movies

Asgardians of the Galaxy (aka Thor Ragnarok) Trailer

Holy crap! Long time no post! But we moved again, and with he holidays (and holiday shopping season) over I'm choosing to be back!

Which brings me to the amazing trailer for

Thor Ragnarok

(or as I'm actively going to call it thanks to my friend Ryan: "Asgardians of the Galaxy")

I've not been excited for a Thor movie in a long time. I did enjoy the first one enough, but let's be honest, they've been pretty weak. This one looks like it will be more fun, and actually be a bit more about Thor than his (insanely handsome) brother Loki.

ALSO: I am here for Valkyrie and Hela! Hel is one of my favorite Norse mythology characters (mostly because I was introduced to her in K.A. Applegate's post

Animorphs

series

Everworld

). And Valkyrie is SERIOUS cosplay goals right now! I love her armor and the shot of her dragging Thor around with the smirk?

GURRRRL! I'm here for it!

And the Hulk bit? Frakking PRICELESS!!! "He's a friend from work!" is a great line!!!

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Are you stoked for it?

Jareth: The Goblin King (Workout Cosplay)

Today's Workout Cosplay is based on David Bowie's iconic role of Jareth the Goblin King from

Labyrinth!

Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth

Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth

by

joie-fatale

As you may have seen in my

previous post

, I was a late watcher of Labyrinth, but thanks to

my ride-or-die homey

, I got to see it! It was Muppets! It was magical! And, it was Bowie! The movie's brilliant. I based the outfit on his from

this

scene (Magic Dance), with the sparkly blue headband as an homage to the ballroom scene!

This workout playlist is very dance-dance oriented! I wanted it to be something with David's influence, but, also peppy to run or dance or what-have-you to!

If there are any Workout Cosplays and Playlists you'd like to see, let me know in the comments, or, tweet me

@Joie_Fatale

!

Slytherin Workout Cosplay

"...in Slytherin you'll make your real friends, those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends."

As you likely guessed by now, this last November Workout Cosplay is for my Hogwarts house: Slytherin! Here's a cunning little number in silver, green, and black!


And a playlist for us Snakes!

While my house gets a bad-rep thanks to "legacy folks" (born Slytherins like Malfoy, Parkinson, Goyle, Crabbe...you know, the more jerky students) there's the other half that I like to the see as the cunning rebels who are pulling more pranks on the legacy brats than Fred & George ever did. And we know that's a LOT!

More importantly MERLIN was in Slytherin! And that pretty much trumps everything, cause Merlin was the greatest mother flipping wizard to ever exist. **drops mic**

But really I love my house. I love Hogwarts! I love the Harry Potter series! There, I said it (but we all knew eh? LOL

If you have any Workout Cosplays you'd like to see, let me know in the comments, or, tweet me @Joie_Fatale!

Jack Frost Workout Cosplay

As I stated last week: I ship Jack (Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians) and Elsa (Disney's Frozen)! I have only seen some amazing fan art of the two, but I kind of love it!!!

Since I have done an Elsa Workout Cosplay, Jack seemed like the natural fit...also I just finished watching both Rise of the Guardians, and, Jack Frost this season, so I had to!!!

Here's the outfit:

JackFrost.WorkCos.jpg

And here is a Jack Frost Workout playlist! Keeping you cool in the gym, or wherever you are working out!

Jack Frost by Joie_Fatale on Grooveshark

Hope you liked this workout cosplay!

I'm curious: Do you have any cross studio 'ships? Or any cross studio specials you'd love to see (I'm still hoping for SuperWhoLock myself)? Let me know in the comments or, on twitter!!!

Wednesday Workout Cosplay: Briar Rose

Today's workout cosplay is inspired by Briar Rose! Or, Aurora...or Sleeping Beauty. I chose Briar Rose this time around, and I distinguish between the two since she really didn't know she was Princess Aurora until she was 16 (side note: Princess Aurora is kind of  gangsta-esque...I mean, she has two nicknames and Briar Rose is just shy from Little Tweety, eh? But I digress...).



Sleeping Beauty was such a beautifully stylized film. While Aurora was a bit...*couch*lackluster*cough*. But it was one of my favorites as a wee little lass because of the animation and of course: MALEFICENT!!!

Anyway I had been planning this one for a while now (since March [:  actually)!
Here's the cosplay!
Briar Rose


1). Sweating Beauty Tank- I LOVE Activate Apparel's fitness gear! I like how nerdy and funny they can be! This one is perfect Briar Rose AKA Princess Forest Cardio (oh hey, another nickname!).
2). Rosie Earbuds- I love how beautiful these earbuds are! They'd be great for jogging and listening to the below playlist!
3). Nike shorts- I like the multiple tones on these shorts since they fit right in with Briar Rose's dress!
4).Adidas shoes- besides the iconic neutral dress, there is a pop of color in the forest scene (pic at the top for reference) where BR is talking to the the animals. I thought these Lavender and rose running shoes fit quite nicely. ALSO they have a sole that is bouncy and light for running!
5). Sleeping Beauty Socks!- I LOVE fun socks! Working in an office, fun socks can be one of those last vestiges of awesomeness that you can rock in secret! (I happen to have a set of similar socks from next week's workout cosplay!).
6). Sleeping Beauty Sports Bra- Ok...prepare yourselves for a pun! This sports bra is not only cute, but we could call it: Sleeping Boobies, or (to run with the nicknames gag) Bra-er Rose! Eh? Eh? Ok, I really just thought this was punny, and perfect for this workout.

And of course, we have our "Once Upon a Workout" playlist:


Lastly a little sing-a-long! Goes to this song: (Sleeping Beauty) I Wonder by Disney on Grooveshark
I wonder.
I wonder.
I wonder what character is up next.
To cosplay.
For workouts.
Tune in next week to find out!
 ('tis a short song)

Have you seen Sleeping Beauty? I'm curious what is your favorite part? Least favorite part? And most importantly: why is Prince Phillip so darn good-looking?

Wednesday Workout Cosplay: Royal Sisters Elsa & Anna

To close out March's [Un]Official Princess Month, we're capping off with Princess Anna, and Queen Elsa!
I loved Frozen and, I'm dedicating this post to my little sister (whom I love too)! (^_^)

Let me start with Princess Anna!
Wednesday Workout Cosplay: Princess Anna


1). Anna's iconic magenta cape would have translated well to a hoodie...but that seemed too predictable, which Anna does not like. So, I figured, this vest would be good combination between her black vest, and cape.
2). I was debating this black longsleeve and a teal, but I felt like, with all the blue in frozen, the neutral of the black top would help break up the coloring and bring together the shoes!
3). These shoes in fact which have a GREAT combination of the colors featured, also have a cute polka dot design on the insignia!
4).I've worn pigtails while working out and the only problem for me were the whisps of hair that liked to poke me in the eye...not fun! So I think this headband is a great compliment to the overall outfit!
5). I'll admit it: I'm a huge Roxy fan! and so when I saw these capri's that have the Frozen teal band, and Anna's skirt blue, I couldn't help using them in this outfit!
6). And, just in case you're region is warming up and that long sleeve is a little to much to commit to, these sleeves (by Groovy Baby Action Gear, whom you know I LOVE!) would go great with this short sleeved tee.

Wednesday Workout Cosplay: Queen Elsa

1). I LOVE this sweatshirt! It's so cute, looks so warm, and you can't beat that design for Elsa! I like how it has a snowflake design and is in icy white and blue!
2). This icy blue shirt is perfect Elsa it even has a shimmery print that matches Elsa's iconic dress!
3). Let It Go with these awesome shoes! It has Free flex grooves that will "keep you ready for extra mileage"...like the way Elsa hiked from Arendelle to her snowy mountain!
4). As much as I love Elsa's hair, I don't think I would sport her bangs during a workout. So, this headband would be great for keeping those awesome bangs off of your face. Plus, it has 360 reflection on it so it will keep you safe, and have you sparkling a little bit like Elsa does! (sparkle-age= RADICAL!!!)
5). How AWESOME are these training leggings? They even have a glacial look to them, and, remind me of Elsa's ice castle!
6). Alright, I'm guilty...I love these sleeves! LOL! There are three different Elsa types, but these had that cool point towards the middle of the hand!

And since this post is unofficially a sister and/or besties/your sister from another mister ;) post, how awesome are these phone cases!
Matching Sister Frozen Cases

Elsa and Anna - Artwork by Teo Hoble
FacebookTumblr | Deviant Art | Store


Frozen won best animated feature (The Wind Rises was my next hope for winning) and it was well deserved. The music was so, so, so good, and Olaf was funny as heck too (whom I though I would not like btw). I wrote a small attempt at a review back in December after I saw it.

The workout I chose for this was based on two things: first, Anna's crazy rope climbing scene:
via
And, Elsa's dress and the shimmery shoulders:
via
Soooooo, here's a shoulder workout!!!
via

There were there things I wish the movie would have done differently? I would scream YES! in just as fervent a manner as I would exclaim my adoration for it! But I really like it! That disclaimer being said, if you haven't seen it yet, please skip the blue sentence below:
One of the things I loved the most about the movie was that the "true love" mentioned was not based on the typical prince/princess coupling. It was instead the love of family, and the bond that siblings--specifically sisters--share. That being said, I felt like the proper end to this month's princess theme would be Queen Elsa and Princess Anna!

Even if you don't have a sister, you probably have best friends that are sisters! These people are important and you would fight for them too! Your "Sister from another mister" (not to discount brothers).

And with that, I leave you with this "Sisters in Ice" Playlist!
Sisters R Cool Playlist by Joie_Fatale on Grooveshark

Also...the only parody of Let It Go you need to see (caution: language!)!

Have you seen Frozen?

Wednesday Workout Cosplay: Ariel (The Little Mermaid)



Being in the water; hair flowing in the ocean; and abs of steel from mermaid kick/swimming!
So I--like many a young girl in the 90's and today--naturally gravitated to Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Ariel is a part of the feisty princess era from the 90's. She hoards has her own collection of ave the sea items in a really cool sea cavern; sings; and has aspirations of becoming a human. This desire starts as curiosity, and solidifies into a soul-bargaining-desperate-desire upon seeing dreamy Prince Eric!

