Frozen II – WMR

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2019 movie Frozen II.

*This was my second favourite movie of 2019*

Story

This movie balances multiple story lines, deals with serious subjects, and manages to inject hope and humour.

The script is tight, there isn’t a lost word, scene, or moment. Everything is set up from the beginning without being so obvious as to ruin the reveals.

At it’s base it’s a standard hero’s journey with a JRPG style collecting element. That’s more of the structure, the actual story is about love, change, and how we handle difficult times.

There was just enough complexity to make it re-watchable and simple enough to keep all ages interested. Everything has multiple purposes in the story and it’s beautiful to see.

Score: 1

Characters

There are very few characters for such an epic story. Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff/Sven each get a character arc that is both transformative and satisfying.

There’s a bit where Olaf recaps the first movie (As if we haven’t all seen it a million times) and it’s not about Olaf and the recap. It’s a shortcut to introduce us to the newest characters of Mattias and Yelena. It perfectly shows who they are and makes the audience love them, while breaking up the action, recaping, and making us laugh.

Elsa’s continued discovery of who she is flows well from the first movie and has great parallels for those of us who are different from the norm.

Anna’s struggle through trauma and depression not only make a great story they also give children a guide for how to deal with depression and horrible events.

Kristoff deals with his feelings of insecurity. Not about his love or himself, but about how she feels about him.

Olaf deals with growing up and the fear that not knowing brings.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The songs have some extremely powerful lines but the dialogue doesn’t slouch at being insightful and poignant. “I’m sorry Anna. You’re gonna have to do the next part on your own. Ok?” breaks me every time. Same with, “My love isn’t fragile.”

Of late I’ve seriously been feeling Olaf in this movie, especially the line, “We’re calling this ‘controlling what you can when things feel out of control'”.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The autumn aesthetic is stunning. The colours are vibrant and the animation is absolutely beautiful. I’m not an animation expert but the details in this were astounding.

Musically it was great. The songs are a staple of our house already. They are beautiful on their own but also move the narrative, foreshadow, and expand the story.

The score on it’s own is epic and is reminiscent of Lord of the Rings or the better superhero scores.

Score: 1

Fun

This was a beautiful movie both visually and as a story. It tries and succeeds to tackle serious subjects while breaking them down for younger audiences.

Most of all it’s hopeful, catchy, and fun.

Score: 1

Overall

If you’d asked me whether I thought a 2 hour movie could handle talking about growing up, depression, colonialism, and self-discovery, while having a positive message about love being a strong and stable element to life; I’d have said… Maybe but better to do it in a book. It’s staggering that they managed to do it in a movie and made it accessible to all ages.

With the use of short forms, animation, and musical elements they managed to do it all.

Final Score: 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Magic Moments at Disney

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I believe that Disney is a magical place. An exhausting, expensive, and magical place.

On our most recent trip we had some great moments. Here are my top 5 Magic Moments at Disney.

5. Sleepy Adrien

Bringing a baby to Disney is fun. They get excited about random things and fall asleep everywhere. If you don’t mind lugging them and all their stuff and realize you’re doing it for yourself, you’ll have fun.

4. Keladry meeting Tigger

The first day we went to Magic Kingdom we asked Keladry what her favourite part was, without hesitation she said seeing Tigger. We were pretty surprised since she’d only seen him at a distance. So we made sure to go back. She loved meeting him.

3. Fireworks while Riding The Mine Train

The first real roller coaster that Keladry went on was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s a fun little coaster that even my motion sick mother in-law can ride.

As we started going up the fireworks started. The ride designers must have expected this since they were right above us. We then rode through the ride with fireworks going off. It was awesome in every sense of the word.

2. Carousel of Progress Breakdown

The Carousel of Progress is a ride that needs updating. It’s four parts with the same family showing the evolution of technology. The last one is a vision of the future from the late 90’s or early 2000’s.

Each section ends with the same song. There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow. It’s a catchy song and nice and upbeat. Very much the hopeful futurism of Disney.

When we went on the ride it broke down and repeated the last part. The first time it repeated no one reacted. The second time people tried to get out and a park person over a speaker told us to sit and wait for our safety. The third, people started heckling and quoting good naturedly.

The fourth time, the sound cut out and when we got to the part where they normally sang, the majority of the audience started to sing the song. It’s like everyone decided at the same time. It was really impressive and fun. It’s the kind of shared experience that Disney can’t manufacture but that makes going so much fun.

We were all given free fastpasses after our concert but I would have been happy just with the experience.

1. Grandparents’ Joy

People say that during a wedding you should always take a look at the groom because they look so happy to see the bride.

The same goes for grandparents at Disney. I love my son and daughter but I don’t always take the time to appreciate their joy and wonder. Their grandparents, however, always seem alert for those little moments.

From shows, to rides, passing by food, statues, and merchandise, whenever my daughter, or son, were excited or in awe; the look was mirrored and combined with joy in their grandparents.


Magic isn’t what you do, but how much you enjoy it with others. I think that’s important to remember.

Later days,

Éric

I’m Back

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m back!

Now if I did my job right, you won’t have noticed I was gone. I took a mini parental leave from the blog for July and August. I pre-wrote a bunch of stuff and got some amazing guest posts. Thank you Jamieson, Jonas, and Lindsay.

I had hoped to spend the time resting and chilling with the new Baby Pegasus. I definitely succeeded there. I also watched a lot of TV (Stranger Things season 3 was awesome, Killjoys season 3 not so much, and Supergirl season 4 was impressively written.) Oh and I got a little writing done…

In other news my new ghost writer isn’t much more productive then the last one.

Hope you’re all doing well.

Later Days,

Éric

Today I’m 35

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Today is my birthday! (If you’d like to get me a gift, read and review my books.)

It’s easy to look back on your life and think, “AHHHHHH. I’ve accomplished nothing!!!” But that’s your insecurity speaking. At the very least you’ve done something that a lot of others haven’t; you’ve survived.

Surviving is good. I’ve been lucky enough to not only survive but do a few things that, I think, are awesome: (no particular order)

  • Graduated University
  • Had 3 books published
  • Written 7 novels and part of two novels
  • Made sure there was constant content on this blog since 2014
  • Learnt how to roast coffee and made a semi-successful business out of it
  • Been married for 9 years to my best friend (Although that’s mostly her being patient and a little luck)
  • I’m super proud of Baby Dragon
  • Wrote and developed an RPG (Can’t wait for FADDS to be available to all)

I’ve spent my life feeling average. I’m not the smartest, hardest working, most handsome, etc. So it’s nice to have things I’m proud of and that I feel I’ve done well. Yes, I realize there’s nothing on that list that hasn’t been done before, or that hasn’t been done better before. But I’m proud and consider myself lucky.

Who knows what I’ll be able to accomplish in the next 35-50 years.

 

What are you proud of?

Éric

Dear Dragon – I Miss You!

Dragon-11-07-2017

Dear Little Dragon,

You still hate sleeping but you’re getting better at falling asleep… sometimes.

You are growing so fast in every way possible. Last week I watched you learn how to climb off the couch safely and Sunday you took your first shuffling steps. Just two little steps but they were steps. You’ll be running around soon enough.

I’ve been at work for over a month and I miss you a lot. It’s hard not being with you and watching you grow every day. I know I see you when I get home but it’s not the same.

I miss you and someday I hope I’ll be able to work from home permanently and see you every day. (You’ll probably be going to school by then.)

I miss seeing your smile when you wake up in the morning. I hope you never lose that easy smile, even if it’s just with family and close friends. Your joy is infectious and even when you’re being mischievous it makes us so happy.

I Love you little Dragon!

Your tired, sappy, and a little sad,
Papa

Dear Dragon – Your Gramma

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Dear Dragon,

It’s the first of December and that means that Christmas is just around the corner. We’ve been listening to holiday music for the past three weeks and other than “Last Christmas” I’m still loving it.

