And when you weren’t looking, they made Masterpieces

So, the title was a bit ambiguous, agreed, but the idea behind the article is to present you with an art form that (you may or may not) have been previously aware. Hopefully, you will do one of two things: Gain a new found appreciation for music you were not privy to before, or I will have taken you back to childhood memories. Either way, I succeed, granted that you actually listen to the music.

Video games are great. Unlike, it’s counter-part the Television and its programming, video games engage us to use our minds, solve problems, harness and enhance our hand-eye coordination, think critically, or in its simplest form transport us and our imagination, to world we weren’t aware of previously.

But what makes a game what it is? Why is it when we pull out old cartridges that say ‘Golden Eye’, ‘Super Mario 3’, or ‘Mario Kart’ does our mind begin to wander to the memories of our childhood? Or when we pull out an old Final Fantasy 7 disc, we think back to some of the best gaming we have ever experienced. Why is that? I would argue that there are a lot of aspects of gaming that go in to making a video so memorable.  Iconic imagery (ex. the Tanooki suit,) the plot, the characters, the music, the antagonists (Kefka,) how difficult it was, and at its base level, I suppose even graphics. (Remember how blown away you were with the first Halo, and how cool everything looked?)

At the inception of gaming, the games were simple. Usually far harder than anything you probably play now, and not always because the programmers purposely made it that way. It was full of faulty glitches that many people employed simply to get farther in those games, mainly because if you didn’t, you were screwed. As the industry grew it morphed in to an art form. Some games are much more artistically apt than others, but on the whole they have the markings of an actual piece of art. They are visually stunning, have unique and interesting story lines, plots, and character development that rival most famous novels today. But one key element ties the whole experience together, and for me, it’s the music in these video games.

Note: The following list is completely subjective, you may completely disagree with me, or you may want to show me another piece of music that you think has mine beat. Great! Not only do I accept that, but I encourage it. This list will be comprised of NES, SNES, N64, Xbox, Xbox 360, and computer games. These are the consoles I had available growing up, and in my later years a computer to play games in college, so I apologize beforehand Sony fans.

To start, we have the bread and butter and arguably the catapult to modern gaming, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and its iconic music. Music from this era was in 8-bit form and often times erred on the side of annoying, rather than enjoyable, but that doesn’t make it any less iconic. Let’s take for example, the introduction theme to Zelda — The Overworld theme (Legend of Zelda — Overworld Theme). Regardless of if you know this game, and even if you haven’t played the franchise this theme is famous enough to evoke feelings of nostalgia… or at least make you think… Huh, I’ve heard this before… That was somewhat the motif of the music from the NES. It was made to grab your attention and associate it with the product it was attempting to promote.

Fast forward and you get people attempting to make real music in this form…

Battletoads

Mega Man

Final Fantasy III

With battletoads, you no doubt feel the awesomeness coupled with the dread of this fucking game theme. Great game,but dear lord… it kicked your ass. I remember countless hours spent trying to play this game, and in hindsight… I did really well for a seven year old me. With a little luck, a lot of praying, and only a quarter of actual gaming talent, I could get past those surfing levels.

Mega man and Final Fantasy start to bring things up a notch. Not only do you begin to feel the game with this, you also get in to the scenes they are portraying. Mega Man, you feel the ferocity of the scenario you’ve been dumped in, and with Final Fantasy you Feel that wind of the Eternal Winds.

Then we move on to the Super Nintendo, and for those of you around my age (nearing 30, or past) this one will hit home. This was the first real console for me in all aspects. The first one I became decent at console gaming with, the first console I spent countless hours on, and this console still holds my favorite game of all time (Final Fantasy VI.) So, I can sit here and tell you what fun my first RPG was, I could also go on and on about how great games like Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island, and Donkey Kong were, but the real thing that drives home those games to me now is when I revisit the music from these games.

FFVI — Terra’s Theme

Mega Man X — Storm Eagle

Donkey Kong Country 2 — Sticker Brush Symphony

Now with all of these themes, I made sure I went with the original version from the games so that you get the feeling that gamers did when we first played it. These songs all have various versions from which they deviate (orchestral versions, acapella, etc.) and I encourage you to look them up if you like them, but I want you to experience them in this ‘pure’ form.

Terra’s theme, compels you and transports you to travel and move forward. In Final Fantasy VI it is one of the first major themes you are graced with, and even though it is simple it is moving. After having experienced all of the hard ships Terra goes through, for the gamer, this theme hits home for this particular character. A perfect piece for capturing this character’s elements.

Mega Man X in general just is an awesome game, and I could not honestly pick one theme I liked more over the other. I went with the Storm Eagle theme. It’s very up beat, epic, very iconic for the franchise, and sadly will be the last Mega Man piece I’ll talk about in the article.

Lastly, and my favorite, is the Stickerbrush Symphony piece from Donkey Kong Country 2. First of all, if there is a game that encompasses my childhood, this would be it.This piece of music, is so soothing, coupled with this particular level is spot on. It makes you feel the level… it even invites you to sit there and just take it all in. I will listen to this song in the car, at night trying to go to sleep, or in any other capacity that I see fit (I’m listening to it now while I write, for example.) It’s just a damn good song, and for how old it is it still definitely holds up. If you ever want an original gaming experience but don’t want to break the bank emulate Donkey Kong Country 2 and have a blast. It’s seriously worth everyone’s time, you will not be disappointed.

For the last portion of this particular article, because as usual when I get involved and excited about something I write too much, I will showcase the N64 gaming console. The older brother to the SNES this console really started to show the world what it had to offer in terms of gaming. Better graphics, more in depth plots, and with this comes better music to help set the mood for you.

Mario Kart 64 — Rainbow Road

Ocarina of Time — Gerudo Valley

Super Mario 64 — Water Levels

These three songs really start to take off in terms of quality. The audio is so much better and the complexity has gone up as well. With all of the new generation properties the N64 brought to the plate, it also helped with promoting that music. All three of these themes you should be familiar with, if you are not, I am sorry you did not have a better childhood. No, I’m only kidding, but really if you’ve ever even nonchalantly played a Mario game or been at a party and watched people play Mario Kart then these themes should be roughly familiar to you.

Rainbow Road and Gerudo valley are hallmarks of those games. Not necessarily the best level or part of the game, but in my opinion are the catchiest themes these games offer. And much like the Stickerbrush Symphony, the Jolly Roger Bay (water levels) theme from Mario 64 is just a well done piece of music.

Each song invites you to the place it inhabits. Gerudo valley sounds like a getaway, fast paced, albeit eastern influenced type of song. When paired with the end level and desert portion of this Zelda game it helps capture the severity and amp up the seriousness. Rainbow road is just a fun loving, ethereal sounding clip. It simply oozes Mario and Nintendo. The last piece with Jolly Roger Bay from Mario 64 is the most peculiar because you do not expect such a peaceful and beautiful piece. It’s reminiscent of an ocean side or beach to me, which is exactly what they wanted to capture.

Hopefully this helped to broaden your horizons a bit. Hell, if you want a tl:dr just click the links enjoy the music for the 2-3 minutes it plays before it may loop, give it a chance. I promise you in all of those links there is a song for everybody. While video games may not be for everyone, music certainly is at the heart of most people’s souls. We, generally, can all find common ground within music. Some may argue video games are only a fool’s attempt at an art form, but I hope I helped show you just how wrong that assumption can be. Couple great music with artistic graphics, a compelling story and your imagination and you now understand a bit why so many people love to game.

Next time we’ll get in to computer games… old and new, and the newer console games. Thanks for stopping by…

-Shay

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Diablo 2 — The Story: Acts III IV and V

As promised…

Act III cinematic: Mephisto’s Jungle

Act III — Kurast

If you watched the cinematic, then Tyrael kind of gave this whole Act away. Here, you are escorted by Meshif to the dying town of Kurast, that was built on the edge of the jungle… Yep, because when I think where in the world of Sanctuary will all three Prime Evils meet up and destroy the world, I think of a jungle.

Here you really meet only one important person and that is Ormus. Ormus is a Mage, like Droganan, and likes to refer to himself in the third person. As funny as you think that might be, it gets old real fast.

At the outset of this Act, as soon as you leave Kurast to plunge in to the depths of the jungle you are met by “The Wanderer”. A cloaked man who when you walk up to him turns in to flesh beasts. The shit is really about to hit the fan so on to the meat of the Act.

Remember when I told you the Horadric Cube was important, well, Ormus will tell you why. He knows the lore of Khalim and his relics. You must find these relics to forge a hammer of sorts to destroy any soulstones you may eventually come across. By combining things like an eye and a heart, you get this hammer. Doesn’t make sense to me, but hey, it works. So, now you are ready to face the Prime Evils, and destroy their souls.

You make your way to the Temple of Light, that Tyrael was talking about, but in the game it’s actually called the Durance of Hate (whatever Tyrael, just make up what you want, I guess.) Here, you are confronted by Mephisto and you’re in luck! You made it before the brothers did. You destroy him and then obtain his soulstone. Well, now that you have the soulstone and Khalim’s hammer thing, you definitely can end him, right? Wrong, you have to find the right forge to destroy it.

Luckily for you, again, after defeating Mephisto, you are met once again by Tyrael, who will point you in the direction to the forge… This place also happens to be where Diablo dwells. Yep, you guessed it. The Archangel Tyrael is giving you a one way trip to Hell…

Act IV cinematic: Gates of Hell

Act IV: Hell

After watching the cinematic, you’ll notice that the gate of Hell wasn’t opened by Tyrael, but by the the Prime Evils. Yeah, you were fast, but not that fast. Those tricksters know how to keep you in check. So, in to the the depths of Hell you plunge. Once there, you are met by two merchants, Tyrael, and Deckard… that’s it. When you question Deckard what he knows about Hell he can’t tell you anything because he’s never been there and the stories you know are the only ones he can tell.

You find out from Tyrael that Hephasto is the guard to the Hellforge, and this is where you must take Mephisto’s soulstone to have it destroyed… Why Hell would be the only place outfitted to have soulstones destroyed doens’t make much sense… Maybe they’re trying to guard it? I don’t know, but you would have thought that Tyrael could have done something about this a long time ago, but he would rather you, the mortal, go do his dirty work… Lazy.

Anywho, so after you destroy the soulstone you’re on your way to Diablo’s mansion. Here you kill a lot of unending mobs and are presented with the huge, hulking beast The Lord of Terror, himself. After he runs around a lot throwing fire spells, you’ll eventually end up killing him. This leads to the epilogue…

Act IV — Epilogue Cinematic: Epilogue

Well, son of a bitch, Marius you’ve gone and messed everything up. But you have to admit, the Lord of Hatred is a trickster. And this leads in to the beginning of the next expansion…

Act V — Intro Cinematic: Act V Intro

Aside from the effeminate nature of him caressing his own soulstone and general mannerisms, that was pretty badass.

Act V — Mount Arreat

Let me be honest here… I played through half of this expansion then I stopped. I can’t remember why, but my brother beat it, so I was privy to the details of the quests and the end cinematic. Here, that’s really all that matters. You do the quests til you reach the summit of Mount Arreat where Baal is going and then you kill him. Tyrael comes and congratulates you on bringing the Prime Evils to justice and restoring peace. Also, I don’t like mountain areas or the Barbarians so that might have been the reason I stopped playing. So, I’m sorry for making that kind of climatic then dashing your hopes to pieces.

Hopefully this makes up for it — Lord of Destruction ending cinematic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phYVUcMw9JY&feature=related

At the end there, he is destroying the Worldstone. This is where you catch up to Baal and find him corrupting it, then you say, “No, stop.” And kill him. The Worldstone was created to keep Sanctuary hidden from both the High Heavens and the legions of Hell. It also has the power to weaken humans. Tyrael in the cinema scene, has deemed it too dangerous to stay corrupted so he destroys it. Essentially setting up the next game for us, where both Heaven and Hell can find the human realm.

And, thus, ends my storytelling. There you have it. I have left out huge chunks of some of the quest lore to shorten the story. If you have the time and an extra 30 dollars making the purchase to play the game is always worth it, even now. In fact, a couple months ago I downloaded it and replayed it for a little while. It’s still fun.

That’s the rumor at least. There are also rumors that it could come out as early as January and as late as March. Whenever it comes out, I know most of you will be playing and we will all be gallivanting about being Monks, or Wizards, or Demon Hunters. But before that time comes, and you’re playing the solo campaign to get a better feel for the game, and you come across Deckard Cain, Tyrael, or the remains of Tristram hopefully my little story will fill in some gaps for you so you can better appreciate the lore from the previous games. If not, then I’m just happy I have this all written down so I don’t have to listen to my boyfriend whine about playing Diablo 2, since he doesn’t enjoy the game play. I’ll leave you with my favorite quotes from the cinematics.

“Why did I follow him… I don’t know. Why do things happen as they do in dreams? All I know is when he beckoned, I had to follow. From that moment we traveled East… always in to the East.”

-Ever the victim: Marius

Diablo 2 — The Story: The Awesome Precursor to Diablo 3

Originally posted 11/29/2011

For many of my WoW friends and gamer friends, they are all too aware that Diablo 3 is on it’s way, but unfortunately, a lot of them have no idea what to expect other than the current site Blizzard has up with all it’s updates on the classes, the gameplay, etc. Knowing this is an injustice to the franchise, I have decided to give you a brief over view of the key players from Diablo 2 and it’s story accompanied with the cinema scenes that made the game so famous. For those of you who know the story, enjoy revisiting this old tale with as much nostalgia as I have when I view the cinema scenes. For those of you who are new to the story, enjoy learning about who Tyrael is and why his charger really IS that cool (among many other things.)

I will make one small disclaimer before I start. Diablo 2 was made in 2000. The cinema scenes and the gameplay from that era of gaming were groundbreaking, at the time, but looking back on it now doesn’t really show all the glory it encompassed to my 13 year old self and my 10 year old brother. So, if you’re watching these cinema scenes and thinking to yourself, “Man those graphics blow” you’re missing the point. Diablo 3 will have what you’re looking for when it comes to graphics and gameplay, but what good will that do you when you have no idea who Deckard Cain is or why a kid’s leg named Wirt is so important. The story is what you need to focus on.

So, without further ado…

Act I Cinematic: The Beginning

(Note: The cinema scene(s) barely touch(es) the story line your hero is about the embark on. It gives you a story of the source of the problem… not what happens within the game.)

Act I — The Rogue Encampment

Like most games, the beginning of the game has you choose between one of five classes to be. The classic setting of Diablo 2 (prior to the expansion) was to choose from either a Barbarian, Mage, Necromancer, Amazon, or Paladin. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out what they do, so I won’t dwell on any particular class.

Once you’re hero is picked they are planted in the first act of the game, the Rogue Encampment. Here, you meet a few key people: Akira, Warriv, and Deckard Cain. Akira is the lady in charge of the encampment. She sends you on the majority of the quests and eventually leads you to kill Andariel, who is the reason (along with Diablo) that evil is spreading among their area. Warriv isn’t really all that special but he is your caravan to the next place, and helps get you set up in the next area. Deckard Cain… is a pimp. Well, ok no, he isn’t a pimp, but if you haven’t played the game you’re missing out on how funny it is to hear the old man talk. He doesn’t show up until Akira sends you on a quest to find him in Tristram, the old setting for the original game, Diablo.

Once Akira has you fetch good ole’ Deckard from hell incarnate that is now Tristram, he is in the camp there to aid you for the rest of the game with his knowledge. He is a scholar and is a very important character to the plot and storyline mainly because he tells you about all the lore, in essentially every area you visit.

The idea behind this Act is to not throw you knee deep in the Hell on earth that Diablo has created in the other Acts that follow. Rather, you get to see the corruption slowly growing over time in this area. You first start out doing quests to kill possessed (or “turned”) Rogues that the people in the encampment knew. Later, you will confront Andariel, the one put in charge by Diablo to continue corrupting the area, and kill her to purify the area and save the Encampment from danger.

Act II Cinematic — In to the East

Act II — The Shining Jewel: Lut Gholein

Warriv, the nice guy that he is takes you and good ole’ Deckard to Lut Gholein with him. Lut Gholein is a very prosperous town in the desert filled with secret ancient history, old ass tombs, and those stupid Lightning Bugs that spam charged bolts on the ground that will insta-kill you. Yes, my resentment toward those retarded things still holds to this day, they suck.

 It is here that you meet two more key people: Meshif and Drognan. Like the last Act, Meshif will be your caravan to the next area. He is a sailor and knows a thing or two about Lut Gholein and Kurast (your next destination) — again, not that important, but noteworthy. Drognan is the only other person you meet in this area worth mentioning. Everyone else you meet just has you go on mindless quests or are merchants with funny things to say. Drognan, along with the help of Deckard helps point you in the right direction to your goal within this Act.

Here, you are tasked with two major things. One, assemble/find the Horadric Cube, and two, find Tal Rasha’s tomb. The Horardic cube doesn’t have a big impact on this area, but it will in the next act so let’s focus on Tal Rasha.

If you watched the cinematic, like I hoped you did. You would understand that “The Wanderer” aka Diablo is headed here to find Tal Rasha’s tomb. It is within this tomb he is looking for his brother, Baal. If you noticed in the cinematic, they talk about how Tal Rasha was a brave man that was imprisoned with the demon. Essentially that means they killed Baal, took the soulstone that holds his soul (because like all awesome bad guys, they never really die) and plunges the stone into himself. Tied within the tomb, he wages a war with the demon to keep him locked inside himself so that his evil cannot be unleashed (WOTLK, much? Yeah, hate to break it to you, but Blizz reused a plot twist they already wore out in another game. Hence, my anger when some had to ‘take the thrown and his crown’ to ‘enslave the Lich King within’)

The Wanderer that you see in the cinematic is actually the unarmed warrior from the first game, who defeats Diablo, but is possessed by him at the end of the game. That is why Diablo is able to move across Sanctuary, without being noticed, or bound in a tomb. He has a hold of this man who carries the burden of releasing his brothers so they can have an awesome party and kill Earth. So, obviously Diablo has to go take the soulstone out of Tal Rasha so that Baal can have some fun too.

At the very end of the Act, as you race to find his hidden tomb, you end up being too late and are met by the Archangel Tyrael. He tells you that you have the skills to go hunt down Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto and you must do so quickly. You are to head to Kurast to find where Mephisto is and kill him before the three can unite and bring the end of the world.

Cool note about Tyrael: Not only does he look badass, but he is very important. He was the guy who helped imprison the souls of the three Prime Evils (Diablo, Baal, Mephisto) in to soulstones. Before that, they just would be struck down and possess the next living creature they could find, essentially making them immortal. By binding them to soulstones, you can take the soulstone and destroy it, if you know how…

The next Act and the conclusion in my next blog post. This is very long…

Excerpt from Chapter 3 of my ‘Story’

“In here.” Ellisar whispered.

The group entered the room Ellisar was leading them in to. They were soon overlooking a group of men surrounding something that was kneeling on the ground. A blood curdling scream was let out from the entity on the ground.

“Be gone with you! Let her go!” one of the Ahbet men commanded.

After the Ahbet yelled at the being on the floor, he was violently launched in to the pews in the Prayer room. The Ahbet was thrown so forcefully that he knocked over three of the oak pews. With the men scrambling to help him, they revealed what they were hovering over. There, sitting on her heels, sat Liorna. Her hair was a mangled mess, the skin around her eyes had blackened and sunk to make her look like she was dying, and she was smiling.

“Get up, priest.” Liorna said to the man that had been launched in to the pews. “Maybe this time you can ask me a bit more nicely and I’ll consider.”

Her voice was not her own. Liorna spoke in a manner that was seductive, yet masculine sounding. It also sounded like she was growling when she paused to make another statement.  Shay knew immediately what was going on; this was a demonic possession.

The men standing around her were not all Ahbets, some of them were Warriors and Paladins. They were there to help end… the problem, if it got out of hand.

The man on the ground was now standing with the aid of some of the Ahbets.

“So, after all this time this is how you plan to make your stand? Possess an innocent priest and relay your message to Our people? Our people are scared senseless of you monsters. Whatever blasphemy you intend to spread will not be listened to.” The Abhet yelled at the demon.

Liorna rose from her seated position. She looked around terrified.

“Help me! Make this stop! I can’t fight it much longer!” Liorna seemed to have regained some of her lucidity and was now pleading for her life.

“Shut up girl!” Liorna said to herself in the demonized voice. “I have had enough of your struggle. See Sorvah, the girl’s life is in danger, I believe you should listen to our warning.”

“I will not listen to demons!” Sorvah spit back at the demon.

“Then will you listen to me?” Liorna got down on all fours arched her back and began screaming. Her screams were soon overtaken by wailing cries of a thousand other beings, and then her voice turned in to a wolf howl. While she screamed she was morphing in to something else. Black and purple swirls consumed her, and soon she no longer looked human. Sitting on all fours was a demon incarnate. It had the body of a wolf, and a tail of a serpent.

“Yamanh!” gasped Sorvah.

“In the flesh… or in the fur, I suppose I’m not really human, am I?” The creature talked with a sophisticated tone. Its deep resonating voice was almost soothing.

“I tire of this game Sorvah, it’s time you come to your senses.” The creature began cleaning himself.

“How dare you come up here, invade our institution and attempt to make a mockery out of us.”

“Mockery out of you, Ha! Apparently multiple wars lost, being banished to the farthest reaches of hell, and allowing you free reign of all the power on the surface isn’t demeaning enough for you is it?”

