She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

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She’ll come back…she’ll come back

So a few years ago, my sister bought the Greatest 100 Horror Classics DVD collection. There were some great films on this: such as Carnival of Souls, The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Night of the Living Dead, Metropolis etc. And of course some duds, like The Beast of Yucca Flats.  This film was also included in the collection, and a film I really liked.

This film was a new thing for director Alex Nicol, who also played the role of Mickey. The film is based on the book The Screaming Skull by Francis Marion Crawford, but borrows a lot from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

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So the film starts out with us on a bayou. There appears to be something in the water as a guy creeps closer to shoot it. It is large, scaly, with ginormous eyes.

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This isn’t how I remember the movie starting at all. I better check the DVD menu. Yep, whoops. I accidentally chose the wrong film.

So embarressed

So embarressed

I would have reviewed Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) and you all would not have been ready for that. Now here we go with The Screaming Skull.

We open on a candle and flower arrangement. Dark depressing music…zoom out it’s a funeral Makes sense.

Narrator: “The Screaming Skull” is a motion picture that reaches its climax in shocking horror. It’s impact is so terrifying that it may have an unforeseen effect. It may *kill* you! Therefore the motion picture producers feel they must offer free burials for any that die of fright, during The Screaming Skull.

Let me stop and say this is one awesome beginning, like The Beast Must Die. I award it a thousand gold stars.

love it

So we open on a beautiful mansion, impeccable gardens, relaxing lily pond. A dream house.

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When we see something in the water. What is that?  A SKULL!!!!!

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

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

It actually made me think of David Lynch and his constant use of a tranquil, pretty setting that has evil lurking below.

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So we have the opening titles/credits using the same music from Sleeping With the Enemy, but added a woman vocalizing is high it almost like screaming.

So that switches with a peaceful drive up to the house, and light airy music. They park the car and out comes the newlyweds, Eric and Jenni Whitlock. Eric is bringing his new wife back to his old house.

Jenni loves the house as the garden looks like a magician paradise, it even has peacocks.

love it

She sees a window and asks if that will be their room.

Jenni: Will that be our room.

Eric: Will need some fixing first.

Jenni: Was that her room?

The “Her” she is talking about is Eric’s first wife Marian. He is a widower. I know what you are thinking:

Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca (1940)

But it is not the same. In The Screaming Skull, Marian the first wife was the wealthy one and the house belonged to her.

So as the couple are walking around, we that the house is pretty much empty. Marian got rid of all her families’ furniture and was planning on purchasing new pieces to make it “their home”. The two hadn’t gotten far with redecorating before she died. Now Jenni and Eric will make this house “their” house.

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He wants to show her the rest of the house, but she stops and looks at the window into the room.

dun-dun-duuuun

Eric picks up Jenni and carries her around the room. Meanwhile, there is a guy behind them creeping through the windows.

He's creepin' in your windows. He's starin' at your people.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

Who the heck is he? And why is he doing that?

weird

While the two are kissing, he sneaks away.

suspicious Hmm

The two walk around the yard and pass Mickey, the gardener’s, tool shed. He’s been in charge of maintaining the grounds since Eric has been away. Wow Micky sure has a green thumb, it looks amazing!

keanu Whoa

As they are seeing the yard, Eric tells Jenni that Mickey & Marian would spend hours working on the garden together. He doesn’t think Mickey ever got over her death, he was in love with her, and still believes she is coming back.

Missing You

So as the two are talking and walking, someone drives up. It is the Reverend and  Mrs. Snow. They came to meet the new bride and drop off something for dinner. As they are all talking, the Reverend and Mrs. Snow get invited to dinner.

As they are heading to the house, Eric spots the gardener, Mickey. It turns out he was the guy creepin’ on them earlier. So Mickey isn’t really a creep, he is developmentally disabled. He and Marian grew up together so it is hard on him not having her in his life.

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Mickey sees the land as his and Marian’s place, and anyone else is trespassing.

Who is that?

Back inside the house, the group is clearing things up a little. Mrs. Snow and Eric go off to make dinner, while the Rev. and Jenni hang out.

While they are preoccupied, Mickey sneaks  inside the house and goes to look at a painting of Rebecca…opps I mean Marian. Sorry, certain parts of the film are a bit similar it was easy to make that mistake.

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Mickey wants Marian to send them away, so it can just be the two again.

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Eric is talking with Mrs. Snow and she is saying how much she likes Jenni, and how great she is. Eric thinks it is great Mrs. Snow likes Jenni, but there is something he has to tell her.

dun-dun-duuuun

I knew there had to be more to her than just a sunny personality. Here we go, give me the whole story.

So Jenni didn’t have a happy childhood. She lost her parents years ago in a horrible way. She is very impressionable, so talking about sad pasts is something best to stay away from. It sounds to me as if she and Ruth from Dangerous Crossing had a similar experience after they lost their fathers. Jenny probably had to go to a mental hospital afterwards too.

How did she loose them? They drowned in an accident, and Jenny saw it all. That is super damaging for a child to experience something like that. SUPER damaging.

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So the Rev. and Jenni are talking when she asks him how he knew they were in town. It turns out that the Reverend heard of them moving in from the lawyer, as the lawyer and Eric are executors of the estate. All that was left to Eric out of Marian’s tremendous fortune, was the house and grounds. He notified the lawyer he was back and moving in with his new wife.

Even more what Jenni wants to know is how did Marian die?

Reverend Snow: Didn’t Eric tell you?

Jenni Whitmore: I think the subject is painful for him. He doesn’t like to talk about it. Will you tell me? I’d really like to know

So it was a rainy day and Marian and Mickey had been working in the greenhouse. She left him to go back to the house for a few minutes. The way it was pieced together later was that she was probably coming back and slipped in a leaf, fell down, and smashed her skull in the cement wall around the pond, fell in the water and drowned. That was where Eric found her later.

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While they are talking, Mickey is sneaking about. I think it would be mean to say this, but the way he moves and creeps makes me think of Gollum from the The Lord of the Rings series.

After dinner the Snows are walking home and talking about the two.

Reverend Snow: Did you know that Jenni is very wealthy?

Mrs. Snow: Yes Mr. Mowry told me. She’s not at all like Marian. So gentle and timid, as if she is afraid of something.

OMG Jenni is Joan Fontaine from Rebecca. Sweet, young, shy, timid, like same character. Except Joan was poor while Jenni is rich.

That night, Jenni and Eric are sleeping in cots, as their furniture isn’t out of storage yet. That night Jenni is reading a book sent by Mrs. Snow, Beast in the Jungle. It seems like a very sad book, I don’t know why she would give such a book to Jenni knowing her background.

That night Jenni hears loud bumping and clanging noises.

Who is that?

Who is that?

She calls to Eric, but he is not there.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

She decides to investigate, calling to Eric, but receiving no answer. Eerie music starts playing as she keeps calling Eric. Turns out to be a shutter in Marian’s old room, not properly latched.

As she is leaving, Eric comes in and scares her as she leaves the room. She starts when she sees something on the ground, that looks like water and a lily pad.

Why is that in here?

Why is that in here?

