hitchcock. This show is logically the next step. In fact when I first went to college I studied psychology, hoping to work for the FBI one day. However, I hated the psychology classes as we kept having to talk about ourselves. I ended up switching to history as I wanted to talk about other people. I still love this show and what they do very much.

2) Thomas Gibson

So Handsome!!!

So Handsome!!!

Yep, if you have read my This Isn’t Love, This is Ectasy, post you know that I just find this man incredibly attractive. A fan from Dharma and Greg to Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas to Criminal Minds– I’ve got to watch them all. 🙂

Thomas Gibson plays the leader of the unit, Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner.

3) Inigo Montoya

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Just kidding. It’s not Inigo Montoya, but the actor who played him, Mandy Patinkin. He plays the amazingly smart agent Jason Gideon.Patinkin left the show, as he felt the content was too dark, and was replaced by FBI Agent David Rossi. Rossi is okay, but Gideon was much better.

So the FBI unit is comprised of the leader Agent Hotchner and Gideon who I have already talked about. There is also Elle Greenaway, Cuban and the sexual predator profiler. She only lasts for the first season as she gets shot during a case, and after that can’t really deal with the stresses of the FBI. We have Derek Morgan (played by the very handsome Shermar Moore) and appears to be the standard tough guy, ex-athlethe, charming, ladies’ man-but you find out there is far more to him than what appears at first glance. Spencer Reid is a super genius and the youngest member of the unit. He is only 22 in the first episode but already has three PhDs, two BAs, and has a photographic memory. Reid is utterly adorable.

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And you just can’t help but love him. Now Agent Hotch is the leader but Agent Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau is the liasion between the FBI and the town they move into to help out. She’s sweet, kind, adorable; and when the show dropped her the fans revolted, bringing her back. Rounding the team out is Penelope Garcia, the computer whiz and as quirky adorable as NCIS‘ Abby.

Now we head out to the character I hate. Emily Prentiss.

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She’s brought in to replace Greenaway after she leaves the BAU. She’s the daughter of a special agent and is too good. They make the character just too much that she is unreal and annoying. She knows like forty different languages and can speak them flawlessly, she used to work for Interpol, she is so “beautiful” that no guy can keep from asking her out, etc. It’s just too much. But one of the worse things about her, was when she first joined the show she would make fun of Reid.

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Reid is an adorable puppy. Anyone who is cruel to him has no soul.

But besides her, the show is amazing, the characters and storylines are truly great and I highly recommend it to anyone.

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CSI

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CSI was a revolutionary show. It brought back the cop drama, but instead focusing on the forensic side of the investigations. Of course the show isn’t completely realistic as they immediately get lab results and always manage to find their killer in a day or two. But the show was really good as the characters and storylines worked really well.

So if Wednesday was reserved for Criminal Minds I would typically spend my Fridays with AMC watching reruns of CSI.

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Yep, they’re pretty exciting.

So the orginal show was just CSI and took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now besides some great storylines, the real reason this show was so awesome was Dr. Gilbert “Gil” Grissom played by William Peterson. He’s a forensic entomologist and was just great. He was always cool and collected, no matter how tense the situation got. He was also always a wiseguy (in wit and sarcasm). When he left, the show ended for me. It was just not the same. The show has gone through a lot of upheaval this past year;  losing their original characters, bringing in more and causing it to just not be for me anymore.

With the extreme popularity of CSI the producers decided to do a spin-off and create the same show in a different location. What was born was CSI:Miami. Now many people don’t like this, but I admit it. It was my favorite of the CSI franchise. It had some silly moments and silly characters, but I loved it most. My favorite character was Ryan Wolfe played by Jonathan Togo. He came in after one of the team members was killed. His beginnings are hard as the crew are still hurt over the death of their colleague and aren’t exactly warm to to him. He’s smart, detailed, funny, and hot. What more could you want?

 You also have the lead detective Horatio Caine, who is a very smart man, but more loved for his hilarious puns.

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And the third character I enjoyed, Eric Delko. He is the Derek Morgan of this show; strong, athletic, hot. He’s just a fun guy and I was one of the many fans upset with his death and happy when he overcame it and came back into the show.

Like CSI this show went through a  lot of dropping and adding characters and I stopped watching.

With the popularity of CSI and CSI: Miami, the producers decided to try again and created CSI: NY, but I never got into this version. It just didn’t appeal to me.

Now before I stop talking about this show, there is one more awesome thing that I have to mention. One of the most awesome things about this show is that they chose to use The Who songs for each show’s theme. CSI used Who Are YouCSI: Miami used Won’t Get Fooled Again, and CSI: NY used Baba O’Riley.

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Danosaurs

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This Youtube star is Dan from Danisnotonfire. It is a hilarious show as Dan just highlights funny moments and the awkwardness of his life.

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Not to mention being entertaining, he is also  really cute and has an English accent! Definitely a win. His videos are all amazing, so I’m just going to post one of my favs, but I definitely suggest checking all his stuff out.

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Deathbats

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So if you have read some of my previous posts, you might already be aware of my Avenged Sevenfold obsession. It all started when my loser ex and I first started dating. He was obsessed with the band. He gave me one CD to listen to, but not the others; having promised to make “the perfect” playlist, burn CDs, and mail me care packages. Of course he never did. In fact he never sent me anything but I sent him stuff. Rude, huh.

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Anyways, when we broke up I was sad and decided that I was going to check out a bunch of Avenged Sevenfold CDs and listen to their music. I did and I became OBSESSED with them.

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Now some of you may be asking, is the band really that good? Well I think so. I love the musical choices they make. One of my favorite things is that they are always trying something new and different, but it still remains uniquely them.

One thing I absolutely love is M. Shadows’ voice. It isn’t what mainstream would say is great, but totally works with the music created by the band. He’s also pretty hot.

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You also have Synyster Gates who is the attractive guitarist and an amazing musician.

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And Zachy Vengence. Killer name, killer looks, and killer talent. The trifecta!

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So here are a few of my favorite songs. I’ll only name a few so I don’t overwhelm you all. So some of my top, top favorites are: Unbound, Almost Easy, A Little Piece of Heaven, Seize the Day, Dear God, Flash of the Blade, Walk, Afterlife, Hail to the King, Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, Buried Alive, and So Far Away. There are plenty more to talk about, but that’s all for now.

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For more on Avenged Sevenfold, go to Unbound

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Disney

Disney

So I am a HUGE Disney fan. I grew up on the films, TV shows, characters, etc. I am SUPER obsessed with it.

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I could go on and on about my favorite Disney things, but you know what? I’ve already done that. This summer I devoted all of June to 30 posts on Disney. I covered some of my favorite animated features, Disney Original Movies (DCOMs), Disney live action films, Disney songs, etc. To read more on it, check out 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition. I’m thinking of doing it again as there is just so much Disney wonder and fantastica that needs to be covered.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll never be to old for it.

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For more on Disney, go to The Little Moreland

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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

 

So Downton Abbey? How do I describe this phenomenon? Hmm….

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Just kidding, it is nowhere near as confusing as that.

So this show came out a few years ago and my mother wanted to watch the TV show, not me. She had been a fan of the series Upstairs, Downstairs, what Downton Abbey is a remake of. Both series chronicle the lives of the wealthy upstairs along with the servants downstairs. It didn’t sound that interesting to me, but my mom really wanted me to watch it. I did and fell in love with. Every Sunday night became tea and Downton Abbey.

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When the winter break ended and I returned to college, I got all my friends into it as well.

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At first they were like, “will I like this?” and I was like:

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They quickly became fans as well.

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So the first season begins with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and ends with the start of WWI in 1914. The second season picks up in WWI and ends 1919. The third season picks up in the same year and moves on into the 1920s.

So the manorhouse is Downton Abbey in England where the Crawley family live. Robert Crawley, Earl Grantham, and lord of the manor; Cora Crawley, his American wife; and their three daughters Mary, Edith, and Sybil. Robert’s mother, Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, doesn’t live there but visits most days.

The Dowager is amazingly funny and witty. She is a snob, but her snobbery is sometimes due to her naiveté of what lower classes do and go through. She is hilarious as her one-liners are amazing. She is practically everybody’s favorite character.

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Lord Grantham (Robert) is pretty traditional and takes the jobs of running the estate very seriously. Lady Cora clashes with the Dowager Countess and at many times finds herself at odds as she is not English, so she “doesn’t understand” things.

Then we have the three daughters. First is Mary who is the eldest and a whiney, spoiled brat. However, as the series progresses she does change as her circumstances cause her to realize how awful she is being and what she wants to be. As the series progresses you start to love her.

Next in line is Edith. Edith is a whiny brat as well. She is always jealous of her older sister’s beauty and attention. This causes her to constantly fight and find ways to ruin things for Mary, of which all end up troublesome for her.

And last is Sybil, who in my opinion is the best character of all. She is kind, considerate, sweet, funny, beautiful, and a real revolutionary. She wears a Middle Eastern outfit with pantaloons for her coming-out-party, gets involved with protests, meetings, radical theories, becomes an army nurse, and doesn’t care about someone’s station or name. She’s awesome.

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The series starts out with the Titanic sinking. On the Titanic was Mary’s first cousin and fiancé. Everyone in the Crawley family is upset because the estate is entailed, and with the cousin and his brother killed, no one knows to whom the estate goes next.

Let me back up a minute. Entailment was something that was done a lot in England. All the money, property, i.e. the whole estate was entailed to the next male heir.  Yep, and as we see the Crawleys have three girls. They had never worried about entailment as they always planned to have Mary married off to the cousin and none of the family would have to worry.

Now they have to discover the next male heir and hope to God that they can marry him off to their eldest daughter.

Enter Matthew Crawley

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Matthew Crawley is a lawyer and discovers that he is next to inherit and will become Lord Grantham, have a seat in Parliament, and own a large estate. He is flabbergasted at this, as he is just your average person. In fact he wants to refuse it, but gets talked into accepting it. The Dowager Countess and Lady Cora try to get Mary and Matthew together. Mary finds Matthew “too low class” and tries to get a rich man interested in her. Unfortunately, very few men are interested in a girl who’s fortune is entailed. Lady Cora and Lord Grantham are also trying to get Cora’s fortune/dowry out of the entailment. Edith is trying to foil all of Mary’s plans while at the same time trying her best to catch a rich man or hook Matthew. Sybil is Sybil. Matthew falls for Mary and tries to win her heart, but Mary has some issues to overcome before considering marriage to Matthew. At one point Cora becomes pregnant and we wonder if she may have a son and solve the whole problem. Murder, mystery, scheming, drama, and comedy galore! Of course before things can truly be resolved, WWI breaks out, changing everyone’s life as they know it.

Season 2 starts right out in WWI and portrays it as accurately as possible. Matthew finds himself in the trenches with some of the servants from Downton. Downton gets set up as a hospital for soldiers. Sybil is a nurse. Lord Grantham wants to fight but isn’t allowed to. And the series continues in keeping the drama, comedy, romance, and action. I won’t reveal any more or season three and four for those of you who haven’t checked it out and are interested.

Let me just say that if PBS really wanted money, this is all they would have to do.

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Now that is the upstairs, let’s take a look downstairs.

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We have Mr. Carson the Butler who runs the whole downstairs. He is stuck in his ways, but a truly lovable stick-in-the-mud.

Then there is Mrs. Hughes the head housekeeper. She runs the kitchen staff. She is no-nonsense and buisnesslike, but always has a soft spot and helps others.

Then we have Mr. Bates head valet (pronounced the English val-let not French va-lay). He is introduced to the household in episode one to the ire of the footman Thomas Barrow. Thomas thought that he would be the one to elevate in status and is upset at being passed over. Thomas tries to make life hard for Mr. Bates and turn everyone against him. Mr. Bates falls for Anna and the two have one of the best romances. They actually weren’t supposed to stay together, but the fans called for them. Power to the fans. Mr. Bates also has a lot of mystery and drama surrounding him.

Mrs. O’Brien is the lady’s maid and a cruel and calculating woman. She is a major snoop and always rooting out gossip.

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She only cares about her best interest and causes some serious problems for the family. She leaves after a secret she has comes out.

Anna is the sweetest, kindest, woman ever. She is one of the best characters, and I absolutely love her and Mr. Bates together. She is the head housemaid and Lady Mary’s confidant, often helping her out of some pretty bad scrapes. When Lady Mary marries, Anna  is elevated to Lady’s maid.

Thomas Barrow is the under-butler and he is a mean, horrible, cruel, bully. He picks on other footman and staff members, plays with girl’s hearts, spreads rumors, steals, etc. He leaves the household and goes off to war, which softens him a bit. After the war ends, he finds himself falling back into his old ways. He has a huge secret that is only known to a few.

William Mason is one of the kindest and most adorable footman ever, but leaves in the second season. He has a crush on the assistant cook, Daisy who doesn’t deserve him.

Alfred Nugent joins the household after William leaves. He is brought in to be a love triangle between Daisy and Ivy, but he’s very boring and bland.

Jimmy Kent is brought in and increases that love triangle to rhombus as his good looks, charm, and easygoing manner wins all the ladies’ hearts.

Moseley was Matthew’s butler and was supposed to go with him to war, but failed his exam. He moves into the Crawley manor when he can’t find himself another job as a butler. You see during and after the War, many families find themselves not having the money they once had. When he comes into the Crawley household, it is a little awkward as his function is a bit fuzzy.

Mrs. Patmore is the no-nonsense cook and an awesome character. She hilarious, sarcastic, and always hitting the nail on the head.

