movie

The Analysis of Narnia (2005 film) – The Likes, the Comments, and the Questions

Warning: Contains Spoilers***

 

Based on C.S. Lewis’s novel, the first Narnia movie, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, focuses on four siblings, the Pevensies. There’s Peter the oldest. Then there’s Susan, probably close to Peter’s age. There’s Edmond, who seems drawn to his father that’s fighting in the Second World War. And then there’s Lucy, the youngest and the most naïve. She is that typical little kid who annoys her older siblings.

Now before I express my thoughts, please note that I will not bring up events from the book series or the play adaptations. I have never read the novels nor have I seen the play. I have seen both sequels. The second one was in full, but a long time ago. With the third, I only saw bits of it here and there. So this post is only going to discuss the First Narnia movie from 2005, with possibly a comparison to a sequel here and there.

As bombs drop in London, Mrs. Pevensie lead the children out to the underground area to hide. Then she sends them on a train to the country, where it’s safer (this is actually historically accurate, by the way). The four kids find a stern woman named Mrs. McCreedy, who will watch them while they stay. While playing hide-and-seek, Lucy means to hide in a wardrobe—only that it leads her to a snowy environment. Little does she know that she has entered a magical land not part of regular Earth. She meets Mr. Tumnus the faun and likes him as an individual. Edmond ends up in Narnia and meets the White Witch, who seems sweet at first, but is really trying to hurt him. She wants to gain Edmond’s trust. After a bunch of drama where the older kids wouldn’t believe Lucy, they all go through the wardrobe and discover Narnia once again. Things get intense and problematic from there. That’s when the meat of the story begins.

I enjoyed this movie a lot. I used to watch is as a child when it’d come out on DVD. One funny activity my brothers and I would do was guess the children’s ages. It was cute.

Anyway, I’m getting back on topic. I admired the world building and how it was a good way to help kids escape from the horrors of WWII. It was actually written to keep children relaxed and feel like they are escaping the war.

Of course, no story, either written or on screen, is perfect. For instance, who decided that the Pevensie kids would stay with Mrs. McCreedy? She led them around the house with ground rules and no signs of a positive attitude. She especially snapped when Susan touched a statue (and that I supported because Susan should’ve known better at the age she was). No welcoming attitude with “Make yourself at home. You want some water?”? Obviously, the kids wouldn’t have gotten to pick. If Mrs. Pevensie had chosen, perhaps she should’ve been more careful. If the state equivalent in the UK did, then that was they was it was. On the bright side, the professor was very sweet. When Lucy cried, he offered to make her some hot chocolate.

When Aslan is executed, Lucy and Susan cry like he was a loved one they’ve known forever. Lucy also wept when Mr. Tumnus turned into stone. I get that they cared about these characters. But I did find it a bit odd that two girls would cry over deaths of animals they barely knew, especially if they weren’t their pets. Well, I guess the viewers needed some sadness and sympathy for all those characters.

Narnia’s time is pretty confusing. One year equals, like, a few minutes in the real world. After Lucy leaves Narnia for the first time, she returns back to where the hide-and-seek game started. At the end, when the kids have become adults and rule Narnia, they return to the wardrobe. The reverse back into the ages they were when they first entered. And they didn’t seem to react much. I wonder why it’s like that. Kind of strange, huh?

And the last point will tie into the sequels. In “Prince Caspian”, a year has passed since “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”. Centuries have gone by in Narnia. There are now humans. While there are adults from Narnia who can be there, adults from Earth are too old to be there. That is why Susan and Peter don’t go back to Narnia in the third film. There, it’s Edmond’s and Lucy’s last times, too. But Edmond is probably a few years older than Lucy. So while I’d understand Edmond’s last time, why Lucy? Unless they plan to lower the maximum age for going to Narnia.

Yes, there is a reason why kids can’t go to Narnia once they reach a certain point. The short answer is that they no longer need it. And there’s more to the long answer. But I don’t know it well. You could search for it elsewhere if you’re really desperate to find out.

Nevertheless, Narnia is a fantastic movie. Both as a fantasy and an amazing film. I would give it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

travel

That’s Where I Went, You Know… Way Down in Key West

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Above is a picture found from Pixabay.

