The Hunger Games

Warning, I will be mentioning a few spoilers, just little things that were in the book but never made it into the film.

Believe the hype.  Well when it comes to the books, The Hunger Games Trilogy is the most amazing series I have read.  It actually has a plot, and proper angst, and action, a love triangle that doesn’t dominate the storyline, and horror that actually affects your characters and a definite lack of sparkling vampires and messiah wizards.  Hunger Games was an amazing read, I have never had a character so thoroughly abused, I loved reading as my character suffered multiple horrors and tried to pick up the pieces of their lives afterwards.  It’s not often that young adult fiction authors traumatise their characters so thoroughly, and then let the reader witness their characters put themselves back together as Suzanne Collins does.

Yes, since reviewing the trailer I was given the trilogy as a present and devoured them.  Hmmmm they tasted good.

Now here’s the problem:  I know the story therefore I can’t watch the film unbiased, and I have more information on the story than the viewer who hasn’t read the book, so I can’t say whether the film is good from their point of view.

Katniss Girl on Fire

This film is the most faithful book adaptation I have seen yet.  I know I said that about Twilight, but then Twilight has so little in it that when adapting it to film very little gets left out.  The Harry Potters (to my mind) are the worst adaptations, there was just too much left out.  Yes I know adapting them to film would have been incredibly difficult since they are so detailed, and it would have been especially since each film had a different director who wanted to do something different.

Peeta The Boy with the Bread

Ok so there were some minor alterations, and little bits and bobs that had to be left out.  Yet the biggest change to the story, yet it feels so right, was seeing the audience’s reactions and activities happening outside the Hunger Games when the tributes are in the arena.  Considering that Suzanne Collins took the idea for the Hunger Games from reality TV, the live commentary in the film felt right, even though it wasn’t present in the book, although it was needed.  In the book Katniss gave the reader information on things that she came up against in the Hunger Games like the killer wasps and the rules of the games, whereas in the film, the presenters gave us that information because as we all know, internal monologues don’t really work well in film.

My biggest gripe with this movie is:  THE FRIKKIN MOVING CAMERA TECHNIQUE.  I loathe it with the passion of a thousand suns.  I want to be able to SEE all the effort put into the film, not miss it all because all I see is motion blur.  Can you imagine what Lord of the Rings would have been like if they had used a moving camera for all its action?  That being said, it was a very useful technique to use during the Cornucopia scene, where we have the bloodbath.  It allows the film maker to somewhat shield the viewer from the brutality of 24 children trying to kill each other in order to survive.  Trust me, as violent and bloody as that scene was in the film, it tame compared to the book.  In fact a lot of the brutality and violence is dialled down for the film, I’m not saying the books are explicitly violent, but it was bloodier.  For instance the end, where Katniss and Peeta fight first the mutts and then Caito, those two get heavily injured, by the time they get to swallowing the berries, Peeta’s already received another serious injury to his leg, he’s gushing blood, practically at deaths door already, and Katniss hadn’t gone unscathed either.  In fact Peeta loses his leg, and receives a prosthetic limb.

I must admit my biggest gripe about the film, apart from movie reviewers who write terrible reviews because they don’t understand the complexity of the story and liken it to Twilight, was the Mutts and Caito.  Now with the Mutts they were described more as wolf-like, and I imagined them as werewolves, especially when they mentioned that they could balance on their hind legs and display human like intelligence, not to mention that the Mutts had the eyes of the deceased tributes, also their fur and colouring matched that of the tributes.  And then there’s Caito, a sadistic killer who has no qualms about killing children, and has this belief that he will win. He had no conscience and no problem that he was merely an object for the Capitol to use for entertainment.  So his little breakdown at the end of the film was just wrong.  It made Caito look somewhat human, suddenly realising he may actually die, and makes the viewer feel slightly sympathetic.  WRONG WRONG WRONG!  Caito has no humanity, up until the moment he dies in the book, he truly believes that he is going to win, he didn’t care that he was there for entertainment, he had spent his entire life training for the Hunger Games, and he loved every minute of it.  I think the only reason they put Caito’s little crises of faith in was to make him look more human and to remind the viewer that he too is a child.  But the thing about the Hunger Games is that it shows us how survival brings out the worst in humans, and how humans will kill for enjoyment.  Also studies have shown that children only stop mentally developing at the age of 25, and Caito has been trained all his life for killing, there’s no way he would have had that little meltdown.

