Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure: A Review

Media

I finally started to see the series a couple of months ago. I had seen the first special and the first episode a long time ago but hadn’t been able to see the rest of the show yet. Now that I’ve seen pretty much all of it, I’ll give my opinion on it. I’ll divide my opinions into two different category’s. Pros and Cons. At the end, I’ll let you know whether or not I love it, like it, indifferent to it, or hate it. I’m sure you’ll be able to guess how I feel before then though. 😉 Here it goes:

PROS

THE OVERLYING PLOT/WRITING

I applaud Shane Prigmore and Chris Sonnenburg for the fore thought and planning they have done for this show. Most of the time, when Disney gives a movie its own TV show, the series tends to be lacking. To fair, it is usually meant for a very young audience. But it’s still nice to see a lot of forward thinking, foreshadowing, and planning involved with this.

If it is true that the series was completely planned out from the get-go, you can really tell. The main overall plot of the show involves the Black Rocks and it’s introduced from the beginning. Not every episode revolves around or even speaks about the Black Rocks. This a good thing. It slowly builds up complexity and intrigue up until the Season 2 Finale. In fact, there’s still a ton of questions since the characters are still in the dark about certain things and thus so are we. When the show isn’t revealing more on the Black Rocks, we get character development for Rapunzel, Eugene and Cassandra. And, more importantly, their relationship with each other.

*MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILER* Straining Cassandra and Rapunzel’s relationship a few episodes before Destinies Collide – the Season 2 Finale – was another great move. The friendship was understandably strained. There wasn’t anything stupid about it even though I hold unto the fact that Cass was more in the right then Rapunzel.

CASSANDRA AND EUGENE’S PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP

One of my favorite things about the show is the relationship between Cass and Eugene. There are characteristics about each other they find annoying but in the end they do love each other. They do argue and insult one another but it’s not over the top and usually it’s fun. It feels much like a realistic older brother-younger sister type of relationship. Frenemies, really.

It’s well-written, well-performed and funny.

THE VOICE ACTORS

Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Zachary Levi (Eugene), Eden Espinosa (Cassandra) and Jeremy Jordan (Varian) do absolutely amazing jobs. An honorable mention goes to James Monroe Iglehart (Lance).

Mandy Moore really elevates Rapunzel even though the writing can be lacking at times (more on that later). Jeremy Jordan also elevates Varian. When he was pleading for Rapunzel’s help for his dad, you couldn’t help but feel an overflow of sympathy. The acting pushed the emotions just right – not tamed but not overdone.

But a special, special bow to Zachary Levi’s Eugene with a close second to Eden Espinosa’s Cassandra. Levi’s depiction of Eugene is unmatched. He adds energy and colors to his lines – even to the normal ones. Yes, Levi gets a lot of well-written material, but I just can’t imagine anyone else doing Eugene Fitzherbert.

Espinosa should get tons of credit too. She also gets well-written material but she performs the character with such heart and emotion. She does a superb job. This actress deserves more attention in her career.

Espinosa and Levi are especially fun to listen to when they are together. One of the best scenes they did was when Eugene was asking Cass questions to learn more about her when they were locked in a cell together. This was when Rapunzel locked them in there in hopes of forcing them to get along better (Cassandra vs. Eugene). Their performance of Eugene and Cassandra being frenemies really sells. The funniest moments often come when those two are bickering.

THE ANIMATION

Can I just say the animation is so pleasing to watch? It’s very charming. The animators do a tremendous job. One of my favorite scenes – the voice acting and animation combined – came from Pascal’s Story. I’ll just post a link here. You’re welcome.

The animation of the show is just … amazing. The animation really brings the characters to life. Every expression matters and feels right according to each character.

CONS

RAPUNZEL’S PERSONALITY SUFFERS

Don’t get me wrong. I love Rapunzel. She has some great moments in the show. But I feel like she’s slightly different here then in the movie. The dialogue, not Mandy Moore, sometimes comes across a little Twilight Sparkle-y. In other words, she’s almost always telling everyone what they have learned or should learn. She’s a little too perfect at times.

