Things Learned Watching Anime Movies

As I regularly do these past few weeks, I messaged my great, amazing friend ❤ Mischenko ❤ to talk about this and that. I’ve got a lot going on in my life currently and she’s really good at listening, laughing at  with me, and generally giving me some really great advice. I forget how we got on the subject of anime movies but I remember asking her if she had ever watched Howl’s Moving Castle especially since I knew her kids would love it. Her daughter, especially loved the movie because she got it for Christmas. This of course led to further anime movie discussion and I got to thinking about the things these Studio Ghibli films have in common. So today I thought I would share with you some of my favorites and why they’re so fantastic.

Image result for howl's moving castleHowl’s Moving Castle is a story about beauty, curses, and overcoming your inner demons. Sophie is the main character who leads a very boring life until one day she meets a powerful wizard named Howl. He’s being chased by the evil witch’s shadow demons and Sophie unknowingly comes to his aid. The witch then gets jealous of Sophie and curses her by stealing her youth and beauty and turning her into an old lady. From there Sophie joins Howl, Markl and talking flame Calcifer in the castle and learns about this world of magic as well as the additional curses and struggles this little family is going through. It’s really a great film that teaches a person that you are stronger than your inner demons ans when you have a nice family backbone to help you, you realize that beauty comes in all forms, shapes and sizes and believing in yourself can enable you to believe in the unimaginable.

Image result for princess mononokePrincess Mononoke is a story featuring natives living and working the land when a living disease infects one of the animals they normally hunt and begins to plague the people and land it treks through. Ashitaka, prince of the village, gets in the path of disease to save his sisters and the cursed plague infects his arm which has a few alarming effects. He decides to go on a journey to find a cure for the curse. Along the way he meets a wildling girl named San who was raised by wolves and is trying to drive the modern coal farmers away because they’e destroying the forest and the forest Gods are not fans of this and have decided to fight back. It’s a war of nature versus the mechanical all while trying to cure this nasty plague. This film is a little bit darker than the rest of the Studio Ghibli films but the main takeaway is how important the environment is and why it’s essential that we save it. It’s also about compromise — informing an individual why you feel the way you do without shoving your anger and hatred down their throat; making them open their eyes and mind and seeing a different side of the coin.

Image result for spirited awaySpirited Away is a story about a little girl who has been told by her parents that they are moving. She is quite reluctant to do so because she’s built such a home where they are now. While driving to their new home, they take a wrong turn and Chihiro and her parents is pulled into a world they never imagined. Her father insists one exploring this area and they stumbled upon some delicious looking foods. What they did not expect is the side effects of eating food in this magical place — they turned into pigs! Chihiro is frantic and all she wants to do is go back home but she has to figure out how to get her parents to turn back into humans. She ends up discovering all types of things about the people of this world, the culture, foods, and even makes friends with a boy who can turn into a dragon. The main takeaway from this film is courage; To not be afraid to face the unknown and have the courage to overcome your fears. Life isn’t planned out for you where you know exactly what’s going to happen when. You probably hear this all the time but you really should live life to its fullest. Fear holds you back from what could be the greatest moments of your life. And if they aren’t, well, you learned a lesson which makes you smarter, braver, tougher and more able to handle anything life throws you in the future. Nobody is perfect but if you make the best of the hand you’re dealt, you will find that you can conquer the world.

Since this post is coming up on over 800 words and I didn’t know I had all that in me, I’ll leave it at these three today. I still have a couple more movies I can talk about but I’ll leave it for a later post. I also want to note that I originally watched all of these in their Japanese version with English subtitles but now there are English voice acting versions if reading this post has you intrigued.

These are better than Disney right?!?! 😉 Have you seen these three movies or any Studio Ghibli film? What do you think of the takeaways I got from these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


To The Bone Review

I’m not in the habit of reviewing things on my blog but I watched this on Netflix last night and feel the need to talk about it. A word of caution, I’m going to be talking about eating disorders which is what the movie is centered around so if this is a sensitive topic for you, stop reading right now.

The premise of the story is about a girl, Ellen, who’s been in and out of hospitals and treatment facilities for her eating disorder. After the last time she was kicked out of the facility, her mother decided Ellen couldn’t come live with her and her new girlfriend because she had dealt with the problem so long and didn’t feel like she was in the right mindset to help her daughter. So Ellen goes to live with her dad and her stepmom but her stepmom says that the only way she can stay in the house is if she gets regular weights to prove she’s improving. Ellen steps on the scale and disappoints her stepmom who resorts to using her connections to get her a unconventional type of specialist.

Ellen is sent to live in this house with other people who have eating disorders. They are not allowed to have cellphones or tablets of any kind. Those are taken away when they walk in the door. Also, any vitamins they bring in are taking away as well because even though these individuals claim they’re vitamins, they rationalize that they don’t know that for sure and don’t have time to test them. There are no doors in the house except the bathroom and everyone must come to dinner. They don’t have to eat if they don’t want to but they have to show up and the bathrooms are locked for half an hour after dinner each day. The more they reach their goal, they more privileges they receive like being able to go out and explore the town on their own.

I have to say I learned a lot about eating disorders that I didn’t know before. For example, Ellen’s disorder was she would eat and chew her food but she would never swallow it. She always spit it out. Another girl was pregnant and would only eat the bare minimum. Another girl still was actually a binge eater. So when everyone is sitting at the table and majority are trying no to eat, this girl ate too much and that’s still considered an eating disorder. If you got to the point where you didn’t eat enough, they would “tube” you. That’s basically inserting a feeding tube and forcing the nutrients into your body. There are scientific names for these but since they weren’t specifically named in the movie besides calling them an “illness”, I won’t be naming them here.

The film was very emotional as well. Ellen would have family therapy sessions with her family and you just feel how stressed out all parties are. The family are so afraid she’s going to die, especially her sister and they can’t do anything to help her. There’s one scene in particular that made me cry like a baby because her mother was trying really hard to understand. The support system was there in it’s own convoluted way but Ellen had to figure it out on her own. The specialist made a point in the movie when he said, sometimes you try so hard to help someone that, in some cases, it’s better to let them hit bottom.

I’m not sure if this movie is based off a book or not. I just made a snap decision to watch it cause of cast actors like Lily Collins and Keanu Reeves. Again, I learned a great deal and even though a good chunk of it was heartbreaking, there were happy moments as well such as Luke’s character. He was like the mother hen of the pack. Even though he had his own issues, he was always trying to keep the group smiling each day by singing and just being an all around encouraging, comforting individual.

Have you heard of this movie? Are you interested in watching it? Have you ever watched a Netflix original movie in general? Let me know in the comments below!

Modern Spin on Old Tales


Yesterday, my husband dragged me out of the house to see a movie. I’d expressed great interesting in seeing the film, King Arthur, since first seeing the trailer during the movie Logan. I’ve always loved the story.

For those that don’t know the story, here’s the common synopsis. Arthur was born during troubled times in England to Uther Pendragon. Merlin, who is a powerful wizard advises Uther that Arthur should be raised somewhere in secret because he feared the evil was too strong. After Uther dies, Merlin forges a sword, Excalibur, and sets it in stone for when the one true King comes along, he’ll be able to pull the sword from the stone. Arthur ends up pulling the sword by accident because he was essentially a stable boy and his master wanted it. Everyone recognized him as the one true King and he goes on to lead armies, which are known as the Knights of the Round Table, into battle to eventually fight his biggest enemy Mordred.

There are many, many different versions and this movie was no exception. In the case of this movie, Uther already has Excalibur in the beginning and he’s the one who ends up killing Mordred and his demon army. However, Uther has a brother who is very jealous and wants to take his throne. The brother gains power by sacrificing what he loves most to this Ursula looking being. Uther catches on and tries to flee with his family with Excalibur. Series of events later and you have Arthur the orphan. I won’t give too much away here in case you want to see it yourself.

Now we have this boy who’s raised in a brothel growing to learn how to be a man. What makes this movie so different are the jokes! This man has the coolest friends and they get into some crazy adventures. One instance is with the “town sheriff” who wants a recounting of their shenanigans which involve hilarious commentary between the three.

When the sword in the stone is found, it’s decided that all men have to line up and try to pull it and if you can’t pull it you get a brand on your wrist and go back to town. This sword is a quite beautiful. It markings look like wood pressed into steel along with specific words. Whoever wields this sword, they absorb with immense power. The hilt crystal hilt lights up a brilliant blue color as well as the wielder’s eyes and everything slows for a minute. The wielder is able to see his enemies clearly and the power within Excalibur unleashes this raging energy, like a bomb detonating, slaying enemies with a few swings of the sword.

Another point that makes this version different is the diversity in the characters. They all have different strengths. For example, one is good at talking people down, another is a good archer, and they’re all good thieves. It’s almost like a Robin Hood undertone was thrown in. Merlin only makes a one minute cameo, btw. The main magical individual is a mage woman who is able to control animals.

I can’t deny that the actor lineup played a role in me wanting to see this film. Eric Bana plays Uther, Jude Law plays Vortigern, the evil uncle, Djimon Hounsom plays Uther’s general, Aiden Gilliam plays Uther’s general’s right hand man and let’s not forget Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur! There are others but that alone makes for one fantastic, talented cast!

I know my review has a ton of holes but it’s hard for me to try and tell you about this film without spoiling it but I hoped I peaked your interest somewhat.

What do you think of modern retellings of old tales? Do you have a favorite movie remake? Will you be seeing this film? Let me know in the comments below!