Saturday, January 25, 2014

Frozen

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Before I start, I want to inform you about my history with Disney movies. We go way back. In fact, my mom and dad have videos from when I was four or five, of me dancing and singing while Cinderella played in the background. When my sister was four, her career goal was to be Snow White at Disneyland.

So yes, I have always liked Disney a lot.

But, in recent years, Disney has not been quite as impressive. When The Princess and the Frog came out, my friend went to see it with her brother..... and walked out halfway due to all the sorcery and witchcraft in it. Not really the Disney material I had come to expect.

But when Tangled came out, Disney took a turn for the better. And while I have debated it again and again with myself, I have to admit that Frozen tops Tangled. Hands down.

I do not know that I can fully express how much I enjoyed this movie, but maybe this picture will be a start:

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Yep. That's pretty much how I felt about it.

The Concept/Plot: 
Just amazing. It is based very loosely off a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, but the story line itself is completely unique. I am going to try not to give spoilers here, but let's just say that it is not your typical Disney princess movie. There were so many little (and big) unexpected plot twists that surprised the whole theater, as we could tell by the sounds of shock from those around us :)

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I also loved the fact that the movie had romance, but also focused on the love between two sisters. At last, Disney is recognizing that there are other kinds of true love besides the romantic kind. 

The Characters: 
Ah, there are so many good ones that I will have to go through each one individually. 

Elsa

As a big sister, I felt like I related to Elsa so much. Throughout most of the movie, she works so hard to try to keep everyone around her safe. She truly loves her sister, and you can see that it breaks her heart SPOILERS when she has to stay away from her to protect her. END SPOILERS


I also love that through the movie you can see her character change. Too often in movies like these the main character is a cookie-cutter good girl princess character. Disney did a great job in their development of all the characters in Frozen. I felt that you could empathize with them, something I haven't found in many other animated films. 

Anna
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It is absolutely hilarious how much Elsa and Anna relate to me and my younger sister. Anna is so adorable with her klutziness and her "go get em'" attitude, although her emotional side does get her into trouble. 

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I enjoyed how the movie showed Anna's love for Elsa, and how Anna would stop at nothing to connect with her sister. Anna's character has a lot of drive and leadership, but it is in very good proportion with her slightly awkward moments. I think her passionate side went over a little better than Rapunzel in Tangled, who at times came off a little "female super hero-ish" for my taste. 

And then there's Anna with Hans:
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So adorable!

Hans


Hans and Anna together seemed so perfect, although my mom still claims that they and their love song remind her of High School Musical. He is very much the "dashing prince charming type", and so gentlemanly, especially in the first few scenes. 
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The song that Anna and Hans sing together, Love is an Open Door, is so sweet, and c'mon, robot dance moves? Who doesn't like that? 

Kristoff

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Unlike Hans, Kristoff is kinda your typical guy. He's an outdoorsman who hangs out with his reindeer and is somewhat awkward in social situations. Okay, maybe not so typical. 

The point is, though, that he's not a prince charming. He doesn't say romantic things and bring the girl flowers and chocolates. But he is a strong friend and supporter. He even gives up his own rights and wishes for the good of someone else. 
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To be honest, I think this is a huge step in the right direction for Disney. In society, we need fewer dashing princes singing romantic love songs and more men who are strong, steady, and have the courage to do what is right. 

All in all, Kristoff is a great character, and I think one of the better male role models portrayed in movies today. 

Olaf

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Olaf is simply awesome. He provides welcome comedic relief throughout the movie, and he really cares about Anna and Kristoff. His obsession with summer is equally adorable, and quite hilarious. 

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My mom maintains that his song, In Summer, was one of the best numbers in the movie. Definitely one of the best sidekicks Disney has created so far. 

Additionally, he got the definition of love right, "When you put someone else's needs before your own." And I think he had the sweetest line in the whole movie: "Some people are worth melting for."
Can get an "aahhh"?

Other characters:
There were other miscellaneous characters who contributed to the plot, but I'm not going to spend much time on them.
There were:
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the trolls, 



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Sven the reindeer, 



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and the Duke of Weaseltown.

Hopefully those are fairly self-explanatory :)


Music:
Don't even get me started on the music from this movie. Oh wait, you just did :)

I love Frozen's music so much. The day after we saw it, we were sitting on Disney Pandora and skipping through the songs until it came to Frozen songs. That afternoon, we bought the soundtrack. 

Now we have determined that the soundtrack is completely unnecessary, since almost every member of my family has the songs memorized. 
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The music score is amazing, and the songs fit into the plot beautifully, bringing good character development. The songs are just begging for a stage musical, and I have read that a Broadway adaption is already in the works at Disney. 

Costumes/Hair:

Two times the princesses means two times the outfits, right? Disney did not disappoint. I love making movie replica costumes and Frozen offers several opportunities. I love Elsa's coronation dress in particular. 

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The hairstyles on the both girls were also lovely, but sadly animated hair is a little easier to work with than real hair, so they are a little hard to replicate :)

In Conclusion:
Disney has made a new classic. This is, to me, a return to the Disney movies of old that I loved when I was a little girl. 

