alice's labyrinth

5

“Hello? Will?”

Fran Bow

So my cousin and I were playing this videogame called Fran Bow, and in the game the main character is a little girl who supposedly suffers from psychosis. I thought I was going to hate it, I thought that they were just using mental illness for shock value, demonising psychotic people because we’re so creepy and scary and violent and all of those lazy ableist tropes that most horror games and movies pull. But.. I really enjoyed it.

Fran is written to be a really sweet, caring, loving girl who just happens to suffer from psychosis. She’s not violent or hateful in the slightest. When she hallucinates herself being violent she gets really upset and scared (which is normally the reaction we have when this happens.) She even cries and apologises after killing in self defense, even when that person/thing was going to kill her.

I like how the nurses and doctors at the asylum were depicted as being abusive, because in real life abuse of the mentally ill by mental health professionals is a real problem. I like how nt’s as a whole were shown to be abusive and manipulative of Fran, taking advantage of her mental illness as opposed to the other way round. I wasn’t expecting that.

I can’t believe for once we’ve had a psychotic character represented like this. I liked it, you guys should check it out.

Also it reminded me of Coraline, Pan’s Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth, and Beetlejuice all in one, good shit good shit.

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Alice’s Curious Labyrinth by Kris Van de Sande
Via Flickr:
Disneyland Paris at Christmas Season 2016-17.

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be drawing the original Nutcracker and Mouse King story by ETA Hoffman as a graphic novel for First Second! Really excited to be doing my first full length graphic novel with them. This fairytale is a dark fever-dream, similar to Labyrinth or Alice in Wonderland, except there’s no real moral for the children at the end. Just a crazy, incredible fantasy all on it’s own. Look out for more updates and WIPs soon!

“Alice in Wonderland Maze”

A very warm, (albeit delayed) Happy 25th birthday to Disneyland Paris, one of the most beautiful theme parks in the world!! Today’s piece is an early concept for that park’s Fantasyland. Though Alice’s Curious Labyrinth currently operates in the park, the idea went through many changes during the development process. In this iteration, the Queen of Hearts Castle, was shaped out of a hedge, instead of being fully-explorable as it stands today.

Art ©️Disney

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blood relations by Lina
Via Flickr:
twins

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Alice’s Curious Labyrinth by Kris Van de Sande
Via Flickr:
Disneyland Paris at Christmas Season 2016-17.

The Gender Imbalance of Fantasy Protagonists

When young women are the main characters in fantasy - specifically as the primary protagonist, not as supporting characters - most of the time they’re along for the ride, our audience viewpoint to a strange new world. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter Pan all have a female main character as a young girl, an innocent, virtuous woman who doesn’t know anything about the world. This trope continues into Labyrinth, Pan’s Labyrinth, Spirited Away, Coraline, as well as others.

And on it’s own, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s something inherently interesting about using an innocent young person to show us a bold new world, and have it work as a metaphor for puberty. To have that be a woman can add to the effectiveness, because our society focuses so little on what it’s like for a girl to become a woman (especially from the perspective of sexuality and identity), that a metaphor can work particularly effectively.

However, you almost never see men as the innocent. With a few exceptions (James and the Giant Peach, The Pagemaster), most coming-of-age stories for young boys aren’t about some innocent kid just exploring a supernatural world with wide eyes.

Instead, when young men are protagonists, they’re the most important thing in the universe.

I have to acknowledge that, at the end of the day, Star Wars is about a whiny blonde boy who finds out he’s magic, and since I was a whiny blonde boy, I had a special connection to that film. But if you’re not a blonde boy, that film may not be quite as powerful as I credited it as being. Not to say that not that you won’t or can’t enjoy it as much (or more) than I did… but it’s not designed to speak to anyone the same way as it does to young boys. Young boys were literally the target audience.

Young boys in fiction aren’t passive protagonists in the same way young girls are - girls are taken by the hand and led through a strange world (”eat this,” “drink this” being a particularly glaring example). Sure, they’re usually still reactive protagonists rather than proactive, but the difference is that young male protagonists are treated as important - nay, essential - to the very fate of the world. Either they were born important, or they did one thing and wound up important, but now they’re the single most important person to the story.

Western fiction tells young boys - and not young girls - that YOU, Arthur of Camelot, have a destiny. Yes YOU, Clark Kent, have grown up in obscurity but will one day be the most important person on earth. YOU, Harry Potter, were foretold in prophecy to save us all. YOU, Luke Skywalker, are the new hope we’re looking for. YOU, Neo, are the chosen one, the messiah. YOU, Bilbo (and Frodo) Baggins, are able to defeat the villains who have oppressed the world. YOU, John Connor, will save humanity.

Now, again, that doesn’t mean that those movies, tv shows, cartoons, books, or video games are BAD because of this. It doesn’t mean you have to stop watching them or reading them, or protest them.

It just means we may be 100% ready for something different.

Because, here’s the other thing about everything I just said: With maybe one or two exceptions, none of these characters are anyone’s favorite characters.

Sure, I like Luke Skywalker because I relate to him. But I wanted to be Han Solo. And Harry Potter is fine and all that, but he’s cool just because he gets to go to Hogwarts and hang out with Hagrid, he’s not inherently the best character. Neo isn’t nearly as cool as Morpheus, Trinity, or Agent Smith. Bilbo and Frodo? Please, we’ve got Gandalf and Aragorn and Boromir. Sarah Connor’s only function is to give birth to John, but then she becomes a badass warrior woman despite that, way more interesting than her son. I would argue that Superman doesn’t fit that rule, but then again, even the people making movies about Clark Kent don’t seem to think he’s particularly interesting.

BUT if you introduce a female character who is the most important person in the world, you get characters like these:

Buffy Summers:

Avatar Korra:

Sailor Moon:

River Tam:

And really, at the end of the day, aren’t these characters a bit more interesting?

Movie Tag

I was tagged by @thatsadbreakfastclub and @mrsjugheadjonesthethird (honoured tbh, bc I love them both so much (check them out dudes))

List ten favourite movies (damn this is hard)
1. Sound Of Music
2. Hairspray
3. Alice In Wonderland (cartoon or Tim Burton, love all my Alice)
4. Labyrinth
5. LotR (all of them but if I had to pick one, Return of the King (luv me that ghost army))
6. Hobbit (again all but if I had to pick one Desolation of Smaug (bc Mirkwood and elf daddy)
7. Grease
8. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (B O T H)
9. Romeo and Juliet (the Leo DiCaprio version)
10. Stardust

THERE U GO
Yes I said elf daddy and I will never forgive myself but he IS literally elf daddy

Anyway thank you so much for tagging me, I love u all and I don’t really know who to tag except maybe @full-dark-no-starsxx , @cherylsvixens , @the-winter-imagines, and @allipotterhead1 AND THATS ALL I GOT BUT IF U WANNA DO IT GO FOR IT MY LOVELYS