Monday, February 28, 2011

You Gotta Go to THIS Grotto!

Want to read a fascinating, insightful, in-depth and spot on exploration of the relevant and salient themes of Barrie's eternal boy tale?  Yep, I would, too... and I have.  Blogger Samantha-Ellen of Book Grotto - YA & Children's Books has done just that.  And she's been kind enough to allow a reposting/link to her article.  She has great respect for the story and Barrie's work... as evidenced by including the word "the" before "Neverlands."  Do yourself a favor and take a gander at her thoughts on Peter Pan!

I went and bought a copy of Peter Pan the other week, because despite it being just about my favourite book ever, I actually did not own a proper copy. And by proper, I mean the actual text by Barrie, and not some re-imagined or rehashed or condensed version, because despite the pretty pictures, these versions just can’t come close to the real thing.

Why do I love this book? What is it about Peter and Hook and Tink and the Neverlands that makes me feel so awed and anguished all at once? Sure, I think Barrie... READ THE REST!

Thanks again, Samantha-Ellen!
I do so enjoy your stirrings and enthusiasm about Sir J.M. Barrie's masterpiece. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh Pooh! - Part 4

If you’re not already aware, Disney is coming out with a brand new Winnie-the-Pooh movie. Now, if you’re like me (and some of my friends, as I discovered) you’re wincing at the thought. For you might fear it to be another one of their recent (cough!) crappier Pooh movies and endeavors mentioned in 'Oh Pooh! - Part 3.' Well, I’m here to tell you - stop wincing!

At least it seems as if we don't have to pretend not to notice this one. Having seen the trailer for it, I am most excited. In fact, I felt like I’d been in red footie pajamas of my childhood as decribed in 'Oh Pooh! - Part 1.'

This new Pooh movie looks to be a sheer delight. The animation is wonderful. And the drawings? Well, they don’t look new. They have the same style as the original we all love so much. Little things made me happy... like the fact that often Pooh’s lines are not “clean” - in other words, it’s not just a thick line defining his tummy, but a few extra strokes to show his tousled fluff. The scenery seems as if they dusted off the old backgrounds used in the original. It does the bit with the words on the page. [The “other” movies might, too, I’m not sure, but it looks ‘right’ here.] Truth is, I laughed out loud during it. I said “Awwww” and melted into a youthful spirit.  It looks totally “Old School.”

What’s more, it has touches of the modern as well - such as a comforting and smooth pop song, computer assisted animation and a brand new story. But all of these appear to work.  Usually the songs put into movies pull me right out of them. Here, the song brings me peace and inserts me right into the Hundred Acre Wood. One thing Disney certainly does well is the hybrid of computer and hand-drawn animation. They’ve proved time and again since as far back as the 80's that they know how to make it seamless and beautiful. Oh! The honey! No really, seeing Pooh with magical glistening honey is like being a kid and an adult at the same time.

All in all, it makes me want to applaud. I cannot wait to see it. And I found that I’m not alone. Bart, too, has “Awwww”ed and laughed. Josiecat came over this past Windsday (er, Wednesday [another great change that Disney made to Milne, which in fact, I wish HAD been part of the original]) and she mentioned she loved Pooh. That’s all I needed to hear. She, too, grimaced and wanted to protest another Pooh movie. Then I showed her the gloriousness. Yep. She “Awww”ed and laughed and smiled and can’t wait to see it. In fact, when she came over the next night (for the usual Thursday night get-together at my and Bart’s place) she requested we watch it again. Buttercup, as you probably already guessed had a round of “NooOOoo00ooo0!” at the idea of yet another lousy Pooh.  Josiecat allayed her fear and told her “Just watch.” It turns out Buttercup “Awwww”ed bigger than any of us and laughed quite hard. Josiecat also brought her friend Filmer along last night. Filmer, too, became a kid again watching.

Yes, folks, this new Pooh looks like it has potential. It definitely does not appear to be “cranked out.” It gives the impression that a lot of extra time (beyond normal intensive labor required even for ‘run of the mill’ animation) and love went into this motion picture. It’s like it had been done by those who all wore red footie pajamas, glued to the TV when The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh graced the screen.

