“if they ain’t thrown it at me, they ain’t got it”

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We are actually both Watson, with a dash of Moriarty’s wackiness at times.

You may have known this, but then again, you might not, so just in case you didn’t… Eva (of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness) is at my house right now!!!

And this is Eva, popping in to say that I’m at Hamlette’s (of Hamlette’s Soliliquy)  house right now for all those who are reading this post on my blog instead of hers.

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And yes, we have been drinking coffee, watching classics, and being crazy.  By “crazy,” I mean staying up far past my bedtime, of course.  Nothing truly crazy like, I don’t know, spending all day walking around Washington D.C.

Oh, wait, we did that too.

Maybe I should let Eva write this post — I’m sleep-deprived and caffeinated, which is never the most coherent state of being for me.

That’s very true. *winks*  Last night, we watched a Glenn Ford western and a Combat! episode and we were both pretty crazy, even though we only had hot chocolate then.  We’re talking lots and lots of fangirling and general swooning.

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Anyway, I feel like I should properly start with the beginning of our visit, instead of just last night.  I got to Hamlette’s house on Monday evening – I thought it was later than it was, because for some reason my family and I assumed that Virginia was an hour ahead of Ontario, time zone-wise.  But it turns out I got there with plenty of time to spare.  We talked for over an hour that first evening, and also watched a few minutes of a Combat! Recon (AKA fan convention) so I could see what Conlan Carter and Jack Hogan look like now-ish. (It was taken a few years ago.)

Over an hour?  People, I think we might need to worry about Eva’s concept of time.  We talked from 10pm to 12:45am.  “Over an hour” is an understatement 🙂

Well, I don’t own a watch, so there’s that.

So yes, we talked a lot and completely disregarded our careful planning exactly what movies and TV show eps we planned to watch together.  Oops.  We meant to watch The Young Victoria the first night, but nope, just gabbed.

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And then yesterday, I played tour guide and led Eva and her pack of siblings (and their mom!) and my 3 kids all over D.C.  Highlight of the entire day was when we got to the area around the Lincoln Memorial where Steve Rogers was jogging in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  One of her little brothers just took off and ran around the whole reflecting pool.  And we all cheered and clapped for him — such a little hero!

He is!

Last night, we did finally settle down and watch a little of what we’d planned to watch together.  Sort of.  Since we’re both big fans (understatement) of Glenn Ford and westerns, I’d been telling Eva she needed to see The Fastest Gun Alive because he’s just awesome in it, and I love the townspeople, and yeah.  So we watched that.  And then we had planned to watch some Combat! together, since that show is what brought us together in the first place.  We were going to watch “The Hostages” and “The Walking Wounded,” basically her favorite ep and then mine.  But we chucked all plans out the window and watched “A Gift of Hope” instead because it’s wonderful.  We spent a lot of time talking about how lame I am for having had an idea for a fanfic story about the guest character in that one and never writing it.  Maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind and try to write it for Nanowrimo this year or something.  If a plot presents itself!

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A perfectly accurate representation of how we look when we watch Glenn Ford movies + Combat!

Well, I will definitely think about plots you could use for your fanfic.  I’m not clever enough to write Avery, but I could probably (maybe) come up with a good story.

Anyway…it was very difficult to figure out what to watch, even though we had a rough idea of what we wanted to do, because when I got to Hamlette’s house, I was rather overwhelmed by the number of amazing movies and TV shows she has on her shelves.  I WANT TO WATCH THEM ALL.  In fact, I took five films to my room last night, but was too tired to even finish one. *sigh*

Which is why we’re finishing it today.  I mean, you can’t just watch half of a Glenn Ford western.  Would be so wrong.  So yup, we’re finishing Cowboy while all the little kids are playing restaurant behind us.  And speaking of cowboys, my own Cowboy just flew back from his business trip, so I’m going to go pick him up, so I’m going to let Eva finish off this post 🙂

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Glenn Ford as Tom Reece in

Thank you. 🙂  So, yes, these past few days have been very full of Glenn Ford and westerns and general awesomeness.  Including our trip to Washington DC, which was AMAZING.  Throughout so much of our visit there, I felt like Po in Kung Fu Panda – “I’ve only seen paintings of that painting!”  Only in this case it was the Washington Memorial (!!!!!!!!!!) and the White House (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the Lincoln Memorial (!!!-okay, you get the idea) and two Smithsonian Museums (American History and Air & Space) and, yes, I loved everything.  There were many Winter Soldier and Night at the Museum jokes made, let me tell you.  My top three favorite exhibits were the LEGIT Star Spangled Banner (I had no idea it was even still around), the whip and fedora that Harrison Ford used/wore in The Last Crusade, and the original model of the USS Enterprise. *all the heart eyes*

Oh!  And I forgot to mention that I read all of Hamlet on the way to Hamlette’s house and I loved it and we talked about it more than a little.  Very cool.

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Somehow I don’t think there was a method to

Hopefully you got an idea of the fun we’ve been having together.  Just a little idea. 😉 (Oh, and the title of this post comes from the aforementioned C! ep we watched together.  It’s one of the coolest lines in the entire show.  For real.)

Well, I’m back from picking Cowboy up at the slug lot, and the movie’s over, so we should probably end this and see about adding pictures, sharing it with Eva so she can add her own pics, and then I’m thinking some supper might be in order.

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the finally fall book tag

Stolen Borrowed from Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice. 🙂

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting.

Nick of Time by Ted Bell.  It’s been over four years since I last read it, but I still remember the cramped submarine, the English beach, the dim tavern.  Vivid, indeed.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, hands down.  Not all people would consider it beautifully written, just weirdly written, but it is gorgeous.  Unexpected and unique and gorgeous.  It deals with death and WWII and the Holocaust and definitely grief as well.  But in between the tears, there are flickers of hope.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill opened my eyes to the fabulous, tumultuous lives of the Kennedy family and also sparked my interest in them, an interest that continues to this day.

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I am going to copy Hamlette and say the Curtis brothers + their friends from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.  Though I would never write a self-insert fanfiction with myself as the Curtis’ sister, I would love to be part of their family.  My activities would mostly involve eating wayyyy too much chocolate cake and hugging Johnny a lot.

5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

Alas, all my books are packed up in preparation for our move to Edmonton.  I would love to do this, though. 😦  Maybe once we’ve moved, I’ll take a picture and come back to this post to add it.  In fact, I will do that.  Promise.

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh.  A superb WWII novel in which a bride tells her bridesmaid (or is it her maid of honour?) all about her adventures and trials in the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge.

7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

I don’t read creepy books.  Macbeth was quite dark, though, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner did scare me a little.

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

The Catch Colt by Mary O’Hara or The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.  The first is a short, darling, happy western.  The second is a middle-grade novel that will make you crave chocolate pizza.  And I just found out there’s a sequel, which makes me so happy.

9. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

Emma by Jane Austen.  It’s been a while.  And The Outsiders.

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

Eh.  I read whenever, wherever, dressed in whatever.  I do have a ginormous red hoodie, inherited from my dad, that I love to curl up in. ❤

If the last book you read had an awesome character in it, you are hereby tagged!

Eva

life actually

For those of you who don’t know, my dad passed away to heaven on September 26th.  Life has been (obviously) difficult in many ways since then, but there have been blessings as well.  The outpouring of love, encouragement, help, and prayers from so many people has been amazing to see.  The funeral was on October 3rd, and while there were plenty of tears shed, there was also a quiet peace and comfort throughout the ceremony.  Dad was an amazing father, the best I could ever have had, but he’s free from cancer now in heaven and we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope”. (I Thessalonians 4:13)

For the past few days, our house has been full of people – my aunt and uncle and their family + my family + a family that aren’t our blood relations, but feel as close as that all the same.  It’s been crazy and noisy and amazing, but it hasn’t all been fun and games.  Yesterday, we packed up a bunch of our things because in about a month, my family will be moving to Alberta, Edmonton. (Yes, that’s still in Canada, for those of you who were wondering.)  We’re getting close to the nitty-gritty of packing, where its just a bunch of little things that you just want to trash but you have to pack instead.  And I twisted my foot coming down the stairs this morning, so that’s going to be…interesting.

