A Hairy Situation

Hair. We love it. We hate it.  Well at least I do. I have the Gorgon’s hair that does whatever it wants and not what I wish it to.

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Then there is the humidity.


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Ugh, what can I do?HairaMess

Nothing!

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So when I get it just right, you better not mess it up.

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Or else!makehimpayhairDaphneScoobyDoo

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For more on my thoughts of my hair, go to Optimum Image

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Redone Done Right

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Day 29) Best Disney Remake

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The Jungle Book (1994)

So I’m not a huge fan of the remake. You probably recall seeing this:

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But there are a few films that I truly enjoy that are not the orginal. Such as The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail. But this is probably by far, my favorite disney remake ever.

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So this film came out in the ’90s and is based on The Jungle Book novel by Rudyard Kipling and the Disney film The Jungle Book (1967). It is similar to the cartoon except it is live action and tells the story of an older Mowgli. Actually, this is what Disney’s Tarzan was based on. While Tarzan is not an almost exact scene by scene ripoff,  like Atlantis is of the film Stargate, it is still extremely close.

Anyways, so the film starts off in the Victorian period with a group of English people going through India. They have many Indian guides helping them, one of which is Mowgli’s father Nathoo. Mowgli is one of the few children who is with the group, and his best friend is his wolf cub, Grey Brother. Mowgli soon meets one of the other kids there, Katherine “Kitty” Brydon, daughter of Colonel Geoffrey Brydon who is in charge of the trek and played by none other than the very handsome, Sam Neil.

Mowgli gives Kitty a flower to show his interest in her and Kitty gives him her mother’s bracelet. But the two’s friendship gets cut short as Shere Khan ramapages throughout the jungle. In this version of the film, Shere Khan is king of the jungle (as Khan means leader/king), and he watches the jungle for balance. When he finds somene killing for fun instead of food he takes them out. As he is going after one specific person, others get in the way and die. He kills Nathoo, and in the shuffle to escape Mowgli amd his wolf get left behind.

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Mowgli is befriended by the animals of the jungle as Bagheera, the panther, takes him to the wolves to be raised by them. He also befriends Baloo the bear and a variety of other animals.

Twenty years into the future, Mowgli is a man and runs with the different animals of the jungle. They are even able to comunicate with each other. In the story there are a group of monkeys, Rhesus macaque, who are the foot soldiers of the lord of all apes, King Louie (an orangutan). They are called the Bandar-log an they steal Kitty’s bracelet for King Louie’s treasury.  

Mowgli is enraged and follows them to get his bracelet back. He finds the city of the monkeys where King Louie rules. He goes in and demands his bracelet back. King Louie agrees to give him the bracelet back, if he can fight the snake Kaa and win. Mowgli pulls out a jeweled dagger and uses it to fight against Kaa. And wins the appreciation of all the apes

Meanwhile, Kitty is a woman now, back in India and engaged to Captain William Boone, played by the very sexy Cary Elwes.

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Unfortunately, Boone, while being hot, is a cruel, sadistic, gold-digging, ladder climbing, hunter. 😦 Oh well. One day Kitty and co. are out in the jungle painting and hanging out when she runs right into you-know-who…Mowgli.

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Mowgli is all dressed up, part of his trophies from winning against Kaa, and play-attacks/play-saves Kitty from Baloo. But she takes off.

Mowgli follows the group into the city, sneaking into Kitty’s room. Her screams rouse her bf and the guards, but before they come after him, she recognizes the bracelet he’s wearing as her own.  The guards chase Mowgli throughout the town and he ends up getting thrown in jail

