Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was the first book in a long and beloved series of books written by one of the greatest authors of our generation JK Rowlingshot-a-014n

I cant imagine that anyone one on the planet doesn’t know the story of Harry Potter but just to be safe the first book is about an eleven year old boy who suffers tremendous abuse from both his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon who legally became his guardians after his parents Lily and James were killed by an evil Wizard known as Lord Voldermort, Voldermort tries to kill Harry as a baby but Harry survives hence why he is known as the boy who lived, while he grows up with the Dursleys who make him sleep under the stairs, praise their other son Dudley for hurting him and are genuinely terrible people, the only surviving memory Harry has of his parents is a lighting bolt shaped scar on his forehead that he was left with after the attack.

After receiving countless mysterious letters in the mail all of which are destroyed by his Uncle, Harry eventually finds out that he is a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry so that he can learn to become the legendary hero he was born to be, by now we have been introduced to one of the most important characters of the franchise Hagrid the grounds keeper and not too long after that we meet some of the other very important characters including Hermione Granger an intelligent but rather bossy young witch, Ronald Weasley who is very clumsy but has a good heart, Draco Malfoy the snobby school bully who thinks that his family is better than everyone else, Neville Longbottom who is the most important character in the franchise other than Harry but we will get to that another day, Severus Snape a potions master who really dislikes Harry, Albus Dumbledore the Head Master of the school and most importantly in this book is Professor Quirrell a seemingly nervous wreck of teacher who stutters every sentence and is constantly on edge.

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Hogwarts has four school houses Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor each student is placed in one these houses depending on their personalities the bravest and most courageous students are placed in Gryffindor, the most knowledgeable and witty students are placed in Ravenclaw, the most caring and loyal of students are placed in Hufflepuff and the most ambitious students are placed in Slytherin but a clever detail JK Rowling has hinted at in the series is that Gryffindor is the only house you can choose to join since you have to choose to be brave and if you have seen the movie or read the book then you know that this small detail plays a very important part in the Harry Potter story.

While on break after learning new spells and how to make potions Harry, Ron and Hermione accidentally enter a forbidden area on the fourth floor corridor and what they find behind the door is what leads them to start trying to unravel the mystery of the Philosophers Stone and who they believe may be trying to steal it.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is one of the most important books in existence, not only was it the start of Harry’s journey into becoming a wizard but more importantly it was the start of JK Rowlings journey of becoming one of the most influential writers of all time.

This is a fantastic book, its well written to point where JK Rowling doesn’t explain things in a lot of detail so the reader is able to use their imagination to create a vision of the magical world in their own minds instead of how the author sees it, the characters are perfect you will find Hermione annoying just like Ron does but you will learn to warm up to her through out the book, Draco Malfoy and Dursleys are all really unlikable and you will hate them which is great because you are supposed to dislike them and Albus Dumbledore really does seem like a very wise old wizard who has a unique perspective on life,however there are one or two plot holes in this first installment but obviously due to spoilers I won’t go into them, if you are unsure as to whether you want to check out the Harry Potter books this is a really good place to start because not only is it the first of the franchise but its also the shortest and in my personal opinion one of the very best.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

and yes Christmas reviews are coming, I promise 🙂

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Book Review: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of the most famous books of all time and its also one of my personal favorites, please follow me down the rabbit hole as I review this masterpiece of classic English literature.

So if you dont already know the book follows the adventures of a curious young girl called Alice through a magical world of weird and unusual things.

Alice is a very mature person but she is also very naive and she has unrealistic views on how the world should work.

One day she is sitting on the bank with her sister who is reading a very boring book with no pictures, Alice complains about this and talks about how in her perfect world books would be nothing but pictures, she ends up seeing a white rabbit in a waist coat run past the bank, this makes Alice curious and so she follows the rabbit down a rabbit hole and into the unusual world of Wonderland.

Without giving away any spoilers I will say that the novel is very different to the Walt Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, where the Disney film is very light hearted and comical, the book has a bit more of a darker tone and it also tackles a lot of adult themes including Puberty (Even though its written as a metaphor, its still obvious what the book is trying to portray)

I’m not saying that the book isn’t kid friendly but I would say that you may want to read this one with your child.

There are a lot of new characters in this book that you wont recognize from the film, the most memorable for me are the Mock Turtle and Gryphon.

Alice is a lot more bearable in the book as she is more independent and she is able to think for herself almost all of the time.

This is a fantastic book and overall I think it spreads a good message, that there does come a time to grow up and that life wont always go as we plan, the book is great way of showing people that living in a world with no rules and no consequences can be just as bad if not worse than living in a world that does have rules and consequences that follow.

Whether you like the film or not, I think everyone should read this book at least once, I have read the book multiple times and I’m not planning to stop any time soon.

Perhaps one day I will get around to reviewing the movie or better yet maybe even the second book.

I hope you enjoyed this Book Review of Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Book Review: Kingdom Keepers Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

There will be Spoilers !!!

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That’s right I’m reviewing a book and if your wondering why its taken me three years to get around to book reviews that’s because I have never really been a huge reader but I have recently decided to try and delve into the world of literature and too give you my opinion on some popular and obscure book titles.

The first book I am going to be reviewing is Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson, this title is the first in this very popular series.

The book focuses on the lives of five teenagers (Finn, Charlene, Philby, Maybeck and Willa) who have been offered the opportunity to become virtual Disney Hosts, if you have ever been to Walt Disney world you will have noticed cast members walking around and offering help and guidance to the guests.

These teenagers are becoming DHI’s (Disney Hosts Interactive) allowing them to have holograms of themselves walking around the Magic Kingdom as virtual cast members, all five of them agree to have virtual versions of themselves created and afterwards they part from each other and get on with their lives.

Or at least that’s what they wanted to happen but unfortunately every time they go to sleep they wake up as their holograms in the Magic Kingdom, they learn that they have no control over this ability from an old man named Wayne who they meet every night while they are in hologram form.

Wayne explains to the teenagers that a great darkness and evil is trying to take over the Magic Kingdom and possibly the world, these evil entities have been code named the Overtakers, Wayne also explains that all five of them have been chosen to be the heroes who will eventually save the day.

The Overtakers seem to be famous Disney Villains who reside in some of the parks more famous attractions, The villain in Book 1 is Maleficent the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty, she is very spooky  in this book and she tends to talk in a whisper like and raspy voice which definitely makes her character much more creepy.

She uses a lot of magic throughout the book although most of time she is using to try and kill the five heroes and at times the book takes a very dark turn because of this, by far the scariest part of the book for me is when all of the dolls in its a small world come to life and start trying to bite the five main characters.

The only character I really connected with in the book was Wayne and that was because he was very mysterious and a lot of time I personally felt that he had a very ghostly vibe to his character which often allowed me to see him as a guardian angel watching over the heroes, unfortunately he was also the only character that i found remotely interesting as a lot of the other characters were a bit too normal and boring for my tastes.

I was very impressed that the way Ridley Pearson described the layout of the park and the attractions was very accurate to the layout of the Magic Kingdom in real life, this is a nice touch for people who visit the parks often as they can visualize the descriptions in the book to those areas in the real park.

In conclusion Kingdom Keepers Disney After Dark was a fun book to read but overall it wasn’t that interesting and at times I felt that it overstayed its welcome, if your a fan of Disney then this book is definitely worth your time and even if your not a fan of Disney this book is fairly cheap to pick up and is worth giving a shot especially if your a fan of adventure and fantasy.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Kingdom Keepers Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Land of Illusion (1992) (Master System/Game Gear) Review

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Released in 1992 for the Sega Master System and 1993 for the Sega Game Gear Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is the second game in the Mickey Mouse Illusion series.

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One stormy night Mickey Mouse is reading book the worlds greatest fairy tales, Mickey starts feeling very drowsy and eventually falls asleep, when Mickey wakes up he is in a fairy tale land, a girl who appears to be Daisy Duck tells Mickey about an evil phantom who stole the magic crystal from her village and because of this the land which was once filled with happiness and laugher has been replaced with sadness, after hearing such a sad tale Mickey decides that he will defeat the phantom and will return the magic crystal to the village.