Before my family moves to Edmonton, however, we’re going to be taking a month-long trip around America, visiting family and friends wherever they may be.  I’ll finally get to cross an item off my bucket list: meet an Internet friend.  I’ll actually be meeting two: Ashley and Rachel.  So I’m pretty excited about that.

Anyway, that means I’m probably not going to be blogging until I get settled into my Edmonton home, which will be sometime around the middle of November.  I still want to participate in NaNoWriMo, mostly because this year’s theme is superheroes, and I have an idea for a WWII retelling of Cinderella brewing in my brain.  We’ll see.

Annnnd that’s about all I have to say right now.

Have a great day, y’all!

Eva

some thoughts on ‘texas’ (1941)

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This post is part of the Texas Blogathon hosted by The Midnite Drive-In.

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Confederate soldiers Dan (William Holden) and Tod (Glenn Ford) look to Texas for opportunities when the war ends. Upon witnessing a stagecoach robbery, the close friends ambush the outlaws and confiscate the stolen funds. Tod wishes to return the money, but Dan wants to keep it. After a sheriff gives chase, each man runs off on his own. They are reunited after some time, but with Tod now an honest ranch hand and Dan an outlaw cattle rustler, the two do not know if their friendship can survive.

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I was originally going to write a bona fide review of ‘Texas’, but I have a lot of scattered thoughts and comments to make concerning it, so I thought I might as well do a list thingy instead.  (There will be spoilers.)  (And if you want a more conventional review of this movie, I recommend this post.)

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~I’m highly amused by the cheery music that plays as ‘…The paths to the market were bloody trails of Indian depredations, outlaw, rustlers…’ scrolls across the screen.

~William Holden and Glenn Ford are, like, baby-year-olds in this film.  And very adorable.  I’m sort of used to Young William Holden because I’ve seen ‘Arizona’ (was ‘Texas’ supposed to be a sort of companion piece to ‘Arizona’?).  Young Glenn Ford is very attractive and he and William Holden both have cute dimples.  Plus, their acting is great.

~William Holden tends to play jerky guys, at least in most of the films I’ve seen him in.  I don’t really care for Dan (Holden’s character).  I mean, he joins up with cattle rustlers and doesn’t seem much bothered by it.  And he steals Tod’s girl (though he might not have known that extent of Tod’s feelings at first).

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~The fight near the beginning is HILARIOUS.  My siblings and I laughed so hard during it when we first watched the movie.

~Edgar Buchanan makes for a chilling bad guy.  I’ve only ever seen him playing kindly/harmless old codgers, but he was something else again as Doc.  Lots of nastiness, and it’s surprising twist considering his usual screen roles.

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~I love how Tod stands up and says his piece after Windy Miller makes his offer of two dollars a head of cattle.  If I were Mike, I’d have fallen for him right then and there (Tod, not Miller).

~*snickers at how Dan wants to keep the money and Tod tries to talk him out of it because Glenn Ford’s character in ‘The Sacketts’ does the exact opposite and why am I snickering about this when the situation is actually kinda heartbreaking in ‘The Sacketts’?*

~Thanks to certain comments on Hamlette’s review of ‘Texas’ (see link above) I will forever get Tod and Dan’s names mixed up in my head.

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~Man.  The way that sheriff and the posse are so quick to lynch Tod puts ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ to shame.

~Also, the ending of ‘Texas’ is a bit of a downer and not something I expected from a 40’s ‘B’ western.  But I guess it all comes down to the fact that Dan’s life was in a mess and there wasn’t enough time to bring resolution, reconciliation, and redemption to him, so they killed him off. *sigh*

~Overall, though, a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable western film, one that I’ll be sure to watch and re-watch over the years.

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Have you ever seen this film?  What did you think of it?

Eva

a tour of my bookshelves

Before I start this post, I have to say that I’m not a very good photographer and I’ve never done a bookshelf tour before, so it might get a little messy/disorganized.  But I love my bookshelves and I hope that by the end of this post, you’ll ‘get’ them as well.

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Bookshelf #1 – Nonfiction

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Bookshelf #2 – Fiction

I rearrange my books semi-frequently, but I try to keep them topically grouped.  Right now, I’ve got one shelf for fiction and one shelf for non-fiction and it’s worked out quite well so far.  I’ve tried arranging my books by color before, but I hate how all the different genres get jumbled up.  Basically, I try to keep the same genres, authors, and topics together.

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Above, you’ll see all my WWI and WWII books (well, the WWI books are hidden behind that really big book on the far left, but they are there).  I usually try to put these books in semi-chronological order (#historygeek).  I didn’t do it this time (you’ll notice that all my Cornelius Ryan books are together), but it is a neat way to organize history books.

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Up next are the biographies (Unbroken is on the shelf below – that’s because I’m reading it right now).  They segue nicely into my movie books (because I’ve got biographies of actors and actresses – two of Audrey Hepburn!).  There’s also a few literary-themed books at the very end.

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Continuing with the ‘books about books’, there are some good ones about Shakespeare, Harper Lee, and Lucy Maud Montgomery.  Then a small section for Random History Books, followed by western nonfiction, and then Christian nonfiction. ❤

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The last shelf on Bookshelf #1 (at least the last that I own) is filled with mostly random stuff as well as the tail end of my nonfiction collection.  Not much to see, really.

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Moving on to Bookshelf #2, we find my Jane Austen collection, along with many, many other classics (including Brick Shakespeare – The Comedies ;)).  I finally trashed my copy of Jo’s Boys, even though it broke up my Little Women series.  I’m really rather proud of my copy of Little Women.  It’s an Easton Press edition that normally costs close to sixty-five dollars…but I bought it at a thrift store for three or four.  It’s beautiful.

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More classics, and then children’s books and middle-grade books (some of which are classics).

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After finishing out the middle-grade section with books 1-4 of the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins, this shelf moves into YA territory.  I have quite a few ‘mainstream’ titles, but I also have Violins of Autumn by Amy MacAuley and That Was Then, This Is Now by S.E. Hinton, neither of which are all that common (I think).

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My westerns!  And all my Christian fiction!  This is one of my favorite shelves. 🙂

And there you have it.  I briefly considered including my DVD shelf in this post, but this is about books, so I decided not to.  I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my life as an avid bookworm + my way of arranging things.

What do your bookshelves look like?

Eva

my top ten favorite villains

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Some villains.

Villains.  You’ve gotta hate them.  They’re sneaky, evil, horrid, clever, seemingly invincible (at times), hateful, manipulative, and just downright bad.  Still, there’s a certain fascination that hangs around many villains.  We might be rooting for the hero (at least, I hope we are!) but sometimes the baddies can be so smart, funny, and (in some cases) attractive, that we kind of hope that they get away in the end – or that they turn good (a villain/antagonist turned good guy is amazing, IMO).

Anyway, this is my list of my top ten favorite villains.  It’s not comprehensive, it’s a strictly personal list, but I had fun with it.  There’s five male and five female bad guys/girls because I like making things even.

// Ben Wade – ‘3:10 to Yuma’ //

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I wrote an entire post rhapsodizing about why this guy is my favorite villain of all time and having recently re-watched + loved ‘3:10’, I see no reason to change my opinion.  Just check out my post; it’ll be much more eloquent than anything I could scribble down here.