“All the wars you have waged on us were lost, you are to stay underground for that reason, you have no place here Yamanh, and I will not listen to any of your pleas you can go back to where you came from, and leave the priest intact.”

“Plea is not the word I would use, Sorvah. Warn is more like what I am doing. If you do not listen to what we told you, we shall seek the aid of your own people.”

“No one would dare listen to you.”

“Oh, is that so? Do you have any idea what this priest found? Do you think I would just choose a random priest to inhabit? Oh, Sorvah, after all this time still so naïve.” The creature was now rolling on its back much like a dog that had an itch.

“Stop your games, Yamanh, I will not be lured in like this!”

“Then we have already won. This priest had found the mortals that would stand up to you. And with them, will come millions more. She had seen what you had done, what you are doing and what you plan to do to these fleshlings in order to maintain your power on this surface.”

“Lies!” Sorvah yelled.

“Don’t believe me? Why don’t you take a look above you. Say hello to the three that will stand up to you. Hello, you three.” The wolf winked at the balcony where the group was.

The group of men was now looking straight at them, as if the invisibility cloak weren’t there.

“You four what are you doing there?!” Sorvah called to them. “Any alliances with this demon, or any demon will result in your deaths. Explain yourselves.”

“Oh, Sorvah, stop scaring them. They are innocent by-standers in this all… for now. They came here to help their friend. Stop being so dramatic.” The wolf yawned.

“What is this all about? What do you want, Yamanh?”

“I told you Sorvah, we tire of watching you play puppet master to these people. We don’t wish to rule here, in fact, the idea bores us. How you have managed to deal with the mortals astounds us” Yamanh said. “But it is time you went back to your place of Origin. He agrees, as well. Your pleas have been denied, and your plans have been found. Stop this before you begin down an unredeemable track.”

“I told you Yamanh, we will not listen to demons. The wars have been waged you have lost. You have no authority here. Take your empty threats elsewhere.” The Head Priest nodded to one of the warrior men and he disappeared below them.

Yamanh sighed. “I had hoped that you would listen to reason. This time we will pit you against your fleshlings that you love so much. And the cycle starts today. I will tell the others you would not cooperate.”

“Leave Yamanh, and let the girl go.”

“The girl that has all your secrets? No I think I’ll be keeping this one. She has seen far more than you have anticipated.”

“You cannot have her!” Sorvah yelled. “Surely you’ll take her back underground and torture her until she talks. That is no way for a Priest from Ilantri to be treated.”

“Still preaching that same story? Still scaring people in to thinking we’re aberrations from below?” Yamanh sighed. “I suppose in your shoes I would do whatever it took to throw them off the trail.”

The creature morphed back in to Liorna, she looked completely normal.

“Let me live! Help me, can’t you see! He’s lying! Please!” Liorna had her old voice back.

“Yamanh, enough of your games! We will end this now! Paladins!” Sorvah pointed at the girl.

The Paladins took their imbued spears and lunged at the girl. No resistance was made on her part.

“You kill me, and it will be the end of you.” She growled.

The paladin chopped off her head. While her body and head were both dying, she laughed menacingly.

