What Sai and Mitsuki Have in Common with Your Not-So-Average Aspie

What Sai and Mitsuki Have in Common with Your Not-So-Average Aspie

Ah, Asperger’s Syndrome.

That unfortunate semi-flaw of mine that gives me the bluntness of Luna Lovegood, the brain of Sheldon Cooper (in a girly, book-nerd, more spiritual way, of course), and, lastly…

The tact and social awkwardness of both Sai and Mitsuki (but particularly the former) from Naruto and Boruto, respectively. These two, in fact, could pretty much be anime poster children for my fellow Aspies and I. Here’s how:

  1. Lack of outward physical expression and feelings. Aspies don’t often, if ever, openly convey what they’re feeling, unless it’s something like they don’t get what they want. Likewise, Mitsuki and Sai are both incredibly hard to read, on the outside, because they’re essentially blank slates– even literally, in a sense. After all, Mitsuki’s name literally means, “snake vessel,” referring to the fact that he is a partial clone of Orochimaru; Sai, on the other hand, goes through Anbu Black Ops training from a very young age, has erased essentially most ties and emotions in his brain’s databank, and is initially forced to rely on his “fake smile” to get him through working with others.

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2. Lack of obvious tact. This one is a lot more apparent in Sai than in Mitsuki, but both really have a habit of stating the inappropriately obvious, but in the wrong way, time, and place. Sai will outright insult people, and not even really know he’s doing it, often with an attitude of, “Oh, I’m sorry, I would think you’d already know.” This problem gets somewhat resolved later, when his teammates quickly urge him not to call their stout friend Choji “fatso,” and Sai decides to, instead of calling someone what they are/what he thinks they are, to lie and say the opposite of what he thinks they are– leading him to call Ino (his future wife), “beautiful,” to the chagrin and anger of Sakura. On Mitsuki’s half, he is more controlled, but is still pretty blunt; for instance, when ChoCho and Sarada are talking about ChoCho possibly not being related to her parents (and trust me, the similarities ARE there pretty plainly), Mitsuki pops in unexpectedly to give his input, saying that he can tell she’s an Akimichi from not only her family crest, but from her physique as well (she’s Choji’s daughter). He labels her with,”Tragic Heroine Syndrome,” a condition he claims affects girls like her around this stage of life, and one of the primary symptoms beings that girls question their identities. Talk about a little harsh.

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3. Don’t know how to socially physically act/ react to certain people, and/or in certain situations. Poor Sai, he tries so hard to make an effort, relearn everything, and even has a little guidebook that he carries with him everywhere to try to help him socially and physically. For instance, look at how he tries to comfort Naruto in one scene, when the book advised him that physical comfort and embraces were the best way to go (My first thoughts: “Welp, this is about to get awk…ward…”). Sure enough:

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4. Obsessions! As an Anbu member, of course Sai would be obsessed with his missions, but he also gained an obsession for learning how to communicate and bond properly with other people (not a bad thing in THEORY…). Mitsuki, on the other side of the fence, is pretty clearly obsessed with having Boruto as his best friend (and no, NOT in a romantic sense, to all you politically correct people out there!), calling him his “sun,” while Mitsuki is the “moon”. Don’t know what that means, exactly, but Mitsuki formed a pretty quick attachment to Boruto, follows him around discretely a TON (before seemingly popping outta nowhere, usually freaking out/ scaring Boruto in the process, and being all, “Hey, what are we doing? 🙂 “). It gets to the point where he is willing to forego almost any behavior, save for what his dear old dad advocates him to do, to win over Boruto’s good opinion, such as when he viciously fought Iwabee Yuino in a practice battle, on his first day of school, and Boruto berated him for nearly strangling his friend. Mitsuki stopped instantly on hearing how much Boruto disapproved, and vowed not to do such again (at the very least, not in front of him.).

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^Mitsuki popping in unexpectedly while Sarada Uchiha tells Boruto how blue his eyes are, compared to Naruto’s

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Image Credits:

https://painbooster2.deviantart.com/art/Naruto-and-Sai-funny-moment-animated-GIF-319399358

http://blog.naver.com/PostView.nhn?blogId=satani&logNo=110190590268

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The Boss-y Baby

The Boss-y Baby

We think we know everything about babies, don’t we? Where they come from, how uneducated, messy and smelly they are…

Well, according to the movie, The Boss Baby, you should think again on that matter.