Jenni thinks Mickey brought it in as he doesn’t like her as she is a replacement Marian. Eric, on the other hand, thinks it was just an accident. It freaks Jenni out and she looks at the painting sounding a bit crazy as she talks. She thinks the painting reminds her of her mother, who she hates. Almost as if she is haunting her.

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We find Mickey in the pond, by the lily pads. Did he bring it in? Is he trying to upset her? Make her go crazy?

Why is that in here?

The next day, Eric tells Jenni that he talked to Mickey and he is no longer allowed in the house. Jenni is worried Mickey might become angry and take it out on her, but Eric tells her not to worry about it. But Jenni is worried. She wants Mickey to like her, for them to be friends. Eric tell her to garden with him.

Eric leaves that day to get the electricity turned on, furniture out of storage, and see the bank and lawyer.

Now it just occurred to me, what does Eric do? What does he do that he had the ability to live away for two years, but then move back to his former home. They all said Marian had money, I mean he did move into her family house; but they never mention him having money. Does he have any? And if he doesn’t, he sure was lucky to bag two wealthy wives.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

Jenni sees Mickey and tries to befriend him. But Mickey won’t say a word. She tries to reassure him that she wants the garden to stay beautiful in honor or Marian. They pick flowers to place at her graves.

Now her grave is a weird one. It is an obelisk with a relief of Marian’s face in it. And it is just creepy, like she was mixed into the stone or forever watching.

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While they are doing this, Mickey is overcome with emotion.

Mickey: She cries in the night.

Jenni Whitmore: Dead people don’t cry Mickey!

Mickey: I heard her.

 Jenni Whitmore: Heard?

Is Mickey really hearing something, or just messing with Jenni? And if he is hearing something who or what is it?

Who is that?

At the house, Jenni looks at Marian’s painting. She hears some creaking, but just assumes it is the house settling.

So earlier, Eric said he was going to be gone all day and out late that night. When night comes, the electricity still not on, forcing her to use candles, as she is getting ready for bed.

Once again, Jenni hears the shriek of  the peacocks. Creepy little buggars. Jenni decides to try to go to sleep, but feels weird not having Eric in the house.

Gilmore girls creep

Jenni hears a noise and looks to the window, nothing. She runs downstairs to investigate…just the peacocks. Looks at the picture of Marian again. She is looking at the painting when the cabinet door behind her slowly opens.

She turns around and sees a SKULL!!!!

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

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

Suddenly cuts appear on her hand!!!!

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And she runs away to her room, and locks the door jumping under the covers. Now Jenni is so freaked out that every noise is making her heart race. She hears tree branches scrapping, making sounds like something trying to get her.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

And then it sounds like something is coming up the stairs. A banging noise.

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Something is coming up the stairs!!!!!

OMG gasp

This scene is shot from the “thing’s” point of view so we don’t know what it is!!!!

Suspense have to know

I know there is a strong likelihood that it is just her husband, but I’m still a bit freaked, my heart os pumping. Who or what is it?

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Jenni is equally freaked, what is coming?! She goes to look and nlocks door to see what is making noise, but there is nothing there

Whattheheck

Jenni runs to window, the peacocks are gone, nothing is here. What could be making such a racket?

She looks at cabinet, and sees that the skull is still there and not a figment of her imagination. She goes to get the skull ad flings it out the window.

Good-bye

Good-bye

It rolls on the grass an stares at her with its eyeless gaze.

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She goes back to bed, but can’t sleep.

Then the camera zooms on the front door Something’s coming?!!! Something starts knocking…Don’t answer it!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Jenni is afraid, and she just sits in bed waiting for it to go away. Soon  she feels the need to check, after all it couldbe important. She looks down from room, unsure of what to do.

They're watching her!

She decides to risk it and opens the door. Creepy music playing again getting the blood pumping with fright. She calls to Eric, but no answer. Just more pounding on the door.

i'mscared

Jenni opens it and the skull is there!

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

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

what what'shappeningSupernatural

She screams and runs inside, the skull tumbles after her.

OMG gasp

She faints. And I don’t blame her.

Mickey pops out of the shadows. Could he have done this? If not, did he see who did? Or what did?

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Jenni wakes up in Eric’s arms. She asks him if he saw anything when he found her, but he says no. Just her on the floor.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Is it all in her head?

So Jenni weirded out. She had never imagined any such thing before, why should she see it now? She wants her doctor from New York to examine her, but Eric vetoes the idea, saying that Rev. Snow will be coming tomorrow and can help.

I think it is weird how Eric doesn’t want a trained psychologist’s help. Seems odd to me, especially as she asked for him. Hmm…

Why is that in here?

The Rev. comes and studies the cabinet. He discovers that the door is very loose, and can easily open on its own. The door is also damaged on the bottom, which caused Jenni’s scratches. Both look for a skull but find nothing.

Jenni feels like a fool, but knows that she saw a skull there.

weird

She asks the Rev. if Eric told him of her past. He says he knows a little. Jenni decides to gives him a bit more. She grew up loving her father and hating her mother.

Jenni Whitmore: I wasn’t a child when I wished my mother dead. One day I got my wish.

So both of her parents drowned. She tried to help them, but couldn’t overcome tide. She still hears their cries. She blames herself for the deaths, saying she killed them. This is common in grief, survivor’s guilt. For Jenni she became so unbalanced that she had to be put in hospital. She was released and told cured. So why would she be seeing strange things now?

Eric is outside looking for Mickey, but he can’t find him anywhere. He sends the Rev. and Jenni on ahead for lunch, promising to be there soon. After they leave he heads into the garden. He goes to Marian’s grave and calls for Mickey. Mickey hears him but keeps running away from him. Is he running because he is in trouble or running from trouble?

Why is that in here?

When Eric arrives at the Snow’s house, Rev. gives him a talking to. The Rev thinks he should take Jenni far from the house as it scares her and makes her think she is crazy. Eric refuses as if they left, it would mean Jenni is crazy. I guess that reasoning makes sense, but it still seems a bit off to me.

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Later eric finally find Micjey, grabbing him and questioning him, scaring Mickey and Jenni. Mickey says it isn’t him, but Eruc doesn’t listen tossing him aside. This is Another side to Eric. He has quite the temper.

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Jenni feels bad about Eric’d behavior toward Mickey, as she believes what is going on is all in her mind. I’m not so sure Jenni, there’s something rotton in the state of Denmark.

So Eric decides to burn the picture of Marian as it reminds Jenni of her mother, and is what Eric says is the root of Jenni’s current madness. They create a bonfire and Eric forces Jenni to light the match, even though she doesn’t want ti. As thepicture burns there is a huge screech!

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

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

Eric says it is only the peacocks, but is it?

dun-dun-duuuun

We are show the garden where the pond bubbles, the flowers at Marian’s grave are uprooted, and shrieking is heard. Sounds like Marian is not happy to be destroyed.

Th deed is done and Eric asks Jenni to help him bury the ashes. Jenni feels worse after the act, as if it’s not over yet.

Jenni Whitlock: She’ll come back…she’ll come back.

Jenni spreads the ashes while Eric waters them down. As she is spreading them, she unearths a SKULL!!!!!

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

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

She screams for Eric, but he doesn’t see anything.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Jenni faints, and while she is knocked down, Eric touches the skull, picking it up and hiding it somewhere.

OMG gasp

Aha! He is behind it! I knew it!!! This isn’t Rebecca, it’s Gaslight!

Eric places the skull in the pond and heads back to Jenni. Little does he know, Mikey was watching the whole time.

Tht night Eric has to go out of town. Jenni is freaked, but Eric tries to calm her down. The Rev. comes over to drop off some eggs for Jenni. Eric takes the Rev outside and tells him what happened, saying he saw “nothing”. What a jerk.

Jerk

Of course the Rev buys his bleeding heart routine. Eric also tells the Rev. “something I never told anyone.” When Jenni was in the mental hospital she tried to do away with herself.

So that’s his plan! Make his wife look crazy, murder her, and have everyone think it a suicide. After all you can’t have two accidents in a row.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

What? I think what? Yeah that’s right. I think he killed his first wife too. Probably wanted her money, and then when he ended up with none, decided to remarry and kill his second bride,

So Eric tells the Rev. he thinks Jenni will try again unless he get her to the hospital tonight. After tonight they are never coming back to the house.

Eric goes back in and talks to Jenni. She tells him the Rev. was kind. He told her he would search the whole estate for that skull. Jenni shrugs it off as kindness, but Eric is worried.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

If they find the skull,  it will bring up a lot of questions he doesn’t want answered. Jenni goes upstairs to pack. Eric goes looking for the skull, but it is gone!!!!!!!!

Where did it go?

Where did it go?

He spots Mickey and chases after him. Eric grabs him and questions him again, beating him. But Mickey tells him he didn’t take it, Marian took it.

Whattheheck

Eric laughs it off and leaves. After he is gone we see that Mickey does have the skull in his workshop, hidden away. Mickey put the skull in a basket, hidden under a cloth.

Meanwhile, Eric has checked the pond again, finding nothing. He then goes to the grave, hoping the skull is there. But he doesn’t find anything but uprooted flowers. Then when he looks at the grave, instead of her face he sees the SKULL.

Whattheheck

He throws a rock at the grave, angry.

Meanwhile, Mickey has taken his basket of skull over to the Snows’ house. They start questioning why Eric would lie about seeing the skull. Only one reason, he wanted to make Jenni crazy. They all head to the house.

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Jenni has finished packing and goes looking for Mickey. She wants to say good-bye, but can’t find him. She goes into the tooshed where she sees a headless body moving!

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

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

She runs for her life, while this ghostly hated figure chases after her.

Inside Eric is preparing a rope, going to hang his wife, when he hears her coming and screaming. She runs up the stairs where Eric is hiding. He grabs her and starts choking her, about to kill her when he hears a knocking at the door.

He goes to answer it, and when he opens it he sees the figure with a skull face!!!!

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Eric backs away, while the figure comes closer. It is wearing the same dress Marain wore in the painting, it must be her!

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

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

The skull winds up on the stair blocking Eric from going up. It tumbles down, chasing him as lightening comes out overhead.

The skull becomes large and astral chasing him, and causing him to fall down. He tries to run and get in his car, but he sees it again! It is everywhere!!

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The skull jumps on to his neck, biting him in the throat and causing him to fall back into the pond, drowning.

Jenni wakes up and is freaked out. She finds Miraian’s dress on the ground. Just then the calvary show up (the Snows and Mickey) but are too late, and have missed everything. They ask her if she is okay, and she tells them what happened. Crying and completely freaked out.

Rev. Snow goes looking, and finds Eric’s dead body, in the same place Marian was killed. Jenni is confused and wants to know why he did it. The Rev. tells her his suspicions about the money. Now the question is, did Marian really die in an accident? We’ll never know.

They all leave, while Mickey goes to the pond and tells Marian they are gone, she can now rest.

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This was a great film and I strongly recommend it. The characters are good, the storyline, etc. It is a bit predictable, but that last scene when the skull really attacks, very creepy.

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Back to the facebook cover/mini posters.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to He is Coming: The Visitation (2006)

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For more on husbands who are more than what they seem, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more on the Greatest 100 Horror Classics, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more films based on a book, go to There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the Thirteen Guest (1943)

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A FANtastic Voyage

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Yes…

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My Fangirl posts are back! You see I had to take a break from them for my Romance is in the Air: Part III posts as I counted down to Valentines Day with my favorite romantic moments from films. I would have started again on the 15th, but I realized that was the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club, and decided that I had to do a post on that.

So here we are once again going through some of the things that I hardcore fangirl over.

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

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I haven’t seen this show in a long time but it used to be a real favorite of mine. When I was growing up, my mom loved this show and we would watch it together. I had a huge thing for Byron Sully (Joe Lando).

So Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn (Jane Seymour) is a wealthy, Bostonian, physician. In the series start (1867), Dr. Quinn is tired of the way people treat a “woman doctor”, and decides to leave for the West. She settles in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and finds life much tougher then she realized. Byron Sully, rugged outdoorsman and friend to the Cheyenne, helps her settle in and the two end up falling for each other. She also receives help from a midwife, but when she is bitten by a rattlesnake and dies; Dr. Quinn finds herself taking on the role as mother as she raises the midwife’s children; Matthew, Colleen, and Brian. Now Dr. Quinn is trying to adjust to the West, figure out how to take care of three children who just lost their mother, and prove to the world that a “woman doctor” is a real doctor.

I loved this as I loved Westerns, and Dr. Quinn becoming a doctor in a world that didn’t really wish to accept it was empowering.

For more Westerns, go to Fandom Love

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Gargoyles

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Gargoyles was a TV show I grew up watching as a kid and was super into. My friends and I would go around reenacting the show and creating our own stories.

It’s a little hard to give a synopsis of the show, but I’ll give it my best shot. In 10th century Scotland, Gargoyles work to defend their castle. They are statues during the day, but as soon as night falls they are able to roam about. They saved Prince Malcolm, who in turn built them a castle where they could rest in the day promising to protect them. Years later his daughter Princess Katherine is in control and she hates the gargoyles. She is betrayed by someone she trusts to the Vikings, who attack in the day and destroy all the gargoyles…or at least the think they do. Unknown to them, Goliath, the leader, survived along with a few of his friends. They return to kill the Vikings and the betrayer, discovering it was a close friend. Their arrival causes the Viking leader to take away Princess Katherine, intent on killing her. Believing Princess Katherine dead, her advisor curses them, turning all but Goliath into stone. He returns with the Princess, who demands the advisor change them back. He can’t, but turns Goliath into stone, so he can be reunited with his friends.

A hundred years later, a wealthy businessman, Xanatos, finds the castle and has it transported to New York City, building it on top of his skyscraper and  causing it to rise above the clouds, breaking the spell. The Gargoyles try to adapt to this new world, eventually teaming up with the biracial (Nigerian and Native American) NYPD detective. They also discover there is more to Xantos then they thought, that more of their kind exist then thought before, and a huge melding of mythology, Shakespeare, magic, sorcery, etc.

My favorite characters of the series was Goliath and he was just so awesome, brave, stoic, brooding, bold, etc. I also loved his daughter Angela, who was sweet and nice.

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Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 

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When I was a child I loved reading mythology and fairy tales. One that I was really into was the Greek myths and reading the stories of the gods and goddess. As one of my favorite characters was Hercules, this show was perfect for me.

The show was based on the Greek myths, but also borrowed stories and features from Egyptians, Middle Easterns, Asians, and Medieval Europe. I used to watch this every day after school and I just thought it was amazing.

Of course, that all had to do with Hercules. Not only did I think Hercules was extremely attractive (I had a real thing for guys with long hair for a while), but stoic, brave, kind, and altogether one amazing guy. I was really sad when it ended, but as we all know the good shows don’t last forever.

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Lord of the Rings

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So I LOVE Lord of the Rings!

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Yep, I’m a hardcore Lord of the Rings fangirl.

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Thank you Ed

It’s funny, but in the beginning I was set against it. My mom had been reading in the newspaper about Peter Jackson’s upcoming film and wanted to see it. My sister agreed as she was like free ticket, but I was not so sure. Some guy with a ring that only he could control and destroy (that’s what the synopsis sounded like) in a three hour film? It seemed done before, boring, and long. So they went and I stayed home. When they came back they were ecstatic about the film and said my dad and I would have to come with. I wasn’t interested, but forced. When we got to the theater and started watching it, I LOVED IT!!! From that moment on Lord of the Rings had entered my fandom.

My parents read the books right away but I just enjoyed the films for awhile. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, has been holding onto a ring for many, many years. Bilbo is planning on going on a trip, taking the ring along, when his friend Gandalf the Grey (a wizard), visited for his birthday and spotted it with him. He convinces him to leave it behind with everything for his nephew Frodo Baggins, and Bilbo is on his way. Gandalf feels unease about the ring and leaves it with Frodo, while he goes off to investigate. Gandalf returns after he has discovered that ring belonged to the dark lord Sauron. It was supposed to be destroyed, but when he was defeated the king took the ring instead. It was moved about as every where it went it’s owner was killed or murdered. Eventually Gollum found it, and it was then stolen by Bilbo who has been sitting on it for years. Gandalf quickly moves Frodo out, unwillingly taking along Bilbo’s gardener, Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo’s relatives Peregrin Took (Pipin), and Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry). The group splits off from Gandalf and are set to meet up with him, after Gandalf questions his old teacher Saruman, who unbeknownst to Gandalf has become evil. Frodo is anxious that they still haven’t seen Gandalf, and end up receiving help from Strider (Viggo Mortenson) a ranger. I loved Viggo Mortenson so much in this film. I thought he was amazing, brave, bold, and utterly handsome.

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He turns out to be Aragorn, the true king of Gondor who was sent to live with the elves for his safety. He sets them off for Lothlórien to the elves. While the head out they are attacked by the Nazgul. They run away to Lothlórien where Frodo is saved by the elves. There they form a fellowship to protect Frodo and the ring, making sure they get it to Mount Doom, the only place it can be destroyed. The group is the hobbits: Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pipin; the wizard Gandalf; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Aragorn; and the steward of Gondor’s son Boromir. They head out facing many challenges along the way.

The Two Towers is the next part of the tale. In this the fellowship has been split up. Frodo took off on his own, but not quite as Sam won’t let him. They journey on to Mordor guided by Golem, who wants his ring back. Gandalf sacrificed himself for the group when they were in the Mines of Moria, but turns out is not dead. He has been returned as Gandalf the White, the highest form a wizard can be. Merry and Pipin were taken by Orcs in the last film, and they are being carried to Mordor. When the Orcs fight between the old creations and newer ones, they manage to escape and go into Fangorn Forest. There they meet up with the Ents, the tree shepherds. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli have been tracking Merry and Pipin to save them and run into Gandalf. He tells them to not worry about Pipin and Merry they will be safe with the Ents, but takes them onto Rohan to help protect the country and save their king in a battle against Saruman.

Return of the King is the last in the series and my favorite. In fact I waited for when this film was released on DVD and bought it immediately. In this we have the final battle between good and evil. Frodo and Sam have been split up, as Golem and the ring have poisoned his mind. He ends up being attacked by a giant creature and captured, taken to Mordor. Gandalf and Pipin have gone to Gondor, as it is being attacked by Sauron’s forces. Rohan is going to send their aid, being led by Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. But there is a surprise, the elf Elrond has come to the battle, bringing the Andúril, the sword from the first fight, that was broken and then reforged. He sends Aragorn into the mountains to bring in an army of the dead. This movie was awesome and it is one that I can watch over and over again.

Now I love to do marathons

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So my sister and I have done Lord of the Rings quite a few times. One time though, we decided we were going to do all the extended versions. It was an intense, all-day thing. It was a whole lot of fun.

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At a book sale I bought all the three books. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King were both the movie editions, but my copy of Two Towers is from the ’70s. Anyways I read the books and I think they did a great job bringing the characters to life in the film. Here are my only issues with the books and film, now after reading them.

The Fellowship of the Ring-I thought the film version did the best with this book. The book spans a lot more time, for instance Frodo has the ring for years before Gandalf returns, which they cut out. There also is a lot of extra stuff I am glad they cut, such as when Frodo spends years in Tom Bombadil’s perfect paradise of a forest. I would have cut that from the whole book as it was SUPER boring. The only thing I wish they included was the part when the elf Galadriel gives each member of the fellowship a gift.

The Two Towers-I thought this was good too, film and movie. In the movie the elves come to fight like in the original battle, but they weren’t supposed to come until the last book. I think it would have been better symmetry if they had, but no big qualms with book or film.

The Return of the King– In the book J.R.R. Tolkien goes through each person’s story all the way to the end, and then moves onto the next character. I liked in the movie how they switch back and forth, as when you read you are really curious what happens to this specific character, but also want to know what happened to everyone else. Like Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. In that he had so many characters involved and in their many adventures, but switches between them all so we get a better picture as to what is occurring at the same time. The effects, set up, and whole film was amazing! The only thing I might have added was more depth to Faramir and Eowyn’s romance, as we only get a few glimpses. Also Saruman has had his fingers all over Middle Earth causing destruction. When Merry, Pipin, Frodo, and Sam return, they have to battle for the Shire to save it from Saruman. That was cut from the film, but it would have been cool to have it in.

On a whole they did an amazing job! J.R.R. Tolkien in his writing and Peter Jackson with his films.

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For more on Lord of the Rings, go to Food, Food, Food!

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Madeleine L’Engle

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Madeleine L’Engle is one of my favorite writers. I started reading her books when I was a kid, and have loved them ever since. Even though the ones below are considered Children’s Fiction or Teen Fiction; I still read them over and over and over again.  HowABookTouchesYou

So Madeleine L’Engle is a Christian writer, but she likes to cover lots of other things in her books as well: science, philosophy, politics, music, poetry, literature, ethics, etc. All of her books carry really heavy subjects that just make them even more enjoyable. Below I have listed all the books of hers that I have read, in the order I think is the best to read them in.

