Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Aqua Nostalgia

Is it nostalgia (of many bygone eras in literature, the popularity of certain genres and the characters that they've begotten at the onset of the age of printing, verily...!) or what...?  (lest we spell it ''OUAT'' indeed; for both the reason and explanation for that, read on! But know this: we very nearly titled this one quite simply ''Aqua What?!?'' and it will become obvious why soon enough!)

Marvel (no pun intended here - absolutely not) at the assemblage here: Ariel, Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid, on-board Captain Nemo's Nautilus along with Captain Hook (Peter Pan's nemesis, yes) Aladdin (in lieu of Sinbad, perhaps?) and Jasmine (a fellow princess after all and she must be by Aladdin's side; of course) - and all of these with distinct ties to the likes of Rumplestiltskin, Jafar, Maleficent, Snow White and more - many more!

Verily, there had ne'er been such a forced assemblage 
ever, in the history of the Empire - 
not since the Duck & the Mouse teamed up with 
George & Artoo... 

One would be lying if one was to blog here that, to see this sort of gathering, is not bringing forth some bizarre sense of euphoria, in truth... For it is: all manners (almost) of aquatic-based or related characters - from the sea-faring pirate Hook to the Little Mermaid herself - all mish-mashed together in the same somewhat incoherent (not to mention repetitive; but that is the nature of the beast) odd story that further assembles all manners of fairy tale protagonists, great and small...

Who didn't dream of seeing this sort of thing... hmm?

I know that I sure did - although, as those who have actually read it know - mine was a little and a lot different! I steered clear of fairy tale material, save for the occasional clin d'oeil to it... My gathering of aquatic characters had more of an Atlantean feel to it, of course - mythical in that sense, not in any fairy tale sense. Granted, for many, Plato's Atlantis is of the same ilk - and to them I say... frag off! Atlantis is a myth of a higher order - mythological order! My second take on this sort of thing was all that - and, this time, I'll rather dispense some aqua fortis for those who don't know of it! My third take strayed away from any feeling that notables were being gathered in any aspect, in any way - for it focused solely on the lost continent itself. But those are other stories...

For, here, we have got something vastly different from any of my numerous luminous projects -  here, it is abc, owned by Disney, possessed of a clear-cut and very obvious mandate (some will say agenda - we'll get back to that in a jiffy here! I said jiffy; not Jafar!) on top of maximizing profit with as little investment as possible in the actual content they broadcast... It's the same for everyone else in this game, of course - we're not saying it's only Disney that does it (and it would be absurd for you to even begin to insinuate that it's what we're saying here - you dumb tinkerbells!) for it is le goût du jour - the popular thing to do and the fashion trend, these days! Everywhere and everything has to give out that impression of ''this is a once-in-a-lifetime event'' gathering all-stars of whatever ilk!

...some do not make as lasting an impression as others, though...
Huntsman: gone but not forgotten!

You gotta take somebody as an example - single out somebody, at some point...! And it has to be the mighty mouseketeer (mouse racketeer?) as this is the home of the show that saw all of these sea-based characters cross paths eventually; when they never have before - perhaps never should have either! (Verily, the only one missing... is Aquaman! He will remain a no-show, I believe!)

OUAT - a.k.a. ''Once Upon A Time'' but we would rather call it, here on our beloved aquamusings, DCCOUATFTMF (for ''Disney Channel's Crappy Once Upon A Time Fairy Tale Makeover Fest'' - yeah, okay, we won't - but only because it is way too long!) - has been doing this since, what is it now... 2008 or 2009, hence it is seven or eight seasons already!  In that span of time, they've managed to make the Evil Queen that gave the poisoned apple to Snow White become a FAN FAVORITE - and a good woman too! Hell, even Rumpelstiltskin has shown his softer side on several occasions and is both a mainstay and a favorite as well on the show. Fan fiction abounds about that formerly-evil Queen character and Snow White's daughter taking their relationship to a bold new level never before seen in any fairy tale at all. Speaking of which, they also thought of matching up the formerly innocent and Little Red Ridinghood with an equally-innocent (once - not anymore) character we all remember fondly - and is forever altered now, in our minds. Thanks, Disney!!!

The only thing one can be thankful for, here, is that, this time -somehow- the wink-wink sort-of adult makeover and twist did not end up making lesbian lovers out of two classic fairy tale protagonists who had never met before in their fictional lives - like it did, some episodes earlier, out of Little (well, not-so-little anymore) Red Ridinghood and Dorothy - yes, that Dorothy, who wasn't in Kansas anymore and was obviously off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz here - and a few tatas along the way as well, it would appear! Disney wouldn't go this far, not this time -despite their clear and obvious LGBTQ agenda, that is- and make a live-action version of their precious Disney Princesses locking lips out of the blue... Even though fans have done just that already, using the source material itself, in various forms of fan fiction as previously mentioned...

No, in this latest gathering of note, sweet innocent princesses Ariel and Jasmine keep their hands (and lips) off each other - and, with the actress who portrayed the former having moved on to her own show this fall (starring opposite the late, great John Ritter's son) it is very doubtful that will ever change. They wouldn't bring back her character just for that - would they?!?  A ménage-à-trois with Ariel, Jasmine and Aladdin?!? Noooooooooo...

Rest assured, though: we don't want to give Disney any ideas and they will not take any of those anyways (live with it, fan fiction scribes...!)

Ohh, what big eyes you have, Ariel...! Fish Eyes?!?

Actress JoAnna Garcia Swisher did not sign up for this sort of stuff - and neither did the actress portraying Jasmine (you google that!) who was the true hero of the day outwitting Jafar, the evil genie (aren't they all - djinn is just another name for demon, after all and all Aladdin ever was, was a different twist on the tale of Faust...! An Arabic twist on it; just like Sinbad was one of Odysseus! But that is another story again; one that Disney will choose to completely ignore, either way! Thus we will refrain from dwelling too long upon that...!)

The question begs to be asked, however: what is all this? What has triggered it all? Is it pure, classic nostalgia that has brought various creative and executive minds to embark upon this rewriting frenzy, adapting and transforming all of this old, beloved, time-honored material into something more... contemporary, tacky and risqué? ''OUAT'' did so on par with recent such efforts as ''LXG'' (League of, alternatively, Distinguished or Extraordinary Gentlemen''...! Drop the ''E'' from extraordinary and you've got it!) and several more cartoony efforts along the lines of ''Monsters In My Pocket'' for but one example...! All of them wind up but one thing: an odd mish-mash of influences trying to grasp the best elements from all sides involved - or pillaged!  And speaking of pillaging, the long-standing series of films (both already set and to come) cannot resist but to try to be that ''one nexus where it all comes together'' - we see it in the new Universal Monsters revival kicked off with The Mummy - a few years after a Dracula no one cared much for... And we saw it in everything from Pirates of the Caribbean to Star Wars - each universe wants to be ''THE'' place where it all is happening!  One cannot blame ''OUAT'' to want to try too; just like Pirates and Wars and other properties as well, they are part of the Disney Empire, where everything should converge... right, Walt?

Ultimately, it is all fine and dandy too; audiences can pick and choose which rendition is more suited to their tastes! And it all reeks of the creative minds that toil behind all of these properties' very own nostalgia of the fairy tale material of their youth - when they, too, were at the mercy of what Hollywood had to offer them, at the time. Nostalgia can be a powerful force that spurs us forward to accomplish what, we may feel, was never properly done before. For those who thought there never was a legitimately dastardly Hook on-screen, silver or small - there was the cue. For anyone who felt like re-doing from scratch the classic battle of Argonauts versus Skeletons that Ray Harryhausen masterfully delivered - there were Hercules, The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess in the nineties! And one must admit that this Swisher gal is the most faithful yet modern embodiment of the Little Mermaid anyone has ever seen on any screen - ever!

Although Ariel Winter appears primed and ready to give 
JoAnna Garcia Swisher a run for her money - and the part she left behind, 
in Storybrooke - is it?!? Or is it Smallville? Gotham? Roswell? 

All of my blogs tend to have a certain flair and aura of nostalgia to them; you have but to check them all out, one by one, to see that!  It may a trifle time-consuming to do so, but really - it is worth it! Many wondrous things to behold there; to thrill you, to enjoy! The self-proclaimed ''TLB Prime Network'' is rife with these things; merriment, thrills, chills, joy and saudade...! Here, on aqua musings, it invariably takes the form of three very specific things: my life-long attraction to the sea and all of its mysteries, legends and folklore. Then there is the childhood heroes, always of the sea - from Ulysses to the Argonauts to the protagonists of Os Lusiadas to Popeye, Sinbad and Aquaman! Finally, there were my own sea-based deities: ranging, this time, from cartoony creations to mesmerizing siren-like Aquaficionadas!  Hence, you see - one such as me truly doesn't need any ''OUAT'' to come along and gather up a handful of water-logged characters plucked out of three different sources and merge their worlds together in a wishy-washy story at best...!

I can find far better - out there! The seas are so vast... And there have been quite a long list of creative minds that have, just like me, been inspired by the mythology of the waters below...

Some recent and some not-so recent examples shall stir back memories - and set things right too!



Aquamarine is another bright -if not luminous- example...

That is, admittedly, a whole other story; 
the fact that it was a ''D.C.'' who directed it - 
a classic of fantasy cinema... 
But that is for further analysis on another blog - 
one administered jointly with a certain Ty...

But you want to see pure, unbridled nostalgia 
- set to the tune of aqua? 
Here it is:

 ~ And they all live on in the ultimate ~ 
 ~ emblematic of them all ~ 

Buy your commemorative t-shirt NOW - 
available for a short time only! 
Click HERE

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