Four years ago, during my college spring break (and possibly my brothers’ school breaks at the times), my family went to Key West, the most southern section of the continental US. Buildings had flat roofs. It resembled more of a Caribbean Island than the typical US geographic layout. There were coral reefs in the water.

Cuban food was also common there. Near the place my family and I stayed at, there was a little building that sold Cuban food to go, as well as breakfast, drinks, and snacks.

Stray chickens wandered around the town. I learned that it was because there used to be chicken fighting decades ago. It got banned, so those people released the chickens into the wild. I spotted a hen with chicks and wanted to take a picture. But I missed them.

Walking was the best way of transportation. Unlike some cities, bikers did not speed as much on the streets. You could rent a car (that was what my parents did) but for the most part, we didn’t need to drive a lot.

This was actually my second time to Key West. The first one was during the day from a Royal Caribbean cruise when I was ten. At that time, it rained and we couldn’t do much. We’d gone to the aquarium. But that was it.

I enjoyed the second time more. We got to see and do more. The weather was nicer. And I was older and could have more independence.

short fiction

Plump and Pretty: A Flash Fiction Piece

Senior prom drew nearer. There was a boy in my class named Trevor who loved me. He always told me how beautiful I was and how much he adored me.

            I considered it a compliment as I had more weight than many of my classmates. I wore huge round glasses and curly dark hair. I have had crushes on a boy in middle school, who’d left in ninth grade. He didn’t like me. He’d thought I was too chubby.

            How could he? I loved my body. Girls needed to accept who they are and not compare themselves to the ideal skinny ladies they saw on the media. Not to mentioned how heavily photo-shopped they’d been. Many probably looked like me.

            Anyway, Trevor and I had dated for a few months now. Today was June sixth. Prom would take place tomorrow. I’d already bought my dress. It was navy with thick shear straps.

            I went on Facebook and browsed through my feed. Trevor had announced that he’d entered a relationship. Wait, what? Why hadn’t he done that earlier?

            I scrolled down and saw a picture of him with this thin, redheaded girl, Leila Cronin. I gasped. No—no! He couldn’t have. Leila had bullied me in eighth grade for my looks.

            This couldn’t have happened. Not in a billion years. Unless he’d tricked me to trust him.

            I felt tears in my eyes. I called Trevor and continued to breathed through a narrowed throat.

            Trevor answered.

            “Trevor, what is wrong with you?”

            “I’m sorry, Chloe. But I just take you to prom.”

            “Why? Because I’m not—”

            “I just like Leila more.”

            “She’s a jerk!”

            “Don’t talk about my girlfriend like that!”

            “Girlfriend?”

            Trevor hung up.

            I burst into tears and threw myself onto my bed. I couldn’t go to prom anymore—not even with a group of friends. They all had dates. And who would I go with? No one.

            There was a knock on my door. “Cloe?”

            “What is it, Dad?”

            My dad entered. “Hi, honey. Are you okay?”

            “Trevor dumped me for that Leila girl!”

            “What?”

            “He likes her better!”

            “Oh, that’s not right.” My dad sat on my bed. “You know what? My friend, Horace’s son, Dexter, is also looking for someone.”

            “Is Dexter nice?”

            “Yes. I’ll take you to meet him tomorrow.”

            “But the prom’s tomorrow.”

            “We can meet him during the day. Sound good?”

            I nodded.

 

            The next day, my dad took me to see this boy, Dexter. We parked outside a diner. I figured my dad didn’t want me to go to Dexter’s house since I hadn’t met him before.

            We went inside and got seated. A man and his son joined us. The boy wore glasses, stood tall and broad. He also had some plumpness. “Hi, I’m Dexter.”

            “Chloe.” I shook his head.

            “I can’t wait to be your friend.”

            I tilted my head.

            Dexter’s father whispered, “He has autism.”

            “Oh,” I said.

            “I’m graduating high school like you, Chloe,” said Dexter. “But I don’t have anyone to go with.”

            I considered inviting him, except that I just met him.

            “You should take each other to your proms,” my dad said.

            I stared. Then I smiled. “Okay.”

            “Yay,” said Dexter. “You’re going be date. I can’t wait.”

            “Neither can I.”

            And so Dexter and I talked the whole time. I left the diner grinning. What else could ruin this day?

