Toy Story No More

One of my favorite trilogies is Pixar’s Toy Story. I love the first three movies, the third being my most favorite, and I like the shorts they had. I was never interested in Toy Story 4 because, to me, they ended the trilogy perfectly. On top of that, Toy Story is one of those rare series where the sequels are better than the original. You cannot beat that! But they tried.

And in my opinion, they flopped.

The only reason I watched this film is my boyfriend likes it and wanted to watch it with me. I figure maybe I’ll be surprised, so I said yes and we watched it during a sleepover. I was surprised, but not pleasantly.

The only parts of this move I enjoy are the flashback montage at the beginning, and Bo Peep. I love her character, and I didn’t expect to because, while I have always liked Bo Peep, I never liked her more than any of the other toys (Jessie is my favorite, and Buzz before her). However, in my opinion, Bo Peep is the sole reason this movie is worth watching. She’s still not my favorite overall, but she’s my favorite in this film.

I can’t decide which is more annoying in this film: Woody, or the romantic plot. I never enjoyed romantic plots, even as a teenager, and ironically, they are more annoying now that I have my own steady relationship. But depending on how they’re done, they can be enjoyable. This one, however, was only a nuisance. And no, I don’t believe romance weakens an action girl (I just said I have my own!). My issue is when it takes over everything. Which it did here.

And that brings me to Woody. I like Woody in every film except this one because he is an utter idiot! I was glad Bo Peep called him out on his actions, but really, after the first scene with the antique shop, I could not stand Woody anymore. The entire movie after that scene happens because Woody is a blundering fool!

I am not trying to knock down those who love this movie, but you can’t say everything after the first scene with the antique shop isn’t Woody’s fault because the rest of the movie wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t go in there. He got Forky back, and finally convinced Forky he was valuable as a toy, so Forky is willing to stay. But after going through all the hell of bringing Forky back, Woody suddenly decides a tiny chance of seeing Bo Peep is more important than Bonnie, despite how much he preached that importance just a scene ago, and that we saw he still misses Andy.

This is what makes me hate romance plots. Yes, real people make stupid decisions in the name of love. But again, Woody’s stupidity is the sole reason the rest of the movie happens. And no, the resolution does not make me hate that less. At the very least, take Forky back to the RV before going into the antique shop. But the movie couldn’t exhibit Woody’s chronic hero syndrome if he used common sense. My point is there’s a difference between a single lapse in judgment and having the intelligence of wall plaster.

Gabby Gabby. I am enjoying the trend of movies with no villains, so I like that she is more morally questionable than outright villainous (kind of like Elsa in the first Frozen, though Elsa’s questionable actions are either unintentional or done with selfless intent), and I do like she finally gets an owner. I admit I felt for her when Harmony rejected her. But otherwise, I don’t think much of her. I like her for what she is, but that’s really all I can say.

I don’t like the ending, but with Woody’s obsession with Bo Peep, it was probably the best ending.

I do enjoy the film’s concept of lost toys, however. The previous films depicted not being loved by a child as a tragic thing, so it is nice that not all lost toys are devoid of hope and can have a good life outside of a child’s bedroom. At the same time, Gabby’s desire to be owned by a child isn’t shamed and is shown to be as valid. I see it as a metaphor for commitments (career, marriage, parenthood, etc) versus freedom. It’s okay if you want to be a free spirit and go wherever chance takes you, and it’s okay if you’d rather settle down into a more (presumably) comfy and stable life. Neither is better than the other, and neither makes you better than someone who chooses differently. We definitely need more “live and let live” messages in society. Even when Bo Peep calls Woody out on his actions, it’s his selfishness, his disregard for his actions hurting his friends, she calls him out on, not his need to help Bonnie (which he sees it as an attack of).

Speaking of which, I admit that’s another topic the movie does tackle well: toxic loyalty. In real life, relationships are (or should be) built on mutual love, trust, and respect. Bonnie no longer had interest in Woody, but Woody was still willing to go to ridiculous lengths for Bonnie’s happiness simply because he could not accept he isn’t her favorite toy like he was Andy’s. Through Woody’s stupidity, this is shown as a bad thing, and it’s what Bo Peep calls him out on. As much as I dislike this film, that is a very good message for kids: be wary of who you give your loyalty to. Yes, we’re talking about a 5 to 6-year-old girl and her toy, but close enough.

