jack in the beanstalk

before he sells the beans to jack, he is born in a house that smells of ceder.

his name is Tiffany. a bold bright name. a stardust name. a girl name. but he is not a girl. he knows this, even if others don’t. his mother puts him in dresses, teaches him how to sew, chastises him when he lets his voice get low.

“my great-aunt’s friend’s sister,” says his mother, with her red lips tight, “once knew these girls that spoke and diamonds came out of their mouths. you know what happened to the nasty one? she got toads. that’s your future if you don’t figure out how to be a nice little girl.”

so he speaks gently. but the whole time he is wondering: who gave them the language of gems. who gave them the language that rolled out of them. it must be magic. and if there is magic, maybe there is hope for him.

he takes off in a dark night. a sad night. one where the fire was too low and he was sick of mirrors. he leaves his mother a note: gone to find where the gems grow. 

in the black woods, he cuts off his hair. wears his father’s clothes. feels, at last, whole. runs and runs and runs until his air comes out in a wheeze. walks for weeks and weeks.

he finds the old woman carrying water. she is ugly, her mouth all twisted angry. but she carries the water alone. 

the boy does not have much. but he has shoulders. a good back. hands that work. when he takes her burden, she says, “thank you, young man.” and he smiles at her, but doesn’t say anything.

her house is damp. she feeds him stew, apologizes. says she used to make lovely foods but the price of milk and eggs got far too high. she says: if you carry my water for five weeks, i will give you something special. and he agrees.

she talks for him. spends a lot of time telling him of people he never met. girls with lips blood red. girls with white fairy dresses. boys who fell in love with swans. 

the boy says little. just nods. sleeps on the floor of her empty barn. when she’s not looking, he darns her clothes for her, keeps the floors swept, fills the lanterns with oil, makes her a blanket for the coming winter. 

on the end of the fifth week, she gives him the beans. tells him that they have been passed down in her family, that this was her portion. she says that she is too old now for such adventures. that she hears the beans will bring treasure. fortune. all the things of greed. she says: i will give them to you, for what you have done to me.

in the morning, he takes off. he feels the weight of them in his pocket. he thinks of the old woman and the stories and the sight of her tired hands. he stands in the market for a long time, unspeaking, simply staring at the cobblestones beneath him.

jack’s voice is the last call in the evening. a beautiful cow, young and thick and healthy. 

the boy has no money. he bounces the magic bean in his pocket, and thinks of treasures. 

“wait,” he says. 

jack turns. 

transaction complete: one cow for a handful of magic beans. the boy walks the cow home to the old woman, gets there in the morning. they are both very tired. he falls asleep beside the beast in the hay. dreams of the foods the old woman can cook now that she can get milk.

when he wakes up, he is changed. it is as if he simply turned into who he was made to be. not a new body. familiar. the body he could always see.

the old woman stands at the door of his barn. she says, “good morning,” and then she says a new word. a word he’s never heard. a name. his name. a boy name. 

he repeats it. it is a jewel in his mouth, so he says it again. another diamond.

“time to fetch water,” she says, winking. the whole way, he whispers his name. it never quite tastes the same, always beautiful, always a fine thing, always his. the something special he was lacking.

in the back of his pocket, there is one last magic bean. he will fetch the water and plant it. and he will carry that old woman to the castles she has never seen.


Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth?


My summary of the panel

1. Disney’s next Fairytale is Jack and the beanstalk. It’s called Gigantic

It’s set in Spain during the age of exploration. Jack meets a giant 11 year old girl up there in a whole world of giants. They showed one of the songs featuring her and it’s adorable.

2. Zootopia is a fully realized world and they did a bunch of animal research for it. It’s about a rabbit who becomes a cop and gets caught in a missing persons case. Her only lead is this con-man fox. Hi jinks ensue

Also the DMV is run by Sloths. It’s hiaruous


He plays a demigod named Maui and the story is about Moanas adventure to return sailing to her people. The ocean is sentient, and there’s a living island who looks FIERCE

also they played one of the songs live and it was awesome

4. Lots of Good Dinosaur clips. It looks promising


Finding Dory looks great!! They had a surprisingly large amount of clips for it.

6. That Dia de Los muertos movie is called Coco. They showed an animation test for it. It’s very vibrant and bright!

I’m upset though, since I know NO ONE will give this a chance and will judge it because of Book of Life.

7. Toy Story 4 is about searching for Bo Peep. It’s still super early in production, but randy Newman showed up and played “You Got A Friend In Me” LIVE!!

Overall it was AMAZING!!!!


Today’s black history month post is about Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, a television series that had its original run from 1995-2000. The show was made for HBO Network, airing on their family channel alongside programs like Crashbox and A Little Curious.

Happily Ever After was a series aimed at retelling classic children’s tales like Jack and the Beanstalk, Pinocchio, Rumplestiltskin, Robin Hood, etc with different cultural twists on them. This often involved settings in places like Taipei, Mexico, Africa, Jamaica, the American Southwest (for Native American characters), and Japan. The series was notable for its abundant portrayal of characters of color.

The show was directed by Bruce W. Smith (you guys should be familiar with him by now), the man behind The Proud Family and the director of the film Bebe’s Kids. There is an artistic similarity between all three works to some degree or another. 

The re-tellings were very unique, and included examples like: Robinita Hood, the tale of Robin Hood where the vigilante hero is a Latina woman, Goldilocks (with golden locs) and the three bears retold in the Caribbean, an inuit retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” and more.

The stories often not only fleshed out diverse cultures with everything from the West Indies to Korea, but there was a notable focus on women in many episodes. Stories often took roles traditionally given to males and portrayed the heroes as women in the re-tellings. There were often messages of empowerment found within these.

The show was also known for its many celebrity voices. Just about every episode had several guest stars. Some guests include, but are not limited to: Harry Belafonte, Tyra Banks, James Earl Jones, Will Smith, Chris Rock, Salt-n-Pepa, David Allen Grier, Raven-Symone, Denzel Washington, Dionne Warwick, Cree Summer, and Vanessa Williams. 

While the show did finish its initial run 15 years ago, it has been running on the HBO Family Network ever since. There are only 39 episodes, so one could jump in any time and get through the whole series.

Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child currently airs every morning on HBO Family from 7:30 to 9:00 AM. The show is also available on HBO on Demand.


Book One of the Leagues and Legends series

A backwoods nobody with a heart of gold and a knack for making friends in unlikely places, Jack Farris isn’t who anyone expects to become the next legendary hero–

but wait.


Heart of gold. Unknown and underestimated. Seventh son of a seventh son. An underdog teaming up with a ragtag band of misfits…

No, this sounds exactly like a hero’s story.

Except Jack Farris isn’t a hero. He’s a young man, fallible and scarred, a bit too loyal and rather too tall. His world might be a hero’s, but he and his friends simply have to live in it.

Free ebook here. Buy a physical copy here.



Disney has finally released the first stills from their upcoming film Into The Woods

Director - Rob Marshall

December 25, 2014


Johnny Depp - The Wolf

Anna Kendrick - Cinderella

Emily Blunt - The Baker’s Wife

Chris Pine - Cinderella’s Prince

Meryl Streep - The Witch

Lucy Punch - Lucinda

Christine Baranski - Cinderella’s Stepmother

James Corden - The Baker

Frances de la Tour - The Giant

Billy Magnus - Rapunzel’s Prince

Tracey Ullman - Jack’s Mother

Tammy Blanchard - Florinda