It's the dark hair & blue eyes I think
via
Ariel is fun, and spunky, and lives in the water! She's awesome! And I have to say this is definitely one of the times I'm glad Disney changed a classic fairy tale's ending.

Since we're talking mermaids, and oceans I will start with a VERY cute swimsuit, that looks like it could hold up in some surf (just be cautious of big waves)! I think its adorable! (This and this are cute too!)
Top  -  Bottoms
But since I'm focusing more on running and lifting some weights right now I'll come back to swimming when it's warmer! ;)


After finding the above swimsuit at Hot Topic, I looked for other Ariel  accessories and found the PERFECT thing for all of us "bright young women" who are attempting to walk/run on land.
Ok, it's not seashell bra, but it is a really cool sports bra!
via
This shirt I actually purchased! It's VERY soft and dries quickly! And, it's Purple!!!
via
And these awesome, bright green shorts should not only keep you safe at dusk, but they are a really spring green!
via
And since Ah-ree-el (Sebastian voice!) wished to ditch two fins for ten toes, I figured shoes that emulate running barefoot were most appropriate! There wasn't a green pair, so, let's just pretend ok? (psst! "normal" shoes here)

Hideous? YES! Comfortable? HELL YEAH!
via
Remember last week's post featuring Cinderella? I featured this and this by Groovy Baby Action Gear from Etsy!
Well, she also has  A LOT of other character items for cosplaying geared towards fun runs and working out!
Like these Little Mermaid one's being worn by your's truly!

You can find them here at her store!
I ran with them on Monday, and, Tuesday and they were a lot of fun. I'm going to try my hand at a product review (hopefully tomorrow or Friday). But the one thing I will go ahead and say up front: They are so fun!!! And it's nice to add a little pizazz to your workout attire! They are so cool (and as my husband made the note that they can double as Poison Ivy as well as Ariel!).

And now for what felt like the most difficult playlist to come up with, but, I feel like I got to do secret "shout outs" to parts of the movie and other characters...totally beach friendly dude! (Also, check out Sade's Mermaid, it's too slow for workouts for me, but its so relaxing!)

Hope you enjoyed this! 
Did you ever wish you were a mermaid/merman?

via

Wednesday Workout Cosplay: Cinderella

This month you may notice a bit of a theme on Wednesday. One might say it's "royally" inspired heehee. I thought I'd have some fun with the Disney Princesses, and do some workout inspired cosplay around them!

Today’s Princess is Cinderella! 
via
Let's get the party ball started!

Since this is Cinderella, I'm going to start with the running shoes, since Cinderella's main accessory would be that glorious pair of slippers! But these puppies are not made of glass, but, rather, they are strong and tough and ready for TRAIL-RUNNING!!!  Walking and running trails forces you to use your stability muscles, and creating great tone and strength! Also, they are totally in Cindy's colors! (Also this pair isn't available yet)
via
Next, are these SUPER adorable running sleeves for calves and arms! Amber from The Shiny Happy shared a product from Groovy Baby Action Gear, and I was in love with the store! They're ideal for race costumes, or adding a layer of warmth to yourself. And since I'm going with a trail running theme, they also had a layer of protection for you. Mostly though, Katie Dean--the shop's owner--made really cute running accessories that even when hitting the concrete, gym, or trails, give some fun-cosplay sparkle and shine (you know, some Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo) to your workout!
listing here

Listed here
Pairing them over these leggings will keep you warm enough as spring approaches, and affords one the ability to lighten up on the layers!

via
And this warm under shirt for a layer of er...warmth. 
via

I feel like the headband is one of those Cinderella accessories that fully completes the look, but this one will keep the ears warm and toasty.
via


And of course Active Apperal's totally awesome Cinderella shirt! I like this cause I'm more of a Doc/sambas/five-fingers type of show wearer!
via

I'll admit Lupita Nyong'O really inspired this post too. She looked like Cinderella in a dreamy blue ballgown; the fancy, but perfect headband, and her inspiring and sincere acceptance speech. And then this twirl really sold me on this idea too:
**SQUEE!**
(via: some Facebook upload I couldn't link to)

About Cinderella, I have two contradictory feelings. My dislike is admittedly petty; and my like is kind of emo (Dashboard Confessional should write a song about it)! Dislike: Cinderella’s “sequel” / modern voice. I hate it so much (told you). I could go on about the prince thing, but I think that can be easily remedied (see below). And since I’m focusing on the Disney version (though I love, love, love, LOVE Drew Barrymore’s version best--totally watching it after I am done writing) I do wish she would have stood up for herself more. But I get it--that was a: “different time”

But what I like, is that Cinderella has this ability to really resonate with a lot of different people. She is admirable in qualities that are really hard to keep up under duress, such as patience, kindness despite how others treat her. She’s a hard worker, and is happy being who she is in spite of where she is. She's a dreamer despite it all! And in then end, her hard work, gentle spirit, sweetness and the strength from her humility make her stand out, head and shoulders, above the crowd. 

I think with things like, careers, crafts, cosplays, working out, whatever we are working really hard at, we all want at least a little acknowledgement. To me, Cinderella isn't about "landing some rich dude," but more about having patience, dreaming/hoping, and working hard so that your dreams will come to fruition--despite the stormy tide you may be sailing through!

