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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books


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Modern Disney Princesses

There seems to be endless fascination with the Disney princesses. Thanks to Fernanda Suarez ad the mad geniuses at Bored Panda, you can see a modern take on them.

“In recent years, we’ve seen quite a few reimagined ‘modern’ versions of the Disney princesses we grew up loving and admiring. This latest interpretation by Chilean digital artist Fernanda Suarez, however, might be the fairest of them all.

Starting with Snow White back in July, Suarez has gone on to illustrate 7 classic princesses in hip, present-day fashion. These sketched-up smoke shows look like they follow Luxy Hair tutorials on YouTube and shop for clothes at Forever 21. They probably post selfies with their ‘princes’ on Instagram and all agree that NAKED2 is the best eyeshadow palette. Oh yeah, they probably also campaign non-stop on social media for the equal rights of dwarfs, marine wildlife, and big cat conservation.”

#1 Mulan

Mulan

#2 Belle

Belle

#3 Jasmine

Jasmine

#4 Ariel

Ariel

#5 Pocahontas

Pocahontas

#6 Snow White

Snow White

#7 Cinderella

Cinderella

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Disney Princesses Reimagined As Hot Dogs

From artists Anna Hezel & Gabriella Paiella, and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda. What’s better than Disney princesses? Hotdog representations of Disney princesses!

We’ve seen Disney princesses reimagined as different ethnicities, Disney princesses with beards, realistic hair, realistic waistlines, creepy creatures and even recreated with minions. A food site called LuckyPeach decided to follow the trend and turned four Disney princesses into beautiful hot dogs.

Anna Hezel and Gabriella Paiella, the masterminds behind the project, even include the recipes with instructions on how to transform your hot dog into Ariel, Rapunzel, Pocahontas and Belle.

“Literally any way you decide to reimagine Disney princesses will be inspiring and beautiful, no matter what. Nevermind that the Disney princesses are the product of a billion-dollar capitalist behemoth, or that they emphasize conventional beauty standards and submission to men,” they write on their website.

Ariel

Pocahontas

Rapunzel

Belle

You’re welcome!


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What if Disney Princesses Had Realistic Waistlines?

By Loryn Brantz at http://www.boredpanda.com/realistic-disney-princess-waistlines-loryn-brantz/

Disney Princesses without body issues… Genius!

Disney’s classic stories are magical and formative tales for youngsters, but there’s no doubt that they can sometimes promote outdated or even unhealthy gender images, especially for women. Emmy Award-winning illustrator Loryn Brantz decided that she’d challenge the unhealthy body types promoted by Disney’s princesses by giving them waist-lines that were a bit more true-to-life.

As children we may not realize these images in the media affect us, but they definitely do,” Brantz told the Huffington Post. “Media outlets with the opportunity to change the way women are viewed and view themselves should start taking responsibility. It only took a couple nudges of a line to make those princesses’ waists less extreme, and they still looked beautiful and magical.

Ariel

Pocahontas

Elsa

Belle

Jasmine

Aurora

 


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How Disney Princesses’d Look With Real Hair

By Loryn Brantz at http://www.boredpanda.com/disney-princesses-realistic-hair-loryn-brantz/

Ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Besides all the mermaids, sorcerers, witches and princes, there’s another aspect of Disney princesses’ lives that just doesn’t add up. Loryn Brantz, a staff illustrator at Buzzfeed, noticed that their hair often behaves in strange and unrealistic ways, so she decided to show how they might look if their hair behaved the way ours does.

Ariel

Ariel with wet hair

Belle

Belle with her hair stuck to her lip gloss

Cinderella

Cinderella with bed head

Mulan

Mulan with static

Elsa

Elsa with her roots showing

Jasmine

Jasmine with realistic hair volume

Snow White

Snow White with moisture frizz

Pocahontas

Pocahontas with her hair in a twister


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Delightfully Macabre Disney Heroines by Jeffrey Thomas

This is my favorite Disney heroines homage to date. Who knew they were so evil? Collected by Donna Dickens at http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/delightfully-macabre-disney-heroines

The awesome artwork is by Jeffrey Thomas at http://jeftoon01.deviantart.com/

1. Snow White – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

2. Blue Fairy – Pinocchio

Blue Fairy - Pinocchio

3. Cinderella – Cinderella

Cinderella - Cinderella

4. Alice – Alice In Wonderland

Alice - Alice In Wonderland

5. Wendy – Peter Pan

Wendy - Peter Pan

6. Aurora – Sleeping Beauty

Aurora - Sleeping Beauty

7. Maid Marian – Robin Hood

Maid Marian - Robin Hood

8. Ariel – The Little Mermaid

Ariel - The Little Mermaid

9. Belle – Beauty and the Beast

Belle - Beauty and the Beast

10. Jasmine – Aladdin

Jasmine - Aladdin

11. Nala – The Lion King

Nala - The Lion King

12. Pocahontas – Pocahontas

Pocahontas - Pocahontas

13. Esmeralda – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

14. Megara – Hercules

Megara - Hercules

15. Mulan – Mulan

Mulan - Mulan

16. Jane – Tarzan

Jane - Tarzan

17. Kida – Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Kida - Atlantis: The Lost Empire

18. Tiana – The Princess and the Frog

Tiana - The Princess and the Frog

19. Rapunzel – Tangled

Rapunzel - Tangled


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The Worst Fictional TV/Movie Pairings

I just read somewhere that W.H. Auden tried (unsuccessfully) to convince his friend J.R.R. Tolkien not to create a romance between his Lord of the Rings characters Aragorn and Arwen. Happily, Prof. Tolkien was not dissuaded.

Sometimes, Auden’s advice should be taken however. As proof, I offer this recently discovered (by me) article “Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen” by Katherine Trendacosta at http://io9.com/romance-fail-the-worst-fictional-pairings-and-why-the-1522745762. Some images you’ll love to hate are below.

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

Look, we all know that writing believable romance is hard. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to admit that not every story needs a relationship as it’s A, B, or even C plot. A story without romance is better than one with a bad one. I’m so, so tired of thinking “Hey, these characters are solid, the story’s fun – oh, oh no. Stop it. Where’d this relationship even come from?!”

These unconvincing relationships fall always seem to fall into the same patterns. Below are the ones to avoid, and the reasons they’re just awful. When you see these happening, bail. And if it can go into more than one of these categories? Do directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

SPOILER WARNING: Since this discusses characters who end up together and characters who break up, there are spoilers. SPOILERS STARTING RIGHT NOW!

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

Pairing the Spares

I’m just going use the TV Tropes name for this one, because I always hear it in my head, just like Voldemort saying “Kill the spare.” Because that’s how bad this trope is.

Does everyone have to end up paired off for there to be a happy ending? Even Shakespeare occasionally left some people unmarried at the end of his plays. It’s like people think romance is some sort of closed system, with no external matter allowed. There are other people in the world. We do not need to see them immediately paired up to believe they’ll be okay.

Top honors in this category goes to Enchanted for Nancy and Edward, who stand as an example of the particularly egregious practice of pairing off the exes of the protagonists.

See also: Martha Jones and Mickey in Doctor Who; Twilight; Doggett and Reyes in The X-Files; Oliver and Chloe in Smallville

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

Oh, Shit, the Story’s Ending. . . Um, I Guess They’re a Pair Now

This is closely related to the above, although that version has a more intense need to make sure that everyone‘s paired off with each other. This one can be more isolated, and doesn’t necessarily pair a regular character with another. Instead, it seems like, as the story winds down, the writer just thinks that a neglected character deserves a love interest. It’s the lack of development that bugs me in this category. Although, the above-pictured couple hit the trifecta of last-minuteness, lack of chemistry, and just plain stupidity.

See also: The movie versions of Faramir and Éowyn in The Lord of the Rings; Leela and Andred from Doctor Who (ends her story); Pen and Cinnaminson from Terry Brooks’ Shannara Series; Principal Wood and Faith, Buffy

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

Hi New Guy, Welcome to the Love Triangle

Congratulations! You’ve got two actors with great chemistry that the fans want to see together. But you can’t them together yet, that’d bring the dreaded Moonlighting problem. And then, brilliance! Just give one (or more) of the pairing a different love interest.

Dear writers: Please stop doing this. Please stop introducing new characters with the sole personality trait of “obstruction to the couple everyone knows will end up together.” Please stop telling us before they show that we think we’ll really like them. If you’re right, you’ve got your protagonist breaking a perfectly good person’s heart (See: Richard, Superman Returns) OR you end up committing character assassination in order to make that character bad and therefore absolve your protagonist of any blame. (See: Jason Teague in Smallville)

If you’re wrong, you’ve got bland filler that’s attracting all sorts of fan hate just through their existence. If they’re lucky, the audience ends up forgetting they were ever even there. That’s what happens when you write a plot point rather than a person.

Special shout-out to the comic-based media properties who have a tendency to give this character a well-known comics name, but none of their interesting comics personalities. Sorry, Spider-Man 2‘s John Jameson and The Incredible Hulk‘s Leonard Samson, you weren’t quite well known enough to compensate for your on-screen blandness.

See also: Lauren Reed in Alias; Viktor Krum and Lavender Brown in Harry Potter; Groo in Angel; Atherton Wing and Tracey Smith in Firefly; Shakaar in Deep Space Nine; Asha Barlow in Dark Angel; Lou/Jill/Hannah/Shaw from Chuck; Kocoum in Pocahontas; Martouf in Stargate SG-1; Pete Shanahan in Stargate SG-1 (who, despite being engaged to Sam Carter, I only remembered as “that guy, you know, that one”); Smallville, just, Smallville all the time

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

What are you talking about? I’ve always been in love with *spins roulette wheel*

This is when two previously established characters end up together out of nowhere. It can be closely related to the above category, substituting an established character for a new character. At least in this case, the characters have already existed, so they’re not starting as a plot point. On the other hand, using a character this way invites the same character-assassination-or-protagonist-heartbreaker conundrum as the new character. And when it’s a character that hadn’t previously shown any real interest in, or chemistry with, their new partner, chances are that there’s some serious revamping of their character involved in making this work. Plus, there’s a risk of turning a fan-favorite into someone whose death we’re all suddenly rooting for.

