I feel like talking about Weather Report and character design again. Because despite my lil ramble last time, there’s actually a lot I do like about his character design
Now, a lot of people know that Weather’s design (especially his hat) is most likely a reference to the Buffalo Man, a silhouette that appears on the cover of Acid Jazz band Jamiroquai’s albums
But there is another aspect of his design that I feel is also a deliberate shout-out to another band.
Namely, his codpiece.
It’s a slightly odd feature, innit? Nothing in his attire quite matches it outside the straps above his knees. JoJo is known for its silly designs, but people point this out as one of the sillier ones.
Now, this is mainly a hunch more than anything else, but I feel like the Codpiece is a shout-out/reference to Larry Blackmon, lead singer and frontman of American Funk and R&B band Cameo (which, you may or may not remember, was previously referenced in Stardust Crusaders as the name of Judgement’s stand user)
This was kind of Blackmons’ distinctive gimmick in a decade of all kinds of weird and wacky fashions, and it certainly helped Cameo stand out of the pack compared to other acts of the time. It also fit in with Blackmons’ rather unique vocal styles.
Despite the fact they were suuuuper successful on the Funk and R&B charts, they had a career spanning two decades and the fact that their songs are quite popular samples in Hip-Hop and Rap, their only mainstream success was with the 1986 hit Word Up! This was probably due to the huge backlash against Black music in particular post-Disco Backlash that didn’t really end until the later 80s, despite singers like Michael Jackson and Prince breaking the walls down a slight in 1983.
It might just be an over-speculation on my behalf, and an excuse to talk about my fave 80s funk act ever. But if it is the case, it just goes to show just how deep Araki’s love and knowledge of music is.
And heck, even the sorta hi-top fade Weather sports in his backstory as Wes Bluemarine may be a shout-out to Larry Blackmon - who was credited as starting the popularisation of the hairstyle (it’s sometimes even called a “cameo cut”). Unsurprising considering how influential Cameo was in the realms of black music.
(Also, If you’re looking for recommendations, the above linked “Word Up!” is pretty damn great. Though my fave song happens to be Candy. Other songs I quite like are She’s Strange and Back and Forth. The latter of which also has a downright hilarious opening of a zoom in of the codpiece and the codpiece being used as a pendulum)
Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes. #325.
1) I watched this about a week ago - on the actual Day of the Dead - but didn’t have time to write it because I live in Chicago and the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years. So my priorities were a little different than usual.
2) Anyone here a fan of “El Tigre”?
Well the creator of that show - Jorge R. Gutierrez - was the writer/director of this film! Some El Tigre characters even cameo in the film’s opening, but you have to REALLY look for them.
3) The framing device of this film (a bunch of kids at a museum being told a story) is a classic fairytale/magical realism device that can be found in films such as Big Fish. It also gives the film a plot driven reason for it’s unique animation style (the characters looking like wooden figures).
4) This film has some really great humor.
Vendor Boy: “Churros! Churros! (A bird poops on the churros.) Frosted churros!”
5) I will talk about La Muerte and Xibalba as individual characters in just a second, but for now I want to focus on their relationship.
I’m not overly familiar with Day of the Dead lore outside of this film, but I think the idea of having the ruler of The Land of the Remembered (La Muerte, everything good and wonderful in the world) and the ruler of the Land of the Forgotten (Xibalba, everything that is negative in the world) be lovers is a great idea. Their relationship is tense, volatile, and can be filled with conflict, but never is it abusive. Never is it hateful. You always get a great sense of love between these two and that’s what makes it work.
6) Ron Perlman as Xibalba.
These two wouldn’t work so well together if they couldn’t stand on their own as characters. And the work so well in that field because of equal parts writing, character design, and voice over work. Ron Perlman is a regular collaborator of Guillermo Del Toro’s, the executive producer on this film, and has worked in a number of animated project before (including VP Lancer in “Danny Phantom” and Clayface in “Batman: The Animated Series”). Perlman brings a roguish charm to all his characters, even when it’s just his voice. He’s interesting, rough, and just likable! And he makes Xibalba all those things. You’re never particularly rooting against him, even though he’s technically the villain. You’re just entranced whenever he’s on screen.
7) Kate del Castillo as La Muerte.