The little monsters on break from killing each other. Aw their so sweet!

Another pet hate I had in the film was the way Katniss pulled her bow.  She would bring it right up to her check, mashing it against her lips, making her look idiotic.  I like archery, I’ve studied how people are posed in film, the use of composition in archery etc, I even took a couple of lessons, and there is no reason to mash the string of your bow to your face! In my opinion it looks amateurish, it’s bad for the composition of the scene and it lessens Katniss in the eyes of the viewer.  But that’s my only complaint about Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic, she showed true terror in the scene where she and Cinna are waiting before the games begin.  It was amazing.  I haven’t seen someone that good at showing terror in some form since Jurassic Park (don’t laugh) and the blond girl who screams a lot, and spends most of the movie terrified, that kid was good, fantastic facial expressions.

My favourite part of the book is the Tribute Parade, and Katniss and Peeta’s flaming costumes.  I had been dying to see it since the moment I read it in the book.  It’s a powerful scene and I couldn’t wait to see how they translated it into film.  Admittedly I imagined the flames a bit more all consuming, but I loved the films interpretation of it, and I also loved Katniss’s hair, it was so elaborate.

The Hunger Games is a really detailed book with an incredible amount of back story that is needed to understand everything that’s even mentioned in the film.  I think the film is more fan friendly than anything else because those who have read the books will follow and understand more easily than those who will wonder about certain gaps in the explanations.  I found a blog that outlined some of the most gaping holes in the story, read it;  it doesn’t give spoilers for the next books and explains the logistics of the Hunger Games world a bit more:

I really love the books, and if someone likens them to Twilight I will hurt them.  Yes there’s a love triangle, but it’s not the central theme of the story, friendship, loyalty, freedom, rebellion, good and evil and the grey bits in-between are more integral parts of the story.

This is all the Tributes costumes, you dont get to see them in the film

It's such a brief scene for so much effort, it needs to be seen.

Shame they're such silly outfits, poor boys.


The Lorax AND Wrath of the Titans

Finally a decent film to go watch.

Now I wasn’t religiously raised on Dr Seuss so I don’t have many of his books, in fact I only remember one and it had something to do with fried green eggs and ham.  I find Dr Seuss books get turned into rather psychotic movies.  Such as The Cat in the Hat, which I haven’t watched, and How the Grinch stole Christmas, which I have watched and enjoyed, but there was something definitely unhinged about Jim Carey/ The Grinch. I enjoyed Horton Hears a Who tremendously, the animation and facial expressions were some of the best I had seen in 2008, it marked an immense improvement in digital animation showing the animators now had more freedom to explore expression in their 3d software.  Horton Hears a Who showed the animators were now able to “play” with their software.  I also enjoyed the narrative of Horton Hears a Who, what I didn’t like was Horton, again voiced by Jim Carey.  I can’t explain why I don’t like Horton, he was beautifully animated, I just found him slightly……. unhinged?  But then it’s Jim Carey, and he always plays unhinged so no surprise there.  What I really loved was that weird yellow creature Katie; she was so cute and slightly scary.  Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I find Dr Seuss movies are slightly weird, in a disturbed kind of way, which isn’t bad if you’re an adult, but they’re kids movies so one should feel slightly worried.

