Disney Odyssey #35 – This is Basically Just A Damn Yankees/Superman Greek Myth AU Fanfic by Disney

If I’m going to say only one thing about Disney’s Hercules, it’s that it is nowhere near as dirty, bizarre, or epic as the original Greek myths it draws from… BUT…. it was still my very favorite Disney movie right up until 2016. That’s right, folks. I said it. Hercules is the best Disney movie of all time until Zootopia.

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Deal with it.

I grew up obsessed with Greek mythology (a skill which may have been useless to a child but as a teenager would serve me well and help me not only pass but ACE my one semester astronomy class). I knew the myths, I knew the variations, I knew the different stories that were later written and inspired by them. I even knew something about the Trojan War thanks to Wishbone and a glimpse of early Greek theatre through various picture books and tons of Renaissance paintings. Complex, weird, disgusting, insane stories about people who were not always good or bad but sometimes were both… and lots of bizarre magical combination animals (pegasus! chimera! hippogriff! hippocampus! sphinx! basilisk! cockatrice! THE LISTS GO ON PEOPLE). I loved all of it. Especially puzzling out how to say their names out loud (Eurydice eluded me until high school, but I was especially proud of figuring out Bellerophon and Halcyone and Persephone myself). I love that the stories are found echoed throughout history, across different civilizations – as most good stories are. I didn’t discover Norse, Egyptian, or Hindu mythology until much later, and although my excitement for old stories continued on those paths too… the Greeks were my pantheon. My favorites. Never mind the Romans who literally couldn’t even be bothered to do their own thing but they just renamed everyone… I mean really: Athena becoming Minerva?! Go home, Caesar.

So Disney’s Hercules hit theatres in 1997 and I exploded with joy. Somehow, even in spite of my brain pulling a total BBC Sherlock while I watched it the first time…

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…somehow, SOMEHOW, I enjoyed it immensely anyway. The animation is gorgeous. The color palettes are all perfect. The witty one-liners are the punchiest. This is arguably one of the most quotable Disney movies in my opinion – a feat which combines both the excellence of the screenplay and of the voice actors. Danny DeVito. James Woods. Rip Torn. Charlton Heston is the NARRATOR for a hot second. Not to mention the Muses – Roz Ryan, LaChanze, Cheryl Freeman, Lillias White, and Vaneese Y. Thomas. They almost had the Spice Girls but scheduling was a beast.

The bottom line here is that somehow this movie clings to the deepest joyful parts of my imagination and I love it with a passion. I fully admit that I may overlook some faults because I like it so much. My apologies for any biases that may sneak into this post…

 

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The Film: Hercules (1997)

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Slice of Pie: Dryad Tea’s Lovely Rubiee Has A Cuppa For You

I say, old chap! I’ve got a rather nouveau idea. What do you say to some tea to go with your pie? Even better: what about some meticulously chosen, carefully blended, uniquely delicious tea from a lovely lady like Rubiee?

~A Slice of Pie!~

A tasty sample of something fresh cooked up by an artist of my choosing.

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Who are you?

My name is Rubiee Tallyn Hayes, and I own Dryad Tea!

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What’s your thing right now? That thing. You know. That thing over there. What is that?

My thing Right now is Dryad Tea, it’s a loose leaf tea company inspired by music, mythology and literary art.

Note: Dryad Tea isn’t just an online store… it pops up now and then at some of the funnest, finest conventions in the country!

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What do you love about this thing?

The creative freedom that I am allowed, all of the people that I meet and all of the creative bits that can inspire me.

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Firebird’s Child Chai (black tea)

What do you dislike about this thing?

I work from home, so I don’t see people a lot. Also, Dryad is my 24/7 job, I work many more hours than I would if I worked a 9-5.

How and why did this thing get started? How long has it been going on?

In 2012 I was singing with my band Pandora Celtica, we had been talking about ways to create personal product that would allow us to bring a little more money home over and above the music gigs. I had seen perfumes inspired by things, so why not tea?

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We Are Shangri-La (green tea)

When/how/where can people get some of the thing?

My website: www.dryadtea.com is where you want to go. Tea, pottery, tea accessories, tea of the month club and more!

