Somewhere in its show-tuney middle, Disney's animated musical Frozen throws a bone to the young monster geeks in the audience. Elsa, the magically (and literally) frigid young Queen who can freeze fjords and cause climate change and sculpt ice palaces out of the brisk air with a few waves of her hand, conjures up a personal bodyguard: "Marshmallow," a formidable giant made of snow and ice.
He's cool, no pun intended, but only the latest in a long list of terrifying pop-culture monsters confined either to wintry seasons or chilly climes, or both. Some are just grotesque version of arctic or Antarctic fauna, or aliens comfortable at equivalent temperatures on their own planets. A few are actual snowmen, monstrous supernatural versions of Frosty, as in the low-rent 1997 horror favorite Jack Frost or the even creepier wholesome "family" film of the same title that came out a year later. You may recall that even the slow-witted "Abominable Snowman" that affectionately plagued Bugs Bunny melted when he got below timberline.
But most of what falls into the category of "Abominable Snowmen," sometimes known by their Himalayan name of Yeti, are shaggy, burly giants that haunt the cold places, and are generally quite content to be left the hell alone. They're rarely a danger to humans so long as we're sensible enough to stay where it's warm.
Here are 13 of pop culture's most memorable hyperborean horrors:More >>
Nobody gets to be a purist about this. In toy form, Hello Kitty has been mashed up with the likes of the Justice League and KISS, while the Turtles got spliced with Universal monsters and Star Trek.
Now, if you want to complain that they're less than six inches tall, cost around $73 and are going to be next to impossible to find, be my guest.
Now, when they get around to doing Hello Kitty versions of Freddy, Jason and Leatherface...ehh, you know what? NECA already made these things. Hard to work up much ire either way. No license is sacred.
Hope, according to Emily Dickinson, is the thing with feathers. But for some people, fear can be a thing with feathers, too. Put simply, birds can be scary as crap. Napoleon Dynamite clearly felt it, when he anxiously asked his employer "Do the chickens have large talons?"
This being Turkey Month, so to speak, and with the amusing, imaginatively silly Free Birds now in theaters, it seems like a good time to pay tribute to a few of pop culture's more memorable beastly birds. A pre-emptive note, however: I've chosen to omit The Birds, Hitchcock's near-masterpiece of 1963, not because it isn't a classic, but because its feathered fiends are experienced in the aggregate, as a massive collective menace, and I'm after big-ass birds, preferably with individual personalities. No disrespect intended. Please don't peck my eyes out.
On this day in 1928, "Steamboat Willie" debuted, making it the officially recognized birthday of Mickey Mouse. Thirty-five years later, comic-book writer Alan Moore was born. The irony is too delightful not to mention, as they are pretty much polar opposites. You say one is a cartoon character and the other is not? I say I have my doubts about that. But Mr. dream-traveling, pagan snake ritual-holding, name removing (his surname really should be Smithee at this point) Moore is the one who believes in signs and portents and mysticism, or so his public persona would have us believe: I wonder how he feels about sharing a birthday with the most ubiquitous corporate mascot in pretty much all of human history.
As I look at my now-complete set of Mattel Watchmen figures, I kinda wish he'd been more of a control freak about them rather than walking away completely. And yes, Mickey Mouse is fictional (I suspect much of Moore's mystique is too, but I can't prove it) so it's hard to say the zodiac applies.
I just really, really wanted an excuse to put Alan Moore in Mickey Mouse ears. Happy birthday, ya freak (I still love you).
I'm having a hard time coming to grips with The Congress - and maybe that's the point, since it is a movie about perception versus reality. Can I complain that it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be, when the whole point - or at least one of them - is that it's about not knowing what you want to be, or indeed which reality you prefer to inhabit? Form could be following function, or it could actually be a less coherent film than I was hoping for. Or maybe both. Either way, I'm impressed with this live-action/animated hybrid, but not as engaged as I'd hoped, though I'm pretty sure it merits further contemplation.
Last week, in the new Robocop trailer, Samuel L. Jackson asked why Americans are so robophobic.
It's really quite simple: robosexuals creep us out.
I confess to being rather glad that I lived out my entire adolescence before the whole "body pillows with sexy drawings on them" became a thing. I would almost certainly, embarrassingly, have owned one if Kim Cattrall had licensed her Mannequin persona for merchandising. But never in a million years would it have been of Arcee.
The Etsy vendor's rhetorical question has my attention. "Who is more cuddly than a giant alien robot made of hard gears and sharp metal?" Indeed. He (it HAS to be a he, right?), then answers, "Well, probably everyone. Few snuggly creatures could beat a robot pillow, however."
Look, even if the fantasy could be real, god help you if your member gets stuck when she has to transform.
OH HOLY SHIT they did a sexy Starscream one too. Maybe it isn't a dude. But the feedback from one customer is ecstatic, noting, "What more could any TF fanperson ask for, than to fall asleep next to the robotic object of your undying flesh creature affection. :) "
Sad thing is, I'll bet this same person was upset by Michael Bay's robo-scrotum.
UPDATE: I've been told that I "genderfailed" by assuming the artists were male, and they aren't. Actually, my initial assumption was that the seller was male. If women want to claim these for their gender...by all means, go for it. I'm happy to lift the blame from guys one time.
I have a feeling the Cinderella castle will be bought by more than the obvious young girl target demographic, as it can double as the anchor point for a Lego Disneyland. It is a bummer for collectors of all Lego that the minifigs in "girls" sets are so totally different from those in the "boys" sets that are technically gender-neutral to begin with.
In other words, if you like to play fan fiction with your Lego sets, Tonto and the Little Mermaid are not the right scale to each other. Then again, they also don't have naughty bits and I doubt that ever stopped you before.
You can see the other sets at The Brothers Brick. (h/t kraken)
Maleficent SHOULD feel familiar, of course - it's what Disney is counting on. What's most surprising is how much they're leaning thus far on recreating scenes from Sleeping Beauty that we've seen before, when I thought the whole idea was to show Maleficent's tale from when she was younger, and how she turned bad. Elle Fanning's Aurora sounds pretty much like Elle Fanning. It looks cool, but so did Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland from trailers alone.
As for Divergent - its familiarity isn't based on my having read any book, but the fact that the whole premise is basically the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter, with the tattoos and chaste romance of The Mortal Instruments, which itself was already based on Harry Potter fanfic. I like that Shailene Woodley isn't your typical Hollywood glamor girl, but that's about it so far on that one.
Both are after the jump.More >>