Posted in Freedom Friday

Do You Want to…

There’s a running joke in our family these days that has grown out of control and poses a threat to our sanity. Not really, but once you know what it is you’ll know what I mean. Ever since the release of the movie Frozen, we’ve been taking turns singing the words to Do You Want to Build a Snowman? in a new and original way. We replace the words “to build a snowman” with pretty much anything that pops into our head.

Frozen's Olaf the Snowman
Frozen’s Olaf the Snowman

Like this: Do you wanna read Freedom Friday?

It started with innocent intentions. One of us—I will not name names—me—began to sing the words to the snowman song whenever it snowed. Given I live in Canada and it snows a lot, especially last year, I was singing the opening phrase quite extensively. You can read that as meaning others in my family were telling me, “Stop singing that snowman song.”

Of course, if someone tells Jack he shouldn’t be doing something, what does Jack do? Yep, Jack keeps on doing it. [End of Jack’s third-person dialog.]

So, I did what any other normal person would do—become excruciatingly annoying.

Not only did I sing the song when it snowed, but I also sang it when it didn’t with the added incentive to change the words to suite my needs.

Like this: Do you want to cook some chicken?
Like this: Do you want to have some sushi?
Like this: Do you want a have a party?
Or like this: Do you hate me for my singing?

And on and on it went. Eventually, I’d worn the family down so much that they too fell to the Dark Side.

Now, a year later, we’re all singing it.

At the dinner table: Do you want to pass the salt, please?
In the garage: Will you ever wash the car, dear?
While shopping: Do we need some extra olives?

Naturally, because I write about zombies, I have to have my own version of the song:

Do you want to kill a zombie?
Will you shoot it in the head?
Will you throw it off a cliff and sigh
Watch it fly
Until it’s fully dead?

So really, the moral of this post is this: if you want to change people you should never have to change yourself. Be a nuisance and you just might get what you want.

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Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Giselle

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom known as Andalasia, lived a maiden with whom the prince would share true love’s kiss. Her name was Giselle, and she dreamed of holding hands and dancing with her one true love.

Amy Adams is Giselle in Enchanted
Amy Adams is Giselle in Enchanted

How many of you think this is Sleeping Beauty? Show of hands, c’mon. How about Beauty and the Beast? Anyone for Shrek? I threw that last one in to see if you’re paying attention. Disney has the whole princess theme down pat. They even had it working in the movie Frozen. Well, it did have two princesses.

In the film Enchanted however, true love’s kiss is a bigger deal. It’s what brings ever-afterings so happy—that’s what the song says. The opening lyrics declare that to spend a life of endless bliss you’ll just need to find who you love through true love’s kiss. Pretty catchy, don’t you think?

Enchanted Giselle
Enchanted Giselle

This is where Giselle (Amy Adams) comes in. She’s the free-spirited embodiment of pure optimism. Her cheerfulness is so infectious that people dance in the street when she’s around, they sing in full choruses in the park, and even the animals gather to help with her chores. There’s nothing too difficult for Giselle, there’s nothing impossible for her.

That is, until we meet the prince. A real winner here. He believes in true love’s kiss, too. As soon as she drops into his lap, he’s dreaming of being married to her in the morning, finishing each other’s duets, and in years to come, reminiscing of how they grew love through true love’s kiss.

It gets better from here, but I’m not going to spoil it. Suffice it to say, Giselle learns what real love is all about. This includes the pain and the emotion attached to real love, the hardship and work behind it all, and the growth that takes place when real love hits someone who doesn’t expect it.

No matter how many times I watch this movie, and no matter how many times I listen to her voice, I always experience joy knowing I can relive my favorite moments over and over again. If anyone deserves to be part of Women Who Wow Wednesday, it’s Giselle, not because she can slay a dragon in one fell swoop, but because of her sense of wonder noticing the world around her. That childlike innocence captured on film makes her someone everyone ought to know in real life.

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What did you think of Enchanted? What did you think of Giselle?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Olaf the Zombie

Last week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday featured Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen. A couple of my readers had asked if I would consider writing about Olaf the snowman. You see, they thought Olaf exhibited zombie traits and it would make for a great subject for a Monday Mayhem post. At this moment, I agree.

Olaf the snowman
Olaf the snowman

However, at the time, I didn’t see how an animated snowman would become the symbol of zombieism in a Disney movie about two siblings trying to mend their relationship after a grave fallout. I’ll admit, even I couldn’t see the connection.

But after careful consideration, multiple viewings of Frozen, and plenty of ice cream—I don’t know, I’m just making this up as I go along—I’ve come to the conclusion that Olaf the snowman is in fact a genuine, true to life, not of this world zombie. Well, that’s to say Olaf displays undead tendencies. Let’s see what I mean—I’m dying to find out, too!

For those unfamiliar with the movie Frozen, I’ll give you a quick spoiler-free summary.

Princesses Anna and Elsa are sisters. Elsa has this magical power to conjure snow out of nothingness. She’s so good at it that she can create an ice rink with a simple step of her foot, a storm with the wave of a hand, and a snowman that talks. Yes, we’re talking about Olaf. He’s what we call possessed. Maybe not, but his personality is warm and cuddly.

Olaf
Olaf

On numerous occasions, Olaf falls apart. Much like a zombie, even after losing his head he still manages to stay alive while his parts try to find themselves. On one hand, it’s funny. Who doesn’t want a talking snowman who falls apart and succeeds in putting itself together? On the other hand, it’s creepy. Imagine strolling in the middle of the backyard during winter to find the snowman you had broken into pieces confronting you with revenge on its mind for what you did. Not so different from zombies, huh?

Then there’s the whole summer melting thing. Olaf loves summer. He hasn’t a clue as to what summer would do to him, but he loves the sun. In a part of the movie where he finally gets close to fire, he realizes he’s hot, and he begins melting. For a split second, you could attest to the fact you saw a zombie in Olaf’s melted state. I’m talking rotted eyes, skin falling off its body, skull appearing from under the snow. It’s quite disconcerting. I wouldn’t want to be in the same room while this happens.

Have I talked about the possessed limbs yet? I haven’t? Well, then. Olaf’s arms are branches stuck in his torso from Elsa’s conjuring. If they detach from his torso, they remain alive, crawling, bending, grabbing—similar to zombies. Have you seen zombie arms independent from their bodies? They’re crazy sights. They have a life of their own. In Olaf’s case, his arm separated from his body and smacked someone in the face. But we won’t get into that, will we?

So, do you see how innocent Olaf the snowman is really a zombie in disguise. I wouldn’t have believed it either hadn’t I seen it for myself.

Now I’m wondering if I should build a snowman next winter.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

What do you think of Olaf the snowman/zombie? Would he pose a threat to humanity?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Anna and Elsa

If you haven’t seen the movie Frozen and want to see it, don’t read this post. I will spoil it for you. Jump to the last paragraph. If you have seen it, then you will know why I chose both Anna and Elsa as this week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday feature. I couldn’t choose one or the other because one wouldn’t be complete without the other. Therefore, it’s a special day when I not only can chat about one inspiring character, but also present a second one who equally inspires.

Frozen's Anna and Elsa
Frozen’s Anna and Elsa

Princesses Anna and Elsa were little girls when it happened. Elsa has a magical gift. She’s able to spin snow from nothingness. With the wave of a hand, she’s also able to create frozen mountains, ice rinks and snow slides. But one morning Anna’s excitement got the best of her. Wanting Elsa to play with her in the palace, Anna coaxed her to create an indoor winterscape complete with an ice rink and snowman. Unable to keep up with Anna’s delightful exuberance, Elsa blames herself for the accident that follows.

Years later, when Elsa becomes Queen Elsa of Arendelle, during the evening festivities of her coronation, she turns on her sister, forbidding her to marry a man she just met. This doesn’t sit well with Anna prompting her to ask why Elsa has grown cold toward her. Little does Anna know that Elsa is attempting to protect her from her magical powers with, of which she believes she once supposedly attacked Anna.

Elsa and Anna
Elsa and Anna

This leads Elsa to lash out in fear of hurting anyone else. She retreats to the mountains, conjuring an ice castle where she plans to live for the rest of her life, alone from everyone and anyone she loves. Anna has all she can do to blame herself for her sister’s sudden departure from the kingdom and desire to live alone.

As the story progresses, the audience has a first class seat to enjoying one of the most interesting relationships Disney has ever created.

Anna’s optimism is contagious, and her forgiving nature, incredible. No matter how many times Elsa shuts her out, Anna remains firm in her belief that they will one day be sisters again, just like it was when they were little girls. At the same time, Elsa tries her best not to hurt anyone with her ice powers. She doesn’t care if no one understands, as long as everyone’s safe, that’s what’s important to her.

Frozen is nothing short of amazing. However, the characters Anna and Elsa are two personalities one will not easily forget. As beautiful the music is and as funny as the story goes, nothing comes close to the interactions these sisters have with one another and the ultimate joy they express when being together.

If you’re looking for a story to keep you entertained, Anna and Elsa’s will inspire and enrich in the film Frozen. One thing though, one view’s not enough to absorb all the little character nuances. Prepare to become enthralled many times over by the movie’s music and magic.

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Have you seen Frozen? Did you like the character Anna? What did you like most about her?