This week we’re discussing the 2009 stop motion movie Coraline. The movie was directed by Henry Selick, the same amazing man that brought us The Nightmare Before Christmas. The original novel the movie is based on is by Neil Gaiman who is also awesome. So it stands to reason that this episode is chocked full of awesome.
Plot Synopsis: Coraline is a brave and inquisitive 11 year old that has moved from Michigan with her family to a run down apartment complex in the middle of nowhere. While exploring her new home she comes across a door that takes her to a magical land where everything is better. The house is better, the food is better, even her parents are better. She has everything she’s ever wished for. But this fantasy world isn’t as wonderful as it first seems… And why does her other mother have buttons for eyes.
Is this the newest movie we’ve ever done? Maybe? Anyways, Coraline is a great movie. It can be a little creepy though, so if you have kids you might want to watch it before hand. Its got an old school eighties kid movie mentality that’s quite a bit scarier than kids movies of the past twenties years. I think this episode turned out alright. We used an outline. Go us.
What did you think of the movie o’listeners/readers?
This is a special episode where we review not a fantasy movie, but a fantasy game. Dragon Age: Origins is a 2009 western role playing game from Bioware for the PC, Xbox 360, and ps3. In this game you choose one of six different origins, choose between three classes, pick your gender, and create the look of your character. The storyline isn’t anything too unusual. You’re a special warrior that is called upon to save the land from darkness, but the game really shines in the writing. The world is detailed and well realized. Characters feel like real people. Your choices mold how the story progresses and ends so you feel emersed in this world like few others.
We were intending to have this game only cover Dragon Age: Origins, but Dragon Age 2 (the sequel) had recently came out and bits of it kept slipping into the podcast. We were both only in Act I of Dragon Age 2 when we recorded this so there aren’t any Dragon Age: 2 storyline spoilers. However, we do speak at length about the game mechanics and how they compare to the previous game. We also talk at length on video game rpgs in general.
The 10th Kingdom is an American fantasy television miniseries that was first released in 2000. The story stars a young twenty something waitress named Virginia Louis who lives at the edge of Central Park. One day she accidentally runs into a dog while riding her bike to work. But its no ordinary dog. Its in fact, a prince from a fantasy kingdom whose been turned into a dog by an evil step mother. This drags Virginia and her disaster prone father into an epic fantasy adventure full of trolls, magic, sheep (?), witches, dwarves, fairies, true love, and one very confused but very sexy half wolfman.
This episode does NOT contain spoilers (or has very little spoilers). Unlike many works we discuss, the 10th Kingdom is underrated, undervalued and under watched. In discussing this show, we hope to simply let more people know of its existence. It’s a fantastic show that not many people have heard of and not very many people watched when it first aired. Buy this show or rent it from Netflix if you live in the U.S. You won’t be disappointed.
Red Sonja is an eighties fantasy movie about a red haired chick killing evil people with swords while getting hit on by the govenator. Pretty sweet right? In all honesty, this movie is terrible. The dialogue is stilted, the acting is amateurish, and the special effects weren’t that impressive in 1985. But for some reason, I love this cheesy movie to bits. It’s got a lot of heart, and despite its many flaws its a fun ride.
Just a quick warning: If you’re planning on watching this movie with kids around, there is a random female topless scene. It’s weirdly random even for a topless scene. However, the edited for TV version is just fine for kids to watch. I watched it all the time as a kid and I am mostly a non warped human being.
I did it! Somehow, barely, I got the Nightmare Before Christmas episode out before Christmas. It’s a holiday miracle!
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stop motion animated feature directed by Henry Selick with music by Danny Elfman. Tim Burton wrote the original three page narrative poem the story is based on, and also created the character designs for the main characters.
The story is pretty simple and straight-forward. Jack is the Pumpkin King and the leader of Halloween town. Halloween town is a mystical realm that’s dedicated to running Halloween across the mortal world. One day after Halloween, Jack starts to get emo and decides he needs a change. He accidently wanders into Christmas town and decides that he’d like to try Christmas out instead. Problem is, he and the rest of the people of Halloween town can’t quite mentally grasp a holiday that’s about good will and cheer… Also he has to kidnap Santa Claus. For his own good.
Melanie’s side of the audio sounds pretty horrible. Her new laptop defaulted back to the built in microphone instead of the good standalone one we usually use. We had no idea the quality had been borked until I started to edit it and then it was either put out borked sound or miss the Christmas deadline. Hopefully it’s still entertaining.
We hadn’t done an anime in a long time, and it was apparently for good reason. It took us forever to watch this!
Escaflowne is an odd mish-match of shojo and shonen elements with genres like fantasy, mechas, and romance all thrown into one big bowl and mixed around to varying degrees of success. The story follows a typical Japanese high school girl named Hitomi Kanzaki. Hitomi is fond giving tarot card readings and running track. One day a mysterious boy with a sword shows up, and she’s suddenly transported to the fantasy world of Gaia. There her tarot card readings becoming very accurate and she’s thrust into an epic war.
We remembered this show being better, for some reason. It’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainty didn’t hold up to scrutiny ten years after our original viewing.
This episode was way easy to edit. I think Melanie and I leveled up our talking skills.
The Corpse Bride is a 2005 film directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson. The film is set in Victorian era England where the son of a rich fish monger, Victor, is to be engaged to the daughter of an ‘old money’ couple named Victoria. The match is a business arrangement. Love isn’t even a factor. However, when the two young people meet they hit it off right away. Unfortunately, Victor is so nervous he screws up the wedding reception and after a stroke of bad luck, accidentally marries a dead woman named Emily.
This is a great stop motion film that’s surprisingly touching and romantic despite its horror appearance. The Corpse Bride seems like she’d be a horror from the underworld who rises from the dead to exact revenge upon the living, but she’s actually a sweet tragic heroine who you really feel for even if she’s scary looking.
We tried to do a little more research for this review than normal, and hopefully it shows.
I apologize for the podcast being released a week late. I don’t have an excuse beyond me being confused about what week it was; oops. I’m going to attempt to release another episode next week to make up for the lost time. We have several recorded, it’s simply a matter of me editing the darn things.
This episode is a special request from listeners Monica G and Tora-chan. We review the 1982 fantasy movie The Dark Crystal. The Dark Crystal is an all puppet movie directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Although this is a typical nostalgia geek movie, neither Melanie nor I had seen this movie prior to reviewing it.
The plot goes like this; Two good puppets who are the last of their puppet race must set forth on a perilous journey to defeat other evil and less pretty puppets and restore peace to their world.
Melanie also makes me admit that if Bill Murray and I were the last humans on earth I would utilize him in repopulating the earth. Thanks a lot for asking that Mel.
If you have a request for an anime or movie you’d like to hear us review, please send us an email or leave a comment on this post!
By special request from Emmy Kay, this week we’re reviewing the 1984 fantasy film The Neverending Story.
The Neverending Story is about a young boy named Sabastian who steals finds a fantasy book called the Neverending Story. The book majorily breaks the fourth wall and starts to talk to him as if its real. Which means that you are listening to a podcast about a movie about a kid who doesn’t know he’s in a movie who reads a book about another kid who doesn’t know he’s in a book.
But whose listening to YOU dear listener?
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN.
There’s no little intro skit this week, because Melanie is gone and not answering my emails. I think it’s safe to assume she’s joined a technophobic cult that believes in becoming one with the land and venerating the radish. I had heard her say many times “To eat radishes is to be close to god”. Little did I know how far reaching her beliefs were. She shall be missed.
In this episode, we finally review Slayers! This nineties fantasy anime series is near and dear to me and Melanie’s hearts. It was the anime series that made me an anime nerd and holds up quite well to this day. It’s still my favorite anime series.
Slayers is the humorous fantasy tale of Lina Inverse badass sorceress supreme who steals from bandits and gives to herself. Her love of money is only equal to her love of food. Steal Lina Inverse’s ham sandwich and you’ll quickly wish you were never born. Also, don’t mention she’s short, flat-chested, and has a bad temper; really it’d would be best to avoid her at all costs. Maybe take a vacation to another city if she’s headed your way?
Lina is joined by a crew of quirky sidekicks all of which are pretty darn interesting in of themselves. Through various circumstances the Slayers often have to save the world from total annihilation (mostly because they’d be on the world when the annihilation would happen).
Slayers is the first season of this totally awesome anime series which is followed by Slayers Next, Slayers Try, Slayers Revolution, and Slayers Evolution-R. There are also some O.V.A.s where Lina runs around with different characters from the series, but I don’t recommend them.
Definitely check this series out if you haven’t seen it already! The first three seasons are dirt cheap on Deep Discount. Look forward to our reviews of the rest of the Slayers seasons on later podcasts!