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Kingdom Hearts: Friendship is Magic

Things they have in common with the new MLP (aside from some of the fan art you can find on Google images, some of which I will post at the end of this blog):

~Disney references - they are inevitable.

~Good is dumb - Hell yes. Bonus points for having a mentor who does pretty much nothing to help whether or not they actually try to do anything other than spout exposition.

~Kingdom Hearts moon - seriously. "Hearth's Warming Eve" has a giant floating magical pink heart in it.

~If Ponyville was a playable world - Terra would inadvertantly scare Fluttershy and talk to Zekora (spelling?) in the woods. Ven would get ambushed by Pinkie Pie's welcome wagon, complete with the tar-and-feathering routine with cake batter and confetti that Rainbow Dash and Rarity would have to clean up. Aqua would talk to AppleJack's family and Twilight. Later, Roxas would get zapped by Derpy and Rainbow Dash would recognize him as Ven. Later still, Sora would have to replace Rainbow Dash temporarily (and like with Spike it still wouldn't work) and Riku would have to help stop Chaos in some other way.

Next time: more Disney worlds the franchise hasn't explored or revisited yet but really should, IMO. Until then, these (but also look for Terra being driven insane while being surrounded by ponies and some of the apprentices as colts):

And here's the link to my new video which hopefully won't get pulled and me banned:

And since no one decided to type in the link presented in the other video, here's that as well:

Even and Braig

I'd been thinking about Even and Braig since BBS. First, how did Even know where Terra was, and how much did he know about what Braig was up to since he's most likely the one who had to patch him up afterward. A little while ago I added to my idea of their backstory that they had been friends growing up until Even's strict father put an end to it. In that version, Even had a sense of humor and Braig was less annoying (but not by much). Nandeyanen?!

It's the last story on the end of that page. There's also a part 2 I wrote to Scars of Yesterday titled The Day of Waking. If you haven't seen that, please check it out. Also, a video I made to advertise an unlisted video I uploaded on my brother's account in case the copyright bots decided to bust me for it (I have two strikes and he has none). It's kind of a miscellaneous slideshow called Familiar Faces (which has nothing to do with CR but features some members of TGWTG. Next week I'll be uploading my tribute to TGWTG and the now defunct D2 Brigade, so that link will be posted next time...along with Ponies).

KH Captions!

David Dayan Fisheras Xaldin/Dilan

But Not Braig. That's just a coincidence. Sucks to be either one of them, though.

Two Terras, just like there are (or were) two Soras and two Spoonys.

Kingdom Hearts 2:

Kingdom Hearts 3D (spoiler):

Be Kind, Rewind

A video rental store run by Danny Glover is about to be closed down. He leaves Mos Def in charge while he's out spying on a DVD rental store. Jack Black accidentally erases the tapes after becoming magnetized by an electric fence. What follows can only be described as a series of abridged movies as they try to replace the tapes by filming re-enactments of their content.

At first it's just to appease the public, but then everybody in the community gets involved in acting in them as well. But then the FBI finds out and threatens to sue them for copyright infringement. Sigourney Weaver goes as far as taking all the abridged tapes (they call it Sweded)and steamrolling them in the street outside the shop (ironically the first film they did was Ghostbusters).

Danny Glover returns to this and the fact that they will inevitably lose their shop because the tenement building has been condemned. Mos Def wants it declared a historical landmark, but they can't do that because all the stories Danny Glover told him about it were lies. Before the community loses the building forever, they all create a documentary on Danny Glover's stories andscreen it in the shop with the DVD rental store's donated projector.

Jack Black has his usual antics, and the guy from The Blind Side has a cameo, but the plot of this movie is scizophrenic at best as they jump from one abridged movie to the next interlaced with clips from the documentary they makeatthe end before they even get the idea to make it.I'd give it a 6/10.

Next month is the countdown to Kingdom Hearts 3D. Expect a new rant about something related to the franchise every week.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Seriously, just go watch either of the Fantasia movies. Thesegment is in both. This movie, however, is more of an homage to certain elements of it rather than a true parody. It's a Nicolas Cage/Jerry Bruckheimer/John Turteltaub production, just like the two National Treasure movies, and I liked both of those. This was okay, albeit with some cringeworthy moments. And a cameo apprearance by CSI Miami's Walter.