This  idea translates well in working out, and being healthy I think. It's about the confidence that you've been working hard on you and having the glow of health. You're doing right for yourself to become strong. It's not about size or shape, but about accomplishment! And that friends, is your frigging "prince" right there!

Inspirational speech end.
Thank you for letting me rant a bit!

Do you have a Cinderella moment, be it, work, exercise, a hairstyle you successfully did on yourself (minor or major)? :)

Birthday Wish List!

This is my birthday week and I've seen some of my FAVORITE bloggers post birthday wishlists, and since I REALLY like the idea, I thought I would do the same! (Thank you ladies!)


Joie's Birthday Wishlist!!!
Birthday Wishes for 2014!

1). Ok, so MAYBE I already got this for myself for my birthday. And MAYBE I'm a bit obsessed with of a CatBug fan. But can you blame me?!?!

2). I'm in need of a biker jacket to deck out, and purple or green are the colors I need!

3). If you haven't seen The Mighty Boosh...I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But you know what? It's ok, cause you can get the COMPLETE series and catch up! (just buy me a copy eh?)

4). This is out of my budget, but damn! This ring is wicked sweet! I have a costume Nana Osaki ring that's based on a previous Vivienne ring and I LOVE wearing it. But, this one is purple...so, I mean, I'm just saying.

5). I love the Island of Misfit Toys, and the little elephant (and King Moonracer) are my island faves. Since I've been collecting POP! Figures since my dad bought my first one a few years back, I've had an addiction to them. And I just can't say no to his little face!

6). I got a free sample of this for my birthday month from Sephora. It's Make Up Forever: Rouge Artist in "N9 Copper Pink" and I REALLY like it! Alas, they are perpetually out of stock on the darn thing!

7). Oh, sweet, sweet Disneyland pass...*sigh* you are what my dreams are not-so-secretly made of! If only petrol prices would decline; then, land of Disney; you would be mine!

8). Grape Docs = life goal/bucket list item fulfillment! I have two black pairs that I bought the moment I knew I was done growing. I just want my purple ones!

9). I am sorted Slytherin (like Merlin, and a wizard I won't talk about) and this swimsuit would TOTALLY be awesome to wear. School Spirit and junk you know!?

10). I love this bag! One day Vivienne...ONE DAAAAY! **shakes fist**


I'm excited for this week! I took my birthday off (my own personal holiday)! I honestly have NO IDEA what I'm going to do, but, I'm going to do something in my city I've never done before, so, yeah!

What's something in your hometown that you've always wanted to give a shot, but haven't done so yet?

Your First Time...

What is/was your first FANDOM memory?
My first memory is watching Star Wars with my family.
A little bit of history:

My dad grew up during the 60's, and collected a lot of comics. He even had a Spider-Man number one!

That is until his mom's--my Big Mama's--house caught fire. All the comics were gone, but thank God she made it out!

He also watched the old Batman series with Adam West. He loved the adventures, the utility belt, and of course the boss-est car to ever roam the earth: the Batmobile!

Later, he saw the premiere of Star Trek! He like many people  loved the stories! The writing spoke to, and continues to speak to people. Also, he loved Roddenberry and crew's vision of the future which included ALL people of all backgrounds! AND a future where it wasn't just us Earthlings, but some aliens as well.

In his late 20's Star Wars A New Hope came out. Light sabers, space saga, and DARTH-frakking-VADER! How could he not like it? and then, in 1980, The Empire Strikes Back came out, and we met Lando Calrissian, Jedi Master Yoda, saw the ice planet Hoth, and learned one of the greatest shockers of all time:


And with the Return of the Jedi helped signal a new era for my dad: fatherhood! Via your's truly!

With this change my father became a Jedi master in his own right and we--my siblings and I--his young padawans.

Which comes down to me.

Growing up, I know we watched Star Trek, and my dad got us into action figures pretty early on. And the old Batman show?


KUSI 9/51 used to play it all the time (I've kept my old KUSI Kids Club Card all these years). We even have a VHS tape full of episodes including Black Widow (not the Marvel assassin, but an older bank robber). Like my dad, I loved the Batmobile and wanted my own utility belt.

 My dad would watch these shows with us, and my mom would watch us all play together. We all had
I'll admit, I'm blessed to have parents that let us play cool games, and read awesome books, rather than being the superstitious kind.

But Star Wars? I LOVED Star Wars!!! I wanted a light saber more than anything in the world. And I definitely wanted to be able to wield the force. The Millenium Falcon; Han Solo; Leia; Luke; Yoda; Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi!

To me, Star Wars was brilliant because it can be enjoyed at any age. Leia was a smart diplomat with a warrior streak. Luke was a sincere kid trying to make his way; Han was the quintessential bad boy with a heart of gold! It was awesome! I liked how at the end of the trilogy Vader redeemed himself and did the right thing in the end and gets to be with Obi-Wan and Yoda (sorry, but I do have the original theatrical versions, and I prefer it...can't help it).

