Recommended #14

Some more recommendations you might enjoy. The following are my opinion and do not reflect any organization or person.

YouTube Videos

History of Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse | A Brief History by FootofaFerret

Hermitgang feat. Team S.T.A.R.-The Super-Weapon by docm77

What if the Civil War Never Happened? by AlternateHistoryHub

My Embarrassing Disney Oopsie by It’s Alex Clark

Justice League vs. The Fatal Five-Official Trailer by DC

Are They Human | Kingdom Hearts III

May contain spoilers for Kingdom Hearts III.

What confused me most about Kingdom Hearts III was not the lore (though that is pretty confusing at first) or the fact that it starts out by saying Kingdom Hearts II.9, but how they kept talking about needing to keep “the order” of the worlds they visited.

When Sora, Donald, and Goofy visit places like the Toy Story world and the Monsters Inc. world, they change to fit into the world, such as turning into toys, but in places where the main people are humans, like in the Tangled or Frozen worlds, they look the same. Sora remains a human; Donald remains a giant talking duck that wears clothes; and Goofy remains a talking dog.

I don’t know about you but if I saw a talking duck and dog, I’d be a little bit concerned. Why aren’t Donald and Goofy transforming into human characters when they visit a “human” world?

This actually brings up a funny side note. When the first trailer for the first Kingdom Hearts game came out (so very long ago), for a long time I thought the plot was that Mickey had somehow been turned into a human. It wasn’t long before I discovered that person was Sora. But come on, don’t tell me you wouldn’t think the same after seeing Sora in his original red pants, oversized yellow-ish shoes, white gloves, and white and black shirt; he looked very similar to a certain iconic mouse. Plus, he was always hanging around Goofy and Donald.

Anyway, back to what I was saying.

No one seems too bothered by a talking dog and duck. I found it kind of funny and odd that Donald and Goofy had to be turned into monsters for Monsters Inc. I could understand why a human like Sora would need to but Donald and Goofy are “not human” already. Or are they?

Maybe for some unknown reason, even though they don’t look human, they are considered to be human. Since it is Donald that changes the group, maybe he doesn’t think to change them on human worlds because he sees Goofy and himself as human. Maybe to the people of the game, they are just another race of humans, much like there are Hispanic and Asian people. Kind of blows your mind, don’t it.

It would certainly explain why Goofy can talk and walk on two legs but Pluto cannot; Goofy is a dog looking human while Pluto is just a dog. But then how can Chip and Dale talk? Why aren’t they human size? They wear clothes too. Was Chip and Dale given some kind of intelligence serum? Are they the next step in animal evolution? Or are they human but just short? People come in all shapes and sizes mind you. More questions for another day, I suppose.

The other possibility is that people in realms like Tangled, Hercules, and Frozen are just used to strange creatures walking around. I mean, Rapunzel has healing hair, Hercules is a demi-god with super-strength, and Elsa is an ice queen. Seeing anthropomorphic animals might be a normal Tuesday for them. (Or they could just think they’re Furries.)

Or…it could be that the game developers knew that no one would want a video game that promises teaming up with Donald and Goofy only to make them look human every few levels. But I wonder what a human Goofy and Donald would look like.

Hmm…personally, I kind like the idea of Mickey, Donald, Goofy and the others being considered some kind of unknown (to us) human race. It just goes to show you it isn’t what’s on the outside that matters…Also, it could totally mean that there is some kind of anthropomorphic race of humans living on Earth. Hey, a guy can dream.

Kingdom Hearts III is available on Playstation 4 and Xbox One and published by Square Enix.


Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

The first interactive story game based on my book series can be found here.

Recommended: Post 5

Film Theory: What is Disney’s Body Count (YouTube): The Film Theorist YouTube channel begins their quest to find the most deadly Disney movie. This episode lays the groundwork, such as the rules, and eliminates the zero death movies.

Mortal Engines (movie): A tale involving life after a destructive war. To survive many of the cities, such as London, became mobile. A young man and woman must team-up to stop London’s plans to conquer everyone.

While I enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to reading the book, I did find the movie a little cliché. Tom Natsworthy is a Londoner who fully believes that what London does is the best–at least until he meets Hester and learns not everything is as it seems. But, I really enjoyed the action and flow of the movie. It seemed to continually be moving forward.

img_2674I did get confused when Tom has Katherine open up the city’s engine. It shows him hovering the glider-plane as it opens and then it just changes to him rescuing Hester. It never really tells why he wanted the gate opened. I’m assuming he did something to halt the city’s engines.

I enjoyed the character development. Hester goes from a revenge seeking woman who cares only about killing the one who murdered her mother to someone trying to stop London’s plans. I also liked the twist of why Hester is being hunted by a bounty hunter.

4/5

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (movie): The movie focuses on Miles Morales going from normal teen to the next Spider-Man.

I really enjoyed the art style. They managed to have a mix of animation and comic book style. I liked how they would have thought bubbles or narration/voice-over boxes appear at times.

The movie had everything you’d expect from a Spider-Man film: action, humor, and web-swinging. I enjoyed the running gag of the Spider-People telling their origin story each time they showed up. And the sight gags never let up either.

The voice work was great. The characters really sounded scared or upset.

Finally, I liked the Spider-Man Easter Eggs, such as the old Spidey vehicles. They also managed to show pretty much every Spider-Man costume, including the new Gameverse (aka Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4) costume. I also liked how they kept showing the number “42” now and then.

About the only thing I didn’t like is that they hinted at Spider-Verse sequels, which means now I have to wait for the next one to come out. Ugh, couldn’t they just do a weekly series instead. I don’t want to wait for more!

Truthfully, I did notice a few times when the animation was a little…laggy. The characters would jerk weird or their moments didn’t seem as fluid (and I don’t mean those times when the characters were purposefully glitching out for plot reasons).

4.9/5


The Hearts in Ralph

Spoiler warning!

A couple days ago, I went to Ralph Breaks the Internet. It was a pretty enjoyable movie. I liked the plot and the after credit scene was funny. They even managed to sneak in a Stan Lee cameo. Also the Big Boss battle at the end was awesome; they did a great job animating the character. (And who wouldn’t want to be in a book club with Sonic the Hedgehog?!)

What got my attention the most was the idea of the hearts equaling money. I know that hearts (aka likes or subscribers) can help with getting money, by boosting your spot in the algorithm, but it is mostly the people watching the ads placed before or throughout the video (or at least watching 30 seconds of the ad). I thought how nice would it be if that was true: instead of getting paid when someone is actually nice enough to sit through an ad, you got paid each time someone liked your video. I know a lot of bloggers, vloggers, and YouTubers who’d love that system.

It is getting closer to that system in the form of crowdfunding, doing a pay-for subscription, or donations, but it still requires the person to pay. It’d be so weird to just click the like button and the person gets money. In the movie, you don’t see people paying or see them sitting through an ad–they just hand over their heart (wow, that got creepy there for a moment).

Can you image how much more people would be saying, “click that like button, subscribe, and hit the notification button.”

I’m sure the money was actually coming from the advertising. (It had to come from somewhere.) The hearts for money thing was probably an easier way to explain the system–it was a family movie and they didn’t have 40 minutes to explain economics. Also, animating a little heart is easier and more visually interesting than showing people sitting around watching commercials.

Maybe there was some kind of message in making the likes be hearts. The people were tossing their hearts at the screen and getting them sucked up into a machine so that the video creator could make money. We just toss our trust or love at some random Internet person that we only know what they choose to tell us.

Or it could have been that Disney didn’t want to/couldn’t use the like button icon.

I should end this with some kind of bee pun, but I won’t. (If you saw the movie, you’d understand.)

___________________

Joe Rover ebooks are available at many online retailers.

Life is Once Again a Hurricane

All reviews are my personal opinion and do not reflect the views of any person or organization.

Here be Spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

Scrooge McDuck and the rest of the DuckTales crew are back with a new series. To celebrate Disney had a day long viewing of the first episode "Woo-oo!" on Aug. 12, 2017.

At first I was a little worried. I enjoyed the original DuckTales and was concerned that the new series would be too…modern. I've seen a lot of reboots and remakes of old series that just did not work out.

My concerns seemed to be confirmed after seeing the art style for the series. It looked too stylized and modern. The characters looked a little weird and Scrooge was wearing red instead of blue. The heads of some of the characters also seemed oversized. But then I remembered the DuckTales comics and realized the style and look was similar. I then understood what they [cast and crew] were trying to do and my fears were somewhat laid to rest.

And as always I try to reserve complete judgement until I actually see the show. Trailers and screenshots and such are promotional objects and the companies want to show the "exciting" or "new" or "best" stuff about the product. A trailer can make a product, like a video game, look awesome but once you play it, it is garbage. Or the trailer can make you cringe but the actual show is great. I found this latter to be true with the new DuckTales. I'd gone in worried about how they would "mess up" the characters and theme song (and other things) but found it pretty enjoyable.

I did find the "crazy, stalker, fangirl" Webby to be a little…uncomfortable. The new Webby was a bit intense for my taste at first. But I am glad they "aged her up" and she is no longer the "annoying tag along little sister" that they portrayed her in the original. She still seems to retain her "innocent girl" character while still making her more "mature." She believes in Scrooge and Donald. She still has her sense of wonder but isn't naive.

I''m glad they developed Huey, Dewy, and Louie's characters. In the original series, they had some differentiating characteristics but for the most part were carbon copies. Unless they were alone or the plot involved one over the others they seemed almost interchangeable at times. In the new series, each one has very defined characteristics and goals.

Mrs. Beakley's tough, almost military, personality was a bit hard to get use to, but I am glad she is no longer the "screaming and fainting at a pin drop" character she was in the original. It was nice to see that she could and was willing to stand up to Scrooge at times. This version of Beakley has obviously been in Scrooge's employ for awhile and knows the ins and outs.

The one character problem I had is that so far we haven't seen Duckworth, the butler.

The new theme song did an excellent job of combining the old version with a newer one. While I still prefer the older one, I was glad to see that the new one is still enjoyable and matches the tone of the series quite well. It had a very comic book feel to it which matched the rest of the style and tone of the series.

I did, however, miss the huge dollar sign on the Money Bin but was glad to see that Scrooge still knew how to swim through the money.

The part that really won me over were the Easter Eggs. In Scrooge's "relic room" (aka the garage) you can see objects from the original series as well as the movie. They also mentioned other Disney Afternoon cities, such as Saint Canard, Cape Suzette, and Spoonerville. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing some crossover episodes.

While the original still holds a special place in my heart; in the end, all I can say about the start to this new series is: DuckTales…Woo-oo! I give it a 4.8/5. And I hope it continues.

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