Enjoy your trip back into the Hundred Acre Wood.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Birds and the Bees of Fairies

The other day I noticed the latest Disney Tinker Bell movie running on TV. Unable to squelch my curiosity, I had a gander. Cute. Pretty animation. But I’m not here to discuss the movie per se. Truth is I stopped watching after a quarter of an hour or so. It did pose, though, a question I couldn’t ignore. In the movie, Tink winds up in the room of a little girl. Tink wants to leave, but it’s raining very hard outside and thus, she cannot fly home. So, she spends some time with the little girl and I must say that I’m very glad Tink needs to ‘sign’ and gesture with nods or shakes to communicate with the girl. The girl heard her as jingling noises. Quite right upon first meeting a fairy. But let’s back up a minute. She couldn’t fly in the rain?

Naturally my interest in the matter piqued. Can fairies fly in the rain? Had I really even thought about it before? Before I continue, let me specify that I am speaking of fairies within the world of Sir J.M. Barrie only. It didn’t take long for me to recall the storm in Peter Pan’s NeverWorld. Denny (the fairy) didn’t want to go out in the storm. However, his fear stems from that particular tempest. In other words, reading it through again, Denny doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea to fly in a regular storm. And knowing Denny, he’d accompany Peter Pan. So, I suppose it’s safe to say I seemed at the time of writing it to believe fairies could fly in the rain.

There’s no mention of rain in Barrie in relation to the fairies. But there is no evidence that they cannot fly in it. At best there’s some iffy information from Peter Pan in regards to their limitations.

This post is in no way meant to shake a finger at Disney. Quite the contrary… I enjoyed the dilemma. And obviously there’s no definitive answer to be gleaned from the texts.

But I did look up the birds and the bees. To sum up, birds can fly in the rain on account of their hollow bone lightness and the oily feathers slicking off rain. Bees, contrary to popular belief and common sense, can fly in the rain. They just don’t like to! Yes, really, as per bee-keepers. Since we have the common sense of thinking a bee in the rain might not work well, so have the bees.

So perhaps we can leave it at that, then, as it will also suffice in Disney’s movie… since the fairies might not want to be like the birds (fairies have their tiffs with the birds says Barrie), they might then be like the bees. Fairies can fly in the rain, but don’t like to…

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh Pooh! - Part 3

Disney has done quite a bit with A.A. Milne’s silly old bear named Pooh for short. As I said in Part 1, I really liked (and still do) their original shorts (compiled into a movie.)

I have to give a little shout to the clever way they introduced a new character into the mix: Gopher. He’s delightful in it... and makes sense to be there. Who better to consult about getting Pooh unstuck from a hole in the ground than a gopher, eh? The clever bit, however, comes in the fact that Gopher says about himself I’m not in the book. What he means is a listing for his services in something like a phone book (remember those?) Well, obviously, it’s working on two levels. Since, yes, he is NOT in the book. Well done.

However, Disney went on to other Pooh projects that make me wince. Such as the “live-action” puppets version, The Book of Pooh. No thanks.  We don't need a "live" type Pooh.  Not when the original drawings are so charming.  (Both Disney and Shepard.)  Besides, we already had our stuffed toys.

Tigger & Pooh, a CGI based series.  If I wanted Pooh in CGI I'd have... no, sorry.  Don't want a CGI Pooh bear, either. 

Before these, there’d been a regular animated series The New Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh. I remember it being quite enjoyable.   But despite the valiant and often successful effort, it eventually felt forced.  Pooh should not be forced, no?

And there have been quite a few films since that wonderful compilation. Pooh’s Grand Adventure had been all right. Not great, but passable and fun.

But the films went downhill from there. Granted, I have not seen the rest of the films.  But they seem problematic in nature. There’d been a Tigger movie.  The plot had something to do with Tigger being lonely and looking for family, with everyone else winding up in Tigger suits to accommodate him. Excuse me? Whatever happened to Tigger’s self-sung theme song wherein he says The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I’m the only one! Perhaps he’d just been wrong? I’m not sure. Maybe the joke is that he isn’t? Either way, it doesn’t seem like something that belongs in the Pooh world. Maybe they came up with a good rationale for it?  In most cases, if the project requires thinking up a rationale for something so as to be able to contradict the original intent... then maybe it’s not worth doing.