Every now and then, Rapunzel feels a bit like a Mary Sue. She especially came across that way in Challenge of the Brave. There’s no way Rapunzel should’ve been able to compete with Cassandra or any of them for that matter. Sure, Rapunzel’s probably been getting some training but she wouldn’t have gotten far yet. It takes time to develop fighting instincts and hone your abilities. Cassandra had been training her whole life.

SHORTY

This is a minor one but I find this character’s existence annoying. I think he’s meant to be comedic relief but he’s not. That’s the only explanation I can think of for his supporting character role in Season 2. The constant drunk grates on my soul. I wish they’d punt him out of the series.

THE “I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF” THEME

I have no problem with Rapunzel having mad defensive skills – especially later on when she would’ve had more training. I have no problem with her being smart and leading an expedition. My problem is when she states, “I don’t need someone keep me safe.”

We see this again when her dad, who thinks he’s about slip out of Eugene’s hand and plummet to his death, tells Eugene to take care of Rapunzel. What does Eugene say?

“We are going to get you out of this! Besides … you should know by now Rapunzel doesn’t need anyone to take care of her.”

I have two major problems with this line.

1. *ahem* You don’t reprimand a FATHER who thinks he’s about to die when he voices concern for his daughter!

2. That’s not what he meant, you nitwit! He’s not asking you to pay her bills for her and to make sure she brushes her teeth every night. NO ONE MEANS THAT WHEN THEY ASK SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF SOMEBODY THEY LOVE. What he means … be there for her. Stand by her side when life gets tough. Comfort her when the sorrows of this life happens.

The “I’m totally and utterly independent” lesson is pushed too far. Every human being, male or female, needs someone to be there for them aka someone to take care of them. When you’re the princess, you will always need someone to keep you safe. That’s called a bodyguard, honey. There’s no need to be taking unnecessary risks. Like horse-jumping over a valley of Black Rocks.

What if Rapunzel is about to do something unwise? Someone needs to tell her. Someone who cares enough to inform her of the risks of her potential decision. What if, the writers forbid, Rapunzel’s parents die? Doesn’t she need someone to be there for her? To comfort her? Isn’t that another form of taking care of someone?

No human being should be completely independent. At times, it feels like this is what the show is pushing for. I don’t think the writers intended for their lesson to come across this way but I think they should be a bit more mindful of their tone.

As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons. The show targets a younger audience but it doesn’t sell them short. Adults will like this show especially us nerds and geeks. The writing, the acting, and the animation all work together in harmony. I highly recommend it to any Disney or fantasy enthusiast.

I give this show 4.5 stars out of 5. I’m really looking forward to Season 3. I can’t wait!

I literally just made a Tangled Theory video so please be sure to check it out. Beware! There are MAJOR spoilers in it.

Destinies Collided: How Did We Get Here?

Art, Media

Hi, everyone!

I’m a big fan of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure — don’t judge me. It’s awesome. You’re totally missing out.

In this video, I discuss the fan theories going around since the Season 2 finale. *MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!* DO NOT watch this video if you have not seen Destinies Collide. Come back once you have. Let me know what you think! What are your theories? How do you think it will all end? Let the friendly, fan discussion commence!

How to Play Monopoly

Humor, My Life

Monopoly appears to be a love or hate game. Mostly, people detest the game because of how long it takes to finish. They complain, “By the time it’s over, the game has evolved into a sentient being!”

No fear! We here in the McDermott household have the solutions to your Monopoly woes. Why don’t you like the game? The answer is simple: you don’t play like a McDermott. You must learn from the Monopoly-Jedi Masters that we are. Fortunately, we are kind and humble enough to share our Monopoly secrets with you. Without further ado, here are the ways to do it.

SETUP TIME SAVER

Don’t spend time counting out the fifteen hundred dollars you’re supposed to start out with. Who’s got that kind of time? It’s simpler to have this memorized: you get two five hundreds, two one hundreds, two fifties, six twenties, five tens, five fives, and five ones.