Land of Illusion is a platform game, the player takes control of Mickey Mouse and its their job to make sure that Mickey survives each of the 14 in game levels.

There are many enemies that Mickey must either avoid or defeat, in order to attack enemies Mickey must either pick up an item such as a block or a nut which he must then throw at the attacking enemy or Mickey can defeat enemies by jumping in the air and hitting the enemies with a ground pound.

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Through out the game Mickey will need to defeat multiple bosses in order to rescue the other villagers who are fairytale versions of Mickeys friends such as Donald, Minnie and Goofy, after saving these characters they will often tell Mickey where he can find new items in the game which he will need in order to progress further.

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All of these items have different uses

The Flute gives Mickey the ability to exit a level at any time while also keeping any treasures or items he picked up.

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The Magic Potion gives Mickey the ability to shrink to a very small size which will allow him to enter small doors and narrow passages.

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The Rope gives Mickey the ability to climb walls which makes it easier to reach high areas.

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The Shoes are very light in weight and they allow Mickey to walk on top of clouds

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And the Magic Beans will grow a beanstalk that Mickey can climb to get to the Phantoms Castle way up in the sky.

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The controls are almost perfect and to be honest there is not much I can complain about,  the controls are tight and very responsive to the player, using different items is really easy and only requires very simple button combinations and controlling Mickey is genuinely a pleasant experience.

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I do have one issue with the controls for some reason every time Mickey comes to a stop he slides in the direction he is facing, this is very slight but it does cause issues in certain parts of the game,  I would understand if this happened if you were moving fast but this happens every time you move and because of this its a small issue that can cause big problems.

The game looks fantastic considering that it can only run in 8 bit, the colours burst off of the screen and everything is animated extremely well and everything in the game moves very smoothly.

I do wish that the backgrounds of some stages were not as empty as they are, this in no way effects the game play but the levels do genuinely look quite bare and I do believe that adding more things to the backgrounds would make the game more pleasant to look at but this is an issue that only applies to some of the stages.

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Every level has many secrets and short cuts to find,  Mickey will also need to solve many different puzzles, avoid many dangerous obstacles and defeat many bosses during his adventure.

ghost bossThe music is nice but that’s about it not one track in this game was memorable to me, a lot of the time the music sounds like a fun little tune on a constantly repeating loop, but even though the music is nothing amazing it is fun to listen too and its not in any way annoying.

Land of Illusion is a charming little game about everyone’s favourite mouse, I cant say that this game is a masterpiece but its a fun little side scroller with mostly great controls, fantastic graphics and animation, a fun and happy soundtrack and an innocent and easy to understand story line that anyone can enjoy.

Not an amazing game but its still loads of fun and is overall a great time 7.8/10

Thank you for reading my review of Land of Illusion for Sega Master System/ Sega Game Gear

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

The Care Bears Movie (1985) Review

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First appearing on television screens in 1981 the Care Bears are a group of colourful bears that live in the clouds, each bear is named after a trait and each bear has a symbol on their belly representing this trait.

The Care Bears originally started their debut through TV specials airing between 1983 till 1985. In 1985 the Care Bears were given their own television series which was very popular amongst young children but before the television series was released we were given a movie based completely on the Care Bears toy line.

The movie starts in an orphanage where one of the staff voiced by Mickey Rooney is reading the story of the Care Bears to the children.

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The Care Bears live in a land of clouds called Carealot, The Care Bears have the ability to travel to earth to help those who don’t care any more, the reason they do this is because the stability of Carealot depends on people on earth caring about each other, while visiting Earth the Care Bears try to befriend two young siblings called Kim and Jason.

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Kim and Jason have given up about caring for people because both of their Parents left them at an orphanage at a young age, the Care bears want to befriend Kim and Jason to show them that they will not always be alone and to hopefully get them to care again.

Not much later and we are introduced to some new characters a magician and his apprentice Nicholas.

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Nicholas is a young boy who has never had a friend in his entire life, this has made him very depressed and angry at the world, an evil spirit trapped inside a book encourages Nicholas to set it free and in exchange it will teach Nicholas how to be more recognised.

