Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 28, 2014
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer is Live
Stubby the Rocket
November 21, 2014
Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels
Stubby the Rocket
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
Wed
Nov 19 2014 11:45am

Watch the First Trailer for Disney’s Live-Action Cinderella

Cinderella trailer live-action Disney Kenneth Branagh Cate Blanchett Helena Bonham Carter

Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella, being backed by Disney, looks to be a pretty faithful remake of the animated classic. (No songs from the Brandy/Whitney Houston musical, or the complete reimagining of Ever After.) Downton Abbey's Lily James is poor Ella, forced to serve her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett, who looks like she will be delightfully mean) and awful stepsisters. Until, that is, Ella's fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) reveals herself and whips up a pumpkin carriage, blue dress, and glass slippers for Ella to enjoy the ball.

[Watch the trailer]

Mon
Nov 17 2014 2:00pm

Freezing Powers: Once Upon a Time, “The Snow Queen” and “Smash the Mirror”

Once Upon a Time

Princesses! Pirates! Orphans! Thieves! Elegant yet snowy residences! Periodic reminders of the joys of comic books! A number of otherwise somewhat sensible people chasing after Mickey Mouse’s hat! Yes, it’s time once again to chat about ABC’s Once Upon A Time.

Disclaimer before the cut: When I announced that I would be missing one episode (last week’s “The Snow Queen”) because of the World Fantasy Convention, I was not aware that the very next episode would be a two hour episode (this week’s “Smash the Mirror”), meaning that this post is both a bit long yet less detailed than usual. You have been warned.

[In which Our Heroes and Villains still inexplicably refuse to just jet down to Disney World to solve their Hat Problem.]

Fri
Nov 7 2014 9:35am

Woody and Buzz Will Return for Toy Story 4 in 2017

Toy Story 4

In 2010, after taking us to the edge of our emotions and back, Toy Story 3 seemed an appropriate ending for the Toy Story trilogy, with toys and humans alike getting closure after 15 years. But now, Disney•Pixar has announced a fourth Toy Story film, bringing back Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of the toys.

[To infinity and another sequel!]

Thu
Nov 6 2014 1:00pm

How Sleeping Beauty is Accidentally the Most Feminist Animated Movie Disney Ever Made

Sleeping Beauty

So I know what you’re thinking: Seriously, Leigh? Sleeping Beauty is feminist? The classic Disney film made in 1959, i.e. in possibly the least feminist-friendly decade of the entire twentieth century? The quintessential Disney Princess Movie? The one where the titular character is basically a Barbie doll knockoff who does nothing the whole film but sing wistfully about Finding Her Man, before becoming the ultimate passive Damsel in Distress, and other than that has maybe ten actual lines of dialogue? That Sleeping Beauty?

To which I say: Yep, that’s the one.

[But I wanted it blue]

Mon
Nov 3 2014 3:30pm

Rock Trolls and Captain Guyliner: Once Upon a Time, Family Business

Once Upon a Time Family Business

True Love! Pirates! Trolls! Characters who almost never change outfits! Pointless quests! Hunts for hats! And some absolutely fabulous sets, darlings! Yes, it’s time once again for ABC’s Once Upon a Time, with “Family Business.”

[Chilly and spoilery below the cut.]

Wed
Oct 29 2014 9:00am

Bring Me a Cuddly Marshmallow Robot: Big Hero 6 Will Make You Cry, and That’s Okay

Big Hero 6

Another Disney-Marvel venture that comes from the pages of a comic book, Big Hero 6 was already set to combine our favorite sci-fi buzz words—superheroes, robots, alternate realities—and deliver something fun for the whole family. But the movie supersedes those expectations to ruminate on invention, family, and how grief transforms us all... for better or for worse.

Spoiler-light review below.

[I am satisfied with my care.]

Mon
Oct 27 2014 1:00pm

Emma Loves Pop Tarts. And Maybe Other Things. Once Upon a Time: “Breaking Glass”

Once Upon a Time: Breaking Glass

Princesses! True love! Large hulking snowmen! Men trapped in mirrors! Women trapped in terrible plot lines! A surprising interest in Pop Tarts! Yes, it’s time for ABC’s Once Upon a Time to mess with our childhood memories, or make us just wish we could build large hulking snowmen to smash our enemies, depending.

[Spoilers follow]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 2:18pm

Disney’s Sea Voyage Film Moana Will Come to Theaters in 2016

Disney Moana 2016 Polynesia Maui

The last we had heard of Disney’s forthcoming CG-animated film Moana, it was set to be released in 2018. However, Disney has just announced (via Entertainment Weekly) that Moana will be sailing into theaters in 2016, two years early. The studio has also released a more detailed synopsis about the Polynesian heroine and her journey, including the gods and sea creatures she encounters along the way.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 3:00pm

Enter the Mouse: Once Upon a Time, “The Apprentice”

Once Upon a Time The Apprentice

True Love! Magic with a price, if almost never an actual price tag attached to it that would let you know whether it’s a bargain or not! Bad puns! Extremely convoluted family relationships! A sexy pirate and the savior who gives him a cell phone! And now, a reindeer! Yes, it’s another fantastic episode of ABC-Disney’s Once Upon a Time.

Ahem.

[After the cut, the spoilers will no longer be hiding under a hat.]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 11:00am

Snow White: The Blankest Slate of Them All

Snow White reimaginings The Sleeper and the Spindle

The Internet is abuzz over Neil Gaiman's newest children's book, The Sleeper and the Spindle, in which “a sort-of Snow White” rescues “an almost Sleeping Beauty” from her enchanted sleep with a kiss. Yet that boundary-busting kiss is just the bookend to an adventure that sees the raven-haired Snow trading her wedding dress for chain mail and racing through tunnels to get to the imprisoned Princess.

Sounds pretty rad, right? Well, it's not pop culture's first instance of Ready-for-Action Snow White—not by far. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, why is Snow White the most reimagined of them all? Because, when you boil it down, she has no personality—you can project anything you want onto her.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 13 2014 2:00pm

A VERY Troubling Relationship with Ice Cream: Once Upon a Time, “Rocky Road”

Once Upon a Time Rocky Road

Ice! Cameras! ACTION! Plus plot holes! Magically contrived moments! Terrifying moments where ice cream is associated with—gasp—EVIL! Yes, it’s another wacky week with ABC’s Once Upon a Time, where every Disney character you’ve ever heard of turns out to be related to every other Disney character you’ve ever heard of and many you haven’t.

[Never take candy from strangers. Or, in this case, ice cream.]

Thu
Oct 9 2014 3:45pm

Baymax Embraces His Heroic Destiny in Big Hero 6 NYCC Footage

Big Hero 6 trailer NYCC

Every time we watch Big Hero 6 trailers, we become even more convinced that Baymax is going to somehow break our hearts. Just look at him, donning the carbon-fiber armor to fight off nanobots controlled by a villain in a Kabuki mask!

In this new “sizzle reel” that Walt Disney premiered at New York Comic-Con, not only are we tortured with Baymax cuteness, but we also get to see Hiro assemble the rest of his superhero team, each with their own rad gadgets.

[Watch the trailer]

Mon
Oct 6 2014 1:00pm

Dear Show, Ice Cream is NOT Evil: Once Upon a Time, “White Out”

Once Upon a Time White Out

Some fairy tale characters get to live happily ever after. Others, alas, turn into products of the Walt Disney Company and thus, find themselves trapped for what might seem like near eternity on an ABC Sunday night show. That’s right, it’s time for the weekly update for Once Upon a Time, with season four, episode two, “White Out.”

[Very, very spoilery up through season four, episode two]

Mon
Oct 6 2014 8:00am

Are All Princesses Really Waiting for Princes to Come?

“Some day my prince will come / Some day we’ll meet again
And away to his castle we’ll go / To be happy forever I know.”

“Some Day My Prince Will Come” from
Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

In 1974, radical feminist Andrea Dworkin wrote a book called Woman Hating, in which she discusses some of the ways in which, in her view, culture and history work to promote a hatred of women. She dedicates an entire chapter to a discussion of fairytales. In the conclusion to that chapter she writes:

The moral of the story should, one would think, preclude a happy ending. It does not. The moral of the story is the happy ending. It tells us that happiness for a woman is to be passive, victimized, destroyed, or asleep. It tells us that happiness is for the woman who is good—inert, passive, victimized—and that a good woman is a happy woman. It tells us that the happy ending is when we are ended, when we live without our lives or not at all.

Dworkin’s view is not unique, nor even the first time that the treatment of women in fairytales was explored and criticized. In her influential 1949 book The Second Sex, existentialist Simone de Beauvoir wrote, “Woman is Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, she who receives and submits. In song and story the young man is seen departing adventurously in search of a woman; he slays the dragon, he battles giants; she is locked in a tower, a palace, a garden, a cave, she is chained to a rock, a captive, sound asleep: she waits.”

[Read More]

Thu
Oct 2 2014 12:06pm

Meet Your Emotions in Disney/Pixar’s First Inside Out Trailer

Disney Pixar Inside Out trailer

The first teaser trailer for Pete Docter’s next Disney/Pixar film, Inside Out, is here! Though we don’t get to see much footage, the teaser sets us up for the film by reminding us of how Disney/Pixar movies—including Docter’s Monsters Inc. and Up—tend to tug on your emotions.

Now Pixar is personifying those emotions themselves. We get to dive into the head of young Riley, and meet the emotions who keep everything running smoothly-ish.

[Introducing... Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 11:45am

Let’s Get Cold Together: Once Upon a Time, “A Tale of Two Sisters”

Once Upon a Time Frozen

Princesses! Saviors! Princes! Sympathetic evil queens! Unsympathetic evil queens! Witches! A sexy pirate! A young actor looking increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of staying on this show! Magic! Time Travel! Distortions of every fairy tale and story you’ve ever know! Plot holes that no magic can fix! That’s right, it’s time once again for fairy tale Sundays, as the fourth season of ABC’s Once Upon a Time takes on Frozen.

[Extremely, extremely, spoilery. Did I mention spoilery? Because, SPOILERY.]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Let Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and Weird Al Yankovic Tell You What Week It Is

Banned Books Week Neil Gaiman George R.R. Martin Weird Al Yankovic

Neil Gaiman and his literary/parody posse want to make sure that you spend this week reading banned books and comics. They’ll know if you don’t. They’ll know. (It’s well known that Weird Al can see into our minds. Oh hey, did George R.R. Martin return that typewriter?)

Morning Roundup brings you 3D-printed superhero action figures with your (yes, your) face, a new and easier way to watch MST3K, and Doctor Who Christmas special casting news!

[Read more]

Wed
Sep 3 2014 11:35am

Meet Baymax in This Painfully Adorable Clip From Big Hero 6

new Big Hero 6 clip meet Baymax cute adorable squee pain levels puberty Hiro Disney

Between Toothless, Groot, and now Baymax, insanely adorable sidekicks in genre movies are totally having a moment. If you’re not yet a fan of the sweet, inflatable robot from Disney’s forthcoming Big Hero 6, then let this clip convert you. In it, Hiro rediscovers his robot protector (left behind by his older brother?), who proceeds to diagnose him with an alarming (but totally normal) condition.

[Watch the clip]

Tue
Aug 5 2014 11:30am

Frozen Screenwriter Jennifer Lee’s Next Project: Adapting A Wrinkle in Time for Disney

Jennifer Lee adapting A Wrinkle in Time for Disney Madeleine L'Engle Frozen Wreck-It Ralph

Jennifer Lee is on fire lately! After co-writing Disney hits Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen, she’s set her sights on a new project for the Mouse House. Only this time it’s live-action, and an adaptation of a beloved childhood novel—Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.

Lee takes over the project from Jeff Stockwell, who had first tackled the screenplay when the adaptation was first announced in 2010. It made sense, as he had adapted Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia. However, according to Variety, Lee wowed executives with her emphasis on strong female characters and her ideas for building L’Engle’s twisty, terrifying sci-fi world filled with tesseracts and time travel. No surprise, those are the two elements that made Frozen and Ralph so compelling to movie audiences.

We’re especially interested to see Lee’s take on protagonist Meg Murry, intellectually wise beyond her 14 years but still rather emotionally immature; Frozen’s Anna likely owes a lot of her spirit to Meg. The same goes for Meg’s child prodigy younger brother Charles Wallace, who falls under the sway of an evil alien. It’s darker stuff than the other two movies have handled, but we think the characters are in good hands. Especially because the central tenet of Wrinkle is love.

Mon
Aug 4 2014 3:25pm

Get Ready to Love This Face Again. Alice in Wonderland 2 Will Be Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter’s Origin Story

Alice in Wonderland 2 Mad Hatter Johnny Depp

In case you mistakenly thought that the star of Disney’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland and its forthcoming sequel was Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska), let us disabuse you of that notion. The true star appears to be Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter, because Disney has signed on Depp for Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass long before any other castmember has even thought about committing.

Then there’s the interesting casting of Rhys Ifans as the Mad Hatter’s father. Basically, you had better love tea parties and wacky headwear if you want to enjoy the second Wonderland movie.

[Read more]