Now The Lorax looked fantastic, those little teddy bears were just too cute for words!  I loved the scene in the trailer where the Once-ler dropped his axe on the little bear, and it makes this cute little sound, recovers and then wiggles its tail, oblivious that it’s being blamed for chopping down a tree, while it is pinned down by the axe. It’s just so adorable, and strangely reminds me of my Yorkie Jellicoe, who even when she’s in trouble wags her tail.  I found The Lorax a visually stunning movie, it imitated the Dr Seuss art perfectly, but was translated well into a 3D animated style that had more rounded definite lines than Dr Seuss’s artwork.  It’s nice to see a children’s film with a definite message, that of respecting the environment, there hasn’t been one of those in a while.  What was also very interesting, and my friend pointed this out, is that its message is so current, dealing with an issue that must be dealt with today, and yet The Lorax is actually a very old book, published in 1971.  It shows that today’s issues of deforestation and pollution, capitalism and consumerism were issues that some people were aware of even in the 70’s.

Yes there is singing, like any typical children’s movie.  I didn’t mind the singing, I think there were actually only two numbers.  The opening song was brilliant, incredibly funny to watch, like the family who has a glowing kid, or the delivery guy who sings and does the splits at the end of the number and gets escorted down by the ankles (still in the splits) off O’Hare’s car.  I really enjoyed the song the Once-ler sung when he was becoming rich, I found it very bad-ass rock, and I enjoyed it choreography.  I loved Grammy Norma voiced by Golden Girl Betty White, she was so funny and cool, and sneaky like a ninja.  I totally loved her.  I also loved how the Lorax left the Once-ler, a beam of light from the heavens lifts the Lorax up and while he ascends he’s holding up his tail which raises his legs.  It’s hysterical, here we have this sort of biblical ascension reference, and the Lorax is lifting up his tail for support!  It’s so funny!

This film also had some very nice animation.  Nothing mind blowing, but it had some very unique facial expressions, totally fantastic and new.  Who knew you could manipulate the lips and jaw in that way?

I really enjoyed the Lorax, it had enjoyable characters, a good story, good comedy and those adorable little teddy bears.

Wrath of the Titans

Was there any hype for this movie?  When the first one was released we had spent a month being bombarded by the trailers.  I don’t recall seeing any trailers for Wrath in cinemas, but then truthfully I think I’ve only been to one, maybe two films since the beginning of the year, there seriously hasn’t been anything worth spending money to go see.  When my friends and I met up we realised that I was the only one in a group of four who had actually seen the trailer, and that was online and several months ago!  The only reason we went to see Wrath was because we all wanted a group outing, and it was Wrath of the Titans or 21 Jump Street, and no one wanted to see that!

It wasn’t a bad film.  We were looking for some mindless entertainment and we got it. Wrath didn’t tax the brain too much and its special effects were just so cool it entertained us nicely, and Liam Neeson was in it, and I am seriously in love with him.  I must admit the minute they said that they had to defeat Kronos, I flashed to Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian, epic ending to the first series, epic book.  Kronos in Wrath is the kind of enemy you look at and scream ‘AW SHIT’ and run for your life!  How the hell is one supposed to defeat a giant walking volcano?  Well apparently Perseus can, on a Pegasus.  Shame that poor thing you won’t believe how many times I was afraid the horse’s wings were going to catch alight and fall to the ground burning? My sister became bothered by all the sand in the film, there was just so much of it being flung around, I just felt sorry for the poor soul who had to sit in front of the computer to animate and render it!  The only thing that really bothered us was the way the action was filmed.  Now I know hand held cameras that follow the action is all the range, but it was handled really badly in this film.  We had trouble seeing what was actually happening because there was too much motion blur, people spent too much time getting flung all over the place and we couldn’t see what was going on. It was particularly bad in the Labyrinth, too much falling and movement that the eye couldn’t track so the viewer had no clue what was going on and what they were seeing.  The whole point of cinema is being able to ‘see’ what is happening on the screen, so I hate an loathe with a passion hand held cameras, like the Bourne Films, I don’t watch them because I can’t follow/ ‘see’ what’s happening.

