Tag Archive: Disney

Inside Out

Inside_Out_(2015_film)_posterThis past Tuesday, because I am a highly influential member of the media because Disney was providing early access, I got to see the latest Pixar film early.

Continuing my recent trend of being supremely unimpressed by previews, I didn’t have very high expectations. They raised a bit by the time of the showing, though, because the buzz I was hearing wasn’t tinged so much by fanboyish/girlish enthusiasm as it was by an anticipation of something new and exciting. Still, I wasn’t expecting something huge. After all, the “little people running your body” concept has been used a lot. Pixar is known for being innovative, but still . . . what exactly would be new here?

Answer: everything. Holy cannoli. I think this is their best installment ever. Yes, better than my previous favorite, The Incredibles.

The basic concept seems simple. Little people controlling someone’s thoughts and actions, with the inside of the brain represented by a control room where pulling levers and pushing buttons makes stuff happen. In this version, it’s the five most basic emotions: joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust. They manipulate the person’s reactions to the world, collect memories, and attempt to regulate mental health.

Sounds kinda boring, doesn’t it? If it weren’t for it being Pixar, I wouldn’t have gone. But I did go, and I’m delighted. If you’re wondering if this movie is worth watching, then this is your notice. You don’t even have to read the rest of this. If you’re capable of reading these words, you are the target audience. Go watch it and thank me later.

. . . still here? Okay, I guess I can talk some more. Very mild spoilers ahead. In fact, it’s almost not worth it, but I’ll put up the cool graphic anyway.

Spoiler Warning Continue reading

23500493Recently, I gave you all a review of Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted series, an urban fantasy romance set in a version of New York where wizards, fairies, gnomes, and elves live among unsuspecting humans, hidden by magical illusions, with lives both astonishingly similar and predictably different from reality. My future co-author Elizabeth Hajek has given her own enthusiastic verdict on the series, and I should note she hadn’t even finished the sixth book before deciding to endorse it.

Well, while I waited for Swendson to publish the next book in the series, I decided to take a look at what is currently the only book in a separate series written by her, titled simply A Fairy Tale. This is similar to Enchanted because it takes place in New York, it’s a fantasy, it’s women’s fiction with significant cross-gender appeal, and it’s very good. It’s different because it’s adventure rather than romance; it’s urban fantasy only in that some of it takes place in New York; and it’s not as light and humorous as Katie’s adventures with Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc.

It’s also one of the best examples I’ve found so far of adapting British fairy folk tales to the modern fantasy genre that is their direct descendant. If you like your fairies to be less like Walt Disney’s Tinkerbell and more like Jim Butcher’s Queen Mab, you’ll be right at home.  Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: