Book Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

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A Whole New World is the first of Disney’s Twisted Tales book series, It was written by Author Liz Braswell and was released on September 1st 2015. The book follows the story of Aladdin if he had never kept the lamp after the cave of wonders.

magic-lamp-from-the-story-of-aladdin-with-genie-appearing-in-blue-smoke-concept-for-wishing-luck-a_u-l-q103irw0Readers will be taken deep into Aladdin’s past which is something that wasnt really touched upon in the Disney animated movie. The book teaches the reader about Aladdin’s mother and his younger days. Author Liz Braswell describes Agrabah in a way that older readers can connect with, its a tough city that is rough and at times dangerous, the poor people are dying every day because of a lack of food and un-sanitary living conditions. The city has been neglected due to the Sultan being selfish and caring more for his toys than the people he vowed to protect.

The book at first follows the story of the movie but after the scene in the Cave of Wonders Aladdin is left without the lamp and the story of Aladdin takes a very different and much darker turn. This version of the story has scenes of Death, Pain, Suffering and Violence, beloved characters from the film are met with a lot of misfortune and some of them are left to an even worse fate, so for younger readers I would suggest reading the book with them and making it clear that only the Disney movie is canon and the events in the book are not to be taken to seriously.

But with all this in mind I really enjoyed this book, I felt it dragged on at times but all in all it was a good read for fans of the movie and it can still be enjoyed if you are yet to see the film.

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Cuphead (2017) Review

Two cups lose a bet against the Devil and in order to save their souls they must capture the souls of every other resident on their home island.

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I think we will kick start 2018 with a review of one of the mos popular video games of last year a small indie title known as Cuphead don’t deal with the Devil.

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Cuphead is a run and gun sidescroller inspired by the cartoons of the 1930’s, Cuphead and his pal Mugman both take inspiration from Mickey Mouse and Oscar the Lucky Rabbit.

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Cuphead offers three main level types, the first is a classic run and gun scenario similar to old arcade games, you will need to get from point A to point B without dying, this is extremely difficult due to the barrage of enemy types that constantly attack you, enemies do not often die without respawning and the army of creatures that target Cuphead and Mugman is relentless, some of these stages do have a mini boss which will need to be defeated however these bosses are nowhere near as difficult to beat as the games main challenges.

d41ac18a-aa8c-42d3-ab90-aaf9a10d0ad5_Cuphead_Baroness_Von_Bon_BonBoss Battles are another game type available for players to tackle, these boss battles are extremely tough and only the most patient and level headed players will be able to triumph in these scenarios, these boss battles are the best part of the game in my opinion, the animations make it seem as if you are watching an old cartoon and its just as wonderful to watch the game as it is to play it.

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The final level variant in the game are on scroll shooters, these level types take obvious inspiration from the old space scooters of the day, Cuphead and Mugman enter aeroplanes and take on bosses who will constantly morph into different forms, many smaller enemies will spawn  for our two heroes to take on while also taking aim at the levels boss, I had the most difficulty with these level types.

 

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Cuphead and Mugman pack some pretty wild finger guns, the standard gun is powerful enough to get you through most of the game however if you feel like you wanna spice things up a bit then why not spend some of your well earned coins on some new ammunition or perhaps some new abilities

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I don’t think I really need to emphasise just how outstanding the visuals are in Cuphead, as previously stated the game takes inspiration from 1930’s cartoons and the games artists have done an excellent job of making the game emulate this extremely well, not only does the entire game look like an old cartoon but its the smaller touches such as static on the screen which really help to make this game even more beautiful than its needs to be.

The soundtrack is just as wonderful as the visuals, a few tracks use vocals sang by a barbershop quartet but personally I prefer the frantic instrumental tracks during the run and gun sections, although its all very well done and well worth a listen.

Cuphead is one of the most creative games I have ever played and if you enjoy old cartoons and high reaction intense game play then this is the perfect game to add to your library, but if you don’t enjoy difficult games or if you are only just starting out as a gamer then this is one to skip as the game is very challenging, I really enjoyed Cuphead however it is a bit too short for the price the developers are asking for it costs 16 pounds for what is no more than a six hour experience so knock it down to a tenner and you’ve got yourself a bargain 9/10.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Cuphead for the Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

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

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

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Tale as old as time? We’ll see about that

NE33gHKN7fMA68_2_bSo Emma Watson takes the lead in this new adaptation of the much beloved animated classic and while I was afraid that she would do a miserable job playing such an important role, I will say that I was wrong and she was a perfect cast for the character, she gave a good performance which helped to represent Belle’s can do attitude and sense of adventure and for the most part you could tell she enjoyed playing the role, but the one and only issue I had was what everyone else has been saying, Emma Watson’s singing should have been dubbed, the poor girl couldn’t hold a tune to save the queen and this really took a lot of people out of the movies fantastic atmosphere.

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The rest of the live action cast were also fine, they all gave energetic performances which matched their characters, this was especially good during the musical segments, however I hate the design of the furniture in the castle, in the original film the designs were bright and colourful, even the voice actors in the older animated movie put more effort into their voice acting but here these characters just look so ugly and unerringly creepy, this design works well on the beast because he is supposed to frighten you and he is supposed to be hideous, I don’t know if this was a design choice to help the castle match the beasts disturbing character design but it is honestly just awful.

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Those are my only real complaints with the movie as the rest of it was absolutely fantastic, it has all of the songs you love plus a few new and very well written original songs, the story here is slightly different to the original, this takes more from the book while adding it’s own few additions to the story, the reasoning for the prince being transformed into a beast is explained more clearly in this movie, we get an explanation to what happened to Belle’s mother and to top it all off even the ending isn’t quite as abrupt as the 1991 animated classic, its got all the charm of the original with a couple of mishaps but it makes up for it with the new additions to the story and amazing character performances, I am not even ashamed to say that this may be the better film of the two but only slightly, if you haven’t seen Beauty and the Beast in the cinema yet book your tickets as soon as you can and you wont be disappointed.

What did you think of Beauty and the Beast?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Walt Disney’s Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas (1999) Review

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Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas was a massive deal when it came out in 1999 and I fondly remember my mother fighting her way through our local Tesco’s (Our version of Target for you Americans) to get it for me so we could watch it together on Christmas Eve that very year.

By the way this is not the Christmas Carol with Disney Characters, that movie came out in 1983, this is an anthology of three Disney cartoons which all share a similar Christmas theme and have slightly altered morals for the kids to learn from

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The first cartoon titled Donald Duck stuck on Christmas is a holiday classic. Huey, Dewey and Louie wake up on Christmas morning and act like little dirt bags throughout the day, they open their presents before the family arrive, they go outside on their new sleds without reading the card from Uncle Donald and Aunt Daisy and when the family sings Christmas carols they play with their toys instead, later on that night the boys wish upon a star that it could be Christmas every day, their wish is granted and a massive time loop begins where they are repeating the same Christmas over and over again until they eventually learn to stop being so selfish.

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A Very Goofy Christmas is the next cartoon to be shown and whats particularly cool about this one is that its actually a cartoon which takes place¬†in the Goof Troop universe but the catch is that Goofy’s son Max is still a young child here so its actually a prequel¬†to Goof Troops first episode, in the cartoon Goofy and Max are having relationship problems after their neighbor Pete tells Max that Santa doesn’t exist and its up to Goofy to prove to his Son that Santa is real, but Max is so torn up about what Pete told him that he manages to convince Goofy that Santa being real is an impossibility¬†which leads Goofy down a path of pretty major depression and its up to Max to cheer his Dad up, about mid way through the cartoon Goofy makes Christmas dinner for a poor family who could never afford to do it themselves so this segment actually has two messages the first is to always respect and be charitable to those less fortunate than yourself and the other is to quite simply not be a complete arse by telling an eight year old that Santa doesn’t exist, honestly I don’t why Goofy didn’t just pelt Pete in the nose.

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The final segment Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi is based on the classic short story by William Sydney Porter where a couple go to extreme lengths to get Christmas gifts for each other and both of them even go as far as selling their prized possessions just so they can afford the perfect gift, this cartoon follows that same idea and also has a very similar ending, this may sound like the most boring cartoon out of the three of them but to be honest its probably the best one, its short, simple and it has the most Christmas themed message of them all which is that the greatest gift you can give on Christmas is yourself and you can give that by simply spending time with your family and loved ones.

So is Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas the greatest Christmas movie to be based on classic Disney¬†characters? no its not even close but its still pretty good, ¬†I can’t consider any of the cartoons to be bad¬†but at the same time apart from the last one the first two are not great but they are still entertaining and with voice talents such as Jim Cummings and Bill Farmer involved its definitely worth a watch, even Kelsey Grammer is in this movie voicing the narrator and that in itself makes it worth your time to sit by the fireplace and watch these silly but wonderful Disney cartoons.

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Pete’s Dragon 2016 Review

petes_dragon_2016_posterOut of every Disney movie that could possibly be remade Pete’s Dragon was one that I never expected Disney to touch again, the original movie was a 1977 musical about a young boy and his pet dragon who are on the run from his abusive adoptive family, the movie is a lot of fun and the songs will be stuck in your head for years after you see it, unfortunately the movie didn’t make a lot of money at the box office and Pete’s Dragon was eventually kicked under the rug¬†by Disney and it was never mentioned again until this year when it got remade.

petes-dragonFor the remake they didn’t take the musical route, they instead tried to make Pete’s Dragon into a Drama which is fine if its still entertaining but the problem is that it isn’t, the film is so boring that I honestly just wanted to walk out of the cinema, the CGI is amazing and Elliot the Dragon looks awesome but the tone of movie really makes the film too slow for you too really care that much about how good the CGI is, I believe that if the film wasn’t about a dragon then it would have been a half decent Drama about a family trying to adopt a little boy who they find in the woods but because its a Disney movie and it really tries to reach that younger audience it just ended up being a film that wanted to be taken seriously but¬†ultimately ended up being trapped inside of a kids film.

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I have to admit that I really liked Elliot in this movie, he wasn’t quite as charming as the quirky cartoon dragon I’m used too but this new version of Elliot more closely resembled an actual animal which was really cool to see, I notice a lot of people complaining that they didn’t like the directors choice to make Elliot act like a big green dog at times but I personally found it gave him a more playful and cuddly personality, I just wanna give him a big old hug.

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The casting is great, I love the cast from the original film but I never really liked the actor who played Pete (Sean Marshall) and in the remake the actor who played Pete (Oakes Fegley) was surprisingly really good at acting,I felt his emotions throughout this movie and I hope that this role pays off for him and he gets to be in a lot more films in the future, the rest of the cast was also very good but honestly the 1977 version had Mickey Rooney and you just cant top that.

Am I saying that the movie is terrible? no but I would be surprised if you don’t end up falling asleep or giving up half way through.

What did you think of Pete’s Dragon?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Book Review: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

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Peter Pan was originally written by Scottish Author J.M Barrie and it was published in 1911.

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(BTW he had a fabulous mustache)

The story follows the adventures of the Darling children including the eldest Wendy, John who was the middle child and Micheal the youngest, Wendy would always read stories to her younger brothers about fairy tales and adventures, the most popular of these stories being the adventures of a young boy who never grows up called Peter Pan.

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One cold and starry night a young boy breaks into the nursery looking for his shadow and when Wendy helps him find it, he teaches the children how to fly and he takes them all away to a magical world beyond the stars called Neverland.

(There will be a few spoilers beyond this point, but not enough to ruin the book)

The General plot summary you have just read may sound very familiar but let me assure you that the original novel of Peter Pan is very different to a lot of the modern stage plays and movies, for one thing the book is rather dark and at times gruesome, a fair few children get murdered in the book and there are a few adult themes discussed including faeries having group sex and Peter Pan himself being more “Sinister” than more modern audiences may know him to be, so please keep this in mind if you are planning to read the original unabridged version of the book to young children.

I own the unabridged version and it is filled with loads of old fashioned English words and spellings which some people may find hard to understand and if this is the case I recommenced a more modern re-print of the book but please keep in mind that modified versions will be modified for new younger audiences so some of the adult stuff I mentioned above will most likely be removed, even with all of the old fashioned English the book is still described well enough for the reader to understand fairly well what is going on and it is still very simple to read the text and visualize the story the book is telling.

The book is 230 pages long and it may take only 2-3 days to read for most people, for me this is great because just like my video games I prefer my books to be short as it means that I can read them over and over again many times throughout the year, but I can understand why some people wouldn’t want to pay a bookstore price for such a short story.

Peter Pan is an amazing story about Pirates, Mermaids, Faeries, and lost children who dress in animal skins and hunt Native Indians, honestly there is something here for everyone, its one of most iconic stories ever written and it has inspired so many people to begin a journey into the world of art including myself, Peter Pan is nothing more than a masterpiece of British Literature and it will always stand the test of time.