(PS these reviews are a tad old, I wrote them, and then forgot to post them)


There is a saying in my family when it comes to watching movies, and that is ‘if it has an Oscar or was nominated for one, it’s either a tear jerker or downright boring!’  The only exceptions to the rule are films that fall under the animation and special effects categories.  As you know Hugo is nominated for 11 Oscars, but I wanted to see it because it looked like a beautiful enchanted adventure.  Well my sister and I got bored, and I don’t get bored at the movies often.  Half way through the film my sister and I had a conversation about the piece of tissue I had my 3d glasses resting on because I didn’t want a mark left on my nose by the glasses.  The film operates in two halves, the first part focusing on Hugo, the second part focusing on the mystery of Georges Méliès.  To my mind the story could have been greatly condensed, especially the leading up to Georges Méliès back story.  I really enjoyed the second half of the film, especially the referencing of early cinema.  My sister and I have Bachelors Degrees in English and Film and we enjoyed the references to the early years of film.  Especially seeing actual footage from other of Méliès works, and then seeing the fictional production of these works in the film, I really enjoyed that.  Unfortunately by then I was really bored, the pace was just too slow, so no matter how enjoyable I found the second half of the movie, I was still bored and restless.  I couldn’t help but think ‘I should have gone to see the Phantom Menace in 3D’.  The only thing stopping us from leaving the cinema was the fact that we had spent R65 to watch it, and couldn’t justify wasting the money by walking out.  Hugo was beautiful to look at, the scenes of Paris, the train station was a stunning set, and the many scenes that take place in the under belly of the station, with all its steam pipes, and the repairing of the big clocks, showing all the gears, made stunning visuals, but pretty to look at doesn’t mean enjoyable.  And I love Asa Butterfield, I’ve watched him in BBC’s Merlin, where he plays the cutest little ‘future doom’ for Arthur.  I also enjoyed him in Nanny McPhee Returns, and yes while I enjoyed his performance in Hugo, it still doesn’t save the film from the fact that I found it boring.  I was surprised and disappointed by Hugo, with equal amounts of boredom and enjoyment, but overall, I wasn’t very impressed by the narrative of the film.  It could have been told in a less meandering way, and the only excuse I can find for allowing this story to plod along as it did, is the fact that it is a Martin Scorsese film, and we all know that he doesn’t know how to make shorter films.


The Accidental Sorcerer

I have just finished reading a fantastic book.  I want to be eloquent when reviewing this book because it deserves praise, but I’m not very good when it comes to book reviews and using literary jargon.

The book is The Accidental Sorcerer, Book One in the Rogue Agent Series, written by K.E. Mills, which is a pseudonym for the fantasy author Karen Miller.  What is the point of a pseudonym when the information linking the real person to the pen name is available?  Pseudonyms are about anonymity, you write under a different name so as not to gain attention, it seems a bit pointless.  Anyway, Karen Miller seems to be a fairly successful fantasy author, I actually discovered I have one of her other books, The Innocent Mage, but don’t ask me what I thought of it, the beginning was so dry, I got bored and stopped reading, which is sad because the blurb on the back of the book sounded good.  I’ll give it another chance some time.

So the Accidental Sorcerer, I’ll give you the blurb on the back of the book (what is the official term I can’t remember), since it’s what made the book sound so appealing to me.

Gerald Dunwoody is a wizard.

Just not a particularly good one.

He’s blown up a factory, lost his job and there’s a chance that he’s not really a Third Grade wizard after all.  Career disaster strikes again.

Luckily, an influential friend manages to get him a posting.  So it’s off to New Ottosland to be the new Court Wizard for King Lional.  His back-up, an ensorcelled bird with a mysterious past, seems dubious.  But it’s New Ottosland, or nothing.

Unfortunately, King Lional isn’t the vain, self-centred young man he appeared to be.  With a Princess in danger, a bird-brained back-up and a kingdom to save, Gerald soon suspects he might be out of his depth.  And if he can’t keep this job, how can he become the wizard he was destined to be…?

