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 well-deserved, massive applause 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!

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/

The Avengers Lyric Video

Humor, Media

I’m trying to up my knowledge in Adobe. Illustrator, After Effects, etc. I created this lyric video in After Effects to wet my feet in the program. Do you have any tips or trick for After Effects or Adobe software in general? Let me know in the comments below! And let me know what you think of it.

Animation

Art, Media

Hello! It’s been a while. Life just keeps getting in the way. Shame on it. I also came down with a nasty cold but have since mostly recovered. Yeah, my energy level isn’t quite where it should be yet.

Anyway …

I thought I’d share a video, yes another one, about Disney’s animation. This video so well explains it. And may I add the editing in this video is absolutely phenomenal. Disney’s animation is by far my favorite and sometimes I can’t help watching a certain segment from a movie over and over again because the animation is just so pleasing to the eye. It’s something I hope to achieve in my own animation. The idea of taking 3D models or drawings to life and telling a story through them is amazing. I love it so much. So, without further ado, here it is. Enjoy!

Ranking the Marvel/DC Movies

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I finally started seeing some Marvel/DC movies a little while ago. My first time ever watching these films. I know. How shocking. So I figured you’d be dying to know how I would rank the six films I’ve seen so far. I ranked them from the best to worst. Writing-wise, anyway. I will be definitely seeing more in the future.

Also, if you haven’t seen any of these movies, don’t read any further. A major spoil alert warning has been issued.

1) Thor: The Dark World

If you told me a year ago that I would be ranking a Thor movie first, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would’ve probably said Captain America. Or a Avengers movie. Maybe Wonder Woman. But the writing for this movie is great. The only one so far with the best twists. Its also the most deserving of its near two hour length.

Loki is an amazing character. And the actor does a superb job. The other actors did really well, but Tom Hiddleston took the cake.

One flaw: Jane Foster is as boring as her name. Natalie Portman did her part well; it’s just the writing of the character was bland. Perhaps Foster shined more in the first Thor movie, but definitely not here. And a quick, special shout out to Kat Dennnings who portrayed Darcy, another excellent character.

2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Gotta say I love Cap and Natasha as a team. Or as a couple … never mind, I won’t go there.

The actors and the characters have great chemistry. A nice, special friendship was born between them. The characters also grew, which is always nice to see in movies.

There is humor in this movie and it’s not overdone. Best lines are: “Public displays of affection make people very uncomfortable.” (So true, y’all! Don’t do it!) and then my man Falcon’s line, “I made breakfast. If you guys eat that sort of thing.”

Falcon is also a good addition. He became what Bucky would’ve been if he hadn’t tragically died when he fell off a train and down a cliff. Oh wait.

He’s actually alive! Except brainwashed and evil! Poor dude. That’s what you get for being a best friend of a superhero.

I will be honest. I didn’t initially realize in the Bucky reveal that it was … Bucky. And then, it didn’t do much for me afterward. I felt like I didn’t know him well enough. I am very curious though to see what happens to him next. It better end well. Don’t mess this up like you did with Peggy and Cap!

3) Wonder Woman

The deepest superhero movie yet. It’s true. You’re suppose to be gracious and loving to everyone – including the people who you feel especially don’t deserve it. Wonder Woman does stop the point mid sentence. She starts by saying, “It’s not about deserve, it’s about what you believe.”

I’m like, “Yes. And?”

“And I believe in love.”

Close. I’ll give the writers credit for taking it that far. I really do appreciate the point. But the rest of the sentence should be something like this: We love because God loved us first. We are some messed up human beings. We needed to be saved from ourselves. That’s why Jesus came down, took our place on the cross, and rose again. We are undeserving of such a loving act. So we should strive to be like Him. Such as giving out undeserved love and, yes, protection.

Diana and Steve were good characters. I also like the fact the sword wasn’t actually the god-killer. And it adds an interesting element that Diana is related to Ares.

