Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Christmas book booty

Here's the Christmas presents we got for a pair of grand-nieces, ages seven and five. A lot of books.

Presents for Ally and Auri

We didn't actually buy these. What these girls might want to read is not our expertise. We sent their parents a wad of money, and they went shopping, and sent us this photo.

One item that particularly intrigued me is the one labeled Raya and the Last Dragon, which I hadn't heard of despite its bearing the Disney logo. So I looked it up, and it turned out to be a Disney animated movie released earlier this year which hadn't come to my attention. So since we have the Disney+ channel, I watched it.

Interesting, he said, chewing slowly. It's another Disney ethnic badass princess movie, in fact it's got two of them battling for the same McGuffin, which (a few plot complications aside) they both want to do the same thing with, so the whole battle is actually a giant misunderstanding, which they figure out in time for the fuzzy happy ending. This ending makes no sense in terms of the opening setup, which I can only assume the filmmakers hope you only vaguely remember by the end.

The McGuffin is a jewel which the dragons had concentrated all their power into. This sounds disturbingly like Sauron's methodology for making the One Ring. Despite the more benevolent intent, this also has its dire consequences.

Disney formed the ethnicity by throwing bits of every Southeast Asian culture they could think of into a bowl and mixing them up. It works OK, and some of the animation is excellent: I especially liked the expressions on the face of the big tough warrior guy from Spine.

Oh yes, there's five kingdoms, each named for a body part of a dragon. One of them is Spine. Spoken aloud as a place name, it sounds like a Cockney on vacation.

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