This booked appealed to me because it sounded different and unusual.  I think I was in the mood for a disastrous character, one who caused havoc unintentionally but had good intentions at heart.

I loved the book;  I loved its style and the characters voices.  Gerald Dunwoody is a kind, selfless, naive wizard, he sees the good in all people, and Gerald doesn’t really cause disaster but rather ends up being in the wrong place at the very wrong time.  Actually Gerald isn’t hapless, just unlucky.  What makes this book fun is the women who surround Gerald.  He himself isn’t a very abrasive, confrontational person, but his bird Reg is, and his employer Princess Mellissande, and when Reg and Mellissande butt heads, it fabulous to read.  Mellissande is an argumentative, no nonsense kind of person, and Reg is a snarky opinionated bird who doesn’t censor what she says, two very explosive characters butting heads with Gerald in the middle, it is as much fun to read their fights as it is to ‘see’ Gerald squirm.  Other characters are just as likable, such as Gerald’s best friend Monk Markham, and Prince Rupert who’s as hapless and dotty as they come.  He’s one of my favourite characters, he is this affable Prince who’s absolutely batty over butterflies.  I loved Rupert’s misadventures with his flesh eating butterflies.

I loved the cheekiness of this book, I love the quarrelsome natures of the two main female/ bird characters, I loved Gerald’s good nature and his moral dilemmas, and like I said I love Rupert.  I loved the book because you really can’t predict where the story will go next.  The Accidental Sorcerer is a fantastic, exciting, sassy, funny read I highly recommend it to fantasy fans.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Part 1

NEXT DECEMBER!  Seriously?   Why do they feel the need to dangle this in our faces a full year before the FIRST film comes out!  That’s just plain mean.

I love the Lord of the Ring’s films.  I try to watch them at least twice a year, the extended editions, they’re far better than the theatrical versions, except for the first film, they butchered it in the extended edition, especially in the introduction of Hobbition, and they lost the charm.  Now I haven’t read the Hobbit, my sister did, and she did not enjoy it.  She gives me this terrified look every time I mention the movie, she found the book either painful or boring to read.  I’m the opposite, I’ve only read the first Lord of the Rings Book, and my it was long!  But Peter Jackson made some truly magnificent movies, so I’m psyched to see The Hobbit.  Martin Freeman plays young Bilbo, you may know him as Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (I absolutely love that movie), or as Dr Watson from the BBC’s modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes – Sherlock Series, apparently it’s really good.

Apparently Evangeline Lilly’s elf character, Tauriel, was created to join the Hobbit’s ‘fellowship’ because otherwise there would be no female characters.  I don’t have any objections to having no female characters, but I also have no objections to adding a character in that was not proper LotR canon, just don’t tell me.  LotR needed some girl power, which we got with Eowyn, so I’m happy we are going to get a kickass female elf, if the rumours are true…..

Anyway, new adventures from Middle Earth, can’t wait.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1

Oh ugh, I spent two hours and 3 minutes watching Bella and Edward sucking face.  Well not a full two hours, thank goodness, at least something did happen.  That being said, this Twilight wasn’t so bad.  Cringe worthy as all hell, but the acting was at its best yet.  The film wasn’t so bad if you cut out everything from after the wedding to when Jacob finds out that Bella’s back.  I think what really ticks me off, other than Bella and Edward tonguing each other, is that Bella is the horny one in the relationship.  I just find it embarrassing.  Ok coy Edward was cute, for like a second, and then one begins to wonder whether he isn’t perhaps gay.  I know, I know it’s not how the story goes but it’s what I see.  I’m more interested in the second half of the book / movie, when we get all the excitement, like more vampires, Volturi threat, Bella’s first hunt, but the first part deserves some praise.