To go back to the opening question:
What is/was your first FANDOM memory?
Was it a video game? The star who played your favorite hero? Something you watched with one of your favorite people?

Please share in the comments! And if you want to write, or have written a post, share a bit about it AND link to your post in the comment box yo'! I would love to read it!

Fun Finds

Have you seen this trailer for Maleficent?! Lana del Rey's cover of Once Upon a Dream is PERFECT for the darkness of the fairy tale. It's haunting, luring, and beautiful! I can't wait to see this and I apologize in advance should my excitement become...repetitive.

Cait at Kitsch Vixen posted a link to this AMAZING post about Smash[ing] the Scale (Please read it and SHARE it!). She also shared the below video featuring styles throughout the last century, and both of them make me smile!

I want this wallet and bag from Loungefly! They are simple enough for dressing up, but they have a cute Tinkerbell print on them!
via LoungeFly
via LoungeFly

Think Geek has this Dalek watch (and this amazing T.A.R.D.I.S. watch...but it's already sold out) and I feel as though I could use this timepiece:
via ThinkGeek
And for something completely unique for valentines day--especially if you're like me and not really a roses person--Think Geek has a bouquet of plush kittens, or this plush of UNICORNS!!!
via ThinkGeek
be sure to check out this post about Moffet -era companions by Amber West of A Day Without Sushi wrote. She makes some great points so check them out!

Last but not least, a friend shared this with me, and yeah...I cried along with the girl at 8:46!

"Great job" I say to their parents! 

It's my Birthday month, and it's going to be so busy! I'm super excited! Have a great weekend, and welcome to February!

Christmas Special Countdown #1: The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol is my FAVORITE Christmas flick ever!


In this everyone-has-a-version-to-tell (Checkout Post number 4?) adaptation of A Christmas Carol, we are transported to Jolly Olde Scrooge-Terrorized-Dickensian-England. The story is narrated by Charles Dickens himself…as portrayed by The Great Gonzo, who is accompanied by Rizzo the Rat who conveniently asks questions that kids in the audience may have about parts of the tale, and, provides extra comic relief.

Michael Caine is Ebenezer Scrooge (whose name I learned, and, forever garnered respect as an actor from this very film—I mean, he got to work with KERMIT and GONZO! How could he not be cool in my 9 year old mind?!?!?), and Kermit is his Bob Cratchit.

I won’t go over the tale as to be honest, the synopsis is the same as number four on the list. But that DOES NOT mean this version is bad, or one to skip! Heck, it’s my number one for a reason. I just think that there are three reasons why this is my favorite rendition: the cast, the comedy, and the songs!

As I said before, Kermit is Cratchit, Gonzo is Charles Dickens, but there are other Muppet faces to be recognized. Miss Piggy gets to fulfill her life-long ambition as a Mrs.to Kermit’s Mr. vis a vie her portrayal as Mrs. Cratchit. Kermit’s nephew Robin (whom I always thought was super kawaii…so little! Squee!) is Tiny Tim. The incomparable Fozzie Bear is Fozziwig, and his mum stars as his mom too (a nod to A Muppet Family Christmas, me thinks?). Dr. Bunson Honeydew and Beaker are the two gentlemen who try to raise money for the poor. Sam the eagle is Scrooge’s school teacher. Statler and Waldorf split the role of Jacob Marley into Jacob and Robert Marley. There are also some new Muppets; most notably the three Ghosts, of Christmas (Past, Present, and, Yet to Come). Even now, I like looking not only at the speaking characters, but the Muppets in the background.

This movie has many funny parts that always make me chuckle. But the exchanges between Charles Dickens/Gonzo and Rizzo are comedy gold for me. They play the straight-laced, and jester duo so well! The Great Gonzo's desire for thrills are still there. For instance, when Scrooge is hurtling through the vortex of time and space, Gonzo exclaims sheer glee as he throws a grappling hook onto the Ghost of Christmas Past. Or when Rizzo lands on the Cratchit family's flaming hot goose, Gonzo exclaims "you have all the fun."

The Great Gonzo is my favorite Muppet starting with Muppet Babies. OK, confession time: you know how Gonzo isn't like, a pig, or frog, or anything familiar? In Muppet Babies, the one thing I remember was that Gonzo or Piggy said that he was a weird-o, and, that at one point they concluded that Gonzo was an alien. When I was little I felt like an oddball too, and for a while, I thought I was maybe an alien from outer space. I remember asking if I was adopted once or twice because I believed so strongly that I was an alien, and, related to Gonzo. So, I am sure that may have a little to do with his lines being some of my favorite.

Besides the comedic elements, this Muppet movie is a great musical, and has some (in my opinion) wonderful songs—and one  ubiquitous“bathroom break” song. Here are my favorite two:

It Feels Like Christmas is wonderful, especially the line, “in all the places you find love, it feels like Christmas,” as this holiday is about love--it is the beginning and the ending of the story, and this song in a tale about love for your fellow man.


My other favorite is With a Thankful Heart. It was this song that made me want to adopt Michael Caine as my British Uncle/Grandad (like I said he got to work with the Muppets…so jealous!).


While I do not intend to paint Dickens as a saint, he was pretty awesome for writing about the atrocities that the poor went through, and, the hypocrisy of the upper class who claimed to be good people yet would rather the poor: “[die] and decrease the surplus population” (Oliver Twist, Nicolas Nickleby, and Great Expectations all tell about the problems with avarice and elitism as well).

And with that, those are my MUST-see-every-year Christmas specials!
I know I left off a few that I enjoy (but there are so many to choose from), but these are my favorites!
Also, I am curious as to what YOUR favorite specials are, soooooo…
Share them with me!

So, to you and your's, I wish you a VERY Happy Christmas, and Holidays!

You! Stop being jolly! And watch some movies! :P
The Rest of the Top Ten are Below


Christmas Special #2 - The Year Without a Santa Claus


At number 2, we have The Year Without a Santa Claus, and, the biggest evidence of my adoration of stop motion. Why is it evidence? Because while I like plenty of Christmas specials (not just the one’s listed in these posts), this is the second highest ranking one. And to be honest, I can see where this isn’t the best of all Christmas specials. But dangit, I love it. Mickey Rooney is the voice of Santa (PERFECT!) and Shirley Booth voices the narrator, who is none other than the most under-rated character, Mrs. Claus (after Krampus) Mrs. Claus tries to motivate a sick, tired, and under-appreciated Santa into going back out there, and not just giving out toys, but, spreading Christmas cheer! Mrs. Claus sends the number one elf Jingle, and his bumbling partner/brother/homeboy (not sure…) Jangle out into the world on the back of the reindeer Vixen who is just a baby at this point in time (apparently this story predates Rudolph) in search of Christmas spirit. On their way out, they fly through the major turf-wars going on between the brothers, Heat Miser and Snow Miser. 

Heat Miser blinds Vixen, and Jingle and Jangle drop off in Southtown, USA, where it doesn’t snow (let’s just call this place: San Diego). In Southtown, nobody, seems to believe in Santa Claus, including young Ignacious “Iggy” Thistlewhite (cool name!). Iggy and his school yard chums confirm the North Pole’s worst fears about people and their disbelief. Jingle and Jangle lose Vixen, and Santa ends up asking Iggy and his parents for help, where we learn’s Iggy’s ‘rents confess to being believers in Santa.
 
After their song/discussion about Santa, Iggy tells the undercover Santa that Vixen has been taken to the pound, where, Santa hops on the reindeer he rode in on, and flies to the pound, revealing his true self. Santa springs Vixen, and flies the sick little deer back to the North Pole—but he doesn’t get a chance to tell the elves he has done so already. Jingle, Jangle and Iggy promised Southtown’s mayor snow in exchange for Vixen’s release. Unfortunately, the elves don’t really have a way of delivering this promise, and are unsure of how to proceed. They end up calling Mrs. Claus who has an idea. She takes them all to the palace of the Snow Miser. Snow has an amazing entrance as seen here:


Mrs. Claus asks for help in bringing snow to Southtown, and upon hearing the name of the town in question, Snow flatly refuses as San Diego Southtown is strictly the turf of Snow’s step-brother Heat Miser, and that they will need to talk to him to make that happen. Sooooo it’s off to Heat Miser’s Volcanic dominion where he too has a snazzy intro:
 
Heat says he would be willing to compromise for Southtown to have snow if he can bring Spring to the North Pole. However neither Snow, nor Heat, are willing to budge and compromise. And so Mrs. C goes straight to their boss; their mother: Mother Nature! Mother Nature doesn’t have time for the Miser’s crap, and orders her sons to work together, and work it out. So there will be snow and summer in their respective places. Meanwhile, Santa returns to the North Pole, and sees that Mrs. Claus went to pick up the elves. Upon their return, Mrs. Claus and the elves show Santa that he was given a vacation.

   
This actually leads into one of my favorite scenes (after the miser songs of course) where all the kids of the world come running on screen and wrap gifts to send to Santa. I enjoy that there are children from all over the world. 
 

 After receiving the letters and gifts from the children, Santa is touched, and decides he doesn’t need a vacation, but would rather bring joy and happiness to those that adore him. 

 

 This movie became my go to Christmas movie in high school. I remember that this is when they were selling bobble heads and ornaments for it, whereas before, I could only ever find Rudolph items. I’ll admit, a HUGE portion of my love for this film is in the misers. The misers are so cool and their banter just plain old makes me smile. I also like that the movie addresses that even the happiest of people can have times when they are down, and that sometimes we put too much pressure on them. But to counter those bits, there are people that do appreciate us, and what we do. Have you seen this? Any guesses as to what number one will be? What’s your favorite stop motion feature (Christmas or not)? 


Check out titles 3-10:


Frozen - Movie Review

Let's travel back in time.

Doo-wee-oooh!

To the year 1991. On November 22.
An animated MASTERPIECE graced theaters (yeah, I said graced) by the company that has made some of the best animated films (...but not so much in the 80's)

This movie was Beauty and the Beast (BatB).
Belle will always be one of my favorite princesses. I mean, did you SEE that library she was given by Beast/Beau?!?!
Boys: it doesn't matter what you look like.
It's the size of your library that counts!
Books are totally the way to my heart!!! Any way, BatB was beautifully and lovingly done. It was the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture, had brilliant songs, beautiful artwork, a timeless score and...