All in all, I give Toy Story 4 a plus for Bo Peep, its positive messages, and realistic child behavior. Everything else is a “meh”, and Woody is an absolute negative.

The Perfection of Frozen 2!

Stupidly necessary disclaimer: I do not care about spoilers. I rather enjoy them because I like to read about movies and shows, and I also think people are insane when it comes to them. In this particular case, this is my blog, so I will censor nothing because this film has reignited my love for the Frozen franchise (not that it ever waned; just calmed) and I want to cheer about it! So, take this as your warning. If you’re one of those people whose life is utterly ruined by spoilers and you read beyond this disclaimer, it’s your own fault.

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I saw Frozen 2. I was planning to see it when I had time, but not that soon. However, it was his idea and he offered to pay for tickets ($16.99 each) while I pay for dinner, so I agreed. However, we don’t share the same opinion of the movie. He thinks it’s average at best. I, however, think it is flawless! I loved the original, and I think Frozen 2 outdid that! So much to love about this movie! If I weren’t poor, I’d see again! I can’t wait until the blu-ray combination comes out. I want the blu-ray, the DVD, the digital version, and the soundtrack. I want all of it!

First of all, Idina Menzel has an incredible voice! Let It Go already made that obvious, but Into The Unknown does it better! That’s what sequel should be. Her voice is powerful, and that song was beautiful and gave me chills!

Also, Disney made Elsa hotter! She was already gorgeous in Frozen, and I love her wardrobe overall. But in Frozen 2, she lets down her hair and gets a lovely white dress I can’t describe, but makes look her prettier than any fictional character has the right to be. My favorite dress of hers is the one she wears in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, but the wardrobe of this film certainly does her favors! I’m certainly not complaining, but whose idea was it to make the queen of ice and snow hot? I hope they got a promotion.

Frozen 2 lets Elsa really shine with her powers! Frozen and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure allowed the same, but Frozen 2 makes them pale in comparison. She is awesome and I love every moment of her using her ice powers. My favorite is the scene where she fights against the ocean and the Nokk – it is purely amazing – and I also love that she defends Arendelle from the tidal wave with a snowflake! But really, all of her scenes with her powers are awesome and it’s hard to say which is the best! I know it’s not Japanese animation, but Elsa is officially my favorite “magical girl”, hands down. If she weren’t already my favorite Disney character of all time, she would be after this movie.

I’ll just say it. She’s a goddess. There, I said it. And since she’s the fifth spirit between the four nature ones, that may be semi-accurate.

Let’s talk about the animation. It’s Disney. The animation is always fabulous. But the scenery in Frozen 2 makes Frozen look cheap. My favorite is a shot of the enchanted forest when it looks like autumn.

I’m glad they gave Elsa and Anna’s mother a bigger role here. I know parents having minor roles is a regular thing with Disney films, but in Frozen, their mom had one line and their father was shown to be the major influence on Elsa. But it turns out her mom had just as much influence, if not more, and I’m so glad their parents were, in a way, central to the story. Also, more little Anna and Elsa! Yay!

Speaking of Anna, I know she’s supposed to be ordinary, but she really is anything but. That woman is strong. I thought I was about to finally make it through a Disney movie without crying (yeah, right), but Anna killed it. Anna is also full of life lessons. This one line of hers is my favorite:

“You’re not responsible for their choices.”

She says this when Elsa blames herself for their parents’ departure and deaths since they went on that voyage in the first movie to learn more about Elsa’s magic. This is, as TV Tropes calls it, an anvil that needs to be dropped. Anna’s point is simply that while Elsa may be the reason their parents left, it was ultimately their choice to go, and being the reason does not make her at fault for their demise. Say it louder for the people in the back, Anna! And points to Disney for putting that in a family-friendly film, of all things. I already know some parents are probably mad Disney told their kids that.

I really love Anna for how emotionally strong she is and how matter-of-fact she can be. I’d say Frozen 2 gave her a more level head. She’s still impulsive, but she recognizes it, and at one point, scolds Elsa for being reckless. I’ve read some don’t feel Anna had grown by the end of Frozen, but I disagree. She’s still her energetic self, but she has changed and gotten wiser.

I have only one complaint about this film: why must the sisters be separate again?! I understand why, but it hurts my heart they can’t live together. Granted, it’s not a bad lesson that familial relationships can be strong in spite of distance, but after thirteen years of no contact, I think both sisters deserved more than three years in close contact and close quarters.

Also, I didn’t realize this until I read it online, but Frozen 2 has no real antagonist. The closest is their grandfather, but that’s the past, so he’s gone. The movie’s conflict is discovering the truth of it. I like villains and villain songs, but I also love movies without villains because they’re proof villains aren’t necessary to drive a conflict or have a good story in general. Top three in order would be: Frozen 2, Ralph Breaks The Internet, and Ponyo (yes, I know Ponyo isn’t Disney).

Frozen 2 is Disney’s last animated feature of the 2010s decade. Way to end the decade with a bang, Disney. I had no interest in Disney+ because I was tired of hearing about it, but if Frozen 2 goes on Disney+, I might subscribe just to rewatch my favorite scenes. Speaking of which, my overall most favorite scene is Elsa singing a duet with her late mother, both for the meaning behind the song and the amazing sequences in that scene.

When the film finally does come out on disc (or digital), I’m updating this post with pictures!

Favorites of 2016

I keep coming back to this blog and finding I have so little I want to write about.

My life hasn’t really changed in any huge way. There are no news or articles I really want to discuss. There’s nothing nagging my mind or that I’ve been deep in thought about. Same old aggravations, same general routine, and all. I’m not unhappy about that. I simply don’t want to talk about it all the time.

So, I’ll do this. I’ll end my blog posts for 2016 with my favorite things of this year. If I come up with something else to talk about, I’ll post it, but for now, I’m considering this my last post of the year.

  • Movies. This year, I saw Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Storks, and Moana in theaters. Moana was my most favorite because it was an awesome movie and the very first Disney Princess movie I ever got to see in theaters. My least favorite was Storks. It was a cool movie, but it had a very annoying character throughout it that I personally didn’t find funny.
  • My job. This one is probably as obvious as crystal clear glass. I finally got my very first job and was finally making some money of my own. I confess I’ve done the typical thing and spent my money almost as soon as I got it, but only once have I spent all of it. I’ve been much more careful since and I try to never let my bank account fall under $100. This was the first year I was able to buy Christmas presents and that felt great!
  • Travel. I hate traveling, but to be with my boyfriend makes the trips worth it. Since I started working, we’ve gotten together almost weekly instead of monthly like we used to. For me, that’s the best reward of having this job. Of course, being who he is, he’s not letting me pay for everything. One thing I told him long before I got a job was I would never let him go hungry on any night if I could help it. He thought I was kidding, but I meant it. I have to argue with him to get him to take just $10 for food if he needs it. I appreciate he’s so grateful and won’t take advantage of me, but he knows I hate him going hungry. I was also finally able to bring him to my house once. No, my family didn’t meet him, but I was glad I could finally show him my room. My bed is too small for us, though. He was more content on the rug. 😛
  • Pokémon. First off, I loved the year-long giveaway for the 20th anniversary! I got every one! I’ll never use them, but I love collecting, so I’m so glad I didn’t miss out. Meloetta and Manaphy are my favorites. Sun and Moon come after. Although I still have some small gripes, the games have not disappointed me. I think my favorite feature is Poké Pelago. I also question if the games really do cater more to kids. Sure, it seems so on the outside, but the games are really darker than any previous game has ever been. I’m almost willing to bet the creators did that on purpose. Make the games seem too easy at first, only to later shock the players with the real difficulty. And it is hard! Something I’m doing in S&M that I’ve never done in any game I played before is using the X items. It’s either that or all the bosses kill me. Well played, Pokémon Company. Well played.

I’ve been considering trying to get my driver’s license if I keep my job after the seasonal period. I don’t have a car to drive, but I think it’ll be nice to have it my license is all. Then, if and when I do have a car for myself, I’ll have getting the license out of the way.

2015 brought me a wonderful partner and 2016 brought me a great job. I’m hoping 2017 will bring something good as well, although I imagine there’ll be some heartbreak before it comes.

It’s Beginning To Look Depressing

I cannot get Sunny to say more to me than a single word to me lately. It looks like anything I may have had going with him is gone. I’m so tired of this, leading myself into believing things will be different and they’re not. I think I’m going to delete my account on OKC and keep it deleted. I have had enough of this. I’d rather be alone than continue this for what seems like forever.

