Disney Princess Avengers

[When I went to write the last post, I discovered the nearly completed draft of this one.  I’m finishing it up now, with any new thoughts included in square brackets. Once again relevant sections are written before seeing Frozen 2.]

So, there’s a fan theory I came across that hypothesizes that Frozen is a very early prequel to The Incredibles. [Sorry, I couldn’t seem to find the source for this theory again, so no link.]  While that theory doesn’t quite work for me, it does have some interesting points.  While contemplating this theory, it occurred to me that Disney owns Marvel, opening up the possibility that the Modern Era Princess Movies are leading up to the stealth creation of a team based on (but not identical to) the Avengers Unity team (aka Uncanny Avengers).  To expound upon this possibility, I’ll be examining the relevant movies one at a time.

FROZEN

Anna

A lot of the information about Anna’s powers was mentioned in The Incredibles prequel theory, but there are some other points that were not included there.  The other theory mentions that Anna has super-strength, super-agility, and is incredibly light weight.  They listed quite a few examples of super strength, but I’ll just mention two of them: uprooting a tree to fight Marshmallow and pulling Kristoff up a cliff.  I’d throw in super-durability based on the various fight/flight scenes she is in.  Super agility can be seen multiple times as she is dodging around obstacles or maintains improbably good balance.  We can see that Anna is incredibly light weight in how easily both Hans and Kristoff pick her up and in the fact that she hovers/glides when she jumps on the couch – it would not take much for her to be able to fly.  While it is true that this is by no means a unique power set, it does bring one hero in particular to mind – Anna has a toned down version of the same powers as Rogue permanently absorbed from the original Ms. Marvel.  Add to the power similarity the similar names – Princess Anna / Anna Marie, and both having mid-to-dark hair with a splash of white.  But what about Rogue’s primary power you ask – I’ll come back to that.

Elsa

When looking at Elsa’s power, at first they seem to be run of the mill ice powers, ala Iceman, but closer examination reveals more.  Elsa’s Cryokinesis extends far beyond simple creation and manipulation of ice and snow to full on control of weather and possibly seasons on a national (if not planetary) scale.  Examining uses of her powers on a less grand scale, she can apparently give ice material properties ir doesn’t usually have based on her ability to make Cloth of Ice.  The existence of Olaf and Marshmallow demonstrate that she is either capable of creating intelligent speaking (insert Qui-Gon quote here) lifeforms or she can summon ice elementals and permanently bind them to the material plane.  And then of course, there is healing Anna from being an ice statue or giving her a True Res or whatever that was.  Even her “normal” use of ice powers have incredibly fine detail despite the grand scale of some of her creations.

Control and Absorption

So, Elsa is shown to be incredibly powerful and has control over fine details of her power usage even at the beginning of the movie, but she struggles to control when and how much her power is released for most of the movie.  Looking more closely, Elsa first begins to have trouble when Anna is knocked out by Elsa’s powers.  She isn’t seen to be back in control until after she uses her powers to True Res Anna near the end of the movie.  Even when she is struggling to control the release of her powers, she still has control over the intricate details of intentional uses of her power.  While the standard interpretation is that this is a psychological/emotional block on Elsa’s part, the alternative is that the lack of control is because Anna’s powers were not functioning.  This theory would mean that Elsa has too much power to control and that Anna was subconsciously absorbing off her sister’s excess power.  When Anna was hit in the head, it disrupted her ability to absorb Elsa’s powers.  Because the chief troll did not know that Anna had powers, he didn’t check to make sure that they were functioning properly.  As a result, Anna was not able to absorb Elsa’s excess power until after Elsa heals her from being fully turned to ice.

TANGLED

Rapunzel

Like her cousin Anna, Rapunzel is surprisingly strong and light weight, but her main ability is more like the boosts to her cousin Elsa’s power.  While we never see her create a living creature, she can extend life and heal and even provide a true res like Elsa does.  While I don’t know of any Avengers with healing others as a primary power, Synapse can use her Psionic powers to heal other people.  Tangled does show evidence that Rapunzel can affect the emotional state of those around her (a potential use of psionic abilities) as seen in the “I’ve Got a Dream” sequence and the scene where she institutes the truce between Maximus and Flynn.

BRAVE

Merida

This one is kind of obvious – Merida is a Hawkeye analogue.  Merida’s athletic and archery stunts are at least as impressive as anything I’ve seem Barton do.  (Seriously go watch the “Touch the Sky” sequence – that’s a longbow (one of the more difficult types of bows to master) – not a modern compound bow (like Barton uses) or a short bow (like most mounted archers used).)

PRINCESS AND THE FROG

Tiana

This one is a bit difficult, as I’ve not seen the full movie… [I have now, my following observations still stand.]  From what I did see she doesn’t have any special powers at the end but she does have a no nonsense attitude.  This could make her an ideal candidate for the elderly Steve Rodgers (Uncanny Avengers)/Nick Fury (MCU) type role.

[MOANA

Moana

Ok, so this movie hadn’t come out when I started writing this, but since I’m just getting around to finishing this post, I may as well add her in.  So Moana doesn’t have any super powers of her own, but she does have very powerful friends (Maui, Te Fiti, the Ocean).  In spite of lacking powers of her own, she has no qualms facing off against powerful enemies (Tamatoa, Te Kā), jumping into dangerous mysterious places (Lalotai), and scolding/reprimanding incredibly powerful beings (Maui).  She is looking like a good analogue for Agent Coulson and/or Agent May.]

PRE-MODERN ERA PRINCESSES

I can’t really see any of the Classic Era Princess joining a super hero(ine) team, but at least some of the Renaissance Era Princesses might.  Not going to devote the time to finding Marvel analogues, just a quick observation.  Ariel and Belle (as much as I love her) don’t really seem up to super-hero-ing.  Mulan on the other hand definitely could.  If you count the Aladdin TV series as canon, then Jasmine is another definite yes, otherwise put her as a maybe along with Pocahontas.  If they pull from the unofficial princesses, Kida, Megara, and an older version of Eilonwy are three strong candidates.

 

P.S. Olaf

While I do believe that Olaf and Jar Jar Binks are at basically the same level of intelligence.  Olaf is not annoying except in Frozen 2.   On the other hand, Jar Jar was most annoying in Phantom Menace causing the irritation with the character to carry forward to subsequent appearances.

Why Elsa is Awesome

Before I get to the meat of this post, I need to point out that I wrote this before seeing Frozen 2.  Indeed, I purposely delayed seeing Frozen 2 to get my thoughts out first so that the second full length movie couldn’t color my views if it didn’t  live up to my hopes…  (I have now seen Frozen 2 between writing and uploading, and loved it.)

The initial idea for this post has been in my head for about two years, since over hearing two of my former coworkers talking about Frozen: one of them said that they didn’t get why everyone loved Elsa so much, pointing out that Anna is actually the main character.  I am going to address this in two parts: 1) why I think Elsa is so popular in general and then 2) my personal reasons for loving Elsa so much.

Okay, so let’s start with the surface level reasons for her popularity: “Let It Go” is an incredibly catchy song that allows the voice actress (and in universe, Elsa) to show off her amazing singing ability.  Add to that beautiful character/costume design, and she is already well set up to steal the spotlight.  Moving on to less physical aspects, Elsa is a princess (Okay, technically from the coronation scene on, she is a queen, but Disney has always been a bit fuzzy on Royal ranks).  Finally, her ice powers: her powers allow her to be categorized as both a princess and a superhero, giving her two different potential fan bases.  And her powers are one of the two most visually impressive/interesting superpowers (And out of control fire powers would have been much worse for the plot. 😛 )

Now for the real meat of this post: Why I love Elsa so much.  Elsa is different from everyone else in her area, but what makes her different is not visibly obvious.  Indeed, for many years most people didn’t know she was different.  Despite her differences not being obvious, her differences caused her to be isolated from everyone else.  Even her relationships with her family were impacted by her differences getting in the way.

Elsa’s differences from other people shape the way she views the world.  In many ways they make aspects of her life that other people take for granted a struggle, but they also allow her to do things that would not occur to other people.  In short, I love Elsa because I see her struggles with her powers as mirroring the struggles faced by myself and others on the Autism Spectrum.

One final reason I identify with Elsa: her best friend is her little sister, and they would do anything for each other.

I Live in the Future Book Review


I read this book for one of my master’s classes this past semester, thought I’d share…

Nick Bilton’s book, I live in the future & here’s how it works: why your world, work, and brain are being creatively disrupted, is an insightful look at how modern technology is altering the way people use information and the changes that are resulting from these alterations. Bilton examines the trends in these changes and predicts further adaptations to the proliferation of communities and to the format in which information will be delivered. The book could be summarized by saying that digital revolution we are currently experiencing is comparable to the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and Second Industrial Revolution (1870’s to 1920’s), but this obviously does not provide any practical application.

Mr. Bilton begins the book by telling his readers about the research that led to his writing the book: he explains that while working for the New York Times, a conflict with the management led him to realize that they did not understand the transition of consumers away from print. This in turn led him to investigate related industries. (Including the porn industry, which tends to be a few years ahead in adopting new means of distribution due to its position on the fringes.) He realized that no one in the publishing industry was exactly sure what was happening or how to adapt their business model to continue to make a profit in an online world.

While no one seemed to have the complete picture, he was able to combine the pieces he had gleaned from various sources in the industry to create a clear trend. Bilton realized that we’ve been here before. The alarm that he was seeing, both within the industries and among older generations, is the same kind of alarm as had been seen in previous technological shifts in the way people communicate with and relate to one another.

It is at this point that I live in the future & here’s how it works begins to have applications. There are two key points that lead to applications: the first is that much of the alarm surrounding previous technological shifts proved to be unnecessary. The second comes when Mr. Bilton quotes Benedict Anderson in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism as describing nations as “imagined political communit[ies] […] because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion” (as cited in Bilton, 2010). According to Bilton, Anderson believes that communities require the current gathering of their members together to be real (as cited in Bilton, 2010). Anderson argues it was the proliferation of books in the vernacular made possible by the printing press, that allowed people to begin thinking of their nations as a community (as cited in Bilton, 2010).

Based on the first point, Bilton realized that the current alarm should be re-examined. One surprising thing he found was that playing video games in many cases improves brain function. This finding led to an examination of how good the human brain is at adapting to new tasks or ways of doing things. Anderson’s theory regarding the printing press as the basis for national communities lays the groundwork for realizing that the massive proliferation of communities we’ve seen in the digital age is just beginning.

Finally, by observing how social media was being used by those young enough not to remember a time before easy access to the internet, Bilton discovered that these “digital natives” use social media as personalized distributed information gathering and filtering networks.  Each individual is gathering information on a few topics of special interest and sharing the best or most interesting articles with their social network.  In turn they are able to get the most important information on every other topic from the people who are doing the same thing with different topics.  Because in this digital age information and entertainment are available at no cost, high quality or experience become the commodity of value. So far this has been best accomplished through the use of more interactive formats.

In order to provide information in this environment, information professionals must add value in the way information is delivered. Furthermore, we need to serve as a bridge between the digital natives (and savvy near-natives) and the older generations. We can begin bridging the gap by having conversations to inform people that there are two different ways of getting information.  Just by raising awareness and understanding, we can reduce the likelihood of the generations reacting to each other with fear or ridicule.  We can further bridge the gap by fostering communication and flow of information between the two groups/sources.

< pre> Bilton, N. (2010). I live in the future & here’s how it works: Why your world, work, and brain are being creatively disrupted [Audiobook]. </ pre>

 

What the world needs now…

So earlier this week I had a somewhat random thought on my morning commute.  The world needs a Fraggle Rock – Gummi Bears Crossover.  Yes, these characters:

The thought came with three images:

1) A Quick Car (Gummi bears) crashing into the pond in the middle of Fraggle Rock

2) Gruffi surrounded by Fraggles in his trade-mark pose

clipgruffi 3) Zummi and Mokey engaged in a “deep” discussion on the nature of the world

I’m not sure if this would be best as a movie, a TV mini-series, a series of webisodes, or a comic mini-series; but since both properties are owned by Disney (or a subsidiary thereof), it should totally be made as an official creation…  In the meantime, I may have to create some fanfic…

A Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Theory, Part 2

Now that we know the total length of the two timelines, and how they connect, we can take it from the beginning.  At this point Frollo is a minister of the King and Queen, charged with overseeing law enforcement in Paris.

Frollo abuses his power to persecute the Roma (“gypsies”).  In one particular incident he kills Quasi’s mother.  The archdeacon confronts Frollo before he can kill Quasi too.  The song claims that during this confrontation Frollo for once feels concern for his eternal state while looking at the statues on the cathedral and stands down.  However, Frollo is focusing on one statue wearing a crown (intended to represent God as King of the Universe) – it would be more in character if he was worried about the priest reporting the incident to the king, i.e. Frollo’s boss.

About two years later the Queen gives birth to a son.  Several years pass, and Frollo becomes frustrated with the King and Queen’s lack of concern with what he sees as rampant corruption and joins forces with other discontent officials.  The King and Queen begin to suspect there is a plot against them and send their son away to one of their less known castles to keep him safe while they attempt to deal with the threat.  The coup succeeds in killing the king & queen and seizing power, but the conspirators are unable to find the young prince.

Worried about retribution if royalist restore power to the rightful King (Prince Adam), one of the conspirators hires an enchantress to find and kill the prince.  When the other conspirators find out, he is forced to flee to his country estate in disgrace.  (Coincidently is country estate, which he converts into an asylum to support himself in the absence of his government job, is less than two days’ journey from the castle where the prince resides – we know him as Monsieur D’Arque.)