Then there’d been Piglet’s BIG Movie. It just looked flat and flavorless to me. At this point I’d been a little soured to Disney Pooh.

And then The Heffalump Movie? Um... a tale of a little heffalump coming and making friends? Why are we taking away the power of the fear of heffalumps and woozles getting Pooh’s honey? Double no thanks. It’s just not necessary and stretches the fabric of Pooh... might even tear it.

Why were they watering it down like this with what seemed like sub-par animation and stories?

Well, thank goodness we have the original Disney Pooh and the ever so much cooler original A.A. Milne tales (now dubbed Classic Pooh.) Imagine that! Disney Pooh is so popular that we must qualify the REAL Winnie-the-Pooh as such.

But what’s got me all up on the power of Pooh lately?   Part 4 will explain.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Peter iPad

Once again, my post from Sunday has been postponed...
if you have an iPad, you might want this. I don't have an iPad, so I don't know any more about it than is shown here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Never Not Docked...

I had planned a different post for today, but one of those magical serendipity moments just happened and I had to make an account of it.

I've just been reading through Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between in the interest of refreshing and revising.  I'd run through two chapters, then took a stretch and turned on the TV.  I flipped through the "channel guide" but nothing caught my attention and I thought I'd go right back to Pan.  But then, having arrived back at my starting channel, noticed that one station simply listed "Movie"  Now, in the this age of instant info and knowing the name, year, actors and synopsis at the push of a button... all I could see here is "Movie."  No other info to be had.  Click!  Curiosity had won out.

So I let it play for a little while...a black and white with a woman I feel I should recognize elegantly dressed and talking to a man in a tux sipping wine and chatting away.  My mind drifted, to be honest, but suddenly I hear the lady say:  Toy boats sailing into the Never-Never Land, a land of beautiful dreams.  They had been talking about childhood hobbies...his being toy soldiers and hers being toy boats.

I still don't know what movie this is... and I'm going to keep it a mystery.  I'm taking it as a sign that I should just keep right on reading my Pan interquel.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Read It? Nope.

I’ve come across another book meant to continue the story of Peter Pan. Or rather Wendy. Forever Neverland by Heather Killough-Walden.

I haven’t read it, but from the description I am not inclined to do so. It doesn’t fit into the established world of Barrie. I suppose it could, if one is to assume that it’s one of the other adventures of Wendy in the Neverland (when she goes back a few times for Spring Cleaning.) But then, there’s the rest of it, which automatically negates the adventure in the first place. Even if I were to accept Hook still being alive and a flying pirate ship (open for debate, see here) and a grown up Peter... it seems reading the original story hasn’t taken place, as evidenced by the first line. Peter Pan came back the very next year. And the Darling children spent way longer than “several days and nights” on the island! [That timeframe isn't even true if going by the Disney version in which they came back the same night!]  And why would John and Michael get bullied at school?  They stood up to and killed pirates, for goodness' sake!  Thus, by these errors alone, this book can be dismissed by Pan fans who care about the source material.

It has been five years since Wendy Darling and her brothers returned home after a harrowing ordeal in which they'd "gone missing" for several days and nights. To Wendy, they returned by fairy magic, fresh from the fight with Captain Hook, a little mussed up but none the worse for wear.

But to the rest of the world, Wendy and her brothers were abducted and put through such a traumatic experience, Wendy has subconsciously taken to hiding the truth from her brothers and herself by making up stories. Fairy stories – about a boy named Peter Pan and a world called Neverland.

Life is anything but a fairy story for them now. Wendy is being subjected to unwanted psychiatric therapy, her brothers are bullied at school, and the family is falling apart.

Then, one mist-filled night, a billowing black flag parts the clouds in the sky like the fin of a shark. It bears the stark white symbol of a skull and crossbones upon it.

Wendy has been forced to leave Neverland behind. But it is far from finished with her. In the blink of an eye, her world is once more turned upside down by a pixie in human form, a one-handed captain far more handsome and intriguing than she remembered him to be – and by a little boy… who grew up after all.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh Pooh! - Part 2

I’ve often been told that I can be over analytical. I’d have to agree. Chewing something to pieces isn’t always good, no. But then, not having any kind of discriminative eye is also not good. Either way, there’s always something to find below the surface.

When it comes to Winnie-the-Pooh, it seems there’s a great deal underneath all that stuffing.

I’ve already mentioned The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. Who knew that such a “simple” tale would harbor an ancient philosophy of life? Trust me, it’s a marvelous and eye-opening read. One has to wonder if A.A. Milne did it intentionally. I’m not suggesting he did... but it often seems like it! Plus, it retains the charm and cuteness of Pooh, with him talking with the author.

Well, someone else delved a little further into the Silly Old Bear... and, as it turns out, John Tyerman Williams says the clandestine underlying power of Pooh also extends to Western philosophy as well. Pooh and the Philosophers demonstrates how elements of Pooh and friends’ sayings, behavior, personality and stroylines can bring to light the likes of Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Hobbes, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche and a plethora of others. It’s been a great many years since I’ve read it. I do remember enjoying it as well as being impressed with the arguments. In general, at least, one really can find examples of the basic principles of classic schools of thought from across time.

As fun as it is to make the parallels, there does come a time when less is more. Williams brought out Pooh and the Millennium. Please don’t take that statement about it too harshly. The truth is it’s a lot fun and does have merit. Finding the likes of subjects like Astrology, Tarot and the Arthurian Legend within the world of Winnie-the-Pooh takes great creative insight. And again, as I recall, I enjoyed it. I mostly remember the stunning way in which the secrets of the Qabalah manifested in the pages of Pooh. Granted, it’s not as if my knowledge of the Qabalah amounted to a hill of beans prior to reading this book. So naturally the deck had been stacked in favor of the parallel. Nevertheless, I recall it as downright freaky. However, it’s almost as if the joke went too far. I’m sorry to say that for me it stretched the boundaries of the original mystical relevance that begin with The Tao of Pooh. Of course, it could all be meant as a joke. But then, that’s not what I’d been looking for in the concept.

Upon looking it up on the internet, I discovered that many more "Pooh and..." books have come out as well.

I'm just one of those who likes to poke around and see what can be gleaned, infered or connected.  And it’s amazing what can arise from poking deeper into subjects as cute and poignant as Pooh.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pan Plans

Okay, well, my “add a little bit” to my interquel Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between has turned into a flat out re-read of the whole book. Three reasons.

First, it’s probably just a good idea to reacquaint myself with the “feel” of the whole novel. Partially because writing “as” Barrie isn’t something that just happens.  It’s definitely a mindset one has to get into before composing. And each attempt at the insert just doesn’t feel right.  Along the same lines, I want to make sure the new part fits snugly into the whole .

Second, it HAS been a while since I read it. So, inevitably, changes can be made. I’ve made a few dozen already. Minor tweaks to sentences, nothing structure or story-wise. Polishing is always a good idea.  And a venture that never ends...

Third, I’ll be discussing it soon with Andrea Jones. Yes, the author of Hook & Jill and I have set a date this March. Once more Andrea is whisking into the city and spending the weekend at my place. Besides hearing her thoughts and suggestions for my “missing piece” tale in the life of the eternal boy, we’ll be finishing up watching Andrew Birkin’s The Lost Boys. Andrea also wants to see another Peter Pan adaptation that I have - Neverland by Damion Dietz. (If you know anything about this version, you might think my purist nature would cause me to despise his modern take, but on the contrary, I’m quite fond of it. Perhaps I’ll post about it some day.) She’s also giving a talk later this year about the infamous Captain Hook and is curious what I might be able to add. Plus, Andrea will be taking another batch of Peter Pan's NeverWorld books with her. [Thanks, Andrea!]