American audiences are not as familiar with Kate del Castillo as they are with Ron Perlman, although she is one of Mexico’s most acclaimed popular actresses. As Perlman does with Xibalba, Castillo brings genuine charm, likability, and charisma to La Muerte. As well as an added fierceness that lets you know this undead ruler can keep her own when head-to-head with her darker lover. You definitely get the vibe that La Muerte is the more dangerous of these two but also the kinder, and so much of that relies on Castillo’s performance.
8) Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin.
We first meet these characters and get a sense of their relationship as children, and it’s great. Yes Manolo and Joaquin both love Maria, but they’re friends first. ALL of them are friends! Later in the film Joaquin and Manolo remain friends even when vying for Maria’s affections, and they are friends with Maria before they are lovers. And I think it’s driven home by this statement from Maria as a child:
Maria [after Manolo and Joaquin fight over who’s she is]: “I belong to no one!”
They don’t belong to each other, they chose to be friends. They chose to be with together because they genuinely like each other. I love that.
9) A huge theme of this film is also seen in Maria’s, “I belong to no one!” line and that is the theme of being true to yourself.
Both Joaquin and Manolo have huge shadows they live in (a line which is actually uttered by Joaquin later): Joaquin’s dead father was a great war hero and Manolo’s father pushes him to be a bullfighter like all the men in their family have been. It makes for a unique conflict and a great message to kids of all ages: be yourself.
10) Maria as a character.
You get a real sense of Maria as a character when we first meet her. Not only does she have the wonderful line, “I belong to no one!” but she also shows her placement of morality over societal values by freeing animals slated for slaughter. Her father sends her off to a convent to become, “a proper lady,” but…it doesn’t really work. At least, she doesn’t become his definition of proper. She is loving, kind, sweet, but fiercely independent and someone who follows her heart above all else. Zoe Saldana voices Maria, and breathes such wonderful life into the character you forget she’s acting. Everything about Maria just feel so real it’s amazing.
11) The decision to compose the film’s soundtrack from popular music recorded specifically for the movie (the mariachi version of “I Will Wait For You” being the earliest example) as well as original songs composed by Paul Williams is a great one. The copyrighted songs never feel out of place and don’t distract from the plot, instead playing perfectly into the emotion of the scene. And the original songs are made for the moments which are purely story and pure character, so they could not possibly be represented by something which was already written because this story hasn’t existed before.
All the characters in this film are written with such life and depth that lead character Manolo couldn’t POSSIBLY be an exception. He has skills as a bullfighter, but is deeply conflicted by his duty to his family and his duty to his heart. But it’s all guided by love, something with is illustrated by the inscription on his guitar (a gift from Maria, nonetheless): “Always play from the heart.” It is Manolo’s defining characteristic and defining struggle: that he wants to be himself, not his father or anyone else.
Diego Luna just…ugh! So I’ve seen Luna in small roles before (The Terminal, Elysium) but this film makes me a HUGE fan of his! I’m really looking forward to his role in Rogue One BECAUSE I loved his performance in this film so much. Manolo sings more than any other character in the film, and Luna infuses each song with such sincerity and warmth it is nearly impossible not to fall in love with his performance as Manolo. And he treats each line of dialogue the same. Like Saldana as Maria, you don’t feel like you’re listening to an actor. You’re listening to Manolo.
13) Grandma is hysterical.
Grandma Sanchez [after Manolo refuses to kill a bull]: “Kids today, with their long hair and no killing stuff.”
Grandma Sanchez [after Manolo’s father says everyone in their family was a great bullfighter]:
She doesn’t have many lines but very nicely embodies the film’s wonderful characters and humor.
14) Manolo’s Father, Carlos.
I have seriously MIXED feelings about Carlos, and I think you’re supposed to. He shows a genuine desire to do the best for his son, he just doesn’t actually KNOW what’s best for his son. He pressures him into being a bull fighter because it’s the Sanchez way, and when Manolo expresses dissatisfaction with this his father shames him into doing it.
Carlos [to convince Manolo to be a bullfighter]: “Don’t you LOVE your family?”
(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)
(PS, I find this line to be the sign of an abusive relationship but maybe that’s just me.)
BUT Carlos has genuine moments of love with his son. He encourages him to tell Maria how he feels, he comforts him when he’s missing his dead mother, he actually LOVES Manolo. Hector Elizondo’s performance and the writing gets this across in a great way, and I think the film is better for it.
15) Channing Tatum as Joaquin.
I do have to say of the trio of friends, Channing Tatum’s Joaquin is probably the weakest link. BUT that’s like calling one of The Lord of the Rings movies the worst in the trilogy: it was still nominated for best picture! I think it’s definitely because you know Joaquin is the third wheel, you know that Maria loves Manolo, and so it’s hard to get behind it. And you just can see that although they’re great as friends they wouldn’t make a good couple (despite Joaquin’s hopes to the contrary).
It would’ve been easy to write Joaquin as a jerk. And although he can be a bit pig headed here and there, you understand that he’s a genuinely good friend who truly cares for Maria (even though they’re not a great fit). Tatum brings a lot of this to the role, and even though I believe he’s the only non-Hispanic actor playing a decidedly Hispanic character (Ron Perlman gets a pass because Xibalba is an otherworldly creature) he has the same warmth and sincerity as Luna and Saldana have. It’s a nice way to round out the trio of friends.
16) I can’t tell if this joke is stupid or hysterical.
Pepe [when he and his brothers are in danger]: “I’m allergic to dying!”
Pancho: “Especially in the face!”
17) Joaquin’s biggest failing is probably that he buys too much into societal values, and his society’s values are…sexist. He is surprised that Maria reads, expects her to be a doting housewife (as all the high up men do), and that’s not what his heart wants it’s what he thinks should be.
18) “I Love You Too Much”.
This is the song Manolo sings to express his feelings for Maria, and it’s beautiful. Paul Williams has crafted a quiet, loving melody which pulls at your heartstrings and is sung beautifully by Diego Luna. I think it’s my favorite song in the film and one of the best love songs I’ve ever heard.
19) Maria is awesome, if that hasn’t been made clear already.
Maria [stopping a kiss after Manolo’s song]: “Did you think it was going to be that easy?”
She’s not the girl who falls head over heels for someone just because they sang to hear. It’s appreciated, but there needs to be more than that. I love it!
20) This film never subscribes to storied cliches. It’s not like Manolo can’t be an idiot too, as noted when he and Joaquin start to fight over Maria (which she has shown to never truly appreciate).
Maria: “You two are acting like fools.”
Manolo: “Wait, me too?”
You mean me, the nice guy romantic lead, is actually making a mistake? What kind of movie is this? (Hint: a great one.)
21) How long must it have taken to put out all those candles?
It shows devotion on Manolo’s part. As will the rest of the film, honestly.
22) One of the conflicts in this movie that gets me going the most is how unfair everyone is to Manolo. When they were children he stopped a wild boar from hurting people, but Joaquin got credit because he saved the mayor. As adults he’s ready to fight off bandits without a magic medal, but Joaquin gets credit because he does fight them off WITH a magic medal which protects him from harm. And when Maria dies from a snake bite everyone blames him. He’s not the snake! He didn’t bite her! So bug off!
23) My brother and I laughed so hard after we heard this line:
Student [after Manolo dies]: “What is it with Mexicans and death!?”
The only reason that line isn’t racist is because it was written by a Mexican in a film directed by a Mexican which is produced by a Mexican. So it’s okay to laugh.
24) The Land of the Remembered!
The Land of the Remembered is when this film’s visual style really takes off. Gutierrez’s imagination and the animation department’s skill bleeds through every scene in this wonderful place and it really pulls you into it’s world magnificently.
25) I mentioned in my Nightmare Before Christmas recap that Burton and company did a good job of establishing minor character with small introductions, and The Book of Life (although not Burton) follows in that tradition when we meet Manolo’s family.
Each family member - from the brutish Carmelo (voiced by the film’s director) to grandpa Luis (voiced by Danny Trejo) - is given a unique character with just a few seconds of screen time and dialogue which carries through until the end of the film. It works wonderfully.
26) This freaking line, after Jorge is established as wanting to have been a singer.
Manolo [after the two laugh about it]: “They crushed our dreams. Hilarious!”
Immediately there is a difference in what is expected from Carmen Sanchez (his mom) and what there is.
Manolo: “And I became a bullfighter, just like you wanted.”
Carmen: “Me? Are you crazy?”
It turns out Manolo’s father saying his mother wanted that was…uh…wrong, to put it mildly. It’s a nice juxtaposition which establishes her as a character and not just a plot device.