There are all kinds of reasons I love the holidays, the snow, the presents, sappy movies/tv, spending time with family and friends, but most of all, it’s a time that most people feel more hopeful.

I hope you grow up with the kind of holidays that your Mum and I had. Our parents went out of their way to make it a loving and wonderful time.

As much as I love this time, I’m always a little sad. It reminds me of your Gramma. She loved this time of year, she’d get as excited as a child. I can still picture her with her santa mug of coffee and a mischievous grin.

christmas06001

It wasn’t an easy season for her. She wanted to give me everything the other kids had but couldn’t afford it. I was still spoiled (especially by your Uncle Dan) but I remember the pain on her face when we received food boxes. It hurt her pride but she knew she needed to accept it.

No matter what happened, she made sure it was a great day filled with laughter and family.

She’s been gone for eight years now and when she died I took custody of an old box. It was packed in 1996 and says not to open until 2016. I remember packing it with some of my favourite toys, although I don’t remember the toys.

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I’m a little conflicted about the box. I want to open it, but I also want to open it with you when you’re old enough to appreciate it… to appreciate her. I’ll decide at the last minute.

She would have loved you sooooooooo much,
Your happy and sad Papa

I’m Sorry You Had a Bad Year

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

A lot of weird, sad, and scary things have happened this year. A lot of celebrity deaths, a lot of fear and hate based electoral decisions. That not to mention the natural and terrorist disasters. Pile on top of that the fact that everyone knows someone who’s sick, dying, or dead; and a lot of people are saying 2016 is the worst year ever.

I’m not going to get into the statistics that say that humanity is better off now then it’s ever been (It’s not great or perfect but better.) It’s been a bad year for many people and there are some serious scary things started this year that will carry forward to next year.

What I will say is this: I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m sorry this year has been bad. I hope the next one is better for everyone.

I’ve been struggling with a large amount of guilt this year. Sometimes that guilt bubbles into anger, but mostly it’s sadness.

You see, this has been one of the best years of my life. I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me and to my family. My wife and I had a wonderful little Dragon, my first book was published, my wife’s game was successfully kickstarted, I signed a contract for another novel, I’ve had steady work, my brother married a wonderful woman, and that’s just the short list.  Things are not perfect (I wish my mom could have met Keladry) but they’re good.

So every time I see a post or news story about how horrible 2016 was, I feel guilty. I feel like I don’t deserve to feel this happy because others are sad. It’s silly, I know.

I’m not asking anyone to change what they say or post; this is completely my issue. What I would like is to remind everyone that there are still plenty of good things happening and it’s important to look for the good. It’s okay to be sad and angry but make sure you find the good in your life.

That’s enough sappyness from me.

Later Days,
Éric

Not So Imaginary

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Today will be a quick post. I have finished beta-reading and received Parasomnia from my first Beta-Reader. So I’m anxious to get back to editing. I like this part of editing it’s faster and easier for me. Instead of trying to find the problems, it’s trying to fix them. Way simpler.

Not So Imaginary

Did you know that this blog is under a year old? The two blogs that combined to form JenEric Designs are older. Aspiring Something is just under 7 years old and The Travelling TARDIS is just over 3 and a half years old.

In all that time, I’ve always assumed that I was “Yelling into the void” as it were. I didn’t think, other than family and close friends, that anyone was reading. I was wrong. There was at least one person who’s been following both of us for at least six years and they came to introduce themselves at CON a few weeks back.

The person, whom I’ll call C, was really nice and friendly. It was both exciting and surprising to know that someone has read this blog that I hadn’t met. So thanks for reading and following C!

If you’ve been following I’ve been obsessively researching and roasting my own coffee. I’ve sold at Pop-Expo and at CON. My Test Subjects Friends have said they enjoy it, and I’ve loved it. I’ve sold several flavours and lots of bags.