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Loki’s Kiss (herbal tea)

 

What thing would you do if you had all the money and time in the world right now?

Buy a building for a store front, the whole entire building so that I could have a store front for Dryad and also be able to work pottery in the same space.

Note: Rubiee and Dryad Tea just launched a magnificent Kickstarter to raise money for a storefront space so she can create more tea, more products, and handmade pottery items!

Click here to check out the pitch video and see how you can help!

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Delightfully geeky pottery

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Lovely leafy trivets!

What’s your new favorite thing that someone else has done/made?

I am in love with Paletree Arcana’s work and also these hollow books on Etsy.

Possibly the most important question… If your thing was a pie, what kind of pie would it be?

Pecan pie!

And even more importantly: what kind of tea goes best with that pie?

Awaken tea would go best in my opinion: a nice smooth black tea.

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Awaken Tea (black tea)

All photos courtesy of Rubiee Hayes and Dryad Tea website!

Rubiee is the incredibly lovely creator of Dryad Tea. I first found Dryad Tea at Salt Lake Comic Con in September 2015. My eye was caught by their name, but I quickly fell in love with their unique and varied herbal blends which were all cleverly arranged in spice canisters so customers could smell any of the blends they wanted to. My heart nearly exploded with joy to find that they were also vendors at my home turf of Teslacon in November. I even made sure that some of my favorite friends and family got Dryad Tea products for Christmas this year. Trust me – this is not “just like every other tea company out there.” Give them a try and you’ll fall in love just like I did!

Disney Odyssey #3 – Art and pictures inspired by music

Welcome back to Disney Odyssey! So The Fella and I had an opportunity on Monday to siddown and watch the whopping two-hours-long third installment in the Disney animated feature film legacy. When you really think about it, it’s definitely kind of a weird concept and assuredly it is groundbreaking for when it was made, back in the 1930s. We discussed how cinematic history provides a fantastic timeline of our own culture, how film visually encapsulates the feel and mannerisms of an era better than still photographs, paintings, or other art mediums. This Disney film is no exception. From the very beginning, where you watch the orchestra musicians filing in to take their seats and tune their instruments, this sets the tone of the age in which this piece was made, before it takes you away on a ride of imagination. Some folks would say that this is one of the more boring Disney movies. We disagree. Though, to be fair, my father is a band director and so I was raised with the concept of imagining stories while his bands played concerts… It came naturally to me. I hadn’t watched this one in a long, long time, though I remember watching it pretty frequently as a child, so there were plenty of surprises for me during this viewing.

The Movie: Fantasia (1940)

The Facts: 

  • The film premiered in November 1940, just eight months after Pinocchio. 5000 people attended the star-studded premiere. It had no official theatrical run, but rather it ran for several years off and on in a ‘roadshow’ style cinema tour. It was basically a full evening event like seeing a play or an opera: there was an intermission and a playbill with information about the music and the artists involved, and so on. Most people loved it, but it did have some severe reviews from music critics, who felt that adding visuals to these classic musical compositions ruined the integrity of the music as art on its own.
  • A “modernized” design for Mickey Mouse was created for this film, since Walt felt that his favorite rodent was waning in popularity. The modern design debuted in several animated shorts prior to Fantasia’s release, but the design was made specifically for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” section of the movie.
  • The name of the Sorcerer in that segment is Yen Sid (which is Disney backwards). The design of the Sorcerer was after a popular actor of that time, but the mannerisms (specifically his arched eyebrows at the end) were made after Walt Disney himself.
  • The female centaurs in The Pastoral Symphony segment were initially drawn completely bare breasted but they were covered with strategically placed flower garlands (allegedly because of the Hays Code). However, the nipples on the harpies in the Night on Bald Mountain segment are definitely present and visible.
  • At least one centaur was cut from the Pastoral Symphony segment… an African centaur female with wild hair, big hoop earrings, oversized red lips, and a donkey body who shined the white centaurs’ hooves and brushed their hair for them. Her name was apparently Sunflower. She was cut from the film in 1968 and cannot be found on any subsequent releases for obvious reasons.
  • Over 1,000 musicians and artists were involved in the making of this film, including world-famous conductor Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
LEOPOLD!

LEOPOLD!

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