A desperate Nicholas agrees to the deal and he uses a key to unlock the book releasing the spirit inside.

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The evil spirit starts teaching Nicholas dark magic which Nicholas uses to turn people against each other and eventually taking all of the care out of the world.

Of course this has massive effects on the stability and the well being of Carealot so the Care Bears quickly investigate and learn about Nicholas and the reasons he is angry at everyone, after quickly realising that all three of these children need people to care about they all decide to head to earth to find Nicholas, but just as they start to transport the transporter is destroyed sending the children and the two Care Bears to a land between worlds.

The remaining Care Bears decide to get aboard a boat and travel down a river in the clouds in the hopes that they will find the children and the missing Care Bears,  they eventually find the children and the other two Care Bears in a new land called the Forest of Feelings, here they meet some new animal friends including Brave Heart Lion, Swift Heart Rabbit, Playful Heart Monkey and Lotsa Heart Elephant.

animalsThe animals join the children and the Care Bears in their quest and they all head out together on a big adventure to save Nicholas from the evil spirit.

The animation is basic to say the least, it looks more like a direct to VHS release than it does a movie that got released into theatres, it’s not terrible though the animation plays very smoothly and the movies use of shadows and shading is very impressive, the only real problem I had with the animation is that most of the time the characters lips don’t sync with what they are saying and this can be very distracting.

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The songs in this movie are just awful, they are all very forgetful and genuinely annoying with lyrics that make very little sense, every song in the movie honestly feels like it’s just there for filler and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case.

The Care Bears Movie is not one of the best children’s movies I have ever had to sit through, the plot is not very interesting, the animation is fairly basic with the exception of the films use of shadows and shading, the songs are not fun to listen too in the slightest and apart from a pretty cool villain the movie is really bad.

I suggest skipping this one unless you have very young children who you want to keep quiet for an hour.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Care Bears Movie

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) Review

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas might be one of the greatest Christmas specials of all time.

The special is based on the book of the same name written by none other than the legendary Dr Seuss.

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The story follows the Grouchy old Grinch who hates everything about Christmas, He lives in a cave in a snowy mountain above the Town of Whoville. The Grinch hates the Who’s of Whoville because they love Christmas, The Grinch decides that he has had enough of Christmas and decides that he will dress up as Santa Claus and will take away all of the presents, the Christmas trees and all of the roast beast from every Who in town.

After taking away everything Christmas related from the town, The Grinch waits and listens for the angry parent’s and the weeping children but instead he is surprised to hear the sound of the Who’s coming together and singing.

After thinking long and hard about what happened the Grinch realises that maybe Christmas is not about the presents and the magnificent feasts but is instead about bringing people together and appreciating each others company.

The Grinch is voiced by none other than Boris Karloff who is most famous for playing the role of Frankensteins Monster in Frankenstein (1931).

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No one could have done this role any better than Karloff did, he really helps show how evil the Grinch really is by providing the Grinch with a very sinister but angry voice, Karloff also narrated the entire movie and again he did a fantastic job.

The animation is very interesting because most children’s cartoons adapted from books tend to have an animation style which is more traditional and popular for that era but surprisingly this movie does not do that and instead the animation looks just like the book but with a little more polish, I think this works really well because it helps show that no changes needed to be made to the original illustrations and it helps give more life to the story the book is telling.

Here are some images from the book compared to some still shots from the special.

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I wasn’t super impressed with a lot of the songs in this special, I just didn’t enjoy them enough that I wanted to sing along, but one song I absolutely loved and that song was of course “Your’e a mean one Mr Grinch” which was sang by the amazing Thurl Ravenscroft, This song is so famous everyone from your little sister to your Great Grandmother probably knows some of the words.

To wrap things up (not an intended Christmas pun XD) How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a wonderful Christmas Special, It’s especially great for children as it helps show them the meaning of Christmas without shoving it down their throats and I really appreciate this

Its a fun and interesting 25 minute special that the whole family can enjoy

I hope you enjoyed this review

if you respect my opinion I will respect yours

By Padawan