Still much to learn about coloring, I have. OTL
Sometimes when I give myself a challenge I fail immensely, and other times when I’m not thinking about what I’m doing, things come out great. I have to keep practicing to finally be consistent. 
Learning not to be afraid to shadows and contrasts—obviously you can see here that I still am. T_T

Still much to learn about coloring, I have. OTL

Sometimes when I give myself a challenge I fail immensely, and other times when I’m not thinking about what I’m doing, things come out great. I have to keep practicing to finally be consistent. 

Learning not to be afraid to shadows and contrasts—obviously you can see here that I still am. T_T

"Draw gentlemanly or fancy animals."
Tried out the art prompts/challenges from this link. I figured that come the new year, I will try to do more of these challenges so that I am able to push myself more. I want to be able to face my art fears. In this case, drawing animals. 
This is a Red Crowned Crane, one of the national animals of Japan. I loved how the crown actually looks more like a dapper bowler hat rather than an actual crown—so I went with it. I added a bowtie for an added oomfph as well. ;)

"Draw gentlemanly or fancy animals."

Tried out the art prompts/challenges from this link. I figured that come the new year, I will try to do more of these challenges so that I am able to push myself more. I want to be able to face my art fears. In this case, drawing animals. 

This is a Red Crowned Crane, one of the national animals of Japan. I loved how the crown actually looks more like a dapper bowler hat rather than an actual crown—so I went with it. I added a bowtie for an added oomfph as well. ;)

I have never drawn an action hero—ever! Ironically enough, Thor is probably one of the ones I like the least (I’m a Spiderman kind of girl!), so this is a surprise.
But it was showing on television and I figured that I should practice drawing men—as I am terrible with them. OTL

I have never drawn an action hero—ever! Ironically enough, Thor is probably one of the ones I like the least (I’m a Spiderman kind of girl!), so this is a surprise.

But it was showing on television and I figured that I should practice drawing men—as I am terrible with them. OTL

Sneak peek at one of the characters from my upcoming visual development portfolio! So excited to put all the other elements together!

Sneak peek at one of the characters from my upcoming visual development portfolio! So excited to put all the other elements together!

“‘Cause life’s too short to miss out on a sister like you!”
- Life’s Too Short, (deleted song) Frozen
This is probably my favorite deleted song from Frozen—the only one I wished actually made it into the film—instead of “For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)”!

“‘Cause life’s too short to miss out on a sister like you!”

- Life’s Too Short, (deleted song) Frozen

This is probably my favorite deleted song from Frozen—the only one I wished actually made it into the film—instead of “For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)”!

"Frozen" Review + Analysis (Part2 + SPOILERS): Original Score & Soundtrack

TWO DAYS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!

Until then, it’s time for Part 2! 

It’s time to tell you all about my like/dislike affair with the soundtrack of Frozen.

Unlike my love-at-first-listen with the soundtrack of Tangled (except for “I Have a Dream”), the OST of Frozen was something I consciously decided to give a second listen. 

I realized immediately that it might be because of the style of the songs that I did not take to them right away. I have watched neither Book of Mormon nor Avenue Q, so I may have been biased towards more “traditional” Disney composers. 

I did not listen to any of the previewed songs prior to watching the film. I wanted them to speak within the context of the film, so I didn’t even listen to Idina Menzel’s performance during D23. 

Let’s go through the songs one by one!

1. FROZEN HEART

I absolutely love this song. Immediately after I had listened to every single song in the film, I decided that this was the strongest one that I could remember right away. 

While watching the sequence on screen it reminded me of three other songs with a similar tone—and I suppose that the familiarity was the reason I gravitated to it right away. 

It reminded me of “Roustabouts” from Dumbo, “Deliver Us” from The Prince of Egypt, and “Look Down” from Les Miserables. All of them the first song you hear in their respective films/stage versions.

If you listen to the lyrics of Frozen Heart closely, it pretty much does the job of setting up the idea of Ice as something beautiful but dangerous—pretty much talking about Elsa and her powers. And it also serves as a cautionary song about “beware the frozen heart,” in relation to Anna’s heart being frozen. 

It also, by the way, sounds awesome in Polish:

2. DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN

This song does a great job of setting up the relationship of the sisters after The Incident. It helps to show the passage of time as well as throw in the tragic accident of their parents. That part sends goosebumps up my arms every time I hear it!

Also, this may be the first time I’ve heard younger vocals in a Disney film since Little Mermaid II’s “For a Moment”—which are strangely similar in theme as “For the First Time in Forever.”

3. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER

If Frozen were to become a musical, this would make a nice sequence. This, along with “Love is an Open Door,” would probably be the nicest to see translated onto stage. It has a lot of very musical elements that show a lot of character as well as motive for the story to continue. This gives us a really good glimpse into Anna’s character more than any other moment in the film. It’s probably why I think Anna is the most fleshed out character in the series. 

Elsa also has a moment here, and it gives us an idea of her own goal for the film—but let’s admit that this is Anna’s song. Elsa doesn’t really relate to this “first time in forever” lyric apart for it being the first time she’d be in public. 

4. LOVE IS AN OPEN DOOR

"Love is an Open Door" is the song that I was initially on the fence about. Maybe because it isn’t the typical romantic ballad I’ve come to expect from Disney (ala "I See the Light", "A Whole New World"). It’s upbeat and has percussion which I wasn’t used to. 

But the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it. I’ve never seen Avenue Q or Book of Mormon—but this is probably the song style that I can imagine those shows having. 

I really don’t mind seeing a stage version of this song. I think the closest song I can think this reminds me of is “Dancing Through Life” from Wicked—just a tinge.

"Love is an Open Door" has actually become my favorite song from Frozen. It’s playing now as I write this review!

5. LET IT GO

Obviously this is the flagship song of the film. And while the visuals during this sequence were great, I had confused feelings about the song.

Don’t get me wrong—this was a great song! It’s an empowering song one in the context of the film. There are some lyrics, however, that made me feel like it was sort of like it was about giving up (“turn away and slam the door”—that’s the third time “door” is mentioned in three separate songs from this soundtrack). But then again, many people would argue that “Part of Your World” was sort of a greedy song (“Lookin’ around here you think, ‘she’s got everything’…But who cares, no big deal—I want more”). So with that in mind, I just “let it go.” 

I also find it quite interesting that the message of this song is very similar to “Defying Gravity” which was also sung by Idina Menzel. I wonder if they made this song with her in mind or the other way around? 

6. REINDEER(S) ARE BETTER THAN PEOPLE

So I don’t consider this a whole song really—and I find it highly unfair that this was the only song given to Jonathan Groff! I thought they cast him because he was going to sing at least 2 minutes! But, nope, they gave him a song about reindeer. 

This song is really easy to sing though, so I found myself singing this while washing dishes or while getting dressed. It’s easy to hum too. I just wish this were a full-blown song. I mean, Olaf got a solo! :(

7. IN SUMMER

I was bummed to find out that Olaf got a solo, while Kristoff got nothing. I felt that Kristoff could have used a little more exposition and a song would have been perfect for that. But Olaf got this song that hinted a lot about melting—and he didn’t even really melt in the end. I would be nice if he actually melted because at least it would have justified an entire 2 minutes for him singing. 

This song, I have to admit, is addictive though. I find myself singing the “ba ba ba bamdarum” and “just think how cooler I’ll be in summer!” quite often. 

I can just imagine though, that if I were with Anna and Kristoff when Olaf was singing this, the below would have occurred:

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I know this because I still think about it every time this song plays. I have the urge to just exasperatedly say “PUDDLE, YOU’LL BE A FRIGGIN PUDDLE.”

Oh Olaf, you product of childhood innocence and naivite, you.

8. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER (REPRISE)

I’m not sure I enjoyed a reprise for “For the First Time in Forever.” I didn’t think it helped too much—Anna could have very well have just said that Arendelle was in deep snow by speaking it rather than singing. 

What I would have rather seen was the deleted “Life’s Too Short” song! It actually fits in the story very well since Elsa ends up setting a giant snow gollum on Anna and Kristoff anyway. It’s a bit confrontational but it gives a new dynamic to the sisters! And I looove the exchange in this song—because I can imagine it being relatable to a lot of siblings. It goes from endearing to angry. But you’ll hear that in the end that this song actually goes with the “prophecy” concept from an earlier version of the story.

Interestingly enough, the reprise of “Life’s Too Short” has the score of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”—which I realize SHOULD have gotten the reprise instead of “For the First Time in Forever.”

9. FIXER UPPER

While very musical—I can see it being in a production because it’s an ensemble performance—it just seems the most out of place song. The main purpose is to get Kristoff and Anna to realize that they like each other—and at this point it seems too far into a film and feels a little bit contrived. 

It’s as if to tell the audience that “if you haven’t already figured out, these two have to be together in the end.” A song like this would normally be in the middle, like “Under the Sea.” But then again, The Little Mermaid also had “Kiss the Girl.” 

In my opinion though, “Fixer Upper” didn’t do much to drive the story forward—and only misled the characters and the audience to think that the True Love’s Kiss was the solution (and I already explained in Part 1 how I don’t quite agree with that solution to begin with). 

SPECIAL MENTION: VUELIE (feat. Cantus)

The other song I’d like to point out is this one from the score for Frozen! It’s not really an original song because it’s a Norwegian church hymn, but it gave me chills with the opening snowflake sequence. 

But after listening to the rest of the songs which are obviously more Broadway than church hymns, I don’t know if this song totally belongs. I know that the film was heavily influenced visually by Nordic elements and this looks like an attempt to integrate music into that as well. I just wish that there was more (apart from “Frozen Heart”)!

If you get the chance, I recommend listening to the demo tracks and other deleted tracks from the film—they’re actually quite interesting! And you can almost imagine how the film would have gone if a song was substituted for another!

Click HERE to read Part1 of my Frozen Review (about Character & Story)!

He kissed a maid and start to blushAnd we’ve all been blushin’ since.
- What Made the Red Man Red, Peter Pan

Now showing on the Disney Channel!

He kissed a maid and start to blush
And we’ve all been blushin’ since.

- What Made the Red Man Red, Peter Pan

Now showing on the Disney Channel!

"Frozen" Review + Analysis (Part1 + SPOILERS): Characters & Story

Hullo all!

It took me a while to gather the courage to make this. When it comes to anything Disney, there are a lot of super fans (including yours truly), so I feel as if I am throwing myself in the line of fire here. But there was just no was i’m going to pass up the chance to talk about something Disney-related.

DISCLAIMER: these are just my personal thoughts about it. I am not an animator or a professional screenwriter. I’m speaking as a person that loves Disney, film and stories—and I will try to be as objective as possible. Also, SPOILER ALERT! Also, LONG POST ALERT.

I’ve generally kept mum about my thoughts and feelings about Frozen. Mainly because I wasn’t sure what to expect. First off, I will admit that I am only very vaguely aware of the original tale, and the have only ever seen the 1957 Russian animation, which I believe does not completely follow the original tale either.

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(*DID YOU KNOW? Hayao Miyazaki considers the 1957 animation of the Snow Queen as one of his major inspirations in animated film. It inspired him to stay in the industry when he was considering leaving.)

But note that I will NOT be comparing the original tale and 1957 animation with Frozen. 

When the trailer for Frozen came out months ago, I have to be completely honest and say that I was …unsure of how to feel. On many levels I was excited by it. Disney does an amazing job by reimagining and retelling classic tales in a way that contemporary audiences will respond to. With Tangled, I love how they put the Healing Flower premise into the story which became the main driving force behind Mother Gothel and her relationship with Rapunzel, and this kind of twist made me excited to learn that they were going to make Frozen a sister-movie which Disney has never done before.

And third, many of you will think this is me being knit-picky and over-analytic. It very well may be. It’s just how I tend to be when it comes to story-telling. Many will say, “You’re over thinking it! It’s for kids!”

But I’m willing to bet that a big percentage of people that watch the films now, while not the majority maybe, are not kids. They’ll be teenagers at the very least—all the way up to the parents of the kids that watch them. And Disney appeals to everyone. Many of us that are on Tumblr grew up during the Golden Age of Disney and have followed their films ever since. Just because the appeal is still mostly for kids and the kids in all of us, doesn’t mean Disney can’t produce something that can also appeal to their older audience.

And just like when you’re working on a project or have a friend come up to you and say “Here, here is my new work, I want to know what you think of it. Be honest.” You will be honest because you care for that person and you want them to do well and you will give that feedback so they can make their work better with constrictive criticism. 

Also, as much as I love Disney, I have to admit when I see something I don’t like or enjoy. So please bear there things in mind.

ART & ANIMATION

Many people know me as someone that loves the visual development aspect of animation and this was no exception! That whole controversy about Elsa and Anna looking almost exactly like Rapunzel didn’t bother me the slightest. I mean, many of the Disney princesses look similar to one another! (*Also, does this make Elsa the first Disney QUEEN?)

I have no qualms about the beauty of the animation. I think by now we can pretty much say that amazing animation is a standard for Disney Animation Studios. But because the animation is now so good, it now makes me wander more toward the other aspects of the film.

STORY

This will be the meat of my review! And in a nutshell, this is where I feel Disney could have done much, much better. 

I don’t believe that I am the first to say that there are a lot of plot holes in this film. After walking out of the theater, I felt as though I read through a second draft of the film—which seems ridiculous because Disney goes through MANY versions. 

The funny thing is, apparently there was a version of the story that had a troll prophecy—a prophecy that said that Arendelle would be cast in an eternal winter. This version sounds much more solid! I don’t know what ultimately led Disney to scrap that version but I feel like this would have made more sense! The prophecy would have given the King, Queen and Elsa to hide her powers and for the kingdom (even Anna) to be wary of Elsa once she revealed that she had the power! Right? Just me?

Anyhoo, I did not really see why it was necessary for Anna’s memory to be erased. I think things would have still happened the way they did in the film had she kept her memory. If anything, Anna’s want for the castle to be opened would be amplified because she knows why it’s been closed. Maybe it would have driven a bigger wedge between them because Anna would blame Elsa for her being trapped for so many years, unable to meet people and driving her into the arms of Hans even more instantly.  

Speaking of Hans, let’s talk about this shall we? One of the things that I keep in mind with any story is the concept of The Setup. Screenwriting expert Syd Field talks about this all the time in all his books—about how everything should have a setup and a payoff. You can’t put in all these elements in a story or character and have it not serve a purpose later; and at the same time, you can’t just reveal something at the very end without building up to it.

That being said, Frozen did a weird job about creating setups without any payoffs—and payoffs without any setups. 

Take the Duke of Westleton, for example. He was setup to possibly be a villain (art direction wise and motive-wise), but he just wound up taking up screen time, no payoff and he didn’t do anything of significance. He had the potential to be something, but was apparently just the comic relief of the Arendelle location, while Olaf was the comic relief outside of the kingdom.

Then there’s Hans. The only time there was ever any indication that Hans was going to turn bad was when he mentioned his twelve brothers—and, by the way, he never even mentioned until the end that he was the youngest of twelve brothers. He could have been the eldest, we don’t know that, right? This was the first and only red flag that I got when I was watching. When that came up, I thought “Yep, he’s going to be the bad guy.” I’m not being braggy—I just watch way to many films and thing about all this setup and payoff stuff while I’m watching all the time, so I’ve been hard-wired to pick the stuff up now. 

In any case, while yes there was the mention of his brothers—it was only once. Maybe if the Duke of Westleton said something like “Oh, with you marrying Princess Anna you could be the next king after Queen Elsa—you’d be ahead of your other eleven brothers in the Western Isles!” Because, in the end, we were just suppose to accept that he had been scheming all along just because he revealed it. I don’t know—lack of setup!

And on other things that had the lack of setup, was the concept of True Love being the solution to the ice situation. It was mentioned constantly by the trolls, but by then it was two-thirds of the movie and whyTrue Love was the solution was never really explained. 

On the subject of True Love, I’m having an inner debate as to whether true love was never between the two girls. I mean, Elsa isolated herself from Anna because she loved her—not because she was selfish. Leaving Arendelle was the first selfish thing she did, but keeping herself away from her sister was true love! As for Anna, she insisted to build a snowman with Elsa for years and years—which showed that she still loved her sister very much. Those were acts of True Love—so I didn’t quite understand why being turned into ice was the only thing that qualified as such. 

Some may argue that “Love!” as the solution to melting the ice did have a setup—because it was mentioned over and over again. Love can melt a frozen heart, but how exactly did “love” help thaw the frozen kingdom? 

*insert smooth segue here*

CHARACTERS

ELSA & ANNA

I got chills when I saw the first few photos released of their characters. As I said earlier, I loved the concept of them as sisters than just random characters—and it gave them more of a drive for a good story. 

The characterization of each of the girls were great! They have distinct personalities that make them different from each other and other Disney characters. They also had unique motivations that served as anchors of their own plots. 

However, I think the story could have been much tighter. It wasn’t really clear to me why Elsa never considered asking the trolls for help containing or removing her powers. It would have been a more interesting and stronger story arch if Elsa ran away to find the trolls or a way for her powers to be taken away from her. It would have also been interesting to see the inner turmoil and lack of control Elsa had over her powers when her parents died—I would have much rather seen that than Anna standing on the other side of the door—there was some mad iceage going on inside and we didn’t get to see it! 

And for someone that tried to hide her power for years instead of secretly trying to control them in her room, Elsa managed to create a super badass castle, gorgeous clothes and a scary snow golem. I mean, I don’t know, but Kristoff’s “now THIS is ice!” comment makes me think that she’s got it pretty much under control.

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Maybe if the gloves could have served as a magic controlling device and she lost it or something—would have given her more of a story.

As for Anna, her story arch was pretty much solid. I had no qualms about her actions in the story (save for her questionable decision to leave Arendelle to Hans—buuut love can make you do questionable things, I suppose). And even when there were moments where I wanted to slap some sense into her because she was so annoying, her actions made sense because the actions of Elsa and her parents made her that way (unfortunately). 

KRISTOFF & SVEN

I think I have to say that pretty much my favorite character from this film is Kristoff. I liked having him on the screen all the time, and he has a solid personality.

Do I think that Disney may be milking his relationship with Sven as similar to Flynn Rider’s relationship with Max? Maybe. Am I okay with how they also gave Sven dog-like qualities like they did with Max? Not entirely. But for those two points I will let Disney get away with it one last time before it becomes a “safe play.”

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(*DID YOU KNOW: in the original tale and animation, Kristoff’s character (Kai in the original) is actually the one that has his eyes and heart frozen by the Snow Queen)

And speaking of Kristoff, while I did like seeing him on the screen and hearing Jonathan Groff’s voice as him, he’s not without kinks. Like the song goes, he’s a fixer upper. There were some things setup about him that just didn’t pay off.

In the very beginning of the film, I loved how he was with the ice harvesters, it set up a lot about his character. I like how that carried over to his adulthood. But then here come the parts that need fixing.

Here’s a part that slightly bothers me. Kristoff was there when Elsa and Ana were kids with the trolls. You’d think that he probably would have remembered that incident since it’s not every day that the entire royal family go out to visit some trolls. I would have at least thought that prior to the palace closing its gates the kingdom knew what the princesses looked like—and that Kristoff would have recognized Ana when he runs into her in the Sauna.

Also, he said that the trolls were his family…um, where’d his real family go? I assumed he was a son of an ice harvester. And, of course he could still have his family, but they were never mentioned in the film (which I guess is fine) but it sort of implied (to me anyway) that the trolls became his new family in which case it makes me wonder…why?

(*DID YOU KNOW: in the original version of the snow queen, the trolls were actually the source of evil in the story.)

TROLLS

Speaking of trolls, I feel like they could have done more to help the story along. They are probably the closest thing to a fairy godmother figure. They know the most about magic in the realm of the story and I felt like they could have given a more concrete method of how Elsa could contain her powers—or save Arendelle. When Anna gets hit with ice to the heart, they were like “Nope. Can’t help. Wish it were the head (again), but it’s the heart this time. It has to be an act of true love.”

And they were just guessing about the True Love’s Kiss. I thought they were supposed to be love experts?

OLAF

Here was a character that i had mixed feelings about. On the onset, I thought he would be a highly irritating character in a way that made me think of him as a Dory carbon copy (anyone else noticed the similar structure of his features and Dory’s?) and he had some similar mannerisms and expressions as well.

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He served nothing for the purpose of driving the story forward. While he helps Anna and Kristoff find the castle, I’m sure spotting a solid ice castle (with kristoff’s eye for ice) wasn’t so difficult.

But the more I thought about his character the more i thought of his missed potential. Olaf, I assume, is a living (maybe breathing) symbol of Elsa and Anna’s love for each other. This is why assume he exists. Now, there was an entire setup/song about how he talks about wanting to be in summer and there was talk about how he could melt. When he was in front of the fire with Anna, the whole of me wanted him to melt entirely. It would have been a symbolic loss of hope for Anna and Elsa to reconcile. And besides, Elsa could rebuild him later on anyway. Maybe it would have even made me miss Olaf—maybe.

ON PAIRINGS

I have to say, I was all for Anna and Hans. If Disney could have found a way to have another villain or a different side-conflict other than Hans, I would be a Hanna shipper all the way. They have sibling/youngest child issues and they harmonize well in song! Did Anna and Kristoff have a song together? Nope, they did not at all.

As for Kristoff—I thought his “now this is ice!” comment would lead to this situation:

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And that is it for Part 1 of my Frozen Review! I’ll be posting Part 2, all about the SOUNDTRACK! :D

Let me know if you agree or disagree. It’s always nice to have a discussion about these things—and I’m all for it!

Progress with a practice piece—for a personal project! Getting my digital art juices flowing!

Progress with a practice piece—for a personal project! Getting my digital art juices flowing!

"Elsa, I know you’re in there. I’m right out here for you, just let me in… Do you want to build a snowman?"
Just imagine a mermaid Anna trying to call out to Elsa through some ice. :(

"Elsa, I know you’re in there. I’m right out here for you, just let me in… Do you want to build a snowman?"

Just imagine a mermaid Anna trying to call out to Elsa through some ice. :(

"My name is Susie Salmon—like the fish. I was here for a moment, and then I was gone."

"My name is Susie Salmon—like the fish. I was here for a moment, and then I was gone."

Anonymous asked: In your opinion, do you think it's ever too late to pursue a career in animation? I'm 29, recently graduated from Animation Mentor, and sometimes I feel like I'm ANCIENT compared to the younger people trying to get in. Would my late start make recruiters prejudiced against me?

:

It’s crazy how much the answer to this is: NO.

29, I don’t think you are old at all! And Animation Mentor is, from what I heard, a great program to have graduated from. Many animators working in the industry come from Animation Mentor, including some of my very good friends. Some with no previous animation school degrees. I know comparing your self to others, especially your age, can be discouraging, but please don’t feel that way. :) First, you are not too old at all, and second, I can not picture an animation studio rejecting someone because they are “too old”. Age isn’t really even discussed in the reviewing room. When we review the portoflio or reel, it’s not as if someone states: “Next up is John Smith, and he is 34 years old.” The reviewers almost never know the age of the applicant- they only judge them by their work.

I can easily think of many faces, when I think of artists who are much much older than me, but have such a youthful, vibrant spirit in terms of approaching their art, that the concept of “oldness in age” becomes irrelevant. Some I would say have even younger spirits than I do, and give me the youthful, spit-fire fuel that I much need sometimes. I am blessed to have artists like that I can call friends, who continue to inspire me.(And come up with even crazier ideas than younger people would)

You only become “too old” as an artist if your attitude towards your art becomes “too old”; stagnant, stubborn, repetitive, and detached. I hope you can find inspiration to pursue your dreams since you are very young. :)

Best wishes.

I hardly ever reblog on this account, but I just couldn’t help but feel very affected by these words from Minkyu Lee!

The rainstorm and the river are her brothers.

My interpretation of Pocahontas as a mermaid. ;”)

Marie Antoinette as a rococo mermaid! ;)

Marie Antoinette as a rococo mermaid! ;)

My latest mermaid, an interpretation of Madame Pompadour! Rococo mermaid, anyone?