Monday, September 30, 2013

Marvel Wizard of Oz Graphic Novels- Classics Retold

Can you believe it's the last day of my Wonderful Wizard of Oz month??   Me neither. There is so much to Oz.. and so many retellings I could've had two months devoted to it!  So last I will be reviewing the Marvel Graphic Novels of Oz.  I really wanted to read all 5 that are out, but my library didn't have any when I started this project in August.  So I requested them to order them.  It's odd how they did order them.  They sent me the first one through ILL which is interlibrary loan so that one will go back to another library.  Then they ordered volume 2 (the Marvelous Land of Oz) and they ordered volume 4.  Sooo they are missing 3 and 5 (and technically volume 1)???  So I requested them to order them again so we'll see if they do.  I only read volumes 1 and 2 for the project and loved them!!!

The first two comics are amazing! I love love love the art. The stories are really good too and follow the books pretty straight. Honestly I don't know if I will ever get to the other books in the Oz series by Baum. The good news is that these comics follow the books so well I think that I could really just read them and learn what happens to the characters this way.  Yes yes, I know.  This is like watching a movie and then not bothering with the book.  But... so many books so little time!  Plus the art just makes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz a fun comic read!

I just love the classic series Marvel has going on.. and this is the best one I have read from that series so far!  The art work just helps us realize just how whimsical the world is. It helps us see how the world is odd and unique.  Now the second book has a weaker story to me then the first.  The characters we are introduced to though are just as fun and unique as the scarecrow, lion, and tin man.
The wicked witch of the west is illustrated below, spooky right??

I hope that the comics continue to finish the book series by Baum.  Who knows though?  I haven't seen any news on a volume 6 anywhere.    I have to say the art in this is so beautiful it could be framed!!

The Crystal Ball says:

Sun is shinning!!!  Great day to go outside and read this book.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Project Disney- Oliver and Company

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories.  Inspired by Project Disney hosted by Picture Me Reading.

"Cool it guys, it's just a cat!" This week we are covering Oliver and Company based off the book Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.  I loved Oliver and Company growing up.  The music is sooooo fun!!  My sister and I had a toy of Georgette (one of the dogs) and we would always fight over who's toy it was.  The vocals in this movie are amazing. Huey Lewis, Bette Midler, and the Pointer Sisters.  Great choice to have Billy Joel as the voice for Dodger.  I mean the song "Why should I worry, why should I care?"  Dodger even plays the piano like his voice actor Billy.  Classic!

Comparing the movie to the book it's based off it is a big difference to me. This movie obviously takes place in 1988 when it was made. Unlike other Disney movies that take place in a different time period. It's like a cartoon 80s movie.  There are characters are a little different.  Fagin and Sikes who are criminal pals in the book Oliver Twist are clearly not on the same level here.  Sikes is the main boss and Fagin owes him a debt.

Oliver is taken by a girl Jenny to her home in the movie.  This could be similar to the book where Oliver is taken by Fagin to join his criminal gang.  She wants to give him a good home.  Dodger doesn't know this and goes and rescues him from Jenny.  When Oliver gets back to where the gang lives Fagin decides to blackmail Jenny to get the money he owes Sikes (we never find out why Fagin owes Sikes money). Fagin has a change of heart and just gives her Oliver.  But Sikes captures Jenny and tries to blackmail her family.  Dodger and the gang rescue her.  The end of the movie has a huge car chase that is pretty fun to watch.  

At the end of the movie Oliver does end up staying with Jenny.  This doesn't surprise me.. she is really sweet to Oliver.  The difference here and the book too is the book is more about class.  Oliver Twist comes from a rich name which allows him in the end to have a better life.  In the movie, Oliver the cat is poor from the start and then ends up living in a well to do family. 

It had been a while since I'd seen this movie... what fun it was to watch again!!!  I love it, though really it doesn't really have too much in it from the book it's based off of I feel.  Be sure to check out my other Project Disney's!
Snow White
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Princess and the Frog
Beauty and the Beast
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
The Lion King 
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron 
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound 
Melody Time

Oliver Twist by Chalres Dickens- Review

I love classics.  So I was excited to get to read a Dickens book.  I have read a Christmas Carol before and really enjoyed it.  So when the chance came to read Oliver Twist I couldn't wait.  Here is the goodreads description:

Dickens's classic morality tale of a starving orphan caught between opposing forces of good and evil is a powerful indictment of Victorian England's Poor Laws. Filled with dark humor and an unforgettable cast of characters Oliver Twist, Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sykes, and the Artful Dodger, to name a few Dickens's second novel is a compelling social satire that has remained popular since it was first serialized in 1837- 39..

Oliver Twist is much longer then I thought! I picked it up from the library and didn't expect the length at all. A Christmas Carol was so short so I didn't realize Dicken's books were long.  The story was sad to me.  Of course at the end it's all happy.  But the story of Oliver is sad.  When Oliver is born his mother dies.  He is then moved into a workhouse.  He has a really terrible time here.  While living in this workhouse he is basically starved.  He says his famous lines to one of the workers about food, "Please sir, I want some more"

Oliver is eventually made an apprentice to someone who makes coffins.  He tries to be a good boy there only to be accused of things he didn't do.  He then runs away to London and ends up being a criminal under the leadership of Fagin. Fagin is a very very interesting character.  Quite evil. I still can't believe how evil he could be.  Oliver manages to get away and lives with a great man, Mr. Brownlow. He helps Oliver but then Fagin captures him again and brings him back into a life of crime.

Fagin and another gentleman make Oliver rob a house.. where Oliver is shot.  The house owners then take care of Oliver and try to also raise him correctly.  During this time Oliver wants to find Mr. Brownlow and let him know what happened to him and why he never returned to his house.  Also during this time Fagin is trying to capture Oliver back.  A woman who was with the criminals, Nancy, has always tried to help Oliver.  She tries to keep him from being captured again.. only to be killed by Sikes for helping!

Nancy's story is tragic to me.  I was so upset when she died.  There again though Dickens can write and make you believe just how bad people can be.  Oliver eventually does escape.  At the end of the book Dickens sort of stops writing about Oliver and begins to just write about Sikes, Nancy and Fagin.  The book isn't uplifting at all.  It's very sad and depressing. 

I am interesting in watching a couple of movies based off the book.  I would also like to see the musical! 

The crystal ball says:

Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!