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She has this one great storyline in which she starts going blind and is afraid to tell anyone. She thinks that if they find out then she will be fired and what will she do next? Cooking is all she knows and cares about. When the Crawleys discover this, they actually pay for an operation to fix her eyes.

Daisy is my least favorite character. Ugh, she annoys me. She is in love with Thomas because she thinks his bullying is a sign of manliness. She never gets the hint that he is not interested in her, unless he can torment sweet William who has a crush on her. She uses William to try to make Thomas jealous, which instead only hurts William more. She falls for Alfred, who doesn’t care a fig for her. Her biggest role in the series is really just complaining. She complains ALL THE TIME. And like the teenage girl “this unfair” “I never get what I want” kind of complaining. I always just want her to shut up!

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Ivy is new and her only thing that defines her character is that she is a “modern” girl not afraid to let someone know that she likes them. Translation: She’s pretty fast.

Now the last character I’m going to talk about is Tom Branson who is in the middle of the upstairs and downstairs.

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Branson is the Irish chauffer. He is very interested in politics and Sybil. Yes, we have an mixed class romance. Now at first I didn’t like him as he was hotheaded, believed his opinions were the only right ones, wants to violently achieve Irish independence, etc. However, once he and Sybil ran off and eloped, he began to grow on me. After some traumatizing events, his personality changes as this personal destruction makes him realize that violence to achieve one’s goals is not the way. What else is really great is his friendship with Matthew, as the two really understand each other and trying to figure out your place. In fact his storyline if trying to see which “floor” he belongs in is really powerful.

 So after all that I bet you are wondering what else can be said about Downton Abbey? Well I found that Petula Clark did a really great job of sharing it, (that is of you make a few small changes):

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always watch  Downtown Abbey. When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry seems to help I know, watch Downtown Abbey. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares so watchDowntown Abbey. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. No finer place for sure. Downtown Abbey; everything’s waiting for you. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. Don’t wait a minute more watch Downtown Abbey.

For more on Downton Abbey, go to That’s What You Get

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w:outFandoms

 

For Part 1, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For Part 2, go to Simply Fantastic

And keep an eye out for Part 3!

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For more of my favorite artists and songs, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to When in Doubt

The Little Moreland

So you all are aware I’m a Disney fan right? I mean after my 30 Days of Disney I think it’s pretty obvious.

So being female, I loved the Disney princesses, my favorite being Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty and Belle from The Beauty and the Beast.

Now in the past I have compared myself to Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle; but I never thought I would compare myself to Ariel.

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Although now that I’m a redhead, I can see it.

In fact, I once took a quiz that said I was her, and I thought yeah right, that’s not me.

Go here to see which you belong in/are

Go here to see which you belong in/are

But the other day I was full on The Little Mermaid. Although, truth be told it wasn’t really the Disney version, but the hardcore Hans Christian Anderson one.

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You see in the original story The Little Mermaid was the youngest of six sisters. On her 15th birthday she is able to go up to the surface where she sees the prince and saves his life during a storm.

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She visits him everyday at his palace at the seashore and falls in love.

So romantic!

So romantic!

She soons becomes heartbroken as she can’t be with him. Nothing makes her happy, all she wants is to be human.

TimingWrong

The other mermaids tell her to be happy, she can live for over 300 years. But she won’t have it. She travels to the sea-witch who lives in a horrible area and is an awful crazy person. The sea-witch turns her into a human, for her voice. However, their are strong consequences. One, she can never, ever be a mermaid again. Two, every step will be agonizing pain. Three, if the prince marries another, the next morning she will die with no soul but turn into foam. The Little Mermaid agrees and her tongue is cut out.

Sadface Batman

She washes up on shore and the prince takes her into his house. He clothes her and cares for her, as if she was his little sister. He tells her of the girl that saved his life and that she will be the only one he will ever love.

Yay!

Yay!

Well time comes when the prince has to marry. And the girl chosen is so beautiful he agrees. In fact, he asks the Little Mermaid to be in the ceremony.

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She is in so much heartbreak as she is doomed to die while the man she loves is to be married to another.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

Her five sisters come to see her. They have cut off all their hair and given it to the sea-witch. They give her a knife and tell her that if she kills the prince and sprinkles his blood on her feet then she will be a mermaid again. But she must do it before the sunrise. She goes into the room to kill him…but she can’t do it. She loves him too much.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

So she dies.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yes she dies. But she doesn’t turn to foam. She instead is given an eternal soul because she sacrificed herself for another.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

I always knew the books we read as kids strongly affect us.

readingabkkid impression identity a part of us You've got mail meg ryan

But I didn’t know how much until now.