28) Dude, I love this dialogue.
Xibalba [after Luis says La Muerte would never hand over her kingdom]: “She lost a bet.”
Luis: “Oh. She would do that.”
29) You get a lot of Manolo’s tender side and playing from the heart, but it’s easy to forget that he’s still a headstrong Sanchez boy. He still has the fierceness of a bull fighter, even if that’s not what he wants to do. And we see this particularly when Manolo threatens to expose Xibalba. That may not be the smartest move, but it is fierce.
30) Did I mention this dialogue and humor is awesome?
Luis [after his body is knocked away from his head]: “Hey, my arthritis is gone!”
31) The Candlemaker
The Candlemaker rounds out the trio of immortals here, and falls in the middle. He is not about the Land of the Remembered or the Land of the Forgotten, he creates the candles (each candle representing a life). He is this big ball of happy childlike energy which is just fun to watch. And who’d they get to place this super upbeat and positive guy with hope and optimism dripping from him?
It’s a nice change of pace from Ice Cube’s more hardboiled characters to see him play such a wonder filled creature, and to do it so well too! His voice work stands up there with the rest of the cast in that you never think you’re listening to Ice Cube, you’re just watching the Candlemaker. It’s great.
32) ALL THE LADIES IN THIS FILM ARE FIERCE AS HELL!
Maria’s fierceness has been established above.
La Muerte getting pissed when she finds out Xibalba cheated on the beat is fierce!
MANOLO’S MOTHER SLAPS XIBALBA AFTER SHE REALIZES HE KILLED HER SON!!!
It’s a lot of fun to watch.
33) The final fight before Manolo can return to the land of the living is born from a wager he makes with Xibalba (he’ll face whatever challenge is thrown his way and win).
Xibalba: “What, do tell, is your worst fear?”
And then we get this:
But it turns out his greatest fear isn’t killing the bull, it’s being true to himself. This ties into what I mentioned earlier: Manolo’s defining characteristic and his struggle are the same in that he wants to be himself. And we get a wonderful song to tie it up, of the same quality as “I Love You Too Much” and it is simply called “The Apology Song”. (Manolo’s father, who’s dead at this point, said that a Sanchez never apologies but after the fight is incredibly proud of his son.) It’s a nice character climax for Manolo before we get the final fight of the film.
34) When you have no idea this is coming, it’s the funniest line in the film.
35) I give massive credit to the filmmakers for the way they handled Joaquin. He and Maria are set to be married now that Manolo is dead, and he knows Maria doesn’t want it so he’s about to talk to her about it before the town is attacked by bandits. Joaquin could have easily been some Gaston type but instead we got a sincere, honest character who deepens the conflict of the film.
37) The entire final fight of the film is wildly fun to watch.
It’s well paced, well choreographed, brings in all the characters we’ve met so far (living and dead), gives us a nice “dance” with Manolo and Maria, is filled with nice character moments, good humor, and has Joaquin decide he’s going to be his own man and try to sacrifice himself for his friends (it doesn’t work, he survives). It’s a great climax to the film.
38) “No Matter Where You Are”, the final song in the film, is a great ball of energy and love. But more than that, it let me know something I didn’t before…
Zoe Saldana can REALLY sing!
Just thought I’d share.
39) The final reveal, that Christina Applegate’s tour guide and the security guard are really La Muerte and Xibalba, is in classic tradition of magical realism and fairytale stories. It’s a nice ending to the film.
The Book of Life is great, and truly under appreciated. It’s representation of Mexican culture is unique in the animated film landscape, and gives the film a unique visual and musical style. The acting is topnotch, and you can feel through the writing/directing/character animation that it is truly a labor of love for all those involved. A great film which everyone should see.
When you’re genuinely conflicted because you want more badass female characters leading games but you really, REALLY were looking forward to seeing more of a badass with a Boston accent going on some grand adventure with a “goddamn” old man……
GET TO KNOW ME MEME: [1/20] mail characters » havelock vetinari ↳“…no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”
(I know I’m late with this) Actually I was pretty close between Robin Son of Batman and this title, but I love all the original characters in this comic and the art is just so nice. Also I love all the random cameos of Gotham characters. (I really wanted to do this because its been at least like 2 years since I’ve made edits of anything)
Thanks to the suggestion from a lovely anon, I’ve decided to make a full AU universe for the junk boys called “Junkheads AU”. So far it only includes “Teenage Dirtbag”, but in the future it will also include several one-shots, as well as the coming college AU.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the high school AU I just finished, the AU universe is a realistic, present day universe where there are no omnics. There are/will be several cameos from other Overwatch characters. So far we’ve only met Tracer, Mercy, and Ana, but there will be more!