For starters, Yen Sid and Mickey are not in it, of course. Instead the movie opens with Merlin - for about thirty seconds before being killed by Morgana. Apparently he had three apprentices and one turned on him, allowing for Morgana to get as close to world domination as she did. The female apprentice traps Morgana's soul within her body and has NicCage's character, Balthasar, trap them both in a nesting doll. Becausehe and the other apprentice can't ageand die until they find the one who isdestined to succeed Merlin, they search throughout centuries for himand Balthasar traps theevil apprentice and hisfollowers inside layer upon layer of the nesting doll as well. In the year 2000, a boy stumbles intoNic Cage's arcana shop and accidentally opens the nesting doll, releasing theevil apprentice. The two apprentices fightuntil the boy's teacher comes looking for him and the two are trapped in an urn for ten years while the boy is mocked for telling his classmates that he saw two wizards duking it out in the shop.

Enter 2010, the two are released from the urn and go after the boy, who is now played by the guy who voiced Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon.Nic Cage trains him as his apprentice and the destined successor to Merlin. For those of you who have played Kingdom Hearts, magic in this movie is described as super-science and works pretty much like how Merlin teaches you tomagically light things onfire in the first game. All the while, the evil apprentice is trying to release all his minions - and finally Morgana/female apprentice- from the nesting doll and finds his own Criss Angel-like apprentice to kill Balthasar's apprentice. Basically, he just kills off all his hired help to harness their powers and help Morgana take over the world. Needless to say, Hiccup manages to master his powers and save everybody.

Overall, I'd give this movie a 7 out of 10. The best part was probably the reference to Mickey conducting the shooting stars, which was achieved using Tesla coils tuned to music (those things are awesome - seriously, check out the Mythbusters version of the Doctor Who theme using such a device). The part where he accidentally floods his lab by not monitoring his magic in progress did not involve anyone taking a nap. Instead, Balthasar leaves for a while to give Hiccup his privacy so his girlfriend can come over, and Hiccup uses magic to clean the place while he's in the shower. As can be expected, he nearly fries himself and the Tesla coils in the process and ends up sending his girlfriend away at the door so she doesn't see what happened. Balthasar comes back just in time and disperses the water. At least he doesn't paddle the guy's bottom with a broom like Yen Sid did to Mickey (nor does it happen in KH3D either). Nic Cage plays Nic Cage and I'm pretty much okay with that. He's no Yen Sid, though, which I'm also okay with since all he's good for in the Kingdom Hearts games is exposition.Merlin's three apprentices did remind me of the Keyblade apprentice trios.

Tron: Legacy

I did not see the original, but I did see the cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts 2. Since this sequel is going to be in the newest Kingdom Hearts game (Dream, Drop, Distance), I decided to watch it. I was not disappointed by what I saw, even if it's not really my thing.

At first I thought it was going to be too commercial in hyping the original movie, but the actors really are the biggest fans and were glad to be a part of this. If anything, the new animated series is probably the entity cashing in on this franchise, but I digress. It starts off a few years after the first one with a little boy named Sam who has all this Tron stuff in his room. His father leaves to go do more work on the Grid, but he never returns, leaving young Sam with his grandparents. Emo subplot (kinda). Years later, Sam rebels against the chairman of the board who has taken the software company out of the control of him and his dad's friend. After the friend gets a page from the father, Sam goes into the arcade and puts a quarter into the Tron game - and promptly gets transported into it. You know how this goes.

Sam finds his dad, who has been trapped in the Grid with Quorra, a special program that is the last of her kind. The father had made a program based on himself to make the Grid a better place, but he turned on him and reprogrammed Tron. They manage to make it back to the portal but Clu blocks them and the father has to sacrifice himself to stop Clu and allow Sam and Quorra to escape. The theme here was the art of the selfless, first attempted by Quorra then carried out by Sam's dad because he needed Quorra to make it to the real world.