 

art

Lines & Shapes & References, Oh My… That’s What Illustration is All About

In my final semester of college last year, I took an illustration elective. I discovered some tips and tricks I never knew before.

Reference material was one. Believe it or not, that is super important for illustration. Whether it’s for a pose or an appearance. Yes, if you want to illustrate a house with a yard for an illustration project, you will need a reference. Of course, you’re not going to copy it (not just because of copyright protections, but also because it’s lazy and not your own) but you can refer to it for believable structure and appearances. You still have to change some things, like color, removal of something, etc., or else it become copying.

Another illustration rule I’ve learned was when designing characters, their physical looks matter and should relate to their ages, personalities, and roles to their stories. I started out with just simple smiles and different looks. But I had to change that. So I did.

Below is a drawing of Polydectes from the Greek myth, Perseus and Medusa.
Main Polydectes Scan

Had I not been taught to show the characters’ personalities, he would’ve just smiled and held his arms at his side.

If you’re going to design characters as a career, you’ll most likely have to do turnaround sheets. That is when you show the same characters in different POV’s. It’s less necessary for book illustration, but mandatory for animation, whether it’s for TV, film, or games.

Here’s a sample of an original character I’ve drawn in different POV’s.

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Okay. So it might be a bit sloppy. But you get the idea. This character is basically in every major POV.

When you grew up, regardless of your artistic talent, you probably drew by outlining first. Then you colored in the image. In illustration, however, you start with simple shapes as the building blocks for an object or character. You would use circles for round sections and rectangles or triangles for angled sections. Then you would finish from there.

In fact, one of our first assignments was to find character images and break them down into simple shapes. This is how you learn to show detail and consistency.

Have you ever watched a cartoon and noticed something off? If so, the cartoonist probably made an error. He or she probably didn’t mean to. However, this is something viewers will notice very easily, even if it’s very faint. It takes a lot of practice, though. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to make this easy. You really just have to gain that hand muscle memory and place everything the right position, such as the eyes.

Of course, you will have to practice on your own as I do not have enough illustration experience to post tutorials here. However, you can find others all over the Internet. If you’re really serious, you can read books or take a class.

TV show

This is the Suite Analysis of Zac and Cody

Two twin boys named Zac and Cody live in a hotel with their single (or widowed or divorced) mom. They do fun things together, along with two older girls named London, who is wealthy, and Maddie, who is smart. They make viewers laugh (and maybe cry) throughout their humor, actions, and more.

I used to watch this show on Disney Channel in 8th grade. I enjoyed it very much. There were a lot of funny moments, such as London learned how to swim and almost kissed her love interest, but accidentally kissed a duck float.

The episode where Zac and Cody cut school and went to the mall because they missed the bus was very clever. They did as much as possible to avoid getting into trouble. But their mom eventually caught them and punished them with losing all their privileges. I especially found it amusing when she punished Cody (I don’t think applied to Zac) with no reading for fun. For the record, reading for fun is actually good for your brain. Studies even show that kids who read for fun perform better in school. But that’s a different topic.

There was also an episode where London wrote a picture and read it to a group of little kids. But then she got in trouble for copyright infringement. Law officials even showed up and the children gave up with London. Imagine if this happened to you (and no, it would not be good at all)?

When Zac and Cody started high school, they rehearsed for “High School Musical” and London received the part of Sharpay. The characters wanted Maddie to play her, but she was too kind. I read somewhere that casters thought Ashley Tisdale was too nice to play Sharpay in the actual “High School Musical” movie. What was really clever and silly was when one of the twins (I can’t remember if it was Zac or Cody) was told he looked like Zac Efron, who played Troy in HSM. Then Maddie said, “And I don’t look like Ashley Tisdale?” Lol, Ashley Tisdale played Maddie.

And one major character I would like to mention now is Mr. Moseby. He was great with everyone. He even went onto the sequel “The Suite Life on Deck” with Zac, Cody, London, and a new character, Bailey. Why didn’t Maddie go? I don’t know. I’ve assumed that she couldn’t afford it. But I didn’t watch a lot of “The Suite Life on Deck”.