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A Wrinkle in Time– This is the book that started the whole time quartet series. In this book the Murry family has moved to New England in recent times. Many people are wary of them as both Mr. and Mrs. Murry are scientists. Mr. Murry is often called upon to go to Washington D.C for the President or Pentagon. He left for a trip about a year ago, and has yet to return. Many think he abandoned the family, but his wife and children have faith that he will return. Meg is the eldest, she wears glasses and braces and thinks herself unattractive.

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She has a lot of problems making friends as she has a temper, she also has issues in school as the math is too far below her. After Meg are the twins, Alexander (Sandy) and Dionysus (Dennys). Both the twins excel in sports, school, and friendship. Last is Charles Wallace, only five years old and a genius. He tries to hide it, but still can’t pass off being “normal.”

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One dark and stormy night; three women come in with the wind and set Meg, Charles Wallace, and a popular boy from school, Calvin O’Keefe on quite the adventure. Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs,Whatsit tells the trio that they need them in order to save Mr. Murry who is caught in the 5th dimension. This adventure takes them on a ride through psychics, time travel, tessering, and other planets.

This book was also turned into a film that was pretty good and had the cute guy from Everwood playing Calvin O’Keefe.

A Wind in the Door– This is a sequel to A Wrinkle in Time. Calvin and Meg are friends and romantically interested in each. Things aren’t perfect; their father is still called away on long trips, Meg still gets into trouble at school, and Charles is still picked on; but they seem to be better. That is until they notice that something is going wrong with Charles Wallace. He seems paler, more tired, and just not himself. When Charles Wallace tells Meg he has seen dragons in the garden, she really becomes worried. But these dragons are actually a Cherubim sent there to help Meg defeat the Echthroi who are trying to erase the universe. Meg, Calvin, the cherubim, and her principal Mr. Jenkins find themselves on an adventure through the town, plants, and into Charles’ mitochondria.

Many Waters– This is actually the fourth book in the series, but reads better as the third book. In this Sandy and Dennys, who had heard of their siblings crazy adventures, find themselves going on their own trip through time! When the boys accidentally mess with their father’s experiment in the lab, they find themselves sent back to the time of Noah, right before he builds his ark for the coming flood. There they encounter the biblical figures along with manticores, unicorns, Nephilum, and Seraphim.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet– In this book Meg is grown up, married to Calvin, and pregnant with their first child. The twins are now a lawyer and a doctor. Charles Wallace is a teenager, but still as advanced as ever. They are celebrating Thanksgiving, (minus Calvin as he got held up in conference in England), with Calvin’s mother Mrs. O’Keefe. That night there are threats of Vespugia’s leader, Mad Dog Branzillo, starting nuclear warfare and WWIII. As Charles Wallace goes to the garden, he meets up with the unicorn Gaudior. Gaudior was sent to help Charles travel through time and meld with different historical figures in order to change the past, so that they might change the future. This is one of my all-time favorites of her series.

Meet the Austins– This is a different series, but as all of hers connect and crossover, it makes a lot of sense to start reading it now. Mr. Austin is a country doctor in New England. He and his wife have four kids: John, Vicky, Susie, and Rob and an assortment of animals. They live a contented life, but that all changes when a family friend dies. The Austins quickly welcome the orphaned daughter, Maggy, into their home and she causes all kinds of chaos and uproar. Will their lives ever be the same again?

The Moon By Night– Book two brings radical changes for the Austin family. Maggy, who has become a daughter and sister, is leaving them to be with her legal guardian. John is heading off to college, and the Austins are moving to New York for a year. Before the move, they head out for a cross-country trip of the United States. Vicky should be happy and having fun, but instead finds the changes unsettling, along with trying to figure out who she is. She meets a boy named Zachary Gray, who is so unlike her, and confuses her on what friendship and love are.

The Arm of the Starfish- Adam Eddington III has wanted to be a marine biologists for a very long time. Every summer he has interned with a doctor that lives near his grandma’s home, but this year he has received a much different post. This year he will be interning in Portugal, under the guidance of Dr. O’Keefe (Calvin O’Keefe from the A Wrinkle in Time series). On his way there, he meets a beautiful girl at the airport, Kali, who warns him that Dr. O’Keefe is not as nice as he seems, but working against his government. She asks him to spy on Dr. O’Keefe for her father. Adam is unsure of what to do, and when he boards his plane, ends up running into Polly O’Keefe, Dr. O’Keefe’s daughter, and her godfather Canon Tallis. Adam quickly finds this summer being more than he bargained for as he is caught up in a world of science, espionage, and double agents. Adam doesn’t know who to trust as the more time he spends with the O’Keefe’s the more he likes them, while at the same time every moment he spends with Kali is better than the one before.

The Young Unicorns- The Austins have moved to New York and encounter a much different world. They rent the top part of an old Victorian house. Below them lives Emily, the daughter of a Greek professor, and recently blinded in a robbery gone wrong. They also have befriended Dave, an ex-gang member and now Emily’s tutor; along with Mr. Theotocopoulos, Emily’s piano teacher. The Austins find themselves caught in a horrible plot as people are after the invention that Dr. Austin is working on and are not afraid to use any means necessary to obtain it. Someone is trying to control the city as they have orginized the gang, the Alpha-Bats (Dave’s old group) and preparing them for a battle. Canon Tallis is called in by his old friend to discover who could be the head of the group, and whether it could be coming from one of the leaders of the Catholic Church.

A Ring of Endless Light- The year in New York has ended and the Austin’s will be returning home after one more stop. Vicky’s grandfather is very sick, so the Austins plan on staying that summer on the small island he resides on. John also happens to be interning there for the summer, introducing the Austins to his newest friend, Adam Eddington III. Vicky and Adam become very close, with Vicky helping assist him in his project with dolphins. However, Adam is still reeling from the betrayal that occurred in Portugal and isn’t getting as close to her as Vicky would like. Also, Zachary Gray returns on the scene, once again bringing trouble, confusion, and questions in Vicky’s life.

This was also turned into a movie: starring Mischa Barton as Vicky, Ryan Merriman as Adam, and Jared Padalecki as Zachary. It was a DCOM so sadly it is hard to find a copy of this film.

Troubling a Star- The last of the Austin series. The Austins (minus John) have returned home to New England countryside. Everyone has been able to bounce back but Vicky. She finds it hard to relate after all her adventures and changes. Adam introduces her to his Aunt Serena, who Vicky immediately becomes close to. Adam is planning on going to Antarctica for a semester, and for Vicky’s birthday, Serena plans on sending Vicky as well. Vicky is excited for her trip, but also worried as Adam’s letters become cold, closed off, and eventually stop altogether. Vicky is sad, but concentrates on her trip; finding herself caught in political intrigue and an age-old unsolved mystery.

Dragons in the Waters- When thirteen year-old Simon Renier boards the M.S. Orion with his cousin Forsyth Phair, he has no idea what he is getting himself into. A trip that is supposed to be easy and beautiful; taking a painting of Simon Bolivar back to its native land, turns out to be anything but; as murder, political intrigue, smuggling, and a century old secret turn this trip into one exciting adventure. Simon tries to solve the case with the help of Polly and Charles O’Keefe (who are traveling with their father), Mr. Theotocopoulos (who is traveling to see Emily perform) and Canon Tallis.