I would give this an 8/10, but fans would probably rate it higher, of course. I really liked thismovie and it looks to bea cool level in KH3D, but it has to be different than its first appearance because of all the elements involved. That has nothing to do with the movie itself except for how Sora and Riku get involved in the world's storyline. Added to that, the Grid can be accessed through the computer at Ansem's place, and there are story cutscenes in Radiant Garden where Lea, Aeleus, and Ienzo wake up. The relationship between Sam and his dad kind of reminds me of the relationship between Ienzo and Ansem the Wise. So I would definitely recommend this movie for Father's Day this coming weekend.

Nanny McPhee Returns!

Emma Thompson starred in the first movie, whichI believewas based on a novel. However, she came up with the sequel on her own, and it may even be better than the original. Both films are highly enjoyable, though, so it's sort of like comparing Mary Poppinsand The Sound of Music. The first film I'd give a 9 out of 10, but the sequel, in my opinion, is a perfect 10.

The sequel follows the formula of the first, except Thompson changed it to a mother who must take care of the farm in the country on her own with her three children while her husband fights in one of the world wars. She also has to take care of her niece and nephew, who arrive from London. The children don't get along, and the mother is already being pestered by her brother-in-law to sell the farm since it is half his. Also, she works for Maggie Smith, who plays a senile storekeeper (though she does have her moments of clarity toward the end, as she is the grownup version of Aggie, the baby from the first movie). This movie was made probably after filming for Deathly Hallows had wrapped, so we've got Thompson and Smith as well as Ralph Fiennes as the stuffy head of the war office and the father of the niece and nephew. Nanny McPhee also has acquired a magical flying motorbike. I wonder where she could have gotten that from...

Anyway, the children must learn to get along while facing real problems - their creep of a scheming uncle trying to sell the farm out from under them and sabotaging their efforts to save it, the possibility that the father may or may not die fighting for this war, and the fact that the cousins' parents are getting a divorce. Also, Nanny McPhee makes them disarm a bomb. Fun! In this way, real life problems closer to the present day - not that the subplot with Angela Lansbury's characterwasn't a real life problem for that movie's time period, but not a lot of people in the audience could relate to that. Case-in-point, you will not be disappointed much when Nanny McPhee Returns.

Duel Monsters Compass Board

A few years ago I built a deck with Elemental Mistress Doriado and her four elemental Charmers. After being told it wasn't practical for actual gameplay (Pokemon this is not), I decided to put it to better use in fan fiction (because the rules change all the time on the show anyway, so wtf?). Better still, i used a posterboard to make a compass with slots for the cards. With Doriado in the center providing the directional light, I placed water in the north position, wind in the east, fire in the south, and earth in the west. The ssw, wnw, etc. directions are taken up by the related cards - the familiar-possessed and trap cards ascribed to the four charmers. The four corners represent sw, ne, nw, and se by default. On the back, true to the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, I drew the kanji for "heart" (as in heart of the cards). I also drew slots in the bottom (a total of six fit across) for additional magic or trap cards as needed for actual fighting. That's how the device is used in my fan fiction, after all.

Next month is movie month!

From Sesame Street to Avenue Q

Sesame Street is to kindergarten as Avenue Q is to college. How does one grow up asking how to get to Sesame Street and grow up to find themselves on Avenue Q instead? Let's explore that for a bit.

Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Kate and Lucy) was in college when Jim Henson died, and many thought her shot to be a muppeteer in his company died with him. However, she became a background muppeteer for Sesame Street. Unfortunately, others who would later become her Avenue Q corhorts weren't so lucky. Muppeteer Rick Lyon (Nicky,Trekkie, Bad Idea Bear 1)and unpaid intern Jeff Marx (Avenue Q co-creator) were fired. Along with D'Abruzzo, they brought in other muppeteers Jennifer Barnhart (Mrs. T and Bad Idea Bear 2) and John Tartaglia (Rod and Princeton). The production that followed was not done entirely in angst, however - it was as much honoring Sesame Street as anything. Truthfully, those who knew him say that Henson would have loved it.

Everything in both is all in good fun. However, Sesame Street usually fills us up with such promise whereas the feeling I get by the end of Avenue Q is that everything in life is fleeting, the good and the bad. It's kind of depressing.

