Real Life Stories.

Permit me to write about something that probably makes me a geek: Story Structure and Cliches.

If you are not into film reviews like I am, or book discussions, you may not feel this subject is important, but I submit to you that it is and it affects your life more than you think.

Let’s jump in:

First of all, a story structure is the type of story you have constructed. Each genre has a few different structures to it. Romances have a comedic structure, or a sappy structure, or even a adventurous structure. It all over laps.

The structure, as you can probably guess, is the blueprint of how the story plays out. Its’s how you use your characters and plot devices, how you narrate the story, and how long it is. A short story has a different structure from a long (in this case 300+ pages) story.

The reason story structure is important to the non-writer or reader is because it will be present in pretty much every area of your life that you hear anecdotes, sermons, lessons, plans, or ideas in.

It can tell you a lot about a person when you know the structure they use to talk about themselves. Are they dramatic? Are they pragmatic? Are the emotional or are they stoic? What does their self;narration tell you about them.

I think, ladies and gentlemen, that the adage that life is a story is the truest way to describe it. The way we measure each other is through the elements of story. The way we talk is shaped by it.

You may have heard the saying that we are each the hero of our own story. I do not think that is true. It is quite possible to be the villain of your own story.

I was just watching a Superman movie, and before it came on some creators of a different Superman story were shown talking about their own personal kryptonite. The last man said “I would say I am probably my own kryptonite.”

That man is honest.

We have other weaknesses, but we are our own worst enemy most of the time.

Ever wonder why the protagonist who constantly makes mistakes and misses the point annoys you so much? They remind you of you.

People have acknowledge that we dislike the most human characters most strongly. In real life that is also true. People who screw up constantly frustrate us. The one worker on the job who has to be re-shown how to do something again and again, that student who’s a little slow, that junkie who won’t stay clean, you when you look at what you’ve accomplished in your life and think you could have done so much more.

We are vicious on these people as a society, and sadly often as individuals, I do it too.

But are we really just mad at ourselves?

I’m not the first person to suggest that, and I won’t be the last either. I am just throwing it out there.

In a story we root for the capable and the good. I’ve known some commentators to think this is delusional of us. That we don’t want to face up to our humanity in the flawed characters.

But writers understand why the good characters have to be the role model. They are the best of us and we only get better when we have a better person to admire and imitate. The human characters cannot do that for us because they can never be our superiors. In life you cannot look up to the person that is failing constantly. You have to find someone who is succeeding more that you.

Let’s talk about cliches/tropes now:

A cliche or trope is thing that writers use a lot, if it’s a trope it’s just a way to tell the story that is necessary to the style. But a cliche is overused, unoriginal or lazy.

In real life cliches show up everywhere as old poetical slogans, cheesy commercials, lame excuses. Don’t you hate them?

I know I roll my eyes.

But tropes are more interesting. I often, as part of the people group of internet review watchers, here people complain that a solution was used in a movie or book that seemed like magic, or too good to be true. Or even occasionally too bad to be true.

Tropes are fascinating simply because they show up in real life, tropes are what make stories seem real to us.

Here’s a few of them:

  1. The Chosen one.
  2. The magical happy ending
  3. Redeeming Wicked Characters

You’d be surprise how angry people get over the last one.

The chosen one means the hero is selected, one might say called, to be the answer to the stories problem.

It’s something we see in real life a lot. We know some [people are born to do certain things, and could not be happy unless they did them. Artists are born, writers are born, speakers, and those are just the common language ones. There’s thousands more.

We can see how historical figures were meant to shape the world. Gandhi being one of our more popular examples now.

The magical happy ending can be unrealistic, but more often then not it comes because the chosen one set things right. Peace is restored. People begin to thrive again. How often have we seen this in history? And even in our own lives. Maybe our happy endings don’t last,  but the principle remains. You notice any time a story becomes a series the happy ending is temporary. It is meant to resolve one problem, not every problem, and that is how we live it out in our lives.