Eventually the enchantress discovers the castle the prince is living in.  Lumière states in “Be Our Guest” that it has been 10 years since the curse was placed.  Allowing for rounding/movie compression, the prince was between 9 and 11 years old at this point.    The enchantress plans on using the storm as an excuse to gain access to the castle and the prince.  However, because the prince is there in secret, and the castle has not been used as a primary residence or center of government for several centuries (allowing it to slip from local history), the castle is understaffed and Cogsworth is busy dealing with issues in the back of the castle.  The young prince answering the door catches the enchantress off guard and she is conflicted when she sees how young he is.  She decides to go with her plan to gain access to the castle to gain time to decide what to do.  Refusing to help the ‘ugly lady’ would have been rude, but fairly typical behavior for a boy of his age.  Seeing her window of opportunity slipping away, she decides to fulfil the purpose, if not the letter, of her contract by cursing him so he is not in a position to reclaim the throne.

Meanwhile, Frollo consolidates his power leading to the point seen in Hunchback.  In order for Frollo’s burning of Paris to be the impetus of Belle and her father’s flight, either they left before the climactic battle of Notre Dame or Maurice was fearful of the changes to the power structure post-Frollo as well as the rampage of Frollo.  Due to the short amount of time involved, the former would require Belle’s father to have a contingency plan for fleeing the city already in place, while the former requires a reason to fear Frollo’s replacement.

If Maurice had a connection to the coup, that would explain either scenario; but he would be unlikely to be part of the coup based on both his station and his character.  As an inventor, his clientele in Paris probably included the rich and powerful.  It is likely that this included many of the conspirators of the coup.  This could have placed him in a position to learn that D’Arque had hired the enchantress, and bring his concerns to Frollo or another member of the conspiracy.

D’Arque was likely shocked to learn that the man responsible for his need to flee Paris had moved in to the neighboring village.  He likely wanted revenge, but may have reluctant to make a move for fear of additional damaging information Maurice might have.  When he realized that he could get his revenge and use Gaston as a patsy if he needed to, he became eager to join Gaston’s scheme.  When he realized the plan would not work he left as quickly as possible.

Finis

A Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Theory, Part 1

I recently came across a theory claiming that Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame take place in the same town.  The theory is based on the fact that peasant Belle makes a background, crowd-scene cameo appearance during Hunchback.  While a main character making a cameo in the other film is generally the best form of evidence a fan theory can get, this theory is hampered by the fact that Belle’s town seems far too small to be Paris as it is seen in as Hunchback.

The idea that the two movies take point near the same time in the same timeline does have interesting implications for my own Beauty and the Beast theory.  Before I go into the details of my updated/expanded theory, it may be helpful to list the issues the theory attempts to address.

  1. Why don’t the villagers know about the castle?
  2. How do they not remember that they have a prince?
  3. The prince was how old when he was cursed!?!?
  4. Seriously, why did the enchantress curse him?
  5. Why was the prince even opening the door in the middle of the night (instead of Cogsworth)?
  6. What happened to his parents?

With the update it also addresses:

  1. Why are Belle and her father such outsiders?
  2. Who’s been running the country in the prince’s absence?
  3. Why is Monsieur D’Arque so easily persuaded to go along with Gaston’s plans?

And from Hunchback:

  1. Why does Frollo have unrivaled power?
  2. Why is the only mention of royals in the song about the Festival of Fools?

Both films provide us with a twenty-year timeline based on the age of the male lead (Quasi has been raised by Frollo for 20 yrs.; based on the curse’s time limit and the state of the rose, Gaston and the Beast fought on or near his 21st birthday.)

Belle’s cameo in Hunchback tells us that it occurred first (she’s walking around in her peasant dress, not being escorted in royal garb) and that no more than two years pass in between the movies (she does not look significantly younger, even allowing for the distance).  In her opening song, Belle states that she and her father had come to “this provincial town” and that she will never fit in; however, based on how settled she and her father are in their home, they’ve been there for at least a year.  That is plenty of time for her to get over the initial disorientation of the move.  Therefore, she has been here long enough to get over the disorientation, attempt to fit in, and conclude that she couldn’t.  (What’s slightly unusual in the big city is absolutely bizarre in the small town.)  My conclusion is that they moved almost exactly 2 years, probably to escape the turmoil caused by Frollo deciding to burn the city.