Kitty frees Mowgli and she and Dr. Julius Plumford (John Cleese) try to help re-civilize him. (This scene is just like Tarzan, especially  the projection of images).
Mowgli begins to be able to talk amd act like those around him, but does not feel at home with the aristocrats, that is except for Kitty. He starts falling for her again, even though she is already spoken for. Mowgli also tells Kitty how he survived all these years and introduces her to all of his animal friends and tells her of the rules of the jungle.
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Meanwhile Boone and his friends  are eager to find the famed City of Gold (Monkey city) but don’t know the way. Everyone who has ever tried to find it has never returned. Boone decides to get Mowgli to help him find it.
Boone convinces Kitty to give him a day to hang out with Mowgli, apologizing for having been so mean. He brings Mowgli to his hunting trophy room, but after Mowgli sees that he doesn’t keep the jungle law, he refuses to help him out at all.
There is a ball, and Mowgli is excited to be there with Kitty. Unfortunately, that is when he hears the announcement of their engagement and hears of the plans they have for India. Mowgli decides to leave the city as he could never belong there, and decides to spend the rest of his life in the jungle.
But unbeknowest to him, Boone has other plans for Mowgli. He and his minions try to capture him, but Mowgli is saved by Baloo. Unfortunately, Baloo’s intervention causes him to be shot. Mowgli rushes to the city to get Dr. Plumford, but finds out that he and recently unengaged Kitty are headed for England.
While Mowgli chases after them, Kitty, her father, and the doctor are ambushed by William’s men. Mowgli is able to save the Doctor and sends him to help Baloo, and continues after the Brydons. He agrees to help Boone if Boone will ensure the safety of the Brydons.
The next day, Mowgli is able to get rid of one henchman, by tricking him into some quicksand. He also sends Kitty’s dad to safety on an elephant.
The other henchman is disposed of by more of Mowgli’s knowledge of the jungle. Soon all that is left is Mowgli, Kitty, Boone, and Boone’s remaining minoin. However, as they have finally reached the Monkey City, his minoins accidentally sets off a booby trap and finds himself a goner.
Only Boone, Kitty, and Mowgli make it to the treasure. Boone and Mowgli fight, but Mowgli wins and takes off with Kitty. Boone starts filling his pockets and bags with gold, not realizing that he still has Kaa to deal with.

Shere Khan confronts Mowgli and Kitty as they exit. Khan still does not trust Mowgli, and the two stare at each other a long time before Khan is stared down and leaves in submission – the fulfillment of a dream Mowgli had where he, already a ‘half-tiger’ in spirit, would stare Shere Khan eye to eye and become a ‘whole tiger’.
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Shere Khan recognizes that Mowgli another creature of the jungle and allows him to live. Mowgli and Kitty reunite with their friends and family, including Geoffrey and Baloo, both cured by Plumford. Kitty and Mowgli are now together (just like Tarzan and Jane)
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I just love this movie and thought it was amazing. It is far better than the animated sequel as it doesn’t retell te orginal story too much, and still keeps all the elements of it when going in a new direction.
For more on both versions of The Jungle Book, go to Snakes on a Post
For more on Disney, go to Once upon a Dream
For more films based on books, go to Second Star to the Right
For more films based on cartoons, go to Disney Lesson

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! 🙂

Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

So Sunday the 10th was the start of the Chinese New Year, which is the year of the snake.

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Since posting on the 10th would interfere with my Valentine’s Day posts, Romance is in the Air, I decided to save the Chinese New Year posts until after I finished it by posting on the last day of the New year, February 25th.

People born in the Year of the Snake are intelligent and wise; and usually thought of as great thinkers. Snakes are materialistic, prefer to work alone, and are easily stressed. Snakes are best with an Ox or Rooster. They’re worst pairings are with a Tiger, Monkey or Pig. Snakes are those born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001,  and 2013.

Some famous people born in the year of the snake are Ben Stiller, Bob Dylan, Charlie Sheen, Dennis Quaid, Desi Arnaz, Dolores del Rio, Edgar Allen Poe,  Jacqueline Kennedy, Pierce Bronsnan, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Downey Jr., Sarah Jessica Parker, and Tim Allen.

So to celebrate the year of the snake I am going to do my 13 favorite snakes/snake moments in film. For those of you expecting it, sorry to disappoint; I have never seen Snakes on a Plane so that film will not be taking any spot on my list. I just thought that it would be a fun parody title.

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13) Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

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One of the great disney classic films, this film and book are absoltely amazing.

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.

Best Snake Scene: Fritz Fights an Anaconda

Okay, so Fritz is my favorite brother, as he is super manly and tough. At this point in the film, Fritz and Ernst are traveling through the island trying to see how big it is and what it holds. On the way they encounter pirates and save a young boy from becoming a pirate slave. This boy is super annoying, and they hate having to deal with him, but take him with them because they don’t feel right about leaving him to be traded. They are on their way home, with the boy in tow, when they have to cross a river. As they are crossing, Ernst gets attacked by an anaconda and Fritz acts all manly and cool wrestling with the snake to save Ernst’s life. Such a great brother!

For more on the Swiss Family Robinson, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

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12) Aladdin (1992)

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I loved Aladdin growing up as a kid. I used to watch the first and third one all the time, I remember that when I was in that little kid phase were you don’t want to take a bath, the only way my mom could get me in the tub willingly would be to promise me that I’d be able to watch Aladdin when I was done. I love all the songs in this film and committed them all to memory at an early age.