BookLifeNoBoredom

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For the previous fandom post, go to A Fantabulous Post

And stay tuned for part 10

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For more book filled posts, go to The Biggest Bill You Should Be Paying

For more on Disney, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Helping Hands

For more Pirates of the Caribbean, go to Push All the Buttons!

What is Immortality Without You?: The Two Towers (2002)

Romantic Moment #8

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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

So The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, is based on the book series, The Lord of the Rings,  by J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved both the books and the films and highly recommend both (jeez I feel like I say this all the time).

Anyways so The Two Towers is the second book in the series. For those of you who have not read/watched these, to catch up on the first film click here. So in this film the fellowship has been broken up.  Frodo and Sam have separated from everyone else and are trying to reach Mordor to throw in the ring. They run into Gollum, who has been corrupted by the evil of the ring and is determined to get it back. Frodo takes pity on Gollum and has him lead them. Frodo, Sam and Gollum travel through the Dead Marshes, evading a Nazgûl. They come upon the Black Gate but find it heavily guarded by Orcs. Gollum convinces the pair that he will lead them to an unguarded entrance, but on this new path they are captured by the Rangers of Ithilien, who is lead by Faramir, who is also Boromir‘s brother. Frodo reveals Gollum’s presence to save him, but he is captured and mistreated by the Rangers. Faramir has the Hobbits taken to Osgiliath, where they are attacked by Orcs led by a Nazgûl. Faramir frees Sam and Frodo and sends them on their way, joined by Gollum. Gollum decides that he will find another way to get the ring.

Pippin and Merry have been captured by Orcs, and just barely managed to escape from them and flee into the Fangorn Forest. They meet Treebeard, one of the Ents.  Treebeard and the Ents don’t want to get involved, but when Pippin tricks him to go by Isengard, they discover that Saruman the White has cut down all the trees; completely decimating the area. They join in the war, defeat the Uruk-hai and break the river dam; drowning the surviving Orc defenders, flooding Isengard, and stranding Saruman in his tower.

Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli pursue the Uruk-hai, in their attempt to save Merry and Pippin. They run into King Théoden of Rohan’s nephew Éomer who has been banished along with all the other great warriors. They have killed all the Orcs, but the trio is determined to find them. They go into Fangorn Forest where they are confronted by Gandalf, reborn as Gandalf the White. They travel to Rohan, where King Théoden has been entranced and physically weakened by Gríma Wormtongue, who is secretly in the service of Saruman. The four of them free Théoden from Gríma’s spell, and inform the king of his son Théodred‘s death. As Saruman’s forces attack Rohan, Théoden moves his people to the stronghold Helm’s Deep for safety. Gandalf leaves to find Éomer and the other riders. Théoden’s forces travel to Helm’s Deep, and are attacked by Saruman’s Warg riders, in which Aragorn is thrown from a cliff to his apparent death in a raging river. Arwen saves him, guiding him back to safety, even though her father Elrond has been trying to convince her to leave Middle-Earth forever. Meanwhile, Éowyn, Théoden’s niece, starts falling for Aragorn. Aragorn washes up on the river bank and makes his way to Helm’s Deep. They and a battalion of Elves led by Haldir join Rohan’s troop and help them fight the Uruk-hai. Gandalf appears, accompanied by Éomer and his men. Their combined forces defeat the Orcs.

Most Romantic Moment:

So during this film we have a flashback scene between Arwen and Aragorn that is soooo romantic. So Arwen has given up her immortality for Aragorn. She loves him so much that she would rather spend a shorter life with him than an eternity without him. She gives him the Evenstar so that he will never forget how her love for him is unending.

Arwen: I choose a mortal life.

Aragorn: You cannot give me this.

Arwen: It is mine to give to whom I will. Like my heart.”

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So romantic!

So romantic!

And to make this an even more swoonworthy scene, Aragorn gives it back. He loves her, but because he loves her he wants more for her. He wants her to have a long life with her family and to find someone else who can live forever with her. Aw, he just loves her so much that he wants only the best for her. Even if that makes him sad, lonely, and breaks his heart into a million pieces.

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But to make that even more romantic! (The romance is just piling on). Arwen refuses to take the Evenstar back. She knows that he is trying to do what’s best, but what he hasn’t realized is that, while he might not be the best choice (a mortal), he is the best one for her.

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So she leaves it with him. Letting him know that no matter what she still loves him and would choose him over immortality any day.

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I want a relationship like Arwen and Aragorn

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For more on the Lord of the Rings go to A Horse’s Tale

A Horse’s Tale: Chinese New Year

So last year to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake, I did 13 (because it was 2013) of my favorite snake moments from films, Snakes on a Post.  Last year I couldn’t post on the actual first day of the New Year because of my Romance is in the Air posts got in the way. This year, the Chinese New Year falls on the 31st of January, so I decided to do 14 of my favorite horse characters from films and books (which was a bit harder than expected). I created it in the same style of my Saint Patrick’s Day and 25 Films of Christmas posts, as it is harder to choose a “horsey moment” from a film than a “snake one”.

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Horses were born in the years 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, & 2014.

Horses are a bunch of contradictions. They are cool & hot-blooded, hard-nosed & humble, impatient & tolerant, but above all a hard worker and self-relient.  Horses work well in groups but prefer to work by themselves.

In social settings they are cheerful, charismatic, & overly talkative; but they are often the first to depart, usually because they feel too ‘”penned in”. They are happiest in large crowds and open spaces. In romance they have a need for intimacy & belonging. They often fill pressured in fulfilling family obligations, and remain at heart rebellious creatures.

They tend to do poorly with finances and budgets. Horses love to travel and are suited for careers as adventurers, poets, travel writers, or politicians.

Horses are compatible with Tigers, Dogs, & Sheep.

Famous people who were horses were Louisa May Alcott, Davy Crockett, James Dean, Clint Eastwood, Ella Fitzgerald, Harrison Ford, Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson,Genghis Khan,  Paul McCarthy,  Teddy Roosevelt, & Mike Tyson.

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So here we go:

Had to add it in!

Had to add it in!

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14) Chester

Chester is a wild mustang that is trying to find a family. He tries to go off with the cowboys that are capturing wild horses, but they won’t take him because he seems too tame. He then goes into the city to try and find a place of belonging; going on the carousal, pretending to be a statue, etc.

Best Horse Ever: Chester

I LOVED this book as a child, that is the real reason why its on this list. I used to read it ALL the time. Chester is an adorable horse who just wants to belong. As a kid you are heartbroken at all the rejection he faces, but even though that happens Chester is never cynical at life, but just keeps trying to find his place and belonging in life. I always wanted Chester as my own, to a five-year old he just seemed like the greatest horse ever.

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13) The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of a young hobbit, Frodo, who is given the task of making a treacherous journey across Middle-Earth to Mount Doom, to destroy the Ring of Power. He is joined by: three other hobbits, Sam, Merry, and Pippin; Aragorn, a man and the next ruler of Gondor; Gandalf the Grey, a Wizard; Gimli, the dwarf; Legolas the elf; and Boromir, a man and son of the Ruling Steward of the realm of Gondor; creating a “Fellowship of the Ring”.