Just an FYI, there was a bit of peril, and it freaked my brother out a bit. However, unlike some other Disney movies, none of the characters suffered any real harm. So I think the peril is fairly comparable to Beauty and the Beast

All in all, it was a very sweet movie, and I would greatly encourage you to go see it. 

Just for a treat, here is the sweetest version of Let It Go I have ever heard, sung by two four year old twins. 








Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why I Wear Skirts

This is the second installment in my "Why I..." series. Part one is here.

(All photos are included to give you an idea of how I dress on a day-to-day basis)

The people around me have sometimes tried to supply answers or give reasons for why I wear skirts.

"They must be... comfortable?"

"I'm pretty sure you're Amish."

"I told him to go get a girlfriend and then he'd understand why girls do things."

"You must be very religious."

All of these statements I have heard at one time or another. The truth is that none of them are entirely accurate. People often get confused ideas about why I choose to wear skirts over pants, or why I choose to dress modestly at all. I hope that with this, I can make it a little more clear.



Now, I realize that my choices in life are not for everyone. So if you believe differently than I do about this issue, that's totally fine, and I would love to hear about your perspective. My hope is that in sharing what God is doing in my life, I can encourage you and perhaps inspire a few people to consider if God might be calling them to a similar path.

My first reason for wearing skirts is simply that it is something God has called me to do. He put it on my heart to work at being intentionally modest and feminine in my dress. Besides being modest, skirts also can work as a witnessing tool. Although the people around you may not say anything, they do notice.  I have had both guys and girls ask me why I dress the way I do, and I am able to share what God is doing in my life. Even some of the more ridiculous comments above led to conversations where I could help them understand the "why" in what I do. In John 15:19, it says, "You are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world." By wearing skirts, I can show that I am different from the world. For me, it is a way of saying, "God has done a big change inside of me, so I am going to show that through a big change outside of me."


Please notice that I am not using the verse Deuteronomy 22:5, which is commonly used in regard to wearing skirts. The verse reads,
" A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does such things is an abomination to the Lord your God."

In this time period, both men and women wore tunics, so I don't think it specifically relates to the skirts vs. pants issue. However, I do agree with Nicole from Children are a Blessing that the verse does show that "God likes a distinction between male and female clothes." While I have seen many girls wear outfits with pants that were distinctly feminine as well, I believe that, in general, wearing skirts makes it easier to achieve that goal.



My second reason for wearing skirts can be summed up in one sentence. I am not a feminist. In fact, I read blogs such as Ladies Against Feminism. Feminism is so prevalent in all our culture today. For example, in my english class, we read an article trying to convince us that we all should call ourselves "feminists." The idea touted today is that feminism is singularly responsible for all good things women experience. I do not believe this to be true. In addition, gender lines are becoming increasingly blurred. By wearing skirts and dressing in a feminine way, I can show very simply, that I am a woman, and very happy in my role. This can be shown through outfits not involving skirts as well, but I find it very easy to dress in a feminine manner by putting on a nice skirt.

Pumpkin Patch Outfit
Another reason is that, for me, I find it very easy to be modest in a skirt. I remember when I would wear jeans and pants, I was always worried about making sure that my shirt was long enough and that my pants weren't too tight.  Those worries don't bother me any more. Now of course there are different modesty issues with skirts, such as length, but I find those simpler to deal with and more easily alterable.

There are times, it is true, when pants would be more modest. For example, when riding roller coasters, playing in the snow, or going horseback riding. In those situations, though, I would probably try to make sure I had a long shirt of some sort such as the type referenced here.

For myself, I find skirts much more comfortable. I can throw on a maxi dress with a sweater and look classy, when secretly, I am wearing it just for how comfortable the knit fabric is. Interestingly, I have also found that if I wear pants, I tend to feel subconscious about how I look and mentally compare myself to other girls. Just a thought.





One struggle for me has been finding modest clothes for work. You see, I work teaching swim lessons and guarding.  Swimsuits tend to not be the most modest things in the world. After struggling for years growing up with swimsuits too low or shorts that kept riding up, I found this pattern. Actually, I started with another pattern, but it doesn't exist on the internet anymore, and this pattern is just as good. I now sew my own swimsuits which have a dress and leggings. In this way, I can feel comfortable and modest while working. As you probably realize, this form of swimwear is very different from the other kinds worn on the pool deck. Hence, the interesting comments.
(I am working on getting a picture of my swim dress, but taking photos in 40° fog does not sound fun to me :)



So in closing, yes, skirts are comfortable, but that is not the primary reason I wear them.

No, I am not Amish, and I probably wouldn't be wearing a bright blue floral skirt and lifeguarding if I were.

Will getting a girlfriend help a guy understand every facet of the female mind? Most likely not. (Feel free to see my previous post for more on this subject.)

Am I "very religious"? That could be an entire blog post in and of itself. But, yes, I dress the way I do so that, "in everything I do, whether in word or in deed, I do it all for the glory of God."













Here are two other great resources!

Why Skirts?
Why I Wear Skirts All the Time