As for redeeming evil characters, we don’t see this as often. But when we do it’s surprisingly true to how stories portray it. People change because someone is kind to them; because they realize what they’ve become; because they have a revelation of truth. This is how characters change in stories, and it’s true to life.

Why does all this matter to the person who does not care about assessing stories?

Because stories are going to shape how you think about this stuff in real life. IF you don’t believe someone in a story can change, chances are you don’t believe people can change.

It’s funny to me whenever someone acts like how they view fiction and how they view reality are separate. Like it’s not their mind and beliefs in both areas. Give me a break.

I hope this was enlightening or interesting to everyone, until next time–Natasha.

Circle of Life.

Lyrics of African lyrics:

Here comes a lion father

oh yes it’s a lion

we’re going to conquer

a lion and tiger come to this open place.

 

From the day we arrive on the planet

and blinking step into the sun

There’s more to see than can ever be seen, ‘

more to do than could ever be done

there’s far too much to take in here

much more to find than cane very be found

but the sun rolling high 

in the sapphire sky

keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s the circle of life

and it moves us all

through despair and hope

through faith and love

till we find our place

on the path unwinding

It’s the circle, 

the circle of life.

Anyone else get chills when they hear this English part? I used to love this intro.

It’s just so great. I always though it captured the feeling of being in Africa and being one of the animals in the film.

Something about it. IT just suggests wisdom and steadiness with life.

Well, I doubt it surprises anyone that I like the Lion King. Who doesn’t?

Though to be honest, Simba was never my favorite part of it. I like Mufasa, and Nala, and kind of Timon and Pumba.

Well, everyone loves Mufasa.

And I also hated Scar, which most people don’t seem to. Though at the last you almsot feel sorry for him…almost.

Actually to my mind the whole scene where he hyenas kill him while the fire starts burning them is one of the creepiest Disney deaths ever. But poetically just.

Anyway, why one earth would I make this song the subject of a post?

Well, I always thought this song was embodying some tribal philosophy. Don’t take that the wrong way, it just seems like Disney selected an African culture to base the film off of. (Plus Hamlet.)

Now, maybe it is, but if so, now that I know the lyrics, I’m not convinced that philosophy is so bad.

Again, this song just has a rich tone. That’s what really makes it work. The lyrics aren’t spectacular, until you combine them with those awesome vocals and background music.

Then you get something that basically makes you feel like you’re on the African Savannah watching life happen.

The best things about the animation for this film as that everything in it seems royal. It just spells it out for you. Every beast is portrayed majestically and proud, except for the hyenas and Timon and Pumba. But especially in this opening number, you really feel like you’re that young giraffe we see, or Simba himself. Seeing all this for the first time, and being overawed by it all.

You feel the wonder of being young and new to the world.

And that is a good feeling to have. Especially to us older and often more cynical folks.

also I could feel a sort of appreciation all the beasts have for their world.

And that’s another factor of this film, it’s very simple. The circle of life is easy to explain. You are born, you die. Lions eat antelope; but antelope eat grass, which grows from dirt which the lions turn into after dying. The sun moves over the Savannah and provides light to all the animals, enabling the circle to continue.

It gets even more interesting if you start looking further in the the symbolism in the film. It’s no accident that we see a birth, a death, a coming of age, another death, and finally another birth; all in the course of the story. (nor that we see similar things int he sequel. If you’ve watched that.) It’s a circle.

Now I am not one of those who thinks that thinks just progress in a certain way because of some abstract Mother Nature, or some pattern that just proceeds because it has to. OF course I think God established the rhythm of the world. (It has since been tweaked a lot, and not for the better.)

But because I believe that, I don’t find the circle of life idea offensive. I think it’s very true that things proceed in a circular pattern. This has been pointed out in “The Fourth Turning.”

The reason it simple enough. Human nature doesn’t change, and Nature itself has to operate the way it is designed to. So you have events always repeating themselves, though never exactly in the same way.

Mufasa and Simba are not the same. But they have to take the same role in life.

But it should not be lost on the audience that the movie, though showing deatht o be a real and important thing, supports life as the goal and proper state of the world. Showing how Simba restores life and order to his kingdom.