So you are probably wondering what this has to do with me? How am I like The Little Mermaid? Book or film, I’m pretty sure all of you are wanting me to get to the point.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

Well for Halloween this year I decided to be Poison Ivy. She is my favorite villainess, as I think she is just amazing. I did a post on her that includes pics of the costume.

So anyways, this past summer I mentioned I was in Wyoming, and that is the land of meat + potatoes. Fruit and veggies are few and far between. So since that summer, I’ve been feeling large.

curvy

Yes I do, but I noticed I have put more weight on in the butt/thigh area, or at least that’s what it feels like. So I decided that it was time to get into shape. I started doing squats and did about 100.  I was feeling pretty good about it too.

Awesome

The next day I was a bit sore, but still feeling good.

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The next day that was radically different. I drove to an interview, wearing my two inch boots, preparing to change into my four-inch heels when I got there. When I reached the site, I had to park a bit away. After I parked I changed into my heels.

Now I love heels. If you remember from a previous post, I’m short. I’m only 5’3, so heels are great as they finally make me closer to my dream height. They make me feel powerful and awesome. The higher the better.

High

So walking in 3-5 inch heels is not unusual for me. However, this time was much different. It WAS SO PAINFUL.

No no no no no

No no no no no

I felt just like The Little Mermaid.

“It will feel like a sword were passing through your body…each step you take will feel like sharp knives piercing your feet. “

That’s how it felt with me. Each step was utter agony as my muscles just burned and were so inexplicably sore.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

I had to take so many breaks. As soon as I could I went to my car and changed my shoes. I’ve decided to rest from squats. And heels. I’ll just have to accept my bod for what it is.

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Or focus on a different exercise!

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For more on The Little Mermaid, go to I’m Not Gonna Lose Her Again

For more on Hans Christian Anderson, go to Disney Lesson

For more on my fashion style, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more on Disney, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?

For more fairy tales, go to Happily Ever Aftermath

For more book-y posts, go to Conan the Librarian

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Part XI: A Movie Line List ‘s Excellent Adventure

For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

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Day 30) Your Favorite Character of All-Time

Sleeping Beauty

So as I have mentioned in past posts, I love the film Sleeping Beauty. I loved the characters, (I wanted my own Prince Phillip); the music, the artistic style, the story;  everything.

In fact my very favorite character of all time was Aurora. I just loved her character so much. Now I know a lot of people don’t like her and think she is lame, but you know what she was actually pretty cool.

1) First of all she was separated from her parents and had to grow up with people who didn’t really know how to do normal things.

Sleeping BeautyI joked that Merryweather probably made everything, but now that I think about it, Aurora was probably the one who had to do a lot of cooking. This means she was very level-headed, modest, and had a frugal mindset. She also was going to be an awesome ruler as she actually know what it is like to be a peasant and can help those in her kingdom.

2)She is very smart. When she meets Prince Phillip, he’s trying to hang out with her and she is like, “No, I don’t know you.” In fact what she does is very smart, she invites him to her house to meet her “aunts” right away. This way she won’t be off alone with him.

3) She accepts her reality pretty quickly. When she finds out that she is actually a princess and has to get married and rule the kingdom, she deals with the news pretty well. I mean she does cry, but she handles it much better than me. I mean she could’ve totslly pulled a Princess Mia and take off, but instead dutifully accepts her crown and role in life.

Sleeping Beauty

4) Plus I just love the story of her and Prince Phillip. Here she has been dreaming about a type of guy for-ever and it actually comes true. She meets the man of her dreams and the two dance the time away in the forest.

sleeping beauty

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Yep, I just love how sweet the two are. 🙂

Sleeping Beauty

Plus:

Sleeping Beauty

In fact it was the last fairy tale produced by the studio until The Little Mermaid (1989). It took over ten years to get everything done and was the second-biggest grossing film of 1959, just behind Ben-Hur(1959).

Well, that’s it. This is the end of our 30 Days of Disney. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did and that it reawakened your love for Disney.

Go here to read all the posts from the beginning

For more on Princess Aurora, go to Once Upon a Dream

For more on Sleeping Beauty, go to You’re Just So Pretty to Look At

For more on Prince Phillip, go to Prince of a Man

For more on Merryweather, go to That Would Make Me Happy

For more Disney princesses, go to I Could Kiss You

For more on Walt Disney, go to And Away We Go

For more on Disney animated films, go to Second Star to the Right

For more on Disney, go to Redone Done Right

For more on dreamy men, go to My New BF

Once Upon a Dream

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 Day 28) Your Favorite Scene from Your Favorite Disney Movie

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Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty

So as I have mentioned in past posts, I love the film Sleeping Beauty. I loved the characters, (I wanted my own Prince Phillip); the music, the artistic style, the story;  everything.

