Greed and Skeksis

In Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, an alien race known as the Fallen urSkeks are banished to the world of Thra. In an attempt to purify themselves, they try to use the heart of Thra, the Crystal of Truth, to cleanse themselves of their darker nature. Instead, each urSkek is split into two beings, the Mystics and the Skeksis.

While the Mystics embody the urSkek’s spiritual and peaceful side of their nature, the Skeksis embody their materialistic and violent side. The putrid creatures represent the very nature of greed itself. They hoard treasures for themselves, use the natives of Thra to fulfill their own pleasures, gluttonize upon the produce of their subjects, and defile the Crystal, draining its energy to extend their own life-forces. They trade the health of Thra and her creatures for their own. And when the Crystal is no longer enough, they then use it to drain the essence of Thra’s children, feasting upon Gelflings and Podlings like fattened cattle. The Skeksis only see Thra and her children as things to be used for themselves, easily casting them aside when they can no longer satisfy. And yet, the appetites of the Skeksis are never satisfied, for they crave more and more. Continue reading

Onward We Go

In a strange new world of pandemic, isolation, and toilet paper shortage, Pixar has introduced their own new world in their latest film: Onward. Its theater run was cut short due to the coronavirus, but the movie about two brothers, Ian and Barley, going on a magical quest to be able to spend one more day with their deceased father, is now available on Disney+. If you’re looking for something to watch in the midst of your binging, I recommend checking out this film.

Like many of Pixar’s movies, there are several themes embedded throughout it. Not just timely for our society before the crisis, but also, and perhaps even more so, now in the midst of it. (WARNING: spoilers ahead.) Continue reading

The Spork Challenge

Toy Story is back! Woody, Buzz, and Jessie have returned to the big screen for a new chapter.  And included with them, are some new toys, such as Benson, a creepy doll; Duke Caboom, a Canadian daredevil; and Forky, a spork. But you see, Forky didn’t begin the movie as a toy.

In the beginning, Forky was nothing more than trash–literally. When Bonnie, the toys’ new owner, is having a hard time at Kindergarten orientation, Woody tries to help her out by retrieving Bonnie’s art supplies that a bully had discarded into the trash, along with a spork. Using googly eyes, a rubber band, yarn, a popsicle stick, clay, a pipe cleaner, and the spork, Bonnie makes for herself a new friend. And not only did Bonnie make Forky, but she even wrote her name on the bottom of his feet. What was trash is now Bonnie’s most prized possession. As Woody later says, “Alright, Forky. You have to understand how lucky you are right now. You’re Bonnie’s toy. You are going to help create happy memories that will last for the rest of her life.”

But, at first, Forky doesn’t want to be a toy; he still thinks he’s trash: “I was meant for soup, salad, maybe chili. And then the trash! I’m litter!” There’s even a whole montage in the movie of Forky tossing himself away inside disgusting trashcans, as Woody keeps tossing him out back to Bonnie. Bonnie has given Forky a new purpose, yet he didn’t want to embrace it, rushing to what was familiar and safe for him, that being the inside of a trashcan.

For many, Forky is a relatable character. Because even though he’s a tritagonist in a kid’s movie, he wrestles with a problem that’s very normal. Continue reading

To Love a Monster

Last night, I got to view Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald with some very good friends of mine. Though there are some fantastic views and great setup for what is to come, there is one line, said by Leta Lestrange, which stuck out to me more than all the magic and fantastic creatures that this film has to offer: “Oh Newt. You never met a monster you couldn’t love.”

Newt Scamander is one of the movie’s main protagonists, who is an odd character choice for such a role, for Gryffindor and Slytherin type personalities are the most prominent character choices for lead roles, yet Newt is an awkward Hufflepuff, who has a heart for magical beasts, many who are often misunderstood by the magical community. And Leta considers herself a monster, because of the dark secret she carries of a deed which she has done. Continue reading

To Tame a Dragon

Last night, I watched I Am Dragon, or Он – дракон (On – Drakón) as it’s said in Russian. It’s a “Beauty and a Beast” tale involving a girl named Mira. She is the daughter of a duke who is stolen by a dragon during her wedding day, just before she is wed to Igor, the grandson of a dragon slayer. She is taken to an island, made of the bones of a giant ancient dragon, where she meets a man by the name of Arman. It doesn’t take long for Mira to discover that Arman is, in fact, the dragon who kidnapped her. Unable to fly her off the island without killing her, Mira is trapped. Surrounded by ocean, she learns both how to live with this man and how to love a dragon.

It is a beautiful film with spectacular imagery. But other than that and the heartstring-plucking story, this movie also has another hidden gem. Continue reading

Dragons are Real?

Fire-breathing dragons are terrifying beasts that can spark the imagination with awe and fright. They can also be spotted in gift shops, game covers, and movie posters.

Dragons are creatures that have been a part of man’s storytelling from generation to generation, such as in Beowulf, the Völsunga saga, “Saint George and the Dragon,” and even the book of Revelation. Dragons are magnificent beasts that can be as frightening as Smaug within The Hobbit, or as adorable as Toothless within Dreamwork’s, How to Train Your Dragon. For some reason, dragons have fascinated man for a long, long time. However, is it because we love to imagine such creatures within our realms of fantasy? Or perhaps, is it because we are fascinated with these strange creatures, that may have once walked upon our sod? Continue reading

“The Butterfly Circus”

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages. You are invited to view a spectacular feature! A short film that has surprised several audiences with its heartfelt messages. A story of doubt, hope, change, and love. A glimpse into the heart of Christ himself. Ladies and gentlemen, without further hesitation, I present to you, The Butterfly Circus!

Life Lessons from The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman may not be the most historically accurate depiction of the life of P. T. Barnum; nonetheless, it is currently very popular, and has a huge audience singing to its songs on the road, in the home, and in the shower. Other than having a neat story and catchy tunes, one reason that this film has become so popular, is because of the messages that it shares. That it’s okay to be different, to dream, and to take risks. But on top of that, it’s also cool how the messages in this movie, correlate with messages found in the Bible:

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