And so, here I am, reading about Peter Pan as a little tyke again...  ...fortunately I still like what I'm reading!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh POOH! - Part 1

As much as I might be loathe to admit it, I love the Disney version of Winnie-the-Pooh just as much as the real Pooh.  I just don't always like what Disney has done with him.

I do, however, remember (quite fondly, too) wearing my red footie pajamas with an embroidered Pooh on it as little guy.  And when had been the best time to wear it?  When Pooh came on television, of course!  OH what an anticipated night that had been for my brother and I!  Back in the day, you couldn't just watch Disney's The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh whenever you wanted.  Nope.  You had to wait until they re-played it on TV.  And you couldn't record it, either.  When it aired, it aired... and the world stopped for it.  (Well, MY world, anyway.)  How we'd delight in seeing the Ernest Shepard (original illustator of Pooh) inspired Disney hybrid come to life.. all cozy in our pajamas "wif da feet."  It had been a true 'event' in the Kid Calendar, like Xmas.  But even better, on some level, since there'd been no guarantee that Disney would run it every year.  In fact, as far as I recall, they did not.  (For more on the "had to wait for it" see this post.)

As with any adaptation that I fall in love with, I am wont to go to the source material.  And A.A. Milne's lovable world only served to make Pooh Bear even more wonderful.  Well, how could it not? 
Winnie-the-Pooh is a true marvel... a great story-based, lovable character that 'translates' extremely well into a huggable toy (but of course!  He had been a REAL toy to begin with!) and harboring a silliness that's so appealing.  And when you get to be a big kid, he doesn't lose that appeal.  In fact, he only grows more wonderful in that one realizes a level of profundity in the silly.  If you don't believe me, check out the incredible The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.

Emulating Christopher Robin, I carried a Pooh around with me everywhere. I should not admit this, but I also made him clothes out of felt.

I briefly talk about the wonderful Pooh in this post, too, where I make quite an assessment about him.  (I mention Hoff in it, too, but then, that book deserves as much mention as one can give it!)


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heavy Handed!

You might be looking at the picture and thinking - WHAT ON EARTH?!?

There's a simple explanation for it.

I'd been doing the dishes the other day... and in mid-drying of this goblet I needed to attend to something else. As a result, I wound having it on my hand for an extended period of time (held upright, of course.) Long enough for me to notice how darn heavy it became.

And where did my mind go? To Captain Hook, naturally. Not that it didn't ever cross my mind before, but suddenly I had a first hand (pun noted) revelation of how weighty and unwieldy having a big iron claw at the end of your wrist just might be!  I'm of the opinion that the hook is not dainty and thin. I think P.J. Hogan's Captain's claw is just about right. Another great depiction is the cover of Hook & Jill.

So consider that fact, Pan/Hook fans - it's not so easy. You have to hand it (sorry!) to Hook for being able to deal with such a burden. He certainly has coped rather well with it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is the Neverland a Toll Call?

Behold AT&T's new ad campaign:
Oh my.  I'll admit to a certain degree of feeling wounded.  If there really were?  My goodness, let's not specifically try to negate it, okay?  Just playing around, but there is truth to it.

Anyway, it's kind of a cute campaign.  It doesn't just feature Peter Pan's island but other "fictional" places as well, as you can see in the other pic.   I first came upon it on the side of an El train plastered with the horizontal version of this ad.

I have to wonder two things though. 

1) THAT's their perception of the Neverland?

2) It's a bit counterproductive in what it's saying.  Let's see... if, then.  IF there were a mythical place [sigh], THEN AT&T covers you.  But there's [allegedly :) ] not, so... AT&T does not have you covered.  Hmmm.

Well, no matter how well or not this campaign does, I'm sure glad it's opening up people's minds back to these vital fantasy places, if even for a moment.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not a Bad BAD Idea!

Yesterday, I chatted online (typed) to friend and author Andrea Jones about that day's post.  I mentioned to her a bit of backstory I have yet to iron out regarding a character that will show up in Book 3 of the NeverWorld.