Aladdin is a retelling of a chinese tale in Arabian Nights or A Thousand and One Nights, tales that Scheherazade told her husband to keep herself alive each night, (for more on that go here).  In the disney story, Aladdin is an orphaned boy living with his monkey friend, Abu. The two are street rats, scrounging about for food and hiding from the castle guards. Every night Aladdin goes home and dreams of being rich and living in the palace, never worrying about anything. Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine is in the palace and has to marry by her sixteenth birthday. She hates every prince that has called on her and she feels they all are after her fortune. Also in the palace lurks Jafar, the evil vizier, who wants to take the throne for himself. He also is trying to get inside the fabled Cave of Wonders to get a lamp, but only a pure-hearted, diamond in the rough can enter. These three stories intersect when Jasmine sneaks out of the palace, only to be helped by Aladdin when she gets into trouble. The two run from guards and are caught, Jasmine revealing herself and going home, while Aladdin is sent to the dungeon. Jafar disguises himself and frees Aladdin convinced he is the perfect person to enter the cave. Aladdin is and does, but Abu brings the whole place toppling down when he tries to take something he is not supposed to touch. Aladdin gets stuck inside the Cave, but there he finds the Genie of the lamp and the adventure to capture the heart of the princess is on.

Best Snake Scene: Jafar is a Cobra

Near the end of the film, Jafar has stolen the lamp from Aladdin and has taken over the kingdom. He has turned the sultan into a puppet and tried to turn Jasmine into a love slave (very Jabba the Hutt-esque), to little success. He had sent Aladdin far away, but with the magic carpet’s help Aladdin has returned to free the sultan, Jasmine, and the Genie from Jafar’s evil grasp. At one point when Aladdin is fighting Jafar, he calls Jafar a cowardly snake. At this insult, Jafar decides to actually become one, in fact a King Cobra. Man, Jafar is so creepy here, I was just begging for Rikki-Tikki-Tavi to come save everybody.

For more on the Aladdin, go to Diamond in the Rough

16741-Slimy_Stretch_Mini_Schlange-Halloween_Dekoration-Snake11) Hercules (1997)

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In Hercules, Hercules is born to the gods Zeus and Hera. Hades wants Hercules killed so he send his two minions to first turn Hercules mortal and to then kill him. With Hercules dead,  Hades’ plan to rule Olympus will be complete. The only problem is, Hades’ minions are very incompetent and fail to complete their mission. Hercules is turned mortal, but still retains his super strength. He is adopted and raised by mortal parents, but eventually journeys to the temple of Zeus to figure out who he is as he knows he doesn’t belong with the others. He finds out he is the son of Zeus and the only way to take back his rightful spot on Olympus and become a god is if he becomes a “true hero”. From the temple he travels to see the satyr Philoctetes and train to be a hero. From that point on Hercule is involved in all kinds of monster fights as he is eager to prove himself a hero and Hades is eager to be rid of him.

Best Snake Scene: Hercules destroys the snakes

When the minions are going to kill Hercules they first give him mortal juice, but fail to give him every last drop. Therefore Hercules keeps his super strength. The minions change into snakes and attack Hercules, but the little cute baby is able to completely trounce them. He is so cute when he does it too! A sweet lil’ bouncing baby knotting up the snakes and throwing them far away.

(Start at 10:33)

For more on the Hercules, go to Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

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10)The Odyssey (1997)

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The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus, from his fighting in Troy, and all his adventures as he tries to get home. It was a very big cast with Isabella Rosallini, Bernadette Peters, Vanessa Williams, and Armand Assante.

Best Snake Scene: When Laocoön gets killed

So Odysseus comes up with the idea to create a huge wooden horse and hide all the soldiers in it; pretending that the Greeks have left and given a surrender gift, aka the Trojan Horse. Only one person doesn’t trust that this “horse” is a “gift”, Laocoön. Laocoön is an adviser for King Priam, and he tells everyone that the horse is probably a trick and they should destroy it. Right after he declares this, a giant sea serpent comes out of the ocean and kills him and his family. Immediately everyone believes that since Laocoön was killed by a creature sent by the gods, everything he said should not be trusted and take the horse into Troy, ultimately sealing their doom.

I know it is another language and I’m sorry it was the only way I could find a clip. Start watching from 4:21

16741-Slimy_Stretch_Mini_Schlange-Halloween_Dekoration-Snake9) Cleopatra (1934)MPW-32754

Now when most people think of Cleopatra they instantly think of Elizabeth Taylor in the famous 1963 film. But before that movie came out Cecil B. DeMille (one of my fav directors) did a version with Claudette Colbert.