The show, “The Suite Life of Zac and Cody” no longer airs. I’m not sure if the Sprouse brothers (who played Zac and Cody) still act now. However, I admired their performances as well as the other actors.

cooking

Something Oily This Way Comes… In Baking

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Have you ever noticed that baking with butter differs in your dessert’s texture than baking with oil? I don’t just mean boxed mixes, but baking from scratch.

Yup, I noticed it and a website confirmed it. Oil does make your desserts moister. Butter is good, too, at times, such as when baking cookies (depending on the recipe, especially if you’re trying to bake healthier stuff) and making buttercream icing. Butter is also good at flavoring certain sweets, like yellow cake when mixed in.

However, you usually don’t have to melt oil (unless it’s solid, like coconut oil) or heat it up. When cooking or baking with butter and having to add eggs, you have to use extra care. Melted butter has to be cooled to lukewarm before you add the eggs. Otherwise, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in your dessert (this has happened to my mom and even me when I cooked vanilla pudding from scratch) and will probably want to throw it away.

Of course, everybody has different preferences. Some people are happy with just using butter. Others will enjoy using oil in their baking, regardless of reason.

travel

These Are a Few of My Favorite Family Trips

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My family and I have traveled a lot. I have the plane guidelines memorized (I don’t even pay attention to the demos anymore), I know what to (and what not to) pack, and I know how to prepare for trips.

Some were amazing. Some could have been better. Others were enjoyable enough. I will list the top three favorite trips I’ve gone on.

3: Lake George (2014)

I’ve gone there twice. I have to admit I liked the second time better. My favorite moment was when my family was eating near the lake and a duck stepped on my dad’s foot. We were there because my brother was going to Boy Scout camp there. So we did some activities until we had to drop off my brother.

2: Costa Rica (2011)

From the rainforest to the beach, we did a lot of touring. We saw a quetzal, which I hear is rare, as well as a sloth and some monkeys. We zip-lined, jet-skied, and had fun.

1: Atlantis (2010)

Although my mom didn’t enjoy it, I liked it a lot. I did the waterpark, including the tubes where the sharks surround you, saw the sea creatures, and had a good time. We also swam with dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island and snorkeled on a reef. I actually cut my finger on a fish fin (not intentionally, of course).

I could go on with other trips I enjoyed. I will talk about them in other posts.

 

 

movie

“Cars 3” On Your Mark… Get Set… Review!

Warning: Contains Spoilers***

 

I saw the first “Cars” movie when it came out in 2006. However, I barely remember that. I didn’t see “Cars 2”.

But when I saw “Cars 3” last year in 2017, I discovered that I liked it. I appreciated how it easily stood on its own and the viewer didn’t have to rely on the previous two films.

Lightning McQueen is preparing for a race. His goal is to beat Jackson Storm. He crashes and ends up in critical condition. He is asked to retire from racing. But he won’t. Lightning gets pared with a trainer named Cruz Ramirez and teaches her some racing skills. He doesn’t want training, though. He yells at Cruz and she gives up on him. Lightning apologizes and things improve from there.

This movie kept my interest all the way through. The cow vehicles were funny. The animation was also done well.

Although Lightning didn’t return to being a racer at the end, I admired how he gave up his role in the race to Cruz. I found that to be very considerate and mature.

Overall, I would rate this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed watching it. But the “Cars” franchise never excited me too much. Would I recommend this movie, though? Absolutely.

travel

It’s Interesting in Italy

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Note: The picture above is from Pixabay. I didn’t take it.

Five years ago, in 2013, my family took a trip to Italy. We went to Venice, Florence, Amalfi, and Rome.

Venice has no vehicles, except boats or walking. We took gondola tours, ate gelato (at some point, I got sick of just seeing it since it was everywhere), and got around by boat or foot.

We toured churches everywhere. There were signs communicating what actions and attire were prohibited. A funny one showed male and female figures in shorts and tank tops. Photography was also forbidden, otherwise, I would’ve loved to capture an image of that silly sign. 

After studying paintings and sculptures in art history classes in college, I appreciated the works more. I saw the huge “Last Judgment” image on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I also saw the David in Florence and you were not allowed to take pictures of it. But that guideline was no surprise.