Again I assumed only friends and family were paying attention. Again I was wrong (It happens a lot. I’m ok with it.) this weekend we got an email from someone who’s significant other had bought coffee at Pop-Expo and they wanted to get them a few bags for their upcoming birthday since the SO had enjoyed the coffee. It made me really happy.

Happy

I know one fan of the blogs and one fan of the coffee doesn’t mean we’re suddenly huge. It’s not a viral post, or a publishing contract. But it is a sign that we’re doing something right and getting ourselves out there.

Between that and editing two books that I think are good enough to publish, I feel like a lot of hard work is starting to show progress. It makes me hopeful and after last month, I really needed that.

 

Thank you my not so imaginary friends!

 

Éric

Why I Write

I’ve realized that I never explained why I write. I’ve mentioned my love for stories and that I write because I love stories and not the other way around. But I’ve never told you wonderful people why I do it.

It’s not because I like Telling People

If you’ve met me in public you’d probably have no idea that I write. It’s not something I like to talk about with people. I’d much rather hear their story, I already know mine.

It’s just awkward to tell people something that feels so personal. And people usually make it even more uncomfortable.

I’ve encountered multiple different reactions but I can boil them down to five kinds of people. The Disbelievers, The Suggest-ers, the Critics, the Disinterested, and the Encouragers.

The Disbelievers

These are the people who just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that anyone would bother writing a book, let alone try to get it published. They’ll give you a confused look and say some variation on, “Oh why?” Or “I haven’t read much since high school”

They are generally nice but will classify you as odd and probably avoid you or try to forget about your weirdness.

I suggest leaving these folks alone or changing the topic to Game of Thrones.

The Suggest-ers

“Vampire books are really in right now.” Or “Have you considered self-publishing that’s where the money is.”

These are my second favourite type of people. They are generally well meaning and trying their best to help you out. They’ll tell you everything they know or read somewhere on facebook. They’ll offer to help and talk to their third cousin’s neice’s ex-fiancé for you.

The major downside is if they try to tell you about their novel idea that they think you’d be better at writing.

The best way to deal with them is know that they’re trying to be supportive. Try changing the topic to what they like to read.

The Critics

They just met you and really don’t care about your writing but they will tell you how horrible the state of fiction is right now. Nothing but crap and magical-teens. They’ll complain about everything.

If you’re really unlucky, you’ll get those who will criticise the industry as a whole and tell you that you’ll never be published because of such a reason etc.

It’s best to smile and nod until they get it out of their system, then go find someone to give you a hug.

The Disinterested

These are the people who ask you what your passions are only so they can tell you about theirs.

They are more interested in telling you about their book/idea/life than hearing anything about you. Heck once they’ve started talking, they might not notice you leaving.

Again it’s best to smile and nod, then find someone else to talk with.

The Encouragers.

These are people who will want to hear about what you’re saying, about your story, and about your life. They’ll let you talk and they’ll comment in the right places.

They will freak you out completely. They are the ones that will understand your pain when you get a rejection letter and not go, “Well Tolkien submitted LoTR blah times before…” They’ll know to give you a hug.

If you find them, treat them well, you’ve just met a rare specimen.

I don’t do it for the Money or Fame

Let’s be clear, the amount of people who make enough money to quit their jobs are the minority. If you think you should start writing because it’s an easy way to make cash, you’re going to be severely disappointed.

It takes years of practice, and years of patience to get enough money to cover your own costs. Brandon Sanderson said that it was bitter sweet to be nominated by the Hugo awards for “Best New Author” since he’d been writing, and trying to publish, for over a decade.

As for fame, if I’m never recognised in public, that’s ok with me.

The Real Reason I Write

I enjoy it.

Yes it’s that simple. I enjoy it.

Do I want to make a living with it? Absolutely, if you found something that you loved doing, wouldn’t you?

Will I stop because of my annoyance and dislike in the publishing industry? No.

I plan on writing as long as I enjoy it. Seeing as I’ve enjoyed it for most of my life I doubt it’ll change.

 

What’s your passion? Are you trying to turn it into a career?

Eric