To Be continued…

Questions for Fun

So a blogger I read (Kelly from EatingOffPlastic; You should totally go read her blog… all of it) nominated some of her blogger friends for the Liebster Award… While I obviously was not nominated (seriously I don’t post nearly enough to get any awards), the nomination includes the nominator asking the nominees 10 questions…  Since, most of Kelly’s questions were so awesome, I thought I’d answer them just for fun.  So here they are…

  1. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?

LOTR. (Those who know me know that this isn’t an interesting question, so moving on)

  1. What’s your zombie apocalypse survival tool?

Faith… Or authorial fiat….  (Again not something I’m interested in… obviously fiction, if I must deal with it, then one of these should work…)

  1. If you could be one animal for 24 hours, which one would you be and why?

Alien Space Bat.  Their innate ability to manipulate time, space, geography, time-space, temporal geography, and the laws of physics at will…

  1. If you had to choose between living 200 years in the past, or 200 years in the unknown future, which would you choose?

See previous answer.  Being an Alien Space Bats for 24 hours would allow me to do both simultaneously.  (Also. Why 200?  Why not 400? Or 600?)  (Also also.  Assuming previous question’s answer isn’t allowed to affect this one, is this I get born then instead? Or am I transported to the designated time?  Am I allowed to take anything with me (The Way Things Work, or an ISOT survival guide, or seed potatoes & an electric generator & knowledge of germ theory, or etc.?) I’d prefer the past, but If I can’t gear up, then the future sounds safer…)

  1. I have 5 apples, I gave one to your friend, and then I gave 3 to you. Finally, I gave you 1 apple. How many chickens crossed the road?

New York City

  1. Name one food and one beverage to consume for the rest of your life.

Indian Food and Horchata.  Really don’t want to agree to this…  If I must, I’m going to cheat and make the food a category… And curry is supposed to help with the way my brain functions and I like Indian Food, so, yeah…  Who am I kidding?  It would actually be Mexican Food and Tea…

  1. Number of Pixar movies that made you cry?

Um… I have a partial disconnect between my emotions and my tear ducts…  (Aspe issue I think?)  While Pixar movies have made me have “the feels”, tear release was not engaged…

  1. Speaking of, name your most favorite Pixar movie.

Top 3 (in current descending order (subject to internal shifts in ordering)):

Inside Out, Brave, The Incredibles

  1. Respond to the following statement:“Last week, Japanese scientists explaced – placed – explosive detonators at the bottom of Loch Ness to blow Nessie out of the water. Sir Court Godfrey of the Nessie Alliance summoned the help of Scotland’s local wizards to cast a protective spell over the lake and its local residents and all those who seek for the peaceful existence of our underwater ally.”

Obviously this was the result of an expansionist plot by Imperial Kappa.  Fortunately, the Beloved Beastie was saved By the intervention of a Benevolent Bevy of leprechauns and púca (Blessed Be!) – Because Scotts are Irish too!

  1. Meow?

Fluffy mini-dragon?  Hatchlings only please – our unicorns are currently on loan, helping a tutoring office contain a velociraptor incident.

Vraptor

Schrödinger’s Cat Lives!

So…  For the last week or so, I’ve been living in the strange state of having finished my last class, but not knowing if I had graduated or not…  I had turned everything in but had not received grades back for half of the assignments in the class…  (Some of which I had received extensions on.)  Today, the professor finally posted the grades (Including the overall grade), and I can finally say that I did indeed pass the class.  So now I have officially graduated with my Bachelor of Science!

Now that I no longer need to devote my time and writing energy into school work, I should be able to post here more regularly.  I am in the process of writing a Star Wars related sequel to my Spirit, Soul, Body, and Machine post.  I have also written a post answering some fun questions I found on another blog…  I will be resuming my flag project (which originally started this blog back in 2014)…  I will also be working on writing some fanfic, but have not decided if I will be posting any of it here or not.

Cool Dates…

Probably no time for real updates until I graduate in May, but wanted to share my joy over the wonders that we are (or could be) experiencing with our callendars…  Today is 1200-Mar-27…  The last day of the 3rd month… Why am I just now noticing how awesome this year’s date is… #DozenalDates

Anywho, remember that tomorrow is #WhanthatAprilleDay16 !!!  An anual holiday dedicated to historic languages.  I love how someone had the idea to take a holiday founded on mocking those who hadn’t swich to the new callendar (Some areas of Europe used to celebrate New Years from March 25 to April 1.) into a holiday celebrating the joys of experiencing the older languages!

Excuses and Excitement

Ok, sorry for not posting the last two weeks… I’m afraid I don’t have time for much of a post for this week either.. Two weeks ago, I was busy working on a research paper for school to log on… My cousin flew in from across the country last Friday… I need to go to bed soon and won’t have time to log on tomorrow:

My sister is getting married!!