Tangled vs. Frozen

Which is better quality, Frozen or Tangled?

Well, a large amount of people believe Tangled is better quality. Why do they think that? Because more effort was put into Tangled’s animations. And the plot is structurally perfect. All the characters have tidy story arcs, resolved without any plotholes.

These people seem to define quality as a list of rules; the more rules checked off, the better the quality.

I define quality differently. To me, quality is the strength of emotions that a story invokes. People don’t go to movies just to see pretty images on screen. They go to the movies to have a powerful emotional experience. Pretty images are just a bonus.

So is Tangled better quality than Frozen? Let’s start with a look at each movies first scene.

How did Tangled begin? With a man’s voice happily declaring, ‘This is the story of how I died’. A few people laughed. Most were intrigued.

And Frozen? The first thing viewers saw was a beautiful image of ice, suddenly disrupted by a saw bursting through the screen.

People jumped in their seats. Some yelped. Then, of course, they realized what had happened, and smiled in relief, or giggled nervously.

Strong emotion often shows physically. Tangled’s opening resulted in two physical symptoms—quiet laughter and smiles.

Frozen’s opening resulted in three; flinching with shock, then smiles, and, for some, laughter.

Three against two—Frozen wins.

There is one thing even lovers of Tangled will admit. Frozen has much better music.

Why is this important? Because music speaks directly to the brain, and, by extension, the heart. Music can move people to tears, calm panic attacks, and sooth people in pain.

How much emotion did you feel during ‘Mother Knows Best’? And how much, by comparison, did you fell during ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman’? Which one evoked more memories?

I believe the majority of people would answer the last question with ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman’.

Last time I checked, ‘Let It Go’ had received more than half a billion views on Youtube. How many covers does that song have? I was able to find one for the harp, the flute, the violin, the piano, the guitar, the ukelele and even Minecraft Noteblocks. ‘Let It Go’ may well have doubled Frozen’s quality.

Only one of Tangled’s song ‘At Last I See the Light’ has received widespread attention.

Frozen may have lacked animations as pretty as Tangled’s, but it invoked more emotion, and reached people on a much deeper level.

The way I see it, that makes Frozen better quality, even if it does ignore a few rules. There is no denying Tangled is awesome, but in my opinion, Frozen is better.

Macbeth: the Man and the Myth 

Macbeth is one of my favourite plays. That’s saying something, because I’ve only ever seen half the play. But I’ve read the script hundreds of times, and each time is as thrilling as the time before.

Finding out the play was was based on actual history was amazing. Who was the real Macbeth? Was he as ruthlessly ambitious as his fictional counterpart?

Macbeth was born in the eleventh century. His grandfather was Malcolm II, King of Scotland. Pretty much nothing is known about his childhood. In the eleventh century, a person’s childhood was rarely considered interesting enough to be recorded.

In 1020, Macbeth’s father was killed by a man named Gille Coemgáin. How did Macbeth feel about this? Was he angry, or was he forgiving?

All that is known is that Gille Coemgáin died before 1032, burned to death along with fifty of his men. No one knows who started the fire that Gille Coemgáin died in, but Macbeth is high on the list of suspects.

Afterwards, Macbeth married Gruoch, Gille’s wife. No one knows how this marriage came about, or what Gruoch thought of marrying a man suspected of murdering her husband.

Gruoch and Gille had at least one son, Lulach. Macbeth raised him as his own.

Malcolm II died in 1034, and was succeeded by Macbeth’s cousin Duncan. You might remember him from Shakespeare’s play. In the play, Macbeth murdered him to gain the throne. But was Duncan murdered in real life?

Duncan was probably not a popular king. His nickname was ‘An t-Ilgarach’, meaning ‘the diseased’. Duncan ruled for less than a decade. For some reason, Duncan decided it would be a good idea to lead an army against Moray—Macbeth’s territory.

Unsurprisingly, Macbeth defended himself against this attack, and Duncan was killed in the process. Death in battle is a different thing from being stabbed in your sleep. In this, at least, Macbeth was justified.

Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donald were children at the time. Malcolm, it is believed, was taken to England for safety, and Donald to Ireland.

Guess who seized the throne in the meantime? Yes, none other than Macbeth himself. In the play, Macbeth’s rein is portrayed as short, a few years at most. In reality, Macbeth ruled Scotland for seventeen years.

Then Malcolm, now an adult made his comeback. With the help of the English, he set out to regain his throne. Macduff, however, did not join Malcolm’s army. Why? Simple, really. As far as the evidence goes, Macduff never actually existed.

Records from the time claim Malcolm was the one who killed Macbeth. Although it could be that Malcolm stole another man’s glory, to make himself look better. Hard to tell, now that the battle’s lost and won.