Bella’s dress was stunning, I loved the back, and I loved her hair clip, and those shoes were stunning.  One of my favourite little scenes in the book, is when Bella and Edward are waiting to tell Charlie that they’re engaged and Bella tells Edward to wait until Charlie has put away his gun.  I find the scene hilarious and wished they had put it in the film.  Although it doesn’t really fit anywhere the way the movies have been scripted.  *skips over Esme Island and all the smooching*  right onto Jacob and his angst.  I don’t think Jacob can really act, but hey he’s hot and doesn’t really wear much, so who’s complaining.  Come to think of it, Jacob and the rest of the pack have been remarkably clothed in this film.  😦   I also noticed that a lot of the conversations that the wolf pack have are done in human and not in wolf form.  Now I wanted to see them wolf speak more, but it was pointed out to me that the actors would want more face time, which makes sense, so I don’t object too much, they’re all just too gorgeous to waste!  I think the most amazing thing in this move is the special effects, especially how they aged Bella, and made her look like a skinny twig.  That was impressive, but what was absolutely amazing is when they reverse the effects at the end, when Bella is becoming a vampire, it was so natural, special effects have really come along way.  I was very interested to see how they would show Jacob imprinting on Renesmee.  It was nicely handled, not corny at all, unlike the scene in New Moon where Alice shows her vision of Bella being a vampire.  Oh crikey that was a corny scene.  What’s funny is that the director said that when he filmed it he thought it was perfect, and then seeing it in the final product he admitted to finding it extremely corny himself.  Back to the imprinting, nicely handled, and I loved getting an early look at Renesmee as she ages, especially seeing an older version of her, which apparently is a digital aging of the little girl playing Renesmee.  Wow she’s gorgeous.  My biggest question was how were they going to handle Renesmee’s birth, because it’s quite gory in the book.  Well it was impressive, they were very religious to the book, and dealt with it in such a way that it was tense but not too gruesome.  We don’t see much, which is quite the opposite to a lot of films out there.  I’m thinking of horror movies, ones I have and haven’t seen, and considering this is Twilight they couldn’t really be too graphic otherwise they won’t be able to get a low enough age restriction.

At the end of the day, Breaking Dawn is the most ridiculous book I’ve ever read, vampires having ‘gentle’ sex with humans and then producing a half-human half-vampire baby immortal whose mothers’ best friend, who has been totally in love with her, but was in actual fact in love with her ovaries, and is the soul mate of her child.  It must have been very difficult to turn the book into a script without making it look absolutely ridiculous, but it was well handled.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time and Terra Nova are my two obsession series of the year.  They’re different from the usual cop murder shows, or the hospital dramas that I watch, they are now my fantasy sci-fi fix now that Stargate is officially dead.  The concept behind Once Upon a Time excited me, we have had very few fantasy shows over the years, and not many of them survive for very long.  If done right Once Upon a Time could do very well, and is doing very well so far, although I do have a few gripes.

Let me explain.  Fairytales and fables are a great source of ideas, there are multiple versions of tales, and you can draw from multiple cultures.  That being said, there is one huge problem.  DISNEY.  I absolutely love Disney, I have watched every movie, except Bambi, hundreds of times, and that’s only during this year.  The thing is, just because Disney has released their version of famous fairytales, doesn’t me that their version must become the cannon.  Once Upon a Time has the opportunity to take the original tales and do with them whatever they want, which they have done in some areas but not in others. For example:  the seven dwarves.  Next year we see the release of two Snow White movies, each with their own set of Seven Dwarves.  In Snow White and the Huntsmen the dwarves are named after Roman Emperors: Caesar, Tiberius, Constantine, Claudius, Hadrian, Nero and Trajan;  in Mirror Mirror the dwarves are named: Butcher, Grimm, Half-Pint, Grub, Napoleon, Wolf and Chuckles.  But OUaT called their dwarves Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Doc, Sneezy, Bashful and Dopey, after the Disney version.  So far we have seen Grumpy and Sleepy in the ‘real’ world, and are known as Leroy and Walter.  I can see Grumpy/ Leroy is a favourite, but then who doesn’t love a grumpy character?  (Team Grumpy Bear).  Seriously, they have all this creative wiggle room and what do they do?  They use the Disney names, which aren’t very flattering.  Ug, even in Kristin Kreuk’s Snow White, her dwarves where named after days of the week and colour coded to match the colours of the rainbow!  OUaT was doing so well with their Snow White interpretation, their Snow White’s on the run, living rough, stealing from the rich, dealing with evil trolls, she’s got attitude and the ability to take care of herself, and Prince Charming actually has a name!  But I won’t spoil that.  They were doing so well avoiding the Disney references with Snow White’s story (apart from the dwarves names) but when we finally get other fairytale characters, it’s like the writers get lazy and use Disney as their source of visual reference for their fairytales.