*WARNING: SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT*

Apparently, it says, babies come from a magical heavenly realm where they are either sorted into families with no knowledge or real memory of being in Babyland, OR be sorted into a administration with a much bigger goal: To always keep the babies’ cuteness factor as number one in society. All you-know-what breaks loose when it turns out that puppies are beating them in that race for numero uno, so the boss babies take matters into their own hands; one of their own infiltrates a seemingly ordinary home, with seemingly ordinary parents, and an only child, an older boy aged seven, Timothy Templeton. Tim gets a taste of all the negative things that come with being an older brother with the new baby, and instantly takes a disliking to him, but also grows suspicious at the baby’s fairly obvious intelligence, and initially tries to prove this to his parents. However, the boss baby catches him, and later on they form a reluctant truce: If Tim helps the boss baby with his top secret mission, then the boss baby will return to Babyland, and Tim will have his parents all to himself again. Of course, to do so, they have to pretend they’re loving siblings so that their parents will take them to Puppy Co., their workplace, on account of “Take your Kid to Work Day”, but in the process actually bond a little, becoming fonder of each other, despite the misgivings. They defeat the “evil” CEO, cutting the company short of some of its breeding profits, and save the day. The boss baby is transported back to Babyland and is heralded as a hero, and Tim’s parents get their memories wiped (Tim doesn’t), so he has them all to himself. However, when he keeps one of the baby’s toys as a memento, and the boss baby, while given a new office with a golden potty to boot, reminisces about the time where he and Tim played pirate together on the plane to save Tim’s parents. Eventually, Tim invites the boss baby to come back and live with them again, permanently this time, and the baby rejoices, runs to the sorting machine, fixes it so that he’s given to Tim’s family, and they happily re-accept him, naming him Theodore.

Years later, we see the two boys, now adults (Theo has yet to shed the business suit), and Tim’s daughter complains to her dad and uncle how she wanted a pony, not a little sister. Amused, Theo hands her several bills, and tells her to go and buy one. The girl looks through the hospital window at the newest member of her family, when the small, blonde pig-tailed girl in a mini business suit looks up and winks mischievously at her bewildered older sister.

What was done well:

  1. The dynamic between the two “sibs”. Kept playful and yet believable. I like.
  2. Undercover mission… with babies. Their team even has an artist, henchmen, and a muscle man baby. Call me impressed.
  3. Story was fairly interesting. I found that Tim’s scheme to expose b.b. was more interesting than b.b.’s actual mission, though. Really? A simple contest of cuteness?

What needed work:

Much of the story was confusing, and sometimes contradictory. For instance, Tim’s mom is shown visibly pregnant at the beginning, and not when the boss baby first arrives. When boss baby takes Tim on a tour of Babyland, and inquires where Tim used to think babies came from, Tim whispers in his ear presumably what most parents tell their kids when they talk about reproduction; the boss baby looks revolted at this, and shakes his head dismissively.

Another contradiction I found to be odd was the Youth Formula the babies were given, keeping them forever, well, babies. The issue with this is, then they will never mature, never learn language, etc. The babies who were first created in the administration would be as immature and as little learned as the newbies coming in.Very contradictory, and a bit confusing.

 

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. Cute, but needs to clean up the contradictory stuff first.

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Image Credit:

https://www.movieinsider.com/m12763/boss-baby

 

 

The Beastliness and the Beautiful

The Beastliness and the Beautiful

(Yeah, you knew. You knew I was going to watch it and review. Eventually.)

Sooooo…. Between all the majorly controversial hype about this movie, and the fact that I love Disney for going and making classic films into live actions, I finally decided to cave and rent the live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” from my local Family Video store.

*SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!*

I had mixed feelings about it, some serious misgivings, and some not as serious, while watching. I do want to say that some controversial things are more subtle than others, but, if you were told ahead of time it was there, you definitely would’ve been on the lookout for/noticed a few things. But, ALLLLLL that aside…

It was pretty good. Hate to give that to Mr. Condon, who is known to be a rabidly leftist agenda advocate, but controversial stuff aside, he did well. Here are some of those things:

  1. Belle’s mom. Disney is pretty notorious for leaving more than one official Disney princess either entirely orphaned (Snow White, Cinderella) or one-parent-less (Tiana, Ariel, Jasmine, Belle). I did like how they, as of late, are just now including more explanations of why that is. (It’s usually a mysterious, unexplained illness) I do wish they would get a little more creative, though, instead of just relying on illness. It’s a too easy thing to fall back on.
  2. The return to French roots. Loved, loved, loved this. It’s originally a French tale, so it only makes sense to include more French references, including more detail of the selfish, spoiled little Prince’s party at the beginning.B&B2
  3. The casting choices. I think they did fabulously on the casting choices, they really did. The CGI was also great, and THAT CASTLE!!! O.O My only problem was, as one of my former roommates and major B&B fan said, Emma didn’t portray Belle as kindly as she had been in the original movie. But, I like how she portrayed Belle’s intellect, her bravery. Belle is a TRUE Divergent!
  4. Ethnically diverse. I did not mind this in the least, and thought it a good edition to the movie.
  5. They changed the bookstore into a CHURCH. Yes, this is from the SAME director who wants to rush headlong into hotels that he’s staying in to rip out the pages of Bibles placed on bedside tables in each room, because they don’t condone homosexuality (God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He? So far, Mr. Condon hasn’t been able to find ANY Bibles to rip pages out of!). The reasoning? Apparently, it doesn’t make much sense for a town that for some unknown reason hates reading (or at least, WOMEN reading) to have a bookstore in it. The clergyman in it is portrayed in a more positive light, surprisingly; he talks kindly to Belle as she borrows a book, but she kind of just brushes him off with a, “Thanks, bye,” kind of attitude, which did irritate me a bit… Said clergyman was also one of the few who looked genuinely bewildered and perplexed when Gaston wanted to rush in headlong and kill the Beast with all the villagers in tow, like he was reluctant to take any sort of violent action against someone he didn’t even know. For someone who hates Christianity and Christians as much as Condon does, that pleasantly surprised me, even if it was pretty brief.

Mixed feels about:

  1. LeFou. Good casting choice on one hand, but acting… subtly “sensual” towards Gaston… ehhhh, no thanks. Also, fun fact: The original character himself was NOT “gay,” as he was making ga-ga eyes over the Bimbettes, those three triplets who’re constantly fawning over Gaston (while in this movie, he meanly says to them, “Not a chance, ladies.”about their odds with Gaston). But, my small consolation in this is, that, if this version really is a so-called “gay” character, then it will perfectly suit his character, since his name is literally, “The fool” in French!
  2. The Story. I didn’t know what to make of it; there were TONS, and I mean TONS of alterations from the originals. Gaston did not set up an actual wedding; he played along with Maurice, then his temper gets the best of him, and he leaves the man out in the wilderness to die, and when Maurice confronts him, Gaston then claims the man’s lunacy; the enchantress disguises herself as a beggar townsperson in Belle’s town; the baker’s wife is evidently Mrs. Potts (in the original, he calls for his wife, Maria; in the live action, he confesses he seems to be missing something, but can’t recall what… or who); Beast and Belle use a magical book to travel to Paris to discover the truth behind Belle’s mother; Belle holds a deeper fascination about her mother; she actually does get to say good bye to Maurice in the live action and deceives him so she can take his place; Belle actually attempts to escape the castle more than once; lastly, the story returned to the original roots of Maurice’s trespass on the Beast’s property to stealing a rose (it wasn’t THE rose, don’t worry). Some I liked, some I felt iffy towards, like it was too… I don’t know… strained. I think the magical book thing was more of a fan thing, and a bit unnecessary to the major plot, as interesting as it was.

What I didn’t care for:

  1. The over-dramaticness, and politically correctness, of Madame Guard de Robe–Yes, she was a BIT dramatic in the original, but did not have that over-silliness, dress Belle strangely, or imply political correctness in the sense of cross-dressing/transgenderism. Mind, in the original, she DID attack ONE man by dressing him foolishly in women’s clothing, but it was to freak him out and scare him off, which worked marvelously– it was mere silliness. This has gone from silly to strange and bizarre: She dresses up three intimidating men, two of which running off screaming in horror, while the third gets a funny, delighted little grin on his mug, and prances off in his new outfit, while the human turned wardrobe shrilly sings out, “Be FREE!” A subtle, yet disturbing, message. I found it, at the very least, unnerving and very weird. I can hardly imagine WHAT Disney is going to be doing to their rendition of the live-action Mulan….audra_mcdonald_as_garderobe_in_beauty_and_the_beast_9kgc640
  2. The lack of Chip’s role. In the original, Chip had an important role to play– accidentally smuggled in by Belle, he helps Belle and Maurice escaped being locked up and sent to the loony bin via one of Maurice’s inventions. In this version, it’s Belle’s own individualistic spirit and wit that saves the day. Nope, no room for bumbling– or, in this case, humbling– sidekicks.
  3. And, of course, the pervasiveness of homosexuality. Even if you don’t really look for it, you’re sure to notice some things askew, and this kept me from truly enjoying the movie. Even though Gad himself said that Le Fou being “gay” wasn’t actually IN the script, that does not mean he couldn’t have been told to do certain things a certain way, or to ACT “gay.”

My rating: 3 out of 5. Sorry, Condon, but stick to your other films. Hands off Disney.

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Image Credits:

https://www.moviefone.com/movie/beauty-and-the-beast/20065886/trailers/

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/BeautyAndTheBeast2017

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-highs-and-lows-beauty-and-the-beast

 

 

“How Far I’ll Let It Go”: A Reviewing Contrast of Both “Frozen” and “Moana”

“How Far I’ll Let It Go”: A Reviewing Contrast of Both “Frozen” and “Moana”

What do “Frozen” and “Moana” have in common, you might say? They’re about almost completely different things, in literally ENTIRELY different settings!

Well, there is one MAJOR element they DO share: They are both INCREDIBLY hyped. As in, hyped beyond the imagination, so much that it can be immensely annoying to non-fans. Which is why I’m here to do a little comparison-contrast today. Let’s see how the two teams, “Team Frozen,” and “Team Moana” respectively, line up when it comes to:

Story

Culture

Sidekicks

Music

Villains

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS! ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

First, let’s begin with story:

“Frozen”: A girl with magical ice powers is locked away from society, and is terrified of showing everyone what she can do. Meanwhile, her lonely kid sis longs to reconnect with her, but due to her being consistently shut out, makes her easy prey for the true bad guy of the movie, who proposes to her on the spot. Later, things go horribly wrong as said older sis with magical ice powers reveals said powers under stressful pressure and in refusing said younger sis’s request to marry said bad guy (who they don’t realize is a bad guy until the very end). So, long story short, older sis runs off to the wilderness to live alone so she can’t hurt anyone anymore, but in the process accidentally lets off her powers on FULL steam ahead, effectively freezing over EVERYTHING in the land. Younger sis treks off to find her sis and bring her back, accompanied by eccentric guy, a fairly intelligent reindeer, and an obnoxiously goofy snowman that everyone but me seems to adore (for the record, I was on Christoph’s side when he said he was gonna tell said obnoxious snowman that he would melt in summer time). They succeed in bringing the older sis back after a few mishaps, unveil and defeat said bad guy, and have a typical, la-de-da happy ending. My story rating: 6 out of 10. A bit predictable, fairly unoriginal, and probably would’ve been better had they stuck closer to the original “Snow Queen” script (bonus in going with the latter idea: No Olaughs.).

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“Moana”: A young island girl turned village chieftaness feels called to the ocean, but never really knows why. Her eccentric grandmother shows her that her islander people were once voyagers, but that all changed when a “demigod,” Maui, stole this ancient heart artifact thingy, which destroyed their main goddess thingy, and a terrible volcano demon monster started to terrorize the ocean, destroying islands and vegetation in its wake. In fact, it is this need for her people’s survival, along with the fact that the ocean chose her specifically to restore the heart thingy, that sets her on her own journey to hunt out Maui himself– the latter who, as it turns out, can’t do diddly squat without his precious hook. They have a run-in with a treasure collecting giant crab to find said hook, then set off to defeat the volcano beast of death– which actually turns out to be the aforementioned goddess of greenery and vegetation, only without her heart. With it restored, she in turn restores all life lost, from vegetation to Maui’s hook (which got totally fried in their fight). Moana then shows her people that there’s no need to be afraid of the ocean any longer, and they all return to their voyager roots, with her at the command. My story rating: 5.5 out of ten. I don’t know what exactly, but this story lacked something in the plotline, SEVERELY. Although, in fairness, I think that happens when you’re on a raft thingy for days with little provisions, a grumpy “demigod,” and essentially nothing going on. I did like Moana’s character, spunk and gumption though– brownie points for that.

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Culture:

“Frozen”: According to numerous sources, the setting of “Frozen” was heavily inspired by Scandinavia. It mimics their clothing, their building structures and even maypoles. My culture rating: 7 out of 10. 

“Moana”: Based on the Polynesian islands in Oceania, the film also hit some New Zealander spots– specifically with the tattoos both islanders and Maui receive. The filmmakers did some research on islanders, as well as Polynesian and even New Zealander mythology and history. Additionally, Maui is briefly seen performing a very short-lived haka, or intimidating New Zealander war dance (that I fully appreciated, seeing as I’ve a New Zealander friend from college who actually did his one presentation on Maori language and culture, including the haka, briefly even mentioning this film as he did so.), during the face-off with the volcano demon thingy. My culture rating: 7 out of 10. 

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Sidekicks:

“Frozen”: In both movies, there are two sidekicks. In “Frozen,” those sidekicks are Sven and Olaugh… oh, sorry, meant Olaf. Personally, I like Sven much better (he’s cuter and more intelligent, for one thing), but hey, if people want to super hype Olaf, go for it– just be aware that make people like me like him even less than we already do. Anywho, Sven proves pivotal in getting our heroes to the right place at the right time, whereas Olaf, who supposedly is normally “comic relief,” aids a badly in-need-of-aid Anna. I may not like Olaf, but at least he does something important. My sidekick rating: 5 out of 10. 

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(If only. If only.)

“Moana”: Two main sidekicks here are Hei hei the rooster and the porkchop (OK, OK, the piggy. You PETA people, sheesh.). They’re both essentially just Moana’s pets, and, I’ll be honest– they don’t do a whole lot for the story, sadly. The piggy, Mua, encourages Moana to go into the ocean, but is even more discouraged and frightened than she when that turns into an epic fail, and almost gets them both killed.  Hei hei, on the other hand, seems even less intelligent than Odie from Garfield (which is saying something), and only really reacts if it thinks it can eat something (even if it’s not edible– like a rock or the ancient artifact) or if its out in the middle of the ocean, practically alone. Annnnddd…. cue panic mode:

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Not saying it’s not funny, I am saying the rooster’s eyeballs probably take up like 90% of his lil noggin, and thus leave very, very little room for brains. Brains to help them out even remotely on their quest. Kudos for trying to be funny, though (was more successful than Olaugh, that’s for sure). My sidekick rating: 3.5 out of 10. 

Music:

“Frozen”: I personally think that “For the First Time in Forever,” is the even remotely decent song in the whole film. Just me, personally. Don’t even TALK to me about… you know… THAT song…. *runs off gagging* My music rating: 1.5 out of 10. 

“Moana”: “You’re Welcome” was majorly cliche (not to mention extremely narcissistic); even the giant, treasure-hoarding crab’s song was better than that. But Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go,” was terrific and beautiful, full of determination and inspiration. And, OK, I’ll admit that I’m biased– Alessia Cara did a FABULOUS remake job on it. My music rating: 6 out of 10. 

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Villains:

“Frozen”: OK, OK, “Frozen” may have won this one. May. Namely because there was an actual villain-villain to deal with, a classic Machiavellian. BUT they did need to work on make him a LITTLE more subtle. Yes, he was pretty subtle, and I would say that caught most off guard (to be fair to the franchise overall, I was warned in advance by a then kindergartner, a first-grader, and a second-grader, BEFORE I saw it. But that’s besides the point. I think I still would’ve at least been suspicious; no one goes THAT far into a movie without at least an indicator of who the bad guy is.) But for a total surprise, cue out motives. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but hear me out. If they did that, no one would suspect, because he SEEMINGLY has no motives for doing what he does– just a gallant, gentlemanly figure trying to help out. Of course, NOT playing the “I’m the youngest out of several brothers,” card might make it slightly harder to win over the ladies. But on the other hand… maybe NOT.

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(That was a haymaker hook punch, BTW… a punch only really thrown on either street fights or boxing matches. Not really a proper punch.)

My villain rating is… 6 out of 10.

“Moana”: Saddens me to say this, but “Moana” actually fell a bit short in this department, considering the only real threats were a giant packrat of a crab, animated coconuts, and a humongous lava beast– the latter, the main  antagonist known as Te Ka, turning out to be the earth “goddess” from earlier. Shaaammmmeee, beating up on someone who isn’t really a bad guy but just is missing her heart and wants to make things right again. Shaaammmmee. That for the most part means we’re basically villain-less. For the most part.

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My villain rating: 2 out of 10. Namely because of the coconut guys. 

Annnndddd our totals are “Frozen” with 25.5 points, and “Moana” with 23 points. Ooooo, so close, but sadly, “Frozen” heads a bit with slightly better concepts in both the villainy and story departments than “Moana.” However, “Frozen” still falls flat on its face for lack of originality in some areas, and coming up short in the music department.

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On the the other hand, had they made “Moana’s” plot more thrilling and engaging, given Hua the porker and Hei Hei more to do than just be adorably funny, and given us a TRUE villain, it DEFINITELY would have beaten “Frozen,” hands down. I mean, let’s be honest– the animation in and of itself already outdoes “Frozen’s”. Off to a good start.

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Have you watched “Moana” and “Frozen”? What did you think?

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Image Credits:

https://www.tumblr.com/search/oc:%20te%20fiti

https://www.tumblr.com/search/anna%20punches%20hans

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://ohmy.disney.com/news/2013/11/20/our-favorite-gifs-from-the-frozen-clips/

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://www.tumblr.com/search/artist:haka

https://tenor.com/view/frozen-olaf-impaled-hurt-oh-gif-4693646

https://www.tumblr.com/search/heihei.

http://screenrant.com/moana-frozen-box-office-prediction/

 

 

No Matter How Small… or Big

No Matter How Small… or Big

Ever watched or read, Horton Hears a Who!  ?

For those who might not necessarily have grown up with Dr.Seuss, or not seen the movie, it’s about an elephant named Horton (but of course), who, with his spectacular hearing, detects the faintest cry of someone very, very small on a tiny speck, which he rescues on a flower, and tries to get to a safe location before the small people and their world is destroyed.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the message of the story carried more than just your average pro-life meaning to it. No, this was much, much bigger:

This was about God, Himself.

Think about it. We go about our daily Christian lives, talking about God, and praying to Him, but we are surrounded by people who often doubt He’s even there. So when we pray, for instance, some may think we look like we’re only talking to ourselves, or worse, like Horton and his “speck,” that we’re crazy and basically just talking aloud to thin air.

But God doesn’t call us to doubt; he calls us to have faith in Him, to have faith in a plan that’s so much bigger than we are. As Horton says in the movie, what if WE’RE the small ones, and there’s Someone bigger out there? However, even the mayor of Whoville (the tiny people on the Speck) initially doubts Horton’s claims, until he sees proof for himself; even then, if he goes around telling others, he risks looking like a fool, because everyone’s already wrapped up in their pleasant, self-serving, complacent little lives, and it’s too much to ask them to believe the truth. Believing in the truth, the EXTRAORDINARY truth, removes their comfort, their security blanket, if you will. Beginning to sound familiar?

Things get even more intense when Horton is captured by an angry horde of animals, lead by the snooty kangaroo villain, who basically rules the jungle of Noo. The kangaroo gives Horton his options: He can either deny that there are such a thing as little people, and everything goes back to normal, or face the music– with both him and the speck with tiny people on it both getting demolished. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, “Heck, easy choice; I’d deny it, but wouldn’t really admit that I still believe it, and that way they’ll leave me alone so I can get the speck and its inhabitants up to Mount Nool, so everyone’s happy.” And yet, Horton chooses not to. He chooses, instead, to stand his ground, and risk everything. But why?

If we look at this biblically, I would say it could be very well compared with being persecuted for our faith as believers. Often, though not always, the persecutors will demand of the persecutees that we deny our faith, openly, in front of them– deny Jesus, deny God’s real, deny everything that is truth at its core.

John, one of Jesus’s dearest disciples and friends, writes to us in 1 John 2: 21-24 (NIV): “I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist– denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. As for you, see what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”

Ouch.

Suddenly, things get a little more serious. Still life and death, but in a more serious fashion. Even if we denied outwardly, but believed inwardly, we would leave the situation perhaps physically unharmed, but deeply spiritually maimed, mentally tainted, and emotionally scarred– with the knowledge that we outright denied not only the One Who very generously saved us from our ucky sins, but also our very Creator. This is seriously convicting stuff, and even if Horton wasn’t denying his Maker, he’d at least be denying a serious truth outright, which would probably haunt him for the rest of his life (I mean, he IS an elephant, and elephants DO have excellent memories, so it’s not like it’d be easy to forget or anything…).

Even though Horton Hears a Who! is obviously fiction, it proves a very valid point: Truth IS Truth, whether you can physically see it, or not. You can deny it. You can claim that there are many so-called “truths,” based on differing perspectives. But you cannot alter the One Truth, the Real Truth, the Truth that is the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit. You cannot change the fact that Jesus died on the cross (a historically documented FACT), and that His tomb alone, when contrasted with all other religious leaders/founders, was EMPTY, and remains so. You cannot alter the Truth of what God is doing here on Earth, and the fact that we are all characters in a bigger story– FAR bigger than any of us could EVER ask or imagine.

Before I close out, I’ll leave you guys with a final thought (and no, in saying this, I am not referring to cults, terrorists, etc.):

Why, realistically, would anyone be WILLING to die for a LIE?

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 (NIV)

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Image Credit: https://drafthouse.com/show/kids-camp-dr.-seuss-horton-hears-a-who

 

 

Review: Into The Jungle

Review: Into The Jungle

Hi, everyone!

So, tonight I’m going to be reviewing Disney’s newest rendition of “The Jungle Book,” which I just finished watching on Netflix (because I’m too cheap to keep going to a theater. LOL.). As an overall Disney fan, I loved it. The scenery and screenplay was awesome, and the little tidbits they added to make the story more interesting was both fascinating and mostly beneficial.

The filmmakers did an amazing job of choosing the setting, and how they shot the film. The cameras were in all the right places at all the right times; you felt as if, at times, you were actually Mowgli– whether it was tumbling down a wet, mud-slicked ravine to get away from Shere Khan, darting past trees, gazing into Kaa’s ominously mesmerizing eyes, or staring down Shere Khan.