Disney and Some Last Attempts to Honor the ‘Golden Ages’ of Disney Movies

Originally posted 11/18/2011
Been awhile, my new blog. As well intention-ed as my original post was, I have found that inspiration is best saved for my story writing that I posted about before. The story is currently 95 pages and counting. I’m excited, it needs a lot of TLC, but eventually, it could be something that I actually approve of in all aspects. Instead of simply posting the first chapter from my story, I have decided to keep the idea of the last post going. I enjoy congruity, leave me alone. So, while I wait for my boyfriend to get home from work so we may celebrate my birthday I shall write to my tiny, growing audience.
—————
Disney means a lot to people. Regardless if you’re willing to admit it or not; think about it, since the time that you were able to look at a TV screen Disney characters were probably apart of the repertoire used by your parents to shut you up and keep you happy. I’m not sure about you, but a lot of those characters, movies, and shows sure made me happy. In fact, they make me so happy I still watch them as an adult. That’s right… I don’t mind admitting that.
Then think about the actual place. How awesome is it to go to Disney World? Well, as a native Indiana lurker I have been four different times twice when I was in grade school and twice when I was in High School, and let me tell you — it’s amazing. You can overlook all the attempts to suck me dry of money with all the fun you will have there. Hell, almost every time I’ve gone, something bad has happened, but in retrospect that isn’t even one of the top five things I remember from the trip.
Disney is a very forceful media hog that has been running ever since Walt dreamt of the place in his sleep and then it came to be. (Let’s not get bogged down with the actual details here, the blog is about Disney, people) It has it’s own channels, hundreds of movies, specials and shows all about made up Disney characters, it has four huge theme parks with subsequent parks of that nature all around world, it has hundreds of resorts for Disney go-ers, stores, eateries, it’s own pleasure island, rides, it even has it’s own downtown. And that wasn’t even half of the stuff I could riddle off to you.
It’s movies and shows have subjected our children to sexism, stockholme syndrome, death, necrophilia, prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination, drug use, cross dressing, and let’s not forget one of the greatest injustices: Letting little girls believe there is in fact a Prince Charming coming her way. But we don’t care because it’s just so damn entertaining. (I might have taken some of those things a bit too far, but you can see all of those themes in their shows and movies — to what degrees, vary.) But let’s focus on my original point for writing — Disney movies and the ‘Golden Age’.
For some unknown reason, in the past decade Disney has been a shell (in my opinion) of was it once was in regards to movies it has produced. No, I’m not saying in the past decade they haven’t put out anything worth seeing it just isn’t like it used to be. And no, I’m also not getting nostalgic on my birthday since I’m now 24 and an old woman. The fact of the matter is from about 1989 to 2000 they were on a serious role.
Exhibit A
1989 – The Little Mermaid
1991 – Beauty and the Beast
1992 – Aladdin
1993 – Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
1994 – The Lion King
1995 – Pocahontas
1995 – Toy Story
1996 – 101 Dalmatians
1996 – Hunchback of Norte Dame, The
1997 – Hercules
1998 – Mulan
1998 – A Bug’s Life
1999 – Tarzan
2000 – The Emperor’s New Groove
And those are only cartoon movies, and I’m not including things such as James and the Giant Peach because I don’t think it was such a phenomenon as the other movies I have named up there. Also, I realize that Homeward Bound isn’t a cartoon, but it might as well be with the talking dogs and cat. That’s a lot of hit movies in a decade. That means that every year they were coming out with something original, well thought out, and well designed, and sometimes more than once a year. Go on baby boomers, tweens, and grandparents think about how many movies came out in your childhood that were that awesome… I’ll give you a bit. Then look at this…
Exhibit B
1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
1940 – Pinocchio
1941 – Dumbo
1942 – Bambi
1955 – Lady and the Tramp
1959 – Sleeping Beauty
1967 – The Jungle Book
1977 – The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
1981 – The Fox and the Hound
2003 – Finding Nemo
2006 – Cars
2007 – Ratatouille
2008 – Wall -E
2010 – Tangled
Are there more movies in that list? Yes, but think about it. Look at the huge gaps from 1959 to 1977 they only come out with three blockbuster Disney movies. From 2003 to 2010 there are only five movies. If you look from 2001 on they come out with twice the amount of movies that they had in the previous generations and they can only come out with five blockbusters. The list is insane from 2001 on… it’s comprised of sequels and third movies of Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, Mulan, The Little Mermaid… it’s as if Disney couldn’t think of anything for about five years so they just did sequels. The Only time that can compete with our generation of movies is the very very beginning of Disney making movies. In a span of four years, they come out with the foundation for Disney movies from 1937-1942. Still noting holds a candle to our generation’s movies. It was the Golden Age of Disney movies and I’m proud to have grown up in that span of time.
So, take your nostalgic BS elsewhere because I think the lists speak for themselves. If you would like I could compare gross sales for the movies. But I’m sure I would come to the same conclusions. (Especially if we were to add in the gross sales from all the sequels and third movies from my generation because those movies were just that good that Disney felt they had to make more of them.)
I am inspired by recent attempts for Disney to go back to it’s roots. Tangled was very good, they are coming out with Tink in 2012 so I have high hopes for that, and even their original ideas like Wall-E were really, really cute. I just wish that the fervor with which they wrote their blockbusters, slaved over the music (which was often times award winning), and pounded out every last detail made would be instilled in the newer generation of movies.
But who am I kidding, Disney has held on to me since I was little and will hold on to my children for most of their lives most likely. They’re an entertainment industry in and of themselves, and can do whatever they want to. They’re kind of like the Wal-Mart of fun… and as chilling as that prospect is it is true, and I’ll keep going back for more.
Next time previews from my story!