Schedule Slip Poll

Hey all, due to a number of stressful things going on at home in addition to preparing for my next writers’ conference, it looks like the Roger Rabbit review may not be ready in time. I hate leaving you high and dry until February though, especially since the next Faerie Tale Theatre review is 50% done (these I tend to finish a little quicker than the movie reviews). I made a little Patreon poll of what you think I should do here. Let me know what you think, and I’ll hopefully see you soon.

Faerie Tale Theatre Reviews: Sleeping Beauty

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“What is that?” “What does it look like?” “An enchanted castle […] is there a princess inside?” “Of course! You can hardly have an enchanted castle without a princess inside, now can you?”
– The “Squire” and the Woodsman on the topic of today’s story

I feel the need to post a Content Warning before we begin: The opening paragraphs include mentions of rape, traumatic childbirth, and sexual harassment. If these things are a trigger or are otherwise upsetting, please skip to “Read More” (or the paragraph after the Jack Sparrow gif) where I look at today’s episode proper.

There’s a a folklorist I follow named Austin Hackney; he’s a talented and disciplined author whose passion for fabulism is evident in his Folklore Thursday videos. His introduction on the story of The Robber Bridegroom, however, gave me pause:

It’s a fine example of just how dark and scary fairy tales can be before…Disney and the like dissolved them in the saccharine solutions of their retellings.

It’s not easy to convey in text but the distaste for Disney is evident in his voice. On the one hand, I get it, gigantic corporate overlord devouring IPs while demanding worship and all that. On the other hand, it’s unfair to cover all of Disney’s fairytales under such a massive blanket statement. Most fairy stories you can recount in five minutes tops; if you’re not going to alter them when adapting to a visual medium, you’re doing the audience and the creative team involved an extreme disservice. The artists would have very little room to stretch their creativity, and audiences, well, to say their tastes and suspensions of disbelief have changed since the fifteenth century would be a gross understatement – and that’s where Sleeping Beauty comes in.

I’ve already gone on record saying how Disney’s retelling is one of the stronger entries in the canon, both visually and in the story department. The wise decision of putting the Fairies front and center transforms the simple plot into a tale of revenge, political intrigue, and espionage with a feminist twist.

Also there’s a dragon battle. Saccharine retelling, my Aunt Fanny.

The story it’s based on, however, isn’t nearly as riveting. Much of it feels like a series of “this happened then that happened”, not helped by the titular character being there to only snooze through it. Surprisingly, the element of a cursed beauty trapped in eternal slumber and in need of rescue has appeared in many stories before its current incarnation, from Egypt’s “The Doomed Prince”, to Siegfried and Brunhilde in the Volsunga saga, to the medieval courtly romance Perceforest. It’s from there that Italian author Giambatta Basile was inspired to write his version of Sleeping Beauty, otherwise known as “Sun, Moon, and Talia”. Unfortunately, in adapting Perceforst, he kept in one unsavory detail that snowballs into an avalanche of…

Well, a cursory search on Youtube will give you a plethora of clickbaity titles such as “THE DARK HORRIFYING ORIGINS OF DISNEY’S SLEEPING BEAUTY” and “THE REAL EFFED-UP STORY OF SLEEPING BEAUTY”. Loathe as I am to say it, they’re not wrong.

In Basile’s story, Talia is a wealthy lord’s daughter who is prophesized to be doomed by a flax splinter. Her father decrees that all flax, which is used for spinning, is banished from his castle. One day teenage Talia finds an old woman spinning under a tree. A flax splinter gets caught in her finger when she has a go at it and she collapses, seemingly dead. Her father can’t bear to put her in the ground, so he shuts her in an opulent tower bedroom and abandons the estate altogether. The place gets so overgrown that it becomes part of the forest. A king goes hunting and discovers the tower when his hawk flies in through the window. He makes his way in, finds Talia, and is so taken by her beauty that he “grew hot with lust” and…

He rapes her. In no uncertain terms.

While she’s unconscious.

And still underage.

Those were my reactions too while researching this story.

And it gets worse. King Epstein leaves Talia after he reaches his happy ending and completely forgets about her. Nine months later she goes into labor – while still unconscious – and wakes up, no doubt confused and horrified, when one of her babies sucks the flax from her finger. Her, for lack of a better word RAPIST, then suddenly remembers Talia and returns to the tower for another go only to discover he’s a father now. Talia is okay with the situation when he explains what he did to her, and he visits her frequently for more lovemaking…even though he’s married to someone else.

And it keeps. Getting. Worse.

The queen learns about Talia after the king shouts her name in his sleep one too many times. Rather than call out her philandering rapist husband, she lures Talia to the palace, accuses her of being a whore and orders her and her children to be executed. Talia buys herself some time by doing a slow striptease for the queen, crying and screaming as she’s forced to hand over her clothes. The king returns just as she’s down to nothing and has his first wife killed instead. And the moral of the story is, I kid you not, “Those whom fortune favors find good luck as they sleep”.

So, yeah, regarding adaptations of Sleeping Beauty, you can only go up from there. Most of them tend to be pretty rote retellings of the later Charles Perrault or Brothers Grimm versions – which, to their credit, completely omit the rape, wedlock, infidelity, just about everything that makes this tale traumatic. I am perfectly fine with dragon-slaying and True Love’s Kiss saving the day over…THAT. They also end the story with the prince and princess getting their standard happily ever right after the kiss with no first wives or cannibalistic stepmothers getting in the way*, which is a plus in my book.

Like a number of fairytales, Sleeping Beauty has come under fire from feminists as of late; while their arguments against Snow White and The Little Mermaid seem shallow at best, I understand where they’re coming from in this instance. The thing is, when you get right down to it, the Sleeping Beauty is more of a macguffin than a character. The people in her life want to claim or destroy her, and she often has little to no say in the matter. Whomever chooses to adapt her story has to make the characters surrounding her more interesting if we want to remain invested. Few versions exist where the Sleeping Beauty has a better-defined character or an active role in the plot because of what has to happen to her. Today’s episode of Faerie Tale Theater leans heavily on the former, but I admire their attempt at the latter mainly because of who they cast in the part.

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State of the Shelf ’21-22 / Revenge Of The Poorly Explained Movie Plots

You know, I’ve seen a lot of people ragging on 2021 (not without good reason in some cases) but compared to what came before it that I say it’s a marked improvement. Maybe it’s because I’ve been fortunate enough to have some very good things happen to me that the high points stand out considerably more than the low ones. So as a way of ringing in the New Year, let’s reflect on what went down on the blog these past 365 days.

The first half of 2021 wasn’t as productive as I hoped thanks to a sudden increase in freelance work. I still managed to get six film reviews out this year, including a review of Home Alone which I didn’t finish in time for the previous Christmas, and a fifth anniversary review which was so late that it doubled as my sixth anniversary milestone. Apart from that and a Fievel Goes West review I’ve had to postpone for a multitude of reasons, my posting record was mostly on track for the latter half of the year. I reviewed my first Pixar movie, my first Abbott & Costello movie, returned to Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon with Song of the Sea, and even made the jump to Netflix with the new holiday classic Klaus. Speaking of beloved yuletide favorites, I also reviewed a Christmas short and special as per December tradition; The Little Match Girl I can easily call the most depressing thing I’ve looked at so far, but I’m thrilled that I was able to remind people that Olive The Other Reindeer exists.

I shared a bit of my original writing for the first time – okay, second if you count that Edgar Allen Poe spoof I whipped out near the end of 2020 – and the response has been very uplifting.

By The Cover made a brief return to celebrate Simply Mad About The Mouse’s 30th anniversary. Perhaps I should start that up again if I have the time.

More importantly, this was the year I began reviewing Faerie Tale Theatre, which has attracted more than a few welcome newcomers to the blog. Though we’re only four episodes in, sharing my history with this series and the stories that inspired it has been quite a ride. I’ve also tried to be a bit more analytical than jokey where these reviews are concerned and based on the number of views, I think I’ve found a decent balance (my snark and penchant for references aren’t going anywhere, don’t worry). All in all, not too shabby a year for Up On The Shelf.