This film tells the same story of the last Egyptian Pharaoh and everything she did to try and keep her power. She tries to get Julius Caesar to help her, by seducing him, and after he is killed; switches her affections to Mark Anthony. But with Anthony and Octavius (Julius’ adopted son and also known as Augustus) fighting for control of Rome, all does not go well for the star-crossed lovers.

Best Snake Scene: Suicide by Asps

Now I’m not one to encourage suicide, but it was probably the best option she could have taken. There was no way for her to escape and if she was taken to Rome, she’d be tortured, raped, or killed. When they have Cleopatra commit her final act, Colbert does it so well. She is so stately, all the way up to the end; a true Queen of Egypt.

Start at 2:43

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8) The Jungle Book (1967)

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This is the original Disney version and based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling. In the story Mowgli is a man cub raised by wolves. Ten years pass by and when news of Shere Khan, the great tiger, has returned to the jungle they decide to send Mowgli back to the Man village. Bagheera, the panther, tries to take him back but they get interrupted by Kaa, the snake who tries to eat him, and Baloo a slothy bear who discourages Mowgli from returning to the world of men. Mowgli meets other crazy characters such as King Louie the Orangutan, Colonel Hathi the Elephant, and a group of Vultures who act like The Beatles.

Best Snake Scene: Kaa & Hypnosis

Kaa is pretty scary, being a python, but the creepiest thing about him is the way he hypnotizes people. He uses his power to attempt to not only eat Mowgli, but Bagheera as well.

For more on the The Jungle Book, go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year

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7) Fools Rush In (1997)

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Straight-laced Alex (Matthew Perry) is visiting Las Vegas to oversee a construction project and has a one night stand with free-spirited, Mexican-American Isabel Fuentes (Selma Hayek). Alex figures he would never see her again, but three months later she comes back into his life letting him know that she is pregnant. The two decide to do “the right thing”, and get married. But can they overcome their cultural differences?

Best Snake Scene: When Alex gets a snake bite.

So Alex goes out hunting with Isabella’s brothers to bond with them, but unfortunately things don’t quite as he had planned. As Alex is running about trying to connect with Isabel’s family, he gets caught in a rattlesnake nest. The brothers shoot to kill the snake, and Alex gets so scared he runs, right into some cacti. To combat the pain, Isabel’s brothers give him a LOT of tequila. This was always one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

 

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6)Clash of the Titans (1981)

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This version is nothing like the true story of Perseus in mythology but much better than the remake recently made in 2010.

In Clash of the Titansthere are two demigods that are the strong crucial characters. One of them is Calibos, son of Thetis, who is engaged to marry the Princess Andromeda. However, Calibos has killed all of the winged pegasi and this is just the last thing in Zeus’ list of grievances that Calibos has committed. To punish him, Zeus turns him into a hideous monster. Thetis is very angry, and in revenge has Perseus, Zeus’ son of a mortal woman, sent to Joppa. There Perseus sees Andromeda and falls in love with her; but unfortunately she is now under a curse, and if her riddle is answered falsely than the suitor is burned at the stake. (Her predicament resembles the princess in The Traveling Companion by Hans Christian Anderson). Perseus is able to solve the riddle, but unfortunately Andromeda’s life is once again threatened, this time by the Kraken, and he has to go on an adventure to find something to defeat it.

Best Snake Scene: Fighting Medusa

Medusa was a gorgan, and once very lovely until she angered Athena and was cursed with not only snake for hair, but if one looked into her eyes they would be turned to stone. Perseus goes after her to get her head so that he can use it to turn the Kraken into stone and save Andromeda. Now I’ve always imagined Medusa as a beautiful woman with snake hair, much like Uma Thurman’s portrayl in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)However, in Clash of the Titans they take it once step further, giving Medusa the whole body of a snake, they even gave her a rattler at the end of her tail. I love her hair the most though, as it is constantly moving and squirming; just as it should be.

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5) The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)

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In The Chipmunk Adventure, the chipmunks and chipettes wish they could take a trip around the world. They are overheard by an eccentric millionaire brother and sister. The two  agree to finance the trip, and include a prize of a $100,000 to the ones who finish first. All the chipmunks and chipettes have to do is take two separate routes by hot air balloon, and make several exchanges of little chipmunk and chipette dolls as proof they traveled to the places they said they would. Who will win? As always music and hijinks ensue.