So one of my favorite scenes from this movie is when they sing and dance to Once Upon a Dream. I remember I used to act this scene out by myself and with my barbie dolls. It was the first song I have ever memorized extremely quickly.  I used to sing this song ALL THE TIME. Just couldn’t stop.

sleeping beauty

The thing I love about this song is that here is this girl who is just daydreaming about the type of guy she hopes to meet one day (you know how we all do). While she is just joking around he appears! The guy she is dreaming of actually comes into her life.

Sleeping Beauty

And she’s not some dummy, at first she is unsure about him, but then deems him okay and dances around with him.

I just love the scene; the art, the lyrics, the music, etc. 🙂

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam Yet I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem But if I know you, I know what you’ll do You’ll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream

But if I know you, I know what you do You love me at once The way you did once upon a dream

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam And I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem But if I know you, I know what you’ll do You’ll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream 

Sleeping Beauty

For more on Sleeping Beauty, go to And Away We Go

For more on Prince Phillip, go to Prince of a Man

For more on Disney love songs, go to Diamond in the Rough

For more on Disney animated films, go to Second Star to the Right

For more on Disney, go to Friday Night Fun

For more on Disney princesses, go to I Could Kiss You

For more on Disney princes, go to Oh Oh De Lally

For more on art, go to You’re Just So Pretty to Look At

For more of my favorite songs, go to The Boys Are Back in Town

Second Star to the Right

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Day 27) Your Favorite Disney Hero

peter-pan

Peter Pan

So yeah, I was a huge Peter Pan fan. I loved him so, so, so, so, so much. I always wished he would come over to America and visit me, taking me away to Neverland. But sadly he never, ever came. Other kids wished for Hogwarts letters, to go to Camp Blood, etc; I  wished for him.

I used to read the illustrated classic as a kid, just like I did with Phantom of the Opera, and the day I bought the actual book I had to read all the way through.

book Binge

We were at a restaurant and instead of talking to everyone, I was like nope I’m reading.

ImReadingbookonWorldoff

Anyways, so I love Peter Pan and I love how he has red hair, that is just perfect and how I had always imagined it. Now I know that Peter isn’t the most humble of characters, as he is boastful, egocentric, cocky, etc. Peter is mainly an exaggerated stereotype of a boastful and careless boy. He is quick to point out how great he is,  (such as when he congratulates himself for Wendy’s successful re-attachment of his shadow). In the book and play, as well as both films, Peter symbolizes the selfishness of childhood, shown in Barrie’s work through constant forgetfulness and self-centred behavior.

But he has a lot of good points too. He really loves and cares about his Lost Boys and Wendy. He might not always put them first, but he does care about them. And he always knows the right thing to say.

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Plus he’s brave, kind, funny, and always up for games of make believe and imagination.

books imagination

Peter Pan

Amen to that!

Peter Pan

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Yes, Peter, I’m the same way. I hate saying goodbye.

For more on Peter Pan, go to Disnified Horror

For more Disney animated films, go to Oh Oh De Lally

For more on Disney, go to I Could Kiss You

For more on book-y posts, go to My Precious

For more on films based on books, go to Friday Night Fun

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Beautifully Miserable 

Oh Oh De Lally

fox robin hood

Day 25) Your Favorite Disney Classic

Robin Hood

Robin Hood (1973)

So this is one of the best Disney films. Many have not seen it, so it remains a beloved little known classic. It is also one of the best depictions of Robin Hood ever made. You know why? Because the person they use for Robin Hood is perfect:

robin-hood

So just like The Great Mouse Detective this film also uses animals instead of people to tell the story, and each one was perfect for the character they are supposed to portray.

The film is told by the minstrel Alan-a-Dale, who is played by a rooster, of which is perfect because he is never quiet. He starts to tell us the story of Robin Hood who is a fox (literally and figuratively) and Little John, a bear. The two live in Sherwood Forest and rob from the rich and give to the poor. You see the people of Nottingham are not doing very well. King Richard (a lion as he was called Richard the Lionhearted) is in the Middle East fighting the crusades, and his brother John is in charge. Prince John sucks as a ruler (and sucks his thumb) and is heavily taxing the people. He leaves the  dirty work to the Sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf) and his posse. The Sheriff tries to catch Robin and Little John, but fails every time.

robin-hood

So the film starts off with Prince John charging through the forest and stopping to get his fortune read by two Gypsy women. And those women turn out to be…you guessed it Robin and Little John. The two dressed up to rob whoever was coming through and decide to take down Prince John.

