It seems like we’ve been hearing this and that about Moana forever without any hint of an actual trailer. And while this is just a teaser, it still gives me a lot of hope about what the movie itself will be like.
The great joy of geek culture—whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, or superheroes—is the ability to tell grand stories. Where else can we seriously consider the end of the world, or the responsibilities of ultimate power? These are the stories that always offer an escape from mundane reality, letting complexity fall away in favor of a clear mission.
In the past decade, these stories have dominated pop culture, from the way everything from Avengers to Game of Thrones has become inescapable—perhaps the public has grown weary of the multipolar diplomacy that has characterized the post-9/11 era. But these stories are letting us down. The relief offered by the simplicity of defeating comic book villains is no longer enough; we need to ask for more.
Well, it’s that horrible, horrible time of year again, when Lady Geek Girl forces all of us here to list our Top 10 fanon and canon pairings, successfully turning our blog and mission of equality into a giant shipping war for a day. This post, however, is not that list. You’ll get that later on today, but in the meantime, let’s talk about asexual characters. Asexuality is not well represented in popular culture, and when it is, it’s not represented very well. Unfortunately, this leaves me with very few characters I can related to sexually. Coming to my rescue, though, are headcanons. Headcanons are hardly the same thing as representation in the source material, but at least they’re something.
So without further ado, here are my Top 10 characters who I think could be asexual.
Magical Mondays: Sleeping Beauty, Fairy Tales, and Inserting Magic Into Magic-less Narratives. Here, Luce explores the hows and whys of magic becoming part of fairy tales.
[Fairy] tales used to be dark, moralistic stories to teach people lessons, yet as time went on, people decided that fairy tales ought to entertain children as well as educate them—they weren’t meant to please ancestors of Hannibal fans. Throughout these versions, themes of rape, adultery, and cannibalism were gradually erased from the overall plot, leaving a sanitized version behind. To fill in the blanks with respect to the characters, numerous writers used magic instead. Evil fairy solves all your problems, right? Then the king doesn’t commit adultery and the queen isn’t a heinously one-dimension villain and the princess isn’t raped, but just kissed without her consent, which is… better.
Magical Mondays: The Mundane and the Magical in Welcome to Night Vale. Earlier this year, Lady Geek Girl talked about magical realism in Welcome to Night Vale.
Welcome to Night Vale makes the magical mundane and the mundane magical by drawing our attention to something weird and magical, but then focusing on the mundane aspect of the event so that we cannot escape or ignore it. The magical element essentially acts as a big blinking sign pointing to the mundane and inescapable element.
Some of you who read this blog may remember me mentioning that I have an older sister. She drives me up a wall half the time, but I love her dearly, and I’m sure she feels the same about me. Here is my problem, though: I have only seen one sisterly relationship portrayed in pop culture that I can actually relate to. It’s weird, to say the least, but I think there is a reason for that. Women and stories about women are given significantly less screen time than male characters and stories about men. On the rare occasion women have starring, or even just supporting, roles, they are the lone female character. Said female has no sisters, no other female relations of note, and certainly no female friends. Either female characters’ backgrounds and never delved into, or these female characters will only have male influences in their lives. So already at least half the time women are tokenized and/or shown only associating with men. It should really come as no surprise, then, that when female relationships are present, they tend to lack the complexity that male relationships are given.
I see this a lot when sisterly relationships are portrayed. There seems to be only two possibilities for sisters: either they hate each other and can barely tolerate being in the same room together, or they love each other so super much that they are each others’ BFFs 5ver!
So when Frozen came out and everyone praised its portrayal of sisterly love I expected… well, something different than what I got, I guess.
I have watched every episode of Once Upon A Time since its premiere in 2011. My view of the show started well, but has been declining since the second season. From bland plot twists to poor character development, my faith in the show is practically non-existent now. Despite that, I watch it in good faith, hoping the show will be as unique and memorable as it was when it started. Then I saw this image circling the internet.
At the end of Season 3, we do see someone who looks like Elsa walking toward Storybrooke, but the show has made it perfectly clear that she is indeed Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. Not only that, but they are using even more characters from Disney films and stories (like Fantasia for instance). I was outraged after the first episode of Season 3, but decided to give the show the benefit of the doubt. Surely they wouldn’t bank on the fact that Frozen is so popular that it’d help ratings (regardless of how much work was done with the plot). Now, nine episodes in, I can honestly say the writers didn’t expect to cheat their way into better ratings. They did a nice job tying these two worlds together, along with answering any questions you might have had about Anna’s and Elsa’s past and future. Not only that, but they continue to develop the characters from their original cast.
Spoilers after the jump! Continue reading
Acts of true love are everywhere in our fiction. In many of these narratives, performing an act of true love—such as a kiss—has the magical ability to save someone from certain death brought about by a curse. In many older Disney films and fairy tale stories, true love is almost always portrayed as romantic. Recently, though, we’ve gotten a few new interpretations on the mythos. In the new Sleeping Beauty movie, Maleficent, a platonic kiss Maleficent gives Aurora saves her life. And in Once Upon A Time, Emma saves her son Henry with a motherly kiss on his forehead. Then there’s Frozen, which, between the sisters Anna and Elsa, gives us yet another interpretation of true love, one that I like far more.
Oh man, oh man, oh man. I have been putting this review off for as long as possible because I just have so few positive opinions about this season and I don’t want to have to recap the weird and awkward mess that was the plot. But I guess that’s what they pay me the boonbucks to do, so here we go.
Spoilers for the whole season below the jump.
This was not a fic I was originally going to recommend, because not only is it unfinished, I worry that it might be abandoned. But underoriginal’s The Queen’s Eyes is too good a story to pass up. Like all things, it does have its problems—personally, I think the story could expand on some of the mythology it’s introduced—but it also has a lot to offer, and I was pleasantly surprised by those things, since nothing in the story summary indicated that they would be there.
Desperate to find a way to redeem their brother, the princes of the Southern Isles send Hans back to Arrendale. Hans agrees to become a member of the elite and mysterious police force called the Queen’s Eyes. At first, he wonders why he is given so much power, but he slowly comes to realize the price. As Hans starts to wonder if he made the right choice, Anna struggles with her own powers awakening and the possibility that she may never be able to adventure again, Kristoff tries to find a way to marry a princess despite his low class even with Elsa’s blessing, and the Queen herself begins to crack under the pressure of the crown. Meanwhile, a terrible snowstorm ravaging the Southern Isles raises an even more dangerous problem; what if Elsa isn’t the only sorcerer out there?
Potential trigger warning for transphobia ahead.
Yes, I know, I’ve been on a Frozen binge lately. I even ended up going to see it again, and I took my boyfriend with me on my latest viewing. It was his second time watching the movie, and the first time he saw it, he was greatly perturbed that Elsa had to take her gloves off during her coronation ceremony. As he put it, making her take off the gloves is entirely senseless and has no apparent reason. Even when I first watched the movie, I noticed that, and I thought it was a cheap, pointless way to create drama. There also aren’t any underlying consequences to the scene. If she had been allowed to keep her gloves on, events still would have played out the same.
It was after my boyfriend’s second viewing that it occurred to him that magic must run in the royal family and that Elsa isn’t the first person to have been born with powers. After talking to him about this theory, I have to admit that it makes a lot of sense, and it explains a lot of things about the movie that I didn’t really notice before.