In personal news, Mikey’s grown up like a weed (though he still acts like a kitten) and it seems my other cat TC has finally forgiven me for bringing an outsider into his domain. I had the chance to reconnect with more family and old friends from before the pandemic, and even made some new ones. My sister got married (as in she was legally married the year before but finally got to have her long-delayed wedding celebration) and to this day those who attended are still complimenting me on the speech I gave as her maid of honor. My cousin also got married in Pittsburgh, meaning I had the chance to travel there for the first time. It’s a beautiful city I hope to see more of one day. I appeared on three of my favorite podcasts (Channel KRT, The Emperor’s New Podcast, and Escape From Vault Disney) which you should drop everything and listen to right now. Two of my art pieces were featured in the Walt Disney Family Museum gallery, and one of them was highlighted during their virtual tour. While were on the topic of art, I was turned down for a book illustration job, and later almost got scammed by another, but did manage to get contracted for my first legitimate literature illustration; on that note, please forgive me if the next couple of posts go up a bit later than usual, I still have a ton of work to do regarding it.

But of course the biggest piece of news is one I already made known months ago. After years of unsuccessful pitching I’m officially an agented writer and illustrator. My agent is an incredibly kind and encouraging woman who’s helped get my foot in the door where I failed to in the past. They say in my writing group that each “no” you receive isn’t so much another rejection as it is one step closer to the person who will say “yes”; it was hard to believe that it until now. Even though my books haven’t found a publisher yet, each reply has come with some very high praise. It’s only inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing – and it’s given me even more story ideas in the process.

I’ve had something of a realization this year. When you’ve committed yourself for doing something as long as I have, it’s not hard to feel a bit of impostor syndrome. For a long time I’ve wondered how original my opinions and statements are and if I’m presenting them as clear as succinctly as possible, or if I’m just another Doug Walker knockoff typing my ramblings instead of shouting at a camera. I feel like I have a tendency to repeat myself, reuse certain words and turns of phrases, and not elucidate my thoughts to the best of my abilities. But seeing the positive comments you take the time to write, and the growth in Patreon pledges, well, I’m touched. I feel like maybe I’m doing something right after all. Your support means so much to me. So you know what? Forget all this New Years’ pessimism. This will be the year people wise up and take the precautions necessary to end the pandemic. This will be the year you hit that viewer milestone, get that well-paid commission or book deal, and find your dream partner. This will be the year your acne clears up and your favorite tv show gets renewed for another season. It’s time to look ahead to all the wonderful possibilities that await us in 2022.

So Happy New Year, everyone. I hope yours is safe, healthy, heart-filled and –

Oh, I knew I was forgetting something, my tradition of badly explaining the plots of everything I looked at in the previous year! Let’s go:

  • Home Alone: Two men check on an abandoned child only to be beaten and arrested.
  • Ratatouille: A garbage boy and a rodent violate sanitary regulations as they take over a dying franchise.
  • Song of the Sea: Proof that all expecting mothers should write a statement saying “Don’t blame the child if I die because it’ll only make you look like an asshole”.
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein: The original Monster Mash.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Before Inglorious Basterds, there was….Angela Lansbury.
  • The Little Match Girl: Ahh, nothing like hypothermia to put you in the Christmas spirit.
  • Olive The Other Reindeer: A holly-jolly case of imposter syndrome.
  • Klaus: A postman tells the story of how Santa came to be with the help of a schoolteacher as they defy a local tyrant…wait…

And now, the Faerie Tale Theatre episodes!

Like I said, Happy New Year, and I’ll see you next time when we dive back into Faerie Tale Theatre!

Christmas Shelf Reviews: Klaus (2019)

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It may come as a shock to my fellow readers, but I like animation a lot.

So I tend to keep up to date on forthcoming animated projects, especially if it’s hand-drawn animation. One thing I was excited for that seemed to fall through the cracks for most of the 2010s was an independent animated film that finally premiered to great acclaim on Netflix in 2019: Klaus.

The story of Klaus begins with Sergio Pablos, a Disney animator during the 90s Renaissance who struck out on his own after working on Treasure Planet. He did some writing and character design work for assorted films and also created Despicable Me (which I’m not holding against him because one, he couldn’t possibly predict the juggernaut Minions-being-crammed-down-our-throats-24/7 franchise it’d become, and two, apparently his more creative ideas for the first movie were shot down by executives in order to fit the Illumination mold). Pablos still held a passion for traditional animation deep in his heart, however, and founded SPA Studios in his home country of Spain to try to keep the art form alive. Moreover, he wanted to help it evolve so it could stand toe-to-toe with today’s computer animated films while keeping its handcrafted feel.

Believe it or not, Pablos’ first project was one most distributors he approached considered a huge risk: a Christmas movie, specifically a re-imagining of Santa Claus’ origins. Sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, doesn’t it? Making a Christmas movie is no big gamble if you’re on something like Hallmark, they churn out eight of those a week; the mainstream market, on the other hand, is saturated with classic holiday films. Your Christmas feature would have to be something really special to stand out – and boy does Klaus stand out. I mean, no disrespect to computer animation, but after years of CG-animated films that start to blend into each other after a while, seeing fresh traditional cinematic animation is a palate cleanser for the eyes and the soul. Pablos also came through on taking hand-drawn animation to the next level. The studio developed software that renders detailed light and shadow on to the finished animation. How detailed, you may ask?

They…they caught how light looks coming through ears.

It’s like a reverse Paperman: instead of CGI that closely resembles 2D animation, it’s 2D animation that resembles highly-detailed CGI. So that on top of backgrounds that are Currier & Ives by way of Maurice Noble, and characters that are some of the most endearing in ages, that are part a story that puts on a fun yet heartfelt spin on a familiar plot that really puts you in the Christmas spirit…

…I love this movie, in case you were wondering.

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Christmas Shelf Reviews: Olive the Other Reindeer

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While I remember the hype for the FOX Christmas special Olive The Other Reindeer back in 1999 –

…Excuse me, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I’m old.

Anyway, while I remember the promotions for it before it premiered, I’m ashamed to say I never got around to watching it until several years ago. Shame, really, because it’s been among my personal favorites since. Olive The Other Reindeer is loosely based on a children’s book by Vivian Walsh and award-winning artist J. Otto Seibold, the main conceit being “Hey, doesn’t that one line from the Rudolph song sound like they’re saying Olive The Other Reindeer instead of ‘all of the other reindeer’? Wouldn’t it be funny if someone named Olive got confused over it and tried to become a reindeer?” The book is fairly straightforward with little-to-no stakes, though it has some wonderfully stylized and colorful artwork. Naturally the leap from page to screen meant the story had to be significantly fleshed out, but who could possibly step up to the task?

Eh, how about the guy behind the biggest animated adult show of all time?

To this day I have no idea why Matt Groening took the job but I sure as hell am grateful for it. He, along with Futurama co-creator David X. Cohen, took what could have been another simple Christmas special and injected it with the sly modern wit and cheeky sense of humor they’re known for (the fact that Olive premiered on the same night Futurama did couldn’t have been a coincidence either). They spice up the proceedings with wonderful touches exclusive to this adaptation: the other characters with mondegreen names; the snappy dialogue; the background sight gags that you have to watch multiple times to catch; the running joke with the cordless drill; the self-depreciating jabs at Fox, and more. The smart writing in addition to the unique animation gives this outing a strong sense of identity without losing the heart and charm that’s inherent to the story. It also marks Olive as the only “family-friendly” thing Groening’s made to date; an interesting designation to have, but not a bad one at all.

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Faerie Tale Theatre Reviews: The Nightingale

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“I have seen tears in the Emperor’s eyes. For me, that is the richest treasure.” “How can I reward you then?” “Perhaps you can give something to everyone else.” – An Emperor’s first step towards learning compassion, thanks to a humble little bird

My great-aunt is a former educator who fostered a love of reading in me at a young age. She frequently gave me picture books as presents and when she moved out of state, she sent me copies of classic stories in the mail – one of them being the subject of today’s episode. The Nightingale, or The Emperor’s Nightingale in some circles, is one of the more underrated fairy tales, and among the best written by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s easy to forget that beyond all the forced tragic endings, Andersen was capable of lovely prose, imaginative flights of fancy, and sharp critiques of the establishment. The Nightingale has all this and more in spades.

So of course, being the 80s, they found a way to make it awkward.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the story and I do have a fondness for this episode, but there are certain choices made that are determinedly (ahem) problematic by today’s standards.

But what is the story of The Nightingale about, you may ask? Well, before I get to recounting the fine details, I’d say it’s about the role of the artist in society: how they’re perceived, appraised, exploited, and discarded at the whims of a fickle upper class, and how they find more freedom and creativity outside the system than within. It’s also about how true art can change people and teach them empathy. Trust me, though, all this is not as pretentious as it sounds.