I won't tell you the character's name (yes, I do have one and I've known it for years) but I will say that it's a fairy.  I won't get into the details for that would reveal too much of the plot, but rest assured that such a concept is indeed integral.  This fairy is a bad fairy.  As in one of the wee folk gone sour.  A villainous fairy.  No, not the baddie of the tale.  But he's malevolent nonetheless.

The trouble with him, though, which I related to Andrea, had been what would cause a fairy to go bad?  Oh sure, I had some thoughts here or there.  But nothing concrete.  And I always wound up resorting to some involvement of the Fairy Council.  But I know that's too pat an answer.

A 'photo' I whipped up for Andrea.

So Andrea says:  I can think of lots of reasons for a fairy to go bad. Shall I start?
Me:  OH?? well, sure!

Well, folks, Ms. Andrea Jones certainly knows her way around the Neverland, as she proved in her novel Hook & Jill.  The typing came...and bam.  Three great ideas.  But she only needed three.  For the third had been gold.  A strange and lovely logic permeates it, echoing Barrie.  A perfect fit.  And yet she said:  Shall I continue?  I have no doubt she could have brought up three more in as little time.  But we agreed emphatically that her third idea had to be it.
 ...for, as many believe, three is a charm.
- Peter Pan's NeverWorld

I had to have it, so I asked if I may steal it from her.  With a comment about how she liked the "piratey" aspect of it, Andrea kindly let me snatch up the idea.  So let this be the first acknowledgement of her being given credit for the bad fairy's backstory premise.  Thank you, Andrea!

Goodness, if I keep this up (i.e. picking up good snippets like this) I'm going to find myself on the NeverWorld again!

*Note:  This is not to say that Barrie fairies, in general, are not mischievous.  Indeed they are!  But note these lines from Peter and Wendy:   Tink was not all bad; or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good.  Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.  The fairy in Book 3, however, IS all bad.  Always.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Is Peter Pan Gun-Shy?

I believe in subsequent books of the NeverWorld, I'm going to put something you might not expect in the hand of Peter Pan.  A gun.

Before you balk and scoff (if you haven't already) consider this line from Peter and Wendy.

“Ah, old lady,” said Peter, hanging up his gun.
Ah, see, he does have a gun!
I can easily see why it's not within the scope of people's general perception of Peter Pan.  When have we ever seen him fighting with something other than a dagger or a sword?  Guns at all in the story only come with the pirates, or so it seems.  And that line can often slip by one's notice.  I've always wondered, though, why Hook doesn't just shoot Pan down?  An answer comes to mind quickly - Peter is too fast, clever and alert and ever so ready to dart out of the way.  At least that's what I believe.  And P.J. Hogan, at least, thinks so as well (though Peter actually escapes the shot with a warning from Wendy.)
However, the fact remains that guns are very real in the Neverland.  And since there's precedent for it as per Sir J.M. Barrie himself, I'd like to push the boundary of our conception of the world of the flying boy.  As someone who ventures forth into that world, I'm curious how such a heavy burden would be handled by Pan.  One has to wonder why he hasn't already used one famously.  Is there a reason?  I cannot say for sure what Barrie's might have been, but I have two educated guessses.
For the first (but not foremost) answer, I turn to my own work, Peter Pan's NeverWorld, since I presented my story-wise theory within its pages:
[Michael Pan] held the ax like a rifle, an instrument of which he never felt very fond.  Guns and rifles always seemed like cheating to him. He longed for a more adventurous clash with the enemy. Perhaps some things do run in the family.
Naturally I hope you agree with the thought.  As for the real world (meaning our own) application, I believe Barrie's particular aversion to real world war should be examined.  World War I claimed his beloved George.  Okay, to be honest, he would have written the play and novel long before George's gunshot to the head at the age of 21.  Consider, though, this line from the novel form of Peter Pan:

When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very real. That is why there are night-lights.

Obviously Barrie never underestimated the severity of the dangers of Pan's island. And by extension, the world.  Maybe he could not cope with the horror of the personal cannon.  Perhaps that's one reason Captain Hook does not fall to sword or gunfire. Other reasons exist, for sure, but I venture it's a valid factor.