The whole thing with the Sun even in the song lyrics is pointing to life and health and prosperity.

Also, in true Disney fashion (and much like Frozen) the song is foreshadowing the movie’s events.

Through despair and hope, through faith and love, till we find our place, int he path unwinding.

TO be honest, I neer understood those lines, I fully expected the last part to be “to fulfill our dream” or something like that.

It so would be now.

Simba goes through despair, and then hope, he finds faith and then love. Then he finds his place. (The path unwinding part comes more into the sequel.) The landscape of the film mirrors his journey. From the dry canyon and the thorny bramble, to the lush and lazy jungle, back to his home, and ultimately we see that home restored to it’s lush state also.

The beasts and other lions also experience despair at losing their king, then hope when Simba returns, they put their faith in him, and in the end things are right again.

Symbolically, we hear the song again at the close of the film. (You remember that thunderclap sound that  everyone got pumped up after hearing?)

Things come full circle.

That was subtlety, back in the day.

There is so much to unpack from this film, but that’ all I can fit into this post. Until next time–Natasha.

The Spectacular Spider-Man!

I do not like spiders, but ironically, my favorite superhero was Spider-Man when I was a kid. Back when it was the only superhero comic I read. (We used to get them in the mail, cool huh? I wish that still was a thing.) And while Scott Free and Big Barda may be my new favorites, along with Wonder Woman, Spider-Man will always hold a special place in my affections.

And that’s why I have now seen the Tobey Maguire movie version of it, which was the most true to comic book version that I have seen. (I couldn’t have  been the only one disappointed by the less mature, and more goofy Spider-Man in Civil War, though even so, he was the best of it, in my opinion.)

I’ve talked about Superheroes in general a lot, but I haven’t talked about most of them specifically, let’s do that.

In my view, Spider-Man and Batman are a lot alike. (I apologize for the hyphens, but autocorrect keeps putting them in.)

I don’t mean personality wise, but let me say, I’d forgotten how sad Peter Parker’s story was. It was even worse seeing it then reading it. I guess that means the actors were convincing. The movie version is even more like Batman because Peter sees Uncle Ben after he’s shot and goes off at once to stop the killer. Only to find in an  un-Batman-like twist, that it was a guy he could have stopped.

Lesson Learned: Revenge is stupid and so is yelling at someone over nothing.

But I would not be flippant about it, Spider-Man had a legitimately crummy life, whatever version of him you know. he gets dumped constantly; his friends turn into villains; his villains turn into worse villains; his family dies. Not fun.

The amount of times Peter Parker gets really hurt, emotionally and physically, are enough to make you ache in sympathy. Why? You ask. Why do the writers keep doing this to him? (If anyone knows the answer tot hat, please comment it, seriously.)

By contrast, Batman witnesses one personal tragedy (though more later in some versions of him) and is scarred for life. Ig et that there’s a difference of age here, but still…

Really, it’s their personality. Spider-Man is a wisecracking kid trying to dot he right thing and pay the rent at the same time. Batman is a rich kid with nothing else to occupy his time except making business deals and going to events. Nott hat I fault him for that. To each his own, but perhaps Batman gets more of the luxury of wallowing in Self Pity.

After all, Peter has to support his aunt, and keep any eye on Mary Jane and his other friends. (Though they dwindle.)

Maybe it’s true that idleness is worse for your character than almost anything else. Bruce Wayne can be kind of self absorbed, though he does a lot of good. Peter doesn’t have that option. So  even though he’s younger, he’s got more heart. (Like Captain America says.)

Maybe that’s why my favorite version of Batman, and the only one I really like and respect, is the Justice League Unlimited one. AS much as I wanted someone to punch after he turn down Wonder Woman, he still is at his best when he’s with the League.

It brought him a bit out of the shell of darkness most of his movies place him in. It’s even in the background. Most of the JLU adventures take place in the daytime, whereas if you go to a Batman only film or show, most of it is at night. Interesting, right?