Best Horse Ever: Bill the Pony

Bill is bought at the Prancing Pony, to replace the horses stolen from the group. Bill, is Sam’s pony, who Sam loves and tenderly cares for as he does everything. Bill travels with the group to Moria, but has to be left behind as he couldn’t go through the mine with the others. Bill is attacked and thought dead, but returns to Bree. He finds Sam again and is there for him forever, always a noble and trusty steed.

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Altivo

12) The Road to El Dorado

Two conmen, Miguel and Tulio, accidentally sneak aboard Cortez’s ship heading for the Americas. They try to escape without notice and find themselves in a boat with Cortez’s horse Altivo. When they arrive in South America, they use a map they won in a poker game to find El Dorado, the City of Gold. The three discover it and are mistaken as gods. They then have to fight the evil high priest and protect the city and people from being overtaken by the Cortez’s conquistadors.

Best Horse Ever: Altivo

Altivo is an extremely intelligent horse. When the two guys are trapped on the ship, they try to get Altivo to find them something to break open the bars in exchange for an apple, but he does better than that, he fetches them the keys. And Altivo always steps in to help the guys when they need him.

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11) The Two Towers The Return of the King

The Two Towers– The fellowship has been split up. Frodo and Sam have seperated from the group and are lead by Gollum, one who has been corrupted by the evil of the ring and determined to get it back. Pippin and Merry have been captured by Orcs, managing to escape from them and flee into the Fangorn Forest. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are on the trail of the captured Hobbits when they meet up with an old friend and set out to help Rohan win against the evil of Sauron.

The Return of the King–The last book of the series. The Shadow of Mordor and Sauron’s power grows across the land, and the companions of the Ring are still involved in separate adventures, but the battle draws them all together in Gondor. Pippin and Gandalf are in the capital, Minas Tirith, to prepare the kingdom. The call of help has been sent out, and the neighboring kingdoms send aid. Aragorn, who has been revealed as the heir of Gondor, has been helping Rohan in their fight. He, Legolas, and Gimli seperate from them and head into the mountains to recruit the Army of the Dead. Merry has joined the Rohan army and prepares to enter battle. Frodo and Sam face the challenge of navigating Mordor to complete the quest of destroying the ring.

Best Horse Ever: Shadowfax

Shadowfax plays a substantial role in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King. He is a  Mearasa horse of high intelligence, strength, and has a long lifespan. He is a beautiful, silver, stallion and can understand the speech of men. He is brave, smart, and can run faster than any other horse in Middle-Earth. Like any true wild animal, he is not easily broken. Shadowfax allows no one but  Gandalf to ride him. The two share such a strong bond that Shadowfax follows Gandalf to the West so that the two will never have to be parted.

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10) Toy Story 2

Having survived the new toy Buzz Lightyear and the move across town, all the toys are settling in nicely as a family. However, things take a turn for the worst when an injured Woody gets left at home instead of being taken to cowboy camp, and then accidentaly placed in a yard sale and stolen. Al, the thief, is trying to complete Woody’s Roundup to sale to a collecter in Japan. At Al’s home, Woody meets the other members of the gang; Jesse, a cowgirl; Stinky Pete, the prospector; and Bullseye, Woody’s trusty steed. Buzz and the rest of the gang come to save him, but when they get there Woody is not so sure he wants to return home.

Best Horse Ever: Bullseye

Bullseye is so adorable, he is like a giant puppy. Bullseye is always trying to help out the other members of the gang; like trying to get Woody his arm, helping play the record, etc. He is disheartened at the thought of Woody going back to Andy, as he is so sad to lose him. Later, he helps both Woody and Buzz try and save Jesse from being taken to Japan, riding “like the wind” to reach the airplane that was carrying her off in time. Always loyal and one you can count on. 🙂

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Khan–Mulan

9) Mulan

When the Huns invade China and every family is requested to send men to the front, Mulan makes a decision that puts her whole life at peril. She decides to dress up as a man and take her father’s place, pretending to be his son. She is aided by Mushu, a dragon pretending to have powers; Cricket, supposdly lucky, and Khan, her trusted horse. Mulan discovers that there is more to being in the army and a man in this zany animation.

Best Horse Ever: Khan

Khan is an amazing horse. He charges off with Mulan for battle, never complaining about entering the fray. He not only carries Mulan on his back but also the supplies of the Chinese army. He cares strongly for Mulan, going for her when there is an avalanche, to giving up his blanket and using his body to keeping her warm. Everyone hopes their pet loves them 1/10th of the love that Khan gives out.

Horse & horseshoesachilles Hunchback of Notre Dame

8) Achilles Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo lives in the Notre Dame bell tower. The only one who knows of his existence is the evil and cruel Judge Frollo. He escapes one day to go to the Festival of Fools meeting Esmerelda a beautiful gypsy. He is discovered and thrown in the stocks. Esmerelda defys Frollo and frees him, assisted by Captain Phoebus. Esmerelda hides away in Notre Dame to save herself from Frollo’s wrath, and becomes better friends with Quasimodo and Phoebus. Quasimodo must make a choice on whether to help his friends or betray the only father figure he has ever known. In the end, Frollo wages a war on the gypsys, Esmerelda, and Notre Dame. Quasimodo and Captain Phoebus lead a battle against him, and free all from his horrible grasp.

Best Horse Ever: Achilles

Achilles is Captain Phoebus’ horse and one amazing animal. He is always there for his master, helping at all times; mostly through his having learned the command to “heel”. When ever Phoebus says Achilles heel (a pun on the mythological hero), Achilles sits on the enemy; saving Esmerelda and others. He is so cute and adorable.

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Tangled-Maximus

7) Tangled

Tangled is a retelling of RapunzelIn the story, Rapunzel has been locked away by a witch, Mother Gothel, because her hair contains healing properties. A thief, Flynn Rider, has just stolen the King’s crown and is being chased by the palace guards, when he stops at Rapunzel’s tower to lose them. Overpowered by Rapunzel and her trusty cast iron frying pan, the two strike a deal in which Flynn will take Rapunzel to the kingdom to see the “floating lights” and in exchange Rapunzel will return the crown to him. Along the way they are aided by other bandits and the head guard’s  horse, Maximus; while being chased by the castle guards, Flynn’s ex-partners-in-crime, and Mother Gothel.

Best Horse Ever: Maximus

While Maximus is on the “bad” side, as we are all rooting for Flynn, he soon joins our heros in their quest. He is the only “officer” who is able to follow the duo and strikes a deal that he will not arrest Flynn until after he has granted Rapunzel’s quest. (Rapunzel should go into sales, she is a real wheeler-dealer.) Maximus becomes friends with Rapunzel and her chameleon Pascal, joining in on all the events that Rapunzel wants to partake in. He even grows to like Flynn, rescuing him after he is arrested and sentenced to death. The pair then ride off to save Rapunzel from the evil Mother Gothel. So even though Maximus wants to uphold the law and do what is right, even he understands when one is in a gray area and has to throw out the rule book.

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6) Sleeping Beauty

Aurora was given the gifts of beauty and grace from her fairy godmothers, but was also cursed with death. While her third godmother couldn’t reverse the spell she changed it so that when she is sixteen and pricks her finger she will not die, only fall asleep, and will wake with true love’s first kiss. All the sewing spindles are burned and Aurora is hidden away in the forest until her sixteen birthday has ended. However, even with such precautions, Aurora still falls prey to her curse. Prince Phillip, her true love, has been locked away by the evil Witch, Maleficent. The fairy’s free him and he has to battle thorn bushes and a dragon to save her.

Best Horse Ever: Samson

First let me say Aurora was always my favorite princess and Prince Phillip my fav prince (more on him later). I LOVE this film! ( I LOVE him!) Sorry, had to get that out of my system, anyways,  Samson is Prince Phillip’s horse. We are first introduced to him when Phillip hears Aurora singing in the forest. Now Samson is pretty smart, and doesn’t want to follow the voice for fear that it belongs to an evil fairy, wood nymph, siren, or other magical creature that could enchant and hurt his master. However, like any guy, Samson is easily persuaded when he is offered an extra amount of food. Samson is a great horse that cares for Phillip, helping him escape Maleficent’s lair, riding through the thorn bushes (major ouch), and fighting Maleficent in her dragon form.

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5) Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit is a mustang and the leader of his herd. The story follows his capture by the U.S. Army, escape and time with the Lakota people, recapture by the U.S. army (this time having to help construct the railroad), and his return to the herd.

Best Horse Ever: Spirit

First let me say I HATE Matt Damon. I HATE his acting with a passion. I don’t really know why, but he just annoys me to a great extent. I can only stomach a few movies with him; The Brother’s Grimm (I didn’t recognize him the first time with the wig he wears), Ocean’s Eleven (he acts like a stupid kid who doesn’t know anything and that works for me), and The Departed (because he’s a rat and Mark Wahlberg shoots him). Now you may be asking yourself, what does Matt Damon have to do with Spirit? Well, this is the fourth Matt Damon movie that I like, mostly because for the longest time I didn’t realize that Matt Damon played Spirit. Spirit is a great horse, as he never allows himself to be broken by anyone, but prizes his freedom above all else. He suffers through adversity, pain, etc; but continues to push through until he makes it out and into freedom. He falls for another horse, Rain, and when she is injured he stays by her side, until he is captured and forced to return to the U.S. calvary camp. Later, when they are both freed again, Spirit takes Rain off to join his herd.

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Topthorn War HOrse

4) Topthorn War Horse

War Horse tells the story of young Joey being bought by a poor farmer and raised by his son. To cover costs the father sells the horse to the British Army. There Joey becomes friends with a fellow officer’s horse. The two’s owners are killed and they are taken into the German army, saved by some officers, found by French countrymen, retaken by the German army, and used to move machinary. Joey survives, but Topthorn doesn’t make it.

Best Horse Ever: Topthorn

Topthorn is not only a beautiful horse but a loyal one. At first he dislikes Joey, but the two quickly become best friends. When Joey is taken and to be separated from him, Topthorn goes after him to make sure he is okay. Topthorn never lets anything happen  to his pal Joey, put always puts himself first to save him from any pain.

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3) Black Beauty Black Beauty

This is a great book that has had many films versions made of it.

Black Beauty tales the story of a beautiful black horse and his adventures in life. He starts off with a good master, and gets sold and passed around, sometimes treated well and other times mistreated by his owners. The reason that Anna Sewell wrote the novel was to bring awareness of the mistreatement that animals, espechially horses were facing in Victorian England; abuse, whippings, bearing rein (a strap used to keep horses’ heads high, fashionable in Victorian England but painful and damaging to a horse’s neck), and the use of blinkers on horses.

Best Horse Ever: Black Beauty

Black Beauty is always kind and helpful to his masters, even when the owners are harmful and abusing him. Beauty saves John Manly, his caretaker, in the beginning of the novel. Later, when he is caught in a barn fire, he won’t leave until his friend Ginger is taken care of. He’s just a beautiful and caring animal.

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2) Animal Farm

Orwell’s dystopian “fairy tale” is an allegory for Communist Russia. In the story, Old Major (Lenin), a pig, convinces the other the animals that they need to get rid of their parasitical human rulers.   The animals do so, lead by Snowball and Napoleon. They decide that they will rule their farm fairly and justly, with all being equal. All seems good, until Snowball is driven out and Napoleon (Stalin) institutes himself as ruler of the farm, backed by his canine army (KGB). Under Napoleon’s rule, equality no longer exists as the pigs are elevated to higher positions and not made to work as hard as the others. The farm and the original ideals of Old Major soon begin to die off and become problematic to all.

Best Horse Ever: Boxer (spoiler alert: Do not read the next paragraph if you wish to read the book and do not want any part of the plot given away)

Boxer’s story is so, so sad. I loved him but was heartbroken when he died. 😥 Now Boxer might not be the smartest, but he has the most caring heart of all. Boxer, symbolizes the working class of Russia that gets shafted with Communism, caring and trying to do the best for his farm and fellow mammals. He always tries to work harder and carry his extensive load and others. He often goes without food, giving his share to the others, as he is a strong horse and can go without. The pigs see him as a threat as his strength and popularity could really cause a revolution, that is if Boxer contained any guile at all. The saddest thing ever is that he works so hard for the farm and others, and instead of being rewarded with a pasture to live out the rest of his life, they send him to the knackers to be turned into glue. 😥 OMG that part made me bawl like a baby.

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1) Joey War Horse (2011)

War Horse tells the story of young Joey being bought by a poor farmer and raised by his son. To cover costs the father sells the horse to the British Army. There Joey becomes friends with a fellow officer’s horse. The two’s owners are killed and they are taken into the German army, saved by some officers, found by French countrymen, retaken by the German army, and used to move machinary. In the end Joey is reunited with his master.

Best Horse Ever: Joey

Albert’s father buys Joey to get back at his landlord, but finds himself at a loss of what to do as Joey is not a farm horse. Albert takes Joey out and trains him, first caring and getting him to trust him; along with teaching him to answer his whistle. The two form a strong bond, and while no one believes they can do it; Albert still encourages Joey and his support causes Joey to plow through that field. HOwever, due to an unexpected storm the family loses their crops and have to sell the horse. There Joey takes care of his new master, until he is captured by the German army. By this time Joey and Topthorn have become friends, and while Topthorn will do anything for Joey; Joey will do anything for Topthorn. One of the best/saddest scenes is when the two are captured by the German army a second time and forced to cart machinery (similar to Spirit and his railroad building); a process that severely damages and kills the horses; Joey steps in for Topthorn. At this time, Topthorn had been severely injured and wouldn’t last long, but Joey steps in to save him. Although the evil commanding officer kills Topthorn anyway, jerk! Later, after Joey has been saved and reunited with Albert, he is put up for auction (as is the rule) and bought by someone else. But Joey doesn’t want to leave. He wants to be with Albert, because he really loves and cares for him. He is freed and sets off with Albert, proving that some bonds can never be broken.

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I hope this year is an amazing one! 🙂