Speaking of Kaa, I’m right glad that she (?) made only one appearance. (I totally called when she was going to make her (?) cue, even before the snakeskin discovery.), although I was genuinely surprised they decided to switch his gender to female. I suppose it was an effort to give Kaa a more seductive, more alluring sort of feel, with her (?) being all mesmerizing and “I’m-gonna-swallow-you-alive-and-whole,” sorta business. Still, the fact that hypnotism overall mortally terrifies me, and that I generally don’t like or trust snakes (the animals or the people) made me relieved that she (?) only made one appearance, rather than 2-3, as the original film portrayed.

The actor who played Mowgli did marvelous. Not only did he look like the original, but he acted like the original. I like how the directors played into Mowgli’s creativity even more at the end; this led to one of the few differences between the endings of the original Disney film and the live-action: Khan actually perishes in the fire, in the latter.

The story was excellent, as well, with a few tweaks. Aside from Khan’s death and Kaa making only one appearance (thank goodness), we have the watering hole truce (a nice story play-off, if I do say so myself), the monkeys kidnapping Mowgli at a slightly different time, King Louie being a Gigantopithecus (instead of an orangutan– most likely to emphasize his kingship, power and influence), Baloo using Mowgli to get down honeycomb rather than bananas, Khan trying to sway wolf pups to his side rather than their mother’s, the cut-out of Mowgli with the vultures when he’s down, the alteration of when Mowgli tries to join the elephants (he instead shows them a deep respect by bowing at different points in the story, and at one point uses an invention– rope– to help rescue a little elephant), and the fact that ultimately, Mowgli decides to stay in the jungle with his friends, since the threat of Khan has been eliminated. There is now no need for the man village, for the young girl to make her flirtatious entrance into Mowgli’s  life. This, above all else, was one of the major storyline differences– and one of the few I’m not entirely sure I actually agree with. After all, if the man village is introduced, then forgotten, it is simply a red herring– a “rabbit trail” to make us go down with hope that it might, just might, be like the original film. There is no real point to having introduced it into the story if they are not going to do anything with it, unless they wanted to reference both Kipling’s book and the original, or wanted to use it as reference to Mowgli’s past. That aside, it serves no real purpose, since Mowgli remains in the jungle at the end, Bagheera content, and the main antagonist thwarted (but…. KAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

On to antagonists other than Kaa, Shere Khan was pure malignity. Note, not motiveless malignity, but malignity. He had motive– he was burned and scarred for life by his arch-nemesis’s dad. He had a goal– eliminate any human in the jungle, regardless of gender or age. He was not even a Machiavellian villain, but at the same time that was something that kind of worked in favor of making you love to hate him more– he not only wanted to kill Mowgli personally, but wanted to propagate the rest of the jungle into believing HIM– starting with the wolf pups Mowgli had grown up with. When he opened his mouth, I somehow expected a different voice from him, however– something more, I don’t know, suave, cool and yet deadly. The actor’s voice almost sounded a bit too upbeat for the job, IMO, but I guess it’s a challenge to voice a character like him.

One of my favorite characters was Bagheera. His no-nonsensical way of looking at life, dedication and loyalty to his friends, as well as his subtly dry sense of humor, reminded me immensely of Obi-Wan. ….Apologies, “Star Wars” fangirl in me just kicked in.

Anyways, I overall rate this film a 4.5 out of 5 stars, and would recommend any Disney, or even non-Disney, fans to watch it. You won’t be let down, and you can count on the “bare necessities” of the film to leave you on the edge of your seat, hankering for more.

 

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Image Credit: http://www.readthespirit.com/visual-parables/the-jungle-book-2016/

Try EVERYTHING?

Try EVERYTHING?

Hello, yes, I am “back from the dead”… of homework and classes, that is. (Hey, being a college kid is tougher than it looks!)

First off, don’t get me wrong on this post: I really like Disney’s “Zootopia”. I love the breathtaking scenery, the beautiful animation, the lively and engaging characters, and the at least fairly decent story. It draws you in, calls to you… (“The Call of the Wild…” )

But one thing that worries me, I mean, really worries me, is the subtle, subliminal messages and themes the story line makers may be sending both to us and to future, younger generations of Disney-magnets. Some themes are fine and perfectly acceptable, and should in fact be encouraged: racial prejudice is wrong, you shouldn’t give up on your dreams (provided said dreams don’t interfere with God’s plans for you or for others), etc. But others can be damaging emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically.

