Thursday, 30 May 2013

My Top 10 Disney Songs

Mickey Mouse demonstrates the great history of Disney music
My Top 10 Disney Songs
Whenever you think of Disney it’s almost impossible not to launch into a playlist of the superb songs that have accompanied so many of their films over the years.
Whether they take you on a magic carpet ride, let you paint with all the colours of the wind or remind you that everybody wants to be a cat, these tracks will transport you immediately back to your childhood and days spent cross legged in front of the TV with a stack of Disney films on VHS.

Everybody has their favourite Disney songs and their favourite genre, be it the love ballads, the princess songs or the villain numbers.
These are my personal favourites, some make the list because the film means something to me, some purely because of the song itself, but for whatever reason they’re on here, they’re all great songs.

I’ve not limited myself to any specific type of Disney film so the list contains songs from live action movies, pixar films and both canon and non-canon Disney animations. The only limit I’ve set myself is that I’ve only allowed myself one song per film otherwise the list might look a little different.

Like I said, these are my personal favourites, don’t get too upset if your choices don’t make the list. If you want to weigh in with your opinions be sure to leave a little comment, I’d love to here from you.

So let’s get going….

Monday, 27 May 2013

Lost in a good book

Lost in a good book - Jaspar Fforde
Lost in a good book
Jasper Fforde
"Thursday Next, literary detective and newlywed is back to embark on an adventure that begins, quite literally on her own doorstep. It seems that Landen, her husband of four weeks, actually drowned in an accident when he was two years old. Someone, somewhere, sometime, is responsible. The sinister Goliath Corporation wants its operative Jack Schitt out of the poem in which Thursday trapped him, and it will do almost anything to achieve this - but bribing the ChronoGuard? Is that possible?"

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Dorothy and the Wizard in OZ

Dorothy and the Wizard inOz
Dorothy and the Wizard in OZ
L. Frank Baum
 "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz: A Faithful Record of Their Amazing Adventures in an Underground World; and How with the Aid of Their Friends Zeb Hugson, Eureka the Kitten, and Jim the Cab-Horse, They Finally Reached the Wonderful Land of Oz is the fourth book set in the Land of Oz"

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir

The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir
John Irving
"From a novelist known for the complexity of his novels - they are also long - comes an autobiography of compelling simplicity; it is also short. Dedicated to the memory of two wrestling coaches and two writer friends, The Imaginary Girlfriend is a lucid portrait of the writers and wrestlers who played a mentor role in John Irving's development as a novelist, a wrestler and a wrestling coach."

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Looking for Alaska

looking for alaska
Looking For Alaska
John Green
"Sometimes I don't get you," I said.
She didn't even glance at me. She just smiled towards the television and said. "You never get me. That's the whole point."

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Cirque du Freak

Cirque Du Freak
Cirque du Freak
Darren Shan 
"It’s the wonderfully gothic Cirque Du Freak where weird, frightening half human/half animals appear who interact terrifyingly with the audience."

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Ray Harryhausen: A Tribute

Harryhausen at work
Ray Harryhausen 
1920 – 2013

A dashing hero steps from his boat onto a deserted beach, he walks inland and discovers a temple. He approaches the door and quickly draws his sword as he sees the creature that dwells within. The gorgon, half woman half serpent, with snakes for hair and a gaze that turns man to stone. Bravely he leaps in and the two are locked in combat to the death.

This scene and countless others like it, were the work of special effects legend Ray Harryhausen, whose highly detailed models came to life and thrilled audiences on the big screen since the 1940’s and have influenced several of our most famous film makers.

Yesterday it was announced through the Ray and Diana Harryhausen foundation Twitter and Facebook accounts the Harryhausen had passed away. He was ninety two.

Over his forty year film career, Harryhausen would breathe life into dinosaurs, aliens, giants, sea creatures and almost every creature from Greek mythology but he is perhaps most famous for the famous scene in Jason and The Argonauts that seen the eponymous hero battle an army of warrior skeletons, a scene which still holds up brilliantly to this day.
Jason battles the skeleton warriors

By today’s standards his techniques were fairly primitive. Original footage would be projected onto a screen, Harryhausen would then animate his models frame by frame in front of the projection and re-photograph the images. This is the reason that the image quality of the live action footage visibly drops whenever his creatures take to the screen.
Primitive or now however, these effects work brilliantly and still look amazing to this day. There are no computers involved in his films, every creature is a real thing brought to life through sheer hard work and determination.

While CGI may dominate the film industry today, his influence is still felt, with everyone from George Lucas to Peter Jackson to James Cameron proudly singing his praises and honouring his influence.
Harryhausen was one of films greats. He brought the magical to life and made us believe in the impossible. His work took us to other worlds and made us gaze at the screen in awe.
We have lost a legend, but the legends he brought to life will live forever.
Harryhausen with his creations

Friday, 3 May 2013

Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures
Terry Pratchett

"The whole of life is just like watching a click, he thought. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it all out yourself from the clue.
And you never, never get a chance to stay in your seat for the second house."