Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Urban Legends

Thought we would look at Bloody Mary ,Springheeled Jack and other urban legends which always make interesting stories.

Bloody Mary

  What you need is one candle, a strong heart and a big bathroom with a large mirror.
Turn out the lights, place your candle down and light it, stand and look into the mirror, chant slowly “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary”. And see what happens.

It is believed that by taking part in this game, and summoning the witch, it would have one of the following terrible consequences:
eyes being ripped out by the witch.
found with claw marks all over body.
disappear mysteriously from the bathroom and end up in the mirror with the witch for eternity.
view the horrifying image of the witch appear in the mirror.
driven insane or dropping dead on the spot at the appearance of the witch in the mirror.
suffer terrible claw marks all over face.

The other names she is known.

Mary Worth
Mary Whales
Hell Mary (for the appearance of Satan)
Bloody Mary Worth
Mary Worthington 

Queen Mary
There is a lot of speculation as to the names being taken from Mary I, Queen of England who reigned during the Tudor period. Mary Tudor was also commonly known as "Bloody Mary". Her nickname of "Bloody Mary" became attached to her when she
violently executed and burnt people at the stake for heresy throughout her reign of a little over 5 years.
She also was unable to bear children and suffered two phantom pregnancies, this is where it is speculated that the Bloody Mary game involving chanting "I stole your baby" or "I killed your baby" became tangled up with the now known Bloody Mary game. 

Springheeled Jack

                  Some of the sightings through history

Springheeled jack
In 1808, a letter to the editor of the Sheffield Times recounted how "Years ago a famous Ghost walked and played many pranks in this historic neighbourhood." The writer went on to identify this entity as the "Park Ghost or Spring Heeled Jack," and briefly described its ability to take enormous leaps and frighten random passers-by.

 Then Spring-Heeled Jack leapt out of the shadows in 1837.  At first he was just a rumor, and few Londoners believed the tales they heard of the attacks, mostly on young women, carried out by the mystery man. The rumors persisted as the number of attacks grew. He would hide himself behind walls or bushes and then leap out on unsuspecting travelers. Usually he would rip their clothes with the claws on his hands, and breathe flames into the victims' faces. Then he would bound away in huge, leaping strides which covered great distances at each step. The thing about the devil-man which most stuck out in the minds of the victims were his terrible, hell-like red glowing eyes, and his peculiar ringing laughter, which echoed in their minds for days afterward. 
  Spring Heeled Jack was again seen leaping up and down the streets and rooftops of Liverpool in 1904, then disappeared from England for close to seventy years. By that time, however, he had become notorious in the US. Jack's American visits were first reported in Louisville, KY in July of 1880. There, he was described as tall, having pointed ears, long nose and fingers, and was clad in a cape, helmet, and shiny uniform. He accosted women, tore at their clothing, and emitted flames from a blue light on his chest.
     Between 1938-1945, he made dozens of appearances in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts, though there he reportedly belched flames rather than ejecting them from his chest. In Provincetown, which I gather has seen no end of strange things, his leaping forced pedestrians off the pavement of a busy street. When a dog cornered him, the animal's owner blasted Jack with a shotgun, but "the darned thing just laughed and jumped my eight foot fence in one leap," the man told police. 

Scariest Urban legends

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wizard and Wonderland

   The Wizard and Wonderland
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland

  These two would have to be the biggest children stories seen on movie theatres,stage and tv .My daughters must have watched Wizard Of Oz 100s of times from when they were two through to about seven years old and Alice would have to be the most remade story of all time with numerous versions over the years. The latest of course seeing Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter with lines like...
Why is a Raven like a writing desk?

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it. I used to hat The White Queen, you know. Her head was so small.

Alice In Wonderland
Alice comes upon a mushroom and sitting on it is a blue Caterpillar smoking a hookah.
Cheshire cat
  A Cheshire Cat appears in a tree, directing her to the March Hare's house. He disappears but his grin remains behind to float on its own in the air prompting Alice to remark that she has often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat.

  Alice leaves the tea party and enters the garden where she comes upon three living playing cards painting the white roses on a rose tree red because the Queen of Hearts hates white roses.
 Queen of Hearts
Off with their heads.

   Alice attends a trial whereby the Knave of Hearts is accused of stealing the Queen's tarts. The jury is composed of various animals, including Bill the Lizard, the White Rabbit is the court's trumpeter, and the judge is the King of Hearts. During the proceedings, Alice finds that she is steadily growing larger. The dormouse scolds Alice and tells her she has no right to grow at such a rapid pace and take up all the air. Alice scoffs and calls the dormouse's accusation ridiculous because everyone grows and she can't help it. 

Author  Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

 The third of eleven children of an Anglican priest, was a mathematician and a logician who was a lecturer at Oxford for some 26 years. He was also an accomplished photographer, and a Church Deacon. Dodgson's pen name, was Lewis Carroll.

  Alice was originally a dark haired child, whose likeness had been patterned after ten year old Alice Liddell, the child of a church colleague, for whom the Alice stories had been originally created.

 Quote from Lewis Carroll himself.
 "Many a day we rowed together on that quiet stream - the three little maidens and I - and many a fairy tale had been extemporised for their benefit- .. -yet none of these tales got written down: they lived and died, like summer midges, each in its own golden afternoon until there came a day when, as it chanced, one of the listeners petitioned that the tale might be written down for her."
That's how Alice was put to paper.

 There are so many characters in Alice I am sure Mr Dodgson was on something just like the caterpillar.Another two characters are Tweedledee and Tweedledum which prompted Bob Dylan too put this down with music.

