Dear Dragon and Pegasus – April 2024

Dear Dragon and Pegasus,

I wrote this letter already and it was eaten by a server problem. I’ll do my best to recreate it.

The weather in April, as it is now who knows what climate change will bring, has been pretty erratic in April. Two weeks ago we had a snowstorm and less then a week after we had several days above twenty. It’s interesting to see. Hopefully will have a nice May and summer. I look forward to gardening with you, especially now that Pegasus is old enough to help more so I get two helpers.

The school year has been fraught with sickness. We’ve all caught so many colds I’m not sure I can count them all. Hopefully next year will be better but with Pegasus going to in-person school, I doubt it.

This year has been quite the transition for you, Dragon (also for us), going to school full time, in-person. You’re excelling academically and you have friends. You’ve been dealing with bullying, nothing enough to call the school but its still bothering you. You have a very strong sense of what’s right. That’s a good thing but it means you’re really bothered by what’s happening. You’d think with the amount of bullying I survived in grade school I’d be better placed to help you. Unfortunately, I feel completely out of my depth. If it gets worse we’ll contact the teacher. The only advice I have is to ignore them and not let them see it bothers you.

It’s been a big year for you too, Pegasus. You’re being homeschooled by Mum and you’re doing great. You’re still resisting French but so did Dragon. I worry about how you’ll do at school with other kids. You’ve almost exclusively played with your sister and haven’t really played with kids your age. Hopefully, you’ll adapt as well as she did. You’re in your boundary pushing phase. You’re lying for silly reasons and stubbornly say no for silly reasons. Your sister went through it and it’ll pass (I hope). You’re also chewing your fingernails and putting toys in your mouth again. At this age, your sister was biting so I consider us lucky, however it makes me nervous about sending you out into the world.

Last week was an eclipse. Ottawa only got 98% I think, but we were nervous about the two of you so we watched it on TV. You weren’t super interested and both of you argued that it wasn’t getting darker despite the fact that it was.

There won’t be another total eclipse in driving distance of Ottawa in any of our lifetimes. Maybe we can all head to Disney World in 2045, that could be fun.

I love you Pegasus and Dragon,

Papa

Wish – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the  2023 movie Wish.

Story

There were two movies going on, the first half and the second half. The first half is a meandering mess and the second half is halfway between a revolution and some overly saccharine idealized version of Disney.

Score: 0

Characters

While the main character and the king both get some good developement, the rest of the cast don’t, and that’s too bad because they were interesting.

I loved the goat and the star (the nose booping was cute).

Chris Pine ate up this role and was fantastic. I hate that they made a relatable villain who could be redeemed and chose to make it impossible for him because of “magic rules”. It took away his agency. I prefer my villains leaning into evil instead of being trapped in it forever because they read a book. (Good message there, Disney.)

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There were a lot of great Disney callbacks and inside jokes. Beyond that, most of it was okay but not amazing. The best lines belonged to the villain and the goat.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Normally I love Disney’s innovation but the characters in this look like a made for TV animation from a decade ago. The backgrounds are spectacular though.

The score is a great homage to older Disney films but the songs are paradoxically catchy and forgettable. Like someone who was trying really hard to write a Disney song instead of a Wish song.

Score: 0.5

Fun

When we watched the movie, it had a weird stuttering in the video when it panned or zoomed. It bothered me enough to play with my settings before I realized it was the movie. It wasn’t fun for me.

The movie itself was fun but not engrossing. I liked the ending enough.

Score: 0.5

Overall

The most forgettable Disney movie since Black Cauldron (although I haven’t seen Home on the Range). It’s not a bad movie but it tries too hard to be a Disney movie and forgets that each has their own special magic.

Final Score: 2 Stars out of 5

Fantasia 2000 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2000 film Fantasia 2000.

Story

Like the first, this isn’t a regular movie and feels more like an anthology with various forms of storytelling. It’s creative and absolutely engrossing. Unlike the original, it’s extremely short; over an hour shorter then the first. The rhythm between the stories wasn’t as smooth.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Again, there aren’t many speaking roles in the stories themselves, but the characters were strong and interesting.

Score: 1

Dialogue

I liked that they re-used some of the original narration and added some celebrities. The part with Mickey looking for Donald was particularly funny. Most of the jokes hold up well for being almost 25.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation is pretty but there are places they used 3D animation and it didn’t age well. The whales at times looked plastic and poorly rendered. When the shorts were traditionally animated they looked fabulous.

The music is great. I recognized all the pieces and loved how they were put together.

Score: 0.5

Fun

It had enough of the feel of the original to be nostalgic and it was a lot of fun.

The kids liked this one better because they say it has less scary parts.

Score: 1

Overall

An attempt to recreate a classic that almost gets there but like it’s runtime, falls short. On its own it’s still a lot of fun to watch.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Fantasia (1940) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1940 film Fantasia.

Story

This isn’t a regular movie and feels more like an anthology with various forms of storytelling. It’s creative and absolutely engrossing.

Score: 1

Characters

There are a lot of characters and none of them speak, but they are animated to the music spectacularly.

Score: 1

Dialogue

This one is not applicable for most of it but there is the narrator who introduces the parts. He has some cute dialogue.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation is creative, innovative, and very pretty.

The music is iconic and sparked my love of classical music.

Score: 1

Fun

When I was young, my mom bought this on VHS and it had me mesmerized. It was my favourite movie for a long time. (Something my classmates did not understand.)

Other than the science in the dinosaur part, which was dated when I watched it, the movie holds up really well.

The kids say they didn’t like it but were glued to the screen the whole time and completely invested.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic that holds up well because of the timelessness of imagination and music. If you’ve ever loved it in the past you’ll still love it now, and if you didn’t like it before, it might surprise you.

Final Score: 5 Stars out of 5

Christmas…Again?! – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Christmas…Again?!.

Story

It’s arguable that all time loop movies are remakes Groundhog Day, but in this case the similarities are too obvious to ignore. That being said, they did a great job adjusting it for the character, setting, and season.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The main character has the most believable learning arc that I’ve seen in recent memory. It never feels forced or too quick. The actress does a great job of showing the evolution.

I also have to point out the rare divorced family that gets along. The mom and future wife seem to actually be friends and support each other throughout the movie.

The rest of the characters managed to be nuanced and grow from the main characters meddling, all without being in the loop.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There were a few nice turns of phrase and I like how realistically the main character misinterprets the words of the adults in her life.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The cinematography wasn’t ground breaking, but it was clear and consistant, something that I find very important in time loop movies. Nothing breaks my immersion more than changes where there shouldn’t be.

The music was a good mix of Christmas and pop with a competent score.

Score: 1

Fun

I’m biased towards time loops. I love love them and every time I see one I go through the same annoyance and joy cycle.

My 7yo begged to watch it, as if she needed to, and loved every moment. The rest of the family seemed to enjoy it just as much.

Score: 1

Overall

An homage that borders on a remake of Groundhog Day, this movie manages to have heart, surprises, and lot of fun. If you love time loop movies as much as I do, you’ll love this one.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5