And when two characters are just pushed together without any previous interaction, a writer is lucky if the audience is merely confused, rather than shocked and appalled. (Manfully restraining myself from re-using Seven of Nine and Chakotay’s photo here.)

The later seasons of Battlestar Galactica were particularly prone to this trap. Dualla and Lee fall into the first category, and Tigh and Caprica 6 into the second.

See also: Lex Luthor and Lana Lang, Smallville; Harry and Ginny (for some) in Harry Potter; Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, Harry Potter; Galen Tyrol and Cally Henderson in Battlestar Galactica; Worf and Deanna Troi, Star Trek: TNG

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

The Romance Kudzu

All you wanted to do was add a little romance to your story. Just for color. To make the world more believable. But suddenly, it’s taken over everything. You can’t beat it back. The original intention can’t even be seen any more. Instead, the romance has overtaken everything, leaving the landscape unrecognizable. That’s the Romance Kudzu, consuming everything it can.

The first Matrix movie had the opposite problem, putting a one-sided romance in at the end. The second and third? Hoo, boy. Back! Back, Romance Kudzu!

Minor variation: There’s a romance for no reason, which is so distracting it detracts from everything. An out of place Romance Topiary, if you will. The bland dude/bland mermaid relationship in Pirates of the Caribbean 4, for example.

See also: Wheel of Time; We Can Build You by Phillip K. Dick; Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy (2005 movie); Farscape season 4

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

Pairs Juggling

This isn’t just a love triangle. Instead, this is when the writers aren’t really sure where they want the characters to end up, so they keep all the balls in the air. Every pairing’s a possibility! Everyone loves everyone! We’ll just wait for the audience to tell us which ones they like. Or for the actors to develop chemistry. Or for the tea leaves to finish steeping. Just don’t force us into a decision, we’re not ready! Characters pair up, break up, form new pairings, break those up, go back to each other . . . eventually someone has to walk away, right? Or, in the alternative, no one ever gets together, they just all alternately stare longingly at some and glare jealously at others.

By all accounts, the new Tomorrow People‘s got this problem. Astrid and Stephen? Stephen and Cara? Cara and John? Cara and Stephen?

See also: The Vampire Diaries; Emma, Hook, and Neal in Once Upon a TimeTeen Wolf; Community

Romance Fail: The Worst Fictional Pairings, and Why They Happen

The Leads Have No Chemistry

Just give up.


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Celebrities as Disney Characters (fun!)

Apparently, I’m on a Disney kick lately. Any way, the pictures taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz of celebrities as Disney characters from http://likes.com/celebs/celebs-as-real-life-disney-characters are stunningly composed, and really tickled my fancy and floated my boat. Enjoy.

01SleepingBeauty
#1 Sleeping Beauty

This photo of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens must have been taken when they were still dating… Cute nonetheless!

02SnowWhite
#2 No Place Like Home

Keira Knightley looks amazing here as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

03WizardOz
#3 Snow White

Rachel Weisz posing as Snow White, with all the cute little forest creatures. Check out the golden bricks and red high heels.

04Cinderella
#4 Cinderella

Scarlett Johansson posing as a beautiful Cinderella, at midnight!!

05AliceWonderland
#5 Alice in Wonderland

Beyonce posing as an adorable Alice, Oliver Platt as a crazy Mad Hatter, and Lyle Lovett as the March Hare… All in a teacup!

06Tinkerbell
#6 Tinkerbell from Peter Pan

Tina Fey, with a very Tinkerbell-esque facial expression, posing for the Peter Pan photo shoot 🙂 How appropriate that Fey portrays a fae!

07PeterPan
#7 Peter Pan

Gisele Bundchen as Wendy Darling, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov as Peter Pan, and Tina Fey as Tinker Bell from Peter Pan!

08LittleMermaid
#8 Merman

Photographer Annie Leibovitz shoots Michael Phelps, who posed as a merman in Julianne Moore’s photo of Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

09Ariel
#9 Ariel from The Little Mermaid

Julianne Moore’s red hair is perfect for the character Ariel from The Little Mermaid!

10Pocahontas
#10 Pocahontas

Jessica Biel rocks an action shot of herself dressed as Pocahontas 🙂

11Aladdin
#11 Jasmine and Aladdin

Jennifer Lopez and her then husband Marc Anthony pose as Jasmine and Aladdin from Aladdin, on their magic carpet ride!

12Genie
#12 Genie from Aladdin

Whoopi Goldberg makes a comical pose to capture the essence of the Genie from Aladdin.

13Ursula
#13 The Little Mermaid’s Ursula

Queen Latifah goes all out as the evil Ursula from The Little Mermaid! Her face still looks a little nice though…

14BeautyBeast
#14 Beauty and the Beast

Penelope Cruz poses as a happy Belle, with Jeff Bridges as her transformed prince ❤

15EvilQueen
#15 The Evil Queen and Her Magic Mirror

Alec Baldwin is the face in the magic for the evil queen, Olivia Wilde. Not used to seeing her as an evil character!