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Yes I am. Ask my mom. Ever since I was five years old I’ve had the same, threefold dream: get a job, become financially independent and get an apartment. Now, at the ripe old age of 22, I have fulfilled my lifelong dream. Ha! And it feels awesome.

Sure, I’ve had other dreams. Ever since I was 12 – which was when I spoke my first words of German – I knew that I wanted to be German professor. But this was a dream which could only be realized after the primary objective was attained: Independence. That was my dream. And now that I’ve got it, my dream has expanded: enjoy it. Protect it.

More than one of my friends has called me a nutcase for being so obsessed with being able to take care of myself by myself. But you see, it’s not my fault. I blame the fairy tales. Specifically Young Adult novels based on fairy tales. Especially those written by Donna Jo Napoli.

Napoli was one of the defining authors of my early years. It was her, Leon Uris, and Charles Dickens (weird, weird mix). And the book which I remember most from that time is Napoli’s excellent Rapunzel-retelling, Zel.

Cover for the Paperback Edition of 'Zel'

This + Exodus + A Tale of Two Cities = 10 Year Old Me

I have a very clear memory of reading this book. I was in my elementary school’s library, which was purple, and had hulking green Apple computers. Read the rest of this entry »

My hatred for Taylor Swift is the stuff of legend. I kid you not. Ask anyone I went to college with. Taylor Swift’s songs – especially “Fifteen” – contain views of gender roles that troglodytes would be proud of. But that is neither here nor there. Today I will be aloof, dignified, scholarly, and talk about Taylor Swift, Jane Austen, and the Iliad. An odd combo, but that’s what’ll make it fun. We’ll start with Taylor; the specific song that I want to analyze is “Love Story,” from her album “Fearless.”

The most terrible thing about this song is that I absolutely love it. I’ll come back to that in a minute. First of all, I want to note the things which the movie – both explicitly and implicitly – makes reference to:

Fairy Tales. This is an implicit reference; however, we do have Taylor Swift standing on a balcony in a tower. (Rapunzel anyone?) The song’s title, “Love Story,” is also a gesture towards the fairy-tale genre, as is its opening line, “We were both young when I first saw you.

Romeo and Juliet. The classic love story, no? Swift is Juliet, Dashing Man With Very Styled Hair (I’ll call him DMV) is Romeo.

The Scarlet Letter. Not a good idea on Swift’s part. The line: “Cause you were Romeo, I was a Scarlet Letter, and my Daddy said, ‘Stay away from Juliet.'”

Jane Austen. Here I am not talking about any particular Jane Austen book, movie, or other adaptation, but rather the sort of romantic “brand” that Regency England has become, and which is often talked about under Jane Austen’s name. This sort of Jane Austen has several things: waistcoats, lovely dresses, women with diamonds and/or gold in their up-dos, country dances of the like shown in Swift’s music video. In fact, that dance is basically just a flashier, more polished, less witty version of the dance between Darcy and Elizabeth from the 2005 film (which in turn was a flashier, more polished, less witty version of the same dance from the 1995 mini-series). You’ll find the video after the jump: Read the rest of this entry »

I’m obsessed with Rapunzel. Not just the Disney movie, but with the fairy tale in general. Now, this post is about Samson!Rapunzel, but it helps to also read my previous post about the fairy tale itself.

I’m obsessed with the leaked trailer that ran amok on YouTube back in February. The trailer isn’t done yet (so disregard the bad artwork), but the story seems, well…um…see it for yourself here. (Due to Disney policing YouTube, I unfortunately can’t embed any videos here. Let’s have a pretty picture instead!)

Rapunzel Concept Art

I Wish The Storyboard-Trailer Were This Pretty

I have several thoughts about the “trailer.” Actually the first is a point:

Point One We shouldn’t judge this “trailer” by its “art” or “music,” since neither are anywhere close to what the final version will be. This is all a mark up.

Thought One “Rinse Rescue Repeat” has to be the worst tag-line ever.

Thought Two Samson!Rapunzel’s hair looks like it’ll be the set up for many a cheap gag.

Thought Three Flynn looks *just like* Eric from The Little Mermaid. Seriously, Disney, how lazy can you get?

Thought Four I actually like Flynn.