Davis, Michael. Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. Penguin Group: New York, 2008. pp. 297-299, 337-338

My Top 8 Favorite Hetalia Characters

This was a tough list to make in some ways. I was going to go for a top-10 standard, but after 8 or 9 I just stopped caring. Still, I think my reasoning was pretty solid. You're probably not going to agree with me, but then you can just go and make your own list.

8. Spain. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! But other than that, if anyone's a hero around here, it's Spain. He has to put up with raising Chibi Romano (even though he was giddily happy about it at first and not in a sadistic way, unlike France) and constantly saving him and getting into wars with other countries in the process. In that way, he is very cool and responsible even if the queen yells at him a lot. Churro, anyone?

7. Italy. The main/title character,voiced by Todd Haberkorn, is described by him as a "nancy-boy," and his over-the-top performance as such (combined by the dub adaptation written by Jamie Marchi and Chuck Huber) is what makes the show so funny. He alone can save us from the Nobura invasion in the Paint It White movie, and other than waving the white flag and running away from a fightor calling Germany for help, he pretty much takes everything thrown at him in stride. Todd draws his inspiration from the SuperMario games.

6. Germany. The straight man to Italy's silliness, he is often the only sane man in the room willing to take any sort of action. As it turns out, there is some German in my ancestry, so the German curse word he utters increasingly frequently has found its way into my vocabulary since watching this show. He would like to make it clear that he doesn't like Hitler (who is referred to as Herr Moustache) any more than the rest of the world does. Threatening to gas Italy for annoying him while he's trying to read is totally okay, however.

5. Sweden. Based on my last name, I am of Swedish descent. This may explain this character/country's placement on this list. Others, especially Finland (the unwilling object of Sweden's affection), think he is quite creepy. He probably is, but there is a heart buried under there that is misunderstood as scary. He would like to make it clear that the nasty Vikings were all from Denmark and Norway and not him and Finland. I'd go to his cafe anytime. He reminds me of Grandpa (not Italy's, mine).

4. Hungary. She is a superstar. Do not mess with her Austria if you want to live, though. She may live in his house, but she wears the pants in this relationship and will fight for him to the death - and probably win. Still, she hesitates to whack France with her skillet just because God told her to do it and he deserves it for being such a perv. She may or may not also be responsible for perpetuating the perception that Chibitalia is female because she kept putting her dresses on him.

3. Tie between China and Japan. This is not me being racist and not knowing the difference. I've weighed them both in my mind and they turned out to be about equal after all things were considered. What I like about Japan is that he's quiet and reserved but may or may not be scheming things behind everyone's backs, be they Allies or Axis. Actually, I don't like the scheming part so much, but it is funny; however, it's even more funny when others do it to him - especially when they feel bad afterward. Chris draws his inspiration from the Cooking Mama games. What I like about China is the way he (or is it she?) pronounces swear words in English. He also likes cat plushies even though his dragon master overlord is mean to him about it. He is Japan's older brother, but since this is a Japanese show it's got a lot of bias against China. Clarine draws her inspiration from her mom, but apparently fans didn't like that (and yet they can somehow joke about France's rape laugh, much to the voice actors' collective disbelief and disgust.

2. Canada. I'm American, but I like Canada better because America is a jerk (they're both voiced by Eric Vale, though). I feel bad for him because he's invisible and ghostlike at meetings. I just wanna give him a hug and have a game of catch with him and not throw the ball at him so hard. Maple hockey!

1. Britain. Given what the rest of my heritage is, this was probably a foregone conclusion. I cannot escape the fact that a significant part of my roots are tied to the American Revolution, so even though it was promoted to death, the Storage Cleaning segments are close to my heart. But America's still a jerk, and an idiot. Britain's not perfect himself, either, but he is in need of several hugs whether or not he'd actually accept them. On the flipside of things, I'm also in the process of writing a fan fic wherein all his former colonies invade his sovereign territory ala Kickassia (once Britain convinces America that he's not the only one with pesky micronations and America has Tony look up TGWTG). Also, my eighth grade history teacher never made the conflicts between Britain and France to be the result of sexual tension but instead compared them to Itchy and Scratchy from The Simpsons. Speaking of, that's kind of likehow Britain and America interact sometimes - like Homer strangling Bart.