The historical sight touring was fun. We toured the lost city of Pompeii and the Coliseum. The food also differed from in the US. Tomato sauce tasted fresher. I used to be able to eat it. Gnocchi was everywhere. I love gnocchi, but I kind of got tired of it there. Because of prices, my parents only let my brothers and I order pizza or pasta.

In Amalfi, we took a bus to a restaurant where we had a waiter that looked like Steve Jobs. We told him and he laughed. Not often do you see a doppelganger of someone famous on vacation.

I had a good time in Italy. I’ve been to many different states and countries. Europe is included. The other nations I’ve visited there were England and Greece.

TV show

Wish Granted! It’s My Top Favorite Episodes of “The Fairly Odd Parents”

From ages 7 – 12, I was a huge fan of “The Fairly Odd Parents”. I noticed tons of details, changes (including some inconsistencies), and much more. I would go out of my way to watch a FOP special. For example, when “Fairy Idol” premiered, I wanted to be home in time to watch it.

While I enjoyed the show very much, I have some favorite episodes. I will select the top 5.

 

5: “Emotion Commotion”

 

Timmy is afraid to go off the high-dive at a pool, despite his crush, Trixie and the other popular kids watching. He screams as he goes off, and his bathing suit comes off. He is laughed at because he’s naked. At home, he wishes to have no emotions. Kids continue to crack up after he was nude at the pool. Adults make Timmy face dangerous challenges because he has no emotions.

I was amazed at how imaginative the creators were with what it would be like to have no emotions. Timmy ended up dull all the time. When asked, “How do you feel?”, he’d answer with “I don’t.” What an interesting concept.

 

4: “Babyface”

 

Timmy is sent to hang with the big kids at Flappy Bob’s Learnatorium. When the kids chase Timmy, he ends up in the daycare center. In order to hide, he wishes to become a baby. Everything works, until Timmy discovers that he can’t talk anymore. He has to find another way to wish himself back to being 10.

I found this episode to be quite funny, especially when a baby took off his own diaper and threw it at Francis. I enjoyed Happy-Peppy Gary and Betty’s moments in the swamp scene, when Gary said to sing a song about not getting eaten by alligators and Betty actually started until Gary said, “I was being Ironic.” I also realize that Timmy would’ve lost his ability to spell and read after wishing he was a baby. Kids learn to talk before they read and spell. But that’s a whole different topic. But hey—plot convenience matters to the creators.

 

3: “Mr. Right”

 

Following “Babyface”, Timmy is sick of getting everything wrong. He wishes that everything he said was right. From the US having 49 states to losing Cosmo and Wanda, things get out of hand.

I loved when Mr. Crocker presented “The Scream” to Timmy. Timmy asked why he was screaming. Mr. Crocker answered, “Because he got an F… like you.” He even showed more of the painting and the figure with an F in front of him. Oh my gosh. I could laugh all day at that, even though that’s not why the figure is screaming. I liked when Timmy said stuff to Francis to block his hearing so that he could get his fairies back.

 

2: “Yoo Doo”

 

Timmy wants revenge on Francis. Cosmo mentions Yoo Doo dolls. But Wanda doesn’t approve. Nevertheless, Timmy wishes for them. He succeeds at humiliating Francis, but things get out of control. While with Trixie, Tootie controls Timmy with his Yoo Doo doll and makes him talk about how great Tootie and how she’s better than Trixie.

This episode made me laugh a lot. I enjoyed when people were being controlled by others using their Yoo Doo dolls. Yes, this wouldn’t be funny in real life. But it’s a cartoon.

 

And now… drumroll

 

1: “Just Desserts”

 

Timmy is mad when he doesn’t get sweets for dessert. He got carrots, a textbook to multiply fractions with AJ’s family, and a broccoli and brussel sprout sundae with Mark. He wishes that everything was dessert. Cookies, cakes, ice cream, and more. Everyone gets hyper, but then becomes obese. People have to roll to get around. Then the weight of everybody puts pressure on the Earth and it rolls toward the sun (which, by the way, would NOT happen in real life).

This episode was, perhaps, my favorite. I cracked up through a lot of the episode. I particularly found Trixie popping her belt off to be humorous. The idea of everything being desserts was amazing.

 

So there you have it. Although “The Fairly Odd Parents” isn’t the same as it was when I was a child, I’ll always value it as one of my favorite childhood TV shows.