The movie does have a few annoying flaws though. I don’t like it when the writers make what the good guys did as being essentially pointless at the end. Like when Wonder Woman and friends save the entire village and then the next day they are all dead. Let the good guys keep their moment!

Second, what’s with Diana’s mother not telling her what she needs to know about Ares? Diana’s leaving anyway! Give her all the info! Do it! The excuse, “The more she knows, the sooner he’ll find her,” doesn’t really fly at that point anymore. She’s looking for him. I’m pretty sure she’ll find him. The more she knows, the better equipped she’ll be.

Thirdly, the ending of the movie is far too similar to to the first Captain America movie. Just imagine Captain America on the ground and Agent Carter on the plane instead and – boom! – you have nearly the exact same ending.

4) The Avengers

The cast of characters were pretty good. We have a cool, mysterious female character in Natasha. We don’t see much of Hawkeye but what little we see is promising. He and Natasha seem to have a deep understanding of each other. I like how Bruce Banner was done. They picked the perfect actor for the job. He is a very likable character and you feel for him. Captain America strives to do what’s right. Tony … well, he’s a bit annoying. Arrogant, has no respect for authority, and cocky. Maybe I’ll like him more in the other movies but he gives a grating first impression.

People were suddenly cured by being whacked in the head (see the Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and scientist man). The battle scenes were too long. It was like the film makers sat down and asked, “How many different ways can we punch an alien?” It gets old.

And the the government nuking NYC? I can assure you that would never happen. It’s terribly illogical. Not only you’ll destroy NYC and its innocent citizens, you’ll affect the surrounding cities. And the nuke won’t close the dumb portal where the aliens are coming from.

I will say this though. The best parts of the movie are better than Wonder Woman’s. And the characters are better here too. This movie somehow clicked more with me than Wonder Woman, even though I wanted to love it so bad. I especially love the scene between Loki and Natasha.

5) Captain America: The First Avenger

I like Captain America a lot. While he doesn’t have a flashy personality like Iron Man, he stands for what’s right. You just do it. Even when it’s hard and no one’s looking.

The problem with the story, not the characters, was that it was pretty predictable. After Cap becomes Cap, you can accurately guess what happens next and in so we lose some fun in watching the movie. Plus, it played on my pet peeve. Why can’t the good guy keep the girl? It’s predictable and incredibly annoying.

6) Dr. Strange

A positive was it was Inception-ish. Oh and final battle was unusually clever. Everything else was forgettable.

His “mentor” was a lady who seemed to spew off things that either made no sense or were morally wrong. At times, it felt Jedi-ish. Other times, it felt like it wanted to believe in some Eastern religion and have you worship the spirits in the trees. The movie improved when that bald lady was gone. Unfortunately, that was near the end of the movie. Thus, I can’t say I would recommend this movie. Or watch it again. It’s simply not worth my time.

And there you go! My overall rankings so far for the Marvel/DC movies. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, Captain America and the Black Widow are my favorite Avengers so far, followed closely with Bruce and Thor. I like Hawkeye, but I wish I knew his character better. Hey, Marvel, how about giving this man a movie? And I hear a Black Widow movie is finally in the works. Thank you.

Thanks for reading! Which Marvel film do you think I should see next? Let me know!

Underdosed Livestream!

Media, My Life

Hey, everybody!

I’m here to invite you to a free livestream of my sister’s, Meghan, short film Underdosed! I worked on this project with her. Helping with story, pre-production and acted a little bit. Meghan wrote this film very well and the acting is superb! It was a joy to work with everybody on this project. During the livestream, we’ll have the composer, the actors, and, of course, Meghan to answer any questions after it’s over. There’ll also be bloopers. 🙂 So I hope y’all will show up, love it, and stick around for everything at the end. It’ll be great!

To go to the Facebook Live Event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2028388754143565/

To see the trailer:

 

And to see this incredibly awesome title reveal:

 

Check it all out and let me know what you think!