I could go on for a whole other post about Batman’s good moments in the League (maybe I will, who knows?) But for now I think it’s enough o say he needs friends.

Another difference between them, despite their similar origins, is that Batman usually has people around him who wish he’d let them be more of friends or family to him, but he won’t.

Where as Spider-Man will, but he gets deserted or libeled or overlooked.

I really think Peter Parker just needed to be cut some slack by his writers, but I guess that just doesn’t leave people o the edge like horrible things happening does.

I ought to have learned by now that a person like me, who likes peace, tranquility, and happy endings; is never going to be satisfied with superhero material unless I purposely stop before it gets ruined again.

It’s the never ending battle of super-heroism that is what I don’t like about the concept. And no one said it had to be that way when the genre started, it just evolved into that. And that was what kept stuff selling. Which we can only blame consumers for.

Apparently, I’m pretty much a minority in my tastes on that score.

Anyway, you might be wondering if I liked the movie. The answer is: I neither liked it nor disliked it.

The Green Goblin is without a doubt the scariest Spider-Man (or Marvel itself even) villain I’ve ever seen, though there are DC villains even worse than him. He was too real. I firmly believe what happened to him could happen in real life, and probably has.

Nonetheless, it was not exactly a tragedy because he chose it himself and kept choosing it. My sister said choice was the big theme of the movie.

I agree, and I would add so was the difference between being given power, and trying to take it.

This difference is sort of pointed out in Frozen, when people think Elsa is using sorcery, but as we know, she was born with her powers, making them a gift.

That’s actually a subject worth covering in another post, but I can’t delve into it here.

The Green Goblin, or Osborne, made all the bad things happen to himself by poor planning and experimenting with dangerous things and ultimately committing murder and hurting his son’s emotional well-being. A classic case of a villain who doesn’t know he’s a villain. Only, he does, in a way.

Peter, on the other hand, directly cause only on of the bad things that happens to him, and is sorry for it. Not blaming anyone else. But instead of letting it crush him, he does the only thing he could to honor Uncle Ben’s last bit of advice to him, he uses his powers for good instead of selfish gain.

You have to pick up the pieces after your life is shattered, or you and everyone around you will step on the broken glass.

And those are my words of wisdom for now, until next time–Natasha.

What I hate (and love) about superheros.

Not the first time I’ve talked about this I know, but I actually have found a couple of superhero films that I like, and the new Wonder Woman came out this month, so let’s go for it.

First of all, start with the negative.

What I hate about superhero movies is how darn depressing they are. Seriously, there’s some pscyo villain who has some non-relatable reason for wanting to destroy humanity, and we’re all supposed to sympathize with them, even when they’re point of view makes no sense. And the hero never has a really good answer for them.

At least in the last decade and a half of films.

But when they do it right, the villain is tragic or at least someone we won’t feel sorry for; and the hero is not shaken by the villain’s warped world view.

Not all superhero movies are depressing, they were originally inspiring.

What I like about superhero movies is they can give us a cool story, with plenty of unrealistic action and science and powers; but they keep it grounded in real life. The perfect combination some would say.

In my personal opinion, “The Incredibles” nailed this one in every way. The heroes never stop being normal people with their own quirks and problems to work out.

In contrast, the Avengers never stop acting like superheroes. I have never seen any of them really loosen up and turn off the charm and bravado and wise cracking, and just be people.

The whole idea of a superhero is a person with special powers, who uses them unselfishly. The MCU can’t even decide whether it’s heroes are heroes or villains.

What shocks me is how many people are applauding this, even while many are horrified. People find a movie boring now, if the villain is not just as compelling as the hero.

I don’t mind an interesting villain, but if they aren’t going to reform by the end, I don’t want to get attached to them.

This will sound sacrilegious, but I have never made any connection with any modern superhero except briefly for Captain America. (In his first movie.)

But, what I do like about the superheros I actually connect with, is how they never let anything stop them from doing the right thing.

It’s like Superman says of his friends in one episode of the animated Justice League, he tells the bad guy he’s fighting that none of them will stop fighting as long as they ‘re breathing, and able to move. (I paraphrase.)

I appreciate the teamwork they exhibit. It’s what makes they’re powers are attractive, because the team shows the best of everyone.

But it’ how they are with each other in ordinary life that really makes it work.

I think Guardians of the Galaxy was better in  this regard, even though they all start off as enemies and end up with rather dysfunctional family–friendship dynamic, it worked.

Anyway, there’s no formula for making a good superhero flick…which is the problem. Personally, I find movies where there has to to be a violent action sequence every five minute to be boring.

I’d really start to think superheros just don’t have self control.

At least when Mr. Incredible loses it, there are serious consequences.

I really hope that this new Wonder Woman film sparks a new trend, because I think this genre had a lot of potential if people figure out how to use it right.

In the end, though, whenever you have huge quantities of something, the’res only going to be a few really good products to choose from.

I think some people see it as stuck up to even complain, the masses like the total crud that studios pop out every two years, why not we? What makes our opinion so much better?

Well, I can’t really say. I have my reasons, my concern is that the majority of us don’t use reason when we’re judging a film or any other thing we like. We want to be entertained. Not taught.

(I know folks who won’t even try to hide that this is their perspective.)

And if that’s what you want, than even a really well-made movie is lost on you. Take Frozen as an example. I know for a fact that despite its popularity, not even half of the fans fully understand why it’s a great movie. They like the songs, the cool clothes, the funny scenes, and the wishy-washy message about love; but they miss the real deep message about true love, and the really important stuff the movie is telling us about ourselves.

And many just can’t stomach the format.

Personally, I don’t care about formatting.(Most of the time.) My tastes go from those super-boring-to-most-people real life story movies, to a few of the notoriously bad Christian movies, to Disney, to obscure movies very few people have ever heard of and movies that were supposedly made to sell toys.

I don’t care. I just want the movie to speak to me. Otherwise, what’s the point? Literally.

Now, it is possible to get caught in the trap of assigning meaning where meaning clearly wasn’t intended, which is why I think movie reviewers are important in moderation. Just like book reviewers are. I’d be hypocrite if I said that’s a bad thing.

But I do think there is too much credit given to the movies that are huge successes. Frankly, a lot of them are trash. Except the ones that are not.

But, there are legit reasons people like even the Superhero movies that I despise. A lot of the times they can overlook the flaws because the heroes are just so cool, and I suppose that’s fine to a certain point.

But you can’t just excuse every problem because a movie appeals to your personal taste. Per example, I used to like Pocahontas the best of any Disney princess movie, but though I don’t hate it now, I admit it’s pretty flawed. (Sorry to any fans out there.)

Anyway, I risk shooting the sacred cow just writing this, but I think people will see where I’m coming from.

Until next time–Natasha.

Personal Interpretation?

Have you ever watched a movie and thought that it was advertised all wrong? Or thought that what you heard people say about it was bogus? This also happens with books, to a lesser extent, because to be honest,  I rarely hear anyone talk about the last book they read. (The last one I finished was The Magician’s Nephew, those Narnia books never cease to be awesome.)

Movies, books, pictures, songs, as we all know, these things are what make up most of our cultures and every culture’s art. Except for movies, that’s not something every culture can afford to compete with the U.S. in.

There are a thousand different opinions about art, even about the same piece of art. So, it’s no surprise that what one person sees is not what another person sees. We’re not all looking for the same things.

But there is a point where I’d say personal interpretation goes too far.

I am getting heartily sick of reading or watching the most innocent of material, and then finding out somebody is pushing to get it acknowledged that there’s a homosexual character present in the said material.

People even did this with Frozen, to an extent that makes me sick, because what they were suggesting wasn’t okay even if one accepted homosexuality as normal. I really don’t want to repeat it, but you may have come across it yourself. If so, enough said.

And then there’s just the heterosexual remarks too. People do read way too much into some stuff.

However, even more common than both those unwholesome incidents is just misinterpreting what something really means.

What astonishes me is how often both authors and screenwriters do this with their own creations.

My siblings and I call it a lack of vision. What happens is someone creates a character that ends up catching the interest of a lot of people, and they develop the character enough to keep that interest, but then inexplicably, they just stop and leave it at that.

I know a couple of kids shows that young adults still watch because they’re actually good, and the shows make this same mistake. They build a character up and then they let you down.

I suppose to anyone not interest in the show or movie or book, it hardly matters; but interested or not, I do think such problems affect you more than you realize.

You see, history shows that it is art that inspires greatness, or imparts it, to other people. This is particularly true of the art of words. And it was the art that had something real and good to say to us, that caused us to become better people. that is still true.

Anytime an opportunity to make something like that is wasted, so is a chance to inspire kids and adults alike to be better people.

I have a case in point that should be harmless to give because the author is long gone.

There’s a book titled Miss Pettigrew lives for a day that was later made into a movie. I saw the movie first and liked it a lot. I was sure the book would be even better–it wasn’t. Mind you, I’ve only said this of maybe half a dozen books. Almost always the movie is inferior. (Just look at what they’ve done to The Chronicles of Narnia, even Disney sometimes disappoints me.)

The whole reason that the movie was better than the book was simply this: both portrayed two different outlooks, and two different lifestyles, but while the movie was honest about the pitfalls of both, the book very much leaned towards one (that I’d say was the worst of the two.) Plus, the book offered no real reflective moments in which the characters could see something new about life and themselves, whereas the movie had quite a few.

The difference was simply vision. The people who made the movie saw something in the story that they could speak to their audience about. the author of the book just wanted to impress upon them what kind of lifestyle was the more fun and free.

I am grateful to the people who really tried to say something good with their work. “Rise of the Guardians” is another example. The people behind it had something to show the kids and adults watching. It’s a great movie.

One of the reasons Moana originally was somewhat of a turn off to me was because I kept hearing that they were trying to make her the anti-Disney princess.  Presumably by giving her a different build, no lover interest, and her own adventure, they were accomplishing this.

First of all, Moana is not the first Disney girl to have no love interest and her own adventure, or a different build.

Second, if that’s what they think has captivated little girls, and even boys, for years about Disney Princesses, then they do not understand anything about making a quality character.

Children love Disney movies for a few simple reasons: One, there’s a clear hero and a clear villain. Two, they are animated nicely, (usually,) and so there is no problem with wanting to be a “part of that world.” Three, the music is often more unique and fun than you’ll find in other places, and what kids don’t like to sing and dance until they get old enough to be embarrassed about it?

But the last and most important reason that kids love Disney is because Disney tackles important subjects, and shows us things about real life, in a way kids can understand, and often adults still find profound.

The more we forget this and see Disney simply as a tool to teach kids to be as pluralistic as the rest of the culture, the less the movies will be good. Because the movies that promote that stuff are simply not good. How can they be? When to say that there is no right answer is to defeat the point of making a movie about it?

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

“I am Moana” part 2.

Okay, I’ve already outlined the story and the positive and negative elements of the film itself, now I want to get to my favorite part: The message.

It’s funny that directors often don’t know their own message very well. Everyone thinks Moana is about being true to yourself.

“You always, always say ‘be true to yourself,’ but you never say which part of yourself to be true to!”–Buddy, The Incredibles.

Well, as Buddy points out, being true to yourself is not as simple as just being told to be.

And what does it really mean anyway?

I won’t argue that a large part of Moana is devoted to that message, but I don’t think we should just apply it to Moana. What about the Ocean? The Ocean wrecks Moana’s canoe, twice; almost drowns her; almost drowns her father and does drown his best friend; it also doesn’t respond to Moana’s cries for help every time she want sit to. What is the deal with the Ocean?

Moana, as we all would, gets frustrated with her new “friend.” Maybe you have a friend like that, one who acts in ways you can’t understand. I do.

But I actually love that the ocean acts this way, because the Ocean reminds me of God.

I know Christians say this about virtually every movie, but don’t roll your eyes yet, I have an unusual reason.

If you’ve read the Chronicles of Narnia, you’ll recall that Aslan, the king, is not safe; but he’s good. Even in the movie they admit “He is not a tame lion.”

The wildness of Aslan frightens many people, in and out of the books, I might add. Aslan himself may not frighten those of us in the real world, but when we meet anything like him, we are frightened.

When it comes to things that aren’t alive, I’d say the Ocean takes the prize for being the most wild and unpredictable. You know why sailors are famous for cursing? You try being on a boat in the middle of rough water and see if you don’t at least think about it. I have been, it was one of the worst days of my life–and then there was the return trip.

No one can tame the Ocean. And that is something Moana needs to realize, no matter whether it chose her or not, the Ocean is still the Ocean, and it has to act according to its nature. Aslan admits to swallowing whole villages of people, to Jill, (in Book 6,) and not at all as if he is sorry or glad. He just is.

It is largely forgotten among the Church that God is like this. He is not predictable, we can not carry Him in our pocket. God Himself does destroy things, he does mete out justice, He does cause death. Many people hate Him for those reasons.

Yet God is not responsible for murder, for evil, or for every sorrow. But eh never tells us how we may know the difference between what he ahs caused and what other things have caused, He just ells us to trust Him.

This is why many people think Christians who are not fake are simply nuts. Well, maybe we are, maybe we are crazy for the sake of others, as Paul says.

But is it not somewhat crazy for Moana to set off alone, with her dumb chicken, to find Maui, who doesn’t seem the hero type even to her, and fight a lava monster single handedly after Maui abandons her like a jerk. (Really, if he’d just left it would have been one thing, but the mean things he says made me want to punch him.) Moana’s Grandma is crazy, and Moana definitely takes after her, but I loved it and I was not in the minority for once.

The Ocean teaches us a very important lesson: Good things are dangerous.

Things cannot be truly good until they are dangerous. Otherwise they are not tested. Evil things are also dangerous, but not in the same way. The difference, if we go by Jesus words, is one can destroy your body, the other can destroy body and soul, but the first is men, the second is God. Which is more good?

Of all the monsters in the realm, none of them defeats Moana or comes as close to it, as her disappointment and discouragement with the Ocean does. Good is far more dangerous than evil.

But that’s not bad. Because it’s good. That’s the paradox the movie is trying to show us. The Ocean helps Moana, just not in the way she expects, nor in the way she understands. For example, because the Ocean wrecked Moana a few times, she is not fazed when the Lava monster is making waves and nearly drowning her. She’s figured out how to swim.

And because Mona has had to do things without the Ocean’s help, she is brave enough to tell it to part when she needs Te Ka to come to her.

Because Moana has to carry so much of the weight, she is able to go on with or without Maui.

Maybe the Ocean knows what its doing.

The Ocean chose Moana for a reason, and I believe God chooses people for a reason too. But it’s not really about what’s special about us, it’s about if we will learn to trust.

That’s what’s great about Moana. It spends more time focusing on the journey than on why she was chosen, that becomes more apparent as we go.

Moana means Ocean, so the movie is really named after both of them, and Moana and the Ocean are in a sense, both the hero, neither is independent of the other.

Christians believe that God does not need people, but I personally believe that He has chosen to set this world up so that he does, in a sense. Not like we need things, it’s a different kind of need.

Moana realizes that our desires are awakened by something outside ourselves. That she longs for the Ocean because it calls her.

“And the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me. It’s like the tide, always falling and rising. I will carry you here in my heart to remind me, that come what may, I know the way. I am Moana!”

I am the ocean. Not that I literally am it, or that I have the power of it, but that the ocean is a part of me.

As weird as that may sound, the movie completely backs me up on it. Who we are is, literally, who we are called to be. Think about that sentence.

That song is what made me like the movie, and in my opinion, it’s why everyone likes it.

Is it better than “Let it go”? Of course not; they are two different songs that describe two different feelings, which are connected but are certainly not the same.

But Moana is like Frozen continued. Not good in the same way, but still good, and that is my verdict.

Until next time–Natasha.