Thought Five Certainly Samson!Rapunzel’s Shoulder-Lizard is very original. But whatever happened to the squirrel? Much though I detest the Disney cliche of Heroine + Woodland Creatures, I don’t know that a Shoulder-Lizard is the way to go here. Though it might do something to make Rapunzel something of an oddball, which I would welcome.

Warning! I am hereby titling this post The Attack of Samson!Rapunzel. Read on for more…

Finally, I get around to posting an update on Disney’s Rapunzel. As usual with Lit.Scribbles, this news is old news, but our analysis is all new! Haha…ha… right. Ahem. So, dear readers, have you heard that Disney is changing “Rapunzel” to “Tangled?”

Dear Readers: What? Gasp! No!
Dae: Yes!
Dear Readers: Whatever for?

Good question. See, “The Princess and the Frog” didn’t do as well at the box office as one might have hoped (if one were a Disney executive). Hence the title change. It’s supposed to appeal more to the young, strapping boys out there who don’t want to see yicky Princess-y films. Think it’ll work? Take a look at the teaser trailer…

Don’t tell anyone about my magic hair! It’s…got…powers! What does this sound like, folks?
Read the rest of this entry »

Remember when I posted about what looked like a discrepancy between the early Fragonard-style Rapunzel 2010 concept art and the new stuff that had recently been put out? I concluded then that the new stuff that we were seeing might be old stuff; I thought this because I had been out of the loop for a while, and I know zilch about animation.

But now it appears that some of that art actually comes from the film’s new direction, which goes hand in hand with its newly revealed style. Armed with this new knowledge (knowledge is power!) we can reconstruct a timeline for the evolution of Rapunzel concept-art.

Stage One Story: “Rapunzel Unbraided.” Concept: Girl gets pulled into Rapunzel-world from the modern world and gets turned into a squirrel. Oh, wait! This sounds like “The Princess and the Frog”…but with squirrels!

Stage One Concept Art: Rapunzel Unbraided

Rapunzel Unbraided

The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowing In the Wind

But times change, and we move on to Stage Two!
Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes it seems that this blog is dedicated to far too much Disney-stalking and Disney-bashing. Sammy! Take a note! Henceforth, we shall have more scholarly pursuits and less Disney-ness.

But! On to business. Since my (rather prolonged) absence from the blogosphere, much has happened with regards to Rapunzel 2010.

So what do I have for you? Two things: old concept art, and new news.

As far as I can tell, this concept art isn’t crazy new (or it would probably look more along the lines of the Fragonard style stuff that the concept art has led us to expect). But it isn’t as old as some of the stuff we’ve seen. Here’s the first taste:

Rapunzel/Prince Concept Art

Why yes, I do like your hair this way.

And here’s some more:
Read the rest of this entry »

You may remember my previous post about fairy tale physics. Well, here’s yet another one for ya…this one with different fairy tales, and more in depth science. It’s part of my Valentine’s Day gift for my Jesse, a physics teacher near Philly.

This article comes from LiveScience, and was written by a dude from the American Institute of Physics. Again, we are first treated to a look at Rapunzel:

Can human hair support the weight of another person? On average one strand of hair can support about three and one-half ounces, or about the weight of two candy bars. Each strand of dark hair is generally thicker, and therefore stronger, than blond hair. But, alas, Rapunzel must make do with blond locks. Given that blondes generally have about 140,000 hairs on their heads, her hair should easily support the weight of many, many princes. However, there is more to this story.

What If I Only Have 139,999 Hairs?!

What If I Only Have 139,999 Hairs?!

I’m a brunette, so I’ve got it made. The article also includes this gem:

Three scientists recently published a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters showing that there are conditions under which a carpet could fly. They used the basic laws of physics to show that a small, thin carpet could fly if the air were vibrating at the right frequency, much like how a piece of tissue paper floats softly to the ground when it is dropped. Their calculations showed that small waves of air in repeated fast pulses could steer a carpet at a speed of around one foot per second.

I know what I want for Valentine’s Day. 😉

The article also discusses making the Little Mermaid lose her voice by creating “sound shields,” which sounds a little funky to me. I’ll stick with magic. It’s worked for the last dozen or so mermaids I’ve bewitched.

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