Dang! I really can't get over that library!

Anyway, to say Belle--and my library envy-- is one of my favorites would be an understatement. I love Tiana, Meridah, Kida, and Pocahontas, too. But Belle...I got her. It will always be my favorite "classic" Disney film, and how it really sets the standard.

Which brings me to Frozen.

Ok, admittedly this may not be Beauty and the Beast (maybe its the CGI?). But you know what? My favorite Disney song is now Let It Go as sung by the ever amazing Idina Menzel the voice of one of my now favorite Disney Princesses--well Queen--Elsa!

Speaking of vocal prowess, I was also surprised by Kristen Bell's singing talent. I didn't know she could sing, but after finding this out, my Veronica Mars-based girl crush got that much more serious!

Oh, and Anna (Bell's character) is so delightfully awkward! YES. Awkward is being WAY over used right now...but it was just perfect for the sheltered princess that she is.

The beginning of the movie has Elsa and Anna playing together, and delighting in Elsa's uniqueness. But when an accident happens, Elsa is forced to hide her special gift, and Anna--with the aid from some rock trolls--is made to forget. The King forbids Elsa from using her powers, and Elsa shuts out Anna from her life, in fear of hurting her again, and of other repercussions that may befall.

When the girls are in their teens, the king and queen leave on a ship, which is wrecked, and thus, a coronation for a new regal must take place for the eldest daughter Elsa when she comes of age. Elsa is naturally feeling a lot of pressure, and Anna is glad for the company after years of isolation in the castle (as exemplified by Anna's friendship with the paintings in the royal gallery...VERY funny scene btw).

Anna meets Hansel

(he's so hot right now)

The two  fall in typical Disney "Love-At-First-Sight." The two ask Elsa for permission to marry, and she (wisely, in my opinion) says no. Anna and Elsa have an argument (which was really due after how many years with a door between them) and Elsa loses control of her icy powers.

Elsa runs for the mountains with Anna on her trail.
Insert this amazing song:
Let It Go by Idina Menzel on Grooveshark

Or this video that was just posted 2013/12/7


Every time she sings: "the cold never bothered me anyway" I seriously get goose skin! This just booted "Be a Man" from Mulan as my favorite Disney song (and I love that song!!!).

And Anna runs into the slightly crazy Kristoff, whom she hires to take her up the Matterhorn mountain. On the way they meet Olaf voiced by Josh Gad (who is BRILLIANT in Book of Mormon btw!) a snowman who "love[s] warm hugs."

I was perfectly content in my preparation to HATE Olaf based on my impression from the teaser trailer. But he had me laughing SOOOO much! I mean, his song and the animation...and his vacant stares?!?! I almost want to see the movie again just because of him.

I would go on, but to avoid spoilers, let's just say that I like how true love won out in this Disney movie.

Additionally, I would not be surprised if in a decade this was a musical...it would make a really fun one!

On a social note:
I have seen some fan art wishing that Disney would be a little more diverse with their princesses. While I love Frozen, I can't help but agree with this statement. Don't mistake my, or anyone else's desire for more representation as dislike/hate for this film. I don't dislike the movie in any way; in fact, I LOVED it!!! I would seriously recommend this movie! But, I would have loved to have seen an Inuit or, Japanese princess (Yuki-onna and The Snow Queen may share some similar roots). Maybe next time?

Regardless, please go see this film! Unless you hate musicals, or animation, you will probably really enjoy it.

8.5/10 (lost 1.5 for some lack of originality, and overused "awkward" archetypes, and not enough Olaf).

One Does Not Merely See the Avengers Once

I saw the Avengers twice this weekend. I knew I would, because even if the movie were not so good, I wanted Joss Whedon to get the credit he deserved, even if the credit was purely financial in this particular vehicle (forget you Michael Bay!).

However, I was right in having nothing to fear. And both of the credit endings were the epitome of my hopes and expectations of what I could expected in Whedon, Marvel, and super hero movies alike. In fact the consumption of Swarma was the entire reason that the States had a later release than the rest of the world!

This review will contain spoilers. I will try my best to cut them or hide them behind a color to be highlighted. But this is my first Blogger post.

On to the review

From the start we learn that the fight will be fought not merely on our world and its dimension. But the opposition is from another corner of the universe entirely. This is only news if you have not kept up with the Marvel films preceding this. NOTE: Do NOT confuse those with Fox’s ultra-bastardized-X-Men-franchise/money-maker, or Sony’s sloppy Spider-Man—who, thank God, is back in Marvel’s hands.

The opening shot of Nick “Bad-A$$ Mutha’ F**ka’” Fury (played by Samuel L. “Bad-A$$ Mutha’ F**kin’” Jackson) was to me a big sign of the adventures in store! I knew I was in for a ride! This was followed by Hawkeye’s (played by the “new” Jason Bourne: Jeremy Renner) spinning glide-down from his rope after he had been watching from a far

Right away VERY BIG THINGS are happening!

The Tesseract or, in comics, the Cosmic Cube (the shiny inter-dimension-opening cube that reminds me of how I envisioned the Andalite Escafil Device) which we have seen high-lighted most strongly in Thor, is acting up like a K-Mart blue light special on crack.