Also learn the rent and house-building prices. Memorize all of this. We don’t have time for you to count money and check prices. I know. You’ll sigh and say, “I’ll try.” Our response will be to simply wag our finger at you and say, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

BOARD LAYOUT

You should be able to maneuver around the board faster then it takes to say P. Sherman 42, Wallaby Way, Sidney. Please – for the love of all that’s holy! – do not count each space when moving your piece. If you do, you may cause one of us to start weeping because we feel our lives are ebbing away as you slowly count, “1 .. 2 .. 3 ..”

To save our sanity and your time, we’ll tell you a not-so-hidden secret: there are ten spaces between each corner of the board and ten spaces between each railroad. The railroads mark the halfway point between each corner. If you get a seven and you’re on Go!, you land two spaces in front of Reading Railroad. (On a side note, it’s pronounced, REDDING not REEDING). If you get a ten, you’re visiting jail where all the slow Monopoly players should go. With this knowledge, you should be able to play fast enough that, by the time you’re done rolling, it’s your turn again.

DON’T BLINK

You snooze, you lose. And if you blink, you lose. If your opponent lands on your property, you have to intelligently declare, “MINE!!!” before the next person rolls the dice. If you don’t, you won’t get paid. So watch your property like a hawk to ensure that you will get your money. Only if you’re under the age of 10 will we take pity on your soul.

You may think, “But this is a family-building game where we play with understanding and love.” Where do you think you are – Equestria? This is WAR, honey! We’ll bankrupt you the second we get the chance.

FREE PARKING

Sometimes you land on either luxury or income tax during the game and you have to pay up. Some people put the money they paid on Free Parking in hopes they’ll land on it and get their money back. What are you doing? Are you trying to prolong the game? No matter what Bernie Sanders tells you, there is no such thing as Free Parking in real life. Thus it shouldn’t be an option in a game.

TRADE WARS

In the McDermott household, we use to hide some of our Monopoly money. We’d do this to dupe our opponent into thinking we have less money then we did so we could get all sorts of cash from them from the trade. But, alas, this tradition came to an end because it was rendered useless. Strangely enough, not being totally honest with how much money you have caused people to be cynical. They’d check under the board and in the ceiling fan for the hidden money. This hurt the speed of the game so it was tossed out.

Trades are generally done with fairness, but if you’re an adult and you found yourself swindled out of property or money, it’s your fault. You agreed to the trade. Remember, this is a war, not a game.

NOW, PLAY THE GAME!

Now that I have bestowed upon you the coveted secrets of Monopoly playing, young padawan, you should now be able to finish the game within an hour. And remember …. slowness leads to suffering. We Monopoly-Jedi Masters wish you luck on your quest.

Live long and prosper.

We Are the Music Makers

Art

I bought this roll desk a little while ago and had/have a big art project in mind. I plan on painting both sides, the top, and the front of the drawer something that represents different kinds of art and imagination. So one side I painted Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory since not too many human beings, fictional or otherwise, are as imaginative then Willy Wonka.

IMG_20190114_101818964IMG_20190114_101901059IMG_20190114_101949576

My brother came up with the idea of Willy Wonka leaving in the corner. I found the idea of it quite good and added it in there.

As soon as I paint the rest of the sides, I will post pictures here. I shall try to post more often but it may be hard for the next couple of weeks. My sister’s wedding is nine days away so a post probably won’t happen before then.

Let me know what you think!

Story Length

Art, Media

Just read an article that is definitely true of any art format – especially movies and books. But mostly movies.

More, just in it of itself, is not better. Marvel movies tend to be this way (don’t freak; I do enjoy a few of the movies). Way too much fighting. Cars blowing up are cool and hand to hand combats are pretty awesome, but after twenty minutes, with promises more will come, I get bored. I need to see the characters interacting. Growing. Learning something new.

Enough talking. I will let the article speak for itself. Enjoy!

http://speculativefaith.lorehaven.com/more-is-not-better/

A New Year

Art, Humor

What’s up, peeps? I’m finally back after a month. Combining the Christmas season, family, a cold, and working on a freelance job, it’s been fairly hectic. Oh, and put in the fact I wanted a day off or two to just rest. But I’m back and hoping to post more often!

It’s a bit late, but here’s a New Year comic I drew in a moment of inspiration. Hope you like it!near year comic