// Mother Gothel – ‘Tangled’ //

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Manipulative.  That’s the best word to describe Mother Gothel.  Over the past seven years since ‘Tangled’ was released in theaters (has it really been that long?) people have debated over whether or not Gothel actually loved Rapunzel somewhat or was simply using her all along.  I think the answer’s pretty obvious.  As soon as Rapunzel told Mother Gothel that she would never let her hair be exploited again, any pretense of affection on Mother Gothel’s part instantly vanished.  She’s a horrible woman…but a great villainess.

// Jim Moriarty – ‘Sherlock’ //

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Every girl who watches ‘Sherlock’ ends up falling for Moriarty sooner or later.  It’s a basic fact of life.  I think as soon as he showed up in ‘The Great Game’ (as himself, that is, not “Jim from work”) I became fascinated with him in that “you’re a despicable person, but still insanely clever/attractive” way.  It’s really weird. (I was so disappointed when BBC did the bait-and-switch thing in the very last episode with the flashback.  Even after Sherlock concludes Moriarty’s dead, you always wonder.)  His dedication to defeating Sherlock is a bit crazy – I mean, he commits suicide to gain the upper hand.  That is a serious super villain move.

// Solovet – Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins //

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If/when ‘they’ make a movie of the Underland Chronicles, Cate Blanchett NEEDS to play Solovet.

Worst mom of the century award goes to Solovet.  Easily.  She locks Hamnet away without light, without human contact, for a month and then expects him to still be her loyal little son?  Who does that? (I’m writing some fanfiction right now surrounding those events, so I’m more triggered about it than usual.)  I will say, however, that Solovet is the least villainous person on this list.  She’s more of an antagonist than a villain and I still do feel a little sad when she gets sacrificed for TGG (the greater good) near the end of the series.

// Zemo – ‘Captain America: Civil War’ //

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Um…I mostly included Zemo because he has a Tragic Backstory and he’s *cough* rather handsome and I’m rather tired of monstrous comic book villains.  Zemo’s normal compared to a bunch of Marvel and DC villains.  But I don’t particularly think he’s an epic villain, per se. (Though I will defend the brilliance of his plan.  Complexity of that sort amazes me.)

// Queen Levana – Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer //

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The Lunar gift is both fascinating and terrifying.  Can you imagine what the world would be like if people actually had that kind of power?  Levana is a master at manipulating bioelectricity, which makes her frightening and unpredictable.  She, too, has the typical Tragic Backstory but she’s also just plain evil and a little unhinged as well (that always helps).  Even when I read Fairest, which is Levana’s story, it didn’t really make me sympathize with her (though it was written from her POV) because she is so weird/creepy/heartless.

// Scarecrow – the Dark Knight trilogy //

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Speaking of weird and creepy…there’s plenty of weirdness and creepiness going on in Gotham and a lot of that is connected with Arkham Asylum and Jonathon Crane, AKA Scarecrow.  To be honest, my interest in Scarecrow may have more to do with the fact that I really, really like Cillian Murphy than any of Crane’s sterling qualities (I’M KIDDING), but there’s also something of a villain crush going on there as well.  One thing I find interesting in ‘Batman Begins’ is the power struggle.  Falcone thinks he’s so powerful and everything, but then he gets taken down by Crane who acts so superior and then R’as al Ghul sweeps into Gotham and takes over everything.  That being said, I put Scarecrow on the list (as opposed to R’as) because I find Scarecrow more interesting.

// Lina – ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ //

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One word that sums up Lina?  Nasty.  Or, rather, nastiness personified.  She’s deceived herself into believing that she and Don will eventually be together as a couple, so she gets Kathy fired and throws temper tantrums whenever she’s contradicted, and generally makes an idiot of herself.  She’s definitely one of those ‘love to hate’ villains and her downfall is exquisitely perfect.

// Ratigan – ‘The Great Mouse Detective’ //

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Look at that – another Sherlockian baddie!  Ratigan was my number one villain for the longest time and he’s still really high up on my list (just not on this list, ’cause I didn’t really rank anyone here except for my real number one).  One reason for Ratigan’s awesomeness is the fact that he gets TWO villain songs (I know I’ve said that before, but I still find it really, really cool).  He’s the perfect opponent and foil for Basil (in a similar way to how Moriarty and Sherlock are so evenly matched) and Vincent Price’s voice acting is a real treat.

// The Wicked Stepmother – ‘Cinderella’ //

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What is it with stepmothers being so evil?  Lady Tremaine is pretty much the epitome of evil stepmothers and Cate Blanchett brought her to life with biting accuracy. *shivers*

Do you spot any evil favorites on this list?  Who are some of your favorite villains?

Eva

“I am Moanaaaa!”

AKA some scattered thoughts on a few of the character’s from Disney’s ‘Moana’.  Many thanks to my good friend, Jessica Prescott, for inspiring me to write this and giving me some of the thoughts that I incorporated into this post.

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To say ‘Moana’ is visually breathtaking is a gross understatement.  It may be the most beautiful animated film I’ve ever seen, not to mention films in general.  But no matter how beautiful the movie is, how catchy/amazing the songs are, and how interesting the story is, it’s the characters that keep tugging at my heart.  There are so many amazing character moments throughout Moana (with one of my personal favorites being when Moana’s mom gives her silent approval of Moana’s journey by helping her pack <3).  And I want to discuss some of those characters right now.

First of all, there’s Moana herself.  Normally I roll my eyes at a lot of Disney’s ‘girl power’ stuff because so often the female characters are kinda annoying when they go all ‘I can do this better than any guy’.  BUT.  That moment when Moana realizes that she can take the heart back instead of relying on Maui to do so?  *CHILLS*

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Then there’s the fact that even though Moana yearns for closer contact with the ocean, she doesn’t angst and whine and sulk about it.  She recognizes that even though her dreams might differ from the status quo, life on her island is good and even wonderful and that she’s surrounded by people who genuinely love her.  She doesn’t have much to complain about and she doesn’t complain.  She is both able and willing to take over the role of the village chief when it’s time.

So here I’ll stay.
My home, my people beside me.
And when I think of tomorrow
There we are.

I’ll lead the way.
I’ll have my people to guide me.
We’ll build our future together.

You can find happiness right where you are.

-‘Where You Are’

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Rapunzel has always been my favorite Disney princess, followed by Belle, but Moana might unseat both of them.  She’s a great leader and she only leaves her island, her people, and her family because she knows that unless she does, everyone will eventually die.  The stakes are incredibly high and I don’t think she would have left the island for anything less than an emergency.  In all likelihood, had the heart not been stolen from Te Fiti, Moana would have never left her island and would have been quite happy to stay.  But when a crisis arises, she goes out to solve it as best she knows how.  It’s just a coincidence that her life-long dream gets fulfilled at the same time. *grins at the perfectness of it all*

Then there’s Maui.  I was thinking about him yesterday, and I realized that his backstory is a LOT like a Typical Villain Backstory and he could have easily spiraled downward in that direction.  Being abandoned – literally thrown away like garbage – by his parents would have given him ample justification to turn against humankind and wreak havoc among them (especially after being turned into a demigod + being given all the power that comes with his hook).  Instead, he rose above his past (something I admire so, so much) and turned out to be really helpful to people and generally awesome. ❤

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The final character I want to talk about is Moana’s dad, Chief Tui.  He is SO GREAT.  Unlike the typical stern, tyrannical animated movie dad (well, he is stern, but not in a bad way) he’s a well-developed character and person in his own right (complete with a backstory, for once).  He was probably just as adventurous as Moana when he was her age, so I’m sure he understands where she’s coming from.  But at the same time, he knows the dangers of the ocean better than his daughter and it has to be hard for him to rebound from his best friend dying.  Tui is just trying to protect his family and his village in the best way he can.  And I know it’s a cliched motivation for movie dads, but that’s because it’s true.  That’s what dads do.

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So, that’s about all I have to say about the characters of ‘Moana’ for right now.  Do you have any insights to add concerning the three characters I analyzed?  Who is your favorite character in ‘Moana’?

Eva