In one scene, one of the protagonists, a hopeful new bunny cop named Judy Hopps, sees an incident between another protag, Nick the fox, accompanied by his underhanded companion Finnick, and some elephant owners of an ice cream parlor; the clerk refuses to sell ice cream to Nick or Finnick because they are foxes (Finnick is technically a Fennec fox.). While this is clearly stating a kind of racial prejudice theme, an even more deadly underlying theme is displayed when Nick explains that Finnick, his “kid”, wants to become an elephant someday (something clearly genetically impossible to do, although secular society continually tells us otherwise), even dressing up as an elephant to try and do so. Judy, naively believing that in Zootopia, anyone CAN truly be ANYTHING, steps up and argues their case, essentially almost threatening to close them for “discrimination.”

While I do agree with being against racial prejudice, the movie walks between that and a terribly fine line of transgenderism. Judy even says, after Finnick succeeds in getting his elephant-sized Popsicle, that if he wants to be an elephant, he can– because anything’s possible. Not only does this remind me of that, but it also reminds me of numerous cases and lawsuits that people in the LGBT community and pro-choicers have made against Christian businesses who will not, for instance, sell a gay “couple” a wedding cake, or provide abortion-inducing drugs for their employees, allow grown men to change/ relieve themselves in the same area as our sisters, girlfriends, wives, daughters, you (if you’re a girl), and myself. And in that context, the theme of “Try everything, be anything you want,” is truly terrifying. These businesses are not out to “discriminate,” as many claim; in fact, many owners of Christian-owned bakeries have directed gay “couples” to a different bakery, to state one instance of many. It is, if anything, discriminatory against US, as Christians, not just the racial thing.

I’ve lately been reading John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” which discusses partly from Satan’s own point of view what happened shortly after he got kicked outta heaven, and decided, as his ultimate revenge on God, to corrupt mankind, to dig that spear a little deeper into His side. What did Satan try? He tried pride. Arrogance. He had it nice; why want anything else? But, alas, in short, he basically thought, “You know what? I’m better than y’all, even You, God.” He knew he lived the good life in heaven; God literally gave him everything and was really, really good to him– Satan got nearly everything he wanted. Save for the thing he coveted, and wanted to “try” out the most– God’s throne seat. So he very selfishly tried rebellion. Tried and succeeded in corrupting a third of heaven to go down with him, all through usage of manipulative rhetoric and charismatic scheming. Tried to overthrow God (an epic fail), and plummeted down into the depths of hell. Schemed some more, then tried a different approach:

If he couldn’t get at God directly, he would try to jab at Him through His most beloved Creation: Mankind, the earth, and all that roamed in it– but specifically mankind.

According to Milton, he tried lust. Got Eve to try it too, after she had tried the deviously delectable fruit, as well as rebellion, corruption, and even vanity.

All this from trying EVERYTHING. Not just the good in life God WANTS us to experience, but all the sin, all the evil and corruption. The sin that comes from questioning the goodness of God and His laws, the natural ordinances He put into play. All the rebellion you get from disobeying Him. The irony is, Satan tries to accuse God of being the monarchical tyrant, when he himself sits squarely on hell’s throne seat, playing king (no joke, he is literally called the “sultan” of hell), causing havoc, and basically making everyone but himself miserable(OK, scratch that– if he isn’t making himself miserable in one way, shape, or form by now, he will be when Judgement Day comes… or at least, his choices in literally “trying everything” but God’s grace will be.).

If the song and the movie had simply encouraged the characters not to give up in their goals of finding the bad guy and solving the mystery, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it; or if it had proclaimed trying everything good, I wouldn’t have bothered to write a post like this, only if in praise of the movie.

So no, ” Zootopia” producers, I will NOT be trying EVERYTHING, no matter how tempting it might be. I know the effects that sin, corruption, rebellion and chaos has had in both my  life and in others’ as well. I prefer to stick to my guns– and my God– even if it kills me.

Some of you may roll your eyes, or even chuckle a bit. “You’re one writer, and that’s just your opinion,” some of you may be saying. Others, “You’re reading into that movie waaaayyyy too much. It’s just a kid’s movie, not a conspiracy-theory political agenda. Geez, you religious fanatics…”

You may think that now, and while I respect your right to have opinions different from my own, I do still disagree, and implore you to at least consider the possibility, and not to “try EVERYTHING,” least of all stray from God.

After all, what would YOU do if they (meaning Disney, bowing to public, politically correct pressure) gave Elsa a “girlfriend”?

” “I have the right to do anything,” you say– but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything.”

1 Corinthians 6:12, NIV

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Image Credit: http://redcarpetrefs.com/disney-zootopia-shakira-try-everything-music-video/