The evil witch from Sleeping Beauty is the Evil Queen/ Regina’s best friend.  So they call her Maleficent!  Now I admit it is a fabulous name, and considering the evil fairy or queen (depending which version of the tale you’re reading) from the Sleeping Beauty fairytale doesn’t have a name.   I don’t mind the reference, what I do mind, is that they take it a step further to link it to the Disney version by trying to incorporate the Disney design into their design.  And thus we get those ridiculous head ear/ horn purple mesh thingy’s.  In my house when we don’t know what something is, we call it a thingy, and that’s what Maleficent is wearing.

That was episode 2, in episode 4 we get a new fairy tale character not linked to Snow White, Cinderella.  Now don’t get me wrong, I loved this episode, even though, again, it blatantly references Disney.  Firstly, Ella gets a blue ball gown!  It’s like a more sensible less fluffy version than Disney, but it’s a Disney reference.  Followed by the hair!  I can’t believe they gave her poufy hair that imitates the Disney hairstyle.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it, and maybe I just find the hairstyle horrible and unflattering to the actress who has a really sweet face, but I definitely see a Disney reference.  Also, another Prince Charming, shame that is like the default name for every fairytale prince, but at least he gets a name and personality as well.

Episode 5 was a Jiminy Cricket story, and I absolutely loved it.  It showed me that the writers are capable of using the fairytales as guidelines and creating new stories to flesh out characters.  In this episode Archie Hopper/ Jiminy Cricket becomes the person he wants to be in the ‘real’ world, while we get flashbacks of his life in the enchanted world.  He had terrible parents, marvellously evil, apathetic characters.  What’s nice is that the end of Jiminy Crickets origin story then links up to the Pinocchio tale in quite a poignant and original way.

That’s all that’s been released of OUaT so far, and I’m looking forward to the rest, but even now I am disappointed again.  A spoiler was released for a future episode which deals with Beauty and the Beast, a fairytale that I love, and what do we get, but a photo of Bell in Disney’s yellow poufy dress!  I actually hate that dress.  There have been tonnes of other adaption’s of Beauty and the Beast, with stunning dresses, why, why, why the yellow one?  I like the idea of Bell in blue.  Other than my gripe with the dress, I’m really excited about this episode, like what will the beast look like and whose going to play him, what kind of Bell will Emilie de Ravin (Claire in Lost) make, and what on earth is Bell doing talking to Rumpelstiltskin?

I have no objection to Disney references, such as the Tinker Bell wind charm, of Doctor Hopper’s dog being a Dalmatian called Pongo (which is pure Disney, 101 Dalmatians is not a classic fairytale, but a novel written in 1956 by Dodie Smith) or the little Minnie Mouse in Mister Gold’s pawn shop, it’s the blatantly huge ones, the ones that they use to define characters with.  It was suggested that not everyone knows the non-Disney versions of fairytales, that they use the Disney version so that people can more easily identify fairytale characters.  I both agree and disagree with this idea, the fairytales have other signifiers that make the story identifiable to the viewer, as Rumpelstiltskin said to Cinderella when asked about the glass slippers:  ‘Every story needs a memorable detail’.  We don’t need the Disney look to make people recognise which fairytale their watching.  Also, growing up, I watched and read multiple versions of fairytales, many of them not even remotely similar in aesthetic to Disney.