When it came time for Peter Pan's NeverWorld, part of the idea behind the project had been to explore how Peter Pan and the Neverland would be affected by the events of the world since the days of the original story. Knowing the emotional impact war had on Barrie, it definitely needed a major role in the new tale.

And now, having been prompted by a comment somewhere on the internet about Peter Pan not having a gun, I decided perhaps it's time we see it happen.

I'm not going to tackle this any time soon. I have plenty endeavors to keep me busy before then... including returning to NeverWorld to finish the second book. Quite honestly, I can most definitely see guns fitting perfectly into the storyline of book three. A grand match for it, indeed. Judging by the tingles [for lack of a better term] I'm getting inspiration-wise, I think it's a safe bet that book three will put a pistol in the hand of Pan.  Maybe by then I'll have figured out the best way to do it.

Until then, I'll be thinking of Peter with the Lagollon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Barrieopardy Yet Again

Clap your hands, for you have to believe...
...that Jeopardy! had on Sir J.M. Barrie, yes, again.

The category:
It dealt with famous authors who use two initials and a surname rather than full first names.

It had also been the
So naturally, our beloved creator of the lovable flying urchin came up in this form of a clue... nice "qualifier" - don't you think?

If you're wondering, the Jeopardy! champion did indeed answer correctly with an emphatic "YES!" from Alex Trebek.
So do other subjects show up this much on Jeopardy! or...?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tease Me, Pan

Here's a QUICK little teaser and short featurette for the upcoming SyFy Channel's mini-series Neverland, which is supposed to be a prequel to Barrie's beloved tale.  I talk about my feelings on this here.

Truthfully, it looks pretty darn cool.  Good F/X, at least.  But again, I just wish it were a re-imagining of the original story rather than an attempt at explaining it and ignoring Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.  [Or maybe it won't?  I guess we'll find out, eh?]  Also, I'm hoping something happens to Hook's hair.  He "can't" be blonde, can he?  ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Monsters? Be Reasonable.

Monsters exist only if the pretense of reason exists.  Before the Age of Reason, you cannot generally claim monsters as an unnatural force.  There were dragons on the map — as much of a fact as sunrise. - Guillermo del Toro
When I read the above quote it made quite an impact on me.  And knowing it comes from one of the best creators of visual and vital monsters brought to the screen, it meant all the more.
If you haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth and can handle very intense mythical-inspired creatures along with powerful emotions and the dark behavior of people during war/conflict conditions, do yourself a favor and journey along into one of del Toro's masterpieces.  I only wish it had been called Faun's Labyrinth.  No, not to preserve the name of Peter Pan.  After all, Peter refers to the god Pan anyway.  The original title of it:  El Labertino del Fauno.  The Faun, sure, is Pan.  But as he says in the movie, he has many names.  So why not preserve the title?  I especially like the use and portrayal of fairies in it.
del Toro brought forth an amazing fairy tale for adults.

I found the quote in this article/interview in The New Yorker.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Hope

I just want to go on record with something.

I’ve already expressed my appreciation for the incredible young talent Emily Bear. She’s been quite active since that last post. She’s even played at Carnegie Hall! She’s just been to Geneva, Switzerland for goodness’ sake! And this past holiday, Santa brought me her latest album, Hope. A soothing and wonderful treat, but of course.

Anyway, I’ve decided upon a certain dream scenario. Not just now - it’s been rattling around in my head for quite a long time, I’d venture even as far back as the post about her.

Should there ever come a time when a novel of mine will be adapted to the silver screen, it would be such an honor for me if Miss Emily Bear would compose the score. Or, if she is (understandably) not up to generating an entire soundtrack for a film... then my wish is that she creates the overall “theme song” to the story/film...and some other composer incorporates her song into the larger scope.

And who might that be? Oh, sure, I’ve got some favorite composers in mind. But for right now, I’ll just keep the focus on Miss Bear. She’s truly a marvel. And to have her notes as part of a tale of mine? (Happy Sigh) That would truly be a gift.  And so, until then, I shall hope...

*Picture at piano taken from her official Facebook page.  No infrigement intended.