Tag Archive: Fairy Tales


Cinderella

Editor’s Note: Lori wanted to review and analyze Cinderella, so here she is in her second guest blog. Enjoy!

~ Matthew Bowman, Supreme Editor Monkey at Novel Ninja.


CinderellaI’ll say it right at the outset: Cinderella is one of the best movies I have seen recently.

Now, after I reviewed Old Fashioned — a movie I wanted to like — Matthew and I were both told on Facebook that we’re not qualified to review rom-coms, so I guess I’m not qualified here either. Or the haters can just go jump in the nearest lake.

The movie is visually beautiful, with a bare minimum of CGI.  The music is compelling, the acting is quite well done and convincing, the humor is tasteful and just enough to make the story light and pleasant (but not enough to make it silly) and the story is almost perfect.

Comparing this version to the original Disney Cinderella (1950), this one is superior in every way, and not just because it is a modern film with real actors.  The original Cinderella is a child’s movie, with a child’s plot.  There is no real development of anyone’s character, including Cinderella’s, the prince is barely in the movie at all, and most of the screen time is spent with Cinderella’s talking and singing animal friends.  This is not a bad thing in itself; I loved Cinderella as a kid (but not as much as Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid).  It’s not a bad story; it just could have been so much better.

Fortunately for fans of the fairy tale, now it is.

I don’t think any SPOILER ALERTS are necessary here.  Even if you haven’t seen this version of Cinderella (you should do so as soon as possible), we all know the story, and we all know how it ends. 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

Readers of the blog know I like Lego. It’s a great toy, arguably the best single toy investment you can make for a child. Unlike a video game, its operating system doesn’t go obsolete in three years; every Lego brick you buy today is compatible with the same company’s products going back decades — and they’re not going to change that in the future. It rewards creativity, teaches spacial and structural awareness, and can be combined in so many different ways that you can never say you’ve beat the game.

And then, as an adult, you can stick with it and turn it into a genuine art form. Years of experience, an adult’s funding and patience, and that little kid inside of you that still shouts “THIS IS SO COOL!” — all joining together to show kids that art can be fun, and their fun can be true art.

Well, there’s a movie out this weekend that’s based on the toy. I got to see the press screening last weekend with Wamalug (the Washington Metropolitan Area LEGO Users Group), so I’m here to give you my review. Continue reading

G. K. Chesterton was a British journalist and author living in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He wrote on nearly every topic there was to be discussed at the time, and naturally that includes literature. In fact, it’s widely agreed that his critiques of Charles Dickins’ books were a key part of the latter’s success, and Chesterton went on to have strong influence on both Tolkien and Lewis. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: