What I’m Listening To: Murder and NPR Disney

I keep trying to listen to audiobooks, and I’ve been listening to more music, but when walking the dog and doing the dishes, podcasts are still my favorite way to pass the time.

My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia HardstarkMy Favorite Murder

My newest favorite podcast is My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. This is a true crime murder podcast where two ladies from LA describe their favorite murder (or murder attempt survival) stories that I found after the hosts had a guest appearance on the Cracked podcast. It’s a bit morbid, I know, but murder stories are fascinating (it’s why I have a hard time changing the channel when I come across a Law and Order marathon) and Kilgariff and Hardstark are having so much fun talking about everything that I get almost as much enjoyment out of just listening to them talk. Some of it gets really brutal (like Episode Seventeen, oh my god) so be prepared for that if you go to listen to this.

I’ll also just add that listening to a story about a pregnant lady fighting off a would-be murderer/baby snatcher is really good motivation while you’re running on the treadmill.

Disney parks American Icons Studio 360American Icons: The Disney Parks

Studio 360 recently replayed their episode on Disney and the Disney Parks on NPR, so I downloaded the whole thing for a car trip with my husband. Because if you didn’t know, we really like Disney Parks, and my husband particularly loves learning about the history of WDW and the like. If you have any interest at all in Disney, it’s a great listen. There are sound bites from people who love and hate Disney (Carl Hiaasen refusing to take his grandchildren to Disney World is kind of great), a story from a woman who played Snow White for years, and a gay love story involving a Disney dancer and a Prince Charming.

What podcasts are you listening to? I’m trying find some book podcasts, but I have trouble finding anything that I’m able to get really into, so any recommendations on that end would be fantastic.

Other podcasts that I loved can be found here, and here.

Animated Distractions: Disney’s Zootopia

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided to totally forget how many children really do go to opening weekend Disney movies (all of them, every child) and popped into the newest flick, Zootopia. Once I managed to fine-tune my attention so I no longer noticed the loud mom over-explaining every single theme in the movie to her toddler, I became suddenly thrilled to realize I was watching a movie about prejudice and biases.

A couple of these biases are obvious before you even go into the movie. Judy Hops is a little bunny who’s told her whole life she can never be a cop, and even after she aces the academy she’s given no respect from her lion and elephant coworkers and her water buffalo boss. Then there’s Nick Wilde, a hustling fox who’s not really as shifty or untrustworthy as he seems.

Then, Zootopia gets a little more complicated.

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Animated Distractions: Disney’s Bambi

Before heading out on a Disney trip, I like to take tie to rewatch some Disney animated films. This gets me in the mood for the parks, and also reminds me of the characters I’ll see and the songs I’ll hear. One of the films I just watched is Bambi, an endeavor partly inspired by the recent PBS biography of Walt Disney. It’s one of the classic films, something he had a hand in, and, because of that, special.

I didn’t have a huge connection with this film as a kid. In part I’m sure this is because I was too obsessed with the films of my time: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and, oh goodness, The Lion King. But also I think Bambi was almost too ingrained in popular culture by that point. I knew his mother died before I ever sat down to watch it, and the shock and sadness I felt at the moment came more from intention (I’m supposed to be sad here, right? Okay. Okay, got it. I am sad.) than from any real feeling. I certainly wasn’t sitting at the edge of the couch, gripping my knee caps, and suppressing a strangled cry like I was during a different animal-based Disney movie…

Watching it now, there are definitely things I appreciated about it. The animation is lovely, and I got the same delight out of young Bambi tangling up his gangly limbs when Thumper teaches him to hop as I did when I was little, and I didn’t remember the scene of Bambi running through the snowy woods looking for his mother being quite so eerie. There are some classic quotes from that are just associated with the Disney brand (“Man is in the forest.”), and the owl gave us the word twitterpated! And of course, there’s Flower. How can you not love flower?

Still, while I appreciate it, I don’t love Bambi. The story jolts for me, jumping from one season to the next, and aside from the fire and the escape from the hunters at the end, there’s not much in the way of danger or drama, to keep really grab me by the ears and make me pay attention. It’s a sleepy film, and while that’s not always bad, it doesn’t have much of an effect on me here.

I’ll likely see this movie again, watching parts of it when it appears on TV, or sitting with my hypothetical future children when they watch it — because anyone who grows into a Disney fan, or more broadly an animation fan, should see it. But it’s certainly not one of my favorite films.

 

What other Disney films should I watch? I recently played Lilo & Stitch (maybe I’ll write a post about that) and I’ve got a rented copy of Snow White waiting to be watched. And I have to watch Lion King before I go. I have to. But what else can I squeeze into 2 and 1/2 weeks?

Weekly Finds: Princesses, Agents, and Delicious Food

I saw on, of all things, a People magazine article that Disney will be coming out with a new Disney Princess, Elena. This will be Disney’s first Latina princess, which I think is a good step towards diversifying their lineup. It’s a TV show, not a movie, and it will be on Disney Junior, so I probably won’t watch it personally, but it’s nice knowing this will exist. (Maybe now Epcot’s Mexico can have a character meet up other than Donald in a Sombrero.)

Literary agent Janet Reid wrote a nice post about what to do about unresponsive agents. Basically, if you’re waiting on someone who’s holding your manuscript, a polite email to check on it from time to time isn’t out of line, and that you shouldn’t feel beholden to someone just because you’ve been talking to them. I have not had someone who I’ve felt like is holding my book baby hostage, but it does make me feel better about double checking the status with people who have shown interest.

And just to make sure that everything on this list is completely unrelated, this week we found an Indian restaurant nearby, and despite the fact that they sat us directly next to the door on the windiest winter night ever, it was excellent and delicious, and pretty quick. There’s still a pile of items I’d like to have tried there, but I had just enough restraint to not go too (too too) crazy with my ordering. We’ll be back, just hopefully not anywhere near the door. (Now we just need an Ethiopian restaurant to roll in…)

What have you found this week?

Free Comic Book Day – What I Picked

Saturday was Free Comic Book Day, and there was a huge number of books to pick from. So what did I grab for myself? Children’s comics! Because evidently I’m twelve.

Here are the free comics I took:

  • Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers/Darkwing Duck from kaboom!
  • Mickey Mouse from Fantagraphics Books
  • Star Wars: the Clone Wars/Avatar the Last Airbender from Dark Horse
  • Rated Free for Everyone! Power Lunch and Sketch Monsters from Oni Press
  • Dark Crystal/Mouse Guard from Archaia
  • The Intrepid Escape Goat/The Stuff of Legend from Th3rd World Studios

Darkwing Duck Free Comic Book DayI still haven’t gotten through the last two comics on the list, but I’ve enjoyed the others that I’ve read so far. Chip n’ Dale/Darkwing Duck was like a trip back to my childhood, being shows I used to watch on Disney Afternoon. The Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers comic was amusing, but I probably won’t look into the collection; Darkwing Duck caught my interest, though, as it delves into the story of an older super hero taking up the cape again.

Mickey Mouse was a preview of a collection of old Disney comics that will be coming out soon. These comics are from the thirties, and it’s surprising how amusing these comics still are (and also interesting to see how big of an asshole everyone in the Mickey universe is!).

Rated Free for Everyone! ComicI refrained from reading the Star Wars portion of Dark Horse’s comic (because I don’t care) but I went right into the Avatar storyline. These were a couple short chapters from an upcoming collection, The Lost Adventures, which if I’m remembering right are comics from Nickelodeon Magazine. I’m such a nerd for this cartoon, I know I’ll be grabbing that when it comes out.

Rated Free for Everyone! is a preview of two children’s comics from Oni Press. Sketch Monsters is the tale of a girl who expresses herself through art, which sometimes comes to life and wrecks havoc on the town. Power Lunch is about a boy who is told he’s allergic to practically everything, but in reality different foods give him a variety of super powers. Both were cute, but Power Lunch had such an interesting concept that it’s more likely I’ll pick that one up when the book comes out.

Did any of you go to Free Comic Book Day? If so, what did you get?