Shakespeare’s play was based on real events—but very loosely. The facts are
fascinating, and I hope to learn more about the real Macbeth in the future.

If you have any thoughts on Macbeth you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment.

Gruoch, Wikipedia

Duncun I, Wikipedia

 

the Daughter of Marie-Antoinette

Who hasn’t heard of Marie-Antoinette? Even those who don’t know who she was know her name. But does anyone know the story of Marie-Antoinette’s daughters?

The children of Marie-Antoinette have fascinated me since I was a child. Yes, we all know what happened to Mary-Antoinette herself, but what happened to her children? The history books available contained no information, other than acknowledging these children’s existence.

Marie-Antoinette had four children, two of whom were daughters: Marie-Thérèse, her eldest child, and Sophie. Only one would live to adulthood.

Her firstborn, Marie-Thérèse, was born in December. Most of the court was disappointed; not a future king, but a girl. But Marie-Antoinette was happy. She looked at her newborn daughter and said: “Poor little one, you are not desired, but you will be none the less dear to me! A son would have belonged to the state—you will belong to me.”

Marie-Antoinette had a second child several years later—a boy, Louis Joseph, heir to the throne. Her second son, Louis Charles, was born in 1785. Marie-Antoinette then gave birth to her final child, Sophie, a second daughter.

What did Marie-Thérèse, then seven years old, think of the new baby? Was she jealous? Or was she delighted with her baby sister?

Eleven months and ten days later, Sophie died. Her death was likely the result of tuberculosis; she suffered from convulsions for nearly a week before she died.

Marie-Thérèse must have been devastated. The royal family was down one daughter; only the eldest remained.

Two years after Sophie passed away, Louis Joseph joined her in death. He was seven-years-old at the time, the closest in age to Marie-Thérèse. Four-year-old Louis Charles was now heir to the throne.

Mere months after Marie-Thérèse lost her brother, the palace of Versailles was stormed by an crowd of angry working women, who’d spent the last months struggling to get enough for their families to eat. The royal family was forced to take shelter in the king’s apartments. The crowd demanded the king and his family be removed from Versailles, to Tuileries Palace in Paris.

Together, both Marie-Antoinette and the king planned to escape France, and the Revolution. On June 21, 1791, both Marie-Thérèse and Louis Charles were disguised as middle class girls, and their mother as a middle class women. The royal family got into a six horsed carriage, and the escape began.

On June 22, one day later, the king and his family were recaptured. They were brought back to Paris and placed under house arrest.

In 1793, the king was executed. One evening in July, guards marched in the royal families apartment, and tore eight-year-old Louis Charles away from his mother and sister.

Marie-Antoinette was taken away a month later. Her daughter never saw her again, and for a two long years, had no clue whether her mother was alive or dead.

Marie-Thérèse was finally released in 1795, the day before her seventeenth birthday, and taken to Austria, her mother’s birth country.

The ruler of Austria, Marie-Thérèse’s uncle, had worked hard to get the royal family released. By the time he succeeded, only Marie-Thérèse was left. Louis Charles had died several months before.

Marie-Thérèse married Louis-Antoine in 1799. The two had no children; they rarely, if ever, slept together. Perhaps after the events of her own childhood, Marie-Thérèse was unwilling to risk children of her own.

In the following years, Marie-Thérèse attempted to return to France, but was forced, after a brave resistance, to leave by Napoleon. Surprisingly, Napoleon paid Marie-Thérèse what could be described as a compliment, saying she was the ‘only man in her family’.

On October 19, 1851, Marie-Thérèse died, the eldest daughter, and only surviving child of Marie-Antoinette. Hopefully her death reunited with her sister, Sophie and her brothers.

Sources

Mary-Thérèse, Wikipedia

Sophie, Wikipedia

Marie-Antoinette, Wikipedia

Marie Thérèse, History and Other Thoughts

 

Winston Churchill and the Second Wizarding War

The Second Wizarding War is often compared with World War II. The similarities are striking. Voldemort is often compared with Hitler. Again, many similarities. But if Voldemort is Hitler, who is Churchill?

Two characters come to mind. Rufus Scrimgeour, Minister for Magic, and Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts. Which one of these two is most like Churchill?

Plenty is known about Albus Dumbledore, but not much is known about Rufus Scrimgeour.

One can presume that Scrimgeour did well in school, given that he became an Auror. Winston Churchill, on the other hand, was a bad student. He did poorly in the two schools he first went to, and it took him three tries to pass the entrance exams for the British Royal Military College. Schools were not Churchill’s favoured environment.

Scrimgeour became Minister for Magic during a major war, after the former Minister for Magic was forced to resign. Churchill became Prime Minister in exactly the same way.

While Churchill wasn’t one to spread fake confidence, Scrimgeour was known for that, covering up prison breaks and anything else that could make people doubt him. He should have been less worried about publicity, and more worried about Voldemort, the man who would murder him.

Albus Dumbledore was the best student that Hogwarts had ever seen. He was sorted into Gryffindor, house of the brave.

Churchill once said, ‘Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities … because it is the quality which guarantees all others.’ I think we can guess what house he’d have been in.

Dumbledore is known for often committing foul deeds ‘for the greater good.’ While I can’t name any specific event, Churchill did once say: ‘If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.’ One can deduce that Churchill was as much for ‘the greater good’ as Dumbledore

Churchill died of a stroke, at the age of 90. Dumbledore died during the war, though, with his death triggering a series of events, that ultimately ended in Voldemort’s destruction.

Scrimgeour’s career path may have mimicked Churchill’s, but as leaders, the two were far apart. Though Dumbledore’s career was very different than Churchill’s, they were much closer in personality. I believe that Dumbledore is the one who comes across as most like Churchill.

What’s your opinion?

Sources

Winston Churchill, Wikipedia

Biography of Churchill

Harry Potter Wiki

 

Cornelius Fudge vs. Neville Chamberlain

Many people have compared Cornelius Fudge to Neville Chamberlain, former Prime Minister of the U.K. Some have even claimed that Fudge is a clear allegory of Chamberlain. But is this comparison deserved?

I’m sure anyone familiar with the ‘Harry Potter’ series remembers Fudge— the foolish Minster for Magic, who nearly destroyed the Wizarding World by denying the return of Lord Voldemort.

Many regard Neville Chamberlain in the same light. He denied the threat Hitler posed, and foolishly thought he could maintain peace. Little else is remembered of him.

Neville Chamberlain was born in the late nineteenth century, to a well-off family. His father was Justin Chamberlain, who would later become mayor of Birmingham.

Neville had several sisters, but only one brother, Austen, who was three years older than him. Both went to the same school; it is unclear whether or not they were close.

Whether or not Fudge had any siblings is known only by J.K. Rowling.

At the age of 68, Chamberlain became Prime Minister. It was clear from the start that he had little interest in foreign policy; domestic policy was what fascinated him. He worked on regulating the hours of labour that factories were allowed to have, and making child labour safer.

Unlike Fudge, who was known as a bumbler, Chamberlain appeared quite competent.

While Fudge awarded himself an Order of Merlin, Chamberlain did nothing of the kind. It was Chamberlain’s brother who won the Noble Peace Prize.

During the 1930s, Austen Chamberlain joined Winston Churchill in calling for rearmament. It is unknown how Neville Chamberlain felt about this.

Austen died in 1937. Whether or not Neville was close to his brother, it is hard to imagine this not impacting him.

In March, 1938, Austria, under the threat of invasion, was annexed by Germany. Austria pleaded with Britain for help.

Britain’s response was certainly something Fudge himself would have been proud off. They sent a note of protest to Berlin. Those Nazis must have been terrified by Britain’s efforts—if they bothered to notice, that is.

Czechoslovakia was next on the target list. Germany announced that they were going to invade on September 25. If only Voldemort had been so blunt!

Chamberlain sprang into action. He flew to Germany, to negotiate with Hitler. The result? The Munich Agreement.

Signed by Britain, France, Germany and Italy, it basically threw Czechoslovakia to the wolves. Germany was given permission to invade. Britain and France, allies of Czechoslovakia, promised not to interfere.

The only country to offer Czechoslovakia help was the Soviet Union.

It’s hard to say for sure what Chamberlain’s motives were for signing. Was he truly trying to protect Britain? Or, like Fudge, was he only interested in his own career?

Chamberlain returned to Britain, and declared he hoped the Munich Agreement would achieve ‘peace for our time’.

Fudge knew how dangerous Voldemort was. But did Chamberlain know how dangerous Hitler was? Surely, after invading two separate countries it would have been clear?

In September, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland, and Britain finally declared war.

Voldemort’s appearance in the Ministry spelled doom for Fudge. Within weeks he was forced to resign. Chamberlain lasted longer, leading Britain for eight more months after the declaration of war.

But, like Fudge, negative opinion lead him to resign

So was Chamberlain the original Fudge? If war hadn’t broken out, competent Chamberlain would have been remembered, at the very least as a decent Prime Minister. But war, as it so often does, brought out the darkness within him.

I believe Fudge was based of the actions Chamberlain took to prevent war. Fudge was motivated by selfish ambition. Chamberlain, on the other hand, seems to have been motivated by a fear of the horrors of war.

In personality, Chamberlain and Fudge are quite far apart.

What do you think?

 

Sources

Neville Chamberlain, Wikipedia

Munich Agreement, Wikipedia

Austen Chamberlain, Wikipedia

Washington Post, Neville Chamberlain

BBC, Historical Figures, Neville Chamberlain