Best Snake Scene: “Getting Lucky

At one point in the film the chipettes are captured by a pre-pubescent sultan who is determined to make Brittany his wife. The girls split up as Eleanor goes off to take care of some things and Brittany & Jeanette go after the dolls (they were taken from them earlier and are needed to win the contest). When the two girls find their lost dolls, they discover that they are being guarded by snakes. Always quick thinkers, the girls decide to charm them–the only way they know how-through music. I love this song and dance number!

For more on Alvin and the Chipmunksgo to On the 6th,5th,4th,3rd,2nd, & 1st Days ‘Til Christmas: The Music of Christmas

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4) Robin Hood (1973)images

Robin Hood (1973) is the Disney version in which all the characters are cartoon animals. Robin Hood and Maid Marian are foxes, Little John a bear, Prince John a lion, etc. It tells the story of the legendary bandit in abbreviated form. Robin Hood plays tricks on Prince John and the Sheriff, he competes in the archery contest in disguise, dances with Maid Marian, and has to save the day. I love this movie as it is Disney at its best.

Best Snake Scene: Anything With Sir Hiss

How do I describe Sir Hiss? Well he is the Cassandra of the Disney world. He is an advisor to Prince John; has a strong head on his shoulders and good intuition about people. The only problem is no one listens to him. He tries to warn Prince John countless times that those gypsy women are probably bandits trying to rip him off, (they are in fact Robin & Lil’ John) and later that the Duke of Chutney is not a real Duke, (once again right as it is Lil’ John). Sir Hiss is one of the characters you have a love/hate relationship with; but he for sure makes the scenes hilarious. He’s such a brownnoser, but funny all the same. “Mere slip of the forked tongue.” “Snakes don’t walk they slither.”

For more Robin Hood, go to Oh Oh De Lally

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3) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)600full-indiana-jones-and-the-raiders-of-the-lost-ark-poster

In Raiders of the Lost Ark  we are introduced to Indiana Jones; archeologist and total superhero. He travels about and takes down the bad guys that trying to steal treasures for private collections. This film is the first in the series, and has Indiana on a search for the lost Ark. He has an old flame reappear, bouts with a villainous archeologists, and has to deal with a lot of Nazis.

Best Snake Scene: “Why’d It Have to Be Snakes?”

Indiana is afraid of snakes, deathly afraid of them. He just abhors being around them. At this point in the film, Indiana has discovered where the Ark is located and he and his men have completed digging for it. He is just about to climb down into the area when he discovers his worse fear is waiting for him. The line “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?“; has become a universal saying for when everything seems to have just gone down the crapper.

 

For more Indiana Jones, go to And Away We Go

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2) Conan the Barbarian (1982)

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In Conan the BarbarianConan’s family is killed by the evil Thulsa Doom’s warriors. Conan is enslaved and after years of servitude he is finally freed. He goes out on his own, becoming a thief and forming friendships with other thieves/wanderers. He is eventually brought before King Osric and asked by him to rescue his daughter from Thulsa Doom and the Snake Cult. Conan agrees because of his hatred for Thulsa Doom.

Best Snake Scene: James Earl Jones becomes a Snake. 

The evil villian Thulsa Doom is played by James Earl Jones. Thulsa Doom is the leader of the Snake cult and is a sorcerer. One of his powers is the ability to turn into a snake. When he does this during the film it is so cool, but really creepy!

For more on Conan the Barbarian, go to Conan the Librarian

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1) The Jungle Book (1994)

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The Jungle Book is pretty much what Disney used as their basis for the Tarzan film (both being Disney films). The Jungle Book 1994 version is not the cartoon version, this one is a live action film and the animals don’t talk. The film starts out with Mowgli’s father being a guide for some Englishmen who are patrolling India. One night Shere Khan attacks the camp as someone has broken the jungle rules, that is killed for sport instead of food. Mowgli is lost in the confusion and thought to be dead, later raised by animals. He is eventually found by his old compatriots, who attempt to be bring him back into society. He still has feelings for Kitty, a girl he played with as a child, but she is engaged to the hunter/poacher William Boone who wants to use Mowgli as a guide to Monkey City and the rumored King Louie treasure. Adventure ensues

Best Snake Scene: Kaa takes down William Boone. 

In this version of the story, Kaa is the protector of King Louie’s treasure. When a monkey steals Mowgli’s bracelet, (it was given to him by Kitty) Mowgli chases after him to Monkey City to retrieve it. There he has to fight Kaa to win his bracelet back. Later, when William Boone tries to steal all the riches for himself, he too has to fight Kaa. Finally this Will gets his just desserts.

For more on The Jungle Book, go to Redone Done Right

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For more Chinese New Year Posts, go to A Horse’s Tale: Chinese New Year

To go to the previous holiday post, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)