Just as Fury begins to investigate with Professor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) the Cosmic Cu…I mean—the Tesseract bursts in blue and opens a gateway where the Norse god of mischief Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) bursts through in a hostile way. People shoot, Loki scepters, and he takes the Tesseract. Nick then calls on his Avengers initiative, bringing together Earth’s (and and Asgard’s) mightiest heroes…that are available to Marvel studios (seriously, I would like to again stress how important you NOT PAYING IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM—DVD or movie ticket—for any of Fox’s further outputs in the X-continent of the Marvel world are for some GREAT story-telling). And JUST SO you know, Deadpool should be brought to marvel cause of THANOS! I am just saying…look it up if you need to.

Anyway…

The movie unfolds with the gathering of our hero’s the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans…seen in Fantastic Four as Johnny “Human Torch” Storm, but smart-actor-guy left that horrible FOX franchise…Marvel needs to reboot!) and the loveable green giant (hey, it could help in getting your kids to eat vegetables) known as Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). We also get to see Maria Hill. A Spidey cameo would have been cherry, but alas, that must wait until summer (please Jesus: let there be an Avengers 2 tease after Spider man…he’s played with the gang).

Shortly after the finding of Cap, we are off on adventure to Sweden. Cap engages Loki, Iron Man helps out, and Loki…allows his capture. Odd, seeing as how he has the Tesseract Whilst on a plane ride to the good old US of A, suddenly its thunder and rainclouds. Loki looks a bit nervous, the only possible genuine emotion from him in the plane ride.

A rumble between Iron Man (the socs) and Thor (I think he’s the greaser here, as he has groovy hair *le sigh*) happens. Cap intervenes and Loki by stands.

While on the S.H.E.I.L.D. Helicarrier, Thor tells our team of Loki’s army known as the Chitauri awaiting a massacre of earth-kind. Jokes are made, things blow up, and Black Widow proves to be a real bad-a$$ in interrogation in getting Loki to be the sexist jerk he is, and spill the essential beans as to why he really is there: HULK!

Loki’s goons help him escape the Helicarrier leaving it nearly incapacitated. And then…the showdown starts. Everything culminates into a battle in New York, in an effort to make sure Loki’s aspirations for Earth domination are foiled because of his sheer arrogance really, and because he wasn’t really destined to win, but to test. He was there to test what would happen if earth went to war!

The main thing I LOVED about the Avengers was that it felt like a comic! Panel for panel the shots focused on centering on the characters. You know those “movie” comics, where they take stills and make it comic? This could be done easily with The Avengers. Normally, that would scare me, and make me fear for extreme cheesiness in execution. But it was done wonderfully. And, like the comics, there was humor! I cannot tell you how important that is…to me! Iron Man was snarky, Thor & Cap were ignorant much to my bliss, and Bruce Banner was self-deprecating…I am such a giddy fan girl for this movie!!!

Also, like the comic Avengers, all the characters were there. It wasn’t “Iron Man…and the Avengers” It was THE Avengers. This was my second greatest fear. But—and my “faith” in one human is frightening—Joss Whedon once again showed his aptitude for brining dynamic people/characters into one world.

I also enjoyed that it was not a “kids” nor and “adult” super hero movie, it was very balanced and recognized the familial audience attending, but it didn’t really dumb it down.

And as a woman, I loved that Scarlett Johansson stayed clothed! No lingerie shots, no extreme cleavage. Just a bad, butt-kicking woman!!! She’s gorgeous, and it shows! I also loved that she wasn’t “weaker” than the guys, and she was key! Loved her as Black Widow so much, that my husband is only allowed to fancy her in this movie :P

And, to my extreme delight: a proper portrayal of the Hulk! Edward Norton did a great job, but I was still reeling from Eric Bana and Ang Lee (I spit on your grave Ang Lee…when you die I mean) in that HORRIBLE interpretation. Mark Ruffalo is a perfect Banner, and the Hulk was back to the loveable-green-rage-a-holic I grew up liking!

Lastly:

THANOS! My brother had a freaking action figure of Thanos! I would call him “California Raisin Man” to tick of David…though I am sure he doesn’t remember. Anyway, the part that would be most exciting is also one of the saddest parts of the movie for me.

You see kids, Thanos is the reason Deadpool cannot die! It’s not merely regeneration!!! And guess who we WON’T see in the Next Avengers movie? Not only will we NOT see Wolverine (who personally, is my least favorite X-Man, but me, I like mash-ups…darn you Fox!!!). Anyway, long story short: Thanos, is in love with Death…not just “death you dead” but the grim reaper persona essentially. He shows his love for Death by destroying life. I doubt this is the story they will go into…but, it would be really nice. Romantic even LOL!

The other thing I hated was the CGI aliens. Not very believable at all! This almost killed the movie for me. I want to go back to Make up, and stop motion. CGI was anti-climatic for me.

But those are my only real complaints.

That’s it.

In the name of the moon, I give this movie a:

6 out of 7 stars – the missing star being the CGI flub…but that’s my opinion…we really need to catch up with cameras…