If you’re interested in following this AU, you can subscribe to the series here :)
I can’t wait to explore more of this universe with you guys!
EP 001: Otoshidama Shougun to Mutsugo / お年玉将軍と６つ子 EP 001: The New Year’s Gift Money Shogun and the Sextuplets
by the time I’m posting this, I’ve unlocked 4 of the 5 skits in this event and oh my god you guys it’s adorable. we’ve got cameos from the secondary characters (which is a first since the halloween event and even then it was just totoko and iyami) and just the matsus being adorable in general. clearly they’re a lot more hyped for new year than they are for christmas.
a few notes before we begin: in japan, you receive gifts, usually money, to celebrate the new year, which oso whines about at some point in this skit. also, he mentions what exactly he wants to use it on, which I simply translated as “pachinko.” (in the original japanese text however, he’s talking about…a very specific type of pachinko? which I just didn’t know how to translate since I know nothing about gambling terms so I just…yeah).
anyway, without further ado, say hello to shogun hatabou!
To start off, yes, I really thought about the direction of this video and put a lot of attention to canon, headcanon, and popular fan theory. I’m a huge nerd about both Vinesauce Vinny’s Tomodachi Life and Mayor Vine series and make a hobby out of stringing together narratives. So now that that’s out of the way…
This started off of course with WindWakeMeUpInside and SophinoX creating an ACNL Dream Town for Vinny which included a few “old” Mayor Vine characters (e.g. Pudge and Lolly), and more importantly included a slew of cameos of characters removed from the tail end of the Tomodachi Life series along with ominous messages. This map was beautiful and well done… with one thing I took exception to – the “V-Dub” character at the climax doesn’t really have anything to do with Tomodachi Life or Mayor Vine. Obviously this was just meant to be a nice nod to Vinny and nothing more.
Nonetheless, I was discussing this with @teckworks after the fact and said that I wanted to “un-write V-Dub”, though I didn’t know exactly what that meant when I said it. It would be somewhere in the midnight-to-3AM block – when I should be sleeping for the office hours day job of course – when a sudden wave of inspiration hit that led to a fury of jotting down notes about connections I suddenly imagined.
I feel like puddle shine needs to get more of a cameo so his character can be developed like,,imagine how much emotional turmoil he must have gone through,wanting to join his sibling to be a warrior but then rowanstar says he's gotta do smth he didn't really care abt,and then only being trained two moons and being held responsible for his whole clans help. Someone please get this kid a novella I want to see that.
right like who cares about more spottedleaf i want more puddleshine also esp when u consider that normal med cats train for usually at least 1yr (compared to warriors who train about 4-8mo) like…2 months man!! 2 fucken months and leafpool then leaves him to take care of an epidemic on his own like the fuck wyd leafpool
“What is this?” Thomas asked, looking confused at the
Nic smiled gently. “It’s a Poinciana flower. It’s the official
flower of the Nevis island. That’s where your husband is from, right? That’s
what was in his file—sorry, I looked at his file. I just wanted to get him something
since I know that John will never apologize for what he said, even if it was
Thomas slowly took the flower, but he just couldn’t wrap his
head around it. “Why are you doing this?”
Nic’s smile only grew. “I don’t want anyone to be upset.”
I hate the way the Harry Potter franchise is going. I hate it. If you want to expand your book universe in a meaningful way, look at Rick Riodan - a collection of books with similar themes/premises, with cameos from characters you know and love. All set in the same universe, staying true to the original style of Percy Jackson.
Another thing about Rick Riodan’s work? The film adaptations are their own canon. We’re not expected to take stuff from the film and act like it’s canon in the books as well. (I mean, part of that is BC the Percy Jackson films suck, but y'know. Point stands.)
And I’m not saying JK should have gone the exact same way of Rick Riodan (find a niche then completely dominate it) but. I mean. Riodan is able to continue making money off a successful series way after it ended in a way that doesn’t completely alienate the original fans of the books.