I did make a friend from that site, and honestly, I think friendship is where I’m keeping all of my relationships now. Just having one person to speak to fairly often is enough. I don’t think I will ever see anything past that, and that’s fine. Accepting that is better than repeated disappointments.

In much happier news, that friend invited me to see Cinderella with him when it releases. I’m more interested in Frozen Fever, but hey, why not? It’ll get me away from home for a little while. I’m really thrilled for it! Anna and Elsa are such cuties! Only downside is the people who pair those two together romantically are already going nuts. I wouldn’t mind them so much if they weren’t so desperate to try to prove romance between the two is canon. It’s honestly disturbing to an extent, and it makes me wonder what kind of familial relationships they have.

I’ve been pretty busy with my Tumblr blogs lately as well. I moved my simming blog to make it a primary account, and moved three of my side blogs to be sides on my art account. Now, my main account is a little less cluttered. It’ll take a few weeks before all my posts are transferred from my old simming blog, but that’ll let the new one remain active for a good amount of time.

I hope I can get some kind of clear message from Sunny soon. I’m trying to be patient, but that’s not something I’m good at, and he is telling me nothing. I have no idea if he’s grown tired of me, if he’s extremely busy (though I doubt it), or if something else has occurred. Part of me is worried, and part of me is frustrated.

MU Provides A Life Lesson

Yesterday, my summer group saw the movie Monsters University. We were supposed to see Despicable Me 2, but we would’ve had to wait a half-hour until it started and a large group can’t exactly stand around in a cinema.

To sum the plot up, Mike goes to the titular school to join the scare program and become a true scarer. However, thanks to Sully’s antics, he gets kicked out of the program by the dean because she thinks he’s not scary. Mike ends up assembling a team and participating in the Scare Games to prove he is scary. His team wins, but the victory turns out to be a false one because Sully tampered with the final game when it was Mike’s turn. Sully confesses and is expelled. Meanwhile, Mike has entered a door to the human world without permission to once again prove he is scary. Doesn’t work, as the kids find him to more cute than scary. Sully goes after him and together, the two pull off a scare that opens the door from the inside and also basically causes an explosion. As punishment, they’re both expelled, but Mike’s team from the Scare Games is allowed in the scare program. After Mike boards the bus to go home, Sully stops it to tell Mike that while he may not be scary, he is fearless. The dean flies in to basically agree and wish them luck. Mike and Sully become a team and work together at the Monsters Company, first starting in the mailroom, but eventually working their way up to becoming scarers. The movie ends with Mike and Sully about to begin their first day of scaring children. Thus, Mike has finally reached his dream of being a scarer.

Now, I love just about any movie that has a happy ending, but what I loved in particular about this one is that Mike still got what he wanted in the end, despite having so many people against him and being expelled from the university he’d had his heart set on. He’d been teased since childhood about not being scary and that didn’t change when he grew up. He was still mocked and ridiculed, even by the dean. While there was a point where he did give up, it wasn’t because of all the teasing. It was failure to scare the kids. Even then, Sully talked him out of it by revealing that he wasn’t as perfect as his arrogance made him out to be. Basically, what I loved about this movie is that Mike’s determination and ambition, as well as Sully’s encouragement, is what ultimately led to him reaching his goal.

While I realize it’s merely a movie and reality is hugely different, it doesn’t change that there is a little bit of reality in the movie. The lesson is you don’t have to walk on a “perfect” path to achieve what you want and the road to success isn’t always straight.

Back in high school, the teachers, guidance counselors, and even the vice principal preached about how college was so important and there was no excuse not to go. If you didn’t attend college, you had no chance of having a successful life. A little curiosity found me some different ideas. Sometimes, that plan doesn’t always work out. There are many people with college degrees, even masters, who are stuck in dead-end jobs either due to the economy or their chosen field not being high in demand. At the same time, there are people who never attended college who work government-related jobs.

I think I’ve said before that I genuinely want to attend college. However, it’s very nice to know that there is no one “right” path in life and instead, there are many paths that can lead to success, whatever the definition of that word is for each person. That’s also another great thing. “Success” has a different meaning for everyone. If my life doesn’t match someone else’s, it doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It means my life is different. I hope I don’t seem idealistic typing this because I don’t believe I am. I just think college needs to stop being pushed so much on young adults and the notion that college automatically leads to success needs to die. Not only is it ludicrous, it’s dangerous.