How Frozen’s logic defying story thaws hearts

elsa_bust_by_amesrobin-d7h7kpdFrozen created the most hype I’ve heard in a long, long time. Loosely based off of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson, Disney’s film went back to traditional fairytale roots while staying away from the cliché love story. Since I’m far from a dedicated moviegoer, I sat back and watched the excitement grow and grow. Finally, instead of going to the theaters, my husband and I bought it.

I settled into the couch cushions and pressed play, afraid that it would be over-rated. Surely it couldn’t be so laudable as I had heard. And just as expected, the first few scenes piqued some scrutiny: why does the random gnome want to keep Kristoff and Sven? Who does Kristoff belong with? Why does Anna have to forget? The story didn’t offer many explanations. Continue reading

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From the Forge: Interview with Animator Mary Jane Whiting

maryjanewhiting_PortraitThe world needs more storytellers like Mary Jane Whiting. A talented artist, she is excited to share fun stories and encourage others along the way. Instead of spilling everything about her here, I might as well let her speak for herself! Without much prompting, she jumped right into the interview:

I was born in Texas and moved to Florida to major in Computer Animation at Ringling College of Art and Design where I’m a Junior. I’m a chai tea enthusiast, certified workaholic (but it’s more like fun than work) and my passion is visual development artwork for animation. I’m currently working on pre-production for my senior film. The process includes doing all of the concept design, visual development artwork as well as storyboards. At the same time, I’m working on a lip-sync project of myself as an animated character.

Read more to learn how to bravely follow your inspirations and build an online presence!

From the Forge: How Emotional Honesty Empowers Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises

I’m writing from StoryForge Productions today! Here’s a snippet from my last Month-a-Zaki article:

Throughout his career, Hayao Miyazaki changed the realm of storytelling. He had a fruitful “ten years in the sun,” and brought it to a close with one last masterpiece. The Wind Rises is his beautiful farewell to animation, leaving his audiences with the bittersweet tang of achieved dreams.

Differing greatly from Miyazaki’s previous films, The Wind Rises engages silence and sound with increasingly emotive effects. The protagonists, Jiro and Naoko, are older than many of Miyazaki’s characters, such as Sophie, Chihiro, Ponyo and Kiki. With their age comes weightier themes, such as chasing perfection and embracing love, whatever pain each may bring. (Read more at the Forge, and see the fantastic art!)