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Christmas Shelf Reviews: The Little Match Girl (2006)

My introduction to the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Little Match Girl was through a picture book with beautiful illustrations by Rachel Isadora which I discovered in second grade. I was instantly endeared to the poor protagonist and enchanted by the wonders she experienced – though the ending left me in a state of shock. I didn’t know what to make of it. The story fell out of sight and out of mind until the Platinum Edition DVD of The Little Mermaid came out. Packaged with it was a new animated short from Disney retelling the Match Girl’s tale.

There’s an odd bit of animated symmetry this shares with The Little Mermaid: both mark the finale of a time-honored animation method. The Little Mermaid was the last film from Disney to use traditionally inked cels before switching over to the CAPS system. The Little Match Girl, meanwhile, was the final Disney product to use CAPS. While the artistry on display left me in awe each time, I rarely revisited this short on account of how it stayed true to the story. And since Andersen had a penchant for downer endings…you get the idea.

This short is brought to us by Don Hahn and Roger Allers, the producer and director of The Lion King respectively, and anyone who’s seen that movie can verify their ability to leave you a sobbing wreck. The Little Match Girl was supposed to be a part of a Fantasia continuation that was tragically canceled; as such, the story is told solely through the visuals and set to the emotional strains of Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No.2 in D Minor (my fellow theater nerds will also recognize this as the music behind Kismet’s “And This is My Beloved”).

So, are you ready to start off your holidays as a tear-streaked mess on the floor?

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November Review: Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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I’m kind of surprised that I’m reviewing Bedknobs and Broomsticks before the film that was responsible for it in the first place, the one everyone knows and loves – a little movie called Mary Poppins. Everything about Bedknobs and Broomsticks from its conception to creation is inextricably tied to its more popular predecessor. When Walt Disney was still tussling with P.L. Travers over the film rights for Mary Poppins, he sought out the rights to two other books as an alternative. Those stories were Mary Norton’s “The Magical Bedknob” and “Bonfires and Broomsticks” which, by an astounding coincidence, feature a magical woman taking in some children and setting off with them on fantastical adventures. Walt eventually succeeded in getting Mary Poppins on the big screen, and it goes without saying that it was his final crowning achievement, the culmination of every artistic endeavor he undertook over his forty-year career, a joyous musical extravaganza that deserved every award and accolade, and is pretty darn good too. And then he died, leaving behind a directionless studio and some Sideshow Bob-sized shoes to fill.

During that time where the world mourned and the company coasted on the last bit of Walt’s legacy, his brother, Roy O. Disney, remembered they still had the rights to Mary Norton’s books and thought, “Well we had one big hit turning a fantasy story into a big-budget partly-animated musical, why not do it again?” It’s not all that surprising that the studio would try to reproduce Mary Poppins’ success, especially now that they forced to recreate Walt’s brand of magic without him. In fact, they not only brought back a few actors from Mary Poppins and even the same songwriters, The Sherman Brothers, but Julie Andrews was the studio’s first choice to play Eglantine Price! As is often the case, the final product doesn’t fully measure up to the original, and yet…Bedknobs and Broomsticks is still an utterly fantastic film. Much like its heroine, it’s a plucky little feature up against insurmountable odds and its own overwhelming insecurities, but overcomes them both through sheer conviction. Whether its an apprentice witch trying to save her country from war, or a studio rebuilding itself after losing its beloved founder, you gotta love an underdog story. The film boasts a great cast, some memorable songs, phenomenal special effects, and even works as an interesting companion piece to Mary Poppins. Why is that? Well, just in time for its 50th anniversary (give or take a couple of weeks), let’s find out shall we?

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Faerie Tale Theatre Reviews: Rapunzel

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“You’ll be safe up in the tower, Rapunzel. No man can ever touch you.” “But I don’t want to be safe. I want to be free!”
– Our villainess and heroine lay out the theme in the middle of a mother-daughter argument

Ah, back to fairy tales. Hopefully it won’t be anything as nightmarish as Meets Frankenstein.

(looks at schedule)

…aw, crap. It’s worse.

I won’t beat around the bush, this episode is pretty infamous for having some freaky imagery that’s forever burned into the nightmares of kids who’ve watched it. I may have been spared from it in my childhood, but watching it through the eyes of a fully-grown adult doesn’t make it any less disturbing (and that’s before we get to the horrifying realistic show of physical and psychological abuse the titular character endures at the hands of her “mother”). Rapunzel is a fucked-up episode – and kind of a fucked-up story when you stop and think about it.