I hope you enjoyed this Book Review of Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Sorry for the gap in reviews guys, I have been super busy working on another project but I promise I will try to get more reviews out soon, anyway I will see you in October for a month of spooky reviews.

Also I am taking requests this month so if there are any games, books or films you would like reviewed for Halloween please email me and I will place all requests in a random generator and I will be reviewing what ever gets selected so please send me any requests you can think of.

 

My opinion of the Disney live action remakes

Why do directors feel the need to remake movies that have no reason to be remade?

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Unfortunately this seems to be the the problem with the Walt Disney Classics collection, the first of the classics to be remade was 101 Dalmatians in 1996, the movie was met with massive success at the box office and it has since become one of the most beloved Disney films among fans, the main reasons that the 101 Dalmatians remake is so beloved is because not only did it correctly follow the source material but it also added new twists to the story, one of biggest differences is that the animals don’t talk, not only that but the casting was fantastic Cruella De vil was played by Glen Close and they could not have picked a better actress for the job, she manages to be threatening but still hilarious and over the top just like the original, the rest of the cast are great too but none are more memorable than Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams who played Jasper and Horace they are hilarious and by far the best part of the movie.

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With the massive success of 101 Dalmatians we couldn’t wait for the future Disney remakes and so when Tim Burton announced that he was remaking Alice in Wonderland it created a lot of hype, and with an all star cast including Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter how could it possibly go wrong?

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Well we didn’t exactly get the dark Alice in Wonderland remake we expected and instead we got this horrible excuse for a movie, it wasn’t sure if it was remake, a sequel or a retelling¬†of the original story, it wasn’t weird enough and it kept trying to bring logic into what is supposed to be a world filled with nonsense and it was just awful, critics panned this movie for its bad casting, terrible CGI and lackluster story telling, unfortunately the movie was still successful which was probably due to it having Disney’s name to it and because of this not only is there going to be a sequel but other directors saw the movies success and started to remake all of the other Disney movies.

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The next three movies to be released were Maleficent, Cinderella and most recently The Jungle Book, out of all three of the movies the only one I was really excited about was Maleficent because it was advertised as the story about how Maleficent became evil and I thought that would be the main focus of the movie but instead it was just a really bad retelling of Sleeping Beauty, it added some good aspects to the story by giving Maleficent a more understandable reason as to why she is bad as well as giving her a backstory, but apart from this most of the acting wasn’t very good, the film was pretty boring and the only part of the movie I really enjoyed was Angelina Jolies performance as Maleficent, Cinderella which is by far the weakest of the remakes was pretty much the exact same film but remade with less likable characters with the exception of the prince who gets more screen time than he does in the original and as much as I don’t like the new evil step mother compared to the original I have to give the remake credit for giving her a reason to dislike Cinderella, for the most part I ¬†enjoyed the Jungle Book remake, I thought it was clever with the way it expanded the story of the original film while also sharing more similarities to the book, I hated the little boy who played Mowgli as I found him to be extremely annoying and honestly it didn’t feel like he was the right casting choice to play Mowgli in my opinion, the CGI was great and the animation flowed smoothly and worked well with the characters and the movies environments, the only thing I really disliked was the casting not only did I hate the little boy who played Mowgli but I also hated almost every voice actor in the film as I just didn’t feel that they were the correct choices to voice those characters but most of this hate goes towards Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie, I think they shouldn’t have made the animals talk at all, it worked in 101 Dalmatians favor so I don’t see why it couldn’t have worked for The Jungle Book as well, with all that said and done I do feel that people should go and see The Jungle Book as it honestly is a pretty good movie despite some of my more negative opinions of it.

So as you’ve probably already guessed, I’m not a big fan of the Disney remakes, I have nothing against some of these movies getting remade or retold if the more modern versions follow the source material and at least try to capture what the originals did, some Disney movies in my opinion don’t need to be remade at all due to their not being much wrong with the original a great example would be Beauty and the Beast which is soon to be remade, if Disney want’s to remake some of their old movies then I think they should try to focus on the older classics that could use updating such as Snow White, Pinocchio or Bambi otherwise I just think that beloved movies should be left alone to be loved and not remade for modern audiences and as a quick cash grab.

Thank you for reading this article about my personal opinion on Disney remaking their movies, please remember that this is purely my opinion and if you disagree that’s fine.

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com
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