Sir Hiss tries to warn Prince John that the two can’t be trusted and sure enough Prince John gets robbed blind. The guards try and chase the two and fail, fail miserably.

We then see  Friar Tuck visiting the poor, such as an injured blacksmith. He tries to give him the earnings that Robin Hood won for him, but  who should come along? The big, bad, wolf Sheriff. Yep

jerk_alert32

 The Sheriff then goes to visit a family of rabbits, one of which is celebrating their b-day and he takes all their money, the rabbit Skippy’s b-day present.

How rude

But soon a blind beggar comes on the screen who is secretly…you guessed it Robin Hood. And he makes everything better

throw confetti HIMYM

Robin gives the rabbits some money, along with his bow and arrows, for  Skippy’s b-day present.

The kids scurry off to test it out, sending an arrow into Prince John’s castle grounds. Luckily the group doesn’t run into Prince John, but Maid Marian, Robin Hood’s sweetheart (also a fox) and her lady-in-waiting, Lady Kluck (a chicken). They all play act, with Marian discussing her love for Robin and hope that he feels the same way. Lady Kluck assures her that there is no way would he forget her. After all:

Absence Heart

Back with the boys, Robin and Little John get a visit from Friar Tuck who has told them about an archery tournament that Prince John is hosting. Prince John was enraged by how Robin embarrassed him and decided he was going to take Robin down. He knew that an archery contest would be impossible for Robin to resist. Especially if the prize was a kiss from Maid Marian.

perfect plan

Robin pf course can’t resist, no matter what they say and decides that he is going to go. But he comes up with a crazy plan to get in:

Its-so-crazy

So the two head out to the competition. Little John dresses up as the Duke of Chutney and Robin is a stork. Sir Hiss figures out who hey are, but Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale locks him up in a barrel of ale.

So Robin competes and of course, wins.

Robin wins, but Prince John unmasks him and is about to execute him when he has a sudden change of heart. He wants to let Robin go.

Say What

It turns out that Little John is holding him at knifepoint, only to be caught by the Sheriff. What follows is craziness, chaos, and comedy. 🙂

 So the group hurries off to the forest where they have a great time making fun of Prince John.

Robin and Marian also fall in love again.

pierce–soul–Persuasion

But while that is going good, back in the castle trouble is brewing. Prince John is angry. He decides he is going to heavily tax the people, taking everything. When he takes the poor box from the church, Friar Tuck becomes so enraged that he starts fighting the sheriff.

Them's fighting words!

Them’s fighting words!

The Sheriff arrests him and they decide to hang Friar Tuck to capture Robin Hood. I don’t know why but my sis and I would randomly say this all the time in his accent. “Hang Friar Tuck?”

Anyways, so this is when we get spend some time with Sheriff’s minions, Trigger and Nutsy. It’s hilarious. I love how Nutsy announces every hour and says “All’s well!”.

Robin decides that he is going to do a jailbreak and steal all the money.

 

Everyone escapes, except Robin as he went back to save a baby and missed getting out. Him and Prince John have a fight in which he manages to escape, but  causes the castle to burn. Robin leaps from a tower into the moat below, all the while being pelted by arrows. Little John and Skippy watch and think he is dead, only to see him emerge unharmed after using a reed as a breathing tube.  King Richard returns to England, placing his brother and his cohorts under arrest and allows Robin and Maid Marian to be married and leave Nottingham with Little John and Skippy in tow.

Love that movie!

For more on Robin Hood (1973), go to Snakes on a Post

For more on Disney animals, go to Wake Up Dad

For more on Disney animated films, go to The Boys are Back in Town

For more on Disney Royalty, go to And Away We Go

For more films based on books, go to I Could Kiss You

For more films in which the main characters disguise themselves, go to This Isn’t Love, This is Ecstasy

For more on Persuasion, go to A Letter of Love

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Beautifully Miserable 

 

And Away We Go

Disneyland

Day 23) Your Favorite Disney Ride

I do not have a favorite ride as it is much too hard to pick just one, so these are my top 6 favorites.

6) King Arthur’s Carousel

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I just love carousels and merry-go-rounds! They are just some of my absolute favorite rides. I think it was because I wanted to be a cowgirl when I was little and this was the closest I could ever get to being one. When I went to Great America for my senior trip, I rode their carousel like 7 times. I love King Arthur’s Carousel because it shows images from Sleeping Beauty and The Sword in the Stone. When I went in March, I searched that thing for the perfect horse, and ended up with this beautiful Arabian. 🙂

5) The Matterhorn

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Always a fav of mine. One of the earliest roller coasters ever created and one of the best. In March, we rode it a gajillion times as it has the fastest moving line of all rides. I’m not kidding. Also if you guys sit in the bobsleds and shift to the sides in proper time (like a real bobsled) you totally go faster. It’s amazing.

4) Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones

Now I just love the Indiana Jones film series, so how can you not love the ride? It is an amazing ride that combines some of the best scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Temple of Doom. Plus you get to see Indiana in there. In March my friends and I rode it like three times in one day. After our final ride they had to close it down for repairs as something was off.

3) Space Mountain

Space Mountain

So I have been to Disneyland three times, when I was 5, 12, and this past March. When I was 5 I couldn’t go on Space Mountain as I was too young and short. I do remember growing up, everyone would say it was the best ride ever. Then when I went when I was 12, the ride was down for repairs. So when I went in March, my friends couldn’t stop raving about it and how awesome it is. They insisted I sit in the front, and am glad I did! IT WAS AMAZING! Words cannot describe how cool this ride is, we must have gone on it like 4 times.

2) Star Tours

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Now if you have been paying attention at all to any of my posts, you have probably become aware of how obsessed I am with Star Wars. Now I have always loved this ride, but let’s face it, the old version was kinda boring. When I heard they had updated it, I couldn’t wait to check it out. My ex went in September of ’13 for his birthday, and I kept grilling him about the ride. So in March when I got to go I was so stoked! It is AMAZING! They redid the outside waiting area so it is like you are in a real airport, they have announcements, departures, arrivals, weather forecasts, etc. Then when you go in and sit in your seats Darth Vader comes on the screen trying to get a rebel spy. It depends on the version, but on one trip Princess Leia asked us to help her as we were her only hope. Then you get chased all over by stormtroopers, until you reach the rebel base. It is awesome!!!!

1) Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

sleeping beauty

So this was a huge fav of mine as Princess Aurora is my favorite Disney Animated princess. I loved her and wanted to be her and wanted my own Prince Phillip.

sleeping beauty

So this castle is awesome as Walt Disney told his designers it had to look exactly like the castle from their upcoming Disney film, Sleeping Beauty. It caused some issues, but Disney would not be persuaded, it had to be a match.

Anyways, when I was 12 Sleeping Beauty’s castle was closed for repairs. It was right before the 50th anniversary so they were redoing the whole inside. I was so heartbroken. So when we went in March I had to go in it, I couldn’t wait. This is so amazing as they added more scenes from the story and the special effects are sooooo cool. I love it.

For more on Disneyland, go to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

For more in King Arthur, go to Disney Lesson

For more on carousels, go to I Wanna Get Off This Ride

For more on Star Wars, go to They’re Alive

For more on Darth Vader, go to Happy Father’s Day

For more on Princess Leia, go to A Hidden Wonder

For more on Sleeping Beauty, go to You’re Just So Pretty to Look At

For more on Princess Aurora, go to That Would Make Me Happy

For more on Prince Phillipgo to Prince of a Man

For more on a Disney Animated Film, go to The Boys Are Back in Town

For more on Disney, go to He’s My Brother

For more on a Disney Prince, go to Wake Up, Dad

For more on a Disney Princess, go to Diamond in the Rough

For more on my height disadvantages, go to I’m Not Short!

Wake Up, Dad

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Day 22) Saddest Disney Death

The Lion King

Mufasa’s Death

Ok, so I tried to go a different route, because I knew you all were thinking this. I mean it had some pretty hard contenders; Quasimodo’s mother’s death scene, Tarzan’s parents, Kala’s baby, etc; but Mufasa’s death will always win out as being the saddest because of these two reasons

1). Betrayl

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Mufasa is betrayed and murdered by his brother! His own brother! The very man he thought loved him and had his back, the guy he thought was his best bud, the guy he trusted to help raise his children, the man he loved more than almost anybody; that man betrayed him.

The lion king_death_of_mufasa__comic_page_1_by_wolfmarian-d4sc6so

2) Scar made it Seem Like It Was Simba’s Fault

To make thing even worse than betraying your brother, this evil , horrible guy made Simba believe that he killed his father. That everything was all his fault. This makes this death the worst, as Simba now has all this guilt and trauma surrounding his father. Besides it is so heartbreaking to see Simba try and wake his dad up.

The Lion King

aw cry

For more on The Lion King, go to Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow

For more on Disney, go to He’s My Brother

For more on being betrayed by one you love, go to Betrayer’s Kiss

For more on Disney Animals, go to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

For more on Disney Princes, go to Prince of a Man

For more on Disney Animated Films, go to The Boys Are Back in Town

For more on Disney Villains, go to There’s No One Like Gaston

For more on cats, go to That Darn Cat