This wasn’t my favorite fairytale to begin with but I see the appeal in it; a woman with impossibly long, beautiful hair rescued by a dashing prince after being held prisoner by an evil overbearing parental figure oozes classic storybook romance. It wasn’t until I saw Into The Woods for the first time that it really gave me pause. The first act of the show ends with everyone celebrating their hard-earned happily ever after, only for it to come crashing down in the second act as the consequences of their actions catch up to them. Rapunzel is no exception, even though she’s the most innocent character throughout all this. She’s out in a world she’s never known with no social skills, family, friends, or any idea how to cope with change; she’s clearly showing signs of post-partum depression, the prince who fathered her children and got her banished from her home in the first place brushes her off as a nuisance and joins his odious brother in ogling other women, and when she confronts her mother for abusing her all her life, the woman tries to justify her actions and drives her under the feet of an angry giant. All I’m saying is thank God for Tangled rewriting the story to give the main character a chance to actually affect things in her own story and create her happy ending; hell, thank God for the Barbie version of Rapunzel doing that as well – both of them!

Anyway, tales of beautiful women trapped in towers go back as far as ancient Greece with Danaë, mother of Perseus, locked up by her dad so she wouldn’t get knocked up. There’s also the Persian myth of Rudāba, whose lover climbed her hair (sound familiar?) and even the myth of St. Barbara, whose father shut her in a tower to stop her from marrying beneath her station. The earliest version of the Rapunzel story we know, however, comes 178 years before the Brothers Grimm penned their take on it. In “Petrosinella”, a Neopolitan folktale collected by Italian author Giambattista Basile, a mother sells out her daughter (the titular character) to an ogress to save her own life after she’s caught stealing her parsley. Petrosinella is seven years old when she’s taken away from her mother and locked in a tower as opposed to being raised from birth by her captor. The usual bit with the prince showing up and falling in love happens, but this time they make their escape using magical means she picked up from the ogress, ultimately defeating her to earn their happily ever after. This tale was later retold in France as “Persinette”, then ambled on over to Germany in Friedrich Schulz’s fairy tale collection, before finally being picked up and rewritten into the Rapunzel story we know today by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

If there’s a running theme throughout all of them, it’s the futility of trying to keep girls from reaching the inevitable – no, not men, womanhood. The tower is the means in which the parental figures try to keep their daughters innocent and childlike forever instead of letting them flourish and learn out in the world. It never works, obviously, since knowledge and arguably temptation comes in the form of the prince. Whoever’s holding Rapunzel prisoner, be it witch or ogre, is furious that their daughter is “tainted” by the outside world and “ungrateful” for all that they have given her to keep her happy (barring the one thing she does want, real freedom). It’s an ugly but honest reflection of how society views girls through the Madonna-Whore dichotomy; if they can’t be sweet and pure forever, then they’re sullied and to blame for the mishaps they face when trying to grow up, things they should have been able to endure if the parents in question had helped them to understand instead of smothering them out of their own selfishness. Rapunzel does get her wish for freedom, but at the cost of being cast out of her childhood home – it was an entrapment, yes, but also the only world she’s ever known up until then. Ultimately the power of love comes through because fairy tales (at least in anything that isn’t Into The Woods).

So knowing all this, how well does Faerie Tale Theatre tell the story of Rapunzel?

Well, you already read this far…

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I’m On Two More Podcasts!

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Remember earlier this summer when I was on the podcast Channel KRT? Well this week I appeared on two MORE of my favorite podcasts, Escape From Vault Disney and The Emperor’s New Podcast!

For those who don’t know, Escape From Vault Disney is hosted by Tony Goldmark, whose work I’m a big fan of. EFVD’s Randomizer saw fit to bestow upon him, hilarious person Ryan Hipp, massively-smarter-than-the-material-given Haley Baker Callahan, and myself the NatGeo special Viking Warrior Women. It’s…not as exciting as it sounds, but we had a hell of a time talking about it.

Micah Hirsch, the internet’s biggest Emperor’s New Groove fan, brought me on to discuss an episode of the animated spinoff series, The Emperor’s New School, with Land Before Time-Land co-host Madeline Maye and gaming streamer DGil. Listen in awe as we ramble on about carnivals, Kuzco’s ego, and how much fun Patrick Warburton’s screams are.

Tony, Micah, thanks for having me on your shows! See you guys tomorrow when I drop the next Faerie Tale Theatre review!