 Neither one gonna turn and run
They’re making a voyage to the sun
“His Master’s voice is calling me”
Says Tweedle-dee Dum to Tweedle-dee Dee

Oz book


Cowardly lion
 L. Frank Baum was born in New York in 1856. He began his career at the age of 25 by writing for musical theater; he was also an actor. Baum eventually turned to journalism, and moved to Chicago in 1891, writing for the "Evening Post." To earn extra money, he also sold porcelain and china; you will see evidence of that in the stories he tells .

   Adventures in Phunniland and Tales from Mother Goose were his first two childrens books published in 1897 This collection of short stories, with an appearance of a little farm girl named Dorothy were a success and 
driven by the impetus of these works, and now in his early forties, Baum decided to earn his living as a writer. Together with artist William Wallace Denslow he produced Father Goose: His Book in 1899 and in so doing created a publishing sensation which sold nearly 60,000 copies. To follow this book up he published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which was a huge success with the public and critics alike.

  In 1910, Baum and his family moved to Hollywood, California. He founded the Oz Film Manufacturing Company and began making films based on the Oz books. The problem was that back in the early years of the century, nobody had really started making films for children. Baum found it difficult to market the films, and they were not financially successful. 

  Baum's financial affairs had become increasingly entangled, and by 1910 the situation was so serious that he assigned all rights to his Bobbs-Merrill books to a group of creditors. In 1911 Baum was declared bankrupt. 

    Baum continued to publish an Oz book once a year, with a whole generation of American children growing up with the tradition of an adventure in that far away land every Christmas. In February 1918 Baum entered the hospital, writing to his publishers that he had "finished the second Oz book - beyond The Tin Woodman of Oz - which will give you a manuscript for 1919 and 1920. Also there is material for another book, so in case anything happens to me the Baum books can be issued until and including 1921." Baum survived his hospital operation but spent his last year bedridden, dying nine days before his 63rd birthday in 1919.
   People over the years have developed stories,comic strips,ideas from Baum's classic story. the Wiz a stage musical and Wizard of Id comic strip are just two.The group Toto who had great musical success in the eighties was named after Dorothy's pooch.


The Wiz

  The Wiz a retelling of Baum's, Wizard Of Oz  in the context of African american culture. The story was written by William F Brown. While it was a successful stage show musical. I think a lot of people will remember the screen version starring Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow and Diana Ross as Dorothy.

Wizard of Id comic strip 
  The title is a play on Wizard of Oz, combined with the Freudian psychological term Id, which represents the instinctive and primal part of the human psyche.It first appeared in 1964 created by American cartoonists Brant Parker and Johnny Hart.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kimba vs Lion King

   Kimba The White Lion

  Known as Jungle Taitei in Japan and translates as "The Jungle Emporer."  It was a colour anime series created and produced by Osamu Tezuka, through his own company named Mushi Productions, released in Japan in 1966.

Kimba Storyline

   Before Kimba is born, his father Caeser is killed trying to free Kimba’s mother Snowlene from lion hunters. The lion hunters are hired by the game warden to kill Caeser who is always releasing the natives' livestock as he wants all the animals to live a free existence. Snowlene is taken away on a ship to be sold to a zoo, and it is aboard the ship that Kimba is born in a cage.

    His mother convinces him to jump overboard. He later sees the wreckage of the ship in the water and realises the ship must have sunk, with his mother who is now dead.Kimba swims ashore guided by the memory of his father and the voice of his mother with her image being formed from a group of stars in the dark sky. 

   In his travels to reach the jungle he sees the great cities of the humans and decides if he ever reaches the jungle he will teach the animals to be civilised like the humans. When Kimba reaches his home he is against fighting Claw who has taken over as king of the jungle from Caeser, and it is not until Kimba is captured by hunters and saved by a human that he realises that ‘sometimes you have to fight for what's right.’

  He comes back stronger, defeating Claw and, like his father, becomes king. Kimba believes that destroying fellow animals is wrong, no matter what (even though he kills a few in the series), and that animals should not eat one another but learn to farm and be vegetarians.

Characters in the Kimba Story
            Kimba's Enemies
   Claw the Lion and Tom and Tab (two hyenas) 
      Daniel Baboon, his wisest and closest friend.
 Pauley Cracker (a parrot) and friend, Dodie Deer and Bucky Deer with enemies including Cassius a black panther,

Charcters in the Lion King  
   Uncle Scar 
  Mufasa's brother the evil cunning betrayer and the enemy to Simba"s throne.
                     Scar's followers and evil assistants.
Zazu   The Hornbill 
Mufasa's trusted advisor, Zazu is a hornbill with a strong sense of personal dignity.He would give his right wing for the Lion King.
   Mufasa Simbas father 
   Regal, commanding and majestic, Mufasa is a great king with a kind, generous heart. Concerned with teaching his son Simba to  be wise,responsible king.
      Nala Friend
Best buddies who fall in love.
      Rafiki wise baboon
   Like A tribal medicine man or an ancient shaman. Rafiki travels his own road, sings his own songs and knows what he knows. After anointing newborn Simba, Rafiki wanders off on his mystical way. He returns again to guide Simba back to the path he was meant to follow.


Did the Disney studio steal Kimba The White Lion and rework it as their "original story", The Lion King? 

  Jungle Emperor was the original title for Kimba The White Lion.It seems quite simple; Kimba had been kept out of sight in North America for 20 years by that time. And once you can see the two together I believe the similarities are there for all to see. 

The names , Kimba - the"K"and Add a "S" is Simba.

In early production stages, Simba was white.

 The rights to Kimba the White Lion were tied up in legal battles for many years, beginning when the original production company, Mushi Productions, went bankrupt in 1973. The US contract to the show ran out in 1978. Nobody had the US rights to it from 1978 until 2000.

The Disney corporate stance, that none of Disney's people knew of Kimba before the movie was released, has been exposed as untrue.