I’m Still Not Over Zootopia

So, I watched Zootopia last week and it totally blew me away. Then I watched it again at the end of this week and it continued to be a brilliant cinematic star. In my world, if it calls for more than one theater viewing, it really is that good. Correction: IT IS ACTUALLY GOLD ON A SILVER SCREEN.

And because I’m just super infatuated with this movie, lemme passionately blog about it—and if these ten reasons can’t tempt you into watching it, I don’t know what will.

1. The main character is basically Leslie Knope if she were a rabbit. And she is just so darn inspirational. Every obstacle she comes across, she conquers it with a smile and endless pep.

2. THERE IS A SLY FOX. AND I’M KIND OF IN LOVE WITH HIM…AND HIS CHARACTER ARC.

3. Scratch that, I’M IN LOVE WITH THEM TOGETHER. Their team dynamic made me squeal a lot.

4. Animals! Lots and lots of glorious animals!

5. The world is pretty freaking amazing and so cleverly built. For reals, I wish I could live in Zootopia.

6. Speaking of the amazing world, it allows for moments like this. Enough said.

7. The feels and humor are so on point. When I wasn’t crying, I was choking on popcorn from laughing.

8. Wonderful plot, teeming with rad sleuthing and detective work.

9. Most importantly, this movie is just so RELEVANT. Insanely smart, outrageously timely, and tackles so many of the serious issues in the world today in a way that makes this film kid-friendly, adult-friendly, and—hell, let’s be real—mankind-friendly. It’s mind-boggling to me that this movie is released now of all times, as we’re in the midst of a very controversial race for the presidency that’s raised the same fears and concerns touched upon in this movie. From this standpoint, watching Zootopia honestly felt like looking into a mirror and seeing a cautionary reflection of what is already happening, and what may worsen if we don’t stop it. To avoid spoilers, everyone should just watch Zootopia! I mean, can you really resist the promise of powerful underlying messages within this film, as well as the opportunity to see a fennec fox in an elephant costume?

10. Lastly, it’s impossible not to do a little happy dance to this inspirational jam right here 😀 *immediately adds to motivational playlist*

 

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Squad Love

Can I just say how much I LOVE the new Suicide Squad trailer!?? I’m absolutely crazy over everything that’s going on in it (villains, teamwork, insanity), and these glorious two and a half minutes of awesome mayhem are only making me even more pumped for the movie! Also, it’s getting me super excited to write—which is probably why I’m even more obsessed. Seriously. I feel like I’ve pretty much abused the repeat button and have watched it around a million times since the trailer released. Hopefully it will tide me over until the movie’s release date in August . . . which now just feels like an agonizing amount of forever. Sigh.

*sits back and views trailer once more with heart eyes*

If you haven’t watched it, WATCH IT NOW. IT’S BRILLIANT.

 

Star Wars and Childhood Movie Madness

Last Thursday was probably one of the most important events in recent cinematic history EVER. And that is not an exaggeration by any means. Long story short, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was finally released, and I am still processing and anticipating the next time I can watch it all over again. There were a lot of chills, feels, crying, movie score-induced eargasms, laughing—and the writer in me was also just hardcore appreciating the masterful storytelling in this film. Seriously. Mind is thoroughly BLOWN (and probably will be for the remainder of the month), and all I know is that I want more.

I also just want to go to more Star Wars movies where I can stand witness to wonderful moments like this:

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Kylo Ren in the wild, ordering refreshments (with Sabine Wren?)

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Spotted: Han Solo and an Ewok, waiting for their popcorn

Aside from being emotionally compromised by the movie, there’s just something so special about seeing the celebration of Star Wars everywhere. It brings back the nostalgia of movies that were so inspirational and significant throughout the formative years of growing up—those kinds of films that really took hold of your imagination as a child and somehow offers some insight into the inexplicable pathways of your imaginations as an adult(ish) now.

So in honor of the resurgence of Star Wars (though I’m pretty sure Star Wars will forever be around due to its timelessness), I wanted to give a shout out to the movies that were at the heart of my childhood aka the movies I would watch again and again and AGAIN until my eyes would fall out. I came from a pretty big movie party, so I’ll limit my count to top 20, though if I had it my way, this list would go on for DAYS.

And so, in no particular order:

20. Home Alone

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“KEVIN!!!!!!!”

19. Space Jam

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Tune Squad forever

18. Spy Kids

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The reason why I wanted to be a spy for most of my childhood

17. 3 Ninjas

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ALL OF THESE MOVIES WERE BRILLIANT

16. Grease

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One of the only movies at my grandparents’ house, so I watched this wayyyyy too many times in my youth

15. Cats Don’t Dance

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One of my all time FAVORITE animated movies ever. SO MUSICAL, SO INSPIRATIONAL.

14. Matilda

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Oh man, Matilda was my home girl

13. Harriet the Spy

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Ditto with Harriet

12. Jumanji

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Equally loved/terrified of this movie

11. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

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Candy and creepiness all day errr day

10. Now and Then

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This movie will forever be timeless to me

9. Halloweentown

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I WANTED TO BE IN THIS WORLD SO BADLY

8. Casper

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The most adorable ghost ever (also, I wanted to own this cool haunted house)

7. Back to the Future

 

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“Make like a tree, and get outta here”

6. Homeward Bound

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So. Many. Animal. Feels.

5. The Little Rascals

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I’ve watched this movie so many times, I could probably recite it

4. Adventures in Babysitting

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Babysitting Goals

3. Fievel: An American Tail, and Fievel Goes West

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This mouse’s adventures gave me all the feels

2. The Mummy

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OBVIOUSLY. THIS MOVIE WAS EVERYTHING TO ME.

1. Disney movies

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I know I’m cheating, but ALL OF THEM. Disney has always been my magical place.

 

Happy Birthday to the Bard!

And a happy/morbid death day as well, but regardless–HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE!!!

For those who don’t know, I LOVE Shakespeare. There are some people out there who think appreciating Shakespeare is more of a clichéd interest of pretentious readers/writers (insert eye roll), which I actually have major beef with (and I do bite my thumb at you, sirs). Throughout high school and college, I’ve spent my fair share of time with the Bard in all of my lit classes. I’ve written many an essay on him. Heck, I even studied abroad in London just to, you guessed it, take a class on Shakespeare–and actually saw one of his plays performed at the beautiful Globe Theatre!

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IMG_0736IMG_0738 setting up for Macbeth, which was such a GLORIOUS show (even through the rain and hours of groundling-status viewing)

Learning more about Shakespeare on his own turf completely changed the way I experienced the literature. And even though there is a crap-ton of murkiness behind his authorship and identity and whatnot, I have absolutely no shame in fangirling over his work. My absolute favorite would have to be The Merchant of Venice (‘If you prick us, do we not bleed?’–ughh, I LIVE for that speech and the moral debate over Shylock), along with The Tempest right after (I’m a fan of revenge, clearly), Macbeth (yup, revenge, though Lady Macbeth steals the show), Much Ado About Nothing (I live for the love-hate and the banter), and I actually really enjoyed Measure for Measure even though everyone in my class seemed to hate it. Boo.

My favorites usually change depending on my mood, but those top two are solid. So along with my favorite works, here are some of my other Shakespeare-related favorites and fun things to keep up the celebration:

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (of course)

A gorgeous medley of Shakespeare’s works (starring a hunky Will Shakespeare!) with way too many familiar faces and a whole lot of love.

GET OVER IT

A loose retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in high school starring, yet again, way too many familiar faces in all of their early-2000s glory. Complete with a whacky musical I would actually put down good money to see in person.

ROMEO AND JULIET (1968)

While R&J is not my favorite Shakespeare work by a long shot, this is one of the films I grew up on during my childhood because my parents loved/still love it so much (yup, weird). Hence, it’s always held a special place in my heart. Plus, it’s kind of freaky how much Romeo looks like Zac Efron á la High School Musical. The resemblance will distract you the whole entire movie.

THE LION KING

This is the King of Disney Movies and Feels, which was also influenced by biblical tales of Jesus and Moses, as well as Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

SHE’S THE MAN

Of course. Anything starring a cross-dressing Amanda Bynes is hard to miss, especially when it’s a retelling of Twelfth Night that stars Channing Tatum, soccer dilemmas, and Gouda cheese.

NOTHING MUCH TO DO

In a fashion similar to the amazing Lizzie Bennet Diaries, this vlog series is a modern high school retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in New Zealand. Discovered it earlier this year and was pleasantly surprised by it.

WARM BODIES

Yet another work I was pleasantly surprised by, and also based on a book by Isaac Marion, this film is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet as a zombie comedy. I know, sounds so random but works SO well.

 

And there are WAY too many more to add to the list, but clearly one can see the influence Shakespeare has had, and continues to have after all this time, on our world, media, and stories we create. Also, he coined SO many words in our dictionary, ‘swagger’ being the best gift of all. So Happy 451st